So in exciting developments this week, the builders have been dribbling back to work. Unfortunately with the heat we have in Adelaide this week (Monday 42C, Tuesday 45C, Today 44C, Tomorrow 46C. Shoot me now, it's like living in an oven), we've only had a handful of hardy trades - the tiler has started at 5am so that he can knock off when the heat really gets going (although it was 37C at 8.30am yesterday). But fortunately the wallpaper guy has returned, and has wallpapered Mr AV's home office, the kids playroom and the laundry (in air conditioned comfort). Hooray!
It looks so good. Honestly, wallpaper is the easiest way to dress up a room. It's kind of like less expensive art for your walls. The sliding door above to the laundry is going to be wallpapered as well, so it will disappear and be a Jib door.
Here's the kids playroom, with the Coles & Sons "Woods and Pears" wallpaper. It has gold foil pears on the bare birch branches, which looks fab. One wall, as you will remember, has been painted in blackboard paint. The kids are very excited as they think it looks like "Where the Wild Things Are".
The gold pears echo the brass kitchen handles, which links nicely when glimpsed from the living area, as you can see below.
Excuse the mess, I snapped these just as he was packing up today. It all needs a big clean and tidy up.
In the laundry, the Nina Campbell Farfalla wallpaper is up. We just need the mirror splashback and the other washing machine installed and I can call this room finished.
Having a laundry feels like a massive luxury to me, as I've always had a laundry cupboard in the past. So all this cupboard space, bench space and then the wallpaper, and I'm very, very happy. It may even cause me to break out the ironing board in celebration (probably not actually).
I've been doing a lot of cooking in the past week, as you'd expect now that I finally have a decent kitchen. I whipped up these recipes from my "Ottolenghi" cookbook (it's excellent) - Saffron Hazelnut Honey glazed Chicken. Absolutely delicious and easy. I did a standard style salad with it.
We've had a couple of friends around for viewings of the new extension. Now that word has got around that we are living in the back, we have a lot of curious friends who have not been around for a long time. Mostly this is because small children and a building site are not a good combination so we haven't invited people for a long time. And it's still fairly dangerous from that point of view (lots of nails, bits of sharp things outside, but at least they've removed the scaffolding). I made a batch of the Ottolenghi parmesan cheese biscuits to go with drinks - very easy to do in the thermomix. They are very moreish, and it's handy to keep a roll of the dough in the freezer to make them up fresh when you have people dropping by.
I also threw some Fig branches into the new Bison vase that my sister bought me for Christmas to cheer things up a bit. I'm loath to buy flower in the heat, as they don't last long. And I have nothing in my garden as it's all been fried.
As it's School Holidays, Mr AV and I decided to book a night out without kids. We went out last Tuesday to a newish place - Street ADL on Rundle Street in the city. It's the hipster younger sister to the more grown up Orana restaurant upstairs. Orana is winning lots of raves at the moment for its use of native Australian food - friends of ours were there recently and saw Heston Blumenthal dining there. I'll get there soon, hopefully, although my friend did mention that I would find the lack of tablecloths confronting.
Back to Street ADL though. I wore my new Tory Burch sale jacket. It fits, and I love all the embellished detail on it. So that was my first Sale purchase for the season after the shoes with toe cleavage went back to Netaporter.
It's in the old Universal Wine Bar spot. Good for people watching. There's an excellent wine list - I started off with a glass of Ruinart blanc de blanc Champagne. From there, things went slightly down hill. Firstly, there is no table service. This is very annoying when you have to go and queue up at a bar where hipster 20 year olds with beards are too busy chatting to serve you. Then you have to go back and order food, dessert, another glass of wine...with the prices of the items they're serving, there's no excuse to not have table service in my opinion. The greeting people spent most of the evening standing around as it wasn't busy.
If you're a vegetarian, or just like salad or a vegetable somewhere on your plate, then I hope you enjoy green beans, as that is the only thing to order on the menu. Aside from that there are burgers, pulled meat sandwiches, BBQ and meat things galore. All very tasty, but not overly sophisticated in the presentation department. If you think it's bad to be served your food on chipped Op Shop (thrift store) 1970's earthernware plates as it's "hip" in some venues, then you may find it confronting that you are served your meal in cardboard boxes. Apparently when it first opened you also got disposable cutlery, but there was such an outcry they've now succumbed to stainless steel, which is in a communal help yourself style can in the centre of the (also communal) tables. I couldn't stop laughing at the ridiculous "take home" boxes (there is no takeaway offered, everyone dines in).
I appreciate the concept, as it is a bar rather than a proper sit down restaurant, but this is not a cheap place. The pulled Kangaroo Sandwich pictured above cost $22. All up, our meal was $120 (wine etc extra, no dessert), and while the food is excellent (for what it is - I'm not a huge burger or pulled meat sandwich fan), there's absolutely no service (or annoying service if you have to wait for the bar guys to finish chatting with their friends to serve you). I think my conclusion is that it's a good place to go for lunch. Or after a concert or something. Don't go for dinner unless you want to be annoyed. Mr AV spent most of our time there muttering darkly about Gen Y...
Kangaroo Island Marron
But it's always good to try somewhere new?!
Hope you've had a good week, and stay out of the heat Adelaide and Melbourne people. Fingers crossed we don't get any major bushfires...
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