Tea for three: William enjoys afternoon tea in the garden. (You can tell we're in the mountains - the teapot is wearing a woolly jumper.)
Way up there in the mountains is a sleepy little village called Wandiligong, but which is known locally as Wandi. Just five kilometres out of Bright, it's so close you can walk there. So I did, pushing William in his three-wheeler. T. drove, being just beyond walking the ten kilometre return trip at this stage.
There's not a lot to look at in Wandi if you ignore the breathtaking scenery, the heritage buildings, the river running through the valley, the glorious stands of trees, the spring wildflowers nodding away in the sun and the lilac mountains to either side.
There's not a lot to do either, apart from the annual Nut Festival. But there's a tiny shop that used to be something else in the 1800s, maybe a miner's cottage, maybe a post office, which sells interesting things that are not antiques and not curios but something in between. Things that you pick up and say, 'My grandmother had one of these in the 1960s and it was ancient then.' There's a Jaguar Mark II 3.8 grille in the front garden, sitting there like a gnome in the sun. No-one steals it.
The shop also does teas and you sit outside, in the garden, and the lady of the house brings everything out on a large anodised aluminium tray, circa 1955, stepping onto a timber verandah and down three steps to the lawn, where the tables are set. There are three tables. Off to the side there are trees with old wagon wheels leaning up against them, as if out of breath. Beside an overgrown shed is an ancient rocking horse which still rocks. I know because I put William on it and rocked him. Down the end of the yard, an old grey Labrador wakes up, stretches, wonders whether this is heaven or not and can't decide and goes to sleep again.
The scones were light and fluffy and had just the right amount of glaze on top, meaning hardly any. The jam was plum, home-made right there. Plum jam is often overlooked for the more glamorous berries but a good plum jam is superior to almost anything else. Not as sweet as the obvious berries, it has that magnificent earthy taste that complements a well-baked scone and thick cream so well. William enjoyed his scone and had great fun plastering jam and cream everywhere.
The tea was marvellous - genuine leaf tea. The place looks as if it has never seen teabags, let alone served them. Wandi only got electricity in 1955.
Posted by kitchen hand at 11:00 AM