Sunday, August 14, 2016

The David Roche Foundation House Museum






A couple of months ago the David Roche Foundation House Museum was opened.

David Roche(1930-2013) had two major passions in life, collecting art from the 18th and 19th century and owning, showing and judging dogs. His House Museum and Gallery in Melbourne Street pays homage to both.
David was an avid collector of furniture, ceramics, paintings, sculpture, clocks, textiles and even hatpins! Barely a day went by without David adding to his collection. His love of dogs led him to being both a collector of dogs and a distinguished judge of dogs. A pavilion at the Royal Adelaide Show is named after David Roche.







David established the Foundation in 1999. He wanted his collection to be preserved for future generations. A generous gift to the people of South Australia and Australia.



Alan Smith, Director of the State Library of South Australia

Last week I visited the museum as part of a fund raiser for the Australiana Fund  My good friend Alan Smith is a Counsellor on the Fund and my former boss at the ABC, Donald McDonald is the Chair.  The Australiana Fund's purpose is to purchase fine Australian art and furniture for the residences of the Prime Minister and Governor General. 


David was a renown collector and wanted the people of South Australia and Australia to have access to his vast collection. As such his former home, a sandstone Federation Villa called Formoy House, has become the House Museum and the modern extension situated where his dog kennels once stood, has become the gallery. More than 3,000 pieces are on display. It's like a wing of The Louvre.


Portrait of David Roche as a rather dapper young man








David particularly like Afghans.




The Military Dining Room, minus the dining table.



The rooms in the house are themed. The Russian Room is distinguished by its striking royal blue wallpaper.



There are quite a few pieces made from Moldavite - a beautiful green and black stone.



David's bedroom with its inspiration gained from English Regency and French Empire 



The purple amethyst at the base of this chandelier is over an inch thick

The hallway is themed with portraits of horses


Chinese inspired bathroom


Modest kitchen

David certainly wasn't a minimalist


We were told the curtains throughout the house cost in excess of one million dollars.





A carpet made by the maker of carpets for The White House



"The Chinoiserie-theme extends throughout, with an eighteenth-century rock crystal chandelier and a Louis XVI white marble neoclassic demi-lune fireplace. The walls are covered in de Gournay’s bespoke ‘Askew’ Chinoiserie patterned wallpaper.
Pieces of significance include an ormolu-mounted Chest of drawers, c.1820, once belonging to the Duke of Wellington, an Italian blue and gilt-painted bed, the Mortlake Menagerie tapestry, c.1700, and an eighteenth-century Imperial Chinese panel of a Landscape scene with figures." via the Foundation website.





Rock Crystal Chandelier 

Bookings for a tour of the House Museum can be made through the website. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mindshadows - A book by my sister



My sister Jean Winter has experienced mental illness since she was 20. She is now 51. The early years in the public health system were hell.  It took many years and a switch to the private health system before Jean received the help she needed and was brought back to health.  It is still a journey.

This fictional work - Mindshadows - explores Jean's journey through a 
very frightening time in her life. 

However, the book is not just about despair but also about beauty, love, 
hope and the power of humour.

Mindshadows will be officially launched in conjunction with her publisher in the next couple of months but is already available through amazon here

It is a beautiful book. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will give you a powerful insight into the frightening world of mental illness.


The cover design is also by Jean who is a talented artist.

I'm so proud of her.






Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Currant Shed, McLaren Flat



On a beautiful autumn day in the wine region of McLaren Flat we had a great lunch at The Currant Shed.



As the name implies, The Currant Shed is a former currant drying shed. It is over a hundred years old.
The shed harks back to an era when the area was planted out to vegetables and almonds more than it was to vines for wine.





 The homestead was one of the first in the region.


 Very cute citrus trees are planted out the front of the shed.




Before the rush. Today was totally booked out.


 They grow their own vegetables and herbs for the kitchen.



 The quince that accompanied my duck came from this heavily ladened tree.



Amuse Bouche

Foamed brie with corn bark. Warm bread rolls with shiraz salted butter.


Spencer Gulf Prawns, coconut, soybeans and lime. Accompanied by a glass of Shottesbrooke Chardonnay.


Smoked Kingfish, apple, onion, mustard. Accompanied by a glass of Tim Adams Viognier.

Lamb Shoulder, heirloom tomatoes, fetta. Accompanied by a glass of Shottesbrooke Shiraz.

Duck, quince, pear and baby spinach.

Hindmarsh Valley Emme, cherries, honeyed walnuts and sesame lavosh.

Dark Chocolate, Fig, almond cream and soil.


We also stopped in at Parri Estate Winery to stock up on some Grenache, Shiraz and Savagin.  Great wines and owner John Phillips is an outstanding host.  They were also doing a huge trade in wood oven pizzas. Next time!