Saturday, March 28, 2015

Australia - Tasmania / Melbourne - Day 8 (Part 2 - To do/see, to stay, to eat)

To do:
Tamar Ridge Winery

We are the first visitors to the site and are given the full attention by the staff. He explain to us about how this site is now part of Brown Brothers and given us a very detailed explanation of the different types of wine and its history. Making us appreciate our wine tasting more. Though i can't say how much i remembered from it. It is definitely a very comfortable experience.

Some of the wine we tasted and like are:
2013 TamarRidge Sauvignon Blanc (must swirl and smell)
2012 Tamar Ridge Pinot Noir (kept for 12 months at 12 degrees celcius or even longer at Tasmanian temperatures)
2012 Tamar Ridge Botrytis Riesling (super sweet riesling)
Tamar Ridge

There's also another sister company in tasmania - Devil's corner near bicheno. After my enjoyable experience here, i will definitely recommend this place.

Josef Chromy Winery

The grounds of the Winery is very well landscaped and comfortable for al fresco dining experience.
Unlike Tamar Ridge, wine tasting is $5/ pax with no limitations. The cellar door is pretty crowded, hence, less attention given to guests having their wine tasting. Some of the wine is pretty nice though we did not make any purchases here.

Tip: For those interested in wine tasting in Launceston, search for information on Tamar Valley wine route and there will be suggestions in the brochures.

J Boaq and Son Winery

The beer here is so good that SO literally finished the mug we ordered to share. I'm left with the bare minimum to drink. You can also purchase some beer memorabilia here. i.e beer mats and mugs.
J Boaq and Son Winery

We missed the tour of the brewery which is about 90 minutes. Tour times is 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm daily about $25- 30 AUD per pax. This brand of beer has a very long history here and the beer here is strongly recommended.

QVMAG Queen Victoria Muesum and Art Gallery
2 Wellington street, Lauceston TAS 7250, Australia

This is an accidental find when we went to QVMAG for lunch. I feel this is a worth to visit particularly for those with kids. There are various sections in the museum to play the science corner, fossils, taxidermy, antique cars and bicycles. I personally like the natural science which showcase Tasmanian animals taxidermy.

To Eat:
Sweet Brew - 4.5 stars, budget
93 George St, Launceston TAS 7250, Australia

A total thumbs up for this place. I love the lemon meringue and raspberry brioche. Its super duper tasty.

Sweet Brew

Though the almond croissant is also highly recommended i will still opt for the brioche anytime. The lady owner is on the rush to leave the cafe still spend time patiently to recommend the food (raspberry brioche, lemon tart and almond croissant) to us upon hearing that its our first time here. Such good and friendly service. We ordered all that she recommended and we did not regret it. I think we will regret it if we never try it. :D

QVMAG: Railway cafe - 3.5 stars, budget

Serving is huge and totally value for money. We reached this place about 2.30 pm and they are already preparing to close for the day. Gasped! I asked if we can still order, luckily they obliged but we can only order a few limited choices as the kitchen is technically closed already.

QVMAG Railway cafe

The cafe itself is a section of passenger train car converted to an area for dining. Its pretty unique and interesting. But it does get pretty warm in the middle of the afternoon.  Food is acceptable for its price plus the fact this place is actually technically closing.

 Korean Home Style food and BBQ bar - 2.9 stars, budget

I initially thought that i will be served authentic korean food as the person serving us seemed korean. The soft tofu stew i ordered is nothing like what i expected and totally bland.

This place is one of the few places still serving dinner at 8.40 pm so we are just grateful for something to fill our stomachs.

To Stay:

Pensione Melbourne
16 Spencer Street CBD Melbourne, 3000 Victoria
The toilets are a little small and tight with only room for one person to stand either at the basin or bath.

The room itself is clean, modern and comfortable. It pretty spacious too with plenty of room to dance around as if to compensate the size of the toilet. I also love the tall windows in the room overlooking the sidewalk where i can people watch during rush hour.

Entryway cum reception is decorated in mid century modern. There is also a small cafe on this level. What i love is that we can have free wife access across all our devices. Yar i know 2 person travelling with 4 devices. :D

Location is prime CBD within 15 minutes walking distance to the meet up point for my Grayline department point at Federation Square East in early morning.

Free shuttle service starts after rush hour so walking or taking other bus services is the other option but i persuaded SO to walk.

One downside is due to its close proximity to the central bus station (the drop off point for SKYBUS), there are no connecting buses to the hotel. You need to lug your luggage through the roads to your hotel for 2 blocks at least.

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