FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

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Greetings Feasty lovelies, and welcome to another tasty edition of Friday Feast, coming to you again from the mighty metropolis of Melbourne where I’ve been for the Romance Writers of Australia annual conference. What a ball we had. I promise to post lots of photos for you when I get home. In the meantime you can enjoy this Friday Feast from me, where I wax lyrical about one of my favourite food destinations.

Cathryn Hein playing golfBut first, news from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. Not a lot of golf to talk about thanks to the conference but I did sneak down the Mornington Peninsula for a hit during the week. It was not pretty. The course was playing mean, it was bloody freezing, and I lost to His Majesty after being four shots up. Gah! But while the golf might have been ordinary, the views were good and the miserable day gave us the excuse to snuggle up in an Irish pub afterward with pints of Guinness and some hot, hearty food. There’s always a silver lining!

This week I’m going to feature my debut novel, Promises, which hit shelves almost four years ago to the day, on the 29th August 2011. Such an exciting time!


Promises by Cathryn HeinA father with something to hide, a jockey with a taste for blackmail, a man with an agonising secret. . . and a young woman in love, defying them all.

Sophie Dixon is determined to leave her tragic past behind and forge a bright future on her beloved farm. While looking to buy a new horse, she is drawn into her neighbour Aaron’s Laidlaw’s orbit, despite the bad blood between their families.

As the racing season unfolds, Sophie and Aaron’s feelings for each other deepen. But Aaron is torn, haunted by a dark secret he fears can never be forgiven – especially by Sophie.

Sophie believes herself strong, but the truth behind her mother’s death will test her strength, and her love, to the limit. She’s been broken once. No one wants to see her broken again. Least of all the man who has grown to love her.

This is such a wonderful book, with feuding families, deep secrets, loads of romance and a whole lot of good feeling. I’m horribly biased of course, but this story is completely sigh-worthy. If you missed Teaser Tuesday this week, there’s a little snippet for your reading pleasure there, plus a another extract on the Promises book page. Or why not just buy the whole book? You know you want to… Try Booktopia, Bookworld, Angus & Robertson, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, JB Hi-Fi or your favourite book store or e-tailer.

All set? Good. Now come enjoy some happy foodie snaps from Mighty Melbournetown!

To Market, To Market!

I’ve never been shy about how much I adore Melbourne. It’s my favourite Australian capital. Melbourne has a great vibe, one of action and excitement, of fantastic food and culture, of interesting architecture and art, and it’s the spiritual home of that most excellent and pervable of sports, Australian Rules Football.

Pasta at Queen Victoria Market

Seafood at Queen Victoria Market

In many ways, it’s the city I grew up with. Mount Gambier, my home town, is almost equidistant between Adelaide and Melbourne. Being South Australian, you’d think we’d gravitate to our own capital for big city experiences but it was Melbourne that we frequented most. I guess simply because it was so much bigger. Or it could be that the road was easier. Driving to Adelaide via the Coorong was, admittedly, scenic but back then the road was pretty ordinary, and the alternative route through the upper south-east not much better, whereas Victoria’s Glenelg Highway and Princes Highway weren’t too bad. But that could be my faulty childhood memory. The older I get the more I find discover how many tricks that can play.

Olives at Queen Victoria Market

Cheese at Queen Victoria Market

I’ve been fortunate enough to live in Melbourne twice. The first time was post-university when I was employed by a pasture seed company that had a depot in Melbourne. The second time was in 2012 when Jim scored a brief posting here. Boy-oh-boy, did we make the most of that year. I think we spent every weekend doing something, whether it was going to the footy, taking a ferry up the Yarra, visiting a museum or gallery, shopping up a storm, or lunching at one of Melbourne’s many great restaurants.

Chicken nibbles at Queen Victoria Market

Offal at Queen Victoria Market

One of my absolute favourite things to do in Melbourne is visit the markets. The South Melbourne Markets were our regular haunt in 2012 but before then it was either Prahran Market or Queen Victoria Market.

Octopus and Cuttlefish at Queen Victoria Market

Chillies at Queen Victoria Market

Visiting Queen Vic late on a Saturday morning back in the 90s was a blast, especially the meat and seafood areas. The butchers and fishmongers would be in a mad scramble to shift stock before closing and if you timed it right you could snag some real bargains. Our favourite was 3 rolled beef seasoned roasts for $10 and trays of crumbed schnitzel for ridiculous prices. It was noisy, crowded and great theatre, and I revelled in it.

Gurnard at Queen Victoria Market

Fruit and Veg at Queen Victoria Market

Fishmonger at Queen Victoria Market

Female pork cuts at Queen Victoria Market

Naturally, being in Melbourne this past week for the RWA conference, I couldn’t miss another trip back to the market. We needed cheese and salumi to munch on and I wanted new ugg boots, and I just like the colour, atmosphere and interesting produce.

Duck eggs at Queen Victoria Market

Duck Breasts at Queen Victoria Market

Deli at Queen Victoria Market

Bread at Queen Victoria Market

What’s your favourite shopping experience? I’d love to hear recommendations, even if it’s not foodie.

