Monthly Archives: February 2017

Days of Wine and Roses

Wine with lunch. Wine with dinner. Wine with friends.  How many ways can you have wine for a week? Well, more than you think if you check this out! Wineries in the Yass Valley are gearing up for Canberra District Wine Week—a celebration of—well, wine!summerside-shaw-vineyard-estate

“Canberra District Wine Week is the perfect time to visit Yass Valley as the region’s wineries offer some great wine events, dinners, lunches, tastings, tours and more,” said Sean Haylan, Economic Development & Tourism Manager at Yass Valley Council. “It’s also harvest time which really is a great time to come and celebrate the 2017 vintage with the winemakers of the region”.

Canberra District Wine Week runs over 10 days from 31 March to 9 April, and includes a program of wine tasting, food matching, and tours and events held across the entire Canberra wine district including Hall, Bungendore, Gundaroo, Murrumbateman, and Yass; culminating in the annual Harvest Festival on 8 and 9 April. The week will also include live music and art from local bands and artists.degustation-1

A Festival Passport is also available. Get your passport stamped at three participating wineries and you’ll be in the draw to win one of three Canberra mixed dozens.

Some of the fabulous wine events during the week include a degustation dinner on Saturday 1 April at Ewe and Me Restaurant, and wines and canapes at Clementine Restaurant on Wednesday 5 April.

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Image courtesy Clementine Restaurant

At Four Winds Vineyard Cellar Door on 6 April, you can enjoy a fun 4XSangiovese dinner with four courses of pizza each matched with a sangiovese—a variety of red/black wine grape used in making Italian Chianti, and presented by their winemakers, or Taste of the Region Long Lunch in Yass on Friday 7 April, which will feature local food and wine from five local vineyards. A full program of events and happenings will be posted on Canberra District Wine Week’s website.

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Image from Four Winds Vineyard Cellar Door

The Yass district also has a range of quality accommodation for those who wish to stay a little longer, from hotels and motels, to luxury self-contained apartments and villas, and several will be offering wine week ‘stay and taste’ packages.

Wine tours are a great way to taste and learn about local wines, and Canberra wine tour company, Vines and Wines are offering independent wine tours, during wine week, for groups of nine people or more—mid-week only. For more information contact them via their website.degustation-prestige-jpg-1024x617

For more information on wine week visit www.canberrawines.com.au

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Tea with Giorgio Armani

Afternoon tea is something rather special at the Tea Lounge at the Hyatt Hotel and has all the inclusions you would expect with cucumber sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, and slices, cakes and pastries, plus newbies such as light-as-air macarons, fluffy mousse, and light and creamy panna cotta.20170211_123110

Afternoon tea was introduced in England in 1840 and included thinly sliced sandwiches, scones, and dainty little cakes, and became a fashionable and social event in society; later moving from the drawing room into hotels such as the Ritz, Claridges, and the Savoy. And here in Canberra, the Hyatt Hotel has risen to the challenge, to the extent that when we now think about afternoon tea we choose the Hyatt first. And that’s just what we did.20170211_120522

Catching up with blog friend Ink and Leathers for a chat about food, fashion and life in general, we took ourselves off for afternoon tea at the Hyatt Hotel on one of the hottest days in Canberra, but before we’d had a chance to inspect the cucumber sandwiches we discovered we were there on the same day as Giorgio Armani! Well, the brand at least.

So while we nibbled on our ribbon cucumber sandwiches, miniature filled brioche, and tiny pies and pastries, we were treated to a top-end fashion show at the same time. Designers such as Armani have a limited presence in Canberra, so to see the creative style and elegance of this famous designer—up close and personal, so to speak—was very exciting.20170211_114002-1

Armani Collezioni includes tailored outfits, sportswear, evening wear, and accessories with a hint of corporate, for both men and women, and the Spring-Summer 2017 Collection features many Armani signature elements with gorgeous fabrics, clean lines, stunning colours, and exceptional detail, fit and finish. Having never owned a piece of Armani (and unlikely to do so …), I didn’t necessarily think the clothing would be my style, but in all honesty the collection would suit any age and any size, and will take you from work, to play, and on to dinner, and even … afternoon tea at the Hyatt!20170211_115137-1

