During my Melbourne mini-break we took a drive to visit family friends on their lush green farm in Lansfield, about an hour and a half out of the city.
Bumping along a dirt road, with stones clicking up against the underbelly of the car, always makes me feel like I’m in the heart of a rural area. As we headed towards the gate I was struck by the rows of tall, sunny daffodils lining the stone wall.
The stunning and cosy house is like a spread from a country homestead magazine. Across the driveway is an impressive vegetable garden where tomatoes, carrots, asparagus and everyday herbs like parsley, basil and salad greens are grown. In the middle of the vegie garden proudly stands a fig tree.
The last time we were all together was nearly a year ago on a trip to Japan – how the time flies! We warmed up by the fireplace over a glass of bubbly and a cheese plate, with a moreish side of freshly made fig paste.
Our lunch consisted of baked salmon, potatoes and a salad (made with fresh greens from the vegie garden) topped with crunchy dried onions a light citrus dressing. The potatoes were boiled whole until almost cooked, then sliced thickly and cooked in a pan with olive oil. Crisp outside and soft inside – delish!
For dessert (courtesy of Ma) we had generous slices of an Italian citron and marsala cake, with big blobs of cream and fresh strawberries. Fruit cake hasn’t always been my favourite, but the thick chocolate chunks inside really did it for me.
After dessert we all took a stroll up the hill of the 70 acre property to look out over the mountains. A quiet and beautiful part of the world and a lovely way to end a great lunch.