Thursday, April 26, 2007

April 24, 2007: Kingaroy

Michael and I took advantage of the mid-week public holiday to schedule a loooong weekend in Queensland. This included an overnight stay in Kingaroy, where my brother Liam has just landed his first job as a journalist. I suspect it was actually my mum who did a bit of early research, identified and then booked the most attractive and veg-friendly restaurant in the area, the Bell Tower Restaurant. With Liam's job success, mum's recent birthday and this rare opportunity to share a meal together, there was plenty to celebrate.

While the food at the Bell Tower was quite tasty, reasonably priced and certainly at the more gourmet end of what Kingaroy has to offer, the biggest reason to eat there is the view. Our booking ensured we had a table on the restaurant's back deck, which offers a stunning view of the farmland below and blue-tinged Great Dividing Range beyond.

We were further blessed with a warm day, blue skies and cotton-ball clouds to best appreciate our prime location. In keeping with the region's most prominent industry, I finished the meal with a nip of roasted peanut liqueur, produced at the Booie Range Distillery (in the foreground of the first picture). This cream-based liqueur reminded me very much of Baileys Irish Cream, but its after-taste was all peanut.

As we returned to the town, we made a stop at the landmark Peanut Van for some souvenirs. I picked out bags of hickory smoked, spicy Mexican and butterscotch & caramel flavoured peanuts, with the intention of sharing them with my eternally snacking lab. Unfortunately the other souvenir I picked up in Queensland was a cold, and it'll be another day or two before I can take the peanuts and not the disease to work! My sense of taste has almost disappeared, so it could be a few days more before I'm inclined to cook or buy any blog-worthy food. Lucky for me, Michael put together a pot of harira soup last night - its peppery warmth was just the nourishment my dull tastebuds and small appetite needed. Furthermore, we've been meme-tagged by the Gourmand (of the food blog Eat Me!), so there's at least one more post to come as my love of all things edible recovers.

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