This is the second time in recent months that I have indulged in afternoon tea at the Hyatt, and, notwithstanding the outstanding work of the Hyatt chefs and their teams, much credit must go to Hotel Marketing Communication Manager, Avon Dissanayake. Avon is working with a wide range of fashion designers, agencies, musicians, social media influencers, dancers, and photographers to create Luxury is Personal for all Hyatt guests—be they staying guests or visitors to The Tea Lounge or Promenade Cafe. His passion for fashionxhyatt events, and their success, is infective—so stay tuned for more exciting happenings from the Hyatt in 2017.20170211_114942-1

Models from Haus Models. Images by LFWMagazine

Be My Valentine!

Love is in the air! And what better way to spend a romantic evening with your special Valentine than celebrating at The Hyatt Hotel in Canberra.

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with The Rosie cocktail and dinner at The Hyatt Hotel, Canberra. Image by Avon Dissanayake

Tuesday, 14 February is Valentine’s Day and The Hyatt is celebrating expressions of love with a choice of a dinner buffet or five course menu both including sparkling wine. Indulge in the five course dinner, with Australian sparkling wine served throughout the meal, in the heritage inspired elegance of The Tea Lounge from 7 – 10.30pm, or Celebrate with a themed buffet dinner featuring Wagyu roast, seafood, cheese station, and romantic desserts from 6 – 10.30pm.

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Making The Rosie cocktail – available at The Hyatt on Valentine’s Day. Image LFW

But wait, there’s more … The Hyatt is excited to present The Rosie … a brand-new cocktail, prepared by Colombine Courouble, Team Leader at Speakers Corner Bar, to celebrate with your Valentine. The cocktail includes Cytrus Belvedere vodka, Monin rose syrup, muddled cucumber, Aperol and pink grapefruit juice, and is the perfect way to start (or end) your romantic evening. The Rosie is only available on Valentine’s Day.

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Sweet Valentine afternoon tea at The Hyatt. Image by Avon Dissanayake

Of course, you don’t need Valentine’s Day to celebrate with your Valentine. You can celebrate any weekend at The Hyatt with a delicious afternoon tea in the The Tea Lounge. With a fabulous range of sweets and savouries, a glass of bubbles, and the piano tinkling away in the corner, you can celebrate your romance, wedding, anniversary, baby event, or milestone birthday … anytime!

For your Valentine’s Day booking call The Hyatt 6269 8901.

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Afternoon Tea at The Hyatt. Image LFW

HeartKids HillClimb, Fairbairn

By the LFW team

Here at LFW, we truly believe Canberrans are a marvellous bunch. We’re surrounded by lots of local heroes who do wonderful things for our community, including by raising awareness and funds for important causes. Like Daniel Cummins and a cause that is near and dear to his heart—that cause is one of the greatest killers of those under the age of 1 in this country—childhood heart disease.hearhill-kids-3

Daniel’s brother, Will, survived until the tender age of 12 with complex, chromosome syndrome. He was born premature with the debilitating condition, but could only fight for so long. In some ways, Will, and his family, were fortunate to be together for that long. You see, eight babies are born with a heart defect every day in Australia and four lives are lost every week. Daniel is the first to say that the drugs and technology used for childhood heart disease have come a long way but much more is needed. And so he started HeartKids HillClimb to raise funds and help in his own way.

Since 2009, the event has raised a whopping $65,000 ($10,000 last year alone). The funds are used for support, awareness, research and advocacy.heartkids-hill-1

In 2017, HeartKids HillClimb, now in its eighth year, will be held on Sunday 19 February at Fairbairn Park Hillclimb Track. It’s free and a fabulous family day out. Around 45 race car drivers will zoom around the 1km tarmac race track at Fairbairn, competing in time trials, with results posted on a massive screen. Every driver does two laps with the fastest winning. If you’re not a race car fan, HeartKids HillClimb still has lots on offer, including face painting and other family activities. The race car drivers are also kind enough to give kids the thrill of a life time by taking them for slow laps around the track.

