To the Manor Born….

There’s no such thing as a day indoors avoiding wet weather when you’re married to an Englishman. The Brits are like ducks on a day out when the rain sets in: umbrellas come out, wellies go on and people do not stay inside playing board games. We’ve just put a week of miserable weather behind us, but I’ve still managed to clock up one of the busiest weekends since we got here.

I was given a bottle of 2008 Tempranillo from Waywood Wines in McLaren Vale as part of a wine review competition I’d entered. For three days I sat waiting for the weather to break and the sunshine to sneak out and allow me a few hours to enjoy a picnic. By Sunday afternoon, I’d given up, called the Brits and decided to head out for a National Trust day, UK style.

Our lovely friend Karen leads a double life as a tourist guide in Adelaide. Honestly, SA Tourism should be paying her for the amount of exploring she encourages in people down here! When I needed a location for my wine tasting, she suggested Carrick Hill, an historical house in the foothills of Adelaide. I don’t have a car down here: we walk, we ride bikes or we catch public transport. I’ve been like that for years, and I love it: you see more and experience things from a grassroots level more often than not. As a consequence distance and time mean something completely different to me when travelling, and I got the shock of my life when we were at the gates to the manor in less than 15mins!

The house is beautiful. If you’re looking for a Bronte experience, look no further. The rainy weather only added to the drama of the grounds, which are perched high over the city with views right out to Glenelg and over to the Yorke Peninsula in the distance. The gardens are free to wander through, with house tours available. A mini Chatsworth greeted me – lilies, english roses, cherry blossoms and jonquils out on display, bobbing up and down under the weight of the rain. Hedges lined the gardens, with ducks waddling around corners and the possibility of getting an umbrella to the head at any opportunity!

We set up our picnic in the conservatory area, where we could see the ocean and still hide from the cold. I’d picked fresh produce from the local supermarket (a local one: no Colesworth for me!) and we practically gorged on olive sourdough, chorizo, beetroot dip and Maggie Beer’s duck pate. Word of advice: don’t eat duck pate while you’re watching an actual duck. The guilt took over and I was done for: no more pate for me, ever. And then I realised how my plucky Englishman actually stands picnics and bbq’s in cold rainy weather: drink more wine! Those UK types are really quite clever: cold weather and a miserable day can always be sorted by a trip to the pub – it explains why they have so many, really!

Wine of the Week: Waywood 2008 Tempranillo. Definitely one for an afternoon tipple. Try it with strawberries and macarons for a more fruity flavour, or cured meats and cheeses for a drier cocoa taste. Thanks to Waywood and National Wine Centre for the opportunity to taste it!


3 thoughts on “To the Manor Born….

  1. I know i was there BUT Carrick Hill is just something else, it doesn`t matter how many times i`ve visited. It was a pleasure to take you and Ross .Great read Katie. You have captured the experience well . . . . love the pictures 🙂

  2. I left the ones out of you running through the gardens and tasting wine: but maybe i shoudl have included them!!! Thanks for a great suggestion karen!!!

  3. Wow, even with the damp weather it sounds like you managed to make the most of your ‘picnic’. Carrick Hill looks gorgeous and there is something nice about unpredictable weather and a good wine! All turns out for the best really.

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