Thelma and Louise

On Monday I was so exhausted from Arabella’s eventful week of events that I took advantage of the break in the scheduling and stayed in bed while the sunshine beamed down on me through the windows.  I lay in bed with two friends, laptop and i-phone.  A text came through from Celia and she was inviting me to join her for lunch.  I love an invite!

I sprang out of bed and got organised.

Not organised enough it seems.

Celia had told me to meet her at a cafe next to Neutral Bay Wharf.  I went to ‘the other’ Neutral Bay Wharf, called the Kurraba Road Wharf where there wasn’t a cafe, only a milk bar.  I was worried Celia had lowered her standards.  A quick call alerted me that I was off on a tangent and not at the true Neutral Bay Wharf, the one called Hayes Street Wharf, so I beetled back to where I was meant to be by which time Celia had been waiting for me for 20 minutes.

Thelma and Louise is a delightful cafe right beside the Neutral Bay Wharf (Hayes Street) and overlooks amazing water views.

There’s a car on the ceiling.

And gnomes on the shelves


And the view from the cafe where you can watch the ferries come and go is up there with the best

There’s a tiny beach that not many know about and even at this time of year there are sunbathers

Celia ordered a Middle Eastern Lamb dish with lemon and yoghurt

Antipasto plate for me – $17.50

For dessert there were melting moments and gingerbread men, but we declined

There were lemon meringue tarts on a very pretty plate but we declined these also

But we couldn’t resist the baklava or the Turkish delight so we had both

And Celia enjoyed her dessert with a chamomile tea but I decided to go for a ginger beer. And it was a very bad choice because rosewater doesn’t mix well with ginger.

And so I was feeling rather ill especially after a second helping of baklava that at the time, seemed like a good idea.  It was too much and I certainly wasn’t feeling the best but I can’t blame the cafe – I just shouldn’t have had so much sugar.

Celia was her usual generous self and gave me a bag of produce freshly harvested from her garden.

Fresh, organic salad

I used Celia’s gifts to make a cleansing salad that was rejuvenating after all that indulging in sugar.  I tore up the cos lettuce, piled on the sorrel then added the beetroot that I’d roasted, peeled and sliced then tossed in grain mustard and balsamic vinegar.  I sprinkled the dish with torn mint leaves and drizzled with olive oil.  It was so delicious and a total family favourite and there were no leftovers, not even a remnant.  And it all came from Celia’s garden!

I had a wonderful day that was full of laughs and good times and was the perfect way to relax after such a hectic previous week.

Thelma and Louise:  is at Shop1/1 Hayes Street, Neutral Bay Ph:  9953 7754

Celia’s Garden:  is at – well, that’s a secret!

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  1. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    Sounds like a wonderful lunch, despite the sugar. And don’t you simply love a meal totally made of fresh garden produce? The best.

  2. WOW! I wished to be theere too 🙂 Thank you dear Charlie, love, nia

  3. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    How wonderful to have a generous friend with a green thumb!

  4. Do glad you got to have a relaxing day for yourself! Jealous of your fresh vegetable bounty. I wish I had a friend with a garden…or my OWN garden 🙂

  5. Those hectic starts often make the most relaxing and enjoyable times.
    We’re in Paris now and on the last leg of our two week vacation in Europe. Hoping the weather warms up, or I’ll have to get new clothes and shoes…darn!

  6. Glamorous Glutton says:

    Aah, for those days when you only have to get out of bed because you want to! GG

  7. saffronandhoney says:

    So great that you had some off time and a little adventure to boot! It’s fantastic to discover new places.

  8. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Looks like a lovely and much-deserved time with a friend. What a fun place! And wow, what a view! I also love how quickly you flew out of bed, ready for an adventure. I can relate.

  9. yummychunklet says:

    baklava looks delicious, though I’m not sure about the Turkish delight. I’ve never had it, but it looks like powdered pieces of gummy-like candy. Is that correct?

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Yes, it’s clear and pinky in colour and flavoured with rosewater. Looks a bit like jelly but is firmer in texture and quite chewy. It’s a great after-dinner snack and perfect with coffee. I hope you find some in the US so you can try it – I love it!

  10. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says:

    That looks like a really fun place!

