2006 Hobart in June – Day 3

Richmond & Meadowbank Estate – a birthday celebration

Sunday – happy birthday to me – happy birthday to me

In case you haven’t gathered today is my birthday and of course Hobart has given me a beautiful day!  Blue skies – cool, crisp weather and wonderful sunshine.  This is the view from our balcony – it’s great just to stand out here and look around.

Today we are journeying to Richmond, a village on, what is known as the convict trail.  We will also be going to Meadowbank Estate for a birthday lunch!  But first up Richmond.

Only 20 minutes from Hobart we can step into the living past, Richmond is the best-preserved Georgian village in Australia.   We arrive nice and early and just in time to head on down to the river and see the Richmond Bridge built by convict labour between 1823 and 1825.

HISTORY LESSON : Originally named Bigge’s Bridge, it is still in use today.  Built by convicts from sandstone quarried at Butchers Hill, the sandstone was hauled by hand carts to the bridge site.  The cutwaters (the wedges around the piers to protect the bridge from the waters) were added in 1884.

It is said to be haunted by several ghosts most notably Grover – a cruel flogger.

As we stand around near the river we discover that there are many, many ducks and they all want feeding.

Apparently this is a Richmond pastime as several cars pull up and out hop the people with bags of bread.  The ducks come from everywhere even their hiding places down on the river quacking and carrying on a real treat.  It is at this time that I realise discretion is the better part of valour and retreat.

 Our next stop is St John the Evangelist Catholic Church.  Perched high on the hill this church dates from 1836.  It is the oldest Catholic Church still in use.

It has had three spires, the present one being raised in 1972.  Why is it that every time I try to take a photo either a car or people walk in front of me without any disregard for what I am trying to do!

So I patiently wait until the view is clear and then snap away. Walking right around the building we even get a chance to have a look inside.  Such a lovely old building, but we must be moving along.

Into Richmond town and we decide to have a walk along Bridge Street.  There are lots of old world shops with their antique wares or not so antique wares – there is even an old-fashioned lolly shop.  Of course this needs investigating – so after acquiring a few bags of Sweets & Treats its back on the road to discovery.

Of course by this time we all want coffee – but where to linger?  It’s such a decision but we finally decide to walk through the doors of Ma Foosies Cafe.   You just gotta love the name – I think that is why we choose it.

Formerly a colonial shop c. 1830, this building has had many uses including bakery, butcher and doctor’s surgery!  Well that’s a colourful history for sure.

We are seated in a nice sunny, cosy corner and enjoy our morning stop.  This is such a relaxing weekend and we get to discover some history as well.

Not wanting to eat too much (as we have lunch coming up) we just have coffee and return to Bridge Street.

There are so many different little houses it is a dream of a place so we walk from one end of town to the other.  Along the way we see these buildings – they are typical of the many buildings in this town and they have a history all of their own.

It’s getting towards lunch time as we finish our self-guided walking tour of Richmond.

Ann’s friend, Brenda is driving down from the Northern part of Tassie to join us for lunch and to spend the night.  We have to meet her  at the restaurant and as we have to work out how to get there we better hit the road.

It is still a lovely day and when we arrive at Meadowbank Estate Brenda is there to meet us.  What a wonderful place to celebrate my birthday!  Before going inside for lunch we have a little wander around outside to look at the vineyards.

The brochure says ‘Surrounded by a sea of vines and overlooking the spectacular Coal River Valley you will find your immersed in Tasmania’s wine country and all the sensory treats it has to offer!’.  Just right up our alley if you ask me.

 Inside the restaurant all the seating is all behind huge glass windows so that no matter where you sit you get to look out over all of this.

We order our lunch and the wine of course and then we just sit and talk and laugh.  It is a great time.

This photo is taken out the front of the Restaurant after we have all had our fill of food and wine etc.  It certainly is deceiving – looks just like a big shed, but when you go inside – it is huge.

Later in the afternoon we head on back home – Brenda is coming back with us to Hobart to stay overnight and spend tomorrow with us before heading back home to the North of Tassie tomorrow.

After we sit around in our room for a while the others decide they will go and have an Indian dinner – I am still full from lunch.

Highlight of the day: Celebrating my birthday with excellent company, an excellent meal and excellent wine! Happy birthday to me!!

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