Movie review: A Trip to Italy

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan join up again to take a culinary tour in The Trip to Italy. A wonderfully entertaining film shot over 6 days and 6 restaurants.

The movie includes many impersonations, such as Michael Cain, characters from The Godfather, Batman, Michael Parkinson, Robert De Riro, Sean Connery in Bond, and The Italian Job among others. I wanted to watch The Godfather before seeing this film, so I got the scene better, but it doesn’t matter much. Some of the funniest scenes are the silly ones. The food looks just devine and at points it makes you want to join them, even though most of the places they stay and eat at are probably out of my price range. The scenery is just spectacular in places (think Liguria, Tuscany, Rome, Amalfi and Capri) and I bet you too will be envious of their trip.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and dare I say, I think it’s better then the first one.

Road Trip – Kingaroy

peanuts

Last week we spent a lovely few days driving up to Kingaroy. We stayed in a self-contained hut at Deshons Retreat. On the way there we discovered a ‘pick your own strawberries’ spot and ended up with more than we could eat! Who knew you could get sick of strawberries!

The Swickers bacon was divine. The olives were outstanding.

If cheese is your thing you can try some either at Kingroy Cheese, or Cheese World a little way out at Goomeri.

If you like old-style biscuits pop into the Endeavour Biscuit Kitchen. They were an absolute bargain at only $2.50 a mixed tray, so I went back and bought a few more!

We visited a number of wineries and discovered purely by chance that we had picked the only ones that were open early in the week!

The most challenging part of visiting Kingaroy was finding out where to get bulk raw peanuts. It was a special request from my father. If you are after flavoured or boiled peanuts you really can’t go past The Peanut Van. Peanuts and navy beans are grown throughout the area, but unfortunately most peanuts sold in Woolies or Coles come from Asia and only “packaged in Australia”. Watch out for these, because they are not as stringently tested. We evently asked the right person at the TIC, and discovered you could buy them from the PCA factory across the road. The raw unshelled peanuts were half the price as retail, so it was worth it. We got some recipes with the sack, but I will warn you the smallest bag was 20kg!

Road Trip: Hervey Bay

Humpback whale

Big M and I went off to Hervey Bay for a few nights. We went mainly to go whale-watching. Our big mistake was choosing a cruise based on the “gourmet lunch”. It was a lovely lunch, but we hardly ate any for fear of the sea-sicknesses! Lots of whales, but make sure you pick a large vessel for your whale-watching experience.

Holidays are always a good excuse for eating out, so we tried a number of the local restaurants.

The first night I had “Lamb shanks and vegetables” – normally nothing to write home [or blog] about, except the waif-thin waitress said “I often have the shanks after work, but I can only manage one!”. I replied that I’d had a some help from Big M. Then she said “Just imagine, in the old days they used to be considered dog food!”

There were two food spots we would recommend. “Gringo’s” do excellent and affordable Mexican food. Big M had the nachos, and I had two tacos with Mexican rice. They can adjust the chilli level to your liking, or in my case leave it out.

The other place we enjoyed was “Arkarra” restaurant and Balinese tea gardens. There is a lovely walk around the lagoons with plenty of wildlife (mainly birds) to look out for. Big M had the “club sandwich”, and I had “calamari with sweet potato spiral fries”. Both were good, so….

Lambs Fry

We decided to visit again for breakfast. I was in an adventurous frame of mind and decided to try the “Lamb’s fry and bacon with onion gravy”. Big M had “scrambled eggs and bacon”. Lamb’s Fry is usually liver, and maybe other pieces of offal. It’s robust texture goes well in pies. I really enjoyed it, although perhaps a little too overpowering for breakfast regularly.