Hey ULG Crew, We created a personal long weekend with our mates Anna Maria and Johnny. Friday 7.25am flight to Launceston and Monday arrive around midday back in Sydney. We bought the flights for almost nothing months ago. It was our first time travelling as a foursome and only I had travelled with everyone before. I picked an old favourite hotel, The Grand Chancellor. It’s one of those 1990s built hotels with spacious rooms and lobby. Each room has two Queen sized beds and each couple had a room. The breakfast buffet is good and generous, without being brilliant, and we all had an excellent feed to start our days. Originally I had booked a small SUV but they gave us an upgrade to an enormous Nissan Outlander, it was like travelling in a lounge room.
Anna Maria and Johnny’s daughter Domenica was on the Australian MAFS 2022 series. They were interviewed a few times on the show and have become quite famous in their own right. They were recognised and had their pictures taken
Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks
Our days were designed by meals. We all got to pick different food adventures.
Day one for lunch Jin wanted pies, a local sent us to Banjo’s Bakery and we went pie crazy. Delicious! Tasmania is famous for its Scallop Pies and all three of the others had one. After that Johnny wanted to get a shave by a barber so the rest of us went and had cocktails. Then we wandered the shopping district for a couple of hours, the stars getting papped left right and centre. Our hotel had $6 spirits for Happy Hour so we spent a leisurely hour or so drinking companionably. I’ll admit to getting a little tipsy. That night Johnny picked Kebabs for dinner. He’d seen a shop called King of Kebabs during the day and it stuck with him. It was such a strange choice but we sat instore and had the most wonderful Middle Eastern meals. We came back to the hotel, had a drink and watched the Australian Election unfold. Anna Maria, Jin and my team got up and won but Johnny’s crew were ushered out the door. He was devastated, we were quietly jubilant. OK, not so quietly. Yes, we are fully aware all politicians are lying pigs but at least the foundation of this new crew is Women, Climate and a Political Watch with teeth. They’ve been left a dogs breakfast financially and things will get austere here for at least a decade.
Day two we dropped into the Farmers Market across the road from the hotel. Again they were recognised and asked for photos, very bloody cool. I really wanted us to go out to the Lake District in the heart of Tasmania. I’d found The Great Lake Hotel and it sounded wonderful. Set right on one of the great lakes (much smaller than the US versions). This meant we also got to spend 1.5 hours in the car seeing Tasmanian scenery from urban, to farming and the hills and plateau. It was good. We had a table in the middle of the room, views of the lake and felt like we were in the action. Service was so friendly but slow as a wet week. Food was some of the best pub food I’ve had. Fortunately we had so much conversation and fun that the wait to be served and then for food to come sped by. On our way back we took a two hour detour to get the Best Vanilla Slice in the world from the bakery in Ross. It was well worth the drive. That slice was earth shatteringly delicious. Anna Maria chose Indian food for dinner. Neither Johnny nor she had ever had it. There was a restaurant called Pickled Evenings, #3 on Launceston Trip Advisor. We also had a couple of mates join us, Morag and Ward, so that lent an extra festive air to the evening. I kept the food choices very simple. Opened with Onion Bhajis and Potato Samosas. Mains were Veg Biryani, Butter Chicken, Beef Vindaloo (mild) and Goat Curry. It was a fine entree for them and only a little too spicy.
Day three we were up bright and early, busy day ahead. Today we were going to head north along the Tamar River. First stop was the Beaconsfield Mine, site of the 2006 cave in disaster and rescue. The Museum there is a wonderful memorial and there are some very eerie and saddening parts. Straight from there we went to Australia’s only Seahorse breeding centre and then next door to the Platypus and Echidna rescue. Both had excellent tours and we learned a lot. Lunch in a real, old fashioned riverside Fish & Chip restaurant chosen by Jin. Another thing Anna Maria and Johnny had never done was a wine tasting, so we found a popular Cellar Door nearby and the three of them had a wonderful hour while I watched and enjoyed it immensely. They were bloody hilarious and the hostess managed them brilliantly. Both couples have a case winging their way towards us as we speak. Being a Sunday night most of the restaurants were closed. We were going to introduce Anna Maria and Johnny to Vietnamese but the best close choice open was a very ra sha sha Chinese. Service, food, atmosphere and design were bloody wonderful. They were woefully understaffed due to C19 but still managed us, our food and the whole evening perfectly. We drank a couple of bottles of wine from our Cabbage Tree wine tasting that Jin had bought to celebrate our adventure.
