Sydney with the girls (a Mommy and daughter trip)

It feels like not too long ago, I was tumbling down the slopes of Tomamu in Hokkaido and a couple of weeks later, we packed our bags to head down under for a Mom-and-Girl Brat trip. Yes, sans husband/ father for 5 days and 4 nights.

Pretty manageable now that the girls are older but also pretty crazy because even though the meltdowns are lesser, there were moments where they individually drove us moms bat-shit crazy. I guess the expectations of them as little girls are higher compared to when they were toddlers where we could just brush it off and say that they are still young, they don’t know. But they do know.

Our itinerary this trip was pretty much rest and relaxed. Well, largely because Libby and I were so busy with MAPL days leading up to the trip that we didn’t really have much time to do much planning. I guess the whole point of a holiday is that we just figure out along the way and just have fun. Which we did.

Here’s a quick summary of what we did, what we ate and basically, how we survived with two little kids in tow.

How we traveled around Sydney:

We took the red eye from Singapore to Sydney and about 1 hour into the flight, both girls slept for a good 5-6 hours which allowed me to catch up on all the movies that I really wanted to watch but didn’t get a chance to. Win! After we landed into Sydney, we booked our airport transfer from babytaxis.com.au simply because we heard/ know that it’s pretty strict in Australia and kids needed to be strapped in with their own child-seat. Initially we wanted to bring our own Trunk booster seat but realised that we couldn’t as the seat did not comply with the standards of car safety stipulated by the Australian Government.

How we got around Sydney? We relied heavily on public transport such as the train and taxis. We used Uber alot and indicated clearly to the assigned drivers that we had two kids at the age of 4. Some days we were lucky and the drivers actually accepted our booking and insisted that we belt them up. On some occasions, we would get rejected. We later found out that if you are traveling with young kids and do not have a car-seat, you could simply book a cab or flag down a taxi. All you needed to do is to belt the kids up with the safety seats. So that became our favoured mode of transport for nearby locations.

Otherwise, most of the time, we really explored the nearby attractions by foot and pushed the girls around in their compact city strollers by Mimosa. We were invited to test this newly launched product by Mothercare and it was a life-saver. The girls are at a age where they are slightly too heavy to be carried all the time. If we drag them on their feet to walk, I’m sure we will be stopping every 1 minute or so only to hear their complaining and whining that they are simply too tired. The city compact stroller was lightweight and easy to maneuver around the crowded streets of Sydney. The girls loved being in the stroller and when it was time for a nap, they happily snoozed in it while us moms continued shopping. Not bad at all. Highly recommend a compact stroller if you are planning your next city getaway with a kid.

Where we stayed:

Libby suggested that we get a 2-bedroom service apartment located near shops/ restaurants around Darling Habour. It was a lovely and comfortable stay that provided all the comfort of what a home would give for a short-stay. The girls had a great time play-pretend camping and swimming in the make-shift pool which was actually their bath-tub. The apartment was close to Darling Harbour where we brought the girls too on Good Friday when almost everything was shut. It was also close to Surry Hills where the girls enjoyed a scoop of that creamy artisanal Gelato Messina before burning their energy at a nearby playground.

What I particularly liked about the area was that shopping was also a stone’s throw away from where we were. A walk down the street and Queen Victoria Building plus the swanky Westfield shopping mall were just within our reach. For ease of convenience, Coles supermarket was just downstairs our apartment. That really helped when we needed to stock up fast on groceries plus wine or even grab a bite or two.

Where we went:

On entertaining the kids, again, we had grand plans to bring them to the zoo, to Bondi beach, to check out the Sydney Opera House (which we did for all of 10 minutes), but I guess nothing really mattered to them except being around each other to play with. I did manage to score a reservation at the highly popular Grounds at Alexandria Cafe. But, guess what? We overslept the next morning – girls slept at 1am and the moms slept at 3.30am. So our best laid plans went awry. We settled for a leisure breakfast around the hood and then chilled out.

