We returned last week from 11 days in Tasmania. Four adults, two toddlers – and big appetites! We spent the time in and around the Hobart region including three nights on Bruny Island in a converted church (where we wished we’d arranged to spend longer – I’m sure this is a repeated tale of most visitors to the island).
Hobart was a lot of fun to stay in and a pretty city with it’s very hilly aspect and gorgeous old houses in South Hobart where we stayed (not far from Elizabeth Street which is the main cafe/restaurant strip).
There was also a great playground right near our house (always an important consideration for the masters of the household – the Toddlers).
We went on various drives and walks and saw sights but as this is a food blog I’ll focus on the foodie stuff. Firstly I would recommend the house we stayed in – it was a spacious four bedroom renovated two story house with very recently renovated bathroom and cooks dream kitchen kitted out with chef level industrial appliances including induction cooktops, high quality sharp knives, a good range of high quality heavy bottomed stainless steel saucepans etc, etc plus an industrial three minute dishwasher! It was such an unexpected pleasure to cook there.
First day back in Hobart after Bruny Island we spent at the Salamanca Markets (as you do). It really is huge although quite a lot of repetitive stalls and a fair range of what might be politely called average goods for sale. However there were some gems, including two great hand made bag places – Adriana was one of them; a cool acrylic jewellery stall; a good bread stall (good bread all over Hobart) and a funky stall selling all things felt.
Not many grocery/produce stalls and the cooked food was a bit thin to choose from and not terribly inspiring although the pork kransky I had was very good – good bread roll, excellent sausage and nicely done sauerkraut. We also had a very good coffee from the coffee stall that operates there (only one that just does coffee I think). There were several funky cafes in Salamanca Place nearby (I was too full to sample their wares) and I stopped off at a European style deli – Wursthaus Kitchen – on the way out of the market to get some spelt bread and found a cornucopia of gourmet produce (I also noticed what looked like a very upmarket, very well stocked gourmet supermarket)
I wasn’t thinking of this blog when we visited the Bruny Island Cheese Company so I don’t have any decent photos to show you but they have a good website that will give you the idea (including a blog by the Cheesemaker Nick Haddow that makes for fascinating reading).
My friend J and I had the afternoon sans children for one of our days on Bruny so we took ourselves off to the Cheese Company and spent a couple of hours tasting cheeses and sitting out under the sails amongst towering gums drinking good coffee and, J tells me, excellent hot chocolate. I bought two cheeses, some woodfired nicely chewy sour dough bread and a horseradish mustard (which was very hot and went down a treat the next day with roast beef, rocket and tomato sourdough sandwiches) by another local food producer stocked at the BICC (can’t remember her name unfortunately) who also does jams, relishes and other condiments.
The two cheeses were a soft cow cheese named 1792 after the date that the French landed in Tasmania (very French in style according to the maker and matured on Huon pine boards – it also comes wrapped on a little pine board) and a soft goats cheese named Gabriel. The Gabriel was my favourite with the 1792 being a little more challenging in it’s strength of flavour. Both very more-ish.
I believe the Cheese Company supplies Say Cheese in the Adelaide Central Market so I’ll be able to buy them at will I hope. For those of you who might not have that access the BICC have a mail order club. According to the website they also do a whole host of food making classes including various cheeses (of course) pizza (they have a woodfired oven ) and butter.
The other foodie attractions include the Bruny Island Smokehouse (smoked fish and smallgoods which I believe also makes pizza with their smoked goods, although only open on weekends); Get Shucked Oyster Farm; and Bruny Island Premium Wines with cellar door tastings and sales. Unfortunately for us we didn’t get to any of these as we also wanted to bird watch, bushwalk and laze around reading and looking at the view from our front porch.
Bruny Island was a real treat for all of us. As well as the foodie draw cards it has abundant wildlife and birdwatching (bird watching is what our friend G lives and breathes and he had a ball on Bruny), beautiful expansive swimming beaches, great bushwalking and gorgeous views everywhere you look. There is even a 3 hour eco boat tour to see the wildlife that is apparently unmissable (although we missed it – definitely needed more time). There are also what look like a great range of beautiful, upmarket designer or renovated accommodation options (as well as the less expensive).
So now that I’ve finished this post I realise it sounds like a tourist brochure for Hobart/Bruny – so where the bloody hell are ya? Seriously if you’ve never been it’s a great holiday.