Tag Archives: Melbourne

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

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.

THIS WRITING LIFE: Playing tourist

My friend Lisa from Brisbane came to visit over the weekend and as she’s not that familiar with Melbourne it gave us a great excuse to play tourist. What fun it was too!

Saturday was a brilliant day. We caught the Melbourne River Cruises tourist ferry from Williamstown to the city, which took us across Hobsons Bay and up the Yarra River to Southgate. Then it was lunch at Bistro Guillaume for some French indulgence, from where we were lucky enough to witness a man stop by the river’s edge, get down on bended knee and propose to his shocked girlfriend. When she finally recovered enough to nod a teary yes, diners on the restaurant terrace erupted into whoops and applause. I suspect the romance of it all made everyone’s day. I know it did mine – the couple were so gorgeously happy!

Here are a few happy snaps from our outing. Sadly, none of the proposal – I was too busy grinning in excitement to get out the camera.

 

Leaving Williamstown.

Our driver and guide, who were a hoot!

The city from across Hobsons Bay, looking pretty glam in the sunshine.

The control tower from which the flow of shipping to and from Melbourne’s docks is managed.

A ship in dock. I know, I know, the excitement of this pic is overwhelming but it is kind of cool in an industrial sort of way!

Lifestyles of the rich and famous.

A pedestrian bridge at Docklands in the shape of an eel trap. Great design!

Squeezing under a bridge. Impressive driving by our ferryman.

Ponyfish Island at Southbank, where the groovers hang…and ungroovy people like us when we can squeeze a seat.

Lisa and I having fun.

And finally a gratuitous photo of the bird of paradise in our backyard simply because it’s pretty.

THIS WRITING LIFE: Feeding my inner horsey girl

Last Friday I scooted off to the Melbourne showgrounds for Equitana, Australia’s “Premier Equine Extravaganza” and full-on horsey-fest. I’ve never been to one of these before and had no idea how huge it would be. The place was packed, not just with people but with stalls and demonstrations and everything you can imagine related to horses. In other words, bliss!

I took lots of pics to moon over later in the privacy of my own home but some things, like lovely horses, are meant to be shared. So here is a little of what I saw…

 

Too cute for words horses!

Magnificent horses.

 

Action horses

Fancy horses.

 

Superstar horses. Well, Black Caviar’s (aka Nelly) compression suit anyway.

 

Curious baby horses

 

Mechanical horses (for training jockeys)

 

Want one for my backyard horses

 

And by the end of the day, this is exactly how I felt. Zzzzzz.