Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Kenilworth Day Trip

Hubby and I were having a few wines on Saturday night when he became very interested in the whole cheese making process (could have just been the wine lol). When he mentioned a visit to Kenilworth and the dairy factory I thought it was a super idea. We are usually juggling kids and housework on the weekends, so the prospect of a Sunday drive with Paul (and no kids) was very appealing.

I had never been to Kenilworth before. It is a tiny township in the heart of the Mary Valley, sometimes more famous for the dam issue, than the beautiful Aussie countryside. We pulled over to the side of the road here to listen to the bellbirds. I had never heard them before and what an amazing sound they make - like lots of very loud bells. Amazing and yet dischordant at the same time.

At the dairy factory we got to taste the beautiful yoghurts - Mango and Macadamia - Yum!

There was also about twenty different varieties of cheese to taste - so we had to taste them all...ummm toothpicks please.

There were shelves lined with every condiment you could possibly think of...and many we hadn't. I didn't get a photo but there were pickled onions that guaranteed 1000 farts per jar...we didn't get those :)

Some of the condiments were locally made but many of them were from other rural areas of Australia.

We then took a walk down the main street. It is a popular spot for country weekend bikies - more the Road Hogs movie type of bikies with brand spanking new leather and bikes.

There was local art on display at the Tourist Information centre.

And a very quaint CWA type of craft shop...

I bought these beautiful copies of pencil sketches by local artist John Newman. I absolutely love Queenslander homes and these are just exquisite drawings. They had them framed in a collage frame which looked very impressive so that will be a project one day.

I located John's website (John Newman Artist) and found this lovely watercolour print of the local hall in Cooran, which is our nearest town.

I was very restrained and bought some yoghurt, amazing cracked pepper and garlic cheese...and some lime chutney, just because I wanted to know what it tastes like. It is tangy and spicy and goes really well with chicken...I can see a use for the lime tree coming up.

Ironically enough the place we visited that left the biggest impression on us was the Lasting Impressions Gallery. It is a fine art gallery in the middle of the main street that has been operating for 28 years, with an exclusive range of local and interstate artists represented. If you follow the link you will see some of the art that took our breaths away.

This is Paul's favourite painting by artist Ian Mastin

Wooden Measure with Bottles

And my favourite was this one by Greg Postle:

The Lookout

We were also treated to the exclusive company of the gallery director, Kaye Cathro, a charming lady with a European accent who knew exactly how everything in her gallery was crafted. I was particularly drawn to the blown glass displays and in particular the work of Richard Clements who crafts these exquisite perfume bottles:

This image is from Richard's website http://www.richardclements.com/gallery/small-bottles.html where you can purchase the bottles. They are just glorious and made from layers and layers of various glass designs. If you were ever looking to start a collection of something unusual (yes, that's a hint Pauly), or wanted to buy something special as a gift then I would recommend these. I could have played with them all day...very Aladdin-like don't you think?

The best part of the day though, was enjoying the time with my husband...away from the trivialities of life. It's been such a long time since we did that...and I can see us doing it more and more often.

Do you like to go somewhere you have never been and just wander around looking at things? It's nice to feast your eyes on something new and live in the moment...maybe I am getting the hang of this mindfulness thing :)

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