Canberra Cafe: Fox and Bow, Farrer

IMG_9392

I’ve been looking forward to this edition of our Canberra cafe series for a while now. Fox and Bow is one of my favourite cafes in Canberra and I’ve been hanging out to tell you all about it.

There is something about this little cafe in Farrer that just feels right. The atmosphere is cosy, the staff are friendly and the good vibes, always free-flowing. They have a killer menu too, with cheeky names for all their dishes.

When Bec, Matt and I ventured out there last weekend, we grabbed a table inside and got some coffees and the last strawberry cronut to start. For those not in the know, cronuts are a magic combo of croissant and doughnut, which taste as good as they sound and are a great way to warm up the tastebuds before a big feast.

It was lunch time and I ordered the “Old Mate”, a delicious ricotta gnocchi with braised lamb, peas, mushrooms, gravy and parmesan. Being Italian, it shouldn’t surprise you that gnocchi is one of my all time favourite meals and, while my nonna’s recipe will always reign supreme, I did enjoy Fox & Bow’s take on the dish. It was definitely a great meal for a cold winter’s day and, as a long time gnocchi enthusiast, I would highly recommend it.

Bec had breakfast for lunch, ordering the “Hot Toasty Nuts”, a warm chia and chai spiced porridge topped with coconut, banana, strawberries and nuts. Matt went for the “Roadrunner”, a down-to-earth chicken burger with spicy jalapeños, Swiss cheese, slaw and guacamole. It was an all-round delicious meal for everyone involved.

We also got a few of their fancy drinks to wash it all down. I tried one of the new shakes, cheekily named “The Kimye”. It’s a delicious mix of white chocolate, caramel fudge and enough glitter sprinkles to give Kimmy K a run for her money. With flavours as punchy as Kanye’s lyrics and the visual aesthetic of Kimmy’s bottom, this is a shake that lives up to it’s name.

As for the others, they went for the healthy option and got a juice each. Matt got “The Buzz Lightyear”, a green juice that, thanks to a little tabasco, will well and truly take you to infinity and beyond. While Bec had the “El Macho”, a delicious but unusual pineapple juice with coconut and nopal cactus – it definitely seemed to make her a very happy señorita.

If you’re feeling foxy and a little peckish, then get amongst it at Fox and Bow. Located at the Farrer shops, they can also be found on facebook and instagram.

– Steven

IMG_9400

IMG_9391

IMG_9390

IMG_9394

IMG_9397

IMG_9396

IMG_9395

IMG_9401

IMG_9399

IMG_9398

Note: Fox and Bow were very generous and gave us the coffees, cronut and one of the meals on the house. As always, all opinions are my own.

Buy Local: Capital Region Farmers Market

IMG_9348

For me, weekend mornings are usually best enjoyed from the comfort of my cozy bed, probably drinking coffee and catching up on my favourite magazines.

While these cozy little moments have become even more important during the winter months, I’ve also been meaning to get out to one of the farmers markets for a while now and this weekend threw up the perfect opportunity.

Some of you will already know that I write a weekly food column for Canberra website, The RiotACT. My latest article took me out to the Capital Region Farmers Market at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC), all in the name of research.

Being up unusually early for a Saturday morning Matt and I hadn’t eaten yet, so we went straight for a couple of pastries from the Bread Nerds stall and some warm milky goodness from Real Chai.

We then spent the rest of the morning wandering the market stalls taste testing as much as we could. We bought some delicious local goodies home with us – marinated olives, winter strawberries, chai tea and a variety of fresh veg. My favourite buy of the day however, was a gorgeous bunch of kale flowers.

If you’re into buying local, it doesn’t get much better than a farmers market. In Canberra the Capital Region Farmers Market definitely delivers the goods and is certainly worth giving up a cozy Saturday morning in bed.

The Capital Region Farmers Market are open every Saturday from 7.30 to 11.30am at EPIC (on the corner of Flemington Road and Northbourne Avenue). You can also find them on facebook, twitter and instagram.

– Bec x

IMG_9353

IMG_9349

IMG_9355

IMG_9352

IMG_9350

IMG_9354

IMG_9357

IMG_9356

IMG_9351

IMG_9359

Head & Heart: June 2015

June 2015

Last week, as the month of June was coming to a close, life threw me a little reminder about gratitude.

It all started a few weeks ago when I spoke to a group of young people from out of town about leadership. It was a spur of the moment thing, we were hosting them at my work and one of the speakers they had organised was a no-show. Just like that, my boss threw me in the deep end and told me to go be a role model.

A few weeks went by and on Monday morning I arrived to a gorgeous little email from one of the young women I’d spoken to. It was short, just a few lines to say thank you for some of the things I had said, but it was a pretty flippin’ good start to my week. It was also a nice little reminder of how powerful a simple “thank you” can be.

