Long before I myself started blogging, I was a dedicated fan of Not Quite Nigella and its effervescent and talented creator Lorraine. Glimpsed from afar (where “afar” means “over the interwebs”), Lorraine came across as someone whom I’d love to call a friend. Unfortunately, I knew that being able to do so was a pipe dream. Impossible. After all, even if I did start my own blog (and I did, clearly), why on earth would such a fabulous woman ever deign to talk to me? It was silly to even consider it.
Flash forward two years, and I found myself frantically running around the garden at Beaver Galleries with thirty seconds to spare before Lorraine would step outside to find me, having laughingly commanded me to “go make like a spy and hide”. Thirty seconds for me to attempt to triumph in Lorraine’s and my unique and personal made-up game of Spy-Hide-and-Seek.
And you know what? I totally won. I bet you can’t even see me; that’s how awesome I am at being an inconspicuous spy in any situation.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
As any of you who partake in Lorraine’s evocative and swoon-inducing tales of travel and food would know, our resident Not Quite Nigella lives a jam-packed life of adventure and is, subsequently, a rather elusive food blogging queen. Through comments on each other’s blogs and emails back and forth, Lorraine and I have built up a lengthy catalogue of shared interests and hypothetical plans to meet, but these plans have always been precisely that: hypothetical.
So you can imagine my incredulous joy when Lorraine invited me to be her sole guest during part of her recent whirlwind trip to Canberra. I’ll say that again: Incredulous. Joy.
We met at the Palette Cafe at Beaver Galleries, and shared two dishes from the brunch menu. The corn fritters with avocado, tomato, and red peppers (top of post) were lovely, with the sweet and slightly doughy fritters nicely offset by the creamy avocado and tomato salsa.
We also ordered the asparagus with scrambled eggs, shallots, and parmesan. This was a refreshingly simple and straight-forward dish, pepped up by the shallots and cheese.
Do you want to know one of the reasons why I love Lorraine?
It’s not just because of our mutual affection for True Blood, Liz Lemon, and eating cereal mixed with peanut butter after 10pm at night. I love Lorraine because she orders chocolate and ricotta crumble cake at 11am in the morning (that’s half the slice above), before the savoury dishes have even arrived.
I also love Lorraine because we both took absolutely and incontrovertibly seriously our months’ old pledge to dedicate time during our first real meeting to doing spy poses.
Seriously, we’re both so good a this “being invisible and stealthy and sneaky and disappearing-into-thin-air” gig that I’m not entirely sure why we haven’t both been recruited by a team of crime-fighting superheros.
Holy bucket! I can’t see Lorraine! I know she’s spying around here somewhere!
Photo courtesy of Not Quite Nigella
Look at those two identical statues! They can’t be told apart!
(Side note: Why is it that I’m always the [only] one who looks ridiculous during adventures like this? How do I get forced into these situations? Oh… right.)
Where’s Wally Waldo Lorraine?
I bet you can’t find me. Am I even there? Are any of us here at all? And if we are, why? Why are we here? What’s the meaning of everything?
Existential Spy-Hide-and-Seek… it’s the best kind of Hide-and-Seek.
To close this post, I think I’d just like to say that Lorraine is truly as magical in person as she is on her blog, that I’m incredibly honoured and chuffed to know in my heart that she’s a dear friend, that I can’t wait to tell you about the chocolates she brought me, and that if you want to check out her take on the day (and the rest of her Canberra adventures), click here!