I’ve been meaning to try out F220 Smokehouse ever since it took over from the old Sidelines Sports Bar at the same location a couple of years ago, though I just haven’t gotten around to it until tonight.
F220 Smokehouse is owned by the same crew as the nearby Fahrenheit Cafe.
I ordered the F220 Dog – “Giant Texan Sausage, Tangy Ketchup, Mustard, Pickles and Caramelized Onions”.
I love, love, loved the sausage (and my friends joked that I shouldn’t say that too loud… but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it!). The rest of the hot dog tasted okay, though I found the presentation made it hard to eat. I also thought more could have been done with the hot dog (my bar is set by the Strike hotdogs, which are absolutely packed with different sauces and other flavours).
For an extra $3, I substituted the fries for baked potato. This came topped with bacon and sour cream. The potato was soft and creamy, while the bacon was perfectly crunchy. The potato bake could have been improved with some extra bacon. I loved the baked potato, though I’m not sure it was fair to charge extra given that it was a substitution.
My friends ordered the brisket with a side of “Smoked Mac & Cheese”. I had a taste of the mac & cheese and loved it. It was perfect!
I give the food 4/5.
Our bartender (who we suspect was also the manager) claimed this was his first time making cocktails… but we loved our cocktails!
(I had the Cherry Gum Old Fashioned whiskey, while my friends had the mojito and tequila cocktails.)
The service was fantastic. We were greeted and seated quite quickly, and our waitress was very attentive. I don’t think I’ve ever had a waitress ensure we don’t run out of table water, so I was definitely impressed with the service tonight!
To be honest, I was still mourning the loss of Sidelines when I walked into F220 Smokehouse tonight; but, by the time I left, I was mourning that my time at F220 was over. F220 Smokehouse exceeded expectations on all levels. Unfortunately, I do have a high bar for my hotdogs, but I did nonetheless love the hotdog I was served tonight.
Our Albury Airbnb host recommended we visit the Albury Railway Station before leaving the area.
The heritage-listed station, built 1880-1, is well-known for the length of its platform. As the terminus for trains at the NSW/ Vic border, the length of the platform is due to incompatible track/ train designs between the two Australian states, wherein commuters were required to transfer trains at the station.
Still in use, the station’s historic design makes you feel as though you are boarding a train through time.
Complete with waiting rooms, the station is truly stunning. The inclusion of a modern TV screen, an anachronism that blends the past with the now.
We chose to stay at David’s Airbnb in East Albury due to its convenient location close to the centre of Albury. Only a five minute drive to the main boulevard, we felt staying here gave us more options for things to do in the short space of time we had to do these.
Dave’s Airbnb is a recently renovated standalone unit attached to the bottom of his house. It is incredibly modern with beautiful decor. We were ‘wow-ed’ the moment we stepped into the room. If I could describe the unit in three words, they’d be: luxurious, spacey, and warm.
From the way the bed was made to the placement of the ladder, the decor really blew us away. We also really loved some of the artworks on the wall- one of the first things you’ll notice as you step into the room. Our favourite facet of David’s place, however, was the heated floor! Such a small detail really improved our mid-winter stay.
From the beginning, Dave was very helpful with giving tips for things to do and even offering to lend us his bike if we decided to go cycling (there’s a beautiful cycleway in the area called the 6km Wagirra Trail, a must-see in the region, but we unfortunately didn’t have time to ride the path!). One tip that Dave gave us that we did take on-board was to visit the Albury Railway Station. It’s a historic station, still in use, known for its extra long platform, with the length due to the station being the interchange between Victorian and NSW trains.
We enjoyed our time staying at David’s Airbnb and would definitely go back if we pass through the area again. Next time we’ll leave more time to explore though!
You may or may not have heard the mysterious story of Miranda, Edith, Irma, Marion and Miss McCraw and want to explore the haunted scenes from the novel and movie for yourself…
Or, perhaps, you want to explore Ngannelong, a place of Indigenous spiritual significance as a border territory and meeting place between different tribes for their Corrobborees, Initiation Ceremonies, Songline Ceremonies, trade, relationship building, and a place where laws were passed…
Or, even, to just admire the beautiful landscape and the unique mamelon volcanic rocks formed by about six million years ago by a stiff magma pouring from a geologic vent and congealing in its place, creating that jutty appearance the rocks are famous for…
Whatever your reason, Hanging Rock is one of the most beautiful landscapes Australia has to offer and, conveniently located only an hour away from Melbourne, it is a must-see in Victoria!
Because we arrived at about 4:15pm, with the park closing at 5pm, our walk felt incredibly rushed. I would definitely recommend leaving a few hours to garner the full experience from Hanging Rock! The return walk to the summit takes about an hour, but there is also the Base Walk, a small museum, and a cafe.
The view of rural Victoria and the Macedon ranges from the summit of Hanging Rock is truly breathtaking, while the Base Walk offers an easier but no-less-enjoyable circuit around the mountain. What’s more is that certain points of interest on the track are marked for full enjoyment. There is a brochure with a detailed map available to pick up from the Visitor’s Centre.
The maximum elevation at hanging rock is 718m, to be explored in a 1.8km return trip that, as aforementioned, takes about 50 minutes to complete. The path forks as you near the top and there are two options for how you complete the track: a more gradual climb up to the summit (if you veer left) or stairs (to the right). The Hanging Rock itself is located on the track with the stairs, so if you are keen to see this but unsure how you will cope with the slope, take the stairs on your way back.
There are 10 points of interest, starting with 1. The Visitor’s Centre, a small museum (so to speak) explaining the rock formation and depicting the fictitious history of Hanging Rock.
2. The Forest. Admire the natural beauty of the national park along your walk.
3. Edge of the Rock. The track splits here and, if you are on the summit walk, this is where you begin to walk along the edge of the cliff face.
