Friday, 29 January 2016

Torquay beach holiday and what we ate

A few weeks back I decided to try my luck at booking a beach house over one of the busiest weekends in summer, the Australia Day weekend.  And look at where we arrived in Torquay last weekend.  The gods were smiling upon us!  This was a perfect place to arrive home from the beach, kick off our thongs and eat dinner outdoors.

Not only was it a darling verandah but this was the view.  Torquay is quite close to Geelong where my parents live so it is not unfamiliar to us.  However the house was by Spring Creek in an area I don't know.  The garden of stone fruit trees, squash vines and tomato plants was lovely.  The tall gum trees attracted screeching cockatoos and cats wandered in the garden.

You might notice the garden is quite damp.  On the day we arrived, it was a miserable wet day.  It took us almost twice as long as usual to get to Geelong.  The weekend was fairly cool but warm enough in the afternoons.

The kitchen in the living area was compact but had everything we needed.

I took quite a few simple meals and snacks.  Bread, swiss cheese, milk and coco pops for breakfast.  (Sylvia loved the little holiday cereal packs.)  Baked beans, hummus, crackers and vegies for dinners or lunches.  Chips, soy snacks, teddy bear biscuits, wagon wheels, roasted broad beans and dried apricots for snacks.  And soda water and tea bags for drinks.  It all worked well for us.

Sylvia frowned upon not seeing a telly.  Then she was amused to find it was in the cupboard.  And once we found it too difficult to work the tv I was quite relieved.  It made for peaceful evenings.

Sylvia was even happier at the day bed in the corner.  She is very fond of creating houses and before long had made it her space with her minion tucked under his blanket, a mirror on the windowsill and books on a side table..

E loved having the cats visit us.

We managed to go to the beach most days after the first wet arrival.  It was quite cool for swimming in the mornings but lovely to walk along the tide.

We went to Zeally Bay Park along the foreshore.  It is a great kids playground with lots of space and play equipment.

We parked by the corner of Zeally Bay Road and Cliff Street for brunch each morning and were very fond of the healthy food at Kindness Co cafe.  It was so good that I have written a separate post about it.

Meanwhile nearby on Cliff St was one of our other favourites: the taco truck run by The Daily Food Co.  It didn't quite cater to Sylvia who only likes cheese in her tacos.  They did not serve cheese.  They did serve amazing tacos.

Here is my vegetarian taco (beside some sliced tomato that Sylvia rejected).  It was full of black beans with charred corn, capsicum, red onion and zucchini with red slaw, tomatillo salsa and kewpie mayonnaise.  It was really delicious.  (I checked and was told without the mayo it was vegan and they will be there at least until Easter.)  The taco wasn't really filling but at 3 for $13 you can't complain.

We were quite happy to eat a small lunch as it was followed by raw cake at the Kindness Co and frozen yoghurt at Orange Leaf (2C Gilbert Street).  We met my brother and his family who had cycled from their home to Orange Leaf.  It is the sort of place where you fill a tub with frozen yoghurt and all sorts of toppings (fruit, nuts, lollies etc) and pay by weight.  I just ate some of E's because I wasn't so hungry.

Then my mum came to visit.  It was merciful to sit on the verandah of our beach house with a cuppa and a teddy bear biscuit.

Then back to the beach for a swim.  Sylvia got into using the boogie board earlier in summer but the beach at Cosy Corner didn't have many waves for her boogie board.  She was happy to play in the shallows.

For dinner we went to Flippin Fresh fish and chip shop (33 Surfcoast Hwy, Torquay).  We had a bit of a wait but loved the chips and potato cakes.  Unfortunately there were no corn jacks but the pumpkin cakes were really nicely fried and I also tried a vegetarian spring roll which was lovely and crisp but nothing fancy inside.  E also liked his flake and chips.

We were back at the Kindness Co the next day but Sylvia wasn't so keen on the offerings so I bought some cheeseymite scrolls for her at Bakers Delight.

We spent some time browsing the shop.  Yet that is a green giraffe and no I didn't buy it.  I was more excited to find a copy of Vegan Life magazine from the UK.  I have been resisting buying food magazines lately.  This one was great for reading on the verandah back at the beach house.  I also read Tom's Midnight Garden which many of us would remember from childhood.

