A weekend with dog lovers in Central coast, NSW

Sausage about to have his dinner

Sausage about to have his dinner

Sydney was dealt with a pretty dismal summer this year as far as the weather was concerned. Overcast and rainy days shrouded most of  December and January when most of us were pining for some sun to head outdoors for all our favourite summer activities.

Our trip to the South coast three weekends ago had two wet days out of four although the sun greeted us when we headed down to Mollymook and Werri beach.

So we find ourselves praying for some good weather again this weekend when our friends Ralph and Rhonnie invited us to their new home at Umina beach in the Central coast, a leisurely one and a half hours drive north of Sydney.

Good times among good friends

Good times among good friends

The invitation is for dinner but we have been extended the hospitality to stay the night to avoid having to drive home after the dinner party. It is also a weekend for dog lovers Ralph, Rhonnie and Jeremy to let their dogs have a party of their own.

Our friend Jeremy kindly offers to drive so we pile into his car together with his two dogs. “Sausage” is a 16-year old chihuahua while “Spud” is a 12-year old Jack Russell.

Happy hour upon arrival

Happy hour upon arrival

We are greeted with some happy hour drinks and a cheese platter upon our arrival at 5pm.

Cheese platter

Cheese platter

Still a little happy from a nice yum cha lunch before we left Sydney, we are gearing ourselves up for a big dinner with the aromas of a leg of pork roasting in the BBQ oven.

Leg of pork in the oven

Leg of pork in the oven

“Don’t open it!!” as our host Ralph yells out just in case our curiosity gets the better of us as we gaze into the oven.

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Ralph loves his beer and this beer can crusher is obviously a useful tool to compact the volume of beer cans in his recycle bin.

"Aren't I adorable?"

"Aren't I adorable?"

I take the opportunity to go for a walk with Rhonnie as she takes her two beautiful whippets for their evening walk.

Speedy (in red) and Wally on their evening walk

Speedy (in red) and Wally on their evening walk

Rhonnie tells me that one of her beloved dogs, Speedy, lost his left hind leg to cancer last year. The poor dog was pretty sick and depressed but has since manage to recover and it looks quite happy with Wally as they wander around the neighbourhood.

Speedy, Wally, Sausage and Spud having dinner

Speedy, Wally, Sausage and Spud having dinner

Rhonnie, Ralph and Jeremy are pretty serious dog lovers and they are fed dinner before our dinner party.

Sausage falling asleep

Sausage falling asleep

Our host Ralph in the kitchen

Our host Ralph in the kitchen

Ralph and Rhonnie meanwhile gets busy in the kitchen and before long, each of us are presented with one of the biggest bowls of pumpkin soup that I have had for starters.

Rhonny's pumpkin soup

Rhonny's pumpkin soup

We have all been eyeing the leg of pork as it was roasting in the BBQ oven and finally, dinner is served. Succulent pieces of tender pork with a delicious gravy from the roast.

Roast pork

Roast pork

French beans and broccoli

French beans and broccoli

Green peas

Green peas

Potatoes and sweet potatoes

Potatoes and sweet potatoes

Now who can resist the best part of a roast pork – crispy flavoursome pork crackling!

Pork crackling

Pork crackling

2009 Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

It is a beautiful dinner and we eventually called it a night so that we can wander around Umina beach the next day.

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Umina beach from the deck of the SLSC

Umina beach from the deck of the SLSC

The Central coast brings out a beautiful day as we head down to the local Surf and Life Saving Club for breakfast. The huge outdoor deck is a great place for diners to have a drink, eat breakfast or lunch while gazing at the panoramic views of the beach and beyond.

Umina beach

Umina beach

Umina beach

Umina beach

Bacon, eggs, toast, roasted tomato and rocket

Bacon, eggs, toast, roasted tomato and rocket

Local cinema showing Cinema Paradiso

Local cinema showing Cinema Paradiso

We wander around the local shops, cafes and cinema after breakfast before taking a slow leisurely drive back to Sydney.

