Monday, September 7, 2015

A short visit to Adelaide

Andrew and I just got back from a short extended weekend away in South Australia.

Thursday - Hahndorf, Wineries, Adelaide Central Market, Temple Day Spa

We left frosty Perth on Thursday morning only to arrive to an even chillier Adelaide. We got our cute little rental car with a sunroof and drove straight to Hahndorf, a small town that was German settled and has kept it's German charm. We walked down the main street from end to end and grabbed a goat's cheese brie from Udder Delights, then stopped in for a sausagey lunch at the German Arms pub. We were ready to leave, but promptly changed our mind when we drove past the German Cake Shop, which lured us in for a bee sting (bienenstich) slice.

Pretzels at German Arms, Hahndorf

The German Cake Shop, Hahndorf

The next two stops were a couple of wineries, K1 by Geoff Hardy (Kuitpo Vineyard) in the Adelaide Hills, and d'Arenberg in McClaren Vale. 

After almost getting bogged on a waterlogged road after some poor advice by the navman man (we decided the woman was way more reliable) we finally made it to the picturesque K1, our first wine tasting of the trip. Driving over the hill and seeing the entrance was so unexpected, I'm glad we finally made it! We talked footy over some tastings, and bought a pinot noir, and a shiraz. 

On the way to K1, we chose not to risk it

K1 by Geoff Hardy

d'Arenberg was another pretty winery, where we were served by the winemakers daughter, who bless her young heart, was clearly still learning the trade. We really enjoyed tasting some of their wines, and we ended up getting a crazy blend of a million things, The Galvo Garage (Cab Sauvignon Merlot Petit Verdot Cabernet Franc).


Heading back into the city, we passed by Adelaide Central Markets, but since we got there 15 minutes before closing we didn't get to enjoy it too much, and made a beeline straight for some local lamb backstrap and veggies for dinner.

Adelaide Central Markets

Our next stop was going to be the Andina hotel, but a call from Temple Day Spa turned us around to head straight there instead. Andrew bought me a voucher to Temple Day Spa for my birthday, and it was a fantastic experience, but I have to say that the booking process and organisation was a bit of a disaster! They had called me on Wednesday to change my booking from 5:45pm to 6pm, at which point they told me they actually had me booked in for 5:30pm originally. Then, when I got the call on Thursday afternoon, they were actually calling to see where I was because they were expecting me at 5:15pm! 
Oh well, I finally got there, and they upgraded me to a thing called the Vichyshower to appologise for the inconvenience which was very nice of them. The hot stone massage was incredible and vigorous, the infra red sauna was bikram-yoga-like and very refreshing, and the Vichyshower was relaxing but…. very strange. It was a big machine, much like the thing the lady gets into to cut the alien out of her in Prometheus, that sort of heated up and sprayed water jets randomly at me in different sequences and locations while one of the staff gave me a head and neck massage. The lady said it was meant to replicate the climate and rain in a rain forest, and while it was very relaxing at times, I couldn't stop giggling as I wondered what strange thing would happen next especially after a misguided jet that was meant to hit my feet got me smack bang in the vagina. The only conclusion I can make is that when you next visit a rain forest, you’d better protect your crotch. I actually started giggling the hardest (I appologised again to the nice lady) when the whole thing finished with the water turning off suddenly and the machine beeping once to indicate that relaxation time is over. 

Giggles aside, Temple Day Spa was such a stylish place to relax, I absolutely loved it and would definitely recommend it.

Lamb Backstrap for Dinner

I loved the Andina hotel, which has been converted from the old treasury building, complete with a creepy basement of winding tunnels. Our room had an amazing balcony which we insisted on using for breakfast each day, despite the freezing weather!

Breakfast at Andina

Friday - Taste of the Barossa Tour, Adelaide Central Market and Arcade

I can't recommend the Taste of the Barossa tour enough, it was fantastic! Guided by our knowledgeable and witty tour guide Ashely, Trip Advisor definitely got it right when they rated this as the number 1 thing to do in Adelaide. 
We were second on the pick up list, and we had a bit of a giggle when we wandered up to the bus and noticed that the one other couple already on were in their 50s. It ended up being a full bus, and that first couple ended up being the second youngest after us! Ashely mentioned that he gets all sorts and it just depends on the day, but we were certainly the youngest grapes on the vine. 

After picking everyone up, and seeing Ross Lyon walking down the street, our first stop was the Whispering Wall, a parabolic dam that accidentally had the acoustic property of being able to propagate sound very far distances. Ashely told the bus that the rules are that someone on the bus has to tell him a joke once they get to the end of the wall, and unfortunately all he got was "Why did the chicken cross the road? To get the the other side!" which must have been the joke in fashion in the olden days.

The Whispering Wall

Ross Lyon walking down the street!

Our first winery stop was Chateau Yaldara 1847, the most photographed cellar door in South Australia, and I think it's obvious why. We did a structured wine tasted in the boys room, where the very knowledgeable guide told us about the history of the estate and took us through a variety of different wines, some great, some OK. I decided to get the Moscato for my parents, it was a really interesting one that wasn't too sweet. 

