We spent a couple of days in the Blue Mountains, outside Sydney, with my grandfather and aunt. Not having been there in almost 3 years, we were very keen to see how their garden had come on - Paul had left a couple of oak saplings that are now a good 4' tall.
The basalt soil (it's all old volcanoes around there) and elevation has made it the perfect place for a cool-climate botanic garden (Sydney's famous botanic garden is lovely - but there are only so many plants that like Sydney harbourside weather and a sandy soil!). So as well as pootling around my grandfather's garden, we also took an outing to Mt Tomah.
I particularly enjoyed the proteacea garden, with lots of fab proteas and waratahs. And a glowing pink pompom tree (Dias Cotinifolia) to make the other South African plants feel right at home.
But there comes a point where you can't walk around looking at plants anymore. Particularly when the sun is quite fierce (which it was, although I got some good foreboding clouds in my pictures). A shady spot and a cup of tea become necessities. And, if possible, a small treat with the cup of tea.
Paul is much more single-minded about his small treats than I am. They begin and end with scones.
He isn't indiscriminate - they have to be good scones. And it has to be a red fruit jam - preferably strawberry but raspberry is tolerated. And of course while clotted cream is the ultimate, properly whipped cream is good too.
The tearoom at Mt Tomah produces a very good scone. Light, fluffy and the right-sized portions of jam and cream.
My custard tart was passable. They called it a Portuguese custard tart, but it lacked the slightly burnt skin that is so appealing on pastel de natas. The custard was a bit too cold, so the taste was a little dulled. Still - lovely afternoon out in a beautiful spot.