Well hasn't it been a long time since I've written! My apologies! But I have actually made life far more difficult for myself. I'm sure you know what it's like, the more you put things off, the further behind you get. A quick re-cap of my last month has been truly relaxing, holidaying in Fiji with 5 wonderful girlfriends, drinking and eating far too much... but we'll save that story for another day.
But before we ventured off on that holiday- I had a weekend away spent in Burnie- the North West of Tasmania. Two years of my life were spent living and working there from 2004-2006 and I was eager to see how much or how little had changed. But that wasn't the purpose of the trip- the purpose was to run the Burnie 10 with my good friend Nat. With the looming weather forecast not looking great I had to keep reminding myself why I had decided to drive 4 hours just to run 10km!
But it all made sense during the drive up the coast. A Tasmanian foodies haven for those who havn't been. There are so many stops along the way to brighten any long road trip. There is cheese, chocolate, raspberries, whiskey and more cheese. And at that moment the decision was made that if we survived the 10km, we would stop at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm on our return to Hobart. Two years living on the North West, and I never once visited this popular and renowned eatery. So I was excited to say the least.
And guess what?! We survived! Both doing personal bests! So Christmas Hills here we come. Situated 45 minutes North West from Launceston, you won't miss the enticing 'turn off' sign on Christmas Hill Road.
I must admit I was a little apprehensive as there is the propensity for eateries in the North West to be... how do I put it... somewhat daggy? A bit behind the times? And although it wasn't anything elaborate or even anything close to a fine dining experience, I was blown away with how warm and welcoming this cafe was! As soon as you walk in you are greeted by a large beautiful room which was bustling with people- I can't lie, it was a full house and we were lucky to get a seat!
There was an open fire place which I was totally drawn to- and actually ended up nabbing a seat next to it. Quite perfect was the fact that the specials board was located above it. Bangers and mash it read. But it wasn't an ordinary banger- they were beef and raspberry sausages with sweet potato mash and a raspberry chutney. Sold.
Nat, the sweet tooth of us both opted straight away for the raspberry crepes. And why wouldn't you? It is a raspberry farm after all! And boy did it look good when it came out. Ah who am I kidding, it tasted fantastic too! A simple dish, but done so well, with fantastic produce. The fruit was plentiful and it was a meal in itself!
Having finished my bangers (which were delicious) I was tempted by the countless desserts being carried out of the busy kitchen. Boy did the chefs in there earn their money that day. But what was so incredible, was that no-one was waiting any more than 15 minutes for their meals. Their organisation and obvious runnings in the kitchen were impeccable.
So... I ordered again. Hey- remember I've just ran 10km and the golden syrup dumplings served with fresh raspberries were calling my name. That and the home made scones which were absolutely gigantic. I couldn't believe how big they were. So the decision was made there and then that we would need to return again. There were so many things on their menu that I need to eat.
Along with their wonderful menu, service and gorgeous location, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm offer wonderful gifts for family friends or a treat for yourself. Ranging from their famous raspberry jam (yumo) and their popular raspberry dust (check out the latte at the top of my post) to raspberry hand lotion and lip gloss. I was very impressed and we certainly left with satisfied tummies and a just few choc-coated raspberries packed in our bags for the long drive home...