Best in show

It was my birthday recently and we had a weekend away in Birregurra, for their Annual Festival. As luck would have it, the Camperdown Show was on as well so we had a rollicking country weekend, as you’ll see in this photo of me and my youngest patting an alpaca, published in the Camperdown Chronicle.
I just love a good country show and Birregurra and Camperdown certainly delivered. Dog jumping, cow pat lotto, an Elvis impersonator, kid’s gardening workshop, ‘Best chicken in show’ and one of my favourite events, the wood chop. How those blokes manage to escape serious foot injury, with only Dunlop Volleys for protection, is beyond me. One of the lovely contestants allowed us to take home a losing log, which has pride of place in our garden as a stool/table. Isn’t it a beauty!
Squeezed in a bit of country op-shopping (see my haul of vintage kitchen stuff below); and had some fab food, including a gorgeous pork bánh mì – that’s me clutching it below. It was amazing, so juicy and flavoursome. The Birregurra General store make, in my humble opinion, the best hamburgers in Victoria; served on La Madre seedy buns. I’m well-stocked with chutney and relishes now too, thanks to the Birregurra branch of the Country Women’s Association (Loz, I don’t know who you are but your peach chutney rocks).
We stayed in Pomborneit, at this lovely place. It has just been put up for sale! If anyone is on the lookout for an 1800s bluestone church with a separate studio and gorgeous garden, this place ticks all the boxes.
Have a lovely weekend folks; and Melbourne readers, have a splendid Cup Day.

Birregurra Festival 2013Woodchop and stool

Country livin’

It was my birthday last Thursday (don’t ask me my age though – it’s way too depressing). I was a bit of a spoiled brat this year as one of my presents was a family holiday to beautiful Birregurra in the Otways. We got back on Monday, and it was such an ace weekend.
We stayed at King Parrot Cottages with horses, donkeys and alpacas on-site; bush-walking tracks and views to die for. The second photo below is of a bowerbird nest, gleefully discovered by my 8-year old, right behind our cabin. It was an incredible construction; scattered with bright blue things – bottle tops, cigarette lighters, doll parts and food wrappers. That is one dedicated bowerbird, as the scenery was pristine so it would’ve required some serious hunting to find all those treasures. I totally admire such dedication in a collector!
Our boys had a ball; lizard-chasing, kangaroo-spotting and exploring the bush.
We were mainly there though to visit the Birregurra Festival. I LOVE a good country fair and this one was a winner: a woodchop event (blokes in Dunlop Volleys and white pants – corrrr – hacking into log chunks), dog-jumping, farm equipment displays, animals everywhere (including camels!) and so many stalls selling local produce, home-made chutneys, relishes and cakes. Heaven.
We had some fab food. The lovely ladies in my photo below were whipping up spinach gözleme at a furious pace. The Vietnamese coleslaw was fantastic too.
Birregurra itself is such a pretty country town, all awnings and timber shopfronts. The General Store, an unassuming-looking milk bar, serves up perfect coffee, killer hamburgers and amazing lahm bi ajeen (Lebanese lamb pizzas – photo below), drizzled with lemon juice and fresh chilli. We make these at home quite often, with planned-overs from this lamb pilaf. Will provide the recipe soon!
So, I’m still on a high after such a lovely break. Finding it hard to concentrate at work. *sigh*

Birregurra holiday