Things are starting to finally feel normal around our little home. We’ve almost bought all of the furniture for our new apartment and I am so happy with how things are shaping up. Having almost everything we need means our weekends are now free to take mini trips and spend relaxing time together – and that’s just what we did.
On Friday following a long day at work Ben and I joined my boss Brett and coworker at the local pub where he was on a radio show to kick off our two weeks worth of events.
Following the show and a few drinks with Brett, Ben and I had dinner together and stopped by our favorite cafe for dessert on the way home.
The next morning we slept in and then headed off to the Hunter Valley for a day of wine tastings and high tea.
We arrived at McGuigans Cellar Door in Pokolbin and grabbed a pork bun from the Tsuru Food Truck which was parked out front for Food and Wine Month in the Hunter Valley before heading inside the cellar for a tasting.
This wasn’t our first time at McGuigans so we got straight to work tasting our favorites and discovering new ones. We have been contemplating for months if we should join their members program and now that I’ve got a new job and income it’s affordable for us to do just that!
We also live just 45 minutes from the winery so we will be able to take advantage of private tastings and dinners put on by McGuigans over the year.
After our tasting we headed to Bimbadgen Estate and the Esca restaurant for High Tea.
High Tea in the Hunter Valley at Bimbadgen
I have been talking about going to high tea for over a year and this week after watching it on MasterChef we finally made a booking for the afternoon at Bimbadgen Estate.
I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect setting for my first high tea. We were seated at a table on the veranda over looking the vineyards and hills of the Hunter Valley. The weather was absolutely beautiful – and felt more like a spring day than the middle of winter. We were brought a glass of sparkling right away while we waited for our plates of mini treats.
After a long wait for the teats (I think we might have been forgotten about) we jumped into little chicken salad and salmon and feta sandwiches, South African scones with jam and cream, and mini desserts of homemade caramels, chocolate biscuits, and flourless chocolate cake with a creamy strawberry frosting. Ben had a fragrant peachy tea while I opted for the Tea Party Tea which was a bit creamier than English Breakfast Tea.
As we enjoyed the high tea I told Ben what a wonderful first experience that was and how there were only a few things that could have made the day better.
1. Kangaroos – I mean come on, looking into the valley and seeing some jumpy animals would be the ultimate Aussie high tea experience.
2. My mom. She would have absolutely loved high tea and I couldn’t help but to think how special it would be to share the afternoon with her.
Well someone must have heard my requests because by the time we got to the dessert plate I looked into the hills and saw kangaroos! It was bloody amazing! My photos of the roos from our spot turned out terribly – just like little blobs, bummer.
Following tea we went for a walk through the vineyards, it’s winter so there were not leaves or grapes on the vines, but that actually made it perfect for spotting kangaroos eating dinner in between the vines.
I found this huge roo (at least 5 feet tall) in between the vines and got so excited as he let me approach him. I’ve never been so close to a wild kangaroo, but this big fella let me get as close as 5 or 6 vines away from him while he ate (it did take about 30 minutes to get that close by walking very slowly from the hill into the vineyards).
After saying goodbye to my new mate, we headed home and had a pizza and move night (Ben’s first cheese pizza, ever! I was shocked) – ultimately falling asleep during the movie.
We had another good sleep in morning on Sunday, eventually getting out of bed and tackling some cleaning we’d put off for the past few weeks. Throwing all the cardboard boxes over the 3rd story balcony, sweeping the floors (we do this every week regardless), dusting, and power cleaning the kitchen.
After we finished the cleaning we headed to Doughheads for a box of doughies – deciding that today is the last day of doughnuts for us, starting an almost totally paleo diet tomorrow making exceptions for our 10 year friendaversary next week and our Christmas in July Housewarming at the end of the month. On the drive home we swung by the park and beach to enjoy the views and gorgeous weather.
Once home we finished a little cleaning, took a heavy and much needed nap, and I blogged while Ben took his first test of his new grad school program.
Have you ever been to high tea before?
What did you get up to on the weekend?
By the way, I am so excited to share with yall a grilled chicken recipe this week that’ll be perfect for 4th of July parties. Be sure to check that out on Wednesday.