Emilia Romagna Wine Lunch at Petersham Nurseries


One of the most charming places around London to enjoy a relaxed weekend lunch is in my opinion Petersham Nurseries in Richmond. The award-winning restaurant was opened in a local garden by the Boglione family in 2004 and in 2011 was awarded its first Michelin star under the direction of Chef Skye Gyngell. The restaurant is surrounded by a garden centre, the nurseries, which exists since the 1970’s and was completely restored by Gael & Francesco Boglione to become the beautiful place it is today.

Damian Clisby is now the Head Chef at Petersham Nurseries Cafe and he works alongside the Culinary Director Lucy Boyd to “create an evolving menu inspired by what is growing in the garden, the changing seasons, and our connection to the environment”.

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Petersham Nurseries regularly organise events such as cooking and gardening classes, food walks, fundraisings and wine lunches. In December I had the…

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A beauty in Siena

Imagine walking up a steep cobblestone pathway, surrounded by crumbling ancient brick walls. The walls, the arches and the houses are exactly how you have imagined them to be – centuries ago. It’s a sunny day and the sky is powder blue. A whiff of something enchanting rolls your way as you slowly make the climb up. ‘Pici Aglione’ you are informed with a cheerful grin as you ask out loud what is the source of such warm, wonderful deliciousness.

This is the heart of Tuscany and you are indeed in one of the finest places on earth. Siena, once a bitter rival of its foster cousin Florence, is renowned the world over for its annual Palio festival. But come forth a bit closer and walk its ancient alleys and you will find your heart slipping away.

Time is not of essence whilst you are in this city. Spend hours…

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Oak Ridge Zinfandel Throw Down

Boozy Lifestyle©


We’ve recently been enjoying wines from Oak Ridge Winery in Lodi, California. For our throw down we’ll pit a 2012 Oak Ridge Old Vine Zinfandel at a cost of about $14 against their 2011 Reserve Zinfandel which costs $24. Our goal is to see if we can taste a $10 difference.

The $14 Zinfandel exhibits a deep purple color in the glass. By comparison, the Reserve Zin appears brick red providing the first clue that the Reserve is oaked. Both Zins have a bold aroma of dark fruits on the nose however, the Reserve has added layers of vanilla and spice. At first tasting, the $14 Zin holds its own with luscious blackberry and currants, but after several sips, the Reserve begins to pull ahead with a richer mouth-feel, fruit intensity, spice and layers of complexity. After several sips of the Reserve, the $14 Zin tastes thinner and more acidic…

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Back to the Basics: Merlot

Just what I needed. Thank you! …

Wine N Cheese blog

Merlot is a dark-blue/ black grape. The name comes from the French word merle which means blackbird. Merlot is the grape most widely planted in the Bordeaux wine region. There are two main merlot styles. One is the “international style” which involves late harvesting that creates a purple colored wine (similar to ink) that tastes similar to plums and blackberries and has a high alcohol percentage. Then there is the traditional “Bordeaux style” which is when the merlot is harvested earlier which maintains the acidity and produces a more moderate bodied wine and alchohol percentage. Bordeaux style has a more red fruit taste (strawberries and raspberries).


Most of what I post is other people’s information, I simply research and add my own opinion. For this particular post I used information from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

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I do not see the snow….

I do not see the snow out there,
I do not want any more cold air,
Can I stay inside all day,
I do not want to go n play,

Can I stay inside n cozy,
I do not want my cheeks all rosy,
Cold air,
Crazy hair,
It’s not fair,
Do I have to go out there?

I do not see the snow,
The wind will blow,
I cannot go
Without a cup O Joe.

Where are my boots?
And big snow suit?
Where is my hat?
Boy I wish I was a cat!

I must go!
My girl awaits,
Driving through the snow,
But I should have worn skates!

We will need cocoa,
And warm fuzzy blankies,
Please don’t make me go,
I do not know,
Why I live where there’s snow…

~Lucy Davis, Paint n Party, Helena, Montana

Garfish (Manly)


Making the trek to Manly must be one of the most beautiful experiences of living in Sydney. On this warm summer’s day I make the voyage across to Manly for a lovely lunch.



Garfish in Manly is one of Sydney’s premier seafood restaurants with a chilled atmosphere and a view to match! Its exciting…I am here to have a celebration lunch with a couple of dear friends who got engaged last year!


We discuss the menu and go through what piques our interest and pretty soon we have settled on what we want to order. The only thing more exciting than choosing the food is deciding on the right wine!

Wine – Erin Eyes Riesling (2014), Clare Valley

We discuss the wine pairing and menu and decide on the Riesling on the basis that it would be suitable for the seafood. One of my friends has ordered the steak, however…

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Please Stay

My Slog a.k.a. Jacked Up On Wine

After 27 years of being told the ultimate lie – ‘I love you’ – please forgive me if I no longer hold those three words in high regard.

Of course I love my children and I tell them I love you as often as I can, but that’s a sacred bond between parent and child, where the love is pure.

As for hearing it from someone I don’t share DNA with? Not so much. Will I ever trust those words from a man again? I won’t know until it happens.

Besides, there are far better ways to tell someone they are important to you. The one that sits on top of my list is ‘please stay.’

Please stay trumps I love you in so many ways.

When you sincerely ask someone to please stay, you are making a choice, not tossing meaningless words out of your mouth.

Please stay implies…

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Are You A Cheap Date? Part 1 of 2

I could do this… First I’ll need to find “him” 😉

Orange Blossoms and Dogwood

Are You a Cheap Date? Frugal Date Ideas Part 1

We all need time to unwind with our spouse or significant others- even if you are on the tightest budget. It just replenishes our relationships and takes us back to when we first met.
Life is busy; take some time to get away with the one you love.
If you have kids a date night can automatically get expensive because of babysitting. If you don’t have a family member near by who is willing to watch them for a few hours I would recommend getting together with a friend that has kids and scheduling a monthly babysitting trade- this way you get some time away for free.

Get Coffee or Tea- Go to a coffeehouse and grab a coffee and a goodie. If you don’t get the huge drink option this date can run you under $10 and a good…

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Startup of the month: Saszali Chocolates

I’ll need to find someone to help me set this up… I have some fab truffle recipes which need to be made again… Delicious event!


A couple of months ago I had the privilege of attending what can only be described as pure glory: A chocolate and wine pairing. For an Italian, chocolate addict like myself, this was the greatest gift and all the thanks goes to Saszali Chocolates. Started by a fine woman, Anya Lourens, and now run by a sister team, Sarah and Jane Jager, the idea behind Saszali was to create and sell beautifully handcrafted and exquisitely flavoured chocolate truffles. This artisanal venture has got many mouths in Cape Town watering for the taste of a Saszali truffle. Jane, the pastry chef, creates the truffles with their variety of unique flavours, whilst Sarah makes sure that every truffle is packaged and presented in a beautiful way. Biting into one of these truffles of chocolate goodness is an incredible experience. The flavours, all created with fresh ingredients, range from salted caramel, to citrus…

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