While I adore Melbourne’s markets, I have to admit that my best shopping experiences have been overseas. Wandering through the ancient streets of Aix-en-Provence on market days is still one of the most vivid memories of our years in France. There was always something fascinating and the produce stalls were amazing.

What about you? Where can you recommend to shop?

If you’d like to learn more about me and my books, please feel free to explore my website. You’ll find everything from my book releases to past Friday Feasts and other blog posts. You might even discover some secret things about me. If you’d like to connect with me elsewhere, I’m on Facebook, Twitter as @CathrynHein, Google+, Goodreads and Pinterest.

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Friday Feast recipe index link.

10 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Thanks, DB! The fresh produce was gorgeous but we couldn’t indulge. Did buy lots of lovely cheese, pate, Serrano ham and bread to snack on though. Very yum.

  1. AvatarAndrea Cook

    Well what shops to recommend in Melbourne or things to look at it really depends what your into. All though there a Japanese restaurant I have been to lots of times that I use to meet some friends there when I was learning sign language. The Japanese restaurant is in little Collins street. I use to love there vegetarian pancakes and it would be what I order every time I go there. I’m not a vegetarian but these pancakes are well worth trying. As I said I would barely order any other dish when I met friends there for sign language get togethers with some class mates.
    Glad you have been to the markets as they are great in Melbourne and a lot of people who haven’t been to Queen Victoria market before get surprised with how big it is.
    Something I haven’t done but would like to do one day is the tram restaurant they have in Melbourne. I cant remember the days it goes but you can do night tours or day tours and have a meal while your touring the street of Melbourne. Someone I know has done it and said it was great.
    I love St Elizabeth Church that is near parliament station. its lovely to look at inside and out.
    Melbourne aquarium is great. I haven’t been to that for ages.
    As for shopping the DFO outlets are great although the one near southern cross station isn’t as good as it use to be but you can still find a bargain or to, and the one in Moorabbin is good to. Some of the other things I would recommend but it depends on the time of year your in Melbourne. Oh and these a good coffee shop in Elizabeth street though I cant remember the name.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Great, informative comment, Andrea. Thanks! I’ve lived in Melbourne twice and been visiting this great city since childhood but always discover something new and wonderful. I wish I’d had a chance to check out St Elizabeth’s now. Oh well, no doubt I’ll be back in the next year or so. Will just have to do it next time.

  2. AvatarAndrea Cook

    Southland is very big but a nice shopping centre. But two of my favourite places to go to is two shops in Glenhuntly. Not far from there train station is a discounted shoe store and a store that supplies a good range of different size shoes at an affordable prize and normally have a good variety of size ten. . But most of all if your into patchwork/sewing there is a great discount fabric store that is just great. I don’t remember the name of it but its great. For some reason I can picture the shop but have forgotten the name but will try and remember to let you know when I find out the name. And the good thing about both shops there are only a few shops between them. I took a friend there two years ago and she loved bother stores, she even found a pair of shoes perfect for a wedding she was attending a few weeks later.

  3. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    What incredible photos!! Bizarrely, as I am not that far from Queen Vic, I never go. We tend to shop every day depending on mood, and to shop local (use it or lose it!). We have a great fishmonger (Canals) some good butchers, fabulous Italian Deli, French traiteur and more bakeries than you can shake a stick at. Plus the excellent but chaotic Piedemonte’s supermarket. Spoilt for choice. I LOVED the photos, thinking so much of what I’d do with those duck breasts with lovely golden skin, and also pondering what lamb pluck might be?

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I was salivating over those duck breasts too, Louise. Such a pity we couldn’t buy and cook any.
      Queen Vic Market does seem to have lost some of it’s oomph from when I used to be a regular in the early 90s. Can’t quite pinpoint why though. Perhaps there was a bit of a generic feel to the deli area?
      Lucky you on all your local providores. I’d be shopping locally too with that lot on hand. Very jealous! My local fruit shop and IGA are great but I would love a few more shops to play in. Oh well. Next time we shift we might get lucky.
      I’ve heard the term lamb pluck before and have seen it mentioned in old cookbooks. Somehow I suspect it’s not something I’m going to cook with in a hurry!

  4. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Great photos, Cathryn. And the markets look so good. Last time we were in Melbourne was 8 years ago. Middle of January we’ll be travelling around Victoria for 5 weeks but not too sure yet if we’ll stopover in Melbourne, depends which route we take I suppose.
    We have a lovely little market in Wollongong mall, lots of little stalls that sell fruit and veg, and one that sells fresh olives and Italian pastries, and a stall that sells organic breads, cakes and pastries and the best green energy bars I’ve ever tasted. They also have a shop in Picton called Common Ground Bakery and Cafe.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Good markets are wonderful things, aren’t they, Sue? I love the farmers markets where you can chat direct to the growers and hear their passion for their produce.

      5 weeks around Victoria in the summer sounds fun!

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