Adelaide Comes Alive: Santos Tour Down Under

As the New Year brings us new adventures and new opportunities, it also brings a myriad of fantastic events to the city of Adelaide. In the first four months of every year, the city of Adelaide comes alive. During this time Adelaide hosts some major sporting events. This includes the cricket, tennis and the incredibly popular cycling race the Santos Tour Down Under.

The Santos Tour Down Under is the first major world cycling event in the world cycling calendar. All the major cycling teams and the who’s who in the cycling world descending on Adelaide to experience what this great city has to offer. Adelaide’s goal is to put on a world class event. Where the riders goal is to win the prestigious ochre winners jersey.

The Ourworldinreview team attended the People’s Choice Classic to soak up the atmosphere and join in on the fun. The one thing that is certain is Adelaide knows how to host an event. The 2.3km track is surrounded by local restaurants and the adjoining park-lands are scattered with mobile food and beverage trucks. The city also erected a stage area in the park-lands for a free after race concert with one of Australia’s best DJ’s Havana Brown.

Tour Down Under
Food and beverage area in the park lands.

Although the cycling race is the main attraction, the tour organisers make sure there is plenty of action for the spectators. The People’s Choice Undies Run for bowel cancer is a welcome part of the event with a large turnout of competitors running the 2.3km course to raise money for this terrible disease. There is still time to donate so if you can spare a dollar or two, please support this worthy cause.

Tour Down Under
People’s Choice Undies Run Competitors

The combination of the women’s and men’s pro cycling tour events sees the women contest the course first. It is amazing to see the speeds these athletes get up to. The race goes fairly quickly with an exciting but frenzied sprint finish to decide the winner. The same can be said about the men’s race, once it starts there’s a frenetic pace with a breakaway and subsequent capture by the chasing peloton.

Tour Down Under
The peloton working to catch the breakaway.

The main sprint contenders, world road race champion Peter Sagan and Australia’s Caleb Ewan rely on their lead out trains to propel them to the finish line. The riders jostle for position, the crowd holds their breathes hoping there isn’t an accident, and they hit the line at about +50km/hr. In this marvellous race, Caleb Ewan comes out on top and the crowd erupts to cheer the intense finish.

Tour Down Under
Rohan Dennis BMC Racing
Tour Down Under
World Road Racing Champion Peter Sagan in the rainbow jersey
Tour Down Under
Australian road racing champion and 2017 People’s Choice Classic winner Caleb Ewan

The race, the atmosphere, the weather and the supporters are fantastic and the best part is, there is another 7 days. The Tour Down Under lasts for 9 days with the riders competing in 6 road stages and tonight’s People’s Choice Classic. The stages take in some of the highlights of South Australia and provide welcome promotion of our wonderful state. If you happened to have missed this event then head out over the next few days and enjoy the sights and racing. Or if you can’t make it this year then pencil in the dates for next years and come along and enjoy South Australia hospitality.

Santos Tour Down Under Survival tips

Remember, it will be summer in Australia and temperatures can get to 40 degrees Celsius. So make sure you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Wear a hat and apply sunscreen as it takes only 10 minutes to get sunburnt. Set yourself up in a shady area as you should have plenty of room to take photos. Get a good camera so you can take those action shots. But beware; if you are taking photos make sure you look at the riders to see where you are positioned. It would not be a good thing if a rider hit you at high speed.

Additional Information

The Santos Tour Down Under is a sensational event and occurs in Adelaide in the middle of January. The stage course maps are available from their website.

Website: www.tourdownunder.com

Make sure you book your accommodation early, to get the best locations close to the city circuits.

So enjoy Adelaide and enjoy the Santos Tour Down Under.

*Please note, this post contains affiliate links.

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Milano Cuccina – A taste of Italy

Another early morning saw us driving into the city, where we had to make a drop off to the central bus station. Since we left before breakfast, we made our way to the eastern side of the Adelaide city centre to have a hearty meal. With many fabulous choices available we opted for the family owned and run café restaurant called Milano Cuccina.

Milano Cuccina
Milano Cuccina interior

Milano Cuccina is located on the corner of Hutt Street and Wakefield Street on the bottom floor of the channel 10 building.  The cafe restaurant offers diners a traditional casual breakfast or an Italian influenced lunch and dinner service.

Upon entry into the establishment we were warmly greeted by one of the staff and offered multiple tables to sit at. We decided to sit at a comfortable looking booth and started by ordering some smooth creamy and delicious coffees.

Lattes at Milano Cuccina
Two Lattes and a Cappuccino

The waitresses were friendly and efficient and have some of the nicest Italian accents around. Not what you expect in little old Adelaide. Personally I liked their accents, because I could imagine myself sitting in a cafe in northern Italy ordering a meal from a local. The breakfast menu is fairly traditional with most of the dishes commonly found in most cafés around the city. I didn’t mind this because it was quite easy to come to a decision when choosing what to have.

We ordered the Milano Big Breakfast; the Eggs Benedict without ham for our vegetarian and some plain toast with that all important Vegemite.

