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 

Creme Brûlées 

Chocolate tarts

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).



While I've been lugging bags of compost around this weekend (and have the sore back and neck to prove it), Mr AV has been busy with one of his toys - the pressure washer. He's removed all the cobwebs and dirt which has made the outside of our house seem as if we were going in early with the Halloween themed decorations.


 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

46 comments:

  1. Ooooh, everything's yummy in there, the food, the flowers and the house that's coming up nicely; You are a busy bee ! xx

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    1. Slowly getting there SB! But I have been busy - so much still to do though - it's never-ending xx

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  2. Your cooking class sounds v yummy - I love a chocolate tart... In fact I love almost any tart!!
    So glad to hear that things are looking up on the renovation front. Fingers still crossed for a good window outcome.
    What a lovely, but probably bittersweet coincidence that the Rose bloomed on the anniversary of your mother's death. It is stunning. Big hugs xx

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    1. Thanks Ruth - the rose had a bit of spooky synchronicity to it, but it is a beauty. Windows are not looking positive at the moment, but all else is now starting to move ahead on the reno front (thank GOD!). The food has indeed been good this week though - probably not good for Bikini wearing, but Oh well, you have weeks like that! xx

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    2. Heidi
      I think sometimes things are meant to happen as they do. I would take the rose blooming on the first anniversary of your mother's death as a sign of her love for you and your shared loved of roses and gardens. I believe she's watching over you.
      A long time ago at a very sad time for us, at a funeral, I opened the copy of the church prayer book I was handed and found that it was one my mother had donated in my father's memory. His name was on the front page - and at a very bad time it suddenly gave me comfort. I felt he was there watching over me and my loved ones as he always had in his lifetime. Pamela xx

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    3. That's such a lovely story Pamela - and very much a sign for you from your Dad. I do think it was very fitting that the rose bloomed, she adored her roses and gardening too, so it was perfect that it was the one that opened first. xx

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  3. Love a cooking class myself, nice to enlarge your repertoire for the new coming kitchen! I also love Tassie wine, they have a Pinot. Our that I forgot the name of and rarely stock here. The house looks good. Really coming together and so is your garden. What perfect timing that the rose bloomed when it did. The one year mark is an odd one. Some say it's hardest bit so my thoughts do go out to you whether it was or wasn't. Weird stuff like that happened at the one year anniversary of my dads death. Weird thing is that the kettle kept going off on its own. Spooky bc he always said I was the only one to make a proper cuppa for him...I think those roses might be contenders for a local flower show : ) xx

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    1. Ooh, that is a bit weird about your Dad N. The day itself was ok - kept busy all day, but I did wake up feeling very anxious, and was trying to work out why when I remembered.
      The house is finally looking like we could almost move in in the next decade.... it's felt like forever this year!! The garden needs to do a lot of growing. I can't help but wish I'd got the landscape designer in for the front garden, i'm sure it would look a lot better than what I've managed to come up with!! xx

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  4. Oh good for you on the cooking class! I am teaching myself Mexican cuisine these days - love to do that!

    I love your garden and isn't it fabulous that your rose bloomed on the anniversary of your mum's death? I am coming up on the one year anniversary of my dad's in early November, so I can relate. There is something relieving, but sad, about the first year being done. Sending you much love!

    The house looks fab!

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    1. I love Mexican, but unfortunately there's not a lot of it in Australia. Should probably get a cookbook and teach myself as well.
      So sorry about your looming anniversary too Wendy. I think it's a relief in a way to get over that hump, hope you don't feel too anxious about it as well. xx

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  5. Glad to hear that things are moving along for you.
    The rose blooming, well Heidi, I don't want this to sound strange, but I do believe that those who have passed do leave signs for us.
    thank you for the ice cube tip re the orchid growing, will try it myself.
    Linda C.

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    1. Mum did love roses Linda, so maybe you're right.... fingers crossed with the ice cube - I've never had a good success rate with orchids! xx

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  6. All the best with the orchid endeavours. Am totally relating to the mulching process only using lucerne mulch this time around. By a very odd coincidence, I also purchased the same William Yeoward book this week and I am enjoying it very much. Even more oddly, I got it at a truly bargain price of just $10. Usually I would expect a bigger city to deliver a bigger bargain but for the first time in an absolute age, buying locally served me well.
    Your rose is a very promising sign of things to come.
    May your week progress as smoothly as holidays and renovations permit.

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    1. That is a very strange coincidence with the William Yeoward book - and $10!! I'm v. envious! Thank you for your good thoughts Jenni - hope you have a lovely week too xx

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  7. What a beautiful rose and how lovely to think that your mother would have loved it. I hope that you felt o.k. this week.
    I got an amazing orchid a couple of month ago at the Covent Garden flower market and it is still looking wonderful. We soak the whole of the base in a basin of water once a week. I'm interested to hear if ice works - I would not have thought of that.
    Love the look of that William Yeoward book. I am a big fan! Looking forward to seeing your dinner party tables in the future.
    x

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    1. I've tried soaking the orchids in the past, but it didn't seem to work for me - eventually the whole thing would shrivel up and die, so I'm hopeful the ice cube trick will work. I seem to recall seeing movies etc where people do things with spray bottles, but that all seems a little hard!!
      It's a beautiful book Charlotte - You'd love it with your collection (or the start of a collection?). I can't wait to throw my first dinner party and bring all my silver home from Dad's (where it's been for 4 years for safekeeping!). xx

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  8. I do agree about Jansz I received a bottle recently as a thank you for a job I did . I really love the rose story ..hope your week wasn't too full of sad thoughts though it doesnt sound that way. The house is really coming along..and talking of cobwebs today I must get the ones off the bars on my kitchen windows.

