We drove to the Hunter Valley on Friday night after stopping at Subway for a quick dinner knowing we would be spoiled with good food for the rest of the weekend. We arrived at our cosy little unit at the H Boutique Hotel where the staff had kindly placed the key under the mat for our late arrival. The lights were dimmed so that we could get fall asleep easily after a super busy week and a long drive.
The next day we had an early lunch of Turkish bread with dips to share, a delicious baby spinach, roast pumpkin and prosciutto salad for me and a chicken wrapped in prosciutto for him at Café Enzo in Rothbury. Café Enzo was not what we expected it to be – it was even better. It wasn’t a ‘café’ as such, but a lovely restaurant in a rustic cottage setting with delicious meals and great service.
That afternoon I stayed in because I could feel a cold coming on while my boyfriend went to the driving range. I did a quick ‘at home’ workout (because I wanted to be able to eat well on our weekend away and not feel guilty!) and read my book (‘The Japanese Lover’ by Isabelle Allende – a great read!) on the couch with many cups of tea. Soon enough, the sun began to set and I was spoiled with views of kangaroos munching on grass against golden, hazy skies. It was really beautiful – the perfect Australian landscape for any tourist or local to admire. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of views like this.
That evening, we changed our minds about getting takeaway and decided to go out to dinner. After calling many places that were booked, we finally found a table at The Cellar Restaurant for some Mediterranean cuisine. Other types of cuisines in this region are fairly limited to modern Australian and a few Italian restaurants and only one Japanese/Thai fusion restaurant.
We sat near a roaring fire in a rustic setting and filled up on zucchini flowers (for me) and quail (for him) as an appetizer. We probably shouldn’t have ordered an entre when we saw the main we both ordered – two big pieces of crumbed chicken with vegetables. It was delicious though, and even though I only got through 1.5 pieces, I was full until the next day. My boyfriend ordered the dessert which was coconut sorbet cleverly served to look like coconuts inside a chocolate shell. I tried some and it was delicious.
The next morning we decided to eat before the Cheese Lovers Festival (which started at 10am) and found ourselves in yet another stunning and quiet setting at Epicure Café. We sat at a small table, draped the thick blanket given to us over our legs and gazed at a peaceful view of trees surrounding a little lake filled with ducks who wandered over to our table a few times during breakfast. It was chilly but we warmed up when the sun peaked through the clouds and danced on the water.
After a stop at the festival (see more in previous post) we drove home through the rain feeling well fed, relaxed and happy.