A day out eating
Having seen plenty of rocks we decided to head inland for a day along the Twelve Apostles Gourmet Food Trail. Allthego thinks the word ‘gourmet’ gets a bit overdone these days, with all sorts of characters claiming there ‘artisan’ produce is ‘gourmet’ and deserving of a big price tag. Any way a number of local ‘artisan’ people have got together and linked their establishments on a trail through the Port Campbell hinterland. It’s a pleasant drive through rolling green pastures and hills covered in dairy cows. These cows give up most of their milk for the benefit of the large Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co Ltd and their competitor Bega.
As we know the farmers are complaining about the price they get. So a few of them have set about value adding by getting into small-scale cheese making and milk bottling under their own labels. We visited two of these establishments and the cheeses were quite nice, although a bit on the ‘mild’ side. We couldn’t resist a small tub each of gelato at the Apostle Whey cheesery made from their own milk. The chocolates at GORGE chocolates were excellent, as were the freshly picked strawberries at Berry World.
Down at the Timboon Whisky Distillery we had lunch and a taste of their two single malt whiskeys. One was a bit on the light side and the other of more substance, meaning Allthego thought it was superior. As was the price! Allthego learnt something today. The Scots spell ‘whisky’ without an ‘e’ whereas the Irish spell ‘whiskey’ with an ‘e’. The Americans, with their Irish heritage spell it with an ‘e’. Australians on the other hand don’t care and just drink both.
Only a couple of minor disappointments on this trail. The olive place wasn’t open, the owner had gone off somewhere we were told for 3 months and would be back soon. The owner of the Sow and Piglets Brewery outlet in Port Campbell (Allthego had tried a pale ale here) was on the Trail committee and he told Allthego that the olive owner, Aldo, was a good guy but was a bit loose in commitment to the Trail. He also said the Berry World lady, also on the committee, was really nice but a bit eccentric, because she walked around all the time with a white cockatoo on her shoulder. This sounds like a committee Allthego would like to be on!
The other disappointment was that the Sow and Piglets production brewery was also closed, but would be opening for ‘the season’ the next day. So much for the advertised German sausages on the BBQ and a splash of Kölsch! We thought about coming back for the opening, but didn’t. Just as an aside, the Twelve Apostles and Mutton Bird Island (the Loch Ard ran aground against it) which is just nearby were named the ‘Sow and Piglets’ by an early navigator. They only became the Twelve Apostles in the 1930s.
But the BIG DISAPPOINTMENT was that Simpson Snails, the snail farm, had closed down! We had driven up and down a road for half an hour trying to find it, before being told at one of the cheese places of its demise. Great disappointment. It had been sold and the new owner had closed it down, she was the Simpson (a small village) publican. The cheese lady thought it was all a bit sus and something was a foot, maybe even a conspiracy of some sort. But, the snails have not gone into their shells and not come out, they have just moved on……slowly. As it turns out one of the ladies at Berry World told us that it was to reopen, but based at the Simpson pub. This very same lady was going to be there the next day at the opening helping serve plates of snails done 4 ways, with a glass of bubbles. Another reason to come back the next day! Another time perhaps.
After a great day out in the country we headed back to Port Campbell with some supplies for the road ahead and to share at Christmas (maybe!) upon our return to Brisbane. The produce was all good and reasonable prices too, that whiskey though….. Allthego will have to hide it! We needed to pack up, as we were heading off to Warrnambool the next day.