Milano Cuccina
Milano Big Breakfast

My Milano Big Breakfast consisted of two poached eggs on a couple of pieces of toast, bacon rashers, a pork sausage, fried tomato, a field mushroom and wilted spinach, served with a hash brown. The serving was quite large and filling, with the majority of the dish nicely cooked.  My only concern was that the pork sausage was a little dry, a tad bit overcooked and I was unable to finish it.

Milano Cuccina Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict without ham, served with two hash browns
Milano Cuccina
Plain Toast with Vegemite

The Eggs Benedict arrived at the table and looked rather plain on the plate. Our resident vegetarian was still happy with the dish, but couldn’t complete the whole dish (she’s quite little, and not a big eater).  As for the toast, it is what you should expect. Simple, warm and easy to spread.

The interior of Milano Cuccina is quite comfortable. They have a couple of booths, a main seating area and al fresco dining for those perfect Adelaide days. The interior is colour coordinated and decorated nicely with photos and sport memorabilia hanging from the walls. They also show their support of upcoming Adelaide events with promotional material available near the front door.

Milano Cuccina
al fresco dining

Overall Milano Cuccina is a friendly everyday cafe restaurant. Their breakfast is quite common but good. The servicing staff is pleasant and the strong Italian accents are nice to listen too. They are also available in the Entertainment book for a dining discount. For the full Italian dining experience I recommend trying their Italian influenced menu for lunch and dinner. So when you’re in Adelaide pop into Milano Cuccina and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information

80 Hutt Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Ph: (08) 8227 0961
Website: www.milanocuccina.com

Main Meal Price Range AUD$18.00 – $30.00

Trading Hours

Weekdays: 7am – 10pm
Weekends: 8am – 10pm

Milano Cuccina rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Decor =7
Atmosphere =7
Service =8
Price =8
Food =7

Overall = 7.5

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Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary – A Gold Coast Must-See

I have travelled to the Gold Coast in Queensland many times. Most of the trips have been for my kids to participate in competitions for their various sports, but we have always stayed on or had time for some tourist activities. In November during our visit, we went to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for the first time. Here are my thoughts.

The Gold Coast is synonymous with a few things in Australia – sun, surf, theme parks! After spending some time on the beach, most people that come here immediately fill their days with the thrills of the theme parks. Sure, we have done that too in the past, but really themes parks are not our thing, so we were looking for something else to do for a day.

We had got as far as the carpark a few years ago. There was a short time between other commitments that we wanted to fill in and we had membership at the Adelaide Zoo. The membership gave us reciprocal entry rights at other zoos around Australia. Unfortunately Currumbin isn’t one of them, and for such a short visit the admission price was just not worth it.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary houses Australian native animals. Pretty much any you can think of will be here. The sanctuary is huge, with lots of shady trees. This is perfect to keep the hot Queensland sun off while visiting.

Walkways
Shady walkways to protect from the heat

The first thing we noticed about Currumbin was that it was BIG! No small cages here. There are also some big spaces between the displays. Luckily there is also a little tram to jump on to get from area to area if you prefer. We initially chose to walk rather than get on the tram. The gates had just opened when we arrived. The walk was  peaceful and felt like it was just us and the trees.

Birds
Birds in the aviary

After passing through an aviary, we came to a kids playground area. There were many things to climb on and play with. All had an educational twist to them, with games and challenges. There was a huge spiders web and a gecko wall for climbing on and dinosaur bones buried in the sandpit. As I sat down on the crocodile below a motion-sensored speaker started telling me about the huge reptiles! I was not expecting it and it made me jump so much I nearly fell off the crocodile!

Playground
Entrance to the playground – big kids allowed too!
Crocodile
Luckily that crocodile is not real

Currumbin has an extensive list of wildlife shows and displays that occur throughout the day. There are various animal displays, shearing displays, and cultural displays. We happened to wander past as the Free Flight Bird Show was on and we watched for about 15 minutes as birds flew over our heads. At least, they were mostly just over our heads. They were so close we could feel the wind as they went past, and occasionally got a wing in the head as well. I think we picked the cheap seats 🙂

bird show
Free flight bird show
Pelican
The pelican got lunch too

After the bird show we got swept along with the crowd to the reptile show. Here we got up and cosy with some lizards and snakes. Or at least as close as I like to get. Yes, they let them loose, including a couple a big venomous snakes! I was too busy paying attention to them staying on their own side of the barrier though to remember exactly what sort of snakes they were.

Snake
A snake – no further info matters!

After each of the shows there were opportunities to have photos taken with the animals involved. There was another dedicated area we saw that also had various animals during the day for visitors to get up and close with and have photos too.

One of the most interesting parts of Currumbin for me was the animal hospital. I loved how they had glass walls so you could stay and watch actual procedures taking place. There was nothing happening as I was there. The vets had just woken up a koala. Next there was a turtle about to go in to get his shell mended. I was too busy watching, and didn’t even think about taking a photo!

Tasmanian devil
Tasmanian devil hiding in the undergrowth
Echidna
Echidna
Galah
Galah and friend
Crocodile
That crocodile is nearly as big as the fake one I’m sitting on!
Koala
Nap time

We meandered through to bush visiting some more animals along the way, and soon came to a huge open area where kangaroos roamed freely. We bought a small cup of food and then hand fed a kangaroo or two. They weren’t all that interested though – I think many others before us had also fed them. The kangaroos happily played in the shade while we patted them.

