Saturday, 17 December 2011


This morning, early, I drove Felix into the countryside behind Richmond to go to his friends eighth birthday party at Zoodoo Wildlife Park:

You too can go there if you are overcome by the urge to see Bengal tigers and African Lions on a farm half an hour's drive from Hobart. Zoodoo is a particularly depressing 'zoo' - and I use the term loosely, as don't be fooled into thinking it might be remotely like other places calling themselves a zoo eg Western Plains Zoo or Taronga Zoo - this is Zoo Doo.The whole experience is made even worse by the overwhelming home made atmosphere. And if that's not enough, one of the other mothers damned it with scorn '.....they only have instant coffee'! Quelle horreur!

So if I haven't convinced you, don't go to ZooDoo, rather, donate your entrance fee to Save the Tasmanian Devil and go to the village of Richmond instead. At Richmond you can feed lots of ducks (and geese and today there was a rooster) with the backdrop of Australia's oldest bridge:

Richmond is a country village with beautiful Georgian architecture. There is a decent lolly shop if you go with your children:

And a  pub if you don't:

Now, on the subject of parties, I celebrated a milestone birthday in October with a garden party lunch. A particularly gruelling choice of festivity considering when we returned from France in January you couldn't see much garden beyond the weeds. I would look out of the window with a newborn baby and the garden would reflect the chaos of my life.

After repetitive gardening behaviour and lots and lots of hard slog (day after day, week after week and with much thanks to Allister who laughed when I told him I was planning a party in my garden) we managed to achieve this:

It was about 3 weeks too early for the roses so I compensated with pink Chinese lanterns which I strung along the fence and clustered in different shades and sizes under the umbrellas. I had Tamar Valley Roses
in posies of different pinks, which my mum brought down from Launceston, and pink lillies on the long table set for thirty.

I had a glam Collette Dinnigan dress covered in foxgloves and dressed my whole family in pink for the occasion. The children were then disbursed to carefully prearranged playdates and sleepovers around town - I spent months acruing credit. Tobes was delivered back around 6pm when he had a lovely time wandering around smacking all of the ladies on the bottom. 

My friend Mary, who lives up the road and trained as a pastry chef in New York, did the food. She was worded up that she was working to a pink, floral theme that was to be top heavy with dessert inspired by French patisserie:

Mary has just started up her own business Gourmania Food Tours where she leads you on a taste of Hobart. It is a fabulous way to explore the city as Mary knows all of the provedores, pubs and restaurants and all of the produce. If you are interested in food you will love it!

She did an amazing job doing the food for my party and made vichyssoise garnished with herbs and borage flowers picked from my garden,  pissaladiere, lemon tarts with lemons grown on my tree, religious a la rose inspired by Laduree in Paris, chocolate marquise cake, macarons etc etc etc.

However , the best thing about my party was that I shared it with 30 of the nicest people I know. I had friends from school:

old friends who made the effort to travel vast distances:

and friends who live nearby (one of whom came dressed as Errol Flynn who grew up 2 doors down):

And a merry time was had by all - it was well after midnight when we finally turned the lights out. Did I mention that we also had pink drinks........!


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