:: When I woke the next morning it was still raining. We had a lazy breakfast of stewed plums and hot toasted fruitbread overlooking the garden, which Helen and Pete have transformed into a beautifully harmonious collection of fruit trees, flowering shrubs, herbs and vegetables. Much of what is harvested is incorporated into Helen’s cooking and complimented with local Narrogin produce.
After the rain reduced to a light spattering I ventured out into the garden. The vegetable patch was full of budding aubergines, silverbeet and capsicums and carpets of thyme, parsley and basil.
We ventured into the kitchen in the afternoon to start the preparations for dinner. The kitchen is a wonderfully ecclectic collection with a feel of country France – whitewashed walls, traditional cast iron oven and shelves of copious cookbooks, vintage condiment jars and crockery. It is at the same cosy and cultured, and full of the sentiment that comes with items collected all over the world from one’s travels.
First thing on the menu were spelt bread rolls. The dough was knocked back four times and rested throughout the afternoon, before finally making it to the oven. As every foodie knows, there’s little to beat fresh bread, hot from the oven and spread with real, organic butter.
After a lovely afternoon and evening in the kitchen, toasting Helen’s birthday with glasses of Bollinger and much cheer, we sat down to an incredible dinner of rare roasted beef fillet with port jus, homemade Yorkshire puddings, leek and potato gratin and steamed beans and broccolini.
And as if that wasn’t enough, dessert came next – maple baked pears with orange and served with a dollop of mascarpone.