Adelaide Day 3 – Handorf and the Hills

Thinking about bubbles Reidel vampire bat glasses

This will be a short one. Day three in Adelaide was spent trekking up to the hills to check out the venue for the weekends wedding. The wedding and the reception both being held at Mount Lofty House, and everyone we met all said “Ohhh, Mt Lofty… it’s lovely up there”. They were right, it was.

So after doing a prerequisite tourist stop at the lookout nearby, we made our way through the hills to the small town (?) of Bridgewater, home to the famous Bridgewater Mill restaurant and Petaluma wines.
We didn’t have time to stop for lunch, which did look appealing despite the price. But a sampling of the wines was definitely on the cards. I particularly liked the Reisling and the Croser Sparkling White, and the Bridgewater Mill Shiraz was a very decent drop too. So a couple of bottles later and some shabby photos from the window of the car because it was raining and I didn’t want to get wet, and we were back on the road.

Now getting close to lunchtime, what better place to get your fill than at a pub in a German tourist town ! I’m still trying to make my mind up about Hahndorf. It has a certain shabby charm that is quite interesting, and the town is clearly clinging to it’s German settler ancestors roots as hard as it possible can. But there was a certain lack of sincerity about it, and a far too blatant feeling that it was all a big joke on tourists for me to feel entirely comfortable.

Certainly if I’d known the pub we went into for lunch had a spruiker out the front (who we had somehow avoided) we probably wouldn’t have stopped there at all. But still, the food was ok, if not cloying after three mouthfuls, and it was nice to sit down and chat to some apparent German enthusiasts who had driven four hours from Mt Gambier to get a bratwurst hotdog. But then who knows, maybe they were onto something. Perhaps bratwurst is the perfect fodder for a travelling wine taster to stock up on precious fat stores to absorb the alcohol. Or perhaps not.

Trio of Wurst

The final stop of this day was Nepenthe. A winery I’ve really enjoyed in the past, and maker of one of Australia’s best Sauvingnon Blancs. Not that I really like Sauvingnon Blanc that much, but I’m always willing to pretend I do if it makes me seem more in vogue :) I did quite like their Fugue, which is a Bordeaux style cabernet blend, and the Charleston Pinot Noir went a long way to convincing me I should try to get back into Pinot, after a prolonged spell of not trying any that I’ve liked.

NePenThe

Happy to have conquered another South Australian wine region (albeit briefly), we headed back into the city and did a little wander down the east end of Rundle St. Stopping by chance (or perhaps because of my preoccupation with lane ways), at East End Cellars, to be greeted by the affable Michael Andrewartha, who sold me a bottle of aged Henschke Gew├╝rztraminer (1999), and gave me a few tips on where to check out in the Barossa.

Which is where we’re heading to next :) (oh the suspense!)

Alt Heidelberg

Alt Heidelberg is on Beaufort St in North Perth, basically diagonally across from the Brisbane Hotel on the corner of Beaufort and Brisbane Streets.

It’s (suprisingly enough) a German restaurant, and apparently has quite a bit of history to it. The owners are a German husband and wife couple who moved to Perth quite a while ago and started it as a way of furthering their love of cooking, and filling the void of quality German restuarants in our fair city…

This is another place that i’ve driven past hundreds of times, and finally curiosity got the better of me. So one night after a work social function Sharon and I decided to stop in here for a late dinner. The place looks like a German pub (or what i imagine one might look like after reading Asterix & Obelix go to Germany)…with low ceilings, nice wrought iron lamps and light fittings and candles on all the tables.

The waitress was a friendly German girl who looked at me weird when i asked for “the most German thing” on the menu… But then suggested the ham shank on mashed potato for me and a beef olived sausage type thing with cabbage for Sharon. Must say the Germans love their meat… well at least pork anyway. When my meal arrived it looked essentially like half a pig slow cooked and then fried to make the skin crispy… served on a bed of mash potato… There was no pretense of other vegetables… and i was too hungry (and partially drunk) at that stage, so didn’t bother ordering any. Sharons meal looked like about 15 types of meat wrapped in other meat…and stuffed with meat… It was tasty for about three mouthfull’s, but then meat fatigue set in, and it was all over. Let’s just say that meat got the better of me that night… i never thought it would happen, nor that i would admit it… but sometimes there’s just too much meat on the plate. Perhaps if i hadn’t had to chew through a substantial amount of grisel to get to the meat it would have been a more rewarding experience, but i didn’t really have it in me… so i chalked it all down to experience and bid the owner adieu (or its equivant in German).

In it’s defence, this is a really nice quaint little restaurant. It obviously has a following or it wouldn’t have been around for as long as it has, and while we there it was full of a big mixture of people. The table next to us looked like a group of backpackers from an array of different countries… which gave way to one of my favourite people watching passtimes of seeing people who don’t speak English natively try and communicate in English with other people who don’t English natively either… comedy gold… but then love finds a way in the end.

Alt Heidelberg
283 Beaufort Street
Perth
Phone: (08) 9227 0988