Ahead of our trip, we did purchase tickets online to the Sydney Royal Easter Show which was this grand carnival affair where the highlight of the show was the Easter Showbags filled with merchandise that you probably may or may not want at a value that you will certainly get for more.

There were like nearly 100 different types of showbags to cater practically every age group. Our eyes widened when we entered the grounds but we tried our best to control given that we have limited luggage space plus we didn’t want to bring home more things than what the girls actually needed.  So we let the girls choose one showbag each. I would have loved for mine to pick either the Disney Princess or My Little Pony themed showbag, but she went straight for the LOL Surprise Doll showbag. Well, since we don’t get much LOL Surprise Doll merchandise in Singapore plus each doll actually cost so much, I decided to let her get it. One of the other reasons is that the merchandise that were in this particular showbag actually looked quite pleasing to the eye.

We also brought the girls on some rides and then each of them had a scoop of ice-cream as a treat while we Mamas rested on the bench with cold coffees/ beverages. For Autumn, the weather in Sydney felt surprisingly hot.

But we are thankful for the warm weather and the blue skies that allowed us to fully enjoy the Sydney Royal Easter Show. We spent about 4 hours exploring the area which was really huge. We heard that there are several activities that are lined up for kids and adults that will go all the way to the night but well, we didn’t have enough energy to last till then.

Where we ate:

There are no lack of restaurants and cafes in Sydney. Prior to the Bub’s arrival, I would have taken the time to go hunt down the coolest cafes and restaurants to dine in. But I find it somewhat harder to do that with a kid because truth be told, their schedules (as erratic as it sounds) do take precedent. Luckily for us, we had Libby who already knew a couple of hip/ cool places that we could go to so I felt comforted of being part of the dining scene in Sydney.

While the girls took their naps, Libby and I had a good work-out from our hotel to Surry Hills and hunted down Bourke Street Bakery. The sausage roll (fresh out off the oven) were divine and what I really enjoyed more was this ginger creme brulee tart. The caramelised sugar crust had a nice crunch and there was just about the right amount of ginger flavouring to the creme brulee as the dessert entered my mouth. By the way, we didn’t just stop at one tart. We decided to bag one back to the apartment as well.

On Good Friday when most of Sydney was shut, we managed to find Devon Cafe open and we headed there with the troop. There was a short 15 minutes wait where we got the girls to run around before we were promptly seated. Devon Cafe serves up hearty Asian fusion meals and we really enjoyed the miso grilled salmon while the girls couldn’t pass up the fries during the meal.

And I guess no trip is complete if we didn’t make our way down to the Adriano Zumbo kiosk for macarons for the little ones. They really enjoyed it and so did we. The salted caramel ones were my fave.

There you have it, a quick round-up of our 5D4N trip to Sydney. Lovely memories to last us till our next holiday! 🙂

Family fun in Gold Coast

Ever since having a kid, I kinda think Australia is a choice destination when it comes to family holidays. It’s relatively easy and near to fly to, plus majority of the establishments are generally child-friendly.

Last December, we decided to travel as one big extended family Down Under. Perth was suggested but tossed out of the window when we found out that we could borrow my Mom’s boss’s apartment in Gold Coast. Since I’m terribly late in sharing this post, will do up a simple round-up of our 10-days trip to Gold Coast.

img_5429Flying to Gold Coast
We flew to Gold Coast by Scoot because that’s the only carrier that offered a direct flight. If prefer to fly via Singapore Airlines, then you would need to fly to Brisbane and then either take a bus or a train down to Gold Coast. We thought traveling in a large group of 8 pax (5 adults and 3 kids), the train and coach from Brisbane to Gold Coast might be somewhat logistically challenging. So the direct flight to Scoot appeared to be a better choice.

