Gloucester: go on, try to pronounce that!
For as long as I can remember Ben has been taking trips twice a month to Gloucester (pronounced Glosta) for work. It’s a two hour drive from Newcastle and sometimes he spends less time actually working than traveling there and back. Gloucester work days are my favorite because four hours in the car there and back, and less than two hours at work means he gets to sleep in with me, talk to me on the phone both ways, and usually gets home earlier than a typical work day. Yep – Gloucester days are the best!!
A couple weeks ago (gosh I need to get better at blogging in the moment) Ben said that he would have an even easier work day in Gloucester soon and wanted me to join him! I knew this meant I would have to find a café to sit while he was at work, but I was excited to explore a new Australian town.
When we arrived to the town with a population of 3,000 I was so surprised by all of the shops, and the people! The way it was described to me prior was it’s a tiny town, not much to do. But boy is that wrong!
The main street is only a few blocks long, but those three blocks were packed full of shops, cafes, stores, and tons of people! After driving through I realized I was going to have a problem determining which café I wanted to relax at while Ben was off at work.
The first thing I did when Ben dropped me off though was explore. I wandered up a side street into the Gloucester Community Art Gallery. The gallery is just one room but with lots of open space, white walls, and big windows to let in lots of light. I only spent a few minutes walking through the gallery which was exhibiting knitted items and photography before heading to the antique shop next door and poking around for a few minutes there.
Deciding I just couldn’t let myself sit in a café for hours (or decide on my own the best café to sit in) I headed to the local Gloucester Health Foods store to check out the selection.
Yes, some might say health foods are boring, but inside the Gloucester Health Foods store I found the most charming shop owner Anne who I chatted with for thirty minutes about life in America, and some of the things she sells in the store. She also let me try some eucalyptus drops she was packaging. After I had annoyed her with questions for long enough I decided to ask her one final question. What café should I spend my day at? In true unbiased, and proud Gloucester resident fashion she told me they were all great and I wouldn’t be disappointed no matter where I went. This helped make my decision so much easier – actually, no, no it did not.
I left the health foods store and walked back down the street, past three cafes, to the one that caught my eye first: Roadies Café. Why did it catch my eye? It could have been the expansive restaurant space, the really cool motorcycle and gas station pump décor that stretched throughout the restaurant… but no, it was the comfy couch that caught my eye – of course! I figured if no one was sitting on that couch it would be the perfect place to hold up and read my Tasty Food Photography ebook, and practice taking photos of my latte.
I had just gotten to page three of the book when Ben called and said he was done with work; after just one hour I was shocked! So he came and met me at the cafe. I had just finished my latte by the time he arrived and we were planning on going to his favorite pub for lunch when the waitress at Roadies asked us if we wanted lunch. We took one look at the burger description and said, “yes, we both want a burger!”
Let me tell you about this burger before I show you. Imaging a thick bun, on the bottom is a bead of lettuce and tomato, and beetroot (an Aussie staple on burgers) topped with a large pure beef burger, from there, it just gets better! Caramelized onion is placed on top of the beef, followed by two slices of thick cut bacon, and then my favorite – Grilled Pineapple! The burger is finished off with a melting piece of cheese on top of the sweet pineapple, and then the other half of that thick bun. A skewer is inserted into the burger to hold it together because let me tell you, it needs holding together. Thick-cut chips are served on the side, as if you really need anymore food.
This was one of the best burgers I have ever had, so good I finished it all!
Ok, I didn’t actually finish is all. I left part of the bun, but that juicy, meaty, and sweet middle was devoured!
After a delicious and filling lunch we headed out of town and towards a lookout so we could check out the vast countryside. We may have gotten lost on the journey, but sometimes getting lost puts you in a more beautiful place than you could have imagined, and that’s what happened to us. We ended up at the gorgeous Kia-Ora Lookout.
Ben changed out of his work clothes, and popped open a bottle of wine for us to enjoy as we overlooked the rolling hills of Gloucester.
We also had a nice impromptu photo shoot while we were up there as well.
After we finished the wine (glass, not the bottle), we drove back down to the bottom of the mountains and stopped before crossing the small bridge. It could have been to capture pictures of the bridge (they didn’t come out very well), or so Ben could take photos with the cows. I tell ya, you can take the boy out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy!
We I decided to navigate Ben the long way back into town in hopes we would find another lookout (or at the very least a kangaroo along the way). Unfortunately, we found neither, but we did find this. Whoops.
Lucky the car made it through the river (which smelled like cow poo) and we headed through town and up to Mount Mograni Lookout. Unlike Kia Ora, Mount Mograni is highly publicized on the Gloucester “Things to Do” websites, however, we didn’t find it nearly as beautiful as Kia Ora.
The sun started to set so we headed home, but first stopping yet again for another glass of wine, crackers, sunset, and snapshots of beautiful horses.
After an incredibly fun day I am begging for another Take Your Girlfriend to Work Day!