Sunday 24th November
Toast and yogurt was the order for today’s breakfast and then we were off, fairly bright and early to Evandale Market. We had to pass Launceston Airport to get there – no wonder our friend, who we were about to meet, said that it was only 5 minutes from her home to the airport!
Evandale was a really pretty little village, full of older-style houses of course! There were many, many cars parked down the street so we knew that the Market was not far away. We had set off from Launceston, just 15 minutes ago, in sun and wearing t.shirts but as we travelled, it got more and more cold, and I became tempted to reach for my jumper.
As we found a parking spot and opened the car doors we were both stunned and practically snap frozen! The wind was strong and really bitterly cold! Not only did I put my jumper on, but my parker/ski jacket as well. I also wish that I’d taken my gloves! I had packed them, potentially for the mountain top, but this was the first time I would have loved to be able to use them. They were back at Alice’s Cottages though so I settled for pulling my hands inside my jacket sleeves and got David’s right hand wriggled in there too to hold my left hand.
As we approached the Market there were 2 lads at the gate taking an entry fee. It was 20 cents each! Though admittedly David gave them a $1 coin and there was no move to give us any change. I think the sign said it went to charity so we truly didn’t care.
The sky looked really threatening and dark and we could see that less than half of the stall holders had turned up. We didn’t blame them! Most of the market was open air and we applauded the bravery of those who had displayed their wares on trestle tables.
The goods for sale were interesting but, as was so fitting for Tasmania, it was mostly handicrafts or old-fashioned goods. We saw a set of horse brasses and they looked right at home. There was also an indoor area with a café and more permanent stalls selling all manner of antiques, but without any of the ‘This is antique you must be careful with it!’ feel.
One of the stalls had some packaged fudge for sale and I looked and chose a ‘crumbly style’ one that said it was Baileys Irish Cream flavour. I’d shared one of the 2 packs I’d bought the day before with David and, to be honest, it was awful. It was just an overly-soft creamy consistency – not at all like fudge in any way at all! So I had my hopes on this. I prefer crumbly fudge to creamy anyway. To finish the topic while I’m on it, we ate this one after we came home to Perth and it was only borderline too. Most definitely *not* crumbly 🙁
The Market was interesting though and I would have loved to see it in full flight. Even with what was there we were surprised at how large and comprehensive it was. There were rhododendrons for sale and it broke my heart that I couldn’t buy any. Even if you could take a potted plant on a plane, Perth customs would not allow me to bring it into the state.
It still looked like heavy rain, but we were early for our appointment so we decided to walk back up Russell Street and admire the houses. We walked for about 300 metres at a leisurely pace just chatting and looking around, then crossed the road and idled back to our car.
We loved this old cart. We *think* that the award was for the restaurant or hotel, not the cart LOL
Then we drove back the 300 metres we’d just walked ha ha! It was time now that we could go to our real destination, Ingleside Bakery. Not that you are to remember, but we met the beautiful couple that own this when we were at Phuket Airport in July returning from our holiday there.
Ingleside Bakery was a lot larger than I’d imagined from their FaceBook page. The building had been council chambers originally and was so beautiful in its trademark mustard livery and the beautiful touch of a few quaint tables and chairs outside. The real magic was indoors with the shining wooden floors, the fascinating gift shop, massive and drool-making servery and the many old-style tables and chairs. At the other end of the room was a brightly burning fire – such a picture! The whole thing was so welcoming and we felt instantly at home.
And there was Jane smiling a welcome as she came away from the serving counter to take us to a table. It was so good to see her again and have this chance to chat, though we were very conscious (none of it her doing) that we could be keeping her from things she needed to do. We placed our order of a caramel slice and iced chocolate for me, and David chose scones with jam and cream and coffee.
The café was obviously very popular, with many tables full, and some of the people spoke to Jane, calling her by name, as she knew theirs in return. You have only to speak with Jane for about 5 minutes for her total love and pride of the Bakery to shine through!
I can’t tell you where the time went – we chatted easily and happily while we ate and drank. We discussed what we would do after this and decided that the weather was far too cold and ‘rain risky’ to go to Ben Lomond. It seemed to be a ski destination in winter with not a lot to offer in summer anyway.