So, to cut a long story short, I’ve decided that I need more gratitude in my life and will be joining in this little monthly blogging ritual called Head & Heart.

First seen courtesy of the lovely Kate of Netherleigh, but originally created by Helen of Lime Tree Bower, Head & Heart is “a monthly capture of my feelings and doings, in the raw.” You can join in too, if you want. 

Grateful… for quiet moments at home and the winter sun. There is nothing better than when the beautiful, but eerie, morning fog lifts and the sun comes out to play.

Thinking… how is it June already? I’m hoping that taking the time to reflect each month will help slow down time. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Excited… for the big move. Soon Matt and I will have a little one bedroom apartment all to ourselves.

Doing… breakfast dates before work. Sometimes even on my own.

Learning… how to drive manual. Matt is so patient with me, maybe this month I’ll even learn how to go backwards. I mean, reverse.

Reading… back over the list of 25 things I wanted to do before I turned 25 and realising that I better get my shit together.

Watching… the final episode of the Sopranos. It took us a good 9 months to get through the whole series, but we made it and, boy, was it worth it.

Spending… all of my money on furniture and white goods, in anticipation of *fingers crossed* finally moving into the apartment I bought off the plan all the way back at the end of 2013.

Below are a few of my favourite moments from the month of June.

– Bec x

PS. What are you grateful for this month?

June 2015

June 2015

IMG_9227

June 2015

IMG_9239

IMG_9038

Canberra Cafe: Pâtissez, Manuka

For our latest Canberra cafe review, Steven and I followed the instagram crowds straight to the new patisserie cafe in Manuka – Pâtissez.

Actually, that’s not entirely true – our mum is friends with Ismael and Astrid Toorawa, the genius duo behind the creative pastries you’ll find at Pâtissez, and we’ve been well acquainted with their pastry skills for a while now. Our last few birthday cakes have been rockin’ thanks to these two – just think giant salted caramel ice cream cake and you can imagine how keen we were to try Pâtissez.

If you’re a My Kitchen Rules fan then you might also recognise Gina and Anna Petridis, the mother-daughter team from the latest series. Ismael and Astrid have teamed up with the Petridis family for this latest venture and it seems to be a match made in pastry heaven.

It was early on Saturday afternoon when we got there and the place was packed. Matt, Steven and I were lucky to nab one of the few tables inside when we did. The food menu was tempting, but we decided to skip the savoury and go for sweet on sweet.

It was a good decision – the pastries were damn good. We shared the caramelised white chocolate and peanut butter eclair and this unusual orange dome pastry thing – it was some kind of hazelnut mousse with mandarin gel in the centre. We devoured them both in minutes.

We also ordered a couple of their OTT shakes that are all over my instagram feed at the moment. I got the Nutty Pât, a warm salted caramel shake with pecan and vanilla bean whipped cream, while the boys ordered the Muddy Pât, a warm fudgy hot chocolate with fudge brownie, chocolate fudge, whipped cream and toasted house made marshmallow. They were as rich as they sound and being served warm they were pretty unusual. I think next time we might go for one of the cold shakes instead. Maybe then they won’t defeat us.

You can find Pâtissez at Shop 2/21 on the Lawns in Manuka, as well as on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

IMG_8968

Roadtrip Detour: Dojo Bread, Braidwood

IMG_8848

Sometimes you come across little hidden gems that you really hope no one else will find out about. There is something so comforting, albeit incredibly selfish, in being one of the only people with the knowledge of something great.

Dojo Bread in Braidwood is one of those places that I hoped would stay hidden and secret forever. But sometime last year when I stopped in on my way to the South Coast, the line was out the door and half way down the lane and I knew the secret was out. Maybe the secret had been out for a long time and I was just holding on in hope that I would never have to wait in line.

The first I knew of Dojo Bread was when Steven randomly won a bread making class a few years back and made his way down to Braidwood to give it a go. He might not have used any of the sourdough skills he claims to have learnt that day, but he did come back with some pretty valuable knowledge – that this little bakery tucked away in Braidwood existed.

It quickly became my favourite place to stop on every roadtrip from Canberra to the South Coast. I am always disappointed if I miss their 1pm closing time and sometimes their opening hours will even dictate what time I want to leave. In my opinion, it is definitely worth leaving an hour early if it means the possibility of a pastry and coffee pitstop at Dojo.

Hidden down one of the little laneways off Braidwood’s main street, Dojo’s tiny shopfront is located in a beautiful old building with a gorgeous little garden out the front. They make delicious bread that is often still warm when you buy it, great pastries and decent coffee. You can grab everything to go or take a little break and enjoy all the goodies while sitting at one of their cozy garden tables.

