Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I love freesias. I bought a bunch over a week ago and they have opened up and my bedroom smells all sweet and peppery. 

They remind me of growing up in Sydney with a big back yard of many levels of garden to explore. There was an odd mix of scraggly natives, azaleas and even a pine tree smuggled in from the motherland....but the best part? During spring the ground was awash with freesias, just growing wildly on their own. Their sweet scent filling the air like magic and a sign that winter was gone.

They remind me of Boulevard St Germain and a trip to Paris which was a lifetime ago. Wandering around the left bank (the Latin Quarter?), cocktails in smokey bars, bistro lunches and shopping for my favourite perfume. Now looking back - the start of what was to end in heartbreak, though I still wear the perfume to this very day.

They remind me of recent conversations at the farmers markets where we talked about flowers, herbs and garden plans. And stories of me growing up with wild freesias and you, with your memories of childhood holidays in a country far away. 

They remind me of my kind, thoughtful and gentle friend who was with me when I bought them on that freezing cold, grey day.

They remind me how my memory works - connecting unremarkable events that when considered all together, tell a story of things I'm sure others would have forgotten. 

Monday, August 18, 2014


I made these cupcakes for RSPCA cupcake day. They are black and white just like Barney.

Makes 12

125g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
150g 75g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 1/4 cup pouring cream
1 cup desiccated coconut

1 Preheat oven to 160C.

2 Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy.

3 Gradually Add the eggs, beating well after each addition, until combined. Add the flour, baking powder and milk and beat until just combined.

4 Spoon the mixture into 12 x 1/2 cup-capacity muffin tins lined with paper patty cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

5 Place the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and glossy.

6 Refrigerate until cool. Spread the cooled cupcakes with the chocolate and sprinkle with the coconut to serve.

PS we raised $570!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lonsdale Street Roasters # 7

So the old Lonsdale Street Roasters is now new. Renovation upstairs with plenty more seating and great views of Braddon below. Sadly, as one of my gypsy friends pointed out, no blackboard menu though and with that...bye bye baby elvis. But hello bacon jam! 

And with the LSR empire about to extend to the badlands of belcompton, I hope to report back on that fantastic development shortly. 

Parlour Wine Room

I used to love Parlour with its cosy, dark room, great people who worked there and that it had table service. Then it burnt to the ground and the whole of Canberra was sad. 

Well it has reopened for a while, and I just couldn't bring myself to go until now. Verdict? The atmosphere is not the same. The room now just doesn't lend itself to that 'parlour' feel. Staff polite enough but not the same friendly crew. Food was good though, and the negroni? BEST IN CANBERRA! Will be back.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stand By Me

Canberra you are killing it! Latest great place to go - Lyons shops. Stand By Me has great coffee, swell staff and flipping amazing breakfast. Plus I'm pretty sure they were playing 'Poison Arrow' by ABC and maybe some Spandau Ballet. Maybe.

Offline exhibition - New Acton

The gallery space at Nishi is quite lovely and worth dropping in if you are around New Acton area, and there is an interesting group exhibition on at the moment by artists represented by jas hugonnet gallery.  

James Powditch's sculptural assemblage pieces were just beautiful but priced well outside my price range. I loved his mixed media works, particularly the beautiful tower in the photo above. I'll go back just to look at those. Exhibition is on until 31 August.

Friday breakfast catch ups

Breakfast catch ups are totally the new thing. The last few weeks have seen catch ups at Penny University, Lonsdale Street Roasters, Autolyse (more than once) and today Loading Zone. 

The best thing about Loading Zone has to be being called 'bella'. Bella what coffee would you like? Is everything ok bella? Pepper bella?  Bella, bella, bella, bella. I will never tire of that word. Other good stuff? Great coffee and food. That's pretty much all you need, right? Oh and pretty amazing tunes playing from the 60's. Great way to start the end of the working week.