When Doc finally surfaced late morning he looked at me and said “it’s a perfect day for a ride” as if a) we had a motor bike and b) he could ride it if we did. Doc loves motor bikes and has done a lot of riding over the years, but very little recently. And he can’t get any shoe at all on the great big scar on his foot, let alone a bike boot. So even though it’s not quite as blokey as a motor bike we got into my Saab, put the roof down and drove up to the Scarborough pub.
Along with almost every other person within driving distance, and the Central Coast Harley Club.
The pub was so full there was a 40 minute wait to even order lunch. However the very nice, and very harried, women taking (or rather, not taking) the orders aid we could order from the barbecue where they were doing steak, chicken or fish with chips and salad. Not wanting the Sunday lunch project to turn into a search for the perfect hot chips, I said we’d wait.
Lucky it’s a lovely place to sit and when all the tables are full you can just pull up a bit of lawn. If I’d known that before we left home I’d have done what the people in the know did and brought a picnic rug.
The pub’s right on the cliff overlooking the ocean and with the escarpment on the other side, so the views are spectacular. A line up of ships waiting to get into Port Kembla floating out at sea and, today, old planes flying up and down the coast as part of Wings over Illawarra. We’d already seen some of the planes from home, including the Connie which did a fly past over our house.
In almost no time, and far less than the 40 minutes advised, we were buzzed to go and order. A mezze dip plate for me and fish and chips for Doc. Doc hasn’t ordered fish & chips anywhere since the Cape so this was a big deal. And it passed the test – he gave it a 7/10. The dips were also very good – all home made with lots of oven toasted bread to eat them with. And a very drinkable bubbly to wash it down with.
After lunch we decided to continue up the coast to where Lawrence Hargrave Drive meanders away from the cliff and out over the ocean. It’s a spectacular piece of road which is quite a tourist attraction in itself, with people driving down just to walk along it. And it’s become the Illawarra’s version of the Bridge Ponte Milvio, with padlocks put on the rails. Justin & Janice – if you’re out there are you still together???
The large number of people at the Scarborough set us to wondering why there weren’t more places like it. Then we remembered there was – the Imperial Hotel just a bit further along the road. The Imperial closed in 2003 and is now very run down, but it’s a beautiful old building in a perfect location. It still has tiles along the front like a traditional old Australian pub. If we had the money we’d buy it and do it up. Sadly, we don’t have that sort of money, but somebody must have, and there’s obviously a demand for another place like that. And if they rush, we might be able to fit it into the Sunday lunch project!