Helen and I headed for lovely Abernethy in the Hunter Valley this afternoon, on the invitation to celebrate Peter Netherclift's 40th birthday. Mum and Dad were taking the kids, so we had the weekend to ourselves.
The place Nev had found was a pearler. Formally built as a pub to service the nearby mine, it was a disaster, as the mine closed one week after the pub was opened in 1926. It was then used as a mental health respite for many years, until it was bought and restored to its former glory, and is now hired out for weekends to groups, such as ours. All the original verandahs are in place, as well as the dining room and kitchen. The bar has been converted to an entertainment room with TV, stereo, games and large comfy lounges. The beer garden is a perfect spot (as we discovered) for everyone to congregate and talk and drink. Upstairs are the showers and bathrooms, as well as 12 rooms, with magnificent verandahs (which we also discovered later).
|Holzy and Nev discussing worldly matters|
Once final guests had arrived, we piled into three maxi-taxis and headed into town to Peden's Hotel for some dinner and more drinks. Good thing we didn't delay our arrival any later, as the kitchen was closing as we walked in. Crisis averted, I had my steak, vegies and mash and could feel well satisfied.
We were kicked out at midnight (and really? Even Cessnock closes early...) but taxi's had already been ordered so it was a quick return to Abernethy. Helen and I moved straight to bed, but it was 4.30am before the final revellers left the beer garden, having created their own karaoke until that time. I slept through most of it anyway (you get used to sleeping through noisy parties where we've lived over the years), but one could only wonder how some of the own guest-mates would be faring on the following day.