As you probably know, it’s not like us to sit still for too long, but last month was kind of ridiculous.
We’re back in Sydney now though and this Weekly Edition is all about being back home with a new rosé we’ve found and a very impressive new mirrorless camera to tell you about. We’ve also managed to sneak a cheeky roadtrip to country Victoria in too.
We hope you enjoy this Weekly Edition.
Cheers – Jim & Christina xx
One of the first things we did when we got back from the USA was organise brunch with a couple of our newest friends. This morning we’re at Reuben Hills with Emily and Mosilo – our safari chums we met in South Africa recently.
It’s awesome to catch up with the girls and even better when the food and coffee’s this good.
But before we know it, we’re on the road again, driving down to a little country spot in Victoria.
It feels like forever since we had a roadtrip together, but really, it was only August that we were driving up to Maitland.
This time, we’re visiting dear friends of ours who have recently made a tree-change from the inner city depths of Melbourne to a beautiful spot near Beechworth – where the honey comes from.
While we drive south, we have a little business meeting to work out some editorial structure for all the travel stories we’ve got coming up. And with Christmas coming ever closer, we have plenty of things to tell you closer to home as well.
We get as far as Tumut – a little town near Wagga Wagga – and stop for a bite to eat. I’ve wanted to come here since I first met the owner of the Tumut River Brewing Co, Tim, at a beer festival in Sydney a few years ago and fell in love with his beers.
Back then, Tim’s brewery door was still in its very early stages, but now it’s a proper eatery making delicious pizzas and other good looking pub grub, while still serving some of the best beer.
But before we even get through the doors, we have to shake hands with the doorman. Isn’t he amazing? Not sure what that tongue’s all about though!
Christina’s gone for my all-time favourite beer. The Full Grunt American Pale Ale, once the Squealing Pig APA, this beer packs in flavour, has a wonderful texture and holds its head.
I’ve gone darker – a smoked porter – which is absolutely delicious too. Before we leave, we make sure we pick up some Full Grunt and their alcoholic ginger beer – the Ginja Ninja – to take away.
Before we go, but after lunch, Tim takes us round the brewery.
Tumut River Brewing Co has come a long way in the few years they’ve been going. The first picture shows the full brewing kit they used for about four years before expanding to the current setup you can see now.
It’s amazing to think they managed to produce enough from those little tanks.
Tim’s a lovely guy and has put everything into this brewery. TRBC has seen its ups and downs over the years, but Tim and his team have stuck to their guns.
Keep an eye out for Tumut River Brewery’s beers soon. Tim has plans for a canning facility, which will make distribution a lot easier.
Otherwise, make sure you pop in if you’re in the area. The brewery’s a cool place and they have a range of other beers and ciders from nearby breweries. Tim also stocks some of my favourite Aussie spirits, which is great to see. You’ll find Black Gate‘s rum here and also the delicious Dead Man’s Drop black spiced rum from Stone Pine Distillery in Bathurst.
Back on the road, the countryside gets prettier and prettier as we leave towns and villages behind us.
It’s a shame people tend to fly down to Melbourne more these days. Of course it’s quicker and easier, but you miss out on a lot at 35,000 feet.
We arrive at our destination and Christina and our friend Carly of Smaggle and Crochet Coach fame get straight into the silly. They’re wearing matching jumpsuits on purpose of course – twinning on their Sussan purchases! I can see this weekend’s going to be fun.
We explore the little town of Stanley and Christina finds her second most favourite thing to photograph after doors: rust.
I’m much more interested in the little pub that’s here – the Stanley Pub in fact. It’s a beautiful old place full of history and surprisingly good beer.
All too often, little country pubs pour average mass-produced beer, but not here. You can get some great local brews and wine here, and the food, made with locally produced ingredients, is said to be excellent too.
Make sure you say hi to the owners Greg and Robyn when you’re there. They’re lovely peeps.
