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August 28, 2013

Trufflin', trufflin'

Over the weekend I had a short getaway with a friend of mine; we were in pursuit of truffles! What, you might say?! Okay, let me backtrack a little.

About three weeks ago I was flipping through a magazine and saw a small piece written about The Wine & Truffle Co, which is a trufferie in Manjimup, and it mentioned the truffle hunts they conduct during the season. As luck would have it, at that time we still had a couple weeks left of the season and I had the bright idea that we had to do this. I've spent time in the Perigord region of France so truffles are my thing.  I made the phone calls, booked us in and found what seemed to be the only available room left in that area. Not bad work considering it was the week prior to when we were set to head down there.

Packed and ready to go!
Manjimup is just over a three hour drive from Perth.  The weather was perfect as we set off on Saturday morning. We passed through the towns of Harvey (yes, where the juices and milk come from), Donnybrook (apples as far as the eye could see) and Balingup, where they appeared to be holding a medieval carnival that weekend. 

The Big Orange at Harvey
Apparently you get sexy ice cream and camels in the South West
We stayed at a small B&B in Dingup, named Dingup House. It was a converted homestead set on a very large property with a small orchard of fruit trees planted.  The fruit from these trees go into making the various jams and preserves served breakfast time. 

Gardens at Dingup House
Dingup House
That evening the perfect weather made way for the rain and continued into the next day. When I booked the truffle hunt I was told that we'd be provided with gumboots which I was glad of considering the weather and my lack of appropriate footwear. 

We arrived at The Wine & Truffle Co, which is not only a trufferie but also has a cellar door where you can purchase their Truffle Hill wines, delicious truffles and truffle products. A short presentation educated us on truffles and the background of the company, then to my surprise, we were served a small snack of truffle scrambled eggs and hazelnut bread, made with the hazelnuts that grow on the property. 


We then got on our boots and made our way out to meet our hardworking truffle dog. That day we had Lola. She was a gorgeous dog and helped us to snare an impressive amount of approximately 500 grams of the black gold! 

We walked amongst the rows of hazelnut and oak trees and let her nose lead us to what we came for. 






And just because she's such a beautiful creature and the real star of the show, one more photo of Lola:


After the hunt we returned for wine tasting, and as a fan of sweeter wines (pass me the Sauternes please) I loved their cane-cut Riesling, which derives its sweetness from drying the fruit to concentrate the sugar rather than by botrytis. 


I left with a few purchases to restock my pantry. They make a delicious truffle butter, which is better than other truffle butters I've purchased and I was intrigued by their hazelnuts in truffle honey. 







There's also a cafe onsite, and if we had the time would have stayed longer for lunch as we'd heard great things about the food and the menu was very appealing. 

I plan to return next season to the region, specifically at the time of the Truffle Kerfuffle which I wasn't able to attend this year. 

Even if you're unable to visit in person, The Wine & Truffle Co has a website through which you can purchase their fine goods.

The Wine & Truffle Co
 +61 8 9777 2474

Dingup House
+61 8 9772 4206

Wine and Truffle Co on Urbanspoon

August 24, 2013

Getting out of town

Photo taken from www.wineandtruffle.com.au

I'm setting off on a small road trip this weekend with a close friend.  We're having a short trip down to the South West region of Western Australia, namely the Manjimup and Pemberton area.  We're going hunting!  Hunting for truffles that is!

Have a beautiful weekend!

August 23, 2013

Delicious at Rochelle Adonis

I recently hosted a Great Gatsby themed high tea for my birthday at Rochelle Adonis and let me tell you about the fabulous time we all had.

Having experienced high tea at Rochelle Adonis in the past I knew already of the quality of their service and food, however for many of my guests it was their first time and they all agreed how wonderful the high tea at Rochelle Adonis is.  I am quite the fan of high tea and have sampled many of the venues around Perth that offer high tea, and without a doubt, nobody does it quite like Rochelle Adonis.  It is a tradition that I celebrate my birthday with high tea and this is the second birthday I have celebrated at Rochelle Adonis.  Last year's high tea was a disaster and this year I wanted to hold it somewhere that I knew we would all enjoy.

Originally located in Northbridge on Lake Street, Rochelle Adonis has recently moved to much larger premises in Highgate on the corner of Beaufort Street and St Albans Avenue.  It's the perfect spot for them.  They're now in a gorgeous building which pairs wonderfully with the feminine vintage style of their decor.