Here’s what we learn about flying on Scoot, so thought I’d just share if you can’t quite decide if you wish to fly on budget. Number one, while Scoot is considered to be budget, we realised that prices aren’t quite budget. The airfare for me and the Bub came up to nearly S$2,000 after adding taxes plus baggage allowance. That said, we did choose Scoot because it flew direct to Gold Coast so we understood that there wasn’t going to be much savings given that we were also travelling in a huge group during high season of travel.

img_5417-1Number two, bring along your own blanket and pillow on-board for they will not be provided free on flight. If you do forget your blanket or pillow, you can purchase from Scoot for a fee. Number three, beverages and meals all come at a cost on Scoot. It’s cheaper for to purchase your meals ahead rather than purchasing on-flight. Also, if you plan to bring along your own meals, well, do eat discreetly for the air-crew actually will tell you to keep away your own food. Do bring along a hot water flask to load up on hot water for making milk for your child if needed. We found that to be useful for during the flight, Bubba had a huge appetite only for milk.

img_5433-1On entertainment, do not expect any complimentary in-flight entertainment. Other than that, we took a red-eye flight to Gold Coast where the Bub slept most of the trip and then on the way back home to Singapore, the iPad loaded with her fave games and cartoons kept her occupied for a good part of the trip.

img_6195Getting around Gold Coast
Our apartment was in South Port which was walking distance to a mall, it was also close to a tram and bus stop. Our preferred mode of transport to get around was actually Uber. It was quick and convenient so we basically just relied on that as we heard that cabs in Gold Coast can get quite costly. But one point to note is that if you intend to travel further out, you may wish to do a fare estimate between Uber and Gold Coast Cabs. We did just that and found out that it was a whole lot more convenient chartering a maxi cab that could sit all 8 of us comfortably with our shopping bags instead of splitting the group into 2 separate cars.

img_6196Eating around Gold Coast
To be honest, we had grand plans about dining in some restaurants. We did just that on our first day as it was my Dad’s birthday but we had one child who was sleeping in her stroller (mine), another child who slept on my sister’s lap and one cranky child was was sleep-deprived. The adults ended up wolfing down our food and drinks. In the end, my mom suggested that it was more peaceful to have our meals at home.

Mummies are really the best! My mom actually lugged a box of dried food stuff (which we declared to the customs) to Gold Coast and made sure that we ate at least a hearty meal at home. That hearty meal became 2 meals a day simply because it was way easier to sort out the kids meals at home. They get to sit down with minimal distractions and finish their meals. When they are done, they either play amongst themselves, watch tv and have ice-cream while the rest of the adults slowly eat up the rest of the leftovers and finish the bottle of wine. It was a whole lot more enjoyable that way. So, hat’s off and THANK YOU MUMMY for making all that food for us during the trip! 🙂

img_5283Home-cooked meals also mean that they cost way cheaper than dining out. We got choice-cut meats like beef steak, lamb, chicken, etc at the local supermarket along with fresh fruits and vegetables that accompanied our meal. The kids went crazy over the ham and bacon and we literally could polish off nearly 300 grams of cold cuts for breakfast. Oh, let’s not forget just how affordable wine is over in Australia. The sister and I were happy with our local wine store finds of wine that cost AUD 13 a bottle. She proudly chimed that if she lived in Australia any longer, she would probably become an alcoholic. Haha..

img_4840Gold Coast Attractions and Theme Parks
We knew that we wanted to go to a couple of theme parks like Movie World, Sea World and an animal related attraction. Trawled the internet and managed to find a pass that had a 1-year unlimited access into Movie World, Sea World, Wet n Wild and Paradise Country for under AUD 90 a head at Experience OZ. This was a pretty good deal so we got passes for the adults and the older kids. As Bubba is under three, her entry to all of the above-mentioned attractions were free.

img_6197Paradise Country:
Get pretty up-close-and-personal with wildlife from Australia such as koalas, kangaroos, sheep, etc. Have to add that the car-ride there was a little bumpy and the Bub threw up her breakfast all over me so that was pretty eventful (and ironic, not to mention as I was wearing the ‘Queen’ tee). Thankfully, I had a spare change of clothes for her and there were a couple of souvenir shops for me to grab a tourist-tee for a quick change.

