Monday, March 22, 2021

Eating In, Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

Hotel dining can be a very expensive experience, but if you are there as one of those bucket list fulfillments like we were, then it's not unusual to go the whole nine yards.

Since the stay coincided with my birthday, the first day was set aside to have dinner at the Chinese restaurant upstairs and was one of those sublime experiences.  Of course, it had to be Peking Duck, expensive champagne, and several cocktails.

Oddly enough, breakfast wasn't included in the room rate, but that seems to be normal for a lot of hotels.  It can be if you want to pay upfront, but we don't always have breakfast, particularly if we have dinner the night before.

Or can be bothered getting out of bed the next morning because quite often the breakfast hours do go with staying in bed.

During this stay, we decided to have breakfast one morning, cereal, bacon and eggs, coffee, toast, you know, the usual stuff.

No paper placemats here and the silverware was just that, silverware.  This was going to be full on old world charm.

Coffee served from a silver coffee pot, fine bone china from Staffordshire, not Thailand, tea service for milk and sugar, condiments all in a row.

The only disappointment, I don't think the eggs were free-range.

And, when the conversation dries up, there's always a steady stream of people coming and going through the front door, and the doorman is always at the ready to open the door.

WE went once for lunch, and yes, we had to go to the famous Afternoon Tea, for which you had to book or stand in a very long line.  We booked and discovered preference was given to those who were staying at the hotel.

Out came the silver tea service, and one could imagine that this was the same as what it had been a hundred years ago.  I had tea, after all, it was afternoon tea!

The cakes were interesting, there were quarter sandwiches rather than finger sandwiches, and though I'm not a fan of fruit scones, I'm always up for something different.

After it, it's probably not a good idea to go out for dinner too.

Overall, the experience was worth it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Nepean Country Club, Rosebud, Victoria, Australia

We have a timeshare property we bought a long, long time ago, and it is located at Rosebud, in Victoria, Australia.

At the time we bought it, we thought it would be a good idea to have somewhere to go, to visit and stay for one week of the year.  And for the first few years, we did.

Until we moved to Queensland, and when we did that, we discovered the other convenience of owning a timeshare, we could get reciprocal weeks anywhere in the world.

Mostly in New Zealand, north and south island, but also on the French Riviera.  That was some experience spending a week there.

When we first bought it, it was very small, with only a few apartments, and facilities.  Perhaps the biggest drawcard was the 18 hole golf course, but we didn't play golf.  It had a swimming pool, a restaurant, a cafe, tennis courts, and a bowling green.

Only recently when we returned, to actually stay for a week, we discovered the place to be much larger, a new reception centre, a lot more apartments, and better facilities.

The reception centre was imposing

From any side.  It also had apartments and walkways going off in all directions.  On this side, it led to the restaurant and cafe.

Not far away is the aquatic centre and the cafe.  It has both a hot pool and a cold pool, both undercover.  The weather in Victoria can be quite wet and cold, even in summer.

There are BBQ facilities everywhere.

We did not get to use the swimming pool, but we did get coffee every morning at the cafe.

Tennis courts are both undercover and out in the open.

We did not get the opportunity to use the BBQ.  Instead, we opted for dining at several of the nearby hotels.

And the idea of rowing on the lake did not have any appeal.  I'm sure, on a hot day, the experience would be quite different.

O'Reilly's Vineyard, Canungra, Queensland, Australia

O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards located on Lamington National Park Road, Canungra, Queensland, is a 15-acre vineyard with the 163-year-old historic homestead ‘Killowen’ set up with dining rooms and long verandahs, and extensive grounds that are next to the Canungra creek where it is possible to find Platypus and turtles while partaking in a picnic.

There are about 6,000 vines of the (white) Semillon, Verdelho and (red) Chambourcin, Shiraz and Petit Vedot varieties.

We visited there in December when the vines were just starting to produce fruit. 

That fruit is usually harvested in February and then turned into wine.

The setting for picnics is, on a warm Summer's day is idyllic, where you can wade in the creek, or go looking for a platypus.  We did not see one there the day we visited but did spend some time sitting beside the creek.