  11. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    What a lovely invite – fabulous! Celia is a darling and how special of her to share her harvest with you.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  12. Antipasto and Turkish Delight! I wouldn’t mind either of those. So glad you took a day, or even a lunch, for yourself, my dear! You deserve it 🙂

  13. The menu was a bit disappointing so I would probably just have had the ginger beer and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. 🙂 That reminds me… I must make baklava again soon.

  14. Didn’t we have fun! Thelma and Louise is such a find! We have to do it again soon, Charlie, now that all the formals are over. 😉 Thanks for making such a wonderful meal with our garden produce – the salad looks delicious!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      And I served it with a leg of lamb and used your rosemary. Put cuts into the lamb and poked bits of rosemary into the cuts and it was delicious. The beetroot and mint salad was perfect with it. Thanks again!

  15. You very much deserve this delicious lunch my friend, it’s about time you got a chance to sit back with friends, eat and relax 😀
    This cafe definitely beats a milkbar 😉

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. InTolerant Chef says:

    I thought you meant you and Celia were Thelma and Louise! I don’t blame you for enjoying a break from your crazy past few days, but lunch with Celia its certainly worth getting out of bed for 🙂 By the way, if you love an invite, you’re always welcome in Canberra – for lunch or dinner or afternoon tea, or morning tea, or coffee etc 🙂
    A nice salad is the perfect cure for over indulgence – so crisp and crunchy and so good for you too, yummo!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks Rebecca. I would love to visit you in Canberra. I’m usually down at least once a year as we have family in the ACT. Will let you know when our next trip is planned.

  17. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    I was starting to think a little less of the both of you with all that dessert resisting but you recovered well with your double order!

    How wonderful to be able to indulge in Celia’s fresh produce. Yum!

  18. I love surprise lunch dates with girlfriends 🙂 And you sure needed one Charlie! After such a busy weekend, cooking, baking and organising Arabella’s birthday ~

    I don’t think I could resist the lemon meringue tarts hehe

  19. You and Celia would make a great Thelma and Louise. I can see you taking off in a convertible together, sharing this salad while the wind blows your head scarfs off.

  20. Jennifer Cullen says:

    You need more days like these! As do I!

  21. Dear Charlie,

    Celia’s garden is really quite amazing with so much fresh produce. Thelma and Louise reminds me of the cafe at the end of Woolwich road in Hunters Hill. It is so serene with such beautiful views.

  22. Nic@diningwithastud says:

    I absolutely LOVE beetroot and this salad looks perfect. I’ve been dying to go to Thelma and Louise – good food choices ladies 😀

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Make sure you go on a beautiful, sunny day. The view is stunning and if you get there early you’d be able to get a table outside.

  23. Juliet Batten says:

    The salad looks like the perfect antidote to all that sugar! What a treat, when it’s fresh from someone’s garden. Glad you are having a well-deserved break after all that mothering.

  24. Kiran @ says:

    It’s been a while since I had a plate of antipasti that looks so incredibly delicious!

  25. I just love lunches like that so impromptu. And what love greens – I always feel better when I know they are from a friends garden.

  26. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Hehe for a moment I was worried that you had taken a car and a friend and gone off looking for J.D.! 😉

  27. How I long for an outing like this. You seemed to have an awesome time Charlie! That lamb dish looks so inviting. A good GF lunch can make you feel at the top of the world.
    Baklavas are always sinful.

  28. Cute cafe name! I can never resist Turkish delight either – one of my faves… mmm yum!

  29. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) says:

    It all looks good, but what was with the gnomes?

  30. kitchenriffs says:

    Wow, that gnome in the bikini is . . . interesting. Sounds like a great time. I all too easily OD on sugar too – I hate it when I do that. But it’s always so good going down!

  31. What fun! Your meal looks delicious. 🙂 Love the name of the place too!

  32. What a great spot to meet for lunch! That view from the cafe is just about perfect and your menu selections looked delicious. Sorry that you weren’t well, Charlie, but I bet that salad you prepared with ingredients from Celia’s garden really helped. You just cannot beat ingredients that fresh and how thoughtful of her to share them with you.

  33. that cafe looks incredible!

  34. I love a luncheon with friends in fun settings. This looked like a great place, and the meal looked delicious to me. I understand the need for the cleansing salad, though. How nice to have some fresh produce! 🙂

  35. My Inner Chick says:

    the Middle Eastern Lamb dish looks AMAZZZZING.
    the cafe rocks. Xx

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