Kangaroo feeding area
Kangaroo feeding area
Kangaroo
Patting the kangaroo

While we were enjoying walking around, we couldn’t leave without a tram ride, so we hopped on the tram thinking we would do a whole loop and then again walk back from where we were. Unfortunately the tram didn’t do a full loop, so in the end we got off back near the entrance/exit.

Tram
The tram. Each one had a different engine.

We had been looking forward to this moment all day! Now was when we were going to hold a koala! Until now, I had never done this, but there was no lineup, and the others I was with REALLY wanted to do it. I thought the koalas would be quite solid and heavy, but really they weren’t. The one we held was soft, but those claws gripping on to me meant business. I would not like to be on their receiving end if the koala got angry.

Holding koala
I got to hold a koala!
Koala
Bailey did too!

Overall this was a really enjoyable few hours. Being Australian, I have seen all of these animals many times over and interacted with some of them at nearly every zoo. It is quite common to be able to feed kangaroos almost everywhere! Still, it was fun. Our visit was entertaining throughout and I did not feel bored or tired of walking. The highlight was holding the koala.

Additional Information

28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin QLD 4223
Ph: +61-7-5534-1266
Website: www.cws.org.au

Book your stay on the Gold Coast

Budget Tip: Do a Google search for vouchers or discounts. I was able to buy a 4 person ticket at about 35% off the regular prices.

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Heading out for a night at the Hilton Adelaide Hotel

I know I might be biased but the city of Adelaide and the surrounding wine areas are a fantastic place to visit and live. This has been endorsed by travel reporting mega giants the Lonely Planet with Adelaide and South Australia being ranked number 5 in the best regions to visit in the world (woo hoo, home town pride).  This fabulous endorsement means additional visitors to Adelaide and with many good hotels in Adelaide, where should you stay? Our team headed into town to see what the Hilton Adelaide Hotel has to offer.

Hilton Adelaide Hotel
Hilton Adelaide Hotel

When you know where you’re going and are considering booking a hotel, what are the things you look for? Do the hotels need to offer other facilities like, gyms, swimming pools, restaurants, health spas, business centres or bars? Or are you just looking for a clean room to sleep in free of those pesky bed bugs? Are you a hotel shopper, looking for the best price, or are you loyal to a particular hotel brand?

Hotel loyalty may be new to many of you, but like airlines, hotels offer their customers the option of joining their loyalty programs. If you tend to spend a lot of time in hotels, then remaining loyal and amassing your stays or nights within a certain hotel chain is the way to go. The Hilton Adelaide Hotel is such a hotel that offers its customers earned benefits when staying at any Hilton branded hotel. Their Hilton Honors program allows qualified customers chances for room upgrades, complimentary breakfasts, and access to their executive lounges to name a few.

Hilton Hotel Adelaide
Victoria Square Water Fountain

As recent Hilton Honors Gold members, we thought we’d experience the benefits for ourselves. We decided to book a King Hilton Guest Room and made our way into the city. The Hilton Adelaide Hotel overlooks Victoria Square in the heart of the city.

Adelaide Hilton Hotel
Reception Desk – Welcome to the Hilton Hotel Adelaide

Upon entry into the hotel the reception desk is located to the left and the Collins Bars is down a short corridor on the right. On check in the hotel staff were very friendly and we were immediately upgraded to a King Hilton Executive room.

King Executive Room at the Hilton Hotel Adelaide
King Executive Room

We were soon in the elevator and making our way up to our room. The King Hilton Executive Room are quite spacious with plenty of room to swing a cat (no animals were harmed during the review of this hotel). There are complimentary magazines and water available in the room and the Wi-Fi is easy to access and free. The King sized bed is very comfortable with your choice of pillows, based on your preferences.

Adelaide Hilton Hotel
The usual hotel room amenities

Rooms offer the usual features like a television with local and paid channels. There is also a selection of in-house movies available. Coffee and tea is also provided and the extremely old bar fridge is fully stocked. The room also has a safe for the security conscious, an iron and ironing board, and a hair-dryer for the large bathroom.

Adelaide Hilton Hotel
This would be the oldest fridge I’ve seen. Carbon footprint! What carbon footprint!

The bathroom is large and contains a bath tub and a separate shower cubicle. Bathroom amenities and towels are refreshed with the room serviced daily.

Hilton Hotel Adelaide
Nice large clean bathroom with separate bathtub

By booking the King Hilton Executive room or having enough hotel status provides access to the executive lounge on the sixteenth floor. The comfortable lounge is a good place to relax, catch up on some reviews on your laptop or at the desktop computers provided. You can help yourself to the complimentary drinks or snacks like these beautiful macaroons.

Hilton Adelaide Hotel
Executive Lounge located on the 16th floor
Hilton Hotel Adelaide
These Macaroons were sensational.

The Hilton Adelaide Hotel offers many other facilities for their customers. Their small Swimming Pool is located on the first floor balcony. Amazingly, this balcony area is a little stark, one end of the balcony has the pool and the other half is just a large empty space.  This large area could be utilised a lot better to give the hotel added value, something like a balcony bar or outdoor dining area.

Hilton Hotel Adelaide
The hotel swimming pool, a bit cold and rainy today for a dip.