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We spent about 3 hours at Paradise Country looking at the different animals but didn’t quite stay on for the shows for it was a little too hot being out in the sun. I did spent AUD6 on kangaroo feed (got 3 packs of the kangaroo food for all 3 kiddos). Well, I kinda regretted the move for most of the food was wasted. The kangaroos were simply fed too well that most of them weren’t very interested in eating what was being thrown at them. I guess the kids did have fun running after them and begging them to eat their food from their palms.

img_6271Sea World
Memories of Sea World remained faint as I visited the attraction like many years ago but I was excited to bring the Bub for she showed a keen interest in marine life. And following our trip to Japan where she visited the various aquariums and marvelled at the marine life behind those thick glass panels, I thought this would be one of the attractions that better suited her.

Well, turned out Sea World was a lot smaller than some of the aquariums that we had visited in Japan. We spent about 3-4 hours there and pretty much toured the entire place. There wasn’t much of a marine life to boast about but we did see penguins, dolphins and sea-lions.

img_4968Perhaps, the saving grace for Sea World (which felt like it was in dire need of a face-lift given the standards of theme parks these days) was the Nickoloden play area which had rides that were great for younger kids. Managed to convince the Bub to go on this fun air-plane ride which she gamely went along with me. She’s usually quite timid when it comes to taking rides so I was impressed by her show of courage.

img_4957The presence of Dora also brought a wide smile to her face. She patiently waited in line before shyly going up to Dora to ask where her backpack was. When Dora picked her up, she was thrilled and I was just pleased to have snapped a nice shot of her wide smile.

img_4932My older nephews weren’t too interested in the kiddy rides. In fact, they spent most of my Dad’s money on carnival games and we ended up going up with a bag of soft toys that they won from the challenges. Haha!

img_4982I ain’t going to do a round-up of Movie World for you probably can get most of the research online. I only wished that they still had the Harry Potter ride as her outfit would be perfect for the themed par.k. Unfortunately, as the weather was too hot, we changed her into something more comfortable. We spent more than half a day there but Bubba didn’t take a lot of the rides as they were meant more for older kids and adults. Not like she was complaining but she fell asleep for a few hours after insisting on going round the merry-go-round for the umpteenth time.

img_4688-1Shopping in Gold Coast
We spent quite a lot of time at the supermarket, going down aisles to check out what interesting food stuff they have that we don’t in Singapore. The selection of snacks, biscuits, toiletries and even toys made us very excited.

img_5116Here are some of the kids snacks which I brought back for the Bub and her little friends. Her fave of t he lot are those dried fruit which she simply adores and loves. That’s the only snack that will keep her in her stroller without any complaints. Those yogurt coated raisins in that Peppa Pig box is also a healthy snack that she enjoys.

img_5066We also made it to Harbour Town Factory Outlet where we spent nearly an entire day shopping. The kids cooperated after they had their meals by falling asleep in their strollers so we managed to squeeze in a couple of hours of shopping. Well, we didn’t go overboard but I did get my fix at Bonds and my sister, Mom and I scored a pair of new Vans shoes for a steal! These were kids sizes by the way and we paid about AUD30 for these Super Mario Limited Edition kicks. Super happy!

img_5096Check out our Vans shoes twinning shot!

img_5112That’s not all! We managed to stock up on some kids clothes for Bubba at Target and KMart and I lugged home many of Bubba’s new toys from her recent cartoons craze – Paw Patrol and Blaze and the Monster Machines. Yes, that’s my girl for you.. not your usual Disney Princess loving kid, instead she loves dogs plus monster trucks. Kinda funny and cute altogether!