But why a race car driving event to raise funds? “Will was passionate about cars, any cars, but definitely fast ones,” says Daniel. “He never stopped talking about them and adored his collection of 100 matchbox cars and his Playstation car racing game. Getting his learner’s licence and driving a cool black car was the last thing we spoke about.” At HeartKids HillClimb Daniel races his cool black car in Will’s honour. HeartKids ACT and NSW work together to raise funds for childhood heart disease. The Canberra event raises money through competitor entry fees, sponsorships, raffle ticket sales, and food and drink sold on the day.hearthill-kids-4

So if you’re not doing anything on Sunday 19 February, head to Fairbairn Park Hillclimb Track, Sutton Road, 9am to 4pm. In the meantime, follow the action on the event Facebook page.

 

Stone the Fruit!

Have you notice how good Aussie stone fruits are at the moment? Peaches, plums, nectarines, mangoes, and cherries—so yum, and so good! But you can do so much more with stone fruit than popping them in a fruit salad, so we’ve sourced some great recipes to take you right through the day—from breakfast to mains and dessert—and get your daily intake of three pieces of fruit at the same time! We’ve also included veggie/vegan options for the salads and dessert. You’re welcome!

Breakfast

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Best Aussie breakfast with best Aussie fruit!

Muesli with nectarines and pomegranate is a super-easy and super-booster start to the day. Just get your favourite muesli and add slices of nectarine, pomegranate seeds*, and passionfruit pulp, and top with dollop of natural yoghurt. Delish! Vegans can find Kingland vegan yoghurt in Canberra at selected Coles Supermarkets.

*If you’ve never tried pomegranate, all you do is cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. But remember to remove all the yellow pith around the seeds as it’s very (very) bitter and will put you off ever having pomegranate again … not to mention ruining your muesli …

Main—Baked salmon or chicken with nectarine salad

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Baked salmon with peaches and salad

Roast your chicken as normal, and bake the salmon as per our recipe in Seven Days of Eating Healthy, and serve with poached peaches or nectarines, or one of our great salads below.

Salads and sides—Nectarine salad

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Roast chicken with nectarine salad and potato wedges

You will need one nectarine and a couple of large radish per person, plus a few rings of Spanish onion. Cut the nectarine into quarters then in half again, thinly slice the radish, and onion, add the dressing, and gently toss together in a large bowl. Decorate with a bit of greenery—rocket or baby spinach leaves. This salad takes a light oil and lemon dressing really well. Just add two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a teaspoon of white wine vinegar in a bowl, and whisk together until well blended.

Rice salad with mango—serves 2

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Thai rice salad with Aussie mangoes

This salad looks and tastes terrific, and you can give it a Thai kick by adding a teeny amount of finely chopped chilli in your dressing. For two people we used 2 cups of cooked rice, and 3 cooked Tiger prawns each. Cook your rice as normal and set aside to cool. Slice up some cucumber, red (Spanish) onion, and lightly steamed green beans. Then cut your Tiger prawns (tails off) in half lengthways and toss the veggies and prawns into the rice. Add lemon dressing (see above) and finely chopped chilli (optional) and mix well. Decorate with nice cubes of fresh mango and a bit of coriander. Vegetarians and vegans can substitute lightly steamed mushrooms and sprigs of broccolini for the prawns.

 

 

Dessert (serves 2 – 3)

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Individual plum crumble—serve with cream or ice-cream

This is a really simple take on your regular apple crumble. We made individual plum tarts but you can easily adjust the recipe to make a large one. You can also use peaches instead of plums. You will need one plum per ramekin. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Slice the plums (no need to peal, but you might prefer to peal the peaches) and place in the ramekin. In a bowl, rub together ½ cup of SR flour (wholemeal or GF if you prefer), ¼ cup raw sugar, pinch of cinnamon (optional), and 4 tablespoons of cold butter*, until it resembles large crumbs—alternatively, you can throw everything in the food processor and whiz until crumbed—then spoon onto the plums. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the plums are soft when tested with a skewer, and serve immediately with cream and/or ice cream.  Delish!

*Vegans can buy Honest to Goodness coconut butter online, or from Ainslie IGA, and Over the Moo vegan ice-cream from Evatt IGA, Twenty One Café and Groceries in City West, or check Over the Moo website for other outlets.