So to conclude my weekend devoted to food – and birthdays of people I love – the second part of this post is about Annalisa Holmes’ 40th!
Here is the birthday girl and her lovely husband Dave, along with friends Iggy and Kerry Pintado.
Annalisa chose her all-time favourite restaurant, Molines Bistro, in the Hunter Valley, which is set away from the tourist side of the valley so you get unspoilt views of the region. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the Tallavera Grove winery is attached! The perfect combination of great food, excellent wine, spectacular views, fun conversation and gorgeous weather – the ideal day for a birthday celebration.
Our table was lively – but the menu had even more personality.
We started with canapes, including pear tomato and bocconcini sticks and gooey cheese in choux pastry, followed by ciabatta with aoili. Then we were served a ripe tomato tarte tatin (above) with sauteed asparagus, baked pear and goats cheese wrapped in prosciutto and chilli prawns.
My main was twice roasted Hunter duckling (above). The other choices were ocean trout on shaved fennel or fillet mignon with red wine jus. As if that wasn’t enough, then we had caramel cheesecake and finished with coffee. I drank Tallavera Grove Jokers Peak Pinot Noir, and it was so good I brought a bottle back for Harvey (some consolation, right?).
Annalisa’s magical day was complete with a surprise helicopter ride over the Hunter Valley with her mum and sister. I can’t see her forgetting this birthday in a hurry! Happy birthday my friend.