img_5189Guess that sums up our family trip to Gold Coast. We did enjoy ourselves very much and I think the Bub really enjoyed the company of her cousins, grandparents plus uncle/ aunt tremendously. The day passed by so quickly with the trio of joy, sometimes laughing, singing, dancing and also bickering.

img_5382But that’s the beauty of family holidays, the memories do last. I used to love going holidays with my cousins and would look forward to the times spent with them. Being possibly the only child for now, I only hope that Bubba would love the company of her cousins too.

img_5264I must say we did pretty well in organising the logistics for a rather relaxing and well-rested family holiday that another family holiday with the entire gang is in the works. Taiwan perhaps? Anyone has an itinerary to share? 🙂

 

Gold Coast for Christmas

Christmas is often spent with family and loved ones. While I am not super big on the holiday, I still love the magical feeling in the air, the company of my family and the sometimes quibbling we get while ripping apart our wrappers next to the Christmas, not to mention the feasting.

This year, the Man decided to embark on his round-the-world-trip. I was a little crushed when he told me of his plans for I had hoped that we spend the holidays as a family, but I also knew that once he’s made up his mind, there’s no stopping him. Rather than have a disgruntled husband who’s probably going to assume the role as a Grinch over Christmas, I might as well let him go on his holiday alone and I make my own plans to spend the holidays with my family – the noisy bunch.

Turned out to be a great decision! It did take a little convincing my parents to spend the holidays overseas but because Christmas fell on a Sunday and we had Monday off, it allowed me to take some time off from work. I also knew my parents would love to spend some time with the Bub so the family holiday was perfect for bonding with my side of the family and her cousins whom she only gets to meet once a week.

When it came to deciding the country we should all visit, Japan came up as the preferred choice but I knew that travelling in a group of 9 with 3 young kids could potentially be challenging for Tokyo. Where are we to find an air BnB big enough to accommodate us all. Air BnB/ apartments are still preferred on family trips as it would allow us to prepare meals for the kids and my dad who may sometimes prefer the home-cooked food. Plus, it would be cold and the logistics of moving a big group via public transport seemed like another challenge to tackle on the list. So I suggested Australia as the next choice of destination. It was vetoed by most of the family members as December was Summer and it was going to be hot. I was a little crushed but after discussion, we decided to head down to Gold Coast. We had the loan of an apartment by one of my Mom’s bosses and Gold Coast seemed like a child-friendly destination for both the young and old. Plus, it has been ages since we last visited there so it would be nice to head back there and see what Gold Coast has to offer.

img_5428This is the whole Sim FamBam before our trip. I hope to be able to do a short post on what we have done over the 10 days which seemed long at first but it went by so fast. It’s true what they say, time does fly by when you are having fun!

img_4696In the meantime, leaving you this cute pic (well, at least I think she’s cute) of the Bub attempting to cast a magic spell on me. I think I need some magic around here to work on all my posts.

Looking forward to the upcoming New Year break but also feeling a little nostalgic about how quick the year just went by.

Staying at Crown Perth

IMG_9083We stayed at Crown Burswood in Perth for our family holiday. To be honest, I didn’t do much research on where to stay in Perth. I’ve heard that the city can get pretty quiet when night falls, so staying at Crown would probably be ideal given that the casino operates 24/7.

Another plus-point for staying at Crown is probably the restaurants that they have within their vicinity. Well, if you are not up for fine dining, there are a couple of casual eateries which we didn’t try but I saw within walking distance from the hotel as well as good old trusty Mac Donalds and Subway.

We ate very well for dinner the 3 nights that we stayed in Perth. The first was at Nobu.

IMG_9555The second night, we booked ourselves a hearty steak dinner at the swanky Rockpool Bar and Grill. Again, we were pleasantly surprised at how baby/ child-friendly the establishments were. They accommodated by giving us a corner at a quiet area of the restaurant (just in case, Bubba makes too much noise and disturb the rest of the diners). We managed to order 2 starters, a huge slab of steak and 1 order of sides plus a bottle of vino. IMG_9554We kept the little one occupied with bread rolls initially. She didn’t quite enjoy the bottled food that we have prepared for her and was fussing a little until we asked our server if they could give her some fruit to chew on. Out came this platter of apples thoughtfully sliced by the kitchen staff. That managed to keep Bubba occupied for a while longer before she decided that it was more fun throwing it on the floor.

