Monday, October 29, 2007

Day 14 Henty to Cowra



Dear tasty girls,

Here follows the review of the Doodle Cooma Arms Hotel in Henty as requested.

You will possibly recall that I chose to stay at this pub based solely on it's name.
My faith was perfectly justified.
It's a really nice place.
The new owners have had it for one and a half months and have spent that entire time cleaning it, they tell me.
It is a very attractive building with very high ceilings and a proper Aussie country pub feel to it. The rooms are large and though most of them don't have ensuites there are three or four large shower and toilet rooms, so no probs there.

The meals are enormous and very very nice indeed. I had scotch fillet with mushroom sauce and it was as big as a child's thigh (which I also eat with mushroom sauce).
I can't remember what my delightful Aunt had since i don't really care for her at all and the entire two week trip was shammed affection on my part.

The staff were attentive and pleasant. The rooms and meals were well priced.

On another topic, I thought your winery to be the nicest one we visited on our trip. If I were to use former schoolmates of mine I would say your winery was Rachel Tegue. She was the prettiest girl in school and a delight to be around, and even though I wasn't able to view her cellars, as I was at your winery, I still have many pleasant memories.

Sir Hairy Simspon KA

[Addendum: For 'tasty' read 'tasting'. This will be fixed in the new edition. Ed.]
I have received no reply.

Yes. That is a bistro style still-life painted on a saw hanging above the restaurant doorway. Yes. Yes, I know. Yes.

We drove through The Rock, Wagga Wagga, Junee, Cootamundra and Young to get to Cowra. It was like a high-speed Henry Lawson poem.

Sakura Matsuri is the Cowra Cherry Blossom festival of October that we missed by a week. The Japanese gardens here are possibly the most, um, diplomatic of gardens. They are in Cowra because of the WW2 prisoner of war camp. The thing is, under the Bushido code and general whackiness of Imperial Japan, Japanese soldiers who didn't die were subject to profound shame, but since the Australians treated them so well even after the well publicised Japanese atrocities AND the break-out at Cowra, a subsequent Japanese government felt a garden would be a good thing that would acknowledge certain things, but not the ones that can't be.
The gardens are very nice indeed. They are a surprising harmony between Australain natives and Japanese ornamentals: which was the 'healing' guiding philosophy of the project. The designer was the number one Japanese garden designer.
The hill behind looks like this.

The garden looks like this.

There are a couple of Japanese style buildings, a bonsai area, a koi pond and an art gallery for museum pieces, artwork gifts from Japanese people and an area for local artists.
I instantly recognised the lungfish from my 'Wildlife of Gondwana' paleontology book. I think that's pretty impressive for someone making it out of bits of plough.

We retired to a coffee house with the newspaper and inquired after dinner. I had been pressing Caroline fof a number of traditional country Australian experiences, and one of those was Country Town Chinese.
I knew it was going to be bad and it didn't disappoint at all! It was horrible. You must go.
At least it was vaguely edible unlike a similar experiment in Maitland with the Slobro where, through tears of laughter, my sweet and sour pork (we were going hardcore) was consigned to the bin. At first he didn't believe me that it was inedible. And at least it was better than "Taste if Eden" which was, in all honesty, absolutely embarrassingly bad. If the aliens landed and ate at 'Taste of Eden' they would have given up and nuked us from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

I went to find the lavatories.
The toilets are a scream.
No, really: I saw them and I screamed.

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