Day four we had a leisurely breakfast and bumped out. The flight home had the best turbulence I’ve experienced in decades. It was a wild ride into Sydney and I loved every second. Poor Jin was a bit green by the time we got off though. Grabbed our bags, hugged everyone and holiday done. Jin and I spent the whole afternoon and night discussing what a perfect getaway and how much fun we had.
Anna Maria’s Pics
Wore Hermès Eau des Merveilles for the flight down. It’s salty, warm, mineral waft was perfectly understated and lasted till my nighttime change.
In the end I took these perfumes.
Atelier des Ors Rouge Saray: Wore this every evening on the trip. It was a perfect accompaniment to the dry chill night air. Spicy woods with a soft fruity sweetness, all mellowed by a vanilla patchouli. Beautiful. I thunked the decant, now desperately want a bottle.
BDK Bouquet de Hongrie: Didn’t wear it.
Diptyque Rose de Mai: Didn’t wear it.
Diptyque L’Ombre dans l’eau: Was supposed to bring this, thought it was stolen first morning by the cleaners. Thank goodness I didn’t kick up a fuss. It was here on my desk the whole time, hiding behind the Marveilles. BUMMER!
Guerlain Mademoiselle: When I first got this decant I was all meh. It has bloomed into a ridiculously beautiful marshmallow iris, so powdery and warm. I also get some roses in the heart that aren’t mentioned in the notes. Sadly it becomes a very soft wash in an hour and I can hardly smell it. Wore it on the last day and on the plane ride home. I won’t be buying another but absolutely loved it for this holiday.
Le Labo Neroli 31: First two days I wore so much of this and FINALLY thunked the decant. It’s nice but there are a million citrus type scents that smell better on me for much less money. It just does not live on my skin and I won’t be rebuying.
How ever did we fit so much into so little time? It was a really relaxing few days despite being jam packed and now I’m refreshed and ready for action.
Are you looking forward to a break? Has this given you some ideas? Where would you spend a few days nearby?
You did fit in a lot! Some great sights and food, by the looks of it. I have never been to Tasmania, though Truffle sometimes sleeps in the shape of it. I have been away the last three weekends in fact, with two more to go. A mix of gigs and seeing family and friends, but I never feel refreshed afterwards, haha, quite the reverse. Still worth it. But to answer your question, I am looking forward to stopping at home for a bit and having a rest. ;)
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Glad to read life is getting back into a good swing for you. Coming home needing sleep and some calm is how I arrived up to my 40s. I’m a bit past the HUGE party holiday. I remember those days fondly though.
What a trip! Organising it around meals sounds very sensible to me. Love that Anna Maria and Johnny are celebs now and that you introduced them to curry.
Tempted to visit Tasmania just for the Best Ever Vanilla Slice haha.
OMG Tara! You would LOVE Tasmania. Next time you’re in Oz we will go spend a few days discovering the delights of their bakeries.
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We fit a lot in didn’t we !!
We were so fresh and cool just like Tasmania lol 😂
Can’t wait to do it again xx
SO MUCH Anna Maria, weeks worth of adventuring in 3 nights!
Yes, let’s organise something soon.
I am so desperate for some time away and some fun, the last two and a half years have been an endless grind of stress and misery. We have a trip planned for June 20th, but it can’t come soon enough. Serious cabin fever here.
I hear you. It’s been really tough for so many.
Where is your trip in June?
We are doing a road trip across Canada.
You are one VERY lucky duck.
What a wonderful trip you had!! Getaway for me would be no work, in my bathrobe , snuggling with the felines…and lots of sweets lol
Your getaway sounds heavenly, except I’ll snuggle with my hound, eh?
Sounds equally as wonderful
You mini-trip sounds amazing! And I like that you did so many food-related discoveries (at least for some of the people in your group).
Loved all the pictures!
We are on a mini-vacation as well (just finished the day 1 of 5) – will report back soon.
It really was Undina.
While I didn’t eat any new foods, all the restaurants except the hotel breakfast were new to me. So though the others really widened their cuisines I also got to see new places. It was a double win.
Can’t wait to read of your vacation too.
Take better photos than mine please. We got back and I’d not shot one vista!