Down to the sea!
STORY BY SARAH GLOVER • PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUISA BRIMBLE
Autumn breeze is starting to grace the coast of Australia with its crisp feeling and beautiful sunsets. To celebrate, to welcome the change and to embrace every last moment of dining outdoors, under the twinkling light of the moon, I gathered my friends and we headed up the East Coast to find a secluded spot, to strike a match and light a fire. When I travel, I find food along the way that inspires what I will be cooking up. I had some delicious wine from Stoneleigh that I know would be a joy to pair my wild dinner I had planned.
Before embarking on the road, I popped my head into my local butcher and found the most delightful cut of pork – one that was sure get the appetites going. Along the journey, I found some wild pine mushrooms, the perfect partner to the rich textures and citrus flavours of Stoneleigh’s Wild Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Along the way, I also found some lemon thyme leaves on a nearby tree and my basket to the brim. So many natural wonders.
As the sun set over a secluded secret corner on the beach, Luisa and I rolled a railway sleeper from across the river (we were told the sleeper must be more than a century old), for our dining table. To set the scene, we dug out the sand, strung some shells across the tree branches, and lay the sleeper with plates and vintage wine glasses.
I suspended the pork neck, poured myself a glass of Stoneleigh’s Wild Valley Pinot Noir, chopping the mushrooms and sipping the vino with its dark cherry and sun-kissed berries flavours, as the menu started to come tougher. I prepared the pans and gathered my friends together for what would be the most unforgettable evening of wine, friend and good food in great outdoors. There is something so primitive and uncomplicated about packing a basketful of wine, food and exploring the nearby for a table, some wood and a little corner to pour a glass of delicious wild fermented wine and just eat and laugh our way through the night.
And on the menu?
• Chargrilled cheeses with endive and wild honeycomb
• Autumn-coloured mushrooms
• Hung pork with lemon leaves and blistered grapes
• Shredded quince, plums and crème fraiche