Saturday, 8 November 2008


With the winery-oriented part of the odyssey concluded, in the morning the main cause for concern was the direction likely to be taken by the weather rather than the direction we’d be taking to the nearest vineyard.

When I peeked outside things looked overcast and unpromising (at least as far as sightseeing was concerned), but we ventured back across Stockwell Road towards the Farmers’ Market. 

Predictably, as soon as we were actually inside the old Vintners Pty. Ltd. warehouses the rain decided to take a temporary break

Like most blokes, I’ve missed acquiring the shopping gene, so I’m not over-big on markets, but Madam likes to browse, so I wandered in her wake. 

There wasn’t much in the arts and craft line, and most of what was there could have been interesting if we were staying longer, and the accommodation had cooking facilities. While I would have liked to pick up some of the delicacies on offer (Thai duck sausages?) common sense prevailed. 

We ended up leaving with a variety of baked delicacies for breakfast with a couple of lightweight items (olive oil and dukkah) and jam for Madam’s breakfast at the Little House of Concrete.

With breakfast out of the way, there wasn’t much to keep us unless I took up the suggestion that I might choose to visit a vigneron. 

That would have involved making a decision, and I was just about tasted out, so we hit the frog and toad selecting the scenic route into Adelaide via Eden Valley, Mount Pleasant, the Big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha and the North East Road.

Predictably, once we’d been to the Eden Valley Lookout and decided that there was no point in taking photos the weather improved. After a short break at the Big Rocking Horse where I took the time to reassure myself about the route into downtown Adelaide.

On the way out of the city four days earlier, Madam had remarked on the driver-friendly layout of the city. I was inclined to agree as we found our way into the city centre along a very easy-to-follow route and we were refuelling the car at the servo around the corner from the Hertz depot at around eleven-fifteen.

Once the car had been returned I’d been quietly hoping actual or impending rainfall would give us an excuse not to hoof it over five or six blocks to the Hotel Grand Chancellor, but that wasn’t to be so we set off with Hughesy lugging the luggage as Madam led the way. 

A sudden change of direction resulted in remaining handle on Madam’s sports bag snapping (t’other had decided to break en route to Meleden Villa), which complicated matters. Checking in incorporated inquiries about places where we could buy a replacement. Once the purchase had been accomplished we were at a loose end apart from mundane matters like finding a venue for lunch. 

We settled on an upstairs Italian eatery where my lasagne was dwarfed by Someone Else’s order of calamari with chips and salad.

As we paid the bill I spotted a consequence of anti-smoking legislation currently stalking the nation, a notice stating that, because of the number of patrons stepping outside for a ciggie and then failing to return, customers requiring a nicotine fix were required to lodge their wallet, credit card or car keys as a deposit.

We took our time walking back to the hotel through the Rundle Street Mall and got back to base around three, which gave me time to catch up on the travel journal while Madam rested before a late afternoon stroll to scope out the neighbourhood.

A phone call advised us the planned dining arrangements were a late scratching, so we wandered off around six looking for an interesting option in the Hindley Street end of town. 

We settled on Le Corner Bistrot, managing to grab the last available table in a classy establishment offering French cuisine in the classic style.

I opted for one of the daily specials, a mushroom vol au vent, and an entrecote and green pepper sauce, while Madam went for a main course of ocean trout. 

When the vol au vent appeared I was surprised to find the pastry layered over and under the mushroom filling rather than encasing it, but it tasted superb, and the sauce gave us something to talk about while we waited for the mains to arrive.

That took some time since the place had filled since our arrival and the kitchen wasn’t exactly the most spacious one you’ve seen.  The mains were, however, well worth the wait. 

We wandered room-wards pleasantly sated with Iron Chef, Rockwiz and Crabtree Tempranillo to look forward to.

© Ian Hughes 2017