The Sunday lunch project

It’s been far too long since we went to the Cape (July-Sept last year), and too long even since we went to the farm (Christmas). We’re not planning another really big trip until next year (hopefully a 6 month odyssey across the top, down the Canning and back – maybe including another trip to the Cape), so in the meantime we decided we need something to keep us occupied.

So we’ve come up with a project for the next twelve months – explore our area, and find the best spots to go for Sunday lunch. Every Sunday (and sometimes during the week if we can do it) we’re going to find somewhere close to home to explore and have lunch. The only rule is that it needs to be somewhere close enough that we can drive, have lunch, look around and drive back in one day – without having to leave home at some ungodly hour of the morning!

Yesterday we went to Shellharbour.

Shellharbour is 20 minutes south of Wollongong, or an hour and a half south of Sydney. I was very excited when we pulled up as there was a market in the park.  It was only small but there was some very good local produce and craft, and we bought some caramelised balsamic and dipping sauce. And Doc saw a beach bag that he’s still regretting we didn’t buy.

Then we retired to the pub for lunch. It’s a beautiful spot, sitting on the balcony in the sun looking out over the harbour and ocean. At this time of year it’s almost perfect, but in winter the sun would disappear early making it too cold to sit outside for long.

The pub menu is probably very good if you like meat and seafood, but had absolutely nothing (other than a bowl of chips) vegetarian. The person taking the food orders suggested I could have the mushroom and chorizo risotto without the chorizo, as that was only put on the top anyway, and we ordered a steak & chips for Doc.

Service was quick and good and Doc said his steak was tender and cooked perfectly (medium rare). I wish I could say the same about the risotto. It tasted like they cooked the rice on its own then stirred a couple of slices of mushroom through it. In other words – bland.

Oh well, the drinks were cold and the view was beautiful.

After lunch we went for a walk along the coast down to Shellharbour south beach, then drove out to Bass Point where there’s a coal quarry, Indigenous cultural walk celebrating and educating on the local culture pre-white settlement, and judging by the amount of people there lots of good fishing. We even got a free airshow.

It was like a trip back in time to when we were kids. The mainstreet with it’s verandahs shading thepavement, kids eating icecreams, and caravan park right on the edge of thebeach were a step back in time. Even the lifesavers’ hut on the main beach is an old demountable. Everything was easy and laidback.

If I was giving a score out of ten the area would score highly – it’s accessible, well signposted, with things to do and see. Lunch though wasn’t so great. They really do need to update their menu as I’m sure I’m not the only vegetarian that enjoys eating out.  And the pub could do with a paint job – as a tourist attraction it’s looking a bit tired and dirty.

Despite all the changes in weather, these photos were all taken on the one day – yesterday. The weather is a perfect reflection of what our summer has been like!

Next weekend we’re going to a friend’s birthday on the northern beaches so next week’s article will come from somewhere near Dee Why.


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