Swallows Welcome

There are many fabulous wineries in the Margaret River region but Swallows Welcome, the smallest winery in the region, is really something special. Tim & Pat Negus first planted grapes in 1994 and the family run business has been producing wine since 1997. The rural setting is peaceful and the artistic influences are evident on arrival.

Patricia Negus is a well known watercolour artist, her illustrations of wildflowers and birds have graced the pages of many books. Tim & Pat built the mudbrick and timber Chapel of the Flowers, a serene gallery, to exhibit 102 of Pat’s works that are featured in Wildflowers of Southwest Australia (the plastic chairs were remnants of a recent social occasion).

9.Chapel of the Flowers

The beautiful leadlight windows create a subtle ambience.

The delights continue outside,

the garden is a testament to Pat’s love of nature.

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We made our way, past the magnificent magnolia tree, to her studio, filled with stunning artwork, books and cards for sale.

We wandered through a gorgeous courtyard cottage garden,

inhabited by a few frogs

and the occasional snail.

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After all the distractions, we finally reached the tasting room,

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adorned with more colourful leadlight.

Pat guided us through the range of superb reds,

finishing with a nip of Pensioners Port. Tim’s self-portrait graces the label

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and his other works decorate the walls. Pat instructed the boys on the fine art of labelling

52.Pat, Michael and Dave

and they soon had a dozen ready to ship home.

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I could have lingered in that garden all day but lunch was beckoning. It’s a good life for some……..

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Hay Shed Hill

After a morning exploring the beautiful Margaret River region coastline, we had worked up an appetite. In the heart of the Wilyabrup Valley, Rústico at Hay Shed Hill vineyard was the perfect destination.

1.Hay Shed Hill

The setting was serene

2.Hay Shed Hill

surrounded by vines

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and the 6 course degustation menu was irresistible.

4.6 course degustation

If you’re not into food porn, look away now. We started with Esperance Scallops: West Australian scallops in the shell, chorizo, pear purée, candied jamón.

Fried Goats Cheese with orange blossom honey followed.

8.Fried Goats Cheese

Salmon Bresaola: dill aioli, pickled ginger & cucumber was a fabulous third course.

9.Salmon Bresaola

After the Free Range Linley Valley Pork Belly with apple purée & sticky Pedro Ximinez,

10.Pork Belly

I wandered around the garden, admiring the rustic artworks

while the boys discussed the fine art of cigar box guitar making.

21.Hay Shed Hill

I returned in time for the Margaret River Black Angus Petit Mignons: beef fillet wrapped in bacon, sweet potato, asparagus, green peppercorn jus.

22.Petit Mignons

We decided to forego the dessert tasting plate in favour of the European cheese board with muscatels, honeycomb & house breads.

23.Cheese Board

Obviously, there was wine involved in this fantastic experience, I just can’t remember which one. Thank you, Dave, for a wonderful afternoon.

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Tiger Dreaming

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After many hours of blood, sweat and, yes, tears, I am able to announce Tiger Dreaming, the website has been born. Not only will you find everything you need to know about The Tramp, there is a whole world of music, art and words to explore.

I hope you’ll visit, leave a comment or ‘like’ and maybe even get in touch.

https://tigerdreaming.com.au

Emu Valley

I am ashamed to say, I have lived near Burnie for nearly eight years and knew of the existence of the Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden but only recently had the pleasure of spending a peaceful afternoon there. The 11ha site is a natural amphitheatre, sloping down to a large basin fed by natural springs that form a series of lakes.

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The scrub and blackberry infested hillside has been transformed over the past 35 years, mostly by volunteers, and is now classified as a plant museum. There are over 22,000 plants to admire

in this lovely, tranquil setting.

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The garden is set out in a series of “countries” from which the wild rhododendrons originate, I shan’t try to name them all.

There were other interesting features to be found as we meandered along the paths. Just past the Chinese Pavilion

we caught a glimpse of the Japanese bridge through the cherry blossom.

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Our walk continued past the Japanese ceremonial tea-house

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and across the covered bridge.

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The adjacent lawned area is popular for weddings.

The American Gazebo overlooks Lake Pearl

and the sound of water tumbling over rocks was mesmerising.

Some of the flowers were extraordinary,

all were beautiful.

We were fortunate to find a sculpture competition in full bloom.

I voted for Boho Bungalow.

We made our way past many more magnificent hybrids

and returned, across Olympus Bridge, to our starting point.

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It may have taken years to get there, but it was worth the wait.

BOFA

We recently ventured to Launceston to experience the Breath of Fresh Air (BOFA) Film Festival. Michael had an entry selected for screening in the short film competition and we thought it a great excuse for a weekend away.

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The festival was held at the Inveresk Precinct. Originally Tasmania’s largest industrial site, it is now an education and arts hub. The original industrial buildings remain

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and are now interfused with some modern elements.

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I love this tree outside the Big Picture School.

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The movies were shown in various buildings throughout the precinct, our first viewing was in The Annexe.

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A fabulous gabion rhinoceros stood guard at the entrance

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or was he heading for the coffee van?

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We relaxed with a coffee in the comfortable lounge

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before viewing a wonderful movie, Kedi. Although not particularly cat lovers, we enjoyed the story of the cats in Istanbul and the interaction with the people in their lives. Perhaps humans could learn a thing or two from cats after all. http://www.kedifilm.com/about/#aboutkedi
We lunched at Blue Café Bar at the precinct, the wood fired pizzas were amazing – we chose pulled pork shoulder, pickled jalapeño, avocado, coriander & crème fraiche.

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Also located at the Inveresk Precinct is the Launceston Tramway Museum. You can step back to the 1940s with a ride on Tram No. 29, Launceston’s only surviving double bogie tram,

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lovingly restored over seven years.

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We returned later to the Festival Lounge to enjoy beverages and the award presentation

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before a walk in the rain and superb dining experience at Brisbane Street Bistro (sorry, I didn’t take photos). Next morning, we started the day with a hearty breakfast at Café one0six. The Breakfast Burger and Eggs Benedict hit the spot.

We headed back to Inveresk for one more movie, the Romanian film, Graduation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBCPZhdJYLA It was quite sombre and gave us much to ponder on our drive home.
Michael’s entry in the short film competition, Invisible, can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdGHAmIEjM8