One of the problems of being at home between jobs is that you don't see many people, especially since I live alone - if I didn't go out I'd go days without speaking to anybody. I'm beginning to see how stay-at-home mums feel being at home all the time, but in raising a child, at least they have somebody to talk to.
I try and spend at least a little time with somebody every day. When I'm working, it's easy - people everywhere. When I'm not, it's a bit harder. They gym is good. I get to talk to people there. I also arrange lunch or dinner with people.
Today it was Millie's turn. Millie is currently a stay at home Mum who's about to return to work. She's in her last gasp of maternity leave and I hopefully only have a few more weeks left of holiday. Millie is also an inveterate foodie. She also writes the blog Hold the Peas. - lunch with Millie is always an adventure.
Millie chose a restaurant in the Yarra Valley. Why not? Her daughter was in day care in preparation for when she goes back to work. I had nowhere else to be. It was a dreadfully hot day, but the car, and the restaurant, have air conditioning. I collected her on the way out to the short drive to the Yarra Valley.
We're so lucky to be able to do things like this. The Yarra Valley is one of Australia's premium wine and food areas. The valley contains a cluster of wineries, breweries and restaurants. Millie chose the venue, one Meletos just out of Coldstream.
On a day where the mercury was pipping 40 degrees Celsius, we were grateful that the restaurant was wonderfully air conditioned.
First things first., A glass of prosecco to start proceedings.
Due to the hideous heat, we decided to share a few starters rather than have a heavy meal. We balanced out the choices. Prosciutto and manchego croquettes wiith a salsa verde.
Roast quail with scordalia and nuts and a few other bits and pieces.
A duck liver parfait with toasts - my favourite savory of the day.
It was more than enough for a lunch on a hot day.
I'd love to come back here in autumn or winter and see what their main menu is like. The establishment has a wood fired oven for pizza and the local mains look amazing, from what we saw other diners having around the room.
After a little wait and a lovely chat, it was time to activate the dessert stomachs and have dessert.
Millie went for the trio of gelati - which was amazing:
Me, I went for the nougat semifreddo with roasted nuts and dark chocolate. It was amazing. Seriously excellent dessert.
Over dessert we discussed the fact that neither of us could stomach panacotta. It's like a wobbly boob on a plate. Neither of us want to eat that (though there is nothing wrong if you do)
Before we went home, Millie tasted a few of the ciders that they brew on the site. An interesting proposition - a bit sweet for Millie's palette and a bit dry for me.
And then we drove home - vowing to do this again soon. Great food and great company - what more could you want?