IMG_9557That signalled the end of our superb meal where our tummies were filled to the brim because of the large portions. Didn’t even have space of desserts. Bummer!

IMG_8716For the last night that we were in Perth, we had a hard time deciding if we should head back to Rockpool or Nobu. Both were equally good but we figured that it would be hard to stomach steak for two consecutive nights so Nobu it was. Plus, there were so many other dishes that I had wanted to try in Nobu, so it made sense for us to head back.

IMG_9553The edamame done up in tempura style was seriously da bomb! The deep-fried oysters with filo pastry and served with wasabi mayo plus caviar was extremely sinful but worth the bite.

I have to add that service in Nobu was top-notch. We found a piece of bone in the sashimi and left it as that. In fact, we didn’t even bat an eyelid but just wanted to pass on the information over. That caused quite a stir in the kitchen and we had the Restaurant Manager coming to our table to apologise for this. Was quite impressed by the gesture.

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As for getting around the city from Crown, was it convenient? Well, we didn’t rent a car to drive around the city for the Man didn’t want to be bogged down by the parking. So we relied on public transport when we were in the city. For days when we wanted to get to specific places, we simply cabbed or used the Uber App to get us a car. Public transportation within the city is convenient as well, so we took the train as well as the buses to get us to tourist spots such as Fremantle Market (pictured above). By the way, the market is kinda small, it took as all of 15 minutes to get through the market. Talk about efficiency.

IMG_9081That’s about all we have on Crown Burswood in Perth. I think I have one more post on Perth and we are done with our travels for down under. 🙂 Stay tuned!

Checking out cafes/ bakeries plus some tips for Margaret River

Fresh from our holiday travels and still raving about Perth / Margaret River, some friends/ readers have asked to share what we did on our family holiday. Well, I wasn’t one of those hardworking Moms to plan an itinerary. But thought I’d share where we stayed and ate around Margaret River if you are interested to know.

Slept at Margarets Forrest Holiday Appartment:

This was a lovely apartment recommended by Mama S who went to Margaret River recently with her family. I booked it after checking out the reviews on Trip Advisor and was quite comfortable with the ratings. We checked straight in to the apartment after 3 hour odd drive from the city and was pleasantly surprised by the complimentary upgrade to a 2-bedroom apartment given by the management.

Layout wise, it was clean and rather spacious. The fittings look a tad bit worn but overall, it doesn’t look that bad. The kitchen facilities were a nice touch as we could whip up a light dinner and breakfast at the apartment.

Location wise. We couldn’t really ask for more. IGA, Coles Supermarket, Target Country was within walking distance to where we were located. There were also several small cafes and restaurants around the vicinity that made it so easy to go look for coffee and food when hunger struck.

Drank coffee at Brewers Shack:

IMG_8830One morning while we took a walk to check out the hood, we stumbled upon a tiny coffee joint that looked pretty cool from the outside. So we headed inside and ordered up a cuppa of coffee to start the day with.

IMG_8831They have quite interesting brews there too. Even though it was Autumn and I usually shun away from cold drinks in the morning, I decided to try out the cold coffee brew that had a mix of coconut water, cocoa, espresso and milk for it sounded really interesting. Thank goodness, this strange concoction didn’t taste all that bad.

IMG_8908Had breakfast at Margaret River Bakery

Calendar Gurl highly recommended that I check out Margaret River Bakery and since it was a stone’s throw away from where we stayed, we rocked up the place kinda bright and early on Monday morning. Was pretty surprised at the crowd and how almost 50% of the clientele are Asians. Interesting titbit for the day. IMG_8909The place was rather small and indoor seating was rather limited. We settled for a small table outside and despite it being a little chilly in the morning, I was secretly glad that there were giant heaters placed strategically to keep the diners warm for a bit.

