It's the first week of the school holidays here, so I've been preoccupied with child related matters, like plays with friends and the haircut and new shoe shopping that usually accompany holidays and changes in season.
But I've done a couple of child free things - like another cooking class at Outdoors on Parade with the pastry chef from Magill Estate. Magill Estate is probably my favourite restaurant ever. I just love, love, love the setting - a modernist glass pavilion set amongst rolling heritage vineyards with stunning views over the city of Adelaide. It's finally reopened after nearly 3 years being closed, so I can't wait to go and check out the renovation as well as sample the delicious food again.
But the cooking class was fab - we drank different vintages of Jansz Sparkling (from Tasmania, and probably my favourite Aussie sparkling), and learnt how to cook a few yummy things such as these
she used egg rings to make the little tart cases for the chocolate tarts (lay a sheet of baking parchment on a tray, grease an egg ring, push in a round of pastry and trim, blind bake for 4 minutes before filling), and we all admired her very on trend display - lots of nature themed decoration with tree stumps, deer antlers, burlap etc etc. The class was fun (and yummy).
On other food related discoveries I found a great cafe this week - tucked away in the backstreets of Dulwich, the Corner Store cafe had the feel of a Melbourne cafe to me. Melbourne cafes pop up in unexpected places, have superior coffee and usually very good food - it's nice to find something so similar in Adelaide. This one is worth hunting down if you're in the area - the Chicken and Haloumi salad was delish.
On house related news, things are slowly progressing. We've had the renderer make a good start on the exterior render - the brown is the undercoat, with the grey top coat to go on sometime this week (I think). It has an Ashlar block impression in it, and I'm really happy with the effect. I think if I'd chosen a plain render it would look quite bland.
Internally all the insulation has been put in ready for the plaster boarding, and the ceiling in the living area has finally been finished. I have heard the plasterer swearing from inside the house, so I know it's caused him a lot of problems.... all those difficult angles to work out. The bit that is blank is for the fireplace which will be built this week.
I've spent a lot of time in the garden over the weekend - I've now put out a total of 13 bags of compost/ manure and 8 bales of cane sugar mulch, so the garden had better start to repay me soon. I do have my first flag iris though
And my first rose - fittingly it is Sharifa Asma, a David Austin rose. In the last proper conversation that I had with my mother I told her that I had planted them, and she said "Oh, I do love Sharifa Asma" with enthusiasm. In a strange coincidence the first rose opened out on the first anniversary of her death this week.
My Ecchium has outdone itself this year, with masses of flower heads (and bees).
And I'm trying again with a real orchid in the house. I generally treat them as flower arrangements that last 2-3 months, but I recently read the secret to watering an orchid is to place an ice cube on the top once a week, as it will slowly melt and water it. We'll see how I go.....
Finally, I picked up a copy of William Yeoward's Entertaining book for the bargain price of $19.99. Hooray! It's full of beautiful table settings, although it's made me want to buy a set of his beautiful Crystal glasses even more.. it's rather a big brochure in a way. It's probably a good thing you can't actually buy it in Australia at the moment.
It's given me a lot of ideas for our first dinner party in the extension. Which will hopefully happen soon (ish). The kitchen is supposed to arrive in another 2 weeks, which is exciting. So fingers crossed we'll be eating in our new space soon.
Hope you had a good week xx
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