Next time you’re passing through Braidwood (and it’s before 1pm), Dojo Bread is a must. Open from 9am-1pm everyday, you can find them at Rear Lane, 91 Wallace Street in Braidwood. If you’re into baking delicious things yourself, they also run bread making classes every few months.

Does anyone else have a favourite roadtrip detour?

– Bec x

IMG_8846

IMG_8847

From Coast to Country: Mollymook & Milton

IMG_8565
The Mollymook-Milton area of the NSW South Coast is one of my faves for a few reasons —the beaches, the food, the shopping — and I particularly love how quickly you can go from coast to country.

This is exactly what Mum and I did a few weeks back. My last blog was all about our decadent lunch at Cupitt’s Winery, but that was only one part of our incredibly indulgent weekend.

We took the Friday off work and had a lazy morning packing and drinking coffee before the two and a half hour drive to Mollymook.

From coast… 

Mollymook is a gorgeous little coastal town just north of Ulladulla with beautiful beaches and chill vibes. Friday night we stayed at Bannisters, a boutique hotel located on the cliff of Bannisters Point at Mollymook.

It’s well-known for being home to the restaurant of famous English chef, Rick Stein. That night, we splurged and treated ourselves to a special dinner. We both even made the rare exception to eat seafood for the occasion (Mum and I are usually vegetarians). I can definitely recommend the fish pie – it’s super rich and creamy, but oh so good.

All the rooms at Bannisters have amazing ocean views and it was absolute bliss to wake up to the sun streaming in through the windows in the morning. They serve up a killer breakfast buffet too.

IMG_8542

IMG_8535

IMG_8537

To country…

Milton is literally a five minute drive north of Mollymook along the Princes Highway, but with it’s cute country town main street and green fields brimming with frolicking cows, you would never know it.

It’s definitely one of my favourite little towns on the NSW South Coast. Mum and I spent Saturday browsing the little boutique shops, drinking coffee and eating Pilgrims burgers.

That night we stayed at Narrawilly Cottages in the cutest little cottage on a dairy farm just out of town. We eventually got the fire going and settled in for a cosy night with cheese and wine. We woke up on Sunday to a chorus of cows and managed to get more than a little mud on our shoes when we went for a morning walk around the property.

IMG_8558

IMG_8550

IMG_8564

IMG_8560

IMG_8563

Mum and I had a great little weekend away, going from Mollymook to Milton and hitting up all the best spots in between. Next time you want a weekend away and can’t decide between coast or country, these two little neighbouring towns on the NSW South Coast have got your back.

– Bec x

South Coast Eats: Cupitt’s Winery, Milton

IMG_8186

It was kind of an accident that the weekend we chose was Mother’s Day, but mum and I finally made it to the South Coast for a few days after trying to plan a mother-daughter weekend for what seems like forever.  On the Sunday (Mother’s Day) we had a decadent lunch for two at Cupitt’s Winery.

Cupitt’s is a great little winery located on a gorgeous property just outside of Milton. The cellar door is located inside a beautiful old 19th century building, while the vineyard restaurant next door has fantastic views over the vines.

IMG_8184

IMG_8185

Being Mother’s Day, they had a special three course lunch menu going and delivered a sneaky glass of sparkling to the table for mum as we sat down. The menu at Cupitt’s is French-inspired, a little bit fancy and super delicious. My favourite was definitely dessert, the passionfruit tart with coconut ice cream and soft meringue was a downright winner.

We had the option of paired wines with our meal, but we were driving home that afternoon and are unfortunately responsible adults who would never drink and drive. Instead, we only had one glass each and it wasn’t an easy decision.

Mum had a glass of the Late Harvest Riesling, while I went for a glass of Rosie’s Rosé. I’ve been pretty into my rosé recently and I had heard good things about Cupitt’s take on the pink-coloured wine. If you’re into it as much as me, then definitely get your hands on a bottle of this stuff – it’s crisp and dry, with a little hint of strawberry sweetness.

Cupitt’s make a huge variety of wine – I am keen to get back and have a tasting at their cellar door. And if you’re not into wine, they also brew their own beers.

Cupitt’s Winery is located at 58 Washburton Road, Ulladulla. The cellar door is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. The vineyard kitchen is open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday, 12 to 2pm and for dinner Friday to Saturday, 6 to 8.30pm. You can also find them on facebook, twitter and instagram.

Happy Mother’s Day Mum!

– Bec x

IMG_8174

IMG_8175

IMG_8176

IMG_8177

IMG_8178

IMG_8179

IMG_8180

IMG_8187