Thursday, November 3, 2011



This week, we are so excited to share with you, a wonderful experience that Cath and I recently had in South Australia.  You know...I am a bit over people bagging SA.  There is just so much more to this beautiful Southern state, than churches and the Clipsal 500.

We spent a couple of days, discovering the local Farmers Markets, colourful Central Market with the most varied selection of market food we have ever seen.  Our favourite stall??...the Chocolate Shop with not one, but two Chocolate Fountains!  Then it was off to dinner in Gouger Street....freshly made pasta and a glass of red whilst watching the world go by.  It was all happening and so buzzy!  

The Star of Greece Restaurant...what a location!

On the flight down, flicking through the airline mag, we discovered the treasure that is Star of Greece (above) restaurant at Port Willunga....a rustic open air restaurant perched on the cliff overlooking the sparkling ocean.  I swear the only thing missing were the donkeys are their tinkling bells otherwise we would have thought we were on a Greek isle somewhere.

We turned up without a booking, but the staff were more than accommodating....they took our mobile phone number, advising a call would be made once our table become available....and so we decided to go for a walk along the beach!  Gorgeous day, the sun was shining and if there were palms you'd mistake Port Willunga for The Maldives.  The water quality is that clear and beautifully pristine.

Remnants of the Old Jetty

Perfect day...the ocean was crystal clear

Taken on my old mobile you can imagine what it was like in reality.....stunning.

After a brief wait and a delightful walk during which we met a few locals and a few pooches, we got the call!  Back to the restaurant where we sat at our table overlooking the ocean and clearly were in heaven.  
Indulging in entree, main and dessert washed down with a couple of chilled Sauv Blancs the food, ambience and wines were excellent.  Very good service, with sunscreen thrown in for me when required.

We cant wait to head back to Star of Greece again and fingers crossed for another day of perfection.

Star of Greece on Urbanspoon



And then whilst driving along to visit my brother along the Currency Creek road, emerged like an Oasis, the Kingsbrook estate.  I used to drive past this place when I was a kid, and the legend had it that an old hermit lived in the run down old mansion that was built originally as an Inn back in 1842.  I was always so captivated by this story and would crane my neck as we drove past, desperate to catch a glimpse of the old man.
Proprietors Anne and Chris have lovingly restored this property.

 Keeping the character and charm of the old building has obviously been in the forefront of their vision with the added bonus of feeling like you are literally visiting a farm in Tuscany.

Beautifully classic can even stay in the Stable room!

As well as being a function centre for weddings etc...Kingsbrook offers accommodation, restaurant meals on a Saturday and Sunday, plus grows and produces their own wines.  Fresh produce is also gathered from the organic vegie garden, olive grove and free range chooks.  
We walked in without a booking once again and there seemed to be no problem at all with this.  Chris showed us to our table with glass in hand and we sat under the beautiful bougainvillea canopy feeling pretty excited about being finally inside the walls of what has always been quite a place of mystery to me.

Chris is an acclaimed Interior Designer and has a large display book showcasing a lot of his work, which is just extraordinarily grand and very, very much 'us'!

We indulged in the home made pizzas which are made in the woodfire oven right in front of you and washed it all down with a couple of glass of their home grown Shiraz.  I wanted to weep when it was time to absolutely fabulous afternoon.

Kingsbrook Cafe and Cellar Door on Urbanspoon

Kingsbrook is every foodies dream.  We loved it and felt an affinity with their style.
This place took our breath away.  I never did ask what happened to the old hermit?



From there it was off to 'Bon Haye' Vineyard and Olive Grove for even more food!  

 Chris from Bon Haye Vineyards and Olive Grove cooking up some freshly caught Snapper and Calamari!

Nestled amongst gum trees on the Strathalbyn-Goolwa Rd, Bon Haye stock quality Olive Oil.

Bon Haye Olive Oil is available from the store on the property until stocks last...also watch this space as you will soon be able to sample this quality oil at Charcoal Gourmet Provisions.

