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A long lunch with friends in country Victoria

dfIn October this year, I met my friend Sandy in Melbourne.  I travelled with my Canberra based friend Jane and prior to our travel I contacted two friends I used to work with (and had visited them both in NY and London when they lived there), so it was obvious that we would also visit them whilst so much closer in Melbourne.

We had to catch the train to country Victoria which was about one hour from the city of Melbourne.  I took us to the local train station which we then found out was the wrong station and had to book an Uber ride as the correct station was about fifteen minutes away.  Note: friends unhappy!!

And as I do not catch trains very regularly (or really at all), I assumed the trains would run every ten or so minutes so didn’t bother checking the train timetable.  Unfortunately we missed the train by about eight minutes so had to wait another hour for the next one.  Note: friends more unhappy!! So Jane told Sandy and I she would now take over all arrangements for our travel and found out our train departed from platform 4b which is where we went and sat to patiently wait for the train.stationPlatform 4b is next to platform 4a and as we walked past we saw a train there, but as Jane had the lead we waited to hear from her….[silly us] so this was not good when we missed another train as it departed from 4a not 4b.  Imagine how we mocked Jane!

So now we are very late for a special lunch so we decided to forego the train trip and take a very expensive Uber ride to country Victoria!!  Our friends we were going to visit thought our regular updates most amusing!!

But it was worth the drama when we ‘finally’ arrived in country Trentham and walked into du Fermier restaurant. ImageOur dear friends, chef Annie and wait staff were all waiting for us and had pre-arranged a lovely meal taking into consideration my dietary needs.  The menu at this fabulous restaurant is created from fresh food from the garden and meats and poultry from the surrounding region – exceptional food I must say!

We started off with a lovely bottle of Aussie sparkling wine and sparkling mineral water and were brought a lovely plate of fresh radish with butter and the most beautiful bread.  {I had no idea you can eat radish alone with butter – yum].Image 1Image 2Chef Annie creates a seasonal menu and sometimes the dishes are plated, sometimes shared, but always they revolve around what is being harvested from the garden or taken from the store cupboard.

I was then served a delicious dish of fresh asparagus with other greens and a perfectly poached egg…yum!!Image 3The others were served dishes of duck which came out beautifully presented and I am told delicious.Image 6Image 5My friend Sandy, who doesn’t eat duck [amongst many other things], had a pear, rocket and parmesan cheese salad.Image 4At the same time as our main course arrived, we were also served a dish of scolloped potatoes to share which were oven baked in a cream sauce.Image 7Our main courses consisted of a potato rosti with salad and dressing for me and a fresh fish dish for others.

Image 8Image 9It really is amazing how different fresh food from the paddock tastes – love it.

Our dessert was vanilla bean ice cream and a home made (of course) tart…by this stage we were all pretty full but all tried our best to eat it all up!Image 10Image 11Annie also sells beautiful seasonal jams and preserves. I bought a jar of raspberry jam and marmalade [which I gave to a friend who said it was delicious).  And I love the raspberry jam.

Then our friends drove us to the train station [to make sure we caught the return train I guess] and yes we did make it (thanks to them; not because of anything Jane, Sandy and I did).Image 12