At least 20 cars and lots of loud, enthusiastic people gathered at Darnum Stump Tea Rooms for coffee and extras. We then had a Drivers? Briefing before our run to the Escargot restaurant near Mirboo North on a warm and slightly overcast April morning. I tried to list all the cars and thought I was organised, but then discovered some more in the conga line as we drove along and then more again when we arrived. I know of several MX5s and BMWs, both modern and unmodern Mustangs, two Porsches – no, three, and a singular RX7, Jaguar, Healey, a beautiful Datsun SSS, Subaru, Lotus Elan, Charger, Austin A90 and convertible SAAB 900. Actually, they were all beautiful. Just after John and I had noted that there were no MGs, suddenly there was one. I suspect a Hyundai and maybe some others dropped out of the sky too as the Escargot car park seemed even more full than at Darnum.
John and Jan led us south then west out of Darnum then briefly along the Korumburra-Warragul Road until we turned towards Seaview and along the Grand Ridge Road through Trida to Hallston. For once the drivers were not all on each other?s tails and it was lovely to look forwards and backwards across the undulations to see little shiny glints as we enjoyed the wonderful sunshine. From Hallston we headed east into the forests then through Mirboo North to Escargot, just beyond.
Considering the eagerness to get away at Darnum (for the future please remember it?s a public road out the front, not our own personal Dummy Grid!) I was surprised at how few people actually tried the snails on the menu. I had tried some in France which were like rubber and tasted only of the garlic in which they were cooked, so I looked forward to making a comparison. For a change I opted for the ?salt and pepper? snails. They were extremely tender, nothing like the rubber in France, but still tasted mainly of the salt and pepper coating. I conclude that, unlike happy beef cattle, snails don?t live long enough to develop much flavour. Certainly, the ones in my garden don?t live very long (stomp, crunch). There was a varied selection of normal food on the menu and I think everyone enjoyed their choice. It took a little while to feed our huge group of 42, but it was a continuous procession of meals. A quirky Mirboo North custom of bringing bread to the table after most of us had eaten our mains remains unexplained.
Again, the large group was quite rowdy. I?m not sure if it was the same conversation carried on from Darnum or an entirely new one, but it was a sure sign of friendly people with a common interest, or many common interests, enjoying the company and the outing. Thank-you from us all to John and Jan for organising the day. It was another good-un.
Words by John & Kira Moore. Pictures by John Fowler