3Gs and 2Bs Long Weekend
By David Stuart-Watt
Thank you to the sun god, as despite the predictions we had beautiful sunshine every day of our exploration of the outer Canberra Region.
We met at Uncle Leos at the crossroads for coffee and then five members and some delightful partners headed to the Paragon Café in Goulburn for Brunch; as expected the food was excellent and the serves more than ample.
With satisfied stomachs we headed to the famous Goulburn Rail Museum; the whole group got offered senior discounts as the Club Captain looked old enough, however everyone paid full fare to support the museum. With the size of our group we were allocated two guides and had a relaxing tour and commentary around the Roundhouse, the Workshops and the Exhibition. A good time was had by all and we learnt a lot. Their car park looked spectacular as well, full of Maserati cars; and one Volvo.
With minds full of railway knowledge we headed to Gunning for afternoon coffee and perhaps some pie. The two antique shops were closed which may have been a good thing, so we walked to the original Gunning Holden Authorised Workshop with their multi-award winning service trophies dating back decades.
Our destination for the evening was awaiting us and so we filled the Gunning main street with Maserati exhaust note and headed to Gundaroo. Our accommodation easily met Maserati standards as we settled into our mini apartments, fig and other fruit trees lining the driveway kept members busy and provided a delicious snack before dinner.
It was time to ‘frock up’ (a Maserati term) and get ready for wine tasting at 6pm, we enjoyed 2 whites and 3 reds from the surrounding area with accompanying ‘canapes’. 7pm saw the team sit down at the formerly ‘hatted’ Grazing restaurant, which is housed in the old 19th century Royal Hotel.
The food lived up to expectations, the venue was inspected from one end to the other during dinner and after many hours of enjoyment we headed back for nightcap of Muscat and Chocolates; not many chocolates actually eaten!
Given we fell just short of the minimum number we needed to go to the Gundagai theatre restaurant, we headed instead for Braidwood and then Bungendore for the evening.
We admired the Braidwood main street as we walk from one end to the other and spent some considerable time in the Model Car shop and adjoining Chocolate shop. Congratulations to Beatrice Tantillo who was able to purchase a model of her first car, an EH Holden sedan.
We enjoyed a light lunch and before heading back to Bungendore we said goodbye to Santo and Lucy Valastro who were heading back to their god daughter’s 30th birthday. At 2pm we checked into the Carriage Inn, Bungendore and enjoyed various conversations with our American host. We got so friendly he offered to show us his secret vintage car collection, in a barn on the property. Apart from one FJ Holden all cars we very early twentieth century and in working order.
That afternoon was a choice of wine tasting and/or local shopping. The team started to split on gender lines, with Mark Fabian leading Kim Hopmeier and DSW to Larks Hill Biodynamic Winery, and the ladies, Carrie Hopmeier, Beatrice Tantillo and Charlotte Stuart-Watt heading for the Craft shops, but then Sam Tantillo offered to stay behind and play chaperone for the ladies.
The gentleman enjoyed the wines and added weight to the car boots and were also chatted up by the wonderful host, who insisted on taking photos of the group and then each of us individually! The woodwork gallery, the antique shops and the many other venues were very worthwhile to explore, just a shame that beautiful furniture doesn’t fit in a Maserati Boot!
Time to frock up again as we had booked drinks with the Carriage Inn owner in the bar, he had dinner and chatted we consumed our G&Ts etc. We then headed to the famous ‘Le Tres Bon’ restaurant and enjoyed a three course authentic French meal, followed by a chat with the Belgian/French chef with an authentic French chef hat on his head.
Sunday saw breakfast at leisure and stops at the fuel station, this is a Maserati run, and we said goodbye to Mark Fabian who headed back to Sydney to prepared for his next flight to Los Angeles. As members can imagine, despite pleading to go easy on the Qanats Pilot, the ladies were full of questions all weekend and Mark became the ‘answerer of questions’!
Time to head home but where to stop for lunch? Beatrice Tantillo briefed the team on an Art Gallery in Berrima where Thomas Bucich has created some Maserati master pieces for a recent car launch by Maserati Sydney. The destination was set and so we booked the Surveyor General Hotel for our final lunch.
At the Whitewall Gallery Beatrice led the conversation with Thomas who explained the creative work he created for Maserati Sydney and Boss Hunting Magazine, who were running the article. Our Club Captain secured a yes from Thomas as a speaker at one of our events and potentially for members some limited edition prints of the Maserati logo, that he did for Boss Hunting. After lunch it was hugs all round as we went our separate ways remarking what a wonderful weekend we’ve had, thank you Maserati Club.