Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Just Another Sunday

We took Mother out for lunch and ABI Brother came along too. We didn't have clue where we would go. Mother suggested Emerald, which was not too far to drive, so we headed off. It was market Sunday in Emerald and there was not a car parking space to be found. ABI Brother had a brainwave. What about the pub at Clematis? I am afraid now. No one knew how to get there. Sat nav sent me in circles. R told me I need to give it time to work out where we are. I was stressed. R was is the backseat telling me how to put his sat nav on the windscreen. Not my fault. I can't be expected to instantly know how to put up his sat nav. ABI Brother nagged, don't you have a Melways? Yes ABI Brother, in front of your knees in the map pocket. You look it up then. He didn't. Ms Sat Nav eventually sorted us out and Clematis was only six minutes away, at the end of Wellington Road. There is a roundabout and I was preparing to go around as Ms Sat Nav was instructing. ABI Brother yelled, there is the entrance. I simultaneously checked the rear view mirror and swung hard right into the carpark. I didn't park under the tree with the sign warning that falling pine cones might damage your car.

R dashed inside to check it out and Mother and ABI Brother looked around outside.


Yeah, I am liking this place. It is called the Paradise Valley Hotel.


The rhodies are finished. What a shame.


Truly a great garden at the hotel. I am slightly annoyed that I have never heard about this hotel. For dining Mother likes a quiet spot at the back of a room where she can hold court. I prefer to be among the great unwashed and with a view of something or people. We sat in an enclosed deck area. Mother complained it was too hot. We opened a window of the open area a and a cooling cross breeze wafted in, bringing in with it the pleasant smell of wood smoke.


I walked down the steps to the garden to take some photos and I heard a noise. A train like noise. Mein Gott, it is the world famous Puffing Billy passing through at the bottom of the garden.  There was a diesel engine at the front.


I have not seen these open cars on Puffing Billy before. There was much waving.


At the back end was Thomas steaming and smoking away while helping out the diesel engine at the front. Later, the proper Puffing Billy passed by with its big engine creating a lot of smoke.


Just a divine spot.


The hotel was quite busy for lunch, but by the time I took this photo, most people had left. R, ABI Brother and Mother can be seen still at the table. Mother did not look at the menu and said she would have a steak. A decent sized steak arrived with the usual accompaniments, and while we had long finished, she ploughed on and ate it all. Unfortunately the steak was very expensive and of course you know who has to pay.


A solitary lass sits reading at a table on the lush grass.


This is the view of hotel from near the railway line. To the right out of the photo is a shady gravelled area where a fire burned in what could be described as an oversize plough disc. A female guitarist was playing and singing some pleasant tunes. It is not a cheap place to dine, but the food was good and the service very good and the setting delightful. I highly recommend the Paradise Valley Hotel in Clematis for a long lazy lunch, especially on a fine day.




22 comments:

  1. Looks very pleasant. You seem to have many more townships to visit within an easy drive of Melbourne than we do in Sydney or maybe, more to the point, I'm not in the habit of seeking out Sydney equivalents.

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    1. Victor, it is about a forty minute drive to reach the Dandenong Ranges and you are in real bush then. There are lots of hamlets in the hills and nearby.

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  2. Sounds like you had a fun trip there, pretty typical in any car I would say. The Hotel does look like it is in a piece of paradise. Nice to see you boys caring for your mum.

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    1. Diane, it is a fine line between caring and being taken advantage of. She steps over the mark at times, especially with R. Her own children are very prone to eye rolling.

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  3. You saw the Puffing Billy! I'm so jealous, I've never seen it. of course I do live a bit too far away. I think there is a similar train here in SA, I'll have to check with google.
    Miss Sat Nav would have had you going round and round that roundabout if ABI hadn't spotted the hotel. I'd be relying on the Melways.

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    1. River, you do have the marvellous Pitchi Ritchie Railway. I can't think of any other.

      The silly thing was my brother wasn't sure. I knew exactly where to go. The other brother used to live in Cockatoo and in the eighties we went that way many times. I just needed some thinking time, but no chance of that.

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  4. Looks like a nice spot for a pub. The whole area is inviting, so ABI brother made a good suggestion.

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    1. Just gorgeous FC. We might have gone to see Tradie Brother on the day, and R had said if we did, we could go to that place in FKN at the beach. I think it is called Waves. It is not my fave place.

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  5. You sure are right about it being a divine spot. As for "Mother": After changing tables because it was too hot, my mother would have then complained about the UNpleasant smell of wood smoke. On the other hand, mine would have picked up the check. Ah.... MOTHERS!

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    1. Mitchell, I think I have kind have grown to rather like your mother. Maybe I like her because she sounds self sufficient.

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    2. Challenging. Fascinating. Annoying. Inspiring. Selfish. Generous. You name it! You'd probably enjoy visiting with her!

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  6. What a fun post! (Am sure some of it was less-than-fun in the experiencing, but that's kinda what made it fun.) This place looks great... glad your Ma ordered the steak (sorry it was expensive) and I love that you made her feel special. I wonder what kind of an older Mother I will be?
    ;-)
    Amanda/BB

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    1. BB, think of your worst character defect and magnify it to know what you will be like when you are old.

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  7. Sounds fabulous Andrew..somewhere to look forward to going back to..hmm! That sounded a wee bit Irish :)

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    1. A great Slim Dusty song, Grace. Looking forward, looking back.

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  8. What a superb garden! It looks so very English and Puffing Billy passing at the bottom is the icing on the cake :)

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    1. A little undiscovered by me gem, Jayne.

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  9. I went there a few weeks ago, we used to go regularly when Dad lived up there. Love the setting, but the food was very average and extremely overpriced this time around.

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    1. Fen, I will concede the food was overpriced. I considered we were paying for the setting. Your Dad does not live in Cockatoo now? Have I forgotten something?

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    2. He lived in Emerald, but last year (I think) he split with his woman and moved to Pakenham.

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  10. That looks a bit of a find. Loved the 'Puffing Billy'. How clever of you to have your camera on hand.

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    1. Fu60, an Aussie expression, or maybe an English one too, I lucked it, with the camera.

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