I had the most wonderful day yesterday.
Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial organised a lunch with a few Sydney bloggers; bloggers I have been virtually communicating with for around six months but never met. Those who joined me yesterday at 4fourteen in Surry Hills were Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella, Brydie from City Hippy Farm Girl, Celia, and Rebecca from The Intolerant Chef who flew up from Canberra for the day to be with us – great effort!
We had arranged to meet at midday and I planned to be there almost ahead of schedule but you know how it is and at the last minute my punctuality plans became thwarted by a phone call letting me know Arabella had managed to secure a place on an HSC Crusader Study Camp at Galston Gorge starting the next day. We had to do a mercy dash to the local mall to buy a couple of essentials she desperately needed, but firstly and before we could leave, she had to have her time in the bathroom.
At the mall I just wanted to bag up the essentials but we ended up with secret socks, sports socks, tights, thermals, canvas shoes, jumpers, skivvies, scarfs, textbooks, a kebab and a hand bag – ‘Oh look mum! It’s 40% off’. It’s amazing I was only 15 minutes late.
Then, on the way, Archie phoned. I had asked him during the week if he would like to pop in and join me and the girls at the restaurant because he goes to uni just a few blocks away from where we would be. He told me there was no way he could do that because he had an exam that afternoon and would need that time to prepare for the exam.
But when Archie phoned me he all of a sudden had plenty of spare time. When I arrived he was waiting outside for me. I told him how lovely it was to see him (he hadn’t been home for a while) and that I was so happy he could join me for a drink. He said, ‘Actually mum, the reason I’m here is that you know how I didn’t come home last night, well, I’ve run out of money and I was just hoping you could buy me some lunch. And do you think you could give me some money because a mate shouted me breakfast and I said I’d pay him back.’
I didn’t let the fact that Archie uses me like a cash-cow put me off my lunch.
I walked in with Archie and the girls were already seated. I had already met Celia and I recognised Lorraine from a photo on her blog and I didn’t know Brydie or Rebecca but somehow I just knew who was who. I introduced Archie who despite living like a vagrant was actually pleasingly presentable and Celia couldn’t resist asking, ‘How is it that you returned from your formal wearing only your underwear?’ And Archie said, ‘Oh right, well I think there’s just some things you can’t explain’.
After the introductions, gifts were presented. For any novice out there, food bloggers are generous souls and when they meet they present, share and swap gifts.
I know this now.
Rebecca made me a truffle butter that was in a very cute little jar. Lorraine made me some chocolate brownies that were beautifully wrapped and presented. The brownies contain a secret ingredient that gives them a wonderful flavour and texture and I’m sure the recipe and the unveiling of this ingredient will be on her blog any day now. Celia gave some homemade chocolates, a jar of her president plum jam and a beautiful dish from the Turkish Homewares Shop she recently promoted on her blog. I gave NOTHING as the food-blogger-generosity gene had bypassed me. I will be better prepared next time!
We then ordered drinks. Water for the girls and a beer for Archie.
And then another beer for Archie.
The food at this restaurant is designed to be shared and we enjoyed many varied and unusual dishes including pig’s ears and pig’s tails but we do not know what happened to the middle bit of the pig because it wasn’t on the menu. Archie had a couple of beers then stumbled back to Uni to sit his final exam for this semester. He would have been relaxed for sure.
Here’s a selection of some of the food we shared and enjoyed…
This came with crumbed, crunchy bone marrow on the side to prevent it from becoming soggy.
It seriously was a wonderful day out and the restaurant was a great choice but I don’t think it would have mattered if we were sitting on a park bench eating slightly stale vegemite sandwiches. This was wonderful food but the friendship, bonding, relating and laughing eclipsed the fabulous cuisine – by yards!
Looking forward to the next invite!
And girls…Archie says, ‘Thanks ladies for the beers’. It will not be his shout next time. It never is!
4fourteen is located at 414 Bourke Street Surry Hills, Sydney
Ph: 9331 5399
Open Tuesday to Saturday Lunch and Dinner, Sunday lunch only
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