Category Archives: Launceston

Launceston – Strathlynn Restaurant at Ninth Island winery

We awoke Sunday morning to heavy heads and heavy skies.
Perfect weather for a long drive in our hire car through the Tamar Valley, a little wine tasting and a late Sunday lunch.

We’re both big fans of Jansz sparkling. The Jansz winery is nestled in the hills just beyond the Tamar Valley near the north-east coast of Tasmania. The climate and grey clay soil are remarkably similar to the Champagne region of France which was why Louis Roderer together with the Hill-Smith family established vineyards here in 1998. We tried the vintage Cuvee 2005 (yum) and the Premium rose (refreshing)

 It certainly was duck geese weather

And negotiating them was a little tricky. They weren’t moving for anyone.

Luckily there was a table available for lunch at Strathlynn Restaurant (formerly Daniel Alps at Strathlynn). It’s perched high up on the Tamar riverbank on Rosevears Drive just 20km north of Launceston. It’s part of the Ninth Island winery complex but should be a destination in its own right. Although Daniel Alps recently departed, the head chef and most of the staff have remained.

Of course we had to have some Ninth Island bubbly as we soaked in the moody clouds and greys of the sky and water.

Peppery new season olive oil with house made crusty bread rolls

Mark had the roast chicken breast on the bone with seasonal baked vegetables in a mustard cream sauce

I didn’t hear a peep out of him it was that good.

Organic leaf salad with radish, fried shallots and parmesan

The cold weather had built up my appetite so I was confident I could tackle the Roast Venison with lentils, baked beetroot, spinach, broccoli and fetta.

The venison cut like butter and worked beautifully with the lentils and the rich red wine jus. Magnificient earthy flavours.Could have done without the fetta though.
Strathlynn is compulsory for anyone who wants to experience the best of Tassie produce prepared with passion and restraint. And that view is a killer.
I offered to be designated driver so Mark could enjoy a few glasses of red before our short drive back to Launceston.
It’s been a perfect three-day getaway. We’ll be back – when it gets a little warmer!

Launceston – brekkie at Silt

I know it’s winter in Tasmania but how cold is this? -1 degree celsius actually. Sydney has ruined me. How did I live and function in this bracing climate?

Luckily we don’t have to brave the elements for too long. Breakfast is being served next door at silt at seaport restaurant.

The huge glass windows, concrete floors and high ceilings would be more appropriate for a tropical climate.

It’s still an interesting space – especially the light fixtures which have been fashioned from upturned canoes.
anyone missing some shoes?
Breakfast arrives pronto.

no surprise Mark orders his favourite – the full cooked brekkie. Deep rich flavoured yolks and crispy bacon are the highlights.

I order the thick toast with conserves which would have been slightly more special served in jars.

All fuelled up it’s time to explore the old haunts….

Launceston, Tasmania – The Northern Club

We’re in Launceston this weekend for my 25th Anniversary High School Reunion.
I know. Do any other three words in the English language evoke as much dread and angst as HIGH SCHOOL REUNION?

I’ve bribed Mark to come along with me promising him great Tamar Valley wines and fresh organic Tassy ingredients.

We’ve booked in for three nights at Peppers Seaport resort on Launceston’s North Esk River. Our one-bedroom apartment is modern, spacious and very comfortable. Highly recommend it. Peppers is part of a new marina development consisting of riverside penthouses, bars and restaurants.
But, as I soon discover, it’s about the only thing that has significantly changed in Launceston since my childhood.
We’ve flown in on an icy Friday night at 9pm but there are no restaurant kitchens still open! The concierge does a ring around and finds a restaurant willing to take us in.
Launceston’s city centre is desolate. The only sign of life outside The Northern Club on Cameron St are three inebriated lads.
We are led into the Northern Club’s dining room.
It’s like stumbling into an Edith Wharton novel. We are greeted by a large crackling open fire, high ceilings with intricate plaster mouldings, potted palms and a deep red painted feature wall. There is a raucous table of local winemakers finishing off their dessert wines. We are seated next to a table of three 40-something women gossiping about their blokes. Tassie men don’t get a good wrap.
Because it’s late we order something light – some warmed cobb bread with a tsadziki sauce, St Helen’s oysters – natural and kilpatrick – and some smokey salt and pepper squid….
… all washed down with a Tamar Ridge chardonnay.
The house-made bread was delicious and well-textured.
The St Helens oysters were magnificent – fresh and full of briny seawater.
 The kilpatrick oysters were served with a tangy worcestershire sauce and smokey lardons of local bacon.
    The salt and pepper squid was melt-in-the-mouth tender with a lovely light spicy crust and a sauvignon blanc dressing.
We didn’t sample a broad range of dishes but if the quality of fresh produce, the deft touch shown by the kitchen and the warm engaging floor staff is any indication, The Northern Club should be a compulsory stop for you the next time you’re Launceston way.