Monday, September 30, 2013

The Boat House Balmoral Beach

The Boat House at Balmoral Beach is but a carbon copy of their original cafe at Palm Beach.  Absolutely fabulous, as long as you are OK with crowds.

I did pick the hottest day of the season so far and smack bang in the middle of the school holidays, so I kind of deserve what I got.  It did stop me in my tracks though, how busy this city has become in its inner reaches.  Even if you are OK at paying alot for parking (around $20), you could spend up to half an hour looking for a spot close by.

Happily, I am partial to a bit of walking, so I ended up parking halfway back up to Mosman and walking down the hill.  A bit of a pain in heals, but I took them off and all was fine.  

Wiith all the cute public stairways leading back to the beach, it is quite and enjoyable walk through some of Sydney's most expensive real estate on a beautiful day. 

I love the school holidays because I get to catch up with old teaching buddies.  The girlfriend I met is alot of fun and like me, pretty low maintenance and into trying new places.   So we were up for the challenge of hustling for a table and standing in the food cue for 20 minutes to order a meal.

But once you have settled in it becomes well worth it.

I absolutely love the Boat House decor and all the stunning flowers they have for sale.

The cafe still operates as a boat hire business

complete with life jackets and paddles at the ready.

There are both indoor and outdoor seating options

Replete with gorgeous young things supporting some lovely beach ware.  Apparently bikinis are more than welcome on deck.

There were famous Olympic swimmers pawing over fabric swatches and deciding on their latest swimming range as well, so get set for a little bit of celebrity spotting.

Long communal seating is signature at  The Boat House, so be prepared to share.

I loved this idea of attaching some rope to the bottom of a stool to create a nautical foot rest.

I also love the way they store many of their kitchen supplies around the cafe.

And then there is the superb food.  It really is fantastic.  Of course as usual I was so into the whole affair, that I forget to photograph it.  Lets just call it living in the moment shall we?  I had the Grilled Fish on Quinoa and it was so light, fresh and delicious.

It was all washed down with some sparkling rose.  The great thing is that once you have ordered your food, the wait staff will take further drink, dessert and coffee orders from the table.  Such a relief, because the queue was still massive at 2.45pm

 I did manage to shoot the chocolate brownie I split with my girlfriend over coffee.  I have to say it was the nicest cup of coffee I have had  in a long time. 

That's the thing about The Boat House Balmoral Beach, their attention to detail is spot on.  The quality of the food is superior and it is altogether a lovely experience.  You just have to be prepared to queue.  The sign of a good establishment I guess.

OPEN DAILY 7.30AM - 4PM  /  BREAKFAST 7.30AM - 12 NOON  /  LUNCH 12 NOON - 3PM

For more of my recommendations on where to eat, play and shop on Sydney's Northern Beaches have a look here.

Have a great week Beach Dwellers.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Very Moist Banana Bread

This very moist banana bread was fantastic.

Moist Banana Bread

1.5 cups of sugar
(125g) 1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1.5 cups of plain flour
3 large rip bananas mashed
1/2 cup of walnuts roughly chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 C/375 F
Beat sugar, butter and eggs
Add dry ingredients sifted
Add mashed banana, chopped nuts and vanilla.
Mix well to combine

Pour into a well greased and lined loaf tin.
Cook for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.  I had to cook it for a further 10 minutes but topped it with baking paper to keep the crust a nice colour.
Sift icing sugar over the cake after removing from the tin after cooking, but whilst still warm.
This cake cuts beautifully when fully cooled.  If you want to eat it still a little warm slice it very carefully.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Hamptons House near the Beach in Avalon

It is rare that a house this beautiful comes on the market, but when Australian Cricketer Micheal Slater and his wife Jo decide to sell their stunning abode, this is what you get.  Just about every box ticked on the dream home list.  This is a stunning family home, minutes from the beach in the golden triangle of Avalon Beach.  The kids and I popped in to take a look last weekend and we were suitably impressed.  If you would like to do the same tomorrow, you can find her opening times and more of her here.

Have a great weekend and if you haven't yet entered my IKEA gift voucher giveaway you can do so here.

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