E on the other hand was quite keen on browing books.  He spent quite a bit of time at Torquay Books.  It is a really lovely bookshop.  Then he had a few hours at the Book Fair.

Sylvia had her book the Railway Children with her but when it came to purchases, her heart's desire is ice creams.  We had to try these Glamington Drumsticks.  Chocolate, vanilla, raspberry jam ripple and some coconut on top.  Fun for a change but more novelty than amazing.

We ate our ice creams just before having a swim.  Which means all the stickiness washes off in the sea rather than finding its way through Sylvia's clothes and hair.

I was ready for a lighter dinner.  We had hummus with crackers and vegies.  Sylvia had baked beans.

On our last morning we went to E's sort of cafe (Tapas?) next to Torquay Books.  He had an egg and bacon sandwich.  It was the sort of place where your options are limited if you don't want egg or meat.  So Sylvia and I both had toasted bagel with nutella.  It was ok but not really a proper bagel.  Sylvia had a well toasted bagel which was rather difficult to eat with a very wobbly tooth.

It is not a place we are keen to return to.  Later I thought maybe we should have gone to Torquay Larder or Growlers or Mobys with its outdoor play area.  Another time when we are down that way!

Then we headed to the beach and had a paddle in the tide before heading back homewards.  It was a relaxing short break before back to school and work this week.


  1. Just curious... what would make it "a proper bagel" ?

    1. Hi Mae - proper bagels are boiled and chewy rather than crumbly and crisp

  2. It looks so relaxing. What a wonderful find. The tacos do look great but what a shame you were left feeling still a little hungry. Maybe they could increase the price and serve four instead of three. The time on the beach must have been very relaxing. Whenever we have fish and chips for dinner I always order potato scallops and chips. Not the most healthy of meals but if you only have it twice a year it can't be all that harmful xx

    1. Thanks Charlie - I was actually quite happy to be still a little hungry after the taco because I wanted to try out the Kindness Co raw cakes (which I have now written about) and I was planning to see my brother and my mum so I wanted to pace myself. No fish and chips isn't the healthiest of meals esp as we don't eat fish but I love it as an occasional treat especially at the beach

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, love love your view. Looks like a peaceful place and so nice that Sylvia made herself at home, so sweet.

  4. Another amazingly fun holiday for you all...... I think I want to come and live in your family!!!!

  5. This long weekend sounds absolutely blissful Johanna and like you made some gorgeous memories! :D

  6. How lovely! Looks like you all had a fabous Australia Day weekend.

  7. What a lovely weekend - the place looks very calm and cosy. What a cool little taco truck to find too!

  8. It looks like a fun week Johanna, and what a good find with the accommodation. I loved those little cereal packs on holidays as a child and the 'glamington' Drumstick certainly holds novelty value!

    1. Thanks Kari - I commented to sylvia that we only had coco pops at my grandparents and on holidays as kids and she said "me too" which just shows how patterns repeat through generations - I loved those little cereal packs as a kid too. And I can't resist a fun limited offer flavour like a Glamington

  9. Sometimes things are just meant to be, Johanna. Getting that beach house at the last minute was such a Blessing. It sounds like you and your family enjoyed each and every moment:)

    I think it's adorable how Sylvia has her own likes and dislikes:)

    Your get-away weekend was full of delicious treats too. Oh what I wouldn't do to be able to have a Taco Truck nearby, lol...

    Thank you so much for sharing your mini vaca with us Johanna...Simply lovely...

    1. Thanks Louise - we were lucky to find the beach house and I would love to have the taco truck nearby too - would be there often

  10. What a wonderful holiday. It looks so beautiful and it's always so nice to have a bit of a break from home to try new sights and eats.
    "And once we found it too difficult to work the tv I was quite relieved."
    Ha! I just got back from a mini-vacation with my husband and sadly the tv at our place was easy to operate so I have made him promise me another mini-vacation later this year that has no tv or any sort of electronics involved.
    The food you found looks good! And I love how you packed all of the snacks - I do the same.
    The beach is beautiful =)
    The tacos look good! I can't wait to read your post about Kindness Co Cafe.

    1. Thanks Kimmy - a holiday without tv is great - I usually go offline for most of holiday - will just check emails every few days is enough. it was great to go to torquay which we usually whizz into an out but have time to get to know it a little better


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