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    1. That's a nice thank you smr! The week was ok, tried hard not to think about it really - mum wouldn't have wanted us to dwell and be sad. I have to tackle the cobwebs inside the house too - it's hard with such high ceilings to get to them, but the inside is looking a bit too Adams Family for my liking at the moment!! xx

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  9. Thanks for the passing on the clever tip on the egg rings for the tarts...it makes perfect sense. I know I am going against the flow, but I just don't get the antlers and tree stumps decoration trend. If it were all served in a hunting lodge in the country, yep, but in the urban environment it just looks kinda weird. But the food doesn't look weird...rather, it looks absolutely delicious. I remember doing a cooking class at OOP more than a decade ago...was so much fun.

    That's a beautiful rose, and an even more beautiful story to go with its very important and symbolic first flower. These little things make it all a bit sweeter, and a bit sadder all at once.

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    1. The tart thing seemed so obvious once she explained it - but I would've been running around the shops looking for a tart tin (x's 12) that size! Know what you mean about the whimsical woodland theme running through everything - it started with kid's parties and has definitely spread to weddings etc. Actually my pet hate at the moment is signage at weddings - too many flower girls holding up signs that say 'kiss' or coming down the aisle with 'here comes the bride' signs. xx

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  10. The house is looking good. Great that so much progress is happening. I am sure that your garden will repay you. You can't go wrong with compost and mulch!

    I am glad about your beautiful rose. Whenever you write about your mother I think she sounds like an amazing lady. There is an old saying that it takes a year and a day before grief starts to lessen a little... I hope your week has really been ok.

    xxx

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    1. Thankyou T xx
      I'm hopeful that the garden will start to pay me back - we suffer from clay soil, and it's pretty rubbish due to the building works. I spend a lot of time digging out rocks and trying to add more organic matter to improve it. It's so small at the moment and I've put in so much time!! xx

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  11. If only all the house cleaning could be done with a gerni! You have been very industrious and it is producing results. The rose must have been a lovely surprise for you.
    Please let us know how you get on with the orchid watering technique. So many orchids have come to a sad end despite my most careful administrations.
    Hope the school holidays are a happy time for all in your household.

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    1. Agree re the housecleaning Claire! Unfortunately the outside is looking very neat and well tended, but inside is not so great... school holidays and playing imaginative games seems to mean that every room has a trail of stuff inside it. Next school holidays we should (hopefully) be living in the back of the house, which means more room to spread out into. This weeks project is to tackle some of the spring cleaning stuff... although I have a lot of things to sort out on the back of the house, so we'll see how far I get! xx

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  12. Hi Heidi, thanks for the lovely photos. The food looks delicious! A few years ago, I bought a set of fluted tart tins with removable bottoms from E. Dehillerin in Paris - but now that you mention it, an egg ring would do just as well! Your house reno looks like it is getting on very well!! The rose is so beautiful, it is almost like a tribute to your mother. About the orchids, I have 3 of them that have been flourishing and blooming non-stop for about 5 years now. I am no plant expert, but I discovered the key to keeping orchids happy is to keep them near a window that gets bright indirect light for the entire day (north facing or south facing). They are potted in terracotta pots with large drainage holes and they are sitting on a tray of pebbles. When I water them, most of the water drains out of the bottom of the clay pots, and fills the tray of pebbles. The water then evaporates over the course of the week and keeps the environment around the plants humid.

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    1. Your tart tins sound fab Louise, and a good souvenir to bring back with you from Paris.
      You've done well with the orchids, but I've been thinking the humidity is not great for them over winter - our heating system is quite drying, so it's no wonder they don't last long. Fingers crossed this one will do as well as yours xx

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  13. How nice that your rose bloomed when it did! David Austin roses are my favourite. That table setting in the William Yeoward entertaining book looks so luxurious- especially love the table cloth. Interesting regarding the ice cube and orchid tip- look forward to hearing the results. Enjoy the rest of the school holidays x

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    1. The table cloth is, according to the book, a bedspread! He likes to repurpose things... I've used a sheet as a table cloth often in the past, but there's nothing nicer than a proper linen tablecloth I think. Hope you're enjoying all the sun in Brissie xx

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  14. Ooh, you have been busy! Creme brûlée? My fave! Would love to hear how to make them....then again, maybe bot! Lol. I love Ashlar finish. David did this to his brothers house on a vineyard in Canowindra. It was spectacular. The inside is looking great, exciting weeks ahead! X kl