IMG_8915I knew that we were going to be in for a huge meal later at lunch, so I opted to share breakfast with the Man. They had pancakes for kiddos under 12 as well and I decided to order that for Bubba with me telling the Man to remind the servers to leave the maple syrup at the side for Bubba. Order came right.. maple syrup was indeed by the side. Didn’t expect the icing sugar to be sprinkled so liberally on the mini pancakes. I had to dust them aside before giving it some to Bubba for her breakfast. In case you are wondering, nope, she didn’t finish all of those. She managed to finish a piece on her own, I accidentally dropped one on the floor and the Man and I each had one.

IMG_8914 Our French Toast with an added serving of scrambled eggs was quite a pretty sight to behold. It was a spin-off the classic French Toast and rosemary was thrown into the mix to give the usual sugary French Toast a savoury flavour instead. The nicely charred bacon along the somewhat melted parmesan cheese were the perfect accompaniment to the toast. This breakfast definitely added a couple more inches to my waistline. Arh… I had to stop myself from stuffing my face silly but the Man kept egging me on because he ordered a serving of croissant together with everything else. #facepalm!

Had dinner at La Scarpetta Trattoria:

IMG_9062Would like to stress that our apartment location was quite perfect for there were many restaurants close-by within walking distance. On our last night at Margaret River, we finally made it to this cosy Italian joint that came highly recommended by the staff at Margarets Forrest. Didn’t manage to take too many pictures for lighting was poor, but thankfully, that was the only thing that was bad. Food-wise, it was wholesome and very home-styled Italian cuisine. The menu changes on a daily basis so be surprised with what the kitchen has to whip up for the very day.

Missed checking out Morries (which is supposedly a really good tapas place) and Miki’s Open Kitchen (ranked #1 on Best Restaurant on Trip Advisor) because for the former, we missed a turn and accidentally ended up in another tapas restaurant and for the latter, reservations were full and they were closed on Sunday and Monday.

Hope this little list would come in handy for you if you are travelling to Margaret River with a young child.

Wineries -hopping at Margaret River

Wineries and vineyards are a-plenty at Margaret River but gone are the days where we would just pop into all the vineyards at first sight. Maybe it’s age. So this trip, these are some of the vineyards that we stopped at:

Voyager Estate

IMG_9133This came highly recommended by my cousin (who doesn’t drink) but shared that the rose garden on the estate grounds is truly beautiful. And she was right. This was our first stop after driving for almost 3 hours to Margaret River. Having cooped up for the car-ride, Bubba was just glad to be out in the open and crawl around on the grass. She’s into picking up leaves and putting them into her mouth, so we got to be quick to stop her from doing so!

Having skipped lunch, I booked for us to have tea. The booking quite quick and fast online but my regret was that I didn’t read the email confirmation properly and didn’t proceed to book the Afternoon Tea set that required 24 hours to pre-order. The Man rolled his eyes at me.

IMG_8785We did have the Cheese Platter as well as these lovely Scones served with fresh clotted cream. The scones were really good, buttery and fluffy, I let Bubba try some of these and she nibbled on them for a bit.

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IMG_9134We also served her those crackers which she loved even more to keep her occupied while we ate our food and sipped on this gorgeous bottle of golden white wine that the Man had ordered. I miss our drinking days. These days, drinking is measured because of Bubba. But our little girl is picking up our habits. When we placed a glass of wine and her milk bottle on the table, guess which one her little went for? That made the father very pleased indeed.

IMG_8793After our lovely tea and one where she charmed the socks off the servers, we took a leisurely walk around the Estate gardens again. The weather was great… cool air with warm sunshine, we threw Bubba up in the air and she chuckled heartily as we held her tight when she fell.

