Food glorious food…part two

Whilst travelling around Europe last year I took thousands of photos, some of these focused on the delightful array of food available from markets and the meals we consumed. Many of the photos are merely happy snaps, badly lit and slightly blurred photographs of the food we ate and often I was so absorbed in the eating of a tasty dish that I completely forgot to take a photo. Anyway, the first part of our journey and the food we ate is covered in Food glorious food…part one and I had meant to continue the story but never got around to it…until now.

The food in Italy can be bad, good or fantastic, we were lucky in that we chose good to fantastic food for the majority of the time and the two bad meals we ate were due to laziness and convenience, not bad for four weeks of eating in Italy. Italians don’t really do breakfast, at least not the way we do so we settled for the in-house breakfasts most of the time, although not great, we enjoyed trying Cruesli (Muesli with choc chips) and the array of home baked cakes and tarts at the B&B Villa degli Ulivi were scrumptious. Occasionally cold cuts of meat and boiled eggs were also available in addition to the pastries, jam and bread rolls, the coffee was usually very ordinary so we took to visiting the local bars for an espresso.

Wherever possible we tried local wines and local specialties, guided by the waiters in the restaurants and in Rome we asked the ‘host’ of the Cantina Cantarini to help us choose our meals, selecting fresh, seasonal produce and simple flavours so good that we returned the following night. In Florence we ate picnics outside the Boboli Gardens, pasta in the San Lorenzo Markets and spent an evening with our travellers at a inTavola cooking class, the class was so much fun and at the end of the evening we sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labour accompanied by a couple of glasses of wine.

Wherever we went I managed to track down a gelateria (even in Germany), I was on a mission to try as many flavours as possible and am proud to say that I tried 25 different flavours, some of them twice (pistachio, zabaglione and pannacotta) and some of which I don’t remember. I have to admit that there are just some flavours that I’ve never been really fond of such as melon or licorice so I stayed clear of them and there are possibly hundreds more flavours I could have tried however there was still a budget to stick to and having gelato for every meal was not the objective. Some of the more unusual (for me) flavours were: Coconut, Riesling, Fior di Latte (Milk), Torrone and Cherries and cream.

Here is just a taste of what we enjoyed in Italy, starting with local specialties in Vernazza to wild boar in Umbria, panettone in Siena and seafood in Sorrento, it really was a food tour of Italy and the extra kilos in weight that I gained were well and truly worth it 🙂

Buon appetito!

Pesto al trofie, Vernazza
Pesto al trofie, Vernazza
Fried seafood, Vernazza
Fried seafood, Vernazza
Sicilian Cannoli, Il Pirata Vernazza
Sicilian Cannoli, Il Pirata Vernazza
Learning to cook in Florence
Learning to cook in Florence
The first course ready to go in the oven
The first course ready to go in the oven, layers of eggplant, mashed potato with zucchini and pancetta, and fontina cheese.
The first course, made by us in Florence
The first course, made by us in Florence
Steak, Florence
Steak, Florence
Fried Zucchini, Florence
Fried Zucchini, Florence
Sweets on display, Florence
Sweets on display, Florence
Wild boar ragu and pappardelle pasta, Siena
Wild boar ragu and pappardelle pasta, Siena
Spaghetti with clams, Siena
Spaghetti with clams, Siena
Roast pork sandwich and Panetone picnic, Siena
Roast pork sandwich and Panettone picnic, Siena
Fresh fruit for sale, Siena
Fresh fruit for sale, Siena
Tortelloni, Siena
Tortelloni, Siena
Coffee to end the meal, Siena
Coffee to end the meal, Siena
Sausage pizza in Volterra
Sausage pizza in Volterra
Salami and pecorino sandwiches in Pienza
Salami and pecorino sandwiches in Pienza
A glass of wine to celebrate the day, Orvieto
A glass of wine to celebrate the day, Orvieto
Breakfast in Orvieto
Breakfast in Orvieto
A little food with our wine, Orvieto
A little food with our wine, Orvieto
Wild boar stew, Orvieto
Wild boar stew, Orvieto
Roast pork medallions, Orvieto
Roast pork medallions, Orvieto
Cooking over an open flame, Civita di Bagnoreggio
Cooking over an open flame, Civita di Bagnoreggio
Grilled vegetables at a cantina, Civita di Bagnoreggio
Grilled vegetables at a cantina, Civita di Bagnoreggio
Pastries for sale, Assisi
Pastries for sale, Assisi
Pasta and assorted food products for sale in Sorrento
Pasta and assorted food products for sale in Sorrento
Mixed seafood and pasta, Sorrento
Mixed seafood and pasta, Sorrento
Prawns and pasta, Sorrento
Prawns and pasta, Sorrento
Fresh lemons, Sorrento
Fresh lemons, Sorrento
Eating gelato in Rome
Eating gelato in Rome
Mmmmm...gelato, Rome
Mmmmm…gelato, Rome
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Auckland, an iphone and the (free) Retro Camera app

