Last week John and I were invited up to dinner in Noosa (30 minutes north) by Charlie Louie of HotlySpiced.com. She and her family were enjoying a holiday up there after Christmas. Her husband Carl’s parents live up here and one of his brothers.
If you follow Charlie’s blog, you’ll know what a treat it was that I not only got to eat her food but I met Carl, Archie, Arabella and Alfie. Don’t believe a word she says about them on her blog — they are all delightful. I didn’t get to meet Rosie the dog but one day I hope I can give her a belly scratch.
An additional treat was having drinks with Claire from ClaireKCreations.com. Claire lives in Brisbane (an hour south of me) but she was visiting her folks who live just outside Noosa. Claire is young, beautiful, talented and clever — you know, one of those people you’d love to hate but can’t because she’s got the best personality? Yes, that’s Claire. She and her husband had another commitment and couldn’t stay for dinner but I’m so glad we got to catch up.
Noosa is a world famous holiday destination and home of the Noosa International Food and Wine Show (May 16th-19th). Noosa is wonderfully situated between the beach, the river, the hinterland and national parks and offers an amazing range of activities for young and old with unspoiled beaches, great fishing, unique shopping and adventure activities.
Dinner was amazing. Imagine going on holidays with your family and staying in a beautiful apartment overlooking the beach and ocean and spending your time inside cooking for family and friends? I thought it was nuts but I said yes in an instant.
Charlie and Carl made a roasted beef fillet and served it in a Massaman curry with roasted potatoes, snow peas and red chillies. The aroma called everyone to the table, especially me.
The meat was perfectly cooked and red from edge to edge — remember they did this in a holiday apartment that supplies only the very basic cooking tools. The curry was fragrant, spicy and the perfect complement to the lip-smackingly delicious beef. The sauce was so good we all used bread to get every last drop.
I apologise that there are no photos of the event but this was a friendly dinner and we spent the time getting to know each other better. Archie’s voice was gone – injured by too much practice (probably trying to attract the girls below) but we were treated to some of his recorded songs and he’s incredibly talented and definitely going places.
Arabella is tall, slender and beautiful with a lovely voice that I could listen to by the hour. She’s recently finished high school and is on the cusp of living her life as an adult. It’s great to see someone with that much promise deciding whether law is a good career or maybe psychology or maybe both.
Alfie helped me carry the pie I’d brought for dessert and he’s as cute as he can be. I asked how it was to play Santa in the school Christmas program and he played down being the big hero. He said he didn’t get to sing and I think that would have made his Santa experience much better.
Carl is tall, handsome and a gracious host. He’s well traveled and has the best stories. Together, the family offers all the raw materials Charlie needs for her daily blog posts about life in her Sydney kitchen and I couldn’t be happier that we’re friends.
That is so lucky Maureen! So envious. You guys in Australia have the best time as bloggers. I think Charlie rocks 🙂 And so do you.
Hotly Spiced says
Thanks so much for your kind words – I thought your and John’s stories were the absolute best. You really should share some of them here on your great space. I can’t believe I didn’t take any photos! What was I thinking (I clearly wasn’t!) I took one of your pie and one of my potatoes in the roasting pan and one of the table setting and that was it. It was such a shame Claire couldn’t stay longer and weren’t you just dying to meet her Will! It was a wonderful evening and thanks so much for your pie and ice cream. I wish you could have stayed longer and I’m so sorry Archie wasn’t up to a performance – yes – those girls! He was in the pool with them yesterday and discovered they’re only 14! Time to get out of there! Thanks again for your kind words, Maureen and yes…I wish we lived closer xx
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
What a wonderful experience 🙂 I am sure it was great for Charlie’s family to meet you too and it sounds like a really fun night all up.
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Oh how you flatter me dear Maureen!! I so wish I could have stayed and brought Will along but I’m sure it won’t be the last time we all catch up. It was so lovely to meet Charlie’s wonderful family. See you soon! x
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Sounds like a wonderful time!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
It sounds like you all had the best fun! Now I wish I had gone to Noosa to meet up with you all! The food sounds delicious and with great company how could you lose? 😀
Jackie @Syrup and Biscuits says
I am constantly amazed by how tight the Australian blogging community is. Y’all will drive miles for a meet-up. That’s impressive!
Happy New Year, Maureen!
Sounds like a great time. I envy the closesness that I see amongst you Australian bloggers. I don’t find that here. Much more competitive and cliquey.
How fun that you and Charlie could get together! Sounds like a wonderful evening with fantastic food, of course. I didn’t know about this Claire’s blog, so am happy to find out about her. Happy New Year, Maureen!
What a fun post! I love Charlie’s blog (I learned of it through one of your posts, I believe) and her writing is wonderful – her stories can be such a hoot! Sounds as if everyone had a wonderful time. Thanks for writing about it so we’re all included, too.
Maureen, I’m always saying Charlie’s kids are gorgeous, and she makes them sound out to be much more work than I’m sure they really are! 😉 Sounds like you all had a wonderful time!
The Café Sucré Farine says
How fun Maureen, I wish I could have been there. Claire is one of my favorite young bloggers – I call her Sweet Claire! I know being with Charlie couldn’t help but be fun!
How lovely! I only wish I could have come. There is nothing better than meals/dinner with friends. Thank you for sharing…what a nice way to end my weekend (and get ready for dinner!) I hope you have a wonderful week!
