My best travel memories are a combination of a few key ingredients. Of course, good food, a little sunshine and an amazing location helps. But what makes a travel all worthwhile are those special people you meet along the way. They can turn these ingredients into a perfect recipe.
Without any research we decided to spend New Years Eve on Tasmania, avoiding cities like Melbourne and Sydney, thinking it would be too busy up there. Two weeks before Christmas we decided to start looking for accommodation on Tasmania. At that point still not knowing December and January are the busiest months of year in Tasmania with a big food festival and the Sydney-Hobart sail ending there that week.
Through The Agrarian Kitchen website we found the Ridgeline accommodation and send them a request to stay there. They were booked but with using our best charmes the owners were so kind to offer us a bed in their home which we happily accepted.
Our jaws dropped when we arrived at their self designed dream house with a view to die for and their pottery next to it. It turned out we were going to stay at Tasmania’s or even, if we may say so, Australia’s best potter Ben and his wife Peta. They welcomed us with wine, homemade flat bread and barbecued chicken. The best beginning of what would become a good friendship. The following days were perfect, we stepped into their warm bath (literally as well, overlooking the Pipeclay Lagoon) and stayed longer than the one planned night. They gave us a list of all the good restaurants and cafés on the island and a lot of these (as turned out) serve their food on Ridgeline products. Restaurants like Franklin and Betsey but also the famous restaurant Tetsuya’s in Sydney use their plates. No surprise they even collaborate with the MONA Museum on special occasions.
Ben took us into their pottery and showed us how they make their beautiful plates, bowls and cups. He collects his clay from different areas around Tasmania which give all the products a different look. His work has a strong emphasis on wood firing and during this process and the process of glazing it becomes even more unique with his use of materials like sand, rocks, ashes and other raw materials he gathers on the island. Nothing can beat looking at someone so inspiring and dedicated to his work and nature. If we wouldn’t have been halfway our backpacking trip we probably bought a collection of plates to take home.
As if our stay wasn’t perfect enough Ben even made us both a coffeecup. Which, back in Holland, still gives us that Tasmanian warmth and brings back a beautiful memory of meeting two lovely people.
Want to know more about Ben and Peta, the Ridgeline Pottery or their accommodation? Check their website.