I really shouldn't have ordered the Tall cappuccino from Zarraffa's. In fact I shouldn't have eaten dinner the night before.
The Redcliffe Botanical Gardens was transformed into a spectacular food event on Sunday, August 7th called 'What's cooking in the gardens?'
As we drove in, we were shocked at the cars parked up on sidewalks - easily a bigger crowd than the Redcliffe Show day. We finally found a parking spot and followed our noses through the front gates. For a gold coin donation, we were welcomed by markets, a huge variety of food stalls and live entertainment.
The air was full of an array of scents-warm jams and fried calamari, hamburgers and donuts and while buying my plate of nachos from a Mexican stall (for only ten bucks mind you) I had to look twice to make sure I wasn't dreaming when I saw a 9 foot tall girl wearing sequins.
Oh, she was on stilts.
No sooner had I realised there were circus acts on show, I saw what appeared to be The Mad Hatter from Alice and Wonderland.
Nachos and fairytales, what more could you ask for on a sunny Sunday?
After licking my plate clean, my partner and I strolled through markets, 'oohing' and 'aahing' at the jewellery, plants and clothing, until we came across a food stall that stole our undivided attention for at least five minutes. We stood staring as hungry customers pushed us aside to buy the crazy delicacy the young chefs called "Potato Slinkys."
Basically, they stick a potato on the end of this spinning slicer which cuts the vegetable into one giant coil. It is then thrown into a fryer to create a crunchy chip on a stick.
We wished we hadn't already devoured three long donuts dipped in caramel. The chips on a stick looked and smelt fantastic. Visit the website to check out this new vegetable craze.
If fried coiled potatoes weren't enough, there were giant German sausages on offer, fruit wines, cheese, pastries and wood fired pizza.
On the main stage, there was the 'Battle of The Butchers,' for entertainment, (If you're into bloody raw meat, definitely your thing), garden and environmental talks and chefs whipping up a storm in front of an enthusiastic audience. A popular chef from the hit TV programme Masterchef was present with a delicious looking demonstration, (shame I never watched Masterchef, I had no idea who she was) but plenty of fans were in the right place.
With perfect weather and enough food to feed the nation, "What's cooking in the gardens?" was a fantastic Sunday afternoon outing. I only spent twenty dollars (that's not counting the money I will have to spend to buy new jeans) and it was a great way to get outdoors and taste a wide variety of cuisines without having to book a table.