Lovedale Long Lunch – Sunday lunch project with Stormtroopers

I had lunch with Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca.

How many people can say that on a Sunday? Unfortunately, Harrison Ford was absent.

We missed the Lovedale Long Lunch on Saturday, so Sunday we made sure that today we were there on time.

We got up this morning, had breakfast (over a number of shifts), then those of us who were ready sat outside waiting for the others. There’s six of us in this house, with 2 bathrooms. I really don’t think I need to say anything more about how long it might take us all to get ready.

I was up first. And I had a shower first. So I got time to sit on the verandah and watch the willy wagtails and the galahs play on the front lawn.

Anyway … eventually we all got ready and we went off to Allendale winery – the first on the list for the Lovedale Long Lunch. And immediately it made an impression.

Imagine it – the front of the winery covered with round white tables, some shaded by umbrellas; a big marquee sheltering the band, the dance floor and a few more tables. And around one table – the cast of the Love Boat.

Or that’s what it looked like, in their Hawaiian shirts, leis and fancy sun hats.

And sitting next to them was a flock of fairies.

Very exciting company – and it was only 11am.

Four wineries in five hours. That was the goal we set ourselves, and we made it – sort of. One winery only got a very brief pit stop. As soon as we realized they didn’t have any bubbly we moved onto the next one.

Main meals, desserts and cheese platters accompanied by great wine, live music, and the fabulous surrounds of Hunter Valley wineries and vineyards. Emma’s Cottage was a mass of rose gardens, Gartelmann had a wide expanse of lawn next to the duck pond. As well as stormtroopers, Princess Leia, and a wookie. Luke Skywalker showed his youth and inexperience by finishing the day in a heap in the car park.

The big letdown though was the food. I suppose it’s inevitable when cooking for masses, but the food really wasn’t great. The Olive Tree restaurant at Allendale was our favourite, though that might have been because it was first up in the morning, so the food was fresher. By the time we got to the end things tended to be a bit dried out. And it wasn’t “plated” very well either – on disposable cardboard plates. I know that’s done to save on washing up as well as to avoid breakages and all the issues that go with that, but it did detract a bit from the day. Surely there are better unbreakable plates they could have used.

Still, we’ll most likely be back next year. More experienced and dressed in our finest. Evening wear sounds good.


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