I'm a freelance writer and student living in Brisbane.
Published October 29th 2013
A chocolate and heavenly experience
A bunch of women out in western Queensland celebrating a hen's weekend - this isn't usually the choice of destination for most women when celebrating a hen's night.
The other night I was out on Caxton Street and saw a woman dancing around to 90's pop music wearing a veil, this type of scenario is usually more common. But I am open to hearing stories of other types of hen's night/weekend ideas and welcome suggestions in the comments!
Most of us will know that there is one friend in the friendship circle, who is the 'organiser.' The one who keeps the group together, the one who knows where to go, what to do and sends you a message just to check how you are. This friend, also happens to be our group expert on wine - parties usually equal - wine, wine, chocolate, wine, wine and more wine. Oh and some food platters. Wine tasting was a key component of this trip, but that is another tale for another time.
This particular weekend, my friend had the very original and creative idea of spending a weekend out in country QLD, Stanthorpe Ballandean. After a short bush walk at Girraween National Park (made short by the fact that as much as I don't want to admit, our conversation turned into gossip about high-school friends), my friend suggested that we head over to a chocolate cottage.
I thought perhaps my friend had decided to indulge in illegal substances and had hallucinated a 'chocolate cottage,' but after blaring Jewel songs on the drive there, we eventually arrived at what was a wooden cottage, it just happened to sell chocolate. Not an actual chocolate cottage.
Upon entry, I was surrounded by clay sculptures, mostly fictitious creatures- gnomes, fairies, pixies and elves but there were also pots and other sculptural pieces amidst the garden at the entry of the cottage.
We stepped in and immediately separated in various directions, each one of us following the chocolate options that most caught our attention. I walked over to the dairy-free chocolate section (cue tears!) and others walked over to the truffles, the rocky road and the chilli chocolate.
But, back to the task at hand, we had decided to indulge in one of the many hot chocolate options available on the menu.
A variety of hot chocolate flavours could be chosen - from hazelnut, coconut, meringue and tiramisu to chilli chocolate. Despite my need for lactose free ingredients, I still went ahead and ordered a mint hot chocolate. I mean, really, was I going to have travelled out this far and not tried it? No.
My friends and I then went outside to take a seat and enjoy more of the good company, there were chickens roaming about freely but fenced off from the "dining area."
Although I could only have about 4 sips before I knew it was time to stop, the chocolate sensation that flooded my mouth made up for years of rejecting hot chocolates in fear of becoming ridiculously ill. While I couldn't directly enjoy it all, I did so vicariously through the looks of glee and satisfaction on my friends' faces.
In the meantime, I decided to take a walk around and noticed that there were some wonderful plant arrangements around, I noticed the group of cacti with a small penny-farthing amongst the plants.
I also came across a sign advertising accommodation in the area, I noticed that they had cabins available. I walked around taking more photos of the clay works before being called by my friends as it was time to continue the hen's weekend, this time, by cracking open the wine.