Sunday, February 17, 2013

100 KMS for a Cold Beer.

It's Friday as I write, end of the working week once again although I suspect there are things in the brief case that will get some attention over the weekend.
Melbourne today had clear blue skies and a top temperature of 33 degrees - even as I sit here writing at 6.00 pm its still 27. Saturday's low will be 18. Magic!
We were sitting around with friends last Sunday and discussing movies that we would like to see and we all agreed that LINCOLN was on our list.

We actually started watching Lincoln at home recently but were too tired to absorb the dialogue. SO! We've invited our friends around for a Friday Movie Night. That's all very fine but Sue who can't resist the temptation to put on a spread for friends turned the night from take away Pizza to a sit down dinner with a candle chandelier on the table - TRUE. Go figure.

Nibbles of humus on olive bread with feta stuffed olives.
Seafood pie and salad - something that Sue whipped up during the day.
And of course the candle chandelier. 
It was a late night - well that's relative to age I guess because on my Saturday morning ride I mentioned to a friend that it was in fact a late night! Yes, I didn't put my head on the pillow much before midnight. He said "tell that to a teenager and they will laugh at you".

So, after what "I" thought was a late night and after an early morning get-up for the ride, I'm home at 10.30am, I said to Sue, what would you like to do today - I thought maybe she would like to go shopping.
She was looking at real estate on her iPad and had an interest in a house. The catch was that it was located 100 kms away in the dairy farming area of Gippsland. The town of Warragul is not unknown to me.
We get these little notions about retirement and wonder if a sea or tree change might be on the cards one day - we can dream!

Call us impulsive - driving 100kms to see a house and then drive back home again.

Quite like the floor plan - there's a wine cellar below.

With views across the valley to the Baw Baw mountain range.
With a very pretty little courtyard to relax in with the papers and a cuppa.
As young fellow, my parents would take me to Warragul to race on their local velodrome. It is the Dairy Capital of Victoria and Melbourne's major milk supplier. Today it has a population of around 12,000 people and growing. I think people are coming to appreciate the rural lifestyle and many new more modern homes are being built even though there is a core of the early homes within walking distance from the CBD.

I know a few people from the sport of cycling that live there and they love it - Melbourne can be reached in a little more than an hour.
Warragul I'm told comes from the Aboriginal term for wild dog. Settlement of the area was around the 1860s and was a staging point for the coaches that continued further to the other settlements along the Latrobe valley. The railway came through in 1878 and Warragul as a town was established.

These days the area takes on the mantle of a gourmet region due to its dairy, beef and wine industry. There is a gourmet trail that surrounds Warragul and annual festivals are held to promote the area and the produce.

Being a very warm day, I took Sue to the Courthouse restaurant for a cool Corona with a slice of lime. She doesn't drink beer except for a hot day. I'd been here a year or so ago.
The building is actually Warragul's old courthouse and much of the original features have been utilised within the building. As you walk in and look up you see the great wood trusses - to the right, the witness box is now houses the cash register.

It was a warm day - in the 30s so a cool beer went down very well. 100 kms for a cool beer
seems a little excessive maybe!
The interior of the court house retained much of the beautiful timbered beams. Even the witness box.
The menu and wine list was up to city standards (along with the prices).
Being a person who enjoys the odd chat, I asked the waitress if she was a local and what she liked about Warragul. She loved the more relaxed lifestyle. The snow in winter is an hour away to the north and in summer the beaches overlooking Bass Strait are an hours drive to the south. The big smoke, Melbourne is 90 minutes on the freeway to the west. The lakes district and the 90 mile beach are to the east.
It seems that the locals love their town and I also know people who have come to live in Melbourne and still speak glowingly of their time in Warragul.

Who knows what the future holds.


  1. Can we come to you for a 'take away' looks good to me ha ha. Sue obviously loves her kitchen.

    I think if you live in Australia or Africa, popping off on 100 kms trip to look at something is quite normal. We used to take a 3 hour drive (6 hour with the return) when we lived in Mafikeng to go to Joburg to do the shopping! Quite fancy that house, the courtyard looks very peaceful and as for the wine cellar.....

    Did you get my email? Keep well D and N

    1. Hi Diane - The next house I believe will have the ultimate kitchen if Sue has her way.
      I think Americans are the same with big distances, big cars and big freeways. Distance is not an issue.
      Yes did get your email and thanks for the advise.

  2. It's a nice house and the veranda would be a nice spot to sip a glass of something cold. The seafood pie looks lovely. Interesting that Sue makes it with pastry (I think that's what I see)... Clive makes a fish pie with a mashed potato topping. Stay cool!

    1. Craig - that is pastry on top and inside was a delight.
      The pastry absorbs the juices as you turn it into the pie.
      The left over juices were so good that I had yo upturn the bowl and drink it - lucky it was close friends we invited.

  3. Lovely house but the area is really gorgeous, very special!

    1. Thanks Nadege - unfortunately the house will not be ours as we are 2 to 3 years away from moving. Will get serious after our 2014 France/Italy trip.

  4. It's good to dream about retirement - it's what makes going to work bearable !!
    I envy your warmth and sunshine. We are pretty fed up with winter here.

    1. Yes Jean - we have been keeping up with our Northern Hemisphere blogging friends and the weather. Our son lives in London and feeling the cold.

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