Sweet Chestnut Hunting Before Louisa’s Walk!

Louisa’s Walk starts outside the Cascade Brewery in South Hobart. Louisa waits for the audience members to arrive on the corner underneath the lamp-post. Chris alias Matt, William and sundry other characters can also be seen at this time of year scurrying around underneath the sweet chestnut trees picking up brown,gleaming treasures! Yes, all you Europeans, it is chestnut time!

Sweet chestnut trees are planted outside breweries according to German tradition for two reasons; one is so that their roots can reach down into the cellars and drain away any moisture. The other (and I like this one better) is so that the leaves of the spreading trees can provide welcome shade on a hot, summer’s afternoon, whilst sipping a beer.

Yesterday we had some Australian/Italians on Louisa’s Walk and “Fee” as I learnt to call her was telling me about the sweet chestnuts that are served with the first of the home made wines in Italy. I was able to reminisce with equal nostalgia, recalling a time some five years ago (just before starting Louisa’s Walk) when Chris and I worked on a remote Greek island called Ikaria. Just before we left in early October the first of the new wine was being brought out at the local tavernas and with it, little bowls of roast chestnuts.

Now, we have a new activity whilst waiting for Louisa’s Walk audience members to arrive. We show people how to identify the most likely spiky,cases and how to roll them with your feet so that a shiny brown chestnut rolls out. Those who are staying in self catering accommodation can take their bounty back to roast over a stove hot plate. Everyone else? They are kind enough to donate their booty to us so that we can bring them home to roast over our slow combustion stove that cooks our food, heats our water and warms our home. We do rather live the life of Louisa and William!

So now on my return from Louisa’s Walk in the late afternoon, I head for the computer to sip a glass of wine, a bowl of roasted chestnuts in one hand, to see how many of you have made a booking enquiry via our web site! It’s a good combination.

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