The Gym is also located on the first floor which looks out across the pool. This fully equipped gym with an attached spa and sauna area is immaculate, well presented and everything you want from a gym.

Hilton Adelaide Hotel
Fully equipped gym overlooking the swimming pool.

If you don’t want a full gym workout then the hotel also has a tennis court and small running track.

Hilton Adelaide Hotel
Tennis court and small running track.

If you are getting hungry or thirsty then head to the ground floor and get comfortable in the popular Collins Bar, or feast at Coal Cellar + Grill the Hilton’s on site restaurant. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served at Coal daily. We decided for breakfast at Coal and with an enormous selection of food options, you will not go hungry eating here.

Hilton Adelaide Hotel
The Breakfast Bar in Coal Cellar + Grill
Hilton Adelaide hotel
Lounge bar area next to Coal

Overall the Hilton Adelaide Hotel provides good service to its customers, with comfortable well maintained rooms. Some of the furnishings and facilities like the tennis court and pool area are out-dated but the hotel is working to rectify this. The hotel has an excellent restaurant in Coal Cellar + Grill and the popular Collins Bar is always good for a relaxing nightcap.

The Hilton Adelaide Hilton experience was definitely worth it, and they have rooms available from the standard guest room to executive room and suites. So book a stay today and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional information

233 Victoria Square, Adelaide SA 5000
Ph: +61-8-8217-2000
Website: www.3.hilton.com

Rooms available from approximately AUD$150 – AUD$400 per night

Restaurant bookings and menu for Coal Cellar + Grill

Book your stay today at the Hilton Adelaide Hotel

Join Hilton Honors Loyalty Program

Hilton Adelaide Hotel Rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Service = 9
Comfort=9
Cleanliness = 9
Price = 8
Facilities =8

Overall = 8.5

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Silk & Spice – Don’t judge a book by its cover!

Since childhood you would have heard the phase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and nothing can be truer when describing The Silk & Spice Thai restaurant at Torrensville.

We recently attended this restaurant and I must admit from the outset I was a little wary about what we were getting ourselves into. The first impressions of the restaurant from the outside weren’t good. In fact we nearly missed it while driving past due to the exterior being quite dull. Silk & Spice is located in a re-purposed family home with two signs indicating it as a restaurant. Silk & Spice has approximately 16 off street car parks around the back of the restaurant; otherwise you may need to try finding a park on busy Henley Beach Road.

Once inside the restaurant you can’t help but be a little surprised at how nice the interior is. The owners have segregated the main rooms into small intimate dining areas, so noise from other guests is kept to a minimum.

Entry interior of Silk & Spice Thai Restaurant
Entry interior of Silk & Spice Thai Restaurant

The rooms are nicely furnished and have plenty of space to move around without having to bump into other restaurant guests.

Silk & Spice restaurant interior
Look at the space between these tables. No bumping into other customers here.

Upon entry we were immediately greeted by their friendly staff who quickly guided us to a corner table. The menu presented was quite large with all the usual Thai cuisine dishes available. Likewise the wine list was also well stocked with popular favourites, so finding that accompanying drink won’t be any trouble.

Dining areas at Silk & Spice
The rooms have been converted into small dining areas

We decided on our food selection and once the waitress arrived we ordered an entrée serve of Chicken Satay. For our main courses we ordered their chef suggested Lemon-grass Lamb and a Thai Crispy Chicken. We accompanied this with a serve of steamed rice to soak up those fragrant spicy flavours. Then for dessert we decided to try their Thai Sticky Rice with Banana and a Coconut Panna Cotta with mixed berries.

After some light conversation and photo taking our food arrived pretty quickly.  The chicken satay was the first dish presented and was covered in a thick layer of tasty peanut sauce. The chicken was nicely cooked providing a good appetiser.

Chicken Satay at the Silk & Spice
Look at all that peanut sauce covering that chicken satay

Our main dishes arrived soon after and the Thai Crispy Chicken was coated with a tangy and spicy sauce that was delicious and gave the dish a little chilli kick. The meal came with a refreshing papaya salad which assisted in quenching the palate.

Thai Crispy Chicken with a Papaya salad
Thai Crispy Chicken with a Papaya salad

The chef recommended Lemongrass lamb once again was nicely presented with well trimmed lamb slices. The meat was cooked nicely and covered in a spicy curry sauce with quite a lot of bite to it. As a suggestion, try ordering the medium heat dish if mouth burning spice is not your thing.

Lemongrass Lamb
Hot and spicy, Lemongrass Lamb

Once the mains were polished off we waited for our highly anticipated desserts. My Thai Sticky Rice with Banana came with a side serve of coconut ice cream. The texture and consistency of the rice was smooth, with a mixture of crushed banana. Their coconut ice cream was fantastic, a beautifully presented and delicious dessert.

Sticky rice with banana and Coconut ice cream
Sticky rice with banana and Coconut ice cream

Our Coconut Panna Cotta was served in a cocktail glass and topped with fresh berries. The sweet creaminess of the Panna Cotta was sensational and once finished, we definitely thought about ordering another.

