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Journeys : Dec10 Jan11
GordonHammond 48 December 2010 / January 2011 My slice of the island Charlotte Brown It is a well-kept secret that Tasmania’s North West Coast produces around 80% of our island’s food produce. With this in mind, it’s not difficult to understand why, as a restaurateur and passionate slow- foodie, I’ve made Stanley, a small and histor ic north-west fishing port, my home. Slow Food is an inter national organisation with the aim of promoting eco-gastronomy and creating a greater sense of connection for people with the produce they eat and the planet it comes from – so it’s important for me to live close to the source of the food I prepare and serve at the Cable Station Restaurant & Accommodation. The village of Stanley nestles at the foot of The Nut, a volcanic outcrop protecting the harbour, home to nesting muttonbirds in April and a magnet for visitors, who climb or take the chairlift to the top for sweeping views up and down the coast. Stanley’s deep-water fishing port lands and processes locally-caught crayfish, scallops and octopus as well as a wide range of other fresh fish. The wharf is one of my favourite places to hang out on a Sunday after noon, watching the locals fish for flathead with hand lines for a feed that night. With the right equipment – a screwdriver works well – oysters from the rocks are also available at low tide. As a child I used to holiday with my grandmother in Donaghadee, a small fishing port in County Down, Northern Ireland, about 18 miles from Belfast and six miles south-east of Bangor. Living in Stanley gives me a strong connection w ith how childhood holidays used to be. In the summertime down at Godfreys Beach, families barbecue, play cricket on the green and kids walk across the street in their bathers, wrapped in towels as they head home for a shower. The accents are different, but ever yone knows ever yone else and there’s a shared sense of community as people look out for one another. I’ve joined the fast-grow ing Get Walking Tasmania campaign – near Stanley, locals and visitors alike enjoy the scenic route of the Green Hills. The seven kilometre lap includes a steep slope (good for calf muscle development) that leads up to Highfield Historic House, original home of the Van Diemen Land Company, which was established to open up north-west grazing lands under a Royal Charter in 1825. Inclement weather sometimes proves challenging, but not many days go by when at least someone isn’t walking their dog, pushing a pram, jogging around or cycling the Green Hills. The views are amazing – eastward to Rocky Cape and Port Latta, westward to Three Hummock Island. As I walk, Bass Strait provides an ever-changing scene – sometimes w ild and woolly with white caps, sometimes a beautiful deep-blue millpond. In Tasmania today
Oct Nov 2010
Feb March 2011