Boat for hire
Boat for hire
The Sky Tower and Viaduct
The Sky Tower and Viaduct
Gelato from Valentino's Gelateria, Queens Wharf
Jam Donut and Ginger Kiss gelato from Valentino's Gelateria, Queens Wharf
The city of Auckland
The city of Auckland
Jetty opposite Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World
Jetty opposite Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World
Queens Wharf Ferry Terminal
Queens Wharf Ferry Terminal
Queens Wharf, The Cloud and Ferry
Queens Wharf home of The Cloud and Ferry terminal
Beautiful artwork inside Auckland Art Gallery
Choi Jeong Hwa, Flower Chandelier. Auckland Art Gallery
Exhibit outside the Auckland Art Gallery
Choi Jeong Hwa, Red. Artwork displayed outside Auckland Art Gallery
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Sky Tower as seen from Albert Park
Sky Tower as seen from Albert Park
The Northern Club Building
The Northern Club Building
View from Quadrant Hotel
View from Quadrant Hotel
Kiwi souvenirs
Funny Kiwi souvenir lollies: Pukeko Poo, Sheep Droppings, Squashed Possums and Kiwi Poo

Free time during a quick visit to Auckland for work allowed me to do a little sight seeing, thankfully the heavy rain dissipated and I had a perfect day for walking around the city. Rather than lug my DSLR to New Zealand (the weather was predicted to be miserable the entire time) I made use of the Retro Camera app on my iphone and a little point and shoot camera. These photos are all taken with an iphone 3 and the ‘polaroid’ function on Retro Camera, the result reminds me of all the old photos that my Mum took when we went on family holidays. I’ll share the other photos and details about my short stay later, my happy snaps of the City of Sails will have to do for now.

 

Playing ladies in Montville

Poet's Cafe and Montville shops

Montville is a lovely town on the Blackwall Range in hills behind the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Here you can visit art galleries, pottery shops, craft shops and lolly shops, it is only an hour or so from Brisbane and very popular with day trippers like me and my friend Shannon. We left the clouds and rain behind, hopped in the car and headed north to ‘play ladies’ which usually involves lunch somewhere nice, a glass or two of wine and time spent browsing shops and galleries.

The Poet’s Cafe is a well known cafe on the main street of Montville, the building overlooks rainforest and you can choose to sit indoors or on the balcony and admire the view. It is certainly not the cheapest cafe, a gourmet chicken panini will set you back roughly $22 and a glass of Pinot Gris was about $11, however the surroundings are worth taking the time out to sit and relax even if you only want a coffee. Underneath the cafe is the Main Street Gallery, the work of local artists can be viewed and purchased from the gallery, there were a few pieces of interest to me such as the work of Christopher Pope and a couple of less interesting works of art but I’m sure someone else will love them.

There are several stores that any sweet tooth will love, Candy Addictions sells rock candy made on the premises, one of the Gelaterias produces all natural Banoffee Gelato which is divine and across the road is a Chocolate Shop. We didn’t venture into the chocolate shop, our senses were overloaded after the rock candy and gelato, instead we went looking at Venetian glass, candles and leadlight lamps. One of the more amusing sights was a sign outside a travel shop, telling any visitors to the store that if children were unattended they would be given espresso and a free kitten.

The Poet's Cafe

The Montville Bowerbird shop

Amusing sign outside travel shop

The countryside around Montville is beautiful, gum trees, stately homes and rolling hills, not to mention views of the Sunshine Coast. Kondalilla Falls is the sight to see after eating too much lunch or sweets, the 3-4 kilometre walk taking you down hill through rainforest and across a strong flowing creek. The rockpools near the falls are extremely popular with people of all ages, locals and tourists and on a hot day the feeling of jumping into cool, fresh water must be exhilarating. Shannon and I didn’t pack for swimming, we played the tourist and took photos before heading back up the hill, through the rainforest until we reached the picnic grounds where bush turkeys were scavenging for leftovers.

There was still plenty to see in the region surrounding Montville and a local photographer does weekend workshops so it won’t be the last time I go to Montville. The drive home seemed to take much longer, traffic was heavy and the closer we got to Brisbane the wetter the weather got, at times I could barely see the lanes of the road, vastly different to the sunny day we had spent walking around Montville. Perhaps we’ll go to Maleny or maybe the Glasshouse Mountains for our next ‘ladies day’.

The walk to Kondalilla Falls

The beginning of Kondalilla Falls

Looking towards the coast from Montville