Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Girls Day Out: Waipara Wine Trail Tour

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Last weekend in a bid to get some serious catch up time with friends, we decided to do something extra special- an all inclusive Winery tour! As it was two of our beautiful friends birthdays to celebrate, it was a great excuse to treat ourselves to a day of deliciousness and fun!
We booked our tour through Tour Finda which included a lovely driver for the afternoon, our own private mini bus, pick up and drop off where we needed and all wine tastings included for around 6 hours!
We visited Pegasus Bay, Waipara Springs, Waipara Hills and Torleese. Each winery had a wine I absolutely loved, and we all ended up going home with bottles collectively from all of the Wineries... They were all too delectable to pass taking one of the wines home!
As we were all relative newbies to wine tasting (apart from those $6 bottles of wine that got us through uni! haha) we all ended up falling in love with the lighter, sweeter, floral Rieslings. Interestingly most of us ended up changing our minds about Chardonnay! We had all previously experienced Chardonnay as cheap, tacky pungent wine- but we were so pleasantly surprised that it actually could taste delicious, especially paired with the right food. 
As a consumer, sustainable business practice is incredibly important to me (even through the haze of a few wines!).  It was great to see that every winery we went to ran their wine making sustainably- So we felt extra inclined to indulge in our tastings!
The staff at each vineyard were incredibly knowledgable and gregarious, so we learnt a lot about how wine is grown, harvested, fermented and stored. it was a great introduction into the world of wine tasting and we joked through the day about expanding our wine tasting vocabularies!
With all of the tastings included, it was more than enough to see us merrily through the day. We were even lucky enough to drive home to a breathtaking sunset across the North Canterbury skyline. Our wine trail tour made for such a lovely day of fun and quality catch up time with each other- I totally recommend getting your girlfriends together and treating yourself to a Vineyard tour in your corner of the world!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Canterbury's Best Kept Vintage Secret...The Tea House Cafe in Lincoln

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Hello everyone! It has been such a long time since I have posted...for good reason (exciting reason!) but more to come on that in the next post. 
For now, I couldn't think of a better way for Spoonful of Vintage to welcome in 2014 than with a post about a decadent, beautiful high tea! 
Today was my beautiful friend Caitlyn's birthday, so we dressed in our pretty tea drinking dresses and celebrated with a girlie girl high tea date at The Tea House Cafe and Restaurant in Lincoln.
We all ordered the 'Royal High Tea'- and it definitely made us feel very regal! 
We were greeted with an eclectic mix of silver, hand painted china and brass teapots filled with our choice of gourmet teas. I went for a classic Earl Grey. As a vintage loving lass, I am very particular with my tea! I am usually disappointed when it comes to tea brewed anywhere more than a meter from my kitchen table, but this was actually the first perfectly brewed tea I've had in a cafe! Other favourites at the table were Chilli Chocolate and Turkish Apple- Delish! 
Our high tea's came out on individual vintage three tier cake stands with an array of sweet and savoury treats. They were even able to cater to my vegetarian diet with spinach quiches and scrumptious vege club sandwiches amongst the sugared delights. Over lunch I ate more sugar, pastry and cream than Marie Antoinette herself! I don't eat food like this too often so I advocate that if your going to do it- do it decadently with a high tea! The food was so good that conversation was often interrupted with a 'Yuuuuuuuuuum' or 'Oh my Goshhhhhhhh' after every first bite of a new treat! 
The service was top notch with lovely waitresses dressed in lacy blue peplums and matching chuck tailors, a modern twist on high tea attire. Our waitress was very patient with our many questions and requests and was brave enough to attempt some shots of us with my DSLR!
When I dine out, I really take in the atmosphere, decor and ambience around me. 
The delicate golden wallpaper, plush queen Anne sofa's and 1920's music playing softly in the background really drew together the whole affair. I love 'experience' dining where you are escorted away from the present to a different time and place through the food, surroundings and company. 
Canterbury people; if you haven't dined at The Tea House, do it! Any other treats you indulge in will pale in comparison thereon after.
We are all such busy people these days aren't we? It was so lovely to take a little break from every day life and spend some quality time with my beautiful friends and celebrate another birthday! 
I hope you have all been able to squeeze a little bit of quality time in with friends recently! Do you have any local haunts or special occasion places you like to frequent with your pals?
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