We hit Orange, NSW, and Little Blog Big Sydney goes off

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 1 title

 Wow! What a week! Our heads are still spinning (and a little bit achey) after this one. What with a Monday night drinking session, a flying visit to Orange and its newest bar, and Mrs Romance’s latest Little Blog Big workshop all in a week, it’s little wonder.

This week’s feature photo was taken in Orange – rural New South Wales – looking down over some of its beautiful vineyards. Little fact for you – to be considered a true wine of Orange, the grapes must be grown at a minimum of 600 metres.

Anyway, here’s what’s been going on with us this week just gone!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 2 steak frites at Felix

Tonight, I’m out with a couple of mates. Paul’s lovely wife just gave birth to their second child recently and – thanks to Grandma coming over to visit – Paul’s been given a ticket out. Also Pete – in fact St Peter one of our very own Wine Saints – has just had his birthday.

With all this in mind, it seems like the only thing to do is to get out and sink a few. Yes, it’s a Monday, but rules are made from breaking!

We start off with a few beers in the Royal George on George Street. It’s a good old English style pub for three Pommie expats. Plus they have a happy hour from 5-7pm every day of $5 pints! Can’t go past that.

From there we head round the corner to Felix, a French style restaurant with great service, better food and an excellent wine list. I just can’t resist the opportunity of reliving our time in Paris with a good old steak frites. I think I’ve ordered very well!

We skip desert and head up to Palings where they serve a reasonable range of scotch but best of all it’s a partially open-air venue, perfect for the cigars we’ve brought with us.

Spectacular way to start the week!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 3 driving post

Today we’re looking back on our road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles last year. It was an amazing drive, so we wanted share what we did, where we stayed and how long it took us with you so you can get the best out of the drive when you do it. And you should. It’s bloody incredible!

Here’s our post on how to make the most of your Highway 1 road trip in California.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 4 colours of Orange

This afternoon, we’ve flown to Orange deep in the heart of the New South Wales countryside. The colours of the trees this time of year are absolutely stunning.

But we’re not here to stare up into the branches. We’re here to check out the latest bar to open up in town. Percy’s Bar and Kitchen, and we’re pretty excited.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 5 Percy's, Orange

There are so many pubs in Orange, it’s a wonder how anyone stays sober here! But the latest addition to the wealth of drinking establishments is something quite different to what the locals are used to.

Chris and Fraser – the owners of Percy’s – have gone to great lengths to make this the coolest spot in town while maintaining that strong connection to local produce. Their wine list boasts some of the best vino you can find in this area and the food is absolutely incredible.

They’ve got a bit of a track record of opening winning bars though. For example, Chris is responsible for bringing us The Cottage in Balmain. Pretty much every time we’re in the area, we either end up, start off or stay put right there. Percy’s here in Orange is having the same effect on us!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 6 brekky at Agrestic

We over-did it a little bit last night. Fraser and Chris very kindly showed us several of Orange’s signature drinking spots, which a story all of it’s self so watch this space, and as a result we’re in desperate need of a good breakfast.

We decide to make the effort and make our way to the Agrestic Grocer just out of town. It was the right decision.

Mrs Romance ordered eggs on toast and wilted kale with sides of bacon and haloumi. Ordinarily I’d get a fair bit of food envy, but my manchego cheese, Spanish ham, avocado and egg on sourdough with a little pot of creamy corn type thing is so good I barely even notice what she’s eating!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 7 vineyards of Orange

This afternoon, Chris and Fraser from Percy’s are taking us round a few of the wineries in Orange to see what the best of the bunch have to offer. We spend all afternoon tasting delicious wine, meeting the remarkable people who make the stuff and enjoying the spectacular views from where it all happens.

Tonight we’re heading back to Percy’s to meet the gents from Printhie Swift Wines to have a crack at Bucket Science! We’ll be mixing our own Printhie wine blend. I must say I’m a little nervous!*

*Editor’s note: The Bucket Science project was a great success – we drank a lot of wine, mixed it together and came up with a very interesting variety. Our thanks to Printhie for their patience and sharing their knowledge with us.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 8 cocktails with Smaggle

Back in Sydney, we land almost exactly at the same time Carly from Smaggle.com flies into Sydney from Melbourne.

Why’s she here? Well, to drink our cocktails for a start, but also because Little Blog Big Sydney is about to go down!

To prepare for tomorrow’s workshop we think it’s a great idea to knock back a cocktail or two, munch on some Sea Bay dumplings and down a bottle of wine…

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 9 Little Blog Big

Whether it was a good idea to drink and eat quite so much last night remains to be seen. Either way, today’s Little Blog Big all-day workshop is going brilliantly. Mrs Romance and Smaggle are rocking it and the room is engrossed from beginning to end.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 10 cheesey Blog Big

And to make things even better, Mrs Romance’s sister Mary has done the best catering job on this workshop ever. I mean, look at all this cheese! I’m very happy. Just hope there’s plenty left for me to eat at the end of it.**

**Editor’s note: there was plenty left and I’m eating it now!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 11 pulled pork burger Have 2 afe

Yesterday’s Little Blog Big workshop was an incredible success. And things got even better when we turned up to our friend Bele from BlahBlahMagazine.com.au‘s birthday and the three of us end up being the last to leave!

Therefore, this pulled pork burger from Have 2 Cafe on Riley Street, Surry Hills is an absolute godsend. It’s got garlic mashed potato in the middle (don’t judge, it’s spectacular) and a crisp apple slaw, and their special ‘holy sauce’ over it all. It’s pretty good, I’ve got to say!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 12 roses aren't always red

It’s a very slow day for us today. Mrs Romance is nursing herself back from exhaustion after all the drinking and talking she’s been doing this week and Smaggle’s had to hop back on a plane to Melbourne too. Looks like I get to sit back and smell these roses. Not so bad, I suppose!

How was your week? Did you drink a seemingly impossible amount of beer, wine and spirits too? Tell us all about it in the comments!

Images by Mr and Mrs Romance via Instagram: @MrAndMrsRomance, @HairRomance, @Christina.Butcher – Mrs R’s Insta account and @AngryBastard of course!


  • I need to go back to Orange – to see all the things but most importantly, eat and drink all the things! Loved seeing you both at Little Blog Big – it was a day of awesome! I think Christina and Carly should rename it Little Blog Big and Bigger because these workshops are going to be the best thing since wordpress! And yes, high five to Mary for the catering and those platters of deliciousness!

    • Reply April 22, 2015

      Mr Romance

      We should all four of us go back to Orange, Sammie! What do you reckon? I know of one bar in particular that serves up superb food and drink! I’m so glad you got so much from the Little Blog Big session. Christina and Carly really enjoyed it, that’s for sure. I’ll pass on the name idea too. It’s a corker!

  • What a week! Yes indeedy, I gave it a fair nudge over the weekend so today’s lunch called for a mandatory side of hot chips. Here’s to the next Little Blog Big workshop… in ADELAIDE! I hope you’ll be making the trip, Jim. I’m offering up our place for accommodation. x

    • Reply April 22, 2015

      Mr Romance

      Love your work, Sonia! Yes, my lunch on Monday was fortuitous. Went to the nearest sandwich shop and was about to get the last ‘healthy’ option when the guy in front ordered it. Then I spotted the club sandwich option. It had bacon. Bacon! It was like a sign from the gods!
      I’ll certainly put it to the boss that I should come down to Rads – I think I’ve achieved ‘roadie’ status for the Little Blog Big juggernaut! Can’t wait for the Rads session either way. It’s going to be awesome!

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