Chateau Yaldara 1847

Chateau Yaldara 1847

Our second stop was Peter Lehmann Wines, where we got to try some wines touched by the man who saved the Barossa by convincing everyone not to take the government’s grant to pull up all their vines and start producing something else. I have to say, I didn't like a lot of the wines here, but the Future Shiraz was our favourite, so we bought two bottles. We had a very quick lunch, then walked over to Langmeil to taste some wines from the oldest Shiraz vines in the world.

Peter Leehmann Wines

Peter Leehmann Wines

The oldest living Shiraz vines in the WORLD, 172 years old, can be found at Langmeil, rows 15 to 24. Amazing! Like little Shiraz trees, gnarly and thick. This is where we tasted an $125 bottle of wine called Freedom Shiraz, made from fruit from these vines. It was amazing, we felt lucky. 

Oldest shiraz vines in the world


We stopped at a lookout over the Barossa where we enjoyed the 8 shades of green that can be seen, then headed off to the last stop of Murray Street Vineyards, where we enjoyed a tasting in a room where Master Chef did a Masterclass. The most memorable tasting here was an aged Riesling that smelt like kerosene but tasted sweet and delicious. This stop saw us one bottle of shiraz heavier. 

The Lookout

Murray Street Vineyards

5 bottles of wine later (in our bag, not in our tummies!) we enjoyed the sites back to our hotel in Adelaide, and I may have caught some old and had a quick nanna nap too. We headed back to the Adelaide Central Markets with lots of time to look around, and we ended up getting a laksa and a Cooper's Sparkling Ale for dinner at the Laksa House, yum! We checked out the Adelaide Arcade on the way back to the hotel, very cute and similar to the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney. 

Collection so far

Laska at Adelaide Central Market

Adelaide Arcade

Adelaide Arcade

Saturday- Zoo, Adelaide food icons and the footy

We loved Adelaide Zoo! It's the first time we'd seen a hippo, the first time we'd seen a panda, and a deer ate our map (we tried very hard, there was no getting it back). I like zoos that are similar to Perth zoo, where you have to explore nooks and crannies rather than having giant roads that take you between exhibits.

Hippo at Adelaide Zoo

Panda at Adelaide Zoo

A deer ate our map

A deer ate our map

Lunch was at O'Connell Street Bakery where I got a delicious cauliflower soup, which I enjoyed very much but it left me jealous of Andrew's iconic Adelaide lunch which consisted of the best pie floater in town, and a kitchener bun. Stupid gluten. 

Bakery on O'Connell

Kitchener bun and a pie floater

We stopped at The Oxford for a drink on our walk to Adelaide Oval, which is such a beautiful ground, and has amazing sound. It was soooo loud! Too bad about the game. Although Ethan (Krystal's cousin's boyfriend) played really well, and cheering Butcher as he missed the easy ones was a lot of fun. I wore my teal Mimco bag and accidentally supported Port Adelaide while also wearing my Freo scarf, whoops!

Adelaide Oval

I accidentally supported Port Adelaide

Never tear us appart

Dinner was salmon, heirloom carrots and veggies from Adelaide Central Market, wine, and Haiges chocolate for dessert back at the hotel.

Salmon with heirloom carrots

Sunday - Maggie Beer, More Wine, Glenelg

After a run (Andrew ran in the real world but it was too cold for me, so I ran on a treadmill in Andina's gym) we decided we wanted some more amazing wine. 

Firstly, we stopped at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop for a picnic lunch and a million tastings. I bought Mina some apricot jam which I’m hoping she’ll use to make my favourite cake for Christmas. The “picnic lunch” is a few things in a basket, all made at the farm, based around your choice of pate. I chose the mushroom and verjuice pate which came with a gluten free bread roll, Andrew chose the chicken pate, both very delicious. We had a bitter orange almond cake for dessert that we sneakily spruced up with some salted caramel and chocolate sauce “tastings” from the display next to us.

Lunch at Maggie Beer Farm

We visited Yalumba, which are famous to me for their Y-series wines, particularly the cab sauv scarecrow bottle which was my favourite when I first started drinking wine. It was a beautiful ground, and we got to try a few of their more interesting wines. One thing we noticed is that cabernet sauvignon from the region is a bit chalky, which while I find interesting, makes the wine hard to drink. We decided on a grenache, which was the first of this style that we’d enjoyed.


Next we went to Rockford, which is a small family winery that only sells wine from it’s cellar door. We had the privilege of trying a few of their amazing wines, and yet again came away one Shiraz heavier.


Back towards Adelaide, and after a quick visit to the Penfolds winery (where we looked around the massive grounds but didn’t invest in a tasting), we headed to Glenelg, the beach town.


I think I actually almost died as we walked towards the jetty. If it wasn’t for Andrew encouraging me every step of the way to live, I would have happily sat down and surrendered to the cold wind right there. I’ve realised that my will to live is directly proportional to how cold I am. The jetty was a fine jetty, but I couldn’t have cared less if it was made of diamonds at that point in time. We rushed back to the main strip, wandered around and watched the trams go by while Andrew put up with me complaining about my cold ears. The airport was only 15 minutes drive away, just enough time for me to change into my fluffy jumper and ugg boots and try warm my ears up.



In Conclusion

Adelaide is the closest city to Perth I’ve ever been to. Even though sometimes it didn’t even look like Australia with it’s hills and greenery, the pace of life and feel of the city was just like home. 

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