Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Perfect Weekend in Hobart - A Taste of Tasmania

Instead of a two week try-to-see-it-all drive around Tasmania, we decided to break up our experience into two, long weekend trips. First stop, Hobart.

What we did...

MONA, 655 Main Road Berriedale, Hobart +61 (3) 6277 9900,
Arriving early from Sydney meant we had almost a full day to fill (and a number of hours before we could check into our hotel), so we drove straight to the Museum of Old and New Art, more commonly known as MONA, and found everything from coffee and pastries to a gourmet lunch to a cellar door and enough shocking artwork for a lifetime of conversation. 

Port Arthur Convict Settlement
Because you just have to. It's a 90-minute drive from Hobart, so on our first full day in Hobart, we headed out to see the historic site. 

Bruny Island
A little known foodie have is just a short drive and even shorter ferry ride away from Hobart. In less than an hour we were walking on pristine, albeit chilly, white sand beaches in one of the most remote places in Australia. And then there's the food. From the freshest oysters to artisan cheese, this island is a mecca for food lovers. I regularly order from Bruny Island Cheese Co. (now making their own beer too) after sampling and buying everything at their popular Bruny Island tasting room.

Salamanca Market
On our last morning in Hobart, we headed straight for what was the top tourist site in Hobart (up until the MONA came to town). We weaved our way through the largest street market I've ever seen. You'll find local honey, handmade crafts and souvenirs, artisan breads and pastries, fresh produce, clothes and lots of food. Set aside at least an hour to wander at leisure, work your way through crowds and figure out how much you can stuff into your luggage to get back home.

Glassworks Cellar Door
Gasworks Cellar Door, 2 Macquarie Street, Hobart, +61 3 6231 5946,
I first noticed the building when we drove through town to our hotel. The historic gasworks brink tower stands tall in the waterfront precinct near the harbour and many popular hotels. We made our final stop of the trip here and were incredibly impressed by the fantastic Tasmania wines available for tasting (via tasting cards costing $10 for 3, 6 or 12 tastes of various sizes). But most of all, we loved that we had the opportunity to buy these wines, from all over Tasmania (not just the Hobart region) and ship them to our home in Sydney (for only $15/case). But best of all, we had a ball with the fun and very knowledgable manager, James Hordern.

Where we ate (or more importantly, where we'd eat again)...

Pilgrim Coffee
Pilgrim Coffee, 48 Argyle Street, Hobart +61 (3) 6234 1999,
Fantastic Sensory Lab coffee and gorgeous breakfast dishes. Literally, the "porridge" -- that was actually warm tapioca made with coconut milk with freeze-dried fruis and edible flowers -- was the prettiest I've ever seen.

Sidecar - CLOSED
Sidecar, 129 Bathurst Street, Hobart +61 (3) 6231 1338
Love this tiny spot with small plates and a uniquely European wine list. Seating no more than 20 diners around an open cooking area and a couple of small tables, the atmosphere is wonderfully cozy and dimly lighted in an otherwise stark and modern setting. The food that comes out of a tiny, spotless "kitchen" is fantastic. We loved the house-made ricotta, sliced meats and meatball sandwich washed down with wonderful Italian and French wines by the glass. Highly recommended for a light meal. Sidecar has been replaced by Small-fry Hobart. We'll be giving it a try on our next visit.

Jackman and McRoss Bakery
Jackman and McRoss Bakery, 57-59 Hampden Road, Hobart,
In the quaint Battery Park area of Hobart (just a short walk from the bustling Salamanca area) sits the wonderful Jackman and McRoss Bakery with a picture-perfect case of sweet and savory pastries and breakfast dishes. We devoured a tasty vegetarian quiche layered with potatoes and asparagus to name a few of the ingredients, a risotto cake topped with a pile of slow cooked pork and a brioche filled with cream and fresh raspberries. All were absolutely incredible as were the selection of breads available to take home.

Next trip, we'll be flying into Launceston and working our way around the north of Tasmania. And afterwards, I'm coming back to Hobart for a longer visit!

Happy Travels,
30-something Travel