Baggage and Gerringong

Everyone needs a little time away. To unwind, read a good book, to perhaps experience something a little different than the everyday. But two ‘three day mini-break weekends’ in a row? Now that seems a little, well, greedy. To quote Gordon Gecko from that 80’s hit movie Wall Street, ‘The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.’

So five friends from Mothers Group, once again threw together our winter woollies and piled our literal and metaphorical baggage into one car. This in itself was a small miracle, can you imagine? (Some of us may have packed more than others.) Our destination this time was the adorable hill perched coastal village of Gerringong on the South Coast of New South Wales. Only two hours (if that) from Sydney. We had the lend of a small holiday house and counted ourselves as very lucky chicks indeed.

Lunch had been missed and a loo visit was called for. So to start this gourmet weekend away, a stop was made at the infamous Maccy D’s just out of Wollongong. Now, I am no fan of this multinational fast food joint, for a number of reasons. However, not being a purist, I must tell you that we did eat the fries. Not sure if it was our hunger, excitement or the fact that we had just emptied our bladders but they tasted damn good. Let’s leave it at that.

Heading deeper south, the sky darkened. By the time we arrived, a full blown storm had settled in. Rooms and space divided, luggage unpacked, wine placed into the fridge and the kettle boiled. Snug as bugs in rugs, we looked at each other and heard not, the sound of children. And it was good.

Dinner that first night was an arduous trek (ok, it took three minutes) up to the main drag of Gerringong. There, we ate at the Werri Thai Restaurant, a hole in the wall and encountered some of the freshest Thai food any of us had eaten in quite the while. The tofu and cashew nuts, with a jammy spicy sauce was the standout. Enough that the restaurant was earmarked to re-visit before we left. That and a glass or two of Arras sparkling wine from Tasmania (for those of our number who partake in the odd alcoholic beverage), was a great start to our long weekend.

The next morning, after a luscious lie-in, the lot of us traversed the full twenty minute drive to the pretty town of Berry. Our destination being the renowned Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery. My last visit was many years ago and we were all keen to give it a whirl. Our sleep-in meant missing out on the full breakfast menu. So a cut down menu it was and sadly, no eggies. My choice was a Croque Monsieur style ham and cheese croissant. Not sure if this is actually done in the land of the French, but oh my. Flaky and buttery with a creamy, porcine interior. The others tried a very good spinach, pumpkin, pepita, sunflower seed and feta muffin. The coffee was as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

After drooling over a fine selection of various baked goods, choices were made and boxed up to take back to the cottage. A stellar multigrain sourdough, a chocolate almond croissant, lemon yoghurt tea cake, prune and custard tart and macadamia tart. The intention being to share for afternoon tea, if not that day, the next. (No-one likes to go hungry.)

Back in Gerringong, we walked along the cliffs and drank excellent coffee from the Blue Espresso Bar. This Cheergerm eyed off some gorgeous hand-etched wine glasses at Mas Homewares. A shop brimming with an array of delightful European goodies.

Books were read, blankets snuggled under. Friday night, we had pre-booked (at a local’s suggestion), Zoobs Woodfired Pizza. They prepare their hand rolled pizza dough fresh every day and fire it in a proper woodfired oven. To start, some of the laydeez shared an excellent salt and pepper crusted squid. Then it was the pizza. My margarita with mushrooms was to die for. The base was puffy, light, yeasty with the smoky taste that only a woodfired pizza can give you.

A slap up home cooked brekky then a visit to the Gerringong Saturday markets. Cold but fun. Woolen hats, homemade cakes and jams, alpaca wool and handcrafted pillow cases. Hot chips eaten from the paper, another contender throws it’s hat into the ring for the hotly contested title of ‘the best chips in the world.’

Cups of tea, coffee, herbal libations, glasses of wine, reading, movies and tears over parenting journeys that seem to have become more complex. This gift of time allows us to expand on conversations that usually happen over the space of a cup of coffee. For a brief while, our burdens are unshouldered. It feels like we have unpacked far more this weekend than just our actual physical luggage.

We head out again that evening to Werri Thai to once again chow down upon that delicious tofu and cashew nut dish. This time trying an equally good massaman beef which is creamy and mildy spicy.

Sunday arrives all too quickly. Breakfast was booked at the Seavista Cafe in Gerringong. Light, airy with a gorgeous view of the ocean. The breakfast is decently solid. My poached eggs with hollandaise, avocado and smoked salmon is tasty. Back at the house, our re-packed bags are skillfully arranged (not unlike a jigsaw puzzle), into the car. I cannot speak for everyone but my baggage seemed just that little bit lighter. (Well, apart from those rather fabulous wine glasses I purchased.)

