Mother's Day is fast approaching - May 9, you can thank me later - and some venues are going out of their way to make sure your mum's day is a special one.
Why not breathe in that crisp, fresh country air at Goldfish Bar & Restaurant, Pokolbin? They are serving breakfast (mimosa on arrival); lunch; High Tea ($55 per person, includes bottomless sparkling); or a three-course dinner ($80 per person with a glass of bubbly). Book online at thegoldfish.com.au.
Redsalt Restaurant at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley has a special three-course lunch planned ($79 per person including a champagne cocktail on arrival; kids menu $29 per child) with bookings being taken between 12.30pm and 2pm.
Also in wine country is a Mother's Day High Tea Brunch at Ironbark Hill Brewhouse with bottomless (selected) Peter Drayton Wines and an impressive two-hour set menu. Tickets are $80 (adults) and $40 (children aged five to 16) through booking.nowbookit.com.
Hunter Valley Gardens is another option, with a three-course lunch and live music, plus a potted plant gift. Adults $75; children (aged four to 15) $25.
An Alice in Wonderland themed High Tea is being held at Newcastle City Hall from 11.30am. Tickets include a mimosa on arrival, bookable psychic readings and activities to keep the kids entertained.
At the Lambton Park Hotel your mum gets a free chocolate or vanilla dessert when you purchase any main meal, as well as $5 house wines and bubbles. Bookings essential by phoning 4956 1376.
Head chef Sam Beatty at Babbingtons Bar & Grill,Charlestown, has introduced a new menu and it looks the goods: think pan-roasted quail breast on pumpkin puree dressed with raspberry vinaigrette; mozzarella and spinach-stuffed chicken breast with sundried tomato, beetroot and asparagus salad; or affogato of vanilla bean ice-cream with either Tia Maria, Baileys or Kahlua, a shot of espresso and almond biscotti.
Tocal Homestead is hosting a High Tea courtesy of talented on-site caterers Sprout Catering which includes an assortment of savoury and sweet treats, fresh scones and your choice of a pot of tea from The Tea Collective Newcastle. Phone 0410 409 746 to book.
MAC Museum of Art and Culture overlooking Lake Macquarie at Booragul is hosting a Mother's Day Afternoon Tea curated by Covered in Crumbs which doubles as a fundraiser for the Museum of Art and Culture Society. Tickets $50 each; group bookings (two or more) $45 each.
Newcastle Food & Flower Markets at Sandgate is hosting a Mother's Day High Tea, noon to 3pm, $89 per person. An added benefit is letting mum choose her own flowers (bought by you).
The Landing Bar & Kitchen at Honeysuckle is offering drinks specials; $12 tapas (3pm to 6pm); live music and that harbour view. Phone 4927 1722 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Out at Wallsend Diggers, The Steakhouse has a two-course Mother's Day Luncheon planned ($45 members; $55 non-members; phone 4951 7000 to book).
Caves Beach Surf Club is hosting a Mother's Day High Tea, 11.30am to 3pm. If you haven't been there before, it is right on Blacksmiths Beach with uninterrupted ocean views. For $70 (adults) you get ribbon sandwiches; mini savoury quiches; pork, thyme and caramelised apple sausage rolls; bruschetta tart; scones with jam and whipped cream; chocolate dipped strawberries; tarts; petit cakes and macarons as well as coffee, a glass of bubby or soft drink plus bottomless tea. Children under 12, $35. To book email email@example.com or phone 0432 902 010.
Or, you can plan ahead (and get some DIY credit) by ordering a hamper from the likes of Pork Ewe Deli. The Grand Fete de Mere Grazing Pack, for example, contains three imported cheeses, charcuterie, sides, crackers and nougat, plus your choice of a bottle of Petersons House pinot chardonnay sparkling wine or Taittinger NV French Champagne and a bunch of double tulips from Botanica Bird. It's priced from $169. A Sweet Ride Called Clyde has a "Celebrating Mum" hamper, $69, with a lemon drizzle loaf cake, pistachio white chocolate macarons, salted caramel chocolate cookies, and a jar of salted caramel fudge.
More suggestions next week.
Last minute Newcastle Food Month deals
What a month it has been for Newcastle foodies. The inaugural Newcastle Food Month has well and truly showcased the quality and diversity of our city's culinary landscape, as well as the talents of the people involved in Newcastle's hospitality industry. The month-long smorgasbord is almost over but there are still great-value Plate Date deals to take advantage of ($25 for a designated meal and drink) and a handful of tickets left to two top-shelf events tomorrow (April 29): the Farmhouse Feast Beer Dinner at FogHorn Brewery and the Thomas Wines and Binnie Beef collaboration at Nagisa. There's also the final Stadium Drive Through tomorrow, 11.30am to 1.30pm, at McDonald Jones Stadium, Broadmeadow.
A new cafe, Ink Food, has opened on Pacific Street at Newcastle East, and coffee truck The Brew is now stationed outside Kahibah Sports Club. The Shed Cafe is opening soon at Marketown in Newcastle.
High Tea with Friends
Enjoy an afternoon of good food and conversation - for a good cause - at the annual Friends With Dignity: High Tea with Friends in Newcastle.
The event will be held at NEX Newcastle Exhibition and Convention Centre on May 22. Tickets are on sale now at events.humanitix.com.
Vanessa Fowler, Allison Baden-Clay's sister and chairwoman of the Allison Baden-Clay Foundation, is guest speaker. Her three nieces were left without their mother when she was murdered nine years ago, and she is working hard to raise awareness of domestic and family abuse, and in particular coercive control.
Funds raised from High Tea with Friends will support a life-saving Friends With Dignity initiative, FriendSafe.
FriendSafe is a "smart watch" that connects with emergency services with the push of a button, eliminating the need for a phone. When triggered, the device will also alert anyone identified in the individual's safety plan which is digitally imbedded into the device.
"The FriendSafe program is an initiative established to ensure everyone is able to practice a basic need of feeling safe and access to an immediate response when feeling threatened or at risk," Friends With Dignity national FriendSafe program manager Melissa van der Burgt said.
"Violence doesn't always end when the survivor takes the steps to leave, we see the devastating impacts of this in the news too often.
"The FriendSafe program provides a practical and discreet way for those at risk to gain the immediate support they need, when they need it most."
Friends With Dignity is a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit registered charity providing practical programs to assist survivors of domestic and family violence in collaboration with refuges and crisis centres. All of their programs are gifted unconditionally, without charging the survivors they assist, nor the refuges and crisis centres who refer their clients to the organisation.
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