the red feather inn and evandale

27 Nov 2013

My last night in Tasmania was spent at the Red Feather Inn in Hadspen, not far from Launceston.

I did get lost trying to find the Red Feather Inn but then I spent most of my week in Tasmania hopelessly lost. The Red Feather Inn however is worth discovering. The Inn is set amongst beautiful gardens and as a wedding photographer, it would be the perfect location for a wedding.

Lydia, the owner, served tea under the wisteria.

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The lovely interiors.

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The Red Feather Inn runs a cooking school and I would have loved to attend a class if I'd had the time. Instead it was back into the car for a drive over to Evandale

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Evandale is home to some beautiful buildings. The Uniting Church is one of my favourites.

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So of course, I took loads of photos of it.

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Both in colour

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and black and white.

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The stately Blenheim.

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Another St. Andrew's Church, this time the Anglican church.

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I visited Evandale twice, the second time in brilliant sunshine.

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Then it was back into the car for the drive to Clarendon House.

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Clarendon House looked much the same as my last visit over 20 years ago.

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With a little bit of time left before my flight home I visited Josef Chromy Wines. There was no time for wine tasting but sufficient time to take a few photos.  

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It was a glorious day.

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The modern restaurant, another great location for a wedding, looking out over the vineyard.

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My last black and white images.

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So there you have it, my week in Tasmania. I hope you enjoyed my travels.

See you all again next week,


dutch apple tart 2013

25 Nov 2013

I've been planning to remake this Dutch apple tart for some time. I went over to my friend's place for dinner last weekend and as it's my custom to bring dessert, I dusted off my cute little spring form tin and set to work. I had to scale back the recipe a little to fit the tin and made a few changes to the original recipe which I thought would improve the finished product.

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I've bought a few new styling props the past month or so. Can you spot my new finds?

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I almost had a disaster on my way to dinner. I had to take evasive action to avoid a collision resulting in a slightly squashed tart. We managed to find a piece that was undamaged for me to photograph and the rest was eaten.

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The tart does take some time to put together. I made the pastry on Saturday night and put the tart together early on Sunday morning so the tart had time to cool before our trip across the Harbour Bridge.

Here's the recipe for you which I adapted from

Dutch Apple Tart (makes one 23 cm/9 inch tart)

1 cup plain flour and 1 cup self raising flour, sifted together
180 g (6½ oz) unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg, beaten
Few tablespoons milk
Extra sugar

8 large green apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
50 g sultanas (golden raisins)
⅓ - ½ cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon (or more to taste)
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
One 20 ml tablespoon lemon juice (or more to taste)
Three 20 ml tablespoons custard powder

In a food processor combine the flours and the sugars.
Add the butter and process until the mixture forms breadcrumbs
Add 3/4 of the egg to the flour mixture and reserve the rest. 

Add the vanilla extract and a few tablespoons of milk if needed and process until a soft dough forms around the blades. 

Remove the dough from the processor, knead lightly to form a ball, flatten it out slightly before wrapping the dough in plastic and placing in the fridge for 1 hour.

In a large bowl, combine the apples, the sultanas, the sugar, the spices, the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the custard powder. If the apples are very tart, you may need to add a little more sugar. Mix well and allow the flavors to blend, stirring occasionally. Set to one side while lining the tin.

Butter a 9-inch round spring form cake pan and line the base with baking paper. Roll out ¾ of the pastry and line the base and sides of the tin with the pastry.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of the custard powder over the pastry base. Gently spoon in half the apple filling, leaving the juices behind. Sprinkle the remaining custard powder over the apples before adding the rest of the filling.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining dough. Cut the dough into 1 cm strips and layer them over the apple pie to form a lattice. Brush the remaining egg over the lattice then sprinkle the top of the tart with a little extra sugar.

Bake the tart at 180°C / 350°F on the middle shelf, for about 1 hour 15 minutes. I covered the top of the tart after 30 minutes to prevent it over browning. The apples were still a little uncooked so I left the tart in the switched off oven for a further 30 minutes.

Allow the tart to cool completely before unmoulding from the tin. Serve with cream or ice cream or both. I had a small piece of the apple tart last night and it was scrumptious.

If you have any leftover dough, you can roll the dough out, cut into strips and brush the cookies with any leftover egg, then sprinkle with sugar and bake the cookies for about 10 minutes while the tart is in the oven. When they came out of the oven, they tasted just like the biscuits my Grandmother used to make.

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I'll be back again later this week with my last travel post from Tasmania.

See you all again soon,


the heritage highway - tasmania

20 Nov 2013

When I last wrote, I was in Hobart but about to make my way north to Launceston. I travelled back to Launceston along the Heritage Highway. First stop was Oatlands, home to many beautiful Georgian buildings. 

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Oatlands is also home to the Callington Mill, a working mill. Unfortunately I didn't have time to take a tour of the mill but I took plenty of photos instead.

The Mill was restored in 2010 and it's a thing of beauty.

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I'm sure I've been to Oatlands before but I didn't remember it being this charming.

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I came home with a memento of my visit but I still haven't decided what to make with my bag of flour from Oatlands.

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Back in the car for the short drive along the highway to the village of Ross, home to this beautiful bridge.

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It was a lovely day, the first time the sun shone all day during my trip.

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Ross has lots of sweet buildings along it's main street.

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Like the old Holden Garage and the Ross Post Office.

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Isn't this house painted the prettiest shade of green?

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From Ross I drove to Hadspen, for my last night in Tasmania. I'll bring you photos from Hadspen and Evandale in my final Tasmanian post some time next week but before then I have a little bit of baking to share with you.

See you all again soon,



18 Nov 2013

I have to say, the weather wasn't kind to me in Tasmania though the sun came out the last day or two of my stay, just to taunt me. In Hobart the weather was fickle to say the least. Bright sunshine one minute followed by a rain shower. The wind was pretty blustery as well and felt like it might have been coming straight from Antarctica!

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I'd brought my film camera along with me and decided it was time to shoot some black and white film. 

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I parked the car in Battery Point and from Battery Point it's a short walk to Salamanca Place, the jewel in Hobart's crown. 

I dropped into The Maker to see what was on display and noticed quite a crowd outside A Common Ground. On Saturday Salamanca Place is host to the Salamanca Markets.

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I arrived pretty early just as the markets were setting up. Aren't these waratahs gorgeous?

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As well as the usual suspects, there was some beautiful fresh produce on display.

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I wanted to take handfuls of those baby leeks home with me.

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If you keep walking you'll find yourself at St. David's Garden.

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I'm always struck by the beauty of the grave stones embedded in the wall.

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Do you remember me mentioning Lucaston Park Orchard?

Well this gentleman is from Lucaston Park and he was selling farm fresh apples and pears that day. What a face of character.

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All that photography made me hungry so I left the markets with something to tide me over before making the drive up to Launceston. The cherry danish was a tasty as it looked.

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I had one more place to visit before the drive north, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.

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I live in an apartment so whenever I get the chance, I love to walk through a beautifully planned garden.

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The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are such lovely peaceful gardens.

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A lovely water feature.

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Some black and white images for you.

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The conservatory was filled with orchids the day I visited.

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Fields of green.

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A burst of colour for you.

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If you're in need a food fix, here's my latest Delicious Bites column for decor8, a spiced pumpkin layer cake with maple cream cheese icing right in time for Thanksgiving.

I still have loads of images to share with you from my trip. Next time I'll take you along the Heritage Highway to Hadspen, my last stop in Tasmania.

See you all again,

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