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Archive for March, 2011

Grape Stomping Festival

Thinking of something a little different to do? What about Grape Stomping? You have a chance to make some wine, have a bite to eat on the spit roast, listen to some live music & take in some wine tasting. There is even a jumping castle, face painting & colouring competition for the kids.

What: Grape Stomping at Yarra Ranges Estate
Where: 39 Coulson Rd, Monbulk, VIC
When: Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd April 2011 11am to 5pm both days
Contact: 03 9752 0683 bookings are essential
Cost: $10.00

NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2011 shortlist

Some of Australia’s best known writers compete with a number of talented first time authors in an intriguing and eclectic shortlist for the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the nation’s oldest, richest and most prestigious State literary awards.

Finalists this year include popular comedian Anh Do; novelist and screenwriter Melina Marchetta; academic, poet and translator Ouyang Yu; two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey and former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. For more than 30 years, the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards have honoured hundreds of established and emerging novelists, playwrights, poets, scriptwriters, social commentators and writers of children and young people’s fiction.

Please note that this year the People’s Choice Award, which gives readers an opportunity to vote for their favourite shortlisted book in the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, will be open for the first time to all Australians (in previous years only NSW residents were eligible to vote).  Voting is via the website:  There are great prizes to be won by voting.

2011’s shortlisted writers were selected from more than 570 nominations across 10 categories. Prizes of up to $315,000 will be presented at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards dinner on 16 May, the first celebratory event of the 2011 Sydney Writers’ Festival (16-22 May).

For more details on shortlisted individuals, please visit

Media enquiries please contact: April Murdoch, Publicist; mob: 0434 581 944 & email: aprilmurdochmedia {at}

Scottie’s Fish Cafe Review

East Newcastle has an irresistible pull. It’s basically Bondi… 70 years ago.   Wide and sleepy streets are sunlit by blue unclouded weather, bikini babes and muscle cars, melting ice-cream and the perfect little beachside cafe.

A block back from the beach is Scotties, Two Flat White’s tip for breakfast or dinner if you find yourself anywhere near Newcastle Beach. With its palm-shaded courtyard nook off Scott street, Scotties has come a long way from the battered sav & scallop style of fish and chippery it once was. Professionals on their laptops sipping frothy cappuccinos in the dappled shade seem just as at home as kids in boardies with their parents lugging sandy towels and negotiating bulky strollers.

Chef Jeramie Heywood’s menu spans the spectrum of accessible comfort food to hoity toity (Hiramasa kingfish, anyone?) with a focus on seasonal produce. Our tip would be to stick to the familiar fare. The fish and chips are still great despite the raging internet review debate which asserts the batter used to be better. The breakfasts are hearty (hash browns, avocado , sourdough, bacon, poached eggs etc) and the takeaway section on the side is replete with hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fishburgers, steakburgers and lentil burgers ($7-$9.50). Plus, they make a pretty decent coffee (Two Flat Whites writers need their caffeine.)

The service is a bit docile, but if you’re not in any great hurry the location compensates, and a pleasant morning/afternoon drying out from the surf can be had munching away. Dinner is a fairy-light lit affair and the restaurant is quite popular so consider booking to secure your table.   Being seasonal, there is an element of changeability to the menu though keep an eye out for Gumbo prawns in ginger sauce or snapper salad with green mango and sweet chilli dressing.  Seafood Sunday at $25 a head is rather tempting, and a good excuse to get into their interesting wine list.

36 Scott Street
Newcastle East, 2300
02 4926 3780

Article written by Estelle Pigot.

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