After seeing the Kangaroo silo painting, I stopped in at a little café for a coffee. Before I knew it, it was nearly time for my gin-tasting class at the distillery. Wouldn’t want to be late for that!
Originally, I was interested in doing the gin mixing class, but they wouldn’t run it for only one person. Participants end up taking home a bottle of the gin that they designed themselves. What a perfect souvenir! So the gin tasting class was the next-best thing for a single girl to do.
My friends Helen and Rick, who I went to North Korea and China with, love trying new gins. This place is tailor-made for them. I can just see Helen mixing flavours together like a mad scientist.
Look at this… only ONE CHAIR. The gifts that retirement brings keep coming and coming. I had a private masterclass, just for me!
A Spanish girl called Mar was my teacher for this class and she had 9 different drinks for me to try.
I’ve trained all my life for this moment.
As I settled myself on the chair, I could see that there were a few different aromatics for me to try with the different varieties I was going to taste. Some of these were from the extensive herb garden that surrounded the public café. I walked around and had a sticky-beak before the class started.
I had such a good time. The gin-tasting was amazing. There are such delicate flavours between them.
Here are the six that were on the original tasting. I had my mind blown by the very first one, which I ended up buying – the O Gin. As I went further down the line the gins kept tasting better and better. By the time we got to the 3 extra-special drinks at the end, I was having a VERY good time.
So I would’ve bought most of them, but you know I am but one woman with only one liver. I walked away with three bottles and one of them was vodka. I’m definitely not a vodka drinker, but this one was flavoured with such beautiful aromatics that I had to take one with me. I can see it being used sparingly, just a little bit poured over an ice cube…
The other type I bought was the First Harvest Juniper Gin, which is made with juniper and herbs from their garden and it was absolutely delicious.
They’re also in the process of making whiskey. Due to our climate, 3-year-old Australian whiskey tastes like 9-year-old Scotch/Irish whiskey. Interesting – this is something to keep our eyes peeled for.
I would imagine their Mixing class would be excellent, so if you’re ever on Kangaroo Island then definitely do the gin mixing class if you’re a couple or are with a group of friends.
After the class finished, I headed back to the car. Where to go now?
I decided to head off to the lavender farm for lunch.
After driving 20 minutes over rocky, corrugated unmade roads, I arrived at a big shed, and a café surrounded by rows of lavender bushes. Every row was labelled with the name of the variety of lavender.
I went into the shop, where one of the first things I saw was Lavender Gin. I backed away… I’d definitely had enough gin purchases and tipples for one day. I bought some foot moisturiser and a tub of something called ‘sleep balm’ – you put a smidge on each temple and you drift off to sleep like a baby. I can’t report as to how effective it is because I keep forgetting to use it.
I decided to sit here for lunch. I bought a lavender scone with strawberry jam, lavender jelly and cream.
The scone was about as big as my head.
I sat there, people-watching and also enjoying the sparrows and blue wrens that were darting in and out, picking up crumbs. It was cool in the shade.
I was looking around at all the lavender and I thought, ‘This can’t be the lavender farm. It’s too small. They must have another lavender farm or they buy their lavender oil from somewhere else.’
Before I’d ordered lunch, I’d given my phone to them to plug in because I was running low on battery. When I went to collect it, I happened to strike the owner of the place, so I asked her, “Where’s your main farm?”
She said, “This is it!”
I looked at her and said, ” It doesn’t seem to be big enough.”
She laughed and said, “Have you been to Tasmania?” and when I said that I’d just seen pictures of the massive farms there, she went on, “We cut our lavender by hand not by machine like they do. When you upscale and start using machines then you need the massive great amounts of plants.
“We don’t sell anywhere else. Because KI is such a huge tourist place, we don’t need to expand. We harvest our lavender by hand and we make all our products here”, gesturing behind her, “in this kitchen.”
Well of course this is music to my ears! I went back into the shop and bought some more things. I’m happy to support a business like this.
After lunch, I decided to have a look at the Eucalyptus Oil distillery, but to be honest, this was a bit underwhelming. I think I was a bit distilleried out, after Ireland and now here. I bought a cake of dog soap for the little woofs, then decided to make my way home.
Come to think of it – I’d had a very early start to the day. Coupled with the day drinking – I needed a nap.
The next day was an early morning ferry ride back to the mainland and then a full day’s driving. I took the 8:30 ferry and I didn’t get home till 9 PM. Thank goodness for podcasts and audiobooks.
Along the way, I saw a couple of very pretty houses in the same town in South Australia.
I stopped to take these shots, just like when Scott and I were in England.
Hours later, I was driving through Nhill when I saw a sign outside a shop saying “PATCHWORK.” I needed a break anyway, so I stopped the car and went inside.
I selected some fabric to buy – I was running low on reds and purples – and I ended up having the most fantastic conversation with the woman behind the counter. She was like ME! We talked for almost 20 minutes about all the travelling that we’ve done. We swapped recommendations and travel tips. It was fantastic.
Then, on the outskirts of the next town, I came across this.
The Pink Lake.
My friend Helen, you know, the gin-tippler, (haha!) – talked about this place to me a couple of years ago, saying that we should go up there. The pink that you see is SALT. You can harvest the salt.
I didn’t realise that the Pink Lake was on the way to Adelaide because when I went there a couple of years ago, I went via the Great Ocean Road where I met Loretta. A blogmeet is always a good thing.
So if I’d known I was going to be driving straight past here, I would have brought something substantial to scoop the salt into.
But all I had was my faithful coffee mug.
I brought the salt home, spread it out on a dinner plate and let the water evaporate away. It’s now in an empty Vegemite jar in my pantry, as a little reminder of this Little Adventure.
Look at the salt glistening in the sun.
That’s it for this Little Adventure. I had an excellent time on Kangaroo Island and can highly recommend it. It has a lovely blend of beaches, nature, foodie experiences and pure beauty.
It’s nice to find great places so close to home.
Dad joke of the day: