A visit to Walhalla

For the Queen’s Birthday long weekend Dave and I escaped to West Gippsland for a well-deserved minbreak. It’s a great place to go in winter because it’s cold but it’s green, hilly and gorgeous and there are lots of little towns to visit. My favourite town was Walhalla. Founded in 1863, Walhalla is an old gold mining town nestled in a valley in the Baw Baw Ranges. Spending the day there was like spending time in a different era. Cute and cosy cottages are built into the mountainside, the old hillside public cemetery watches over the town and the Goldfields Railway winds its way through the forest alongside a gushing Stringers Creek.

Our visit coincided with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations so we were treated to Devonshire tea in the town hall, people in costume and bagpipes (confession: I love bagpipes!). Next time we go we will definitely be staying the night in one of the lovely cottages or at Walhalla’s Star Hotel. I could easily spend a couple of days there soaking up the history. Here are some snaps of Walhalla but they don’t even begin to capture the beauty and atmosphere of the town.

P.S. If you look closely, you might just spot yours truly…

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The birds & the bees…

and the butterflies & flowers.

Dave and I have been taking a few day trips over the holidays and everywhere we go seems to be bursting with colour. There are butterflies everywhere, wild flowers, birds enjoying the bounty of wild fruit and busy little bees collecting pollen and making it all possible.

We’ve taken walks along the Yarra River at Warrandyte, through the Mt Dandenong Ranges at Olinda and one of my favourite places, Lavandula, the Swiss Italian lavender farm near Daylesford. Daylesford is another of my favourite places. We spent Easter there last year in an adorable little cottage and we still talk about it all the time. I think there is something special in the air around those parts.  It’s the perfect place for romance, lovely walks and amazing food, and it doesn’t get much better than that for me!

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Out & About… at the Malmsbury Village Fayre

Today we went to the Malmsbury Village Fayre with some friends. I’d read about it in the paper last week and knew we had to go. I really like visiting that part of Victoria and getting my hands on locally produced wines, preserves and olive oils. It was a lovely day sitting in the sun by the lake of the botanic gardens and eating food from the fayre. There were some ‘little old ladies’ with a cake stall. I love cake stalls. I love that these women have probably been making the same slice, biscuit or cake for decades, the exact same way. At least that’s what I like to think. And where else can you get 6 squares of walnut and date slice with chocolate icing for $3? I was also very organised and loaded up on Christmas presents, only to decide on the way home to keep them all. And I sealed the deal by using the lemon myrtle infused olive oil in tonight’s salad. Amazing! Here are some pictures of the fayre, the gardens and our spoils.

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