Hunter Valley adventures: Part 1

If you follow me on twitter you will probably know that we had a fantastic weekend away in Hunter Valley about two weeks ago, yet I am only just getting around to blogging about it.  I have so many photos and stories to share from our fun-filled trip, hope you enjoy them!
After an early start on Friday morning to get to the airport in time for our 5:30am flight, we were a little concerned to hear our names broadcast over the loudspeaker, blasting out in Brisbane airport.

 

We tentatively approached the counter at our gate, hoping not to hear bad news, and were pleasantly surprised to be asked if we would like to be moved into the exit row.  Yes please!  Extra leg room!  Of course, it is always a little nerve wracking to be given responsibility for the safety of the entire aircraft, but with Kris on the window seat, I knew that we were in good hands.

 

The flight was surprisingly fast since I always seem to forget how quick it is to get to Sydney.  Flying with friends is so much fun, we chatted, giggled and generally annoyed the other passengers with our silly antics.  We thoroughly amused ourselves by watching Jerry Springer (Typical Jerry style, a girl was fighting her sister’s lesbian lover) and interpreting the safety diagrams far too literally.

 

The plan to fly a small plane out to Hunter Valley was quickly abandoned when the weather just wasn’t cooperating, thick rain clouds and strong winds just don’t mesh well with a small aircraft.  So a road trip it was, and we headed out towards Hunter with Crowded House blaring on the stereo.

We checked into a cute little cottage that felt like it was in the middle of nowhere, yet was in walking distance to a number of wineries and restaurants.

Since everything was so close, we had a romantic idea of riding bikes between wineries, so rented probably the shoddiest bikes I have ever seen, and in between the chain falling off and struggling with flat tyres and uncomfortable seats we had a good laugh and managed to burn off some calories before our first taste of wine.

Our tastings started at the famous Tempus Two, which was thankfully not busy at all, so we made our way through the sampling menu before deciding on a Pinot Gris.

Of course the Smelly Cheese shop next door was a must-visit, and we spent a little while in the fromagerie, cooling down after our bike ride, and making the very difficult decision about which of the wonderful cheeses to choose for our picnic.

We also visited Brokenwood Wines for another tasting, and came away with a Sangiovese, reminiscent of our winery tour in Tuscany.


After a grueling bike ride searching for another cheese shop that we aren’t sure even existed, we headed back to Tempus Two to make the most of their lush green lawn, with our smelly cheeses, olives and wine we had a fun-filled picnic, getting a little carried away checking into facebook places to make sure everyone who was still at work on a Friday afternoon knew what they were missing out on.

A low key yet delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant led onto the local cocktail bar, The Goldfish, but our early start left us without any desire to party on further than our first cocktail, so we tucked up in our little cottage and called it a day.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Crowded House concert…

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