Today, we’re heading to historic Beechworth for some breakfast. It’s a stunning drive down the tree-lined roads to one of Australia’s most prominent gold-panning towns.
Today is Beechworth’s Annual Celtic Festival, and everyone from the Scots and the Welsh to the Irish and the Isle of Man are representing. The main street’s closed off and there are food stalls, marches, music and parades all day.
The festival has also attracted the attention of the vintage car crowd and there are some beautiful old motors rolling through and parking up in Beechworth.
We make our way to our friends’ Carly and Ben’s favourite cafe in Beechworth – Collective. Having moved here from Melbourne, our friends have a talent for seeking out the best coffee in the area and they’ve certainly done it here.
In fact, Collective is so obviously a Victorian cafe it wouldn’t look too out of place on the streets of Fitzroy or Brunswick, and its food and drinks would fit in there too.
However, there’s also a very clear European touch to the place – no doubt the influence of owner and barista Annabelle.
We’re all very happy with our brunch choices here at Collective and we leave feeling full and contented.
All too soon, it’s time for us to hit the road again and we’re zooming back to Sydney. As we drive, we pass more beautifully kept vintage cars along the way.
It’s good to see them still running so well… though we do also pass a few breakdowns too.
We enter back into New South Wales, and as we do, the skies darken to a muddy brown. The bushfires that have been burning the state so badly are still going.
We fall silent in the car, thinking about the poor people affected by the terrible infernos that refuse to be quenched.
It gets even stranger as we pull on to the Anzac Bridge as we get nearer to home. The light over the city is an eerie rust colour. Things aren’t looking good for the firefighters and those living near the edge of the blazes. We just hope not too many are hurt or lose their homes.
Smoke in the sky has cleared a little today as we make our way to Wayward Brewery in Annandale. The brewery’s hosting the launch of a new camera we’ve come to check out. And there’s always room for a pint of Wayward!
The new camera we’re here to see is Nikon’s impressive mirrorless Z50. It’s so light it doesn’t feel like there’s anything inside the body. But in truth, there’s so much smart tech in the Z50, we quickly discover there’s a lot to learn about this powerful camera.
From the flip-down touch screen that folds all the way down to make things like selfies easy to the wifi firmware that sends all images directly to your phone, the Z50 is a great travel option.
Best of all, the proprietary app stores small versions of images until you’re ready to choose the full size photos to your phone, saving you memory space. But from there you can even choose to have the RAW files sent over too.
Christina’s first ever SLR and DSLR cameras were Nikon, so she’s even more impressed than I am with the feel and function of this clever camera.
Wayward Brewery is a superb venue for this event. The beer is as delicious as I was expecting and the food is amazing. Think mac and cheese spring rolls and cheeseburger dumplings!
But the venue looks amazing. It’s a great place to have a photography event – especially for a camera that specialises in low-light conditions. The Z50 automatically takes the ISO to a ridiculous 51200.
This afternoon, Christina and I are taking advantage of the good weather and are enjoying a glass of rosé in the garden.
At first, we’re not sure about this rosé by Young & Co – the rosé’s name – Strawberry Hustle – and the juicy looking label suggested this might be a little sweet for our tastes.
However, this wine is actually very good. Using grapes from New Zealand, Young & Co have produced a reasonably dry, crisp rosé that is dangerously drinkable.
A bit like how strawberries are never as sweet as you think they’re going to be, this wine – the Strawberry Hustle – makes for perfect summer sipping.
You can find this Young & Co rosé and others in its range at BWS at $22 RRP.
It’s been way too long since we caught up with our excellent mates Danny and Vicki – almost a year in fact – but we’ve managed to get together tonight for a couple of sundowners at the East Village in Balmain.
It’s always fun seeing these guys, and even better when they bring their wee man Baxter along!
Ferocious! Baxter’s a Border Terrier and an absolute sweetheart. As if we needed any more excuses to catch up with Danny and Vicki – but we have one more here.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this Weekly Edition. Now it’s time for ice cream!
Cheers – Jim & Christina xx