Hobart, A Pleasure Seekers Paradise & My Special Treat

Last weekend I had the pleasure of celebrating my birthday in the handsome city of Hobart. My wonderful husband had arranged a special surprise trip that didn’t disappoint!

Hobart is the second oldest capital city in Australia, being settled after Sydney in 1804.

The city was named after Lord Hobart who was the colonial secretary.

Originally a penal colony, Hobart has some of the finest Georgian architecture and stone buildings to be found.

In fact, I have heard that the ballroom in Government House rivalled that of Queen Victoria’s, which I’m sure would not have impressed Her Royal Highness!

With all this history, it was wonderful that we were able to stay in similar accommodation.

The Old Bishops Quarters in Sandy Bay, was the perfect location.

Built in the 1830’s, and designed by two of the most renowned architects of the 19th century, Henry Hunter and George Fagg, this stunning property was formerly home to each Bishop of Tasmania for over 160 years.

Rebecca, Dermot and their family, the new caretakers of this amazing piece of heritage, were our hosts.

They have lovingly created a stunning 110 square metre apartment within this fabulous property.

With a separate entrance, two double bedrooms and a small kitchen, it was perfect for our needs. It boasts one of THE most luxurious bathroom I have ever experienced, with underfloor heating and the fluffiest Egyptian cotton bath sheets, it ticked very box on the decadence scale!

I was greeted with balloons for my birthday celebrations, which was a special touch too.

So once settled in, we made our way to a local pub, around 15 minutes walk away.

The New Sydney Hotel, located in Bathurst Street, was the perfect spot for a bite to eat.

With specials such as 18 hour roast leg of lamb with quinoa, mushrooms and winter greens, venison leg or a confit pork hock, or permanent dishes of 64 degree egg and blood sausage soldiers, or crispy goat shoulder, how could you go wrong?

We had a great meal surrounded by locals and live music.

The lovely bar staff were super friendly and more than happy to impart some local knowledge.

After a very sound sleep in our home for the weekend, we awoke to a wonderful view of Hobart from the main living area.

Our plans for the day started at Salamanca Markets.

These are a local institution, with over 300 stalls consisting of fresh produce, clothing, artists and the fabulous Love That Sausage!

The perfect stall for a breakfast treat, which my husband enjoyed immensely!

We popped into “A Common Ground“, the fantastic store supplying cheeses, small goods, mustards and chutneys (to name a few) made by local producers.

If you have ever watched “Gourmet Farmer” on SBS television, you will have heard about this hole in the wall championing all thing Tassie!

Check out Matthew Evans’ cook book from the hit series.

So from the markets, it was of to MONA, the museum of old and new art.

The best way to arrive at the museum is by ferry. Entry can be purchased with the ferry ticket, making life easy.

The ferry is fabulous, interactive and a great way to see Hobart from the water.

The architecture of MONA is beautiful, a wonderful addition to Tasmania’s capital, an excellent draw card.

I will be honest, this gallery is not for everyone, and will provoke a gamut of reactions.

I always leave it for the reader to decide, but will say, I’m more of an Impressionist type of gal!

After what was a polarising experience it was back to Salamanca to grab lunch.

We discovered Jack Greene, a cool bar with some fab food to be had.

With a choice of salads, sides and burgers, we settled in for tasty treats.

The burgers are available on a range of buns, including gluten free.

The chips are chunky and the salads generous, definitely worth a try.

Ross, my husband had booked “Smolt” for dinner.

We popped back into Jack Greene for an aperitif, then headed there to dinner.

Smolt was truly amazing.

Delicious arancini balls, a salad of Serano jamon, apple, witlof and raspberry vincotto and the most amazing beef shin, mushroom ragu and potato mash we’ve both tasted.

We were blown away.

I have to mention the service in Hobart, it was faultless.

What I loved was the enthusiasm and local knowledge from all we spoke to, there was a true pride in the product.

Another very sound sleep was had, but we had to make a move and make the most of our last day.

With a car at our disposal we headed up to the summit of Mt Wellington. At 1271 metres (4170 Ft) high, it was no wonder we saw snow at the top!

The view is spectacular, but do rug up, it was 2 degrees on a sunny day!

Next it was off to Cygnet for lunch. This gorgeous spot, in the Huon Valley is well worth a visit.

We had lunch at “Lotus Eaters Cafe“, which was perfect.

I had one of the most mouthwatering soup I’ve ever tasted, a perfect winter warmer.

Check out Cygneture Chocolates while you’re there, they make divine award winning chocolates.

The natural beauty of Tasmania is second to none, a jewel in the national crown.

So next time you feel like a culinary adventure, check out our southern most state. I guarantee you will leave with your appetite sated, by a full belly and a full mind.

Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle 2013

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