Just recently we had about four days, well actually it was four days exactly, away from home. Our children had given us a wine tour, and some spending money, with Fillipo's wine tours in Stanthorpe.


Now we are not wine buffs by any stretch of the imagination and it is many years since we have been to a winery even, so it was all a bit new. However we both like a drop of wine and SWMBO in particular.

We visited four winerys and one brewery. The first winery, Granite Ridge was excellent. Ash was on the cellar door and the whole process was an enlightenment. A real treat. Then we went to Rumbalara , which had a different concept in that it produced easy drinking wines. Lunch was at the College of Wine Tourism. Lunch was excellent with three wines to go with the courses. All this time our host, Greg, was giving a running commentary on what to look for.

After lunch we went to Ridgemill Estate where Peter, the wine maker, was at the cellar door and again we were treated to a selection of their wines. Lastly we went to the Brass Monkey Brew House, which is a reference to the cold of Stanthorpe during winter. As you all know, "brass monkey weather" has nothing to do with male body parts dropping off, but is a reference to the metal plate on which cannon balls were stacked. Allegedly, in extreme cold, the plate (the monkey) would contract sufficiently for the cannon balls to fall off: Hence "freeze the balls off a brass monkey."

I was a little dubious about the brewery, but it turned out to be excellent. I tried some root beer with sarsaparilla, which for me was a treat. You do have to like sarsaparilla of course, which is not everybody's cup of root beer. My disappointment was that I could not buy any as it had to be kept refrigerated and the following day we were travelling again. I bought some alcoholic ginger beer instead and some gluten free beer for SWMBO. It was well worth the visit. The beers are made in small batches of about 200L.

Now that was the alcoholic side of things, but there was another treat for breakfast at the Zest cafe in Stanthorpe itself. Everything is baked on the premises. The first day I had a pie which was great, but on the day we left I had their croissants: Possibly the best I have ever had.

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Our trip involved continuing down to Newcastle where we had to pick up some of our son's gear from where he had it stored at a mates place as they were moving and selling the house. On the way down the New England Highway, which was full of roadworks, we went through Guyra and found a place called "The Old Convent Gardens." It sells pots and fountains and every imaginable piece of garden equipment/decoration. The best thing about this was that almost everything was made on the premises. Fabulous.

The Old Convent Gardens

We picked up our son's horizontal drilling rig in Newcastle, loaded it on the ute and headed home. really not sure what is going to happen to it now and I have nowhere to put it.

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768Km via Gunnedah. We called in for a late lunch at the Grab and Go at Boggabri. This is a great place for travelers. Very unassuming but thoroughly pleasant. You will know you are in the right place when you see next to the bain marie is the cab off an old truck! SWMBO is a coeliac and all their fish was crumbed, but they were more than happy to grill something for her. I had a home made sausage roll and pastry was superb.

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Got home late. There was a small woodworking connection on the trip. Simon's mate Shannon had had a garage sale at which an old router had not sold for the $5 asking price. He thought I might like it. You bet.

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More details on this thread:

Router Reminiscence

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