Before we knew it we’d eaten our delicious repast and knew that we must leave Jane to return to her duties. The visit was much too short and when we went to pay she refused to take it, saying that it was her treat. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much Jane, we did not expect that, we truly didn’t. We were happy that we were bringing just a small amount of business your way and would not have ordered cakes if we’d realised you would treat us! In fact I’d looked at huge bunches of lilies for sale at the Market and stopped myself from buying her a bunch for fear she would think we were seeking a discount!
The slice, scones and iced chocolate were a total dream! David couldn’t get a word in edgeways to mention his coffee lol
We bid a sad farewell to Jane but then went out into the attached garden area of the Bakery. There is outdoor seating in the most beautiful ‘cabbage rose’ lined patio area and, behind that, a garden laden with so many gorgeous, memory-evoking flowers. I’d been too busy talking in the Bakery to take any photos – and could kick myself now – but I made up for it in the garden. The wind was blowing hard and you’ll see my hand in one shot, trying to hold the flower still so I could photograph it.
And then it was time to be on our way.
We’d decided to try Woolmers Estate Winery which also boast ‘The National Rose Garden’. Not just the Tasmanian State Rose Garden, but the *National* one. This should be impressive!
As we travelled along we could see where many rivers had burst their banks and grazing land was flooded. We began to understand why we’d seen the water-level rise so much in Cataract Gorge. It wasn’t far and we were about to turn into the final road when…
David pulled onto the verge while we considered matters. We saw one car turn around and go away but I just thought I’d consult the navigation map on my phone because, if Woolmers Estate was *before* the bridge then surely we could still visit it! It was. Just as we were deciding that we’d go through with care, and take a look, another car flew through and headed off down the road. We knew one thing for sure. He’d be there and coming back again in no time if the road was closed off!
There was a poppy field along here and Jane had mentioned that if you set foot in one there will be blue and red flashing lights and you’ll be off to jail before you can blink!
One kilometre along the road was a street to the left. So much for ‘road closed!’ A couple of kilometres more along the road and we saw the entrance for Woolmers Estate, but were curious so we kept going. Very quickly the road dipped down a little and we could see that it really was awash! We parked the car and got out to have a look at the flooded riverbanks and the fact that the road surface on the bridge was just above water, but further along where the road should once more be on dry land, it was submerged under water.
And there goes David!!!
Not a word before he set off! The wind was howling, I have one of the quietest voices on the planet, my mobile phone was in the car and he had the car keys. I had no way to shout to him to come back, *please*! The bridge was closed in case it got washed away!!! So I was standing there, too afraid to go on it myself but watching David like a hawk wondering what on earth I would do if it collapsed and he was washed down river. It was also really cold and would be a horrible shock to go into the water. How would I call for help? We were both shocked when a 4-wheel drive came from the far side and just drove over it, but did that allay my fears? Of course not – he might have weakened the last strand of cotton holding the bridge up!
Needless to say David did make it back safely thank goodness, but he got a lecture for his trouble!
Thankfully back in the car we drove back to the gates for Woolmers and into their driveway. Half way along it was a parking area with a gate saying ‘No Access’ further up the drive. Really? With the threat of pouring rain even we didn’t like the look of the remaining 50 metre walk. It might be OK now, but what about coming back again?
We walked to the first building which advertised tours of the house and was a gift shop. The lady in there was really friendly and put up with us humming and hawing as to whether we wanted to do the house tour or not. David came up with a yes and paid our money – it wasn’t a lot more than only access to the rose garden anyway. The tour would be in an hour’s time so we headed to the flowers.
It was absolutely blowing a gale! The roses were bobbing around like demented puppets on strings and we had to wait patiently to snap off quick photos between gusts. I soon learned that the sound of the wind howling didn’t necessarily mean that my ‘flower of choice’ was moving so there was no reprieve to look away until the sound died down, it was a ‘full attention at all times’ exercise.
So here’s what I managed to achieve in gale force winds!
The garden really was a huge and magnificent place. The lady said we were about a week or 2 too late for the absolute best display, but you could have fooled us, it was incredible! On a pleasant day where we could have wandered around at our leisure instead of watching the clock, or taken photos without the wind it truly would have been paradise on earth!
