It’s been a while since we’ve done any of our ‘usual’ things, so in an attempt at normality we headed south to do some geocaching and enjoy at meal at The Red Velvet Lounge at Cygnet.
First we did a couple caches in Huonville, then headed further south. Of course it wasn’t too long before we succumbed to stopping for cherries. But I showed restraint and only bought 4 kilos. We consumed a kilo of them on the way to COTFTF Nine Pin Point. This was a lovely short walk to the water with lots of native plants in bloom along the short track.
Our main bushwalking destination for the day was Echo Sugarloaf Reserve, which had a geocache, a trigpoint, and what I hope was be a gorgeous walk. We’d driven past here on our lave trip through the area, however we assumed the walk would be longer than we had time for on that occasion. The walk wasn’t as long or as strenuous as I thought/hoped it would but, but it was lovely. Again there were lots of native wildflowers in bloom and the hills the track wandered up and down were beautiful. The views out from the trigpoint were well worth seeing. (There’s wildflower photos up on Flickr; just select the photo below to get to the set. At the time of posting this I haven’t named them all yet though.)
I’d made a dinner reservation at The Red Velvet Lounge at 7 pm, and we arrived a bit early. I wanted to eat at the RVL 1) because usually we’re going through Cygnet int he middle of a caching day and have only been there for lunch, 2) a local food blogger loves it there (and in fact was there at the same time we were!), and 3) Lottie could come with us if we dined outside. Which we did.
Our meal was fantastic. We started off with some sourdough, wish was moist, had that firm but spongy texture, and a full but not overpowering flavour. We ordered some Iron Pot Bay Sem Sav Blanc, which was fantastic – but as we haven’t had wine in ages we only had one glass before deciding we had to take the rest of the bottle home. In an attempt to not be too full to have dessert, we shared an entree, crispy duck egg, asparagus, smoked wagyu beef, parmesan, pangratto crumbs. The duck egg yolk was still runny, and the creaminess went so well with the smokey wagyu beef, the mellow asparagus, and the sharp cheese; I think this was my favourite dish of the evening. For mains we had the Rabbit Pie Floater (my choice) and the Potato Gnocchi. I was certain Scott would go for the slow cooked lamb felt his comment that he never gets gnocchi was a bit of a dig at me; guess I’d best make him some at home soon. I loved the pie floater. Scott had looked at me askance when I said I’d be ordering it (pie floaters can be daggy in Oz), but I was sure the RVL would do a great job and it was the thing I knew I was least likely to make myself. The pie itself was yum – the rabbit meat was tender, fragrant, and nicely complimented by the veggies and whole hazelnuts also in the pie. It ‘floated’ on three things: mushy peas (but nice ones), parsnip mash, and mustard sauce. I thought each sauce brought out something different in the pie. The gnocchi was lovely too; it had lovely sweet roasted capsicum and baby tomatoes, artichoke hearts, green olives, and fresh basil. Lots of rich but also fresh flavours.
I hadn’t forgotten Lottie; I brought her water and food bowls. (And also had a dog bed for her, but she didn’t seem to need it as she was too excited to settle down so it stayed in the car.) She spent a lot of time sniffing the air, savouring the beautiful scents wafting from the restaurant. So I was surprised that she actually ate her dog food!! She spent a good deal of time charming the wait staff (and forcing the one that kept petting her to have to scrub down after each visit to our table!).
We were actually planning to have dessert, but after the plates from our mains were cleared we didn’t see the wait staff again – despite her saying she’d be right back out. But I can’t really blame her; by this time it was BUSY inside and we were the only table seated outside. And perhaps she didn’t have time to keep washing her hands after her encounters with Lottie (or was a bit disgusted that I kept snuggling A Dog at the Table). Also I could see a Very Important Diner in the restaurant through the glass doors. It was probably for the best though; I still had 3 kilos of cherries to get through in the car and they weren’t going to eat themselves.
So that was our first big day out since losing our little one. I must say I often felt like I was just going through the motions rather than really enjoying what I was doing, but I don’t really expect to enjoy things much. We got home around 9:30 pm – the latest is a long time – but it wasn’t even dark yet so we can’t say we had that wild a night. Lottie seemed quite exhausted by the afternoon; all that sniffing of food she wasn’t consuming must really take it out of her!