Sew is Life is written by E. It is a little space of blogging bliss inspired by art, design, craft, fashion, beauty and wellness. Based in Perth, Western Australia. Read about the daily ramblings of me being a mother of three and wife to an amazing creative man. The second me makes fresh skincare at SELF Organics. These are my stories sewn together with love.
This time, last week we were driving down to Margaret River in the beautiful South West of Australia to check out the Gourmet Escape. This is the second year that this festival has returned to Margaret River and it was held at the Leeuwin Estate Winery. A warning before you read ahead, there is going to be a lot of tantalising photos of yummy food :)
What a perfect day it was, it rained a little on the drive in and then dried up as soon as we got there. It was set up amongst the beautiful green lawns of the Leeuwin Estate, I couldn’t believe how much there was going on in such a small space. The organisers did a great job of setting up and making it an easy place to get around. Parking was also a breeze.
When we entered we each received a small show bag with a back copy of Gourmet Traveller and Wine magazine. And at the entry I purchased some of the currency for the show called GEMs, one GEM equalled to $7 and could be swapped for a tasting plate dished up by many of the chefs on exhibition and other gourmet produce and sessions.
One of the big marques was the Breville Thought Lab that was situated at the front of the show. The coffee smell wafting from that place was amazing! They were offering coffee making lessons and a play on their machines.
The was an area to entertain the kids too, set up by The Maze. It was a neat idea to have something for the little people, because the show seemed more appropriate for the adults.
There were wine tasting areas, and even a Rekordlig tent selling delicious cider. I saw a Pimm’s seating area that were serving some delicious beverages and I spotted a cocktail area that were selling $7 long island ice teas. However, I had to abstain from the alcohol, but no doubt would return to my Rekordlig back at the beach house.
I bought a few plates to try with the family and finished it off with freshly made ice-cream by the two fat cows.
This was a steak and rough cut chips with garlic butter
Lamb kofta with mint salad on a flat bread
Green papaya salad with satay peanut chicken
A refreshing green smoothie to finish off
I was hoping to bump into some celebrity chefs, but there was just too many people. I did see Poh (from Masterchef) on stage and Rick Stein talking about fish. But I was secretly wishing to rub shoulders with Heston Blumenthal or Adriano Zumbo. They are my absolute idols! Their cooking skills are legendary!
We stayed there only for a couple of hours because the flies were annoying my kids. They are not used to the bugs bugging them. It was impossible to see very much with the little people. But I did manage to check out some stalls and have a few free tastings from individual brand stalls.
The main stage was very impressive! It really helped that things we up on the big screen. I could see the cooking demos from the picnic rug where I was sitting.
It was nice to return to the beach house with some foodie reading material and chocolate that we bought on our way out of Margaret River. The chocolate factory is infamous down there, a visit is always a must :)
This year was a little tricky for us to stick to the itinerary but I’m sure the next time we will be better prepared with items to entertain the kids. They may need more ‘kid-friendly’ meals down there too, because my kids palate are not mature enough to enjoy this type of gourmet food! Chips and sauce is what they kept asking for, and a hot dog lol.
Hope you’re all having a great Sunday!
I write this post at 9:30pm at night, as the kids have just been put to bed. This is also the time when I indulge in a little chocolate session and a cuppa. It is my daily ritual…it is one of the things I must do before I retire for the night other wise I’m out of rhythm for the next day. Being a regular chocolate eater, I admit to having an addiction because of its calming effects that give me a good night’s sleep!
Though, I have been looking to cut down the sugar intake in my diet lately and trying to make the rest of the family do the same. We love our treats, such as- chocolate, lollies, cakes and other sweets. But with all this news about sugar being a labelled as a ‘poison’ is scaring the bejeezus out of me! I don’t want see myself having a heart attack, or cancer or growing old fast, because it sounds to me like sugar is the root of all these evils. I am going to do what ever it takes for me and my family to live a longer and healthier lifestyle!
I was so glad when Well Naturally sent me a couple of chocolate bars to try. It meant I didn’t have to give up my favourite vice after all. The bars are labelled ‘No Added Sugar Milk Chocolate’, it comes in two flavours - creamy milk and fruit & nut.
The chocolate bar is wrapped in colourful foil packaging and my first immediate reaction was 'this belongs in a health food store'. It must be the beige colouring and ‘Stevia’ stamp that gave it away. As a regular chocolate eater, I wouldn’t be drawn to the package because it may be seen as ‘too healthy for me’.
However, the first taste of the chocolate bar changed my thoughts, it was deliciously creamy and smooth! I had completely forgotten about my first impressions of a ‘healthy chocolate’ being bland and resembling cardboard.