We decided we had time to go to the café for drinks, and escape this wind!!! I ordered a pot of Earl Grey while David had a herbal tea, just for a change. The staff tried to persuade us to buy roast dinners and we truly felt sorry for them. They would have prepared for Sunday trade but between the rotten weather and the road closure sign there was only one other couple in there! We finished our drinks just in time to go back to the gatehouse for the tour.
We were the only people taking the tour. The gentleman who came to take us around the home introduced himself as Robin Archer, a member of the family trust who now cared for the estate. It seems the house had first been built by a Thomas Archer around 1817 and was owned by successive Thomases for 6 generations. I won’t tell you the whole story but the original Thomas really was a most inventive man and had many innovative ideas included into the home. The final Thomas had been Robin’s first cousin I believe.
The dining room was the most amazing part of the home to me and Robin showed us the crockery, cutlery and serving vessels, all with the family crest painted or printed on them.
We were not allowed to take photos inside the home – such a shame. Or are you breathing a sigh of relief? Robin was a true gentleman and of course very knowledgeable about the family as well as very interesting to listen to. We were absolutely stunned at how much of the place was original. You don’t expect carpets and wallpaper to have stood the test of time since 1817, but these had! I think we were in there for about 45 minutes – a very interesting and enlightening tour!
We had a final walk around the house garden, which had plants other than roses, and enjoyed taking photos once more.
A quick glimpse at the 2 old cars in the garage… (Well, 3 if you count the toy one!)
Then a look through the old shearing shed which was a bit spooky in the semi-dark with the wind whistling through and neither of us were entirely sure we trusted it not to collapse around our ears. We picked our way carefully through the fallen branches from the trees and crossed the big lawn back to the car.
Remember I said that the second thing we did each day seemed often to be a failure? Well today we’d been very lucky but our luck was about to change – not in a horrible way, just fascinating.
We decided we may as well go and visit the Swiss Village that I’d been so looking forward to viewing. It was named Grindelwald and involved driving back to Launceston and then onwards for 18 kms down the east side of the Tamar River. We were in the suburbs of Launceston for some of the trip and it’s always interesting to see how the locals really live – not that there was anything of remark.
Finally we turned left, and then up a hill and we were there. How exciting – totally *not**!!! To be fair, some of the shops were already closed and the only 3 still open, as we walked through, closed their doors before we’d had a chance to walk back past them again. However, far from being what I’d imagined, a wonderful Swiss village to explore, this was a hotel, a collection of gift shops and a café. There was a big restaurant that said it served dinners but it seemed to be having some renovations done and appeared shut – it didn’t say either way but the doors were shut!
There was a mini golf with a few people still playing and some of those peddle-boats securely tied up at the edge of a lake with a tiny island in it. I’m looking at the Google Earth image right now and those boats are tied up in that too!
And my most over-riding memory of Switzerland (I’ve been there twice) is that there are Swiss flags flying everywhere. I only saw one here. It was a huge disappointment.
Honestly? We’d have had a coffee and perhaps bought something from the bakery if we could; we’d had nothing to eat since our lovely cakes at Evandale around 10:30am, but that was quite a few hours ago now. I think it was about 4:30 or 5 by now. Wow. So we’d just driven 18 kms to see this – thank goodness we hadn’t travelled further!
I took 5 photos of a dear little sparrow and of course the 1 of the frontage of the ‘village’ – that tells you everything you need to know about how interesting this place was I think.
We went back to the car and began driving back towards Launceston, wondering where to eat. We were really hungry now, having had the potential for a meal that turned out not to be. In the end we passed a small shopping centre and decided we’d go in there, buy something and take it back to the cottage to eat.
There was a shop with the exact décor and exact menu that Bakers Delight have but it was named something else that I was determined to remember lol. Anyway, we bought a tiny, tiny quiche each to eat right that moment to stop the stomach pangs and then went into the Woolworths supermarket. We ended up deciding on a hot chicken with rolls so I raced back out to the bakery to buy the nice rolls before they shut, while David waited to be served to buy the chicken.
We seemed to get home in super quick time and David prepared the plates and put the heater on while I ripped the meat off the poor chook and we settled down to watch a Midsommer Murder and the Dr Who 50th Special.
The cats didn’t turn up – the one night we did have something we could have given them.
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