was successfully added to your cart.

Hartsyard's Blog

JUST ANOTHER MANIC MONDAY. (Or, The Good Food Guide Awards and how I won Sommelier of the Year).

By September 3, 2013 4 Comments

Yesterday began like most other days in chateau Llewellyn/Hart – early and intense.

Part way through the morning breakfast wrestle with Q, I discovered we had no milk. So I woke Gregory and suggested he take Q and head over the road to the cafe and get us both coffees.

Yes, I am pregnant. Yes, I drink coffee. At least one, usually two a day. You can tell my kid it had no chance from the get-go when you meet it. Which should have been TWO DAYS AGO. Not that I’m bothered.

Gregory rouses himself, knowing how key coffee is to the state of our union and heads downstairs…already as anxious as can be. You see, yesterday wasn’t really like most other days for Team Llewellyn/Hart. Yesterday was the day of the Good Food Guide Awards, the Tonys of Musical Theatre, the Oscars of Film, the Olympics of Sports.

We didn’t know what to expect, weren’t sure why we were invited and just hoped we weren’t receiving the wooden spoon award. You know the one, I used to get it every year at speech day. The commitment award. The most improved award. Or the real corker- best all-rounder which really means nice person but generally mediocre.

Gregory and the gang did not want to be the best all-rounders.

As Gregory and Q (still in her pj’s) head out the front door I hear him say to her;

‘Dada’s a bit anxious today Q.’

To which she replies;

‘We’re only going across the road Dada.’

Toddlers. Levelling egos across the world. Let them lose on the politicians I say. They’d cut through their bullshit better than a Japanese mandolin.

The day progressed and Gregory became more and more difficult to manage. He was like Q on a growth spurt – clumsy, irrational and increasingly exhausting, prompting me to say at one point that I thought he was more anxious about this than he was about the impending birth of a human we would be responsible for!

Then again, labour ain’t too bad for the bloke is it? They just sit on the sidelines and cheer you on.

By the time our staff arrived at our place that night for a pre-award cocktail, he was beside himself and promptly spilled beer all over Andy, our splendidly dressed pastry chef.

Onward to the awards where we were absolutely delighted to receive a Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Hat.

I’d show you proof of the certificate but it appears I am in fact Sommelier of the Year as I accidentally picked up Richard Hargreave’s award and took it home with me instead. Sorry about that Rich.

Lucky for me, my tech savvy (and generally savvier friend) Sarah Doyle snapped a shot of us on the big screen which I will share here for your viewing.


I am a bit of a dud with photos to be honest. This was highlighted last night when many people asked to see pictures of Q and I realised all I have are shots of blurred body parts because she never stops moving and I am usually slightly preoccupied trying to stop her from doing something dangerous.

Why are your instagram shots so good then? I hear you ask.

I’ll come clean here and admit that I have absolutely nothing to do with them. Maddy, our lead bar tender handles that department after firmly informing me to stick with twitter because ‘twitter is for old people.’

It is startling in the extreme to realise that Maddy, who is over a decade younger than me and about to head out on an epic overseas adventure, is doing so at the same age that I packed my bags and moved to the Big Apple. Yowza life moves fast.

So I issue a disclaimer now…

If our instagram account starts to look like it was hacked by our daughter, you’ll understand why. Although food doesn’t move, so I should be able to pull off something slightly better than my Q-shots.

Back to that hat of ours…I hope it’s one of those big french ones, because it’ll need to be for us to fit in the names of all the people who helped get us there last night. If you wikipedia-ed the word team, it should really say; see Hartsyard. With ‘team’ meaning slave labour in the form of renovating, painting, discussing, supporting, q-wrangling, building, lending, donating and encouraging.

And that was just to get the doors open.

From that first night on, we have been supported by those same family and friends but also by a wonderful and eclectic mix of loyal locals and regulars.

All of you played a very significant part in getting our name up on the big screen last night.

The big thanks, of course, goes to our fantastic team. Small in number but mighty in talent, commitment, loyalty, creativity and enthusiasm. Throwing their backs behind us with the same spirit they do their end of shift drinks.

Amy, Andy, Diamond, Gabby, Hendra, Maddy, Mark, Phill, Sung, Talbert and Zoe, (cheesy I know, but the alphabetical listing suits our egalitarian philosophy) we are delighted to share this award with you all. We admire your abilities, respect your opinions and celebrate in the good humour and cheeriness you bring to our small establishment.

Congratulations also, to all our comrades whom we celebrated with last night. What an incredibly diverse and enchanting group of restaurateurs. It’s a rare treat, (given the hideous hours and demands of hospitality) to actually get a chance to sit and chat with your peers. For this little conversation igniter (as Gregory frequently refers to me) it was a true delight indeed.

And now folks, if it’s all the same to you, I’d like to indulge my own nerves and anxiety and get on with having this second little babe of ours.

Ain’t nothin’ like a good ol’ labour to bring you back to earth.

Looking forward to serving you all soon. Well not me. I plan to be at home barefoot and breastfeeding.

But the front of house gang have got you covered, and Gregory and his boys will keep you well and truly satiated.

Have as great a night as these boys did.




Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Tanya says:

    Cute post! Congrats on the hat to the whole team. Sounds it was a fun night. Worth all of Gregory’s anxiety!

  • alex says:

    Congratulations guys. Well deserved.

  • Jane says:

    Naomi, you have never been mediocre at end of years! Talent and hardwork makes success! So congratulations you clever people. Well done. Sorry I missed you when I visited – but food did not disappoint.

  • Lynn says:

    Congratulations to ALL at Hartsyard, & especially Gregory & Naomi of course! Well done, & totally well deserved! We’re really thrilled for you.