Thursday, 7 June 2012

Port Fairy.

Finally, today the sun shines here in beautiful Port Fairy:

With the bad weather as an alibi I've been on a book a day.  When I finished all the reading material I packed, I set to work on $2 books at the op shop. Side by side with the trash were Madame Bovary and The Great Gatsby. I left them there for someone else to read.  Funnily enough it was walking down the main street which sent me a subtle prompt:

So I dug Fifty Shades of Grey, which had been downloaded by a friend onto my iPhone, out of my trash and succumbed to reading it - much to my husband's utter horror. Fifty Shades of Grey has been doing the rounds of the school gates in Hobart as 'Mummy Porn' yet the grey haired bloke in the bookshop at Port Fairy described it as 'Granny Porn'. I suppose it depends on where you are at. He also showed me this Amazon parody on YouTube. And there I was thinking Port Fairy was a sleepy, retirement town. I finished the book, yet can't say that I'll be rushing out for the next two instalments. Now, I've moved on to Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending. As I keep telling my husband, it 's serious literature as it was nominated for the Man Booker Prize last year. He's happy with that.

Since we have been in Port Fairy I've taken up coffee again. In my defence I have also taken up jogging, as the closest Bikram Yoga studio is in Geelong.......three hours away. Most days, in the quest for coffee and milkshakes, we all descend on Rebecca's cafe at least once if not twice:

Rebecca's is a charming cafe with a really lovely buzz. They do a delicious traditional Irish stew (there was a time when Port Fairy went by the name of Belfast) and very good eggs benedict.......not to mention the take away buckets of mini yoyo biscuits.

For some inexplicable reason, I am incapable of using the ceramic cooktop in the beach house - I have burnt everything I have attempted - lamb shanks, polenta and even toasted sandwiches. I seldom burn anything on the gas cooktop at home......oh, except for rhubarb fruit mince one Christmas. The catch cry in the beach house is.....'I can smell burning.....Mummy must be making lunch'.

So we have been forced to dine out. If you find yourself in Port Fairy make sure you have lunch in the Cafe at Basalt Wines, on the highway at Killarney:

It's an old weatherboard cottage quirkily decorated with an eclectic mix of taxidermy, art and strangely curious antiques. My favourite combination. The food was really interesting:

I was talked into the tripe and it was delicious. I still remember how fervently I tried to avoid tripe in France - my greatest fear was that I would accidentally order it - maybe I shouldn't have been so paranoid.

Probably the best thing about Port Fairy, and we are talking about a gorgeous, historical town (it boasts no less than fifty National Trust listed properties) with sweeping dramatic oceanscapes is the fact that it has it's own island complete with lighthouse. Griffith's Island is something straight out of Enid Blyton's The Famous Five. It is just how I imagine the fictitious Kirrin Island to be. Even better, it's an easy walk from town along the river and is attached by a walkway so you don't need a boat (or to swim) to get there:

You can circumnavigate Griffith's Island in an hour, even if you take a stroller. Camelia has been channelling Lady Jane Franklin's tour of the West Coast of Tasmania as her stroller has turned into a sedan chair, carried not by convicts but by her parents.

Anyway, there you have today's post - from  Fifty Shades of Grey to The Famous Five. And I bet you thought it couldn't be done!



  1. I adored the Famous Five as a child and spent hours fantasising that I lived in Kirrin. Think I might have to plan a future family holiday to Port Fairy as a matter of urgency, it sounds and looks absolutely divine. Enjoy the rest of your holidays. x

  2. Your comment about accidentally ordering tripe is just too funny ! I come from THE original tripe town (ooh, that sounds elegant !!): Caen. Have you heard of "tripes" à la mode de Caen ? Anyway, it sounds disgusting and it probably is when you think about it, but properly cooked, it is really deeelish !xxx

    1. Utterly deeelish! I have become a tripe convert & have even started eyeing it off at the butcher. Another first.....last night I ate from age de tete which was something else I never thought I'd do. They even had Cantal entre deluxe and Roquefort on the cheese plate.....and this is in a sleepy little fishing village in rural Australia. Can you believe that Roquefort used to be BANNED in Australia? Everything has to be pasteurised here under the threat of certain death. I still dream about our favourite butcher in France that had a piece of equipment into which a piece of steak was fed and out came a hamburger patty (steak hatche) a far cry from MacDonalds where one hamburger patty can contain the meat of anywhere up to a hundred beasts. Might have to plan a tripe pilgrimage to Caen.......Rx

  3. Yes, I'm definitely channelling the Famous Five at Port Fairy - I even ate tongue yesterday yet not in a sandwich! I reverently gave my children my collection of all 21 books yet so far the two that can read haven't shown much interest in the Famous Five, much to my disappointment. Although they have loved other books from Enid Blyton's oeuvre - the Magic Faraway Tree & the Naughtiest Girl series. Thoroughly recommend Pt Fairy as holiday destination! Rx

  4. Hi,

    It looks like you had a wonderful trip and mouth watering dishes to eat. I read that Hobart is famous for their home made red wines, I surely want to try it. If you love to skiing then I would recommend to visit Perisher, there are many snow holiday destinations that you love to see and your kid surely love to skiing there. Now we are planning our trip to Europe and this will be my first trip there.



I LOVE hearing your thoughts! Rx