Coconut Panna Cotta with mixed berries
Coconut Panna Cotta with mixed berries

Overall the Silk & Spice is an excellent place to eat, their location, outside exterior and advertising exposure needs a lot of work. As a customer, you could easily drive by this restaurant without knowing. Our recommendation is to stop and enjoy their good quality food. The serving staff is excellent, extremely friendly, and happy to have a quick chat with you. So give them a try and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you.

Additional information

211 Henley Beach Road, Torrensville SA 5031
Ph: (08) 8352 8888
Website: www.silkandspice.com.au

Main Meal Price Range AUD$12.90 – $27.90

Trading Hours

Lunch:   Wednesday – Friday 11:30am to 2:30pm                              Dinner:   Sunday, Tuesday – Thursday 5:30pm to 8:30pm (kitchen hrs) Friday – Saturday 5:30pm to 9:30pm (kitchen hrs)

Silk & Spice rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Decor =9
Atmosphere = 9
Service =9
Price = 9
Food =9

Overall = 9

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Day trip to Hahndorf and the Farm Shed

There are times in my life when I flash back to my childhood. I hear a phase like “Let’s go on a day trip” and I feel like I’m that little kid again, all excited to begin a new adventure for the day. So when the suggestion came that we head to Hahndorf for lunch at the Farm Shed, I was out the door and in the car waiting eagerly for everyone else.

Hahndorf
The Historic Main Street of Hahndorf

Hahndorf is a popular historic German township about 28 kilometres from the Adelaide city centre in the spectacular Adelaide Hills. The township offers a variety of things to do for visiting tourists. It’s popular for its wineries, local stores like Udder Delights, the Hahndorf farm barn and Beerenberg store and Strawberry Farm. For some information about our trip to Hahndorf, visit Josie Wanders to find out why Hahndorf is considered a gem of a town.

Farm Shed
A wide range of local and international cheeses in Udder Delights

Whilst enjoying the sights and playing tourist for the day we headed into the Farm Shed for a quick meal and to get out of a sudden rainstorm.

The Farm Shed is one of Hahndorf’s premier wine bars and restaurants. It is found inside a heritage listed building on the main street that was once Australia’s first Lutheran school. The Farm Shed contains two table serviced sections, a quaint front bar roadside and a restaurant down the gravel driveway. Head Chef, Brad Perrott has created an interesting menu, with a selection of native and standard meat cuts for his customers.

The Farm Shed Wine Bar and Restaurant
The Farm Shed Wine Bar and Restaurant

This trip we opted to stay in the front bar area and settle in for a quality lunch. The wine bar area has rustic furnishings that suit the style of the restaurant. Since we were eating in the bar area we decided we’d try out their pizzas, all topped with good local, fresh produce. We choose two of the tempting signature pizza’s, The “Big” Smoke and the vegetarian version of the Mediterranean.

Front Bar of the Farm Shed
The Farm Shed offer a good range of beers, wines and ciders.
Farm Shed
Quaint Rustic Furnishings

The “Big” Smoke consisted of delicious smoked chicken, bacon, mushroom, caramelised onion and cheddar cheese on a perfect pastry base covered in BBQ sauce. It was probably one of the best restaurant made pizzas I’ve tried. The flavour and quality of the produce was second to none. A truly exceptional tasting pizza!

The "Big Smoke signature pizza
The “Big Smoke signature pizza

Our second pizza was the healthier vegetarian option Mediterranean, consisting of roast pumpkin, red onion, mushroom, roasted capsicum, baby spinach, cheddar cheese and crumbled feta. Once again a quality pizza with superb flavour combinations and fabulous local produce.

A Mediterranean Pizza
A Mediterranean Pizza

Hahndorf’s Farm shed offers it customers some excellent food, in the comfort of Australia’s first Lutheran school. Although the price of meals can become expensive, there is no doubt about the quality of the food served and the freshness of the produce. Hahndorf is definitely one of those not to miss towns in South Australia, so spend a couple of days there. Make sure you have a meal at the Farm Shed and tell them, Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional information

64 Main Street, Hahndorf SA 5245
Ph: 0451978848 or 0433155988
Website: www.farmshedonline.com

Price Range AUD$9.00 – $75.00

Book Available Accommodation in Hahndorf

Opening Hours
Mon:          Closed
Tue:           Closed
Wed:          Closed
Thu:           11.30am to Close
Fri:             11.30am to Close
Sat:            11.30am to Close
Sun:           11.30am to Close
The Farm Shed rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Decor =9
Atmosphere = 9
Service =8
Price = 7
Food =10

Overall = 9

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Cafe Bavaria – Last Morning in Victor Harbor

It’s our last morning in Victor Harbor, the birds are making their morning calls, and there’s a slight chill in the air. Encounter Bay is calm, and George the friendly Pelican is sitting on his rock. He’s patiently waiting for a local fisherman to come along and give him some breakfast. Unfortunately there’s no fisherman today and like us George has to hunt down his own breakfast. He heads off to fish and we make our way to Café Bavaria.

Encounter Bay
That’s George waiting for breakfast from the local fisherman.

Located in the heart of Victor Harbor, Café Bavaria offers their customers indoor or al fresco dining and from the number of people situated at the tables you can tell it is quite popular. There are some workers in uniforms having breakfast together and some tourists like us looking for a good nourishing start to the day.