Now that they have the luxury of much more space, there are two dining areas as well as tables outside on the veranda. The two dining areas can accommodate groups of up to sixteen and twenty four people. 

The treats are served in two sublime courses - savoury and sweet. In between a palate cleanser in the form of a freshly fruit flavoured ice block is served. There is a good choice of Seventh Duchess tea and also Remedy coffee served French press style. You can also bring your own champagne or sparkling bubbles. 


What you won't find here are your standard cucumber sandwiches and scones. What you will find are inventive and delicious morsels that will delight your taste buds and showcase our great local fresh produce. Standouts for me were the cauliflower soup garnished with shavings of black truffle and the signature Rochelle Adonis sundae. 




If you've not had a Rochelle Adonis high tea, put it into your diary to go. They can also accommodate those with special dietary requests; we had one vegetarian at the table. 

It's lovely to see the success Rochelle Adonis has had which necessitated the larger premises. Just prior to leaving I spoke briefly with Rochelle and mentioned this to her. She graciously responded that she owes this success to the women of Perth who have embraced the Rochelle Adonis high tea. 

- Outfit notes: being a Great Gatsby and Roaring Twenties themed event, below is a snap of my outfit. 

 

My silk and lace dress was purchased at a cute little boutique in Saint-Remy-de-Provence in France. The clutch and shoes are Chanel and Sergio Rossi (I love these shoes so much!) and my jacket is by Harmony & Lawson.  Of course, can't forget the requisite pearls - my much loved double strand with diamond clasp.  You'll be able to get your hot little hands on the bedspread at Ikea - hehe.

Rochelle Adonis

August 21, 2013

ISIKA Spa Crown Perth

This past weekend I had the great pleasure to experience the luxury that is the ISIKA (yes, stylized in upper case letters) Spa at Crown Perth.

ISIKA is what a day spa should be. 

It is welcoming, luxurious, relaxing, personal and private. All the qualities, I believe, a day spa should possess. There are a number of day spas operating in Perth, and having done the rounds to many of them I will honestly say that some of them are not befitting of the title 'day spa'. Not that there's anything wrong with that and it's not an assessment of the service I received, but when I think of day spa I think of a sanctuary where you can escape to for an hour or two (even more if you should be so lucky!) and just forget where you are and what's going on outside. ISIKA definitely ticks those boxes. 

Upon arrival you are taken through to the change rooms, separate facilities for males and females of course. The change rooms are fitted out with lockers, each locker complete with a fluffy robe, slippers and disposable underwear. It's these touches which really set ISIKA apart from the rest. 

Below are some photos I snapped with my phone of the reception and change room. 




In the change room area you will find the toilets and showers, and also the steam room and a vitality pool. You may ask, what's a vitality pool? A vitality pool is a heated spa fit out with various air and water jets, typically in the form of 'body stations' to massage different parts of your body. All clients of ISIKA, regardless of their booked treatment, are able to use the steam room and vitality spa. 

I had every intention of making use of both but I didn't allow myself enough time prior to my treatment and only ended up steaming. 



Following on from this area is the relaxation lounge. This is where your therapist will collect you from when it is time for your treatment to start. Clients may use the lounge pre and post treatment. 

I had the sixty minute classic relaxation massage with Elle as my therapist. The sixty minute classic relaxation massage is $169 but starts at $99 for a thirty minute massage. 

Before commencing Elle asked if I had any areas I'd like greater attention paid to, for me this was my back and shoulders.  The pressure was perfect. Often massages at salons and spas can be quite ineffective with too little pressure applied. While I appreciate I'm not there to be pummeled, I also don't think soft, featherlight touches with the fingers is desirable. Elle applied just the right amount of pressure in that I could really feel my tensions being worked out yet could also relax. And relax I did, falling asleep on the massage bed.  I do think that's the sign of a good massage. 

I have to make a special mention about the hand massage. Oh my goodness. It put me in heaven. 

After I was done, I shuffled back to the relaxation lounge (the robes are generously sized and extremely fluffy) to enjoy some quiet me time and sipped some herbal tea while thinking about when I could next return. 





ISIKA Spa

August 20, 2013

Hello You. Welcome.

What is Oyster & Pearl? 

Oyster & Pearl is all about chronicling and sharing that which is edible, delectable and beautiful.  What I love.  What I hope you'll also love.  It's about tantalizing your taste buds.  Arousing those feelings of wanderlust.  Sharing amazing experiences.  It's about appreciating how life really is the greatest show on Earth.

Welcome, please stay awhile.  Make yourself at home.