I hope you’ve had a merry Christmas and happy holidays!
This year, we got together with Jac’s family the weekend before Christmas with a barbecue lunch at Point Walter, on the Swan River in Bicton. We set up in a shady spot next to the water so Jac and the boys wouldn’t have far to carry the kayaks. We brought our own trestle tables and fold-up chairs (our eskies doubled as seats too), portable gas stove and portable barbecue. But before thinking about cooking lunch, we popped the kettle on to make cuppas.
Kelsie cooked sliced potatoes on the hotplate with a splash of olive oil. We salted each batch as they came off the hotplate and ate them like hot potato crisps. We used freshly cracked sea salt but you could flavour these with any kind of flavour you like – truffle salt, chilli salt, garlic salt, bacon salt…
Jac bought hamburger patties and sirloin steaks from Meat @ Bentley at The Bentley Centre. Even if I wasn’t photographing the meat, I’d be sticking close to the barbie to enjoy the sizzle and the aroma. It’s hard to beat standing by the barbecue with a cold drink in one hand, quietly keeping an eye on the best-looking steak of the bunch.
Steak burgers and beef burgers were on the menu, with lots of fried onions. If you want a cheese burger, place your cheese on to melt…now!
We each grabbed a white bap, wholemeal or damper roll and assembled our own burgers. We brought a selection of sauces to cover all tastes: tomato, barbecue, yellow mustard, Nando’s mild peri-peri sauce and Beerenberg balsamic beetroot relish. Heavy onions, heavy pickles, loads of sauce, burgers piled high and messy. The steak was tender but the butcher-made beef burger patties were outstanding – juicy and flavoursome – did we detect a touch of celery salt? We’ll definitely buy them again.
For dessert, vanilla and chocolate iced cupcakes, chocolate truffles made by Jac’s nephew Max (not pictured) and chocolate finger biscuits. We exchanged gifts and made more coffee and tea. The kayakers went back to the water for a final paddle.
A little while later, a rather bold black swan came strutting into our camp, looking for snacks. I was pecked by a swan at Lake Monger as a teenager and I think ever since then, any swan that I encounter can smell my fear. Geese too – I’ve been chased by a goose. This black swan pecked at Jac’s sunglasses on the table and my camera bag under the table, then poked its beak into my coffee cup while a cheeky seagull hovered like a groupie. The swan eventually wandered off, apparently still searching for something it hadn’t found among our possessions. Have you had any interesting encounters with wildlife while eating outdoors?
It wasn’t as busy at Point Walter as we thought it would be; perhaps as it was the last weekend before Christmas, many potential barbecuers and picnickers were at the shops and busy with other pre-Christmas things. But as we packed up to leave in the late afternoon, the crowd looked like it was cranking up for the evening, with more cars arriving and people swooping in to take over our newly vacated spot.
Stupid me – I travelled to South East Asia and the Middle East this year and didn’t get sunburnt once overseas – at Point Walter I didn’t give it a thought and copped my first sunburn for the year. I know, I know, I said it – stupid me! I don’t recommend T-shirt tan lines with lobstery red arms.
Part 2 is on the way: Christmas day lunch with my family.
Point Walter, Bicton
City of Melville
There are separate areas for boating and for kayaking.
There are toilets/change rooms and a cafe by a grassy area, which is where most picnickers were; we were closer to the sand and water for kayaking convenience.
Ample parking is available.