Port Arthur Lavender Food with a View

Beautiful surrounds lake views and yummy food who could ask for more?

Our time in Tasmania has flown by so quickly it would be remiss of us to leave without getting an opportunity to see some more of this beautiful little island situated at the bottom end of Australia.  So we packed the kids and the in laws into our car and headed toward the historical town of Port Arthur, on the way we stopped at Port Arthur Lavender restaurant for lunch.

Port Arthur Lavender Restaurant and Gift Shop

The owners of the business Clare and Brendon Dean are friends of ours and we have discussed their business and the story behind the building of their business on several occasions; however I was still extremely impressed when I first saw this beautiful modern building that houses Port Arthur Lavender Restaurant and gift shop.  We parked the car and walked into the restaurant and was immediately captivated by this stylish modern restaurant just 5 minutes’ drive from Port Arthur’s most historical location.

Inside to our left are several glass display cases with muffins cakes and treats at one end and ice cream at the other.  Behind the counter the frantic staff were rushed off their feet fixing delicious meals for the packed restaurant.  On the right there was a comfortable black leather couch and table next to a fireplace and on the far side of the restaurant are floor to ceiling windows making the restaurant bright and airy while maintaining a feeling of cosiness.  We took our seat and perused the menu.

I read as far as Seafood Chowder and stopped, I knew there was no point in reading on when my thoughts were on thick creamy soup, my father in law the same.  I am pleased to say that our decision to look no further proved correct.  This creamy bowl of fresh seafood was exquisite.

Seafood Chowder

Paul went for the salt and pepper squid, his mother the scallop bacon and chorizo skewer and the kids decided on a bowl of chips, and lavender milk shakes.   All plates were emptied so that is certainly evidence of quality.  After all that glorious food it was time for a stroll around the lavender gardens to walk some of it off before heading to the Port Arthur historical site.

Scallop bacon and chorizo skewer

Summer is a fabulous time to visit Port Arthur Lavender as the flowers are in full bloom and the sea of purple lavender creates a visual feast especially for those of us who love the colour purple.  The kids loved running up and down the rows while we read the many information boards explaining the types of lavender and the history of the area.

Lavender garden.

After our leisurely walk we visited the shed where the lavender is distilled for the oil.   There is a video which plays continuously which explains the distillation process, and we got the opportunity to smell the oils at different stages of the process.

It was then almost time to get back on the road but we managed a quick perusal of the gift shop where there are a number of lavender products from soaps to cosmetics to food available for purchase.   We bought…yes lavender chocolate, lavender shortbread and lavender honey to take away with us.

Whether you are looking for a place to stop for lunch or just coffee and cake or an ice cream Port Arthur Lavender will certainly delight.

Port Arthur Lavender
6555 Port Arthur Highway
Tasmania 7182

The Wicked Cheese Company – Wicked By Name Wicked By Nature

What better way to start a Saturday morning than drinking coffee and eating cheese?  It just sets you up for an awesome weekend, so we took a drive to one of our favourite places– Wicked Cheese Company, Richmond Tasmania.

The Wicked Cheese Company  is a family owned boutique cheese factory near Richmond,  where you can purchase cheese that is made on the premises as well as a number of other locally produced delights such as olive oil, chocolate, locally brewed wines and spirits, jams, honey, dukkha and so much more.   One half of the shop is the retail space while the other half is a café where you sample some of Tasmania’s finest food.   We have visited the shop several times since arriving in Tasmania but we had never tried the café.

The owners are clearly music fans.  The wall of the cafe are lined with an eclectic mix of rock memorabilia, mostly Beetles.  We sat at a glass topped table decorated with poster art from various classical musicals such as The Sound of Music, and What’s New Pussycat?  An interesting theme for a cheese shop I thought.

The menu has a range of light meals from soups to bread and cheese platters.  There are also some amazing cakes and desserts, and ice-cream.  I am all about the cheese so along with my latte, I chose the cheese platter with a selection of mini toasts and water crackers.   The platter included a delicately light blue vein cheese, an aged cheddar and creamiest brie you could imagine (I was not surprised to find out that it was an award winning brie).

My cheese platter half eaten before I took a photo.

Paul decided it was a dessert morning for him so he chose a warm chocolate cake covered in warm chocolate sauce.   According to Paul this moreish cake was so light and fluffy that he felt satisfied with out that weighed down feeling that sometimes follows over indulgence.



The kids chose rainbow ice cream in a waffle cone.   J allowed me

Ice cream as it should be

to sample some of his in return for a large chunk of my blue vein cheese and it was a pretty good swap.  The ice cream was exactly how all ice-cream should be full of flavour and extremely creamy.

After a delicious morning tea it was time to venture back through the cheese shop to get a selection of cheese (and chocolate of course) to take with us.

The Wicked Cheese Factory is on the Richmond Rd which is the main route from Hobart to Richmond Tasmania, and offers free tastings of all their cheeses.    If you are heading to Richmond I recommend a visit!