This time it was freshly caught Snapper and Salt and Pepper Calamari with a selection of local cheeses and fruits all washed down with a local white....bliss?...yes....and if we relaxed into it just a little bit too much that the time got away from us resulting in an almost Thelma and Louise style drive to the airport (Cath didnt get hurt too much when I threw her and the bags out of the car at departures level)....well who cares, because we got there just in the nick of time and the exercise I got whilst running to gate 23 did me the world of good.
All up, it was a great trip, and we are looking forward to announcing all the details of our latest venture...Charcoal Gourmet Provisions with you in the coming weeks!



Being a Design House, as well as other feathers to our cap we always have a good selection of chair samples for our clients to takes the leg work out of having to traipse all over Brisbane trying to find that perfect piece, with the added bonus of advice from the Design Team Colette and Cathie.
This week we have some new arrivals to share with you.  My personal fave is the Freeport Armchair which the girls tell me would work really well as a feature chair at the ends of the dining table, or as an occasional chair on a deck or bedroom.  It's earthy and natural and we really love it.

The 'Coco' Armchair. Manufactured in Australia. Upholstered in sumptuous European fabrics.

The Freeport Armchair...our fave.

The 'Matisse' Sofa Manufactured in Australia and using European Fabrics. Quality, quality, quality!

Rangoon Loom Armchair, classic design with a padding. Beautifully made with a quality the colour too.

Summertown Chair....loving the lines on this one, and with the padding its stylish and functional.

Woven padded seat bar stool....its speaking to me...cocktail by the poolbar!

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image credit to
Lemony Tuna Pasta recipe via Taste

Summer has come early in Brisbane town this week....when my makeup starts leaving its remnants on the mobile phone, thats when I know that things are hotting up and its time to clear out the winter woolies (goodbye for another season my beloved scarves that hide a multitude of neck wrinkles)...and hello to sandals, maxi dresses, shorts and dare I say it...the swimsuit!  
Inspired by the splash of warm weather and plethora of lemons on the market at the moment (we got given a whole box of them!...what to do!?) I found this recipe that includes some of my fave all time ingredients....lemons, tuna, pasta and pine nuts.  Its a really fresh recipe and you can also toss in some baby tomatoes for a bit of colour and flavour too...heap on the parmesan once its all ready to go and cracked pepper and rocket to top it all off. the kids say :-)

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 375g dried thin spaghetti pasta
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 425g can Safcol tuna in springwater, drained, flaked
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • lemon zest, to serve


  1. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, following packet directions, until tender. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, place pine nuts in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until light golden.
  3. Place tuna in a bowl. Add oil, lemon rind, lemon juice, parsley, pine nuts and pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve topped with lemon zest parmesan and a couple of leaves of fresh rocket.


This week, after the Melbourne Cup celebrations...and no..we didnt win anything, but DID have a fun day!...we were a bit 'Cocktailed Out'...which is a true medical condition.  So, have decided to review a really top drop of the grape variety by a small SA winery called Bremerton.  

This picturesque family owned and run winery in SA's Langhorne Creek region is a must see destination for foodies and wine lovers.  The old stone tasting room is filled with not only fine wine product, but also houses a small restaurant and pantry of local produce.

Bremerton Winery - Langhorne Creek, South Australia.

Inside the Cellar Door...lots of wine and yummy local produce...

Daughter Rebecca is the winemaker and to say she has done a stellar job in creating what we feel is a range of some of SA's finest wines is a bit of an understatement.  Next time you are down South, pop in for a look-see and sample.
For now, heres something to whet your whistle.  

The Tamblyn is an affordable, quaffable red that we fell in love with.  The four outstanding grape varieties all grown in Langhorne Creek have been blended to provide a generous and well balanced wine, showing lifted violet and ripe cherry aromas, rich mouth filling cassis fruit, complementing soft well integrated tannins and a flavoursome savoury finish that lingers on. To us, every good wine needs to tell a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end.  If a wine could be poetry, then this is it.

And so ends another week.  Thank you for some great feedback received via email this week.  You know it really does make our day!
Enjoy, relax and unwind this weekend.
To our gorgeous customers who always make us smile...we say thank you for helping to make our week great!
Ciao for now.....The Charcoal Girls...

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