I have a food & wine crush – Meet Fillaudeau’s Cafe, Swan Valley

Guilty as charged! This is not my first time blogging about Fillaudeau’s, it’s actually my 3rd.. I seem to have a bit of a weakness for this lovely little foodie and wino delight in the Swan Valley.

Fillaudeau’s is located at Pinelli Wines, across from Ironbark Brewery on Benara Road, about a 5 minute drive from Guildford, or 5km walk from Guildford train station if you’re super keen (it’s actually a very pleasant, very flat walk past all the vines, I’d definitely recommend it!). Beats someone being the sober driver at least!

It’s been nearly a year since Mr. Spittoon and I visited. Since then it has had a bit of a refurb with a lovely red, white and black theme seducing you with its romance. It’s a beautiful spot as is, I love the little outside terrace bit with it’s pretty vintage furniture overlooking the vines a mere hop, skip and jump away. Pinelli wines is a stunning spot, I love their affection for roses, the cascading vines and the old rustic pieces of vineyard equipment. There’s a lot of love in this paragraph!

I never had any qualms about the service at Fillaudeau’s however when we visited last weekend it was superb, every single member of staff was super friendly, chirpy and what I have always loved about this spot is that they explain those tricky foodie terms without any snobbery. It was actually Fillaudeau’s who taught Mr. Spittoon and I what EVOO is!

The menu has since had a makeover as well, it’s a shame Manu’s Floating Pie and the dessert platter are no longer on the menu as they still stick out in my mind as the best dishes I had on our previous visit (read my July 2013 post here). However  on this visit I really only had eyes for one dish and that was the pork belly, I don’t know what it is with the world and pork belly at the moment but everyone can’t seem to get enough of it, me included!

So to start we opted for the French Dipping Plate with homemade whole meal bread, baguette (I would have per refers double the amount of the homemade bread, as it was so delicious!), marinated olives (big, juicy and delicious), homemade dukkah, Cooladera Farm extra Virgin Olive oil from Frankland River in WA, balsamique reduction and French Celtic sea salt butter – Mr Spittoon couldn’t get enough of the latter two! All up it was a nice start to the meal for $19.

While we were nibbling French style we sipped on a glass each of the Pinelli Wines Sparkling Juliet NV. It was refreshing and the creamy palate married well with that tasty homemade bread. I just don’t know why restaurants still use those clunky generic wine glasses. The wines would be so much nicer out of a Riedel or Plumm glass in my opinion, and they look so much nicer.

As we were nearly the first people in the restaurant (yep 5pm, I know I’m getting old!) the chef was ready to get started on our mains however the waiter asked if we would like a little break,which we agreed too and it was such a lovely idea as we had time to order another glass of wine each and extend this lovely meal out. It was this point I was thinking I probably shouldn’t have filled up on all that bread! Actually being out early for dinner was so gorgeously beautiful as we got to watch the sunset behind the Pinelli vines, über romance! 10 points Mr. Spittoon.

So for the mains, I of course went for the 3 hour braised Linley Valley free range pork belly and it’s crackling topped with homemade honeycomb, Swan Valley green asparagus in espellette pepper purée, buttery mash and port jus for $39. I matched this gluten-free dish with a glass of the 2012 Pinelli Reserve Merlot for approximately $9 per glass, I was hoping for a nice Pinot Noir however they didn’t have any available by the glass. The soft, fruity Merlot matched this spectacular dish rather well however. I loved the flavours of this pork belly dish, finally something a little different and absolutely delightful!

Mr. Spittoon went for the 350 gram gin gin free range grass-fed baby beef rib eye served with homemade French fries, garlic and butter French beans, drizzled with black pepper sauce. This gluten-free option was $45 and Mr. Spittoon opted for a glass of the 2012 Reserve Shiraz for about $9. I must admit as soon as I saw the fries I thought they were underdone as they didn’t have much colour however they were cooked to perfection, crispy and melt in your mouth delicious. Other than stealing a chip off Mr. Spittoon’s plate I didn’t get a chance to try anything else or even his wine, he scoffed it in what seemed like 2 seconds. I believe him when he said it was awesome!

Fillaudeau's Cafe Restaurant on UrbanspoonBy this stage I really wanted to do dessert as the Belgian chocolate fondant and the papaya crumble sound so delectable however I couldn’t have rammed another mouthful in even if I tried. I was perfectly satisfied and not in stretchy pants so I stopped myself there!

All up it was a beautiful meal at Filladeau’s. For $138 for a lovely romantic fine dining meal for 2 people it was just perfect. This is definitely one of my top spots in the Valley, however I would love to see that floating pie back on the menu!

For more information please check out Filladeau’s Cafe website or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.

21 Uses for empty wine bottles around the house

Recently a couple of lovely ladies wrote on my Facebook page asking what ideas i have for recycling wine bottles for practical uses around the home. I thought I would do the subject justice and dedicate an entire post to it as I have to admit I am definitely a wine bottle hoarder. Some are just too pretty to chuck (the unfortunate side effect is that visitors to my house must thing I’m a raging alcoholic with all these empty wine bottles around the place!

Here are my favourite 21 ideas for how to recycle empty wine bottles for uses around the house.

1. The most obvious and commonly used is the vase option.

2. The light shade (please note you’ll need glass cutters to accomplish this one).

3. The candle holder.

4. The chandelier.

5. The shattered glass in concrete alternative to barbed wire (I spotted this in Sant Sadurni – Cava country in Spain)

6. A magnificent light display with fairy lights inside the bottles – perhaps to be used as a table decoration.

7. Paint them with black board paint and let your creative juices flow.

8. Make your own wine or beer and put it in your own custom wine bottles by using some of the decorating techniques above and below.

9. Cover them with some sort of retro paper for instant coolness.

10. Wine bottle mosquito coil stand.

11. Wine bottle planters.

12. Wine bottle shelves.

13. Get creative with your Wine Glass Writer pens!

14. Wine bottle fountain.

15. Stylish outdoor ‘tiki torch’ oil burners.

16. Boot supporters – pop empty bottles in your slouchy boots to help maintain their shape.

17. Candy jar -> Candy bottle. Great idea for adding quirk to a candy buffet at a dinner party or event to keep the little and big kids with a sweet tooth occupied.

18. Wine bottle bird feeder.

19. Wine bottle bracelet and jewellery holders.

20. Wine bottle hat rack.

21. Wine bottle olive oil, balsamic vinegar, etc dispensers.

Naturally for this post I had to devote many hours to Pinterest research (it’s seriously too easy to get lost in the world of Pinterest pins!!). As I’m a little paranoid about overstepping lines of copyright by placing other people’s images on my blog the above images are my own (I’m sure the photography amature-ness probably gave that away!) however all the other ideas you’ll find images of in my new Wine Bottle Art board on Pinterest. Yes I admit it, I totally got carried away! Click on the link below to view my pins.

Follow Travelling Corkscrew’s board Wine bottle Art on Pinterest.

Since beginning working on this post I have now gone out and bought a glass cutter and ceramic diamond drill bit from Masters to hopefully make some creations of my own, so keep tuned folks there might be some ‘How to’ Travelling Corkscrew YouTube videos on the horizon!

I would love to see any creations you make yourselves, so please feel free to share your works of art with all the rest of us who love to empty wine bottles on Facebook.com/TravelCork.