4. Hanging Rock. The ‘hanging rock’ itself, for which the park is named, as well as the title of the original novel Picnic at Hanging Rock.
5. Natural Amphitheatre. Here, I sat on one of the rocks as if I were in back row of an amphitheatre watching nature as a play. This spot is imaginatively named.
6. Check Out the Views. This is the point where you think you’re finally at the top, but you’re not… There’s some room to explore (sort of off-track) if you take a right here. The path to the summit continues on the left.
7. The Top! You’ve finally reached the top. Take in a deep breath- you’ve earned it!
8. Views of Mount Macedon. Hanging Rock is located on one of the mountains of the Mount Macedon ranges, which were (re)named by explorer Major Thomas Michell after Phillip of Macedon since he was able to see Port Phillip from the summit of Mt Macedon. At the 8th point of interest, you are able to view Mt Macedon, which rises to an impressive 1010 meters above sea-level.
9. Rock Pillar. Pillars of rock overhang the cliffs. They look like they have faces making it easy to see how the site may be sacred.
10. Wildlife. Glimpse popular wildlife like grey kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and hundreds of species of birds.
The Base Walking Track takes you in a clockwise direction around the base of the formation. It is a wide, easy path, with some undulations, that enables you to experience to beauty of the park with ease. The 2km track is clearly signposted with arrows. This track is perfect for the eldery, those with children, and those who want an easier walk.
The summit walk isn’t appropriate for young kids as there are no barriers on the cliffs. The base walk is, however, just as beautiful as the summit walk and completely safe for children.
Dogs are permitted on leash in the picnic areas but not on the walking track due to the presence of native animals.
The entry fee is $10 per car or $4 for pedestrians. There is a ticket machine just outside the cafe. You produce the ticket when you exit the park.
The park strictly closes at 5pm. If you’re late, your car (and you) will be locked in! Beware that with the creepy history of this forest, you’re in for a haunted night should you be locked in!
The North Gate is closed. However, if you do drive over to the North Gate it is possible to see kangaroo’s up close (or are they wallabies? I can never tell the difference!…)
Rocky Hill Lookout and Memorial is a hidden albeit well-known gem in Goulburn.
The lookout shows off Goulburn with stunning views of the small town and beyond. It isn’t especially scenic but does provide an interesting vantage of the town as well as the opportunity to pay your respects to soldiers of The Great War. In saying this, the memorial tower stood as proud as a soldier, but was unfortunately closed when we went.
Also worth mentioning, my partner and I visited this lookout mid-winter and, being from the Central Coast, we did NOT expect how cold it would be. Seriously, do not get out of the car unless you are thoroughly rugged up (and I mean the full deal- long pants and a coat do not suffice!)
It was a lovely and well-kept memorial and lookout, with a nice view. Would be a perfect visit to pay respect to the ANZACs or for a beautiful landscape photography shot (I’ve heard it looks great at sunrise/ sunset!).
Five and a half years ago I went to a Yoko Ono exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Ono’s artworks were all interactive and her overall theme was to encourage peace. This one artwork involved a suitcase and we, the audience, were meant to write on an envelope where in the world we would like to go and place the letter in this suitcase. On that day, I wished to go to England and in 2016 that dream came true!
My take on this is to always believe in what you wish for and never stop trying to make your dreams a reality!! One day YOUR dream will become true. As Dory would say “just keep swimming”… It may seem impossible but if you don’t lose sight of your goals, you will get there!
The Edge of Seventeen (2016) by Kelly Fremon Craig is an American ‘coming-of-age’ dramedy in which depression is explored as the central theme of the film. I found this film to be relatable, enjoyable, and engaging, and, though there was an aspect of the film I did dislike, I highly recommend the film.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro explores an alternate reality in which the technology of cloning was developed during and after World War II. The book is set in the late 1990s in England. Narrated by the protagonist Kathy H., the plot follows the story of three Hailsham students: Kathy, her best friend Ruth, and Tommy. The plot is fairly linear, with Kathy’s narration beginning with her Hailsham years, then her time at the Cottages, and finally her life as a ‘carer’. At its root, Never Let Me Go examines the human condition and our acceptance of fate. The characters are slow to challenge their fate as ‘donors’ (in which they are required to donate their vital organs), and, even then, they only apply to have their donations deferred rather than what would be logical- to escape.
A lot of the negative reviews I’ve read about this book seem to stem from the fact the book doesn’t have a ‘happy ending’. I found that I have more respect for this book because of how it ends; I think it makes the story more realistic. Furthermore, despite the tragic fate of the book, the protagonist Kathy H. finds peace at the end, which if anything is, in its own way, a happy ending.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers who love science fiction, drama, or romance. The style of writing felt very mature, making the reading experience more enjoyable for me than the more amateur ‘young-adult’ styles that drown contemporary popular fiction. Additionally, the uniqueness of the first person narration style really added to the enjoyability of this novel.
Rating: 5/5. Give it a read – this is a book you won’t regret!
Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets your Soul on Fire. – Jennifer Lee
Hi there, and welcome to my blog 🙂
Maybe you’ve already read a few posts by me or maybe you’ve just completely stumbled into this, but either way I’m so glad you’re here!
My name is Natasha and I am a 23 year old Australian blogger from the Central Coast, NSW.
If you couldn’t already tell, I love travelling, eating, reading, tv and films, history, and writing. This blog incorporates all of these interests, giving you the best travel itineraries, opinions, reviews, and recommendations!
I honestly want to leave you with some bite-sized, awesome content so please hit me up in the comments with any suggestions.
And if you’ve just read this and you’re still wondering who the heck I am… Read on, bro!