The Ettalong beach cabana

The Ettalong beach cabana

Courtyard inside the local cinema

Courtyard inside the local cinema

Pelicans and children at play

Pelicans and children at play

Adam's gift from Hawaii to Ralph

Adam's gift from Hawaii to Ralph

Speedy in a pensive mood

Speedy in a pensive mood

Thanks to our gracious hosts Ralph and Rhonnie for a great weekend at your home. And thanks to Jeremy for offering to drive. It will be our turn to take on the wheels for the next trip.

So dear readers, which is your favourite spot in the Central or North coast of New South Wales?

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18 Responses to A weekend with dog lovers in Central coast, NSW

  1. Maureen says:

    What a great holiday! The dogs are really cute.

    I’m quite happy on the Sunshine Coast, but I do miss the Hawkesbury River.

  2. Sissi says:

    I think I will put a BBQ oven on my wish list. The meat looks so tender and juicy, and the cracklings… I cannot find the words. It reminds me of a tv program about the Southern US BBQ yearly competition. Then I discovered there is a difference between BBQ and grill (and of course started to dream of a real BBQ!). I love the t-shirt ;-) Whoever wears it I am sure we would get on very well. Lovely post!

  3. Joanne says:

    The smile didn’t leave my face as I read through your post. The beautiful photos and the adorable dogs. That just made my day!

  4. Miss summer weather reading your post. Here it’s gloomy and I’m afraid it might rain, not to mention it’s cold! Hmm the roast pork looks wonderful! And yes, the dogs are cute and breakfast look yummy…!

  5. Charles says:

    Ah, I’m so glad I got to see that leg of pork. As soon as I saw it roasting away in the oven I knew it was going to look awesome! And the pork scratching too…. omg! <3

    Looks like a fun time – it's nice spending time with good friends isn't it?!

  6. Megan says:

    Lovely post. Lots of smiles, cute doggies and the cheese platter looked divine! Glad I found your blog and hope to say hi again some time! :)

  7. Maia says:

    What a lovely road trip. Coastal photos had me pining for some southern-hemisphere weather. And “life without dogs: I don’t think so” – so true.

  8. Those puppies are so cute! And sausage is a really adorable name too.

  9. Ann says:

    It looks like you had a GREAT time! The doggies are adorable (I’m a dog lover, too!) and oh, the pork….YUM!

  10. Love it Chopinand, woof! The food, the dogs, the beercan crusher. And the blue, blue of the sky and sea. Beeeeeeautiful!

  11. Joanne says:

    Aww sounds like fun. And how cute are those dogs! I’m such a canine lover, myself.

  12. What a great weekend away, and with sun! I agree with the sign, yes dogs do leave paw prints on our hearts :)

  13. heidi says:

    You have the most wonderful friends!
    FOOD and DOGS.
    Great combination- and the blue skies of summer- this is a beautiful post!

  14. Adam M says:

    Awesome photos mate, made it look better then it was ;) … kidding

  15. Kimby says:

    Your posts are always such a wonderful mix of friends and food — and in this case, pals and pooches! I love the dogs’ names and how loved and cared for they are.

    Talk about drinking in a gorgeous view — my eyes couldn’t get enough of it! Glad you got to enjoy it with breakfast on the deck. I was also eyeing that Cabernet Sauvignon… and the grilled pork… and the cheese platter… and… :)

    I appreciate you taking the time to share your life.

  16. Another wonderful post from you….
    I love reading your posts really…

    These dogs look so adorable …. I love the name Sausage… how cute!!

  17. Raymund says:

    That dog is so cute! If I could just cuddle them

  18. What a lovely time away with pets – we just got a lil Jack Russell girl (she is 16 weeks now) and we sometimes call her Sausage! Too cute that someone actually named their doggy that. Love! Food looked awesome too!

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