Monday, 27 September 2010

Email from Jonathon in Massachusetts, USA

I'm trusting that Jonathon (see email below) is a reasonable bloke, and will forgive my posting his email to me via the Email Rita direct facility, verbatim.


I am new follower of your blog and have enjoyed starting to read the posts. There is quite a bit of information here -- much to sort through! I write because my wife and I are embarking on our first trip to Australia in about a month and we will be spending five nights in Tasmania. We were intrigued by its natural beauty, great parks, and food/wine possibilities.

I was wondering if you could direct me to some posts or provide some suggestions for a superior food/wine experience during our time in Tasmania.

We fly into Launceston, spend two nights at Cradle Mountain Lodge, drive to Bicheno for a night, and conclude with two nights in Hobart at the Islington Hotel. Our three main activities include hiking Cradle Mountain summit, hiking into Wineglass bay, and touring the Port Arthur historic site.

During our drives back and forth, we plan to stop at several wineries around Launceston and Hobart. We love good wine, good cheese, and good seafood -- so we are very excited about Tassie. Any thoughts, insights, or direction would be much appreciated.

Thanks so much.

Cheers, Jonathan
Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA

My response is:

Dear Jonathon

Thank you so much for your email. Congratulations on selecting Australia as your holiday destination, and including Tasmania on the itinery.

For five days in Tassie, you have selected well in your whistle stop tour. Hopefully you will get a great taster of what life offers here in Tassie - enough maybe to return and spend longer next visit.

As you drive between each of those venues you named, you will pass many vineyards, so the wine aspect will be well covered.

Local cheeseries around Hobart (ie within easy reach of Islington) include Bruny Island Cheese (on Bruny Island, funnily enough!) and Grandvewe (past Woodbridge) - both of which I have written about in the past, and which you will easily find on this blog by entering the salient words in the Search box on the top right hand side of the home page. It will bring up all posts which mention the words you type in there.

Fabulous fresh seafood abounds - you just need to know where to find it. My recommendations for restaurants specialising in seafood are either Blue Eye (a new seafood restaurant owned by one of our better seafood chefs) in Salamanca Place, or Fish Frenzy, on Elizabeth St Pier. Many other local restaurants include beautiful fish dishes on their menus. I am happy to help you out with names if you require them - or readers may do that.......

Stanley - up in the NW of the state has, in my humble opinion, the BEST fresh seafood arriving daily on the jetty off the fishing boats, and is where renowned chef Tetsuya sources his perfect fresh fish for his award-winning Sydney restaurant - but unfortunately I don't see a window of opportunity for you to get to Stanley this visit, as it's a fairly long drive for you.

I encourage any Rita-readers to add any comments or suggestions they feel might be of use or interest to Jonathon.
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

Wineries to visit - Domaine A, Craigow, Bay of Fires and Meadowbank. The four best in the state in my opinion. Bay of Fires is a truly world class winery.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. Made a mistake. Exchange Pooley Wines for Craigow. Meant to say if you can go to Craigow do so, but they are rarely open.

lemon curd said...

Wine Industry Tasmania have their excellent Wine Routes brochure in electronic form on their website (click on the image at the bottom of the page)

As indicated above though - call ahead, especially in rural areas, just to make sure they are open!

Anonymous said...

Jonathon, you should check out the wine/food tourism site
I highly recommend the member benefits too - well worth it if you are a discerning lover of food & wine and travelling around Australia.
Sorry for the plug Mum (Rita),


Esz said...

This is my first comment here but please don't think I'm spamming. If you're after wine in the South of Tas, I would highly recommend my parents' winery in Dover, south of Hobart. :-)
It's called St Imre and my folks have been working hard since 1998 to build their winery and make beautiful wine. They do everything by hand with friends only coming to help out with the picking each season.
Dad makes 'minimal intervention' wine - very little preservatives, if any and old oak barrels. You can buy Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Tiger Blood (a blend of three reds) and Possum Piss (the white blend)!!
Please do head down that way if you have time. Mum can make you lunch or a coffee and the cellar door is also a gallery of local work (along with Dad's woodcraft).

We're all trying to get the word out as it's a small business and a labour of love. My parents' came to Australia for a better life and this is what they've been dreamed of forever.
Thanks :-D
I have links on my blog and their website is if you want to know more.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous post!
Can you buy Tiger Blood or Possum Piss in Hobart anywhere?


Rita said...

Thanks all for your helpful comments. Esz - I have been brainwashed about your parents fabulous wine by some Dover friends who LOVE it (Jeremy and Penny) and bought some along to Da Angelos last time we ate together there - so, given that I take Jeremy's word fpr all things wine-related, I would wholeheartedly endorse what you have said about the St Imre.

sir grumpy said...

Off topic Rita,

but have tou heard of Niko Niko in Hobart?
A former Steve's kebabs near us is being fitted out by them for sushi and hot stuff but I can't find any info on them.

They are hoping to open this week.

sir grumpy said...

Anyone heard of Niko Niko in Hobart?

One opening near us soon.

Cheers, guys.

Marc said...

Sir Grumpy, I have seen Niko Niko out at Northgate, and somewhere in Hobart, but not 100% sure where that was.

I'm not sure what you think, but does it look like it will be a Sushi / Steves Kebab place? The signage remains in place...

Anonymous said...

No but I see that the kingston beach pub has opened a cafe inside and is soon to be putting in a playroom as well. Inspired move, just the place for a cafe, and just the place for the mums and dads to drop their kids whilst having a quiet drink and maybe gamble the pension cheque on the pokies.
You must love kingston Sir grumpy, can't even get a decent breakfast in that suburb let alone a pie or a coffee.

Anonymous said...

Sir Grumpy... They are in the food court. Near Harris Scarfe. They sell Sushi. Thats all I know sorry

Rita: how come comment moderation is enabled?

Rita said...

Last Anon: I enabled Comment Moderation because while I was at work the other day I (luckily) had a phone call from a friend, alerting me to the fact that there had been added comments on my blog which were extremely inflammatory, personal and insulting comments, about some PB ex-staff members. He advised I go immediately into my blog and delete them - which I did. As I was at work, and not able to keep a close eye on what might be added later, I enabled the Comment Moderation, which I then decided I should retain, as I simply don't have the time to keep logging on to Rita's Bite constantly to check on comments others make.

Anonymous said...

Thanks all re Niko, Niko, so good I asked the question twice. (Thanks to Rita's safety device!).

Yes, it can be a lonely old food life in Kingston but what can one do? Move I suppose.

There are a few good things. Juiced Up, Dom's, Solace and others.
But there are many great compensations in the area and I have my stove.

Anonymous said...

Well I sure do hope that Niko Niko brings something to Kingston...

Opening a cafe at the Kingston Beach Pub, what a stupid idea. As above anon says it will be like a child minding area for the alcoholics children.

The food in the bistro is consistently inconcistent, always shit and usually comprises of a plate of re-heated, low quality foods purchased from PFD or Southern Foods.

There is not even anywhere in Kingston opne after 7pm for drinks or dinner...