Now I am off to prepare my afternoon tea –blue cheese and crackers of course!

The Wicked Cheese Co,
1238 Richmond Road,
Richmond TAS 7025

The Sensory – Unique Gifts and Unique Smells

I admit it, yes it was the sign out the front of The Sensory stating that it was agent for Anvers Chocolate that drew me into this shop to begin with, however upon entering I found there was so much more to experience inside.

Tasmania is a beautiful part of Australia that is largely untouched by big business and pollution.   There are some distinctive smells of nature that many tourists may wish they could bottle for ever.   Well some smart scientists have done just that and created a unique aromatic experience for visitors.

Unfortunately they have not created bottles of scent for tourists to take away yet but they have created three sensory domes in store to allow visitors minds to be transported aromatically back to relive a bit of the wild.  The sensory domes are clear plastic domes in which visitors can put their head and allow unique southwest Tasmanian aromas such as Tasmanian devil, Tasmanian rainforests and Leatherwood flowers, to gently permeate their nostrils.

The Sensory is also prides itself on being a retailer that promotes locally made products.   They are a southern outlet for Bridestowe Lavender which means you have the opportunity to pick up some amazing Lavender gifts such as Lavender soaps and oils and even florally cards.  They also have an eclectic range of handmade jewellery and locally knitted jumpers.

If good quality tasty food is your thing there is an amazing range of locally produced honey for you to try, each with its own unique taste.   The flavours are richer and more intense than anything you can buy in the supermarket.   Some had a very strong floral taste, some almost caramel while others had a rich and creamy finish.   Then of course there is the chocolate.

This photo of The Sensory Tasmania is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The chocolate is all handmade from the finest ingredients, they are so confident that you will love them they offer free chocolate for tasting.    As predicted I did not leave empty handed, we bought a selection of handmade chocolates from the case mostly fruity ones and a few chilli ones.   We also bought a bag of what they called ‘bark’ which are sheets of chocolate with various toppings.  I can definitely recommend these.

The Sensory is truly a feast for your senses I highly recommend a visit when you are in Richmond Tasmania.

Fresh Tasmanian Produce Pizza Night

Tasmania is a foodie paradise.   There are so many fresh food farmers markets on the weekends it is so easy to find delicious produce recently picked ready to eat.  After shopping at Farm Gate market in Hobart where we picked up some locally made cheese, spinach, and other fruit and veges it seemed appropriate to make something delicious for dinner.  As luck would have it we also have an outdoor wood fired pizza oven on the property so it seemed family pizza night was a no brainer.

The secret to encouraging children to eat is to get them to design their own pizza and they were all so amazingly delicious I decided to share the recipes.

Pizza Base

We started by making the bases using a simple premix packet, and we allowed the bread maker to do all the heavy mixing and kneading, then we placed them into pizza pans and left them for three hours to rise.

Once the bases has risen sufficiently, we precooked them in the oven for 10 minutes at 100 degrees celsius, because in the past we have found the pizza oven cooks the toppings much faster than the bases.  Once cooked slightly I coated mine, J and S pizzas with garlic oil and tomato ( we just used a jar of Bolognese sauce), and from there everyone took responsibility for their own pizza.

Pizza Toppings

Sara’s Smoked Salmon and Brie Delight

  • Fresh spinach leaves spread across the base

    Smoked Salmon and Brie Pizza

  • A generous amount of hand ripped smoked salmon slices.
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Huge chunks of Coal River Cheese Company brie
  • Half a handful of cheddar cheese scattered over the top

Place in the pizza oven until the brie has melted.  Bite into it and wait for the taste bud party.


A ‘Lil Bit of Everything

S was inspired by the half and half pizzas for those who want a bit of everything and cannot make up their mind.

  • 1 handful of cheddar cheese sprinkled over the base

    A Lil bit of everything Pizza

  • ¼ red capsicum diced into tiny pieces
  • Fresh spinach and rocket
  • Thinly sliced mushrooms
  • One piece of smoked salmon roughly ripped and spread over half pizza
  • 1 piece Parma ham ripped and spread over the other half of the pizza

Place in pizza oven until the cheese has melted.

J Random Things Pizza

J was inspired by his appetite and lack of interest in green vegetables.

A handful of grated cheddar cheese spread where ever

Smoked salmon ripped and spread leaving quarter of the pizza exposed

Two slices of mushroom to place in the empty corner where there is no cheese or salmon.

Place in pizza oven until the cheese has melted.

 Pauls No Cheese Option

Paul’s creation was inspired by the notion that if you avoid cheese you can eat as much ice cream and chocolate as you want without any health problems. His base was covered with barbecue sauce and topped with

  • Fresh spinach and rocket

    Pauls No Cheese Option

  • 3 slices of Parma ham
  • Red onion

Cook until it looks ready.

As a family choose a movie on Netflix and enjoy your pizza in front of the TV.  Follow it up with white chocolate bark from The Sensory in Richmond Tasmania.