Café Bavaria
Inside Café Bavaria

As it is still a little cold, and I’m a little precious, I convince Josie to sit inside at one of the small tables. As the name of the café suggests Café Bavaria is German influenced and the menu reflects the same, with some German dishes. The interior of the cafe isn’t fancy; there are a few scattered tables, a service counter and a full cake display.

Café Bavaria cake display
Look at all those fresh cakes! I wonder if I’ll be able to fit a slice in?

As I’m feeling a little hungry we select their “Full Monty” breakfast option, a serve of pancakes and two café lattes for that coffee fix.

Café Bavaria cafe lattes
The morning coffee fix

The pancakes were served with cream, maple syrup and blueberry compote. The three perfectly round pancakes were light and fluffy and the cream, maple syrup and blueberry compote gave them a sweet delicious finish.

Sweet pancakes with cream, maple syrup and blueberry compote
Sweet pancakes with cream, maple syrup and blueberry compote

The aptly named dish the Full Monty comes with eggs of your choice. In this case poached, bacon, knackwurst sausage, grilled tomato, mushrooms, a hash brown and continental toast.  The food was good and piled up of each other and we were unable to finish the entire meal. This would definitely be my go to meal if I was suffering from a hangover and in need of a large breakfast.

Café Bavaria Full Monty
Now this is the Full Monty
Verdict

Café Bavaria is a good place to have breakfast. The meals are quite large so make sure you bring your appetite. Service is quick and efficient and the coffees are small but very good. In regards to price, the meals do give you value for money. The shop may become busy quickly, so make sure you time your visit carefully. You may have to do some sightseeing around the foreshore before a table becomes free. So if you are looking for a good hearty breakfast in Victor Harbor try Café Bavaria. Enjoy the large meals and remember to tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional information

Café Bavaria                                                                                                                       11 Albert Place, Victor Harbor
Ph: (08) 8552 7505
Website: www.cafebavaria.com.au

Business Hours: Daily 08:30am -03:30pm

Price Range: AUD$4.20 – $21.90

Café Bavaria rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Decor =6
Atmosphere = 7
Service =8
Price = 9
Food =8

Overall = 7.5

*This post contains affiliate links

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Exploring Baudins Restaurant at McCracken

After a busy day of having fun in Victor Harbor, you just want to have a nice relaxing meal. Maybe you’ve been exploring the local sights and enjoying that Fleurieu Peninsula hospitality. Hopefully you’ve jumped on the Cockle train to Goolwa or visited the educational South Australian Whale Centre. Now, you just want to rest have a good meal, a glass of wine and recap the days events. Well my advice is to make a night of it at Baudins Restaurant at the McCracken Country Club.

The Cockle Train
The Cockle Train from Victor Harbor to Goolwa

Baudins Restaurant is a part of the McCracken Country Club. The country club offers accommodation, an 18 hole golf course, bistro and Baudins Restaurant for a fine dining experience. To the left of the main entrance McCracken Country Clubs patrons enter a bar area which leads towards Baudins Restaurant. You are greeted at the main restaurant door by a waitress, and if your table is not ready you can make your way back to the bar for some pre dinner drinks.

Entry into the Baudin Restaurant
Entry into the Baudins Restaurant

The restaurant is in a large function room overlooking the picturesque golf course fairways. The tables are nicely spread out and consist of a mixture of booth tables and standard settings. Once our table was ready our waitress showed us to our booth table and we quickly settled in.

Baudin Restaurant dining area
Baudins Restaurant dining area

By comparison to other restaurants, the table was pretty bare. We didn’t have any place-settings, no cutlery, no side plates, just a stark table. It took about ten minutes before we were handed menus, which was not a good start. I could tell they were quite busy and with only two waitresses serving the room, you could see they were doing their best. It took about twenty minutes before we were served again to order food and some drinks and another 10 before the drinks arrived. Luckily the waitresses were friendly and we weren’t in any rush to leave.

The restaurants menu offers a good selection of meals created with locally sourced produce. We opted for the Chicken and Asparagus filled Filo pastry on a Napolitano base and the Twice cooked Pork Knuckle for our mains. For an entrée we chose a half a dozen Kilpatrick Oysters and for dessert we couldn’t resist trying the Eton Mess. Baudins restaurant also offers an excellent range of local wines to accompany your meal.

Kilpatrick Oysters
Some of the best Kilpatrick Oysters I’ve had in a long time

The meal started to arrive about twenty minutes after we ordered, which was a huge improvement from the initial service received. After eating the Kilpatrick Oysters all I can say is wow! The oysters were cooked to perfection and the balance of flavours was sensational. I must say these oysters were some of the best I’ve had. And do you know what, the food only got better from there.

Our mains arrived shortly after that and the chicken and asparagus filo was crispy, providing that crunch with every bite. The chicken and asparagus filling was not dry or over cooked. The filo encapsulating the moisture of the filling without it seeping through. Additionally ,that Napolitano puree added an extra smooth texture which enhanced a good meal.

Chicken and Asparagus Filo
Chicken and Asparagus FIlo on a bed of tomato puree

What can I say about the twice cooked pork knuckle except it was a good size and the crackling was…. Awesome! It was served with creamy mashed potato, some braised cabbage and a spicy plum and ginger sauce. Full of flavour but a little hard to cut, more because I just didn’t know where to start. Do you go, crackling, meat, crackling, meat or do you have the vegetables first. Once I’d made my choice it was delicious and extremely filling. The plum and ginger sauce combined with the pork was always going to be an absolute winner.