31 thoughts on “Baggage and Gerringong

  1. Geez, Looeeze, my breakfast of oatmeal and almonds is looking pretty paltry after reading this beautiful and delicious post. Made me want to eat the screen. A laydees weekend to enrich the body and soul sounds lovely.

  2. A.PROMPTreply

    Oh, love those glasses! And what…now you’re even taking fab pix of someone else’s food?! You really ought to be paid for that, you know!

    Lovely post and am most jealous of 2 weekend outings!

    • Thanks PR! The glasses are a bit fab hey? I do take photos of other peeps food every now and then, it’s a bit of a minefield. Not every restauranteur/chef is happy to have their food photographed. I always do it surreptiously and only ever blog it when I am being positive. I will have to live off the memory of my 2 weekends for quite a while now….he he…hopefully I will be reading about your two consecutive weekends away one day! 😁

      • A.PROMPTreply

        Hah. To each his own…..right now, I’m content to just meander in the immediate vicinity….I’ve had more than enough “traveling” for quite a while! I’ll leave that to you!

  3. Hahaha! Good for you girls! I love reading shit like this!
    This line; “Snug as bugs in rugs, we looked at each other and heard not, the sound of children. And it was good.” –> Awesome!
    I could not stop smiling because we say that sometimes are here (snug as a bug in a rug) but also because I could literally picture you guys all nice and cozy like πŸ˜€

    Way to go ladies, keep those memories coming πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Dana. ☺️ Cool to hear it’s a bit of a worldwide saying that evokes feelings and memories of snugness. I feel lucky to have good friends to share those times with and am looking forward to many more years of such mini-breaks. (Zimmerframes and all! Ummm, hopefully not for a while though…)

  4. Oh, what a delightful sounding weekend with your laydeeee pals. I hope it won’t be too long until your next shared and well-deserved long weekend away. Whilst I, (and I’m sure your other readers), missed the descriptions, photographs and delights of your own culinary creations, the emphasis on the foodstuffs prepared by others proved you can take time away from the kitchen and not feel guilty for not cooking everything from scratch …. guilt, I hear, being one of the scourges of motherhood. Here’s to many, many more sharing, caring, fantastic female trips away. πŸ·πŸŸβ˜•οΈπŸœπŸ«. xx
    PS – how you fit everyone and everything in the one vehicle is an acheivement to brag about in itself! πŸš—

    • Hello lovely! Yes, we deserve a medal for that. It helped to have an expert packer amongst us. (Not me!) As much as I love cooking, we all really enjoyed having a break, not thinking about grocery shopping, organising, cooking the food and washing up. Guilt certainly is at times, a prevailing emotion. Got to fight it and just do what’s ok for ourselves sometimes. Such breaks renew my spirit and energy and we are blessed to get the opportunity. The kids will be ok. Ha, of course they will! Lots of love your way. Xxx πŸ’›

  5. Me again (!!!) ……. forgot to mention in France a croque monsieur is indeed made with cheese and ham, but these are in a toasted sandwich as opposed to a croissant. But, hey, whatever floats your boat! xx

    • As I suspected! I knew it was a sandwich but wondered/doubted whether you would find it in croissant form in France. There was a creamy white sauce in the Middle which oozed out…..yummy!

  6. Such lovely photos. The one with the rainbow is a great shot. And the food… I am suffering a little because I have to cut back calories at the moment. And yet it is balm to see such good food. I can at least dream of wood-fired sourdough bread πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much LM. I also love that rainbow photo, we were discussing how poignantly wonderful it was to stand in a graveyard at the edge of cliff by a sea and see a rainbow. I guess the view benefits the living before they die and then the living when they visit their dead? Ah, cutting back is pretty sucky. Sorry for any unbeknowst torture there. I am trying to cut back a wee tad myself as well now. I do think that the possibility of delicious food again in the future keeps us going?

      • It must be a great comfort to the people there that their loved ones rest in such a beautiful place. I do enjoy visiting graveyards, especially older ones with historical gravestones. Ours are not “old” by European standards but our town was founded in 1799.
        Cutting back on carbs seems the easiest way to reduce calories, but it does mean less bread! The result is that I raise my standards. Not a bad thing to eat only the most delicious bread πŸ™‚

    • We ate well Chef M, we ate well. Now I have that Willie Nelson song ‘on the road again’ in my head. Seeing the a bit of the world is a wondrous thing. I (for one) will have to live off the memories for now, no more mini-breaks or holidays planned in the near future. Look forward to reading about your next adventure.

      • sorry about that, although it’s also nice to stay home. my next adventure will be with my husband – i’ve finally convinced him to visit Stephane in France with me!

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