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The Hunter Valley (aka wine tasting with a baby)

And just like that, I'm back at work. Part time, job share, which is basically the working mums dream arrangement. So far so good, only one morning with tears (his, not mine, though it was a close call).

What with all our baby growing and raising, moving countries, double summers, relatives visiting and all that jazz, I've been experiencing somewhat of a travel drought. This has definitely been my longest period in adulthood of not traipsing overseas, so I was a liiiiiitle bit over excited to be visiting the Hunter Valley. Even if we had intended on taking a romantic trip but ended up taking Wolfie along with us. Oh well. Nothing like being responsible parents and having a baby along for the ride while you go wine tasting.

We kicked off our long weekend with lunch at Esca Bimbadgen, where we enjoyed views over the vines and matching wines with our meal. I definitely recommend the dessert plate - 'peanut butter and jelly', 'tropical pavlova' and 'peach and almond' with a glass of Bimbadgen Estate 2007 Botrytis Semillon. SO GOOD. Of course we bought a bottle at the cellar door post meal. It would have been rude not to.

Full and jolly, we checked into our home for the long weekend, Chateau √Član. Gone are the days of us bunking into a hostel - a one bedroom apartment we could spread out our carload of baby related "stuff" out in was in order. Plus we needed a pool and spa bath. You know how it is.

We spent a blissful couple of days visiting wineries, eating cheese, splashing in the pool, and roaming around Australia's biggest lights display at Hunter Valley Gardens (1.5 million lights in case you were wondering how big the biggest is). Our favourite winery we visited was Audrey Wilkinson - great service, fantastic views, and top notch wine for our novice palates.

All too soon it was time to head home, but not before squeezing in one last meal at The Deck Cafe. This unassuming little place basically blew my mind with the quality of its food. The mezze plate had so many standout flavours I didn't know which to save for my final mouthful (which always has to be the best thing on the plate, obviously). The CG's pork belly spring rolls were so good, I'm almost tempted to invest in a deep fryer.

Time to start planning our next getaway.

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