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    1. Creme Brulee is really just baked custard, then you need a blow torch to make the tops crunchy (sprinkle sugar first!). As Dave is pretty handy, you've probably got an industrial sized blow torch somewhere around your place KL, so you could easily whip up a big batch! The house in vineyard sounds just beautiful xx

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  15. Laughing at last post re the society ladies in London....sounds atrocious!
    Good that you have found a Melbourne Cafe in Adelaide - living in Fitzroy North I am spoiled!
    I am getting all my interior design/gardening/building inspo from your good self, Faux Fuchsia and Naomi!
    Cilla x

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    1. they were pretty atrocious - and they cured me instantly of ever wanting to join some sort of High Society social set!! There are such fab cafes in Fitzroy North - you are lucky! Lovely area too - I was in charge of renovating the Bowling Club there around 12 years ago (as we did a larger development, and had to renovate it as part of the deal). xx

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  16. Glad to see the house is slowly coming together Heidi! A lovely story about the rose - I too sometimes think there are things that happen that we can't explain but if they give us comfort that surely is the main thing. What is an Ashlar finish? The book looks like an enjoyable read. What is your favourite glasses of his? Perhaps you could do a post on your favourite table settings!! I have been to a few cooking classes at OOP and have enjoyed them all. Good tip on the egg rings.

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    1. Ashlar blocks are the large block impressions (sort of like enormous bricks) that you can see in the second photo close up. They used to do it on old Victorian houses to try to make it look like more expensive stone (it would be rendered brick underneath). I wouldn't say no to any William Yeoward glasses, but his fern one I'm pretty partial to... good idea for a post, it's been a while since I've done a fantasy dinner setting. xx

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  17. Hi Heidi, Hope the flower blooming gave you a nice smile! CREME BRULEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE my fav!!!!!! Love tarts too. I make a pretty good lemon passionfruit one with my own pastry (In my opinion, not point making a tart if you don't make the pastry) Let's see if that holds up for me with kids around. I do the ice cube thing with my phali's but still they WILL NOT put out another flower shoot. I've only manage to get one year out of them. I have some around where the leaves are still there and the roots and it is growing and looks good, but no flower spike/shoot thingo. Stumped. I like what you have done with the render. I like it a lot.

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    1. You'll be whipping up a storm in no time with your new kitchen so close to being in!! You might need some fertiliser with your orchids? I have some you're supposed to give them when they've finished their flowering. Might bring yours back to life? Either that or do what I do - I use a fake spray or orchids and stick it in the pot when the real thing has finished. xx

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    2. What a great idea with the faux spray...I'm off tomorrow to find one now!

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  18. Heidi, I am so happy you included the tip about watering orchids. I recently received one as a gift from a lovely friend and was a bit confused about how much water it needed. Brilliant! The house is really looking great and the Chicken and Haloumi salad looked delicious xxx

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    1. Hope the tip works for your Orchid too - I've either given them too much or not enough water, which is so frustrating in the past. The salad was completely delish, am going to try to recreate it when I have a proper kitchen. xx

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  19. Hi Heidi -
    I was at that OOP cooking class with my husband! It was a very generous gift from my hockey team for us both to attend. I am not sure he, the non salmon fan, appreciated the three desserts and lack of main - but I was able to force my way through!
    The Janz blush sparkling was my favourite - we just spent the weekend in the Clare Valley, and they are doing some interesting things with sparkling reislings up there - but nothing came close to the Janz.

    Glad to see some progress on the house for you - fingers crossed there are no more window-instillation style dramas to come!

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    1. That's so funny Sarah!! I know what you mean - the table I was on the other two women were wanting their dinner too... although a dinner of salmon, champagne and dessert went down quite nicely for me! The blush was very yum. You have had a foodie week/end if you've been in the Claire as well. Windows drag on. More lawyer letters to be sent this week... sigh. xx

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  20. Looked again at the table setting from the Yeoward book with the roses in tumblers. Very pretty, though positioning flowers at each place setting in water glasses reminded me of a ball we were once invited to overseas by the President of the Ball Organising Committee. She was very proud that all the place settings were decorated with the old school colours, purple and gold. To the right of each setting was a beautiful fresh spray of purple Singapore orchids - and a brandy balloon filled with water, with a live gold fish swimming around the rim. As the evening progressed and more drinks were consumed, one after the other, most of the men unintentionally drank their goldfish!!! Pamela xx

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  21. I like it that your house does not almost touch the boundary fence. There are so many places in Sydney where huge houses have been built on small blocks with tiny dark passages along both side boundaries, this is partiuclasry prevelant in a couple of the beach side suburbs in the east.

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  22. CBrulees s are totally my weakness - I always order them when they are on the menu. Best I not learn how to make them - I would be the size of your new addition with roof and beams to match. That cafe sounds wonderful, I was drooling over that leafy sambo.

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  23. Yummy looking crème brulee. I recently brought the Yeoward book - for my boys to give me for Christmas - picked mine up for $19.99 too, which I thought was a great price. Café at Dulwich looks good, must try it out when I have lunch with a girlfriend in a few weeks time. Jansz sparkling rocks, feel like some right now!! Jo xx

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  24. A fun week Heidi and just have to say how much I love the Ashlar block impression... looks fabulous!

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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