Welcome to a bit of Tas!!! A short 55 minute flight from Melbourne and you land in the 1980s. Hobart is a beautiful small city with water, mountains and an interesting past. We stayed two nights at the Islington hotel on the recommendation of Lynne G.........wow I was reluctant to leave and we have revamped our trip to spend our last night in Tas at the Islington. The Islington is set in a historic building with 21st century additions. The interior spaces flow to the exterior spaces and visa versa. We had our evening meals at the hotel and the chef is superb. The menu is very small but everything on
it is tremendous. To start, the Bruni island oysters were freshly shucked and had a fresh cool mineraly flavour. These of course were washed down with a local bubbly. To follow was a mixed green salad with sliced apple and toasted walnuts......perfect with the local Chardonnay. The first night we sampled the Tas lamb with mash and fresh peas, outstanding......along with a 2006 Pinot from a fantastic winery near Swansea. The second night we repeated the starter and salad but changed it up for the main. I had the Blue Eye which is a local white fish, it was grilled and place on a bed of white beans and sweet corn, Trish had the squash risotto finished with a local pecorino cheese. We had a delicious Chardonnay from a winery a few kilometres north of Hobart. The breakfast each morning was superb, there were so many special touches at the Islington, we have to go back for the "dinner hat trick" and finish off the menu. While in Hobart we went to the Saturday morning market located near the harbour. This is a huge event, it was Australia Day, which draws thousands of people. There is everything imaginable there from food to produce to antiques and everything in between. We also drove to the top of Mount Wellington which is 4500 ft above the city, what a tremendous view. Hobart has quite an interesting history and many fantastic old buildings. Hobart started as a penal colony in the very early 1800s and from my observations the convicts were skilled stone masons......everything is built from local stone, mainly granite. Early on in Hobart's history many businesses were started that prospered . One business was the John Henry IXL canning company, which made and exported jam. The IXL stone buildings on the water front have been preserved and house many new businesses including a hotel. John Henry was very successful in business and very conceited.....he said that he excelled at everything he attempted! Hence the name for his canning company. Hobart has a very small town feel, a lot like Victoria only much smaller. The weather is much cooler than else where in Australia and the terrain is mountainous and green. A much different vibe than anything we've seen so far in Oz. Tomorrow off to explore the east coast.