Lunching in the NSW Parliament Dining Room
Our social whirl continues unabated –
Eric has arranged that Graham, Greg and I are lunching in the NSW Parliament Dining Room, where he is one of the chefs. Graham picks us up and off we go, in high style. Parking in the building has been organized, our names are on the right lists, and we are treated as though we were VIPs. Eric’s boss takes our orders, a bottle of wine appears, and we enjoy a fantastic meal. I try, finally, ‘roo meat. It looks like beef, but tastes a bit like venison. It is a very lean meat, and cannot be cooked to even a medium level – it will be like shoe leather, they tell us.
After 3 hours of lunch (no dinner tonight!), we are taken touring around the “public” areas of the NSW Parliament, including the kitchens and pantries. We end up in the parliamentary bottle shop, which is open to the public – or at least those members of the public who have been invited into the building. Wonderful wines stocked – we are assured that many of the wines being stocked are available only at the cellar door and the Parliament Bottle Shop! Although primarily to supply the bars and restaurants of Parliament, they are sold at cost to anyone with money to buy. Needless to say, we load up – we are here for another 10 days, after all.
The city is geared up for Mardi Gras – banners flying everywhere. The window displays in the big department stores downtown look more like Northbound Leather than Holt Renfrew. It seems like everyone feels that they are an honorary member of the “Gay and Lesbian Club” for the week: everyone everywhere is giving us helpful hints on how to enjoy the parade the most, and everyone everywhere says on parting “have a wonderful Mardi Gras!”