Vasse Felix

IMG_8844The Man booked us lunch at Vasse Felix but unfortunately, the day that we went, the weather was horrid. It was wet and gloomy. What kinda marred our lunch further was the flies that were buzzing around our table. Some even made its way into the wine glass, so we weren’t particularly impressed.

IMG_9146How did the meal fare? Well, I was a little disappointed with the food offerings. The description on the menu sounded so much better than what we actually was served. I’m not a food critic but we’ve been to restaurants in vineyards before and I have always enjoyed most of the meals whipped up in the kitchens. This sadly wasn’t what I really enjoyed. The Man felt the same way too.

IMG_8846Luckily for us, the weather did clear up a bit and we went outside to take 2 pictures before it started to drizzle again. Weather in Margaret River can get quite crazy. It can rain like buckets and then, you’ll get the sun for abit before the rain comes in again.

Aravina Estate
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We stumbled upon the Aravina Estate by chance while driving around Yallingup. What probably caught my eye was the sports car collection that the owner had. So I asked the Man to stop for a bit while we took turns to visit the place quickly since Bubba was fast asleep. I had wanted to try the wines but the place was kinda crowded so I zipped into the Sports Car museum instead to oogle at the Sports Car collection. If you do have some time in Margaret River, this is a lovely place to just stop and spend some time. Oh and if you do try the wine, do let me know if it’s any good too!

Leeuwin Estate IMG_9151

One of the founding wineries of Margaret River, Leeuwin Estate was the top of the list to visit and came recommended by many friends. It was quite difficult to score a reservation as well for some strange reason given that the period we were going didn’t quite seem like the peak period. Oh well, nevertheless, did manage to score a reservation for lunch on the eve of our departure.

IMG_9152 They had a degustation menu, so we ordered that. The fresh oysters were good as was the Taleggio, Jerusalem Artichokes and Muscatels. This was a 6-course meal, one where we opened a lovely bottle of wine to accompany the meal. If you are wondering how did Bubba do while we wined and dined? Well, she did sit pretty still munching on the bread pieces available for a bit. After that, she was raring to be carried. Check out grumpy face shot.

IMG_9153After a hearty lunch, we took a walk around the Estate. Even though it had a rained a few hours before, the grass was felt dry enough for us to put Bubba down and let her crawl around for a bit. Yes, and the thing that fascinates her on the ground is the dried up leaves which she picks up excitedly and shows it off to us like some kind of a treasure.

OT but love this Kenzo baby onesie that I scored for her on sale. It was a little splurge and I waited patiently for the day she could fit it. Of course, it was precious to me. Unfortunately, it’s now stained with tomato sauce cos Missy here grabbed her spoon as the Man fed her dinner and despite me scrubbing the outfit, the stains won’t go away. Bummer!

IMG_9154The backdrop of the still growing vineyard and the blue/grey skies made for a nice backdrop so the Man threw Bubba up in the end while I snapped happily away.

IMG_9155And yes, the infamous jumping shot is made possible as Bubba explores the ground while I jump and try not to kick her with my foot. While it does look kinda cheesy but I’m digging the Mom-and-Bubba matching outfits. Afterall, you can only do this when they are younger before they develop any fashion sense of their own and then cringe at your choices of outfits. So I might as well capitalise the time I have now before this girl protests in future. Hehe..

IMG_9061To round up, it is possible to go vine-yard hopping with a baby in tow. Granted, we can’t get crazy drunk like before, but drinking at a leisurely pace with someone to keep us on our toes is pretty fun too.

PS: No baby was harmed in these posed shots of her with either a wine glass or wine bottle. So please don’t report us to the authorities..

Oh my..

IMG_8824Where did all the time go? We are back from an amazing family holiday in Perth and I kinda fallen in love with the city. Itching to go on another holiday with Bubba again. It’s laid-back but the pace suited us fine I think. Still have loads to share about the trip but lemme get through unpacking first. Yikes!