“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





24 November 2016


Hearty congratulations are due to Sarah Holloway, waiter at McLaren Vale's scrumptious Salopian Inn: Sarah's won the Best Service certificate in The Advertiser's 2016 South Australia Food Awards!

That's Sarah and Annika Berlingieri  at Fino Willunga. Sarah worked there before Salopian. (I trust both wonderful women forgive my sneaky tablecam shot.)

Her citation pretty well nailed Sarah's excellent manner: " The skills of one of the state’s best teams are epitomised by a waiter who is warm, enthusiastic and, critically, can read a group of customers and recognise how they should be approached. It’s a talent that, along with her engaging personality, makes everyone feel at ease."

One memorable night at Salopian: artistic types!

Long-time readers will appreciate my love of The Advertiser is not too thick, having been summarily fired without warning just short of my twentieth year slaving away over that paper's Drinks column, but they sure got it right with this recognition! 

Any visitor to McLaren Vale would be very silly to miss dining at The Salopian. It's there behind the almond blossom on the corner of Main Road and McMurtrie Road, one kay south of McLaren Vale township. (PS: Love them chillies!)

The entire staff at The Salopian obviously relish their work: brilliant proprietor/chef Karina Armstrong fires her crew with confident enthusiasm for their district and its delicious produce, including brilliantly fresh stuff from her own garden.

Observant rock doctors will notice much of the region's geological history in its structure, from the Willunga slatey siltstone pavers , complete with their ripples of 700 million year old seabed, to the 34-56 million-year-old ironstone in the walls. 

When Kerry and Zannie Flannagan began their restoration of the decaying structure in August 1984, they sure learned about the tough nature of these stones as they got the crowbars, shovels and picks out and lowered the slate cellar floor sufficiently to admit fully grown people. That cellar's always stacked with wonders from abroad as much as local lovelies. 

Sarah sure knows her way around that killer collection 

Here's Kerry with yours truly just as the renovation commenced ... the old joint was full of pigeons!

So congratulations Sarah, and thankyou for years of memorable assistance as you worked away, and we just sat there and soaked it all up. More, please. Ka-chink!

1984 shot by Steve Richardson (sorry for murky rendition, Steve - I can't find the original); all others by Philip White

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