I am so jealous you and Charlie got to hang out, BUT seriously what a treat!!! I am so excited to here you had a lovely time:-) Happy New Year my friend, Hugs, Terra
Norma Chang says
How delightful that you could get together. So great that you Australian bloggers are able to hang out and get to know each other in person.
From Charlie’s photos and writings, I knew she had the most wonderful kids and she is one proud Mama.
Sawsan @chef in disguise says
Wow! it is amazing that you and Charlie got to meet up 🙂
I only met a few of my readers and enjoyed every minutes of it. Sounds you guys had a great time.
I love how you described everyone Maureen 🙂 reading your posts always feels like talking to a good friend
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
You get invited to all the great things! Sounds amazing and how fun to meet new friends 🙂
All this and only 30 minutes away! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says
So fun to hang out with other food bloggers, especially in such an amazing location.
Oh Maureen, what a great experience, I always read Charlie posts and enjoy them…now you got to live one 🙂 and meet all the family in person…
Happy 2013 and have a great week ahead!
What a great week – friends, family, food, and views! Can’t ask for much more than that!
suzanne Perazzini says
I am so envious of you being able to meet up with Charlie. That must have been a great evening together. The food sounded divine even if there are no photos for us to see. Happy New Year.
Christine @ Cooking Crusade says
What a lovely idea to catch up with bloggers over the break. Sounds like you all had a marvellous time 🙂 Happy New Year Maureen!
Eva Taylor says
What a marvelous dinner party it must have been, and how I would have loved to be there, even as a fly on the wall (but more likely sitting beside you both enjoying a glass of wine). It’s absolutely lovely that you were able to spend a bit more time with Charlie, meet her family and hear the stories. Happy New Year, Maureen.
My Kitchen Stories says
Sounds like a lovely time was had by all. Charlie certainly has done a great job raising those children and i always love the stories. The most rewarding part of blogging here in australia for me has been meeting all the wonderful like minded people that blog and finding they are even better in real life than they are on there blogs, and you are no exception. Happy New Year
Did you ever make it up here? I was really looking forward to seeing you.
Scrambled Megs says
I often feel so fortunate to live in Australia. It’s so beautiful. I’ve just been catching up on all of my reading. I’ve been to Noosa once before and it was fantastic. Great post, Maureen. Happy new year x
Coffee and Crumpets says
How lucky to get together with Charlie! Sounds like y’all had a fabulous time. I really am envious that I don’t live close to any blogger buddies. Will have to make a trip to Australia because apparently that’s where all the fun is!
Come on over! I have a guest room that’s just sitting there 🙂
What a great start to the year! Charlie’s menu sounded delectable and your descriptions of the evening (sans photos) were more than adequate to conclude “a good time was had by all!” Happy New Year, Maureen!
Charlie has photos over at HotlySpiced.com along with the recipe. It was delicious.
What a FUN time for you all! I just love meeting fellow bloggers!!!
Me too.. food people are mostly kind, nurturing people, at least that’s my experience. I just love chatting with food lovers.
Kitchen Belleicious says
what a wonderful experience. It sounds fabulous and I know it was! Here is to many more great travels for you and yummy recipes
I love meeting food bloggers and I’m off to Brisbane tomorrow to meet some more at a meeting. THEN I’m going foodie shopping with another food lover. Life can’t get better than this.
you must’ve had such a wonderful time!!
we did! are there any better people to have dinner with than food bloggers? I think not 🙂
I'm At Home Baking says
Sounds like a wonderful time!!
Thanks for visiting, Rose and love to meet you. Anyone who thinks a slice of good bread with lashings of butter can fix most anything needs to be a friend of mine. 🙂
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
You and Charlie have the best stories. Although there was no picture of the get-together, you write stories so well that it was very fun to imagine the scene as you described. It’s so nice that you two got to know each other even outside of blogging. I bet it was worth the travel and deepen a friendship!
Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking says
Oh wow sounds like an amazing time!
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
Happy New Year, friend! This looks like a blast. Noosa Yoghurt has become quite popular out here! 😉
Cass @foodmyfriend says
I read all about your amazing dinner 🙂 She is so lovely isn’t she? We made our way up to the Sunshine Coast too. Such a beautiful spot!
Judy @Savoring Today says
Oh, I am so envious you got to have dinner together! What a fun time that would be to sit down and enjoy a meal with a blogging buddy. 🙂
I wish I could say, “it was nothing,” but I was SO looking forward to meeting Charlie and I got to do that in Adelaide at the food blogger’s conference. She’s as special in person (maybe more!) than on her blog. It was a real treat to meet up again.
That sounds like so much fun!
What a lovely way for you to start the year. I hate trying to cook in holiday houses, so Charlie must be sainted indeed! I’d much rather go out for meals!
I said the same thing, Amanda. She cooked for guests nearly every night on her holiday. It was a pretty swish apartment but still — when I go on holidays I want to holiday. 🙂
Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb says
Fun fun fun! and I missed the fun (that can’t happen!) grr I am so envious now Maureen and Charlie. I understand, I wouldn’t have clicked photos either, its a friendly event.
Yasmeen @ Wandering Spice says
It’s such a wonderful thing to meet up with fellow bloggers and become fast friends. I’ve had that luxury with a few people and it is truly a warming feeling. Sounds like you had a great time!
How wonderful to have such a good experience meeting up with blogger friends. 🙂 They sound absolutely delightful and inspiring. 🙂
What fun to meet up with some other lovely bloggers and eat good food in a beautiful place.
Jack Milgram says
I see that you really had great time and enjoyed yourself at Noosa.
I am happy for you and only a little bit envious))
Have a nice week!