Along the sprawling Golden Plains of Victoria rises the historic Western District property Mawallok. Resplendent with a 2.5-hectare garden designed by renowned landscape architect William Guilfoyle in 1909, the garden features serpentine paths, sweeping lawns and impressive vistas across the lake designed by Sir John Monash.
When my ol’ school buddy of 41 years Zarby Mitchell below posted she was opening the family home at Stockyard Hill as part of the wonderful Open Gardens Victoria I offered to come down and do a few cooking demos for her visitors.
If charity truly begins at home, then there’s no better place to offer support, especially when the donated dollar can be traced immediately as proceeds go directly to the Skipton and Beaufort hospitals, and the local CFA. The amount raised is noteworthy – around $12,000!
Just as importantly, the weekend at Mawallok was a chance to spend time with my mate, catch up with other old friends from school, many I had not seen for more than a decade. Happily, these were the first ever cooking demonstrations for the Open Gardens initiative – all because primary school friendships are to be cherished and celebrated!
Flying into Melbourne on a magnificent Saturday, I detoured via Geelong to drop in on another old friend, after spontaneously visiting my old boarding school – for the first time in over 30 years! Fortunately, the belly flips of the past that accompanied the dread of ‘back to school’ had finally dissipated and what took their place was awe at just how beautiful the grounds are now – and how much has changed. The Dining Hall still holds its place, and as I joked on social media, what lay within those walls is what made me a good cook! Boarding school food was bloody awful! I promise to write about it – one day.Print