Thursday, June 16, 2011

To cheer myself up

I really don't cope well with being sick. I don't mind the actual experience of having a cold (or at least, I mind it, but can live with it easily enough), but I hate, absolutely hate, being stuck at home and unable to do anything.

I am conscious of how pathetic that sounds. I try to remind myself of the people who are much worse off than I am, who are seriously sick, and to pull myself together accordingly. However, I am forced to conclude, time and time again, that I need fresh air, exercise, and a focus to my days. The consequences when those things are not possible are, frankly, not great.

To my immense relief, I am feeling better today, well enough to have made it to work, and to have managed some short, low-key, but nonetheless wonderful exercise.

Yesterday, though, when at home, I was reflecting on recent enjoyable activities in an effort to cheer myself up. I've been meaning to blog about these for a while, so this was really just the motivation I needed.

The Fremantle Chocolate Factory

When Hannah mentioned the Fremantle Chocolate Factory a month or so ago, I was surprised never to have heard of it. Fortunately, I've since discovered that the Fremantle Chocolate Factory is the smaller, less well known cousin of the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, with which I am well acquainted.

Margaret River Chocolate Factory (Source)

As the Fremantle off-shoot is located approximately 20 minutes from Perth, it is somewhat more accessible than the Margaret River Chocolate Factory locations. The original, which is actually in Margaret River, is a 4 hours drive south of Perth. Even for the most ardent chocolate lover, this is a bit far for an afternoon outing. There is also a smaller factory in the Swan Valley, 30 to 40 minutes East of Perth, but even that requires some forethought and planning.

Thus, the Fremantle store seemed worthy of a visit. Fortunately for me, we ended up with some other errands in the Fremantle area, and it wasn't hard to convince Mr Bite of the benefits of chocolate shopping.

The Fremantle store is definitely smaller than the Margaret River version, although that's to be expected. There is a viewing gallery where you can see chocolate being created, but there wasn't much happening on the Saturday afternoon we were there.

There were tastings bowls with dark, milk and white chocolate chips, and we took advantage of the dark bowl.

In addition to chocolate, there were fudge packets and old-fashioned sweets for sale, of the lemon sherbet and aniseed ball (and similar) variety.

Fremantle Chocolate Factory (Source)

Fortunately, we were buying presents for others as well as chocolate for ourselves, so we had the luxury of choosing multiple items, with justification.

For ourselves? We settled on the Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brittle Crush. It was a toss up between this and the mango brittle crush, but peppermint won out.

I was a little concerned that this would be all brittle and no chocolate, but I needn't have worried.

The squares were chunky and chocolatey, and the mint brittle provided a nice flavour and texture contrast to the smooth tones of the dark chocolate surrounding it.

All in all, this was definitely worthy of a visit, and the chocolate provided a nice change to the usual, easy to come by varieties.


We've been adventurous lately in trying some new walk locations, rather than sticking with familiar favourites. Thus far, the destinations haven't disappointed.

Odd swamp-based paperbark trees.

Somewhere to shelter if it rains? We were in Winter sunshine and had no such need.

Although we've been fortunate enough to receive some winter rain lately, after a long, hot Summer and Autumn, the weather has still been mostly fine. The crisp and sunny Winter days have been perfect for exploring new locations.

Holiday Planning

It's now 10 days until we leave for Tasmania! Or at least, it will be if the Chilean ash decides to move on...all of the airports involved in our travels (Perth, Melbourne, Launceston) have now been affected, which is a bit worrying. I'm hoping that 10 days is plenty of time for it to all dissipate. 

After planning and booking our trip some months ago, it's only now that I'm reminding myself of what we want to do and where we will be. And given that I love the planning stages of holidays almost as much as the trips themselves, this last minute lead up should keep me entertained. Especially as I have re-borrowed the Lonely Planet Tasmania guide from our local library - happy bedtime reading indeed.

We're driving around the island over two weeks, with the following route:

Map courtesy of Google

It also seems that we're not the only one's heading to Tasmania shortly, which makes me feel a bit better about our decision to go in winter :) Tasmanian weather can reportedly be cold at any time of year, so at least this way we will be prepared for it. I have borrowed a ski jacket from my brother (which makes me look like the Michelin Woman) and am planning to take just about all of my winter clothes, possibly to wear simultaneously.

And writing this post has cheered me up considerably!


  1. I hope by now you are feeling better. Being sick is a pain and no fun at all. Upside though, you got to write a post that made you feel better!
    My predictions... The ash will clear, Tasmania will be awesome, the ski jacket will be used every day, winter is an exciting time to go- (where else could you see wombats running through snow waving hello to Tassie devils?) Cradle Mountain will blow your mind, and we'll pass by in the car unknowingly :-)

  2. First... SQUEE!!!! I'm so delighted that I was the impetus for you having a chocolate adventure! Brittle of any kind (except icky orange) sounds fantastic :)

    Also, I'm so sorry you've been sick too! I'm going on a week with this cold, and it's getting my goat. I'm very upset because we have a big fancy dinner for my grandparents' 60th tonight, and I'm still feeling nauseous! Grr!

    So get better soon. That's an order, from me to you :) xoxo

  3. @cityhippyfarmgirl
    Your prediction sounds like it could be scarily accurate! I am really looking forward to Cradle Mountain - I can't wait.

  4. @Hannah
    That would be one order I'd be thrilled to take - if only I could figure out how! I hope you feel better quickly too, 60th celebrations deserve health and enjoyment. If the health aspect isn't quite there, I hope you at least enjoy :)

  5. chocolate and travel are great for cheering up anyone - if only they could cure your illness too!

    Your tassie trip sounds wonderful - there is a great restaurant in hobart called sirens that you are probably aware of - is well worth a visit - I have a post on hobart if you want other recommendations from a few years ago

  6. @Johanna GGG
    Ooh, fantastic. I'll definitely have a look - thanks! Recommendations are always a good thing :)

  7. Ooh. Tasmania! Vicarious travel opportunities abound! :)

  8. Hi! Have you been to the Whistlers? I know it is available in the supermarket, but try this factory: 18 Hubert Street, Belmont. Close to the city aaaand heaps of samples


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