Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sydney-ture #5

Thu, Sep 20: We woke up to a cloudy, but beautiful and sunny day at Hunter Valley, specifically at Pokolbin. Responding to our growling tummies demanding for food, we headed out in search of breakfast. My sister Vivian drove.

We intended to go to Hunter Valley Gardens to fill up, but out of curiosity, we went to The Small Winemakers Centre. Unfortunately, we left after a few minutes because there wasn't anyone to serve us even though there was someone welcoming us into their premises. That time was about 9.45 AM, I think... So we were back onto our original plan and ended up at Hunter Valley Gardens. Actually, it was outside the Gardens because you'll need to pay for admission (AUD$15 per adult). But before that... We settled for breakfast at Hunter Valley Chocolate Company.

Breakfast @ Hunter Valley Chocolate Company;
My yummy pancakes with cream & maple syrup;
It's lovely dining in the cool breeze.
Full and satisfied after a hearty breakfast, we had a little bit of 'exercise' by hopping in and out of shops around the area. Guess what? There's a bookstore with a catchy name: Village Book Cellar. I did not bring enough reading material with me to HV plus, I've finished reading Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner so... I decided to buy some more books (AUD$7.50 each -- some books were on discount):
  • SINGING BIRD by Roisin McAuley (Am already half way through the book)
  • NIGHTDANCING by Elizabeth Garner
  • THE RETURN FROM TROY by Lindsay Clarke
  • SITTING PRACTICE by Caroline Adderson

I also forgot to bring my toothbrush (see how forgetful I am?) so... we went to the General Store to buy one. That thing costs approximately AUD$5. When I get back to Sydney, I'll be having TWO toothbrushes. Hmm...
After visiting other shops, it was time for the... Hunter Valley Gardens! It's just around the corner. We bought out admission tickets and validated our FREE cappucino vouchers. We were entitled to the complimentary coffee when we bought books from the Village Book Cellar. How cool was that? *GRIN*
We totally enjoyed the scenery and everything was BEAUTIFUL! I was poking around with my camera and then a young Chinese couple asked me to help take their photo. I was glad they asked. There were also school kids on excursion. They're so adorable! Here are some of the many photos taken at the Garden.
Outside the Garden -- before paid admission

Inside the Garden -- paid admission

Time flew when we're absorbed by the beauty and busy capturing it with our cameras. Before we can even blink, it's time for LUNCH! We went to The Garden Terrace located inside the Garden. It has a lovely ambience and the staff was friendly. We ordered our meals and redeemed our free cappucinos. It was lovely. We can even get a nice view of the pavilion from where we sat.

On the way to wine and cheese tasting, I saw a beautiful burst of sun ray. I took a snapshot of it. It was not very clear here, but on the spot it looked divine. Heavenly.

Wine tasting at McGuigan Wines. Mom bought a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red.


And then, there's the cheese tasting next door at Hunter Valley Cheese Co. I'm not a big fan of cheese but I know my sister and mom loves it.

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