I noticed there was no sugar hit but the lovely taste of chocolate. The Well Naturally ‘No Added Sugar Milk Chocolate’ bar is replaced with Stevia a natural, plant-based sweetener that has no calories. It has 80% less sugar than those other regular milk chocolate bars that you buy at the supermarket. The velvety-ness of the chocolate was such decadence! That won me over!
They come in 45g bars and is divided into 6 portions or pips (as described on the back) which helps those overindulgent times, you can just snap two off and leave the rest for later. My 5 year old loves it, she doesn’t notice the difference and keeps coming back for more of the creamy milk. However, I have yet to train the 2 year old as he is too familiar with sweetness and chocolate going hand-in-hand.
Well Naturally ‘No Added Sugar Milk Chocolate’ bars can be bought online at Vitality Brands.com or at your local pharmacy.
This is another small step to help me achieve my ‘summer body challenge’ (you can follow my updates on Twitter)! And this slight change in the diet doesn’t seem like I’m giving up anything at all. It is great that I can still have my nightly treat without added ‘guilt’ :)
Have you tried healthy chocolates before? What did you think of them?
*This product was supplied to me for review. This review has been written in accordance to Sewislife’s disclosure policy.
I have been going on and on about eating healthier for the past 7 months but for some reason this pregnancy is not agreeing with me! All my body wants to do is go towards the lollies, the biscuits, the chocolate, the white bread, the cake…obviously the complex sugars. *smack my hand* This usually means the body is crying out for nutrients that it is currently lacking! To stop the sugar addiction I had to eat more protein and green veg such as broccoli, nuts and fresh fruit.
So I decided to make some home made protein bars, packed with all the good stuff to curb my cravings. I don’t like the thought of buying supermarket ones, because they could be packed with preservatives. Fresh is best in my book :) Plus Hubz is working out now and without a doubt, he will come home looking for something to eat…even if it is a piece of white bread.
I found a recipe for home made protein bars at Money Saving Mom but I decided to change the recipe up a little. It is such a simple recipe, even the kids can help out! No cooking or baking involved! There isn’t a lot of sugar either, so this will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Click 'Read more' for recipe and photos.
Last weekend, we held a bridal shower for my very close friend, Melissa. Her wedding is on this coming Saturday, so a week prior we thought we would show her a good time by celebrating her bachelorette-hood ‘High Tea’ styling at The Peninsula Tea Gardens in Maylands, Perth. It is located just next door to the historical Tranby Farm House that is one of the first colonial farms still intact within the metropolitan area. It offers the unique opportunity to learn about the early years of European settlement in Western Australia.
The High Tea was set beautifully with polished silver and fine china boneware. The chairs were made of white ratten with white coloured cushions matched together with the ratten glass table. There were bronzed candelabras that were mounted on the wall with interesting warped candles. It was very ‘garden’ themed.
An afternoon of High Tea decadence, with fine bone china and silverware. I felt kinda ‘Queen-ish’!
Parisian tea - Perth style
The service was on time when all the guests arrived, the food came out on tiered cake stands filled with a choice of savoury and sweet morsels. It was so enticing to the hungry eye! One of my friends described the occasion as ‘relaxing and peaceful’, you could say it invoked the same feeling as being pampered at a day spa. We sat down to eat the 'Parisian Afternoon Tea' ($38 pp) which included:
Tea sandwiches – Smoked salmon and salmon mousse, Roast beef and horseradish, Ham and Dijon mustard, Cucumber and cream cheese.
Tasty finger-sized sandwiches and they had mini puff pastry shells with curry or mushroom filling too (great for the pregnant ladies-holla!)
Freshly baked scones served with whipped cream and gourmet strawberry preserve together with a selection of French style Petit Fours and cakes, served with a pot of tea of your choice.
Huge scones (half the size of my palm) with generous servings of freshly whipped cream and jam
Selections for the sweet tooth - mini lemon meringue pies, petite fours and cupcakes with butter cream icing.
After a hours of eating, we played some fun games questioning the bride (Celebrity husbands) and the group of ladies (How well do you know the bride?). It was a great way for everyone to know a little bit about each other. Then we took it outside and sat under the big shady tree alongside the riverbank, where we could look out to the Swan River and played Pictionary (wedding-themed of course). Here is where I found the bridal shower games.
Non-bridal shower related pic - This is my close friend Heidi and I with our pregnant tummies kissing. Awww! Not too long ago we had our joint baby shower, you can read about it here.
Mel looked so relaxed and happy, she seems to be taking this whole wedding business in her stride. I can’t wait to see her on her BIG day…and no doubt, I will have to bring a box of tissues!
But if you are planning a bridal shower in Perth, or just want a nice afternoon out with the girls, The Peninsula Tea Gardens is the place to go! The customer service is warm, friendly and very helpful. Plus the food is fresh and delicious too! Definitely found its way to the top of my ‘Best Places to Chill’ in Perth.
What is your favourite place to chill out with friends?