Twice cooked Pork Knuckle
Twice cooked Pork Knuckle. Where do you start?

With the main courses out of the way we patiently waited for our Eton Mess. Again we weren’t disappointed with the product placed in front of us. Unfortunately with no spoons available we had to wait while the staff searched for suitable spoons. It was a case of, do I need a spoon to eat this? I’m sure the other patrons would understand! It is Eton Mess! Although they returned with two different spoons it  didn’t matter, as the Eton Mess was fantastic. The folding of meringue with the smooth cream and raspberry coulis was tantalising on the palate. Baudins’ Eton Mess was a perfect way to finish off a quality meal.

Eton Mess
Eton Mess…Good luck stopping at one!
The Verdict

In my honest opinion Baudins Restaurant has a lot of potential to be an elite restaurant. I’d say the kitchen cohesion and food preparation must be excellent, because it reflects on the food that they produce and present to their customers. I cannot fault the food, the flavour, the menu options, they were all excellent. My main concern is the main room floor management needs a little improvement. The staff is friendly and helpful but the lack of room control, makes them look a little overwhelmed. A little thing like showing your customers to their tables with menus in hand gives the service some efficiency. Pre-setting tables so your customers aren’t waiting for cutlery, all reflect a well thought out service. With quality food on offer these minor front of house issues should be easily rectified.

When you are in Victor Harbor, I recommend making your way to Baudins Restaurant, their food is excellent and you must try their Eton Mess, over and over again. Have a great evening, drink some good local wines and tell them, Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

McCracken Country Club’s Baudins Restaurant additional information.

For Bookings, Baudins Restaurant is located at the McCracken Country Club, McCraken Drive, Victor Harbor.                                   Phone: 08 8551 0200

Book your McCraken Country Club Accomodation here

Baudins Restaurant is open for dinner service Tuesday – Saturday nights

Entrée Prices range from AUD$6.00 – $16.00                                         Main meals AUD$18.00 – $44.00                                                               Dessert prices AUD$9.90 – $16.90

Baudins Restaurant rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Decor =8
Atmosphere = 8
Service =6
Price = 8
Food =10

Overall = 8

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The Bluff Resort Apartments

One of the hardest choices when travelling is finding the right place to stay in. With so many hotels, resorts and Airbnb apartments to stay in it all comes down to location and cost per night. On our recent trip to Victor Harbor we planned to Quad Bike at Waitpinga Farm and spend time in the main tourist area of Victor Harbor. After some research we decided the Bluff Resort Apartments would fit the bill nicely, so I quickly organised a room.

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The Bluff Resort Apartments is situated on the side of Rosetta Head. Rosetta Head overlooks the entrance to Encounter Bay and has spectacular views of the ocean. The Bluff Resort boasts a history going back to 1836, with it currently located on the old whaler’s station site. The resort contains 42 apartments on various levels. The first level has balcony views of the bay and township. Whilst the rear offset level studio apartments have limited views. Each apartment has one car park per room. Seaside apartments having access to undercover parks whilst other rooms only have open parking.

Bluff Resort on-site car park
Bluff Resort on-site car park

The reception is located between the two main buildings next to the resorts sparkling clear blue pool. Due to our expected late arrival we were offered an after-hours key drop service. Although not needed it was nice to know that we didn’t need to rush to ensure we could check in.

Queen bed in a offset rear room at Bluff Resort Apartment
Queen bed in a suite

After the friendly check in, we were allocated one of the rear suites. These rooms are fairly large and capable of accommodating a family of four. The suite contains a queen bed for the parents and a fold out lounge for the kids.

Bluff Resort Apartments
Fold out lounge for the kids to accommodate four people

The rooms have a self-contained shower cubicle and a separate toilet. Both rooms are tiled from floor to ceiling and would get pretty cold on a frosty morning. Luckily the room does have a working heater/air conditioner so you can set the room to your own comfort level. Other room accessories include, an iron, cups, crockery and that all important hair dryer.

Bluff Resort Apartments
Self-contained shower cubicle

Each room comes with an in-room coffee supply and a fridge containing milk. Not your measly little pod milks that you get in major hotels, but a 250ml fresh bottle. Hallelujah! The rooms also have local television with 8 other satellite channels featuring sport, films, news and children’s programs. Rooms also come with free Wi-Fi in case you need to log onto that device.

Bluff Resort Apartments Coffee and Tea Selection
Coffee and Tea Selection
Bluff Resort Apartment Features and Information

The facilities solar heated swimming pool is located out the front of the hotel overlooking the bay. Opening hours are 8am – 9pm during the summer. 8am – 8pm during spring and autumn and if you’re daring enough you can swim in the winter from 8am – 5pm.

Bluff Resort swimming pool
Crystal clear swimming pool. Still too cold to go for a swim. Maybe next time.

BBQ facilities are also located next to the swimming pool and are available during pool opening times. The only condition is that you leave the area tidy after use.

