Archive for September, 2010

Lavendale Farm

Here are some pictures taken during our stay at Lavendale Farm, 10 minutes from York and about 1.5hrs from Perth, Australia. We had a really wonderful stay here. It was a pity we only managed to stay for 1 day. The Red Room we had was spacious and furnished nicely. They also have an electric blanket, which is something I always look forward to especially when my toes are half frozen. Unfortunately, as usual, I only ever remember to take a photo of the rooms only after we have messed them up. Go to the Lavendale Farm website for more pictures and information.

Lavendale - House Picture of the main house. We booked the only guestroom in the main house. They also have standalone cottages for hire. See where the chairs are? We almost sat there for breakfast but it was just so windy that day it was almost impossible to keep the table cloth down. Would have been lovely to take in the views of the farm while dining.

Lavendale Farmland (4)

Took a morning stroll around the property to work up an appetite before breakfast.

Lavendale - Breakfast (2)

Lavendale - Breakfast (3)

Cooked breakfast provided! Yum yum yum. Can’t beat fresh eggs for breakfast!

Lavendale - Breakfast (4)

We did manage to sit at a table on the side of the house where the winds weren’t so strong. Coffee was very nice too!

Lavendale - Breakfast

The kitty cat decided to drop by for breakfast too. She doesn’t like bacon.

Lavendale - Pigs

There’s Merv giving the pet piggies their favourite tummy rubs

Lavendale Farmland

The alpacas frolicking around in the sun. I really like alpacas, they look so intelligent! They are inquisitive and can get jealous if you ignore them! I’ll post more alpaca pictures when I get all my pictures sorted.

Lavendale Farmland (2) Lavendale Farmland (3) 

Katherine Jane and Merv Taylor, Lavendale Farm
5895 Great Southern Highway, Gilgering via York, WA
Postal: PO Box 758, York WA 6302

Phone: 08 9641 4131
Mobile: 0422 168 848

From outside Australia
Phone: +618 9641 4131
Mobile: +61 422 168 848


Back in Sunny Singapore

I am back in Singapore! I think I need another holiday to recover from my holiday to Western Australia! I am feeling so exhausted currently, as if I had just disembarked from a 24hr flight, when it was only 5 hours. I hope it’s not because I am falling ill.

This holiday has been, for the most part, fun and enjoyable.

For the 1st time in my life, I played golf in a temperate climate. It was a totally exhilarating experience with the cold crisp air in my face, even if I did lose a few balls in the bushes and even if a few of my fingers felt frozen towards the end. I could have gone on longer if not for the fact that the sun was setting. This is so unlike playing golf in Singapore where I just want to whack the balls as fast as possible and get back into the shade. I managed to enjoy some beautiful views, such as the one on Prevelly Beach. Even the views and the sound of the gusty winds from Secret Harbour Golf Course was nice.  I especially loved the farm stay, where I had free access to all the pet farm animals, with nobody else there to rush and block my way. I hugged a sheep, I waved madly at the alpacas and I hand-fed the ostrich (whose mouth-eye coordination could really be improved upon). The farmer said that ostriches have no teeth and the bills are like ducks, except they are rougher than sand paper!@# Did you know that Alpacas always look at you when you’re taking their photos? If they don’t, then attract their attention and they’ll definitely pose.

We stayed 2 days in Perth City, followed by 5 days of driving in the South-West region of Western Australia. While we were at Perth City, we covered the City Centre, Subiaco, Fremantle, Harbour Town, North Bridge and King’s Park. Perth City has changed somewhat since my last visit 10 years ago. For one, Aherns mall is no longer there, now it’s David Jones. (OK I just googled and apparently Aherns was acquired by David Jones in Feb 2000, so that means when I was there in June 2000, they hadn’t changed the signs yet! I remember asking a staff member how to pronounce Aherns!) The city centre seems more vibrant, more people milling around, more cafes and more shops. But one thing has not changed in the last 10 years, and that is the fact that the stores slam shut at 5pm!!!!! Even the supermarkets close at 5pm (or 6.30pm if you’re lucky). Don’t the Australians need groceries? Or do they skive on the job and shop during working hours?

Once out of Perth, we drove down all the way to Margaret River, stopping along the way at Mandurah, Bunbury and Busselton before finally reaching Margaret River. At Margaret River, we signed up for a winery tour that brought us to 4 vineyards as well as a chocolate factory and cheese factory. The Partner had a wild time tasting all the wines and also drinking those that I hadn’t finished. I had a wild time at the chocolate factory. After Margaret River, we made a mad dash back up to the historic town of York (1st inland town apparently), where almost the entire town comprises of buildings built in the late 1800s. I have to admit it really did feel like I’d stepped back in time, if not for the modern cars reminding us that we have not. From York we moved to Toodyay (pronounced 2 Jays), Swan Valley and finally spending our last night in WA at Burswood Casino.

In terms of accommodations, I think I’ve covered the gamut:- Hotel, Service Apartment, Golf resort B&B, cheap-ass cabin, farm-stay. I think one thing’s for sure, I’ll probably never choose to stay in cheap-ass cabins anymore. They are decent, no-frills cabins, but they do provide cooking facilities which is something I like. It’s no fun to delight in buying local produce if you aren’t able to cook it. But, if we had just paid like $30/night more, we would have been able to get a room at a nice B&B.

The Partner and I love staying at B&Bs. Each one is unique with its own character. One of the best ones I stayed at was in the Blue Mountains Sydney. The living room had a roaring wood fire going on each night and it was such a wonderful experience to sit there in the evenings playing checkers or just drinking tea. And it’s cheaper than staying in nondescript hotels! The old couple manning the Secret Harbour Golfer’s Lodge B&B that we stayed at were friendly and funny. They are so anxious for people to enjoy their stay there that they have pasted a sign in the kitchen warning people not to clean up! And I tell you, the room we had looks even better than a hotel room! Nice accommodations help add to the collective holiday experience, and after having tried it all, I know what I’ll do the next holiday.

The not so fun parts of the holiday was the driving. I am officially sick of long drives! If I have to endure long drives, I want dramatic scenery along the way (all the way) like in NZ. We’ve agreed that if we ever go back to Western Australia, we’ll book a 1 week stay at  Secret Harbour Golfer’s Lodge and just play golf there everyday. The farmland scenery was also not as nice as those in NZ and UK. Unfortunately WA has been experiencing some sort of a drought. It is supposed to rain a lot during winter, but it hasn’t, and the grass looks pretty dry when it’s not even high summer. The farms have had to harvest the hay already because the grass is dying. This is spring time for god’s sake!

Ok enough of country laid-back living. Next holiday for me will definitely have to be USA (California) or UK/Europe! Gimme some city buzz, dramatic scenery, architecture and 24hr supermarkets!

Margaret River – Prevelly Beach

Prevelly Beach Sunset

The best things in life can be enjoyed free. After our tour of Margaret River ended, we decided to make full use of the remaining 1 hour of daylight by going to Prevelly beach. Prevelly beach was practically deserted at that hour. The views of the ocean from Prevelly is breath taking, but we didn’t realise we would get an added bonus of being able to watch the sunset. Incredible.

Greetings from Perth!

Perth Train Station

Good day mate!

Homemade Bruchetta

Homemade Bruschetta


Homemade Bruschetta (2) 

The Partner is a good cook! We recently procured some good extra virgin olive oil, so he decided to make some bruschetta for lunch. The toppings are diced tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic. He also made some without the garlic. The difference is amazing. The bruschetta tasted so much more alive with just a few extra bits of garlic! Also a very nice way to go meatless for a meal.

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