Tuesday, June 15, 2010

lounging around out west

We packed the car and headed off with great anticipation on Friday afternoon. There was a tinge of schoolgirl-like excitement about getting out of work early on the day before a long weekend and heading out of the city ahead of the pack.

The last time we’d driven the back roads towards the west there were swathes sunflowers and drought stricken fields on either side of the road for endless kilometres. This trip yielded vibrant green paddocks and newborn lambs lambs.

As the sun was setting we finally we made it to Port Fairy, possibly my favourite town in the entire state. I’ve seen the seaside fishing village in all its manifestations from quiet midweek days in the quiet off-season through to the festival in full swing. On a winter’s long weekend the town was humming with a small market, arts project and a comical dog racing event, the annual dachshund dash.

It was the wrong week for the monthly farmers market but the regular community gathering on the village green had a good sprinkling of local produce from seasonal fruit and vegetables through to Yorkshire fruit cakes and the inevitable array of jams and preserves.

The most enchanting stall was a community arts project, a chair adorned with embroidered offerings to sit in and write your wishes. Lounge Around: Wishes from a Travelling Chair is a delight to take part in. Once we’d vacated the seat a burly local bloke raced up to have a go. I took great pleasure in watching his gusto as he grabbed the clipboard and wrote his secret wish.

Eating in Port Fairy is a more positive experience than my recent weekend away. It has a few better than average restaurants and a wide range of well patronized cafes. My pick is dining at The Stag, which features regional produce in comfortable surrounds and Charlie’s on East Beach for a surfside brunch. If you find yourself in nearby Koroit, Alex’s Pizza and Wok doubles as a busy takeaway pizza and DVD rental place, with a makeshift dinning room out the back serving up some good Thai food alongside Italian fare.

After three nights in our cozy apartment in town, we were sad to leave. We’d still not had a chance to experience the salt pool at the new day spa nor snag a booking at the two-hatted Merijig Inn. Oh well, there’s always next time.

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Blogger Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

Oh it sounds like you had a wonderful weekend! It is such a nice part of Victoria!

10:47 am  
Blogger Ann ODyne said...

Port Fairy is very pretty and has a rich history, well populated before Melbourne was. Glad you had a fun foody time. The West rocks.

7:02 pm  
Anonymous Sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

Oh I love Port Fairy! I remember driving through it as a kid on our way to Victoria and I revisited as an adult several years ago almost by chance and swore to return for a proper stay. This has reminded me to do so forthwith!

8:07 pm  
Anonymous Megan said...

Aw, sounds like fun! Nothing beats a trip down the seaside. I can't help but feel sorry for those who live too far inland :( Anyway, glad you have fun! Don't forget to tell us all your adventures!

9:22 pm  
Anonymous Amanda said...

I have eaten at the Merrijig and it is truly worth the drive to get there - even from Adelaide!

8:58 am  
Blogger Kath Lockett said...

Oooh I'm a bit envious - we headed in a slightly different direction to you (also wagging school and work on the Friday) but ended up in the town of 'NO'....


5:56 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

I've never met anyone who doesn't like Port Fairy. Not sure what it would be like to live there, only 30% of the population is permanent.

Kath - on the other hand outside of "The Castle" is there a single soul who feels the same way about Lake Eildon?

8:53 am  

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