BBQ Area Bluff Resort Apartments
It’s time for a BBQ

The resort is located right next to Eat @ Whalers and although adjoining the resort it is a separate business offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Eat @ Whalers
Eat @ Whalers

Reception is manned daily from 8am -5pm Sunday to Thursday and 8am – 6pm Friday and Saturday. Snacks and some personal products are available to purchase if you can’t make it to a local shop. The resort also has a guest laundry located next to the pool that is open 24 hours. Laundry powder is available to purchase from the reception.

Check in: 2pm Check Out: 10am

Price Range: AUD$155 Suite – AUD$385 3 Bedroom Apartment

Verdict

The Bluff Resort Apartments are a comfortable clean resort that has a lot going for it. Currently their views of the bay are outstanding, but with a new development occurring in front of the resort views may possibly diminish. We did enjoy our stay here and was chuffed by having enough real milk in the room to both enjoy a in house coffee. You know, the little things! We would happily stay at the Bluff Resort Apartments again and believe you would too. So book a night or two and remember to tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Service = 8
Comfort=8
Cleanliness = 8
Price = 8
Facilities =8

Overall = 8

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Whales, Penguins and the Hotel Crown at Victor Harbor

I have always liked going to Victor Harbor. The relaxed lifestyle with the possibility of seeing whales frolic and socialise or visiting Granite Island’s local penguin colony, has always held some amazement. Usually after exploring the conservation areas, we seem to always end up in one of the pubs for a drink and a quick meal. This trip we ended up at the Hotel Crown for lunch to see what they have on offer.

Warland Reserve Water Fountain
Whale Tail Fountain in Warland Reserve

The Hotel Crown overlooks Warland Reserve and the causeway that leads out to Granite Island. From the outside it is a beautiful historic two storey building. Once you enter you find yourself in a large dining area. We end up sitting next to some glass windows that lookout into a water featured pond and check out the sizeable menu.

Hotel Crown
Tables overlooking water feature

The Hotel Crown offer an average range of pub fare. This includes salads, burgers, schnitzels, seafood and other meat dishes. Food prices range from AUD$12.90 for a plain small schnitzel or roast to the Seafood for 2 platter for AUD$49.90. They also provide a good selection of wines with a per glass cost of AUD$4.50 – AUD$10 and bottles ranging from AUD$20 – AUD$50. Each meal comes with access to the salad bar and daily soup.

Salad Bar
A well stocked salad bar, all fresh and delicious

We couldn’t resist the sensational value of the Seafood for 2 platter option. It consisted of Natural Oysters, Grilled Scallops, Baked Mussels, Crisp Fried Squid, Grilled Prawns, Crumbed Salmon, Chips, Aioli and a Bottle of Morgan’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc or Shiraz – Cabernet. Exceptional value!

Seafood for 2
Seafood for 2 – exceptional value

We help ourselves to the salad bar and tried their chicken and sweet corn soup. The salad is fresh and the options are very good, which is a positive for any vegetarians as I could find only one vegetarian main course, their AUD$17.90 Falafel Burger. It isn’t too long before our Seafood for 2 platter is brought out and from a visual inspection it looks good.

The natural oysters are a perfect start with a squeeze of lemon juice. Next is the grilled scallops, which are covered with a crumbed baked, and immediately on taste you lose the subtle flavour of the scallops as they are simply overpowered by the seasoned crumbed bake. We follow that up with the baked mussel, which again is covered with a crumbed seasoning, but this time it works, the strong flavour of the mussels isn’t drowned out by the topping.

The grilled prawns are fantastic, they hold in the moisture and are not dried out and are excellently cooked. The crumbed salmon is fine, it’s like you get in most fish and chip shops minus the litres to oil. The chips are a good size and the tartar and aioli sauces are also okay. Unfortunately the big loser of the dish is the crisp fried squid, it had a burnt oil flavour. It was like it started out as a salt and pepper squid. It was then deep fried and overcooked leaving the taste of burnt oil and seasoning. We had to leave the squid mainly untouched. My recommendation is for the Hotel Crown to reconsider their presentation options of some the the platters elements. The Morgan’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc was young but a good quaff.

Morgan's Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Morgan’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc

The Hotel Crown is good pub, and from the amount of patrons visiting at lunchtime it is a popular one. Its location is fantastic and their dining area is large with tables dotted around the room with plenty of mobility, so wheelchair access is favourable. Like most pubs in Australia they have counter service and except most major credit cards. They are also in Adelaide’s entertainment book which offers 25% off the total bill up to AUD$35.

Overall the Hotel Crown is a friendly pub, which offers average pub fare. Honestly, we were a bit surprised by the Seafood for 2 platter, because it is exceptional value. They have plenty of things going for it, like a play room for children. Thankfully young parents can have a bit of a rest while their children entertain themselves. Another generous offer is that from Monday to Friday, children eat free for lunch and dinner. All we can say is give them a chance but don’t expect too much and if you do visit, tell them Simon for Ourworldinreview sent you!

Booking Information

The Hotel Crown is located at 2 Ocean Street, Victor Harbor.

Victor Harbor offers various affordable options for accommodation.

Hotel Crown rating: 1-10 (1=very poor, 10 = excellent)

Decor =6
Atmosphere = 6
Service =6
Price = 9
Food =6

Overall = 6.5

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