Cosmopolitan Hotel, corner High Street and Cosmo Road, Trentham. Phone: 5424 1516
Our Monday trip to Trentham and Woodend, postponed from the heat-struck weekend, has as its main purpose choosing a new family member for Bennie and I.
But of course we have multi-faceted aims that include eating.
As company we love having along two pals who are as intensely passionate about all sorts of critters as they are about a good meal.
After a nice, safe drive on a lovely summer’s day we depart our car, stretch and take in the fetching surrounds of Trentham.
Original plan had been to dine at the town’s famous bakery but we make an impromptu last-minute decision to try one of the two pubs on main street instead.
We do good.
The food we try is typical pub fare, enjoyable and fairly priced by the standards of our westie pub haunts.
The cool, gloomy bar and dining room are almost deserted, but we love the garden out back – it’s big and charming thanks to its slight scruffiness and plentiful shade.
As we commence our lunch, we are among the first customers. By the time we depart, the place is doing good trade for a Monday.
A shared plate of Cosmo fried chicken with chipotle mayonnaise ($14) is beaut.
The crumbed chook is hot, superficially grease-free, tender and tasty; the smoky condiment is marvellous.
Two of us go the chicken parma ($19).
It’s a winner, the thickish chicken slab tender in the middle, hot throughout, topped by the usual and with a nice sage tang permeating.
The chips are excellent.
What is it with parmas and salads?
Is there some sort of dictate-from-on-high that means parma salads must always look like a clone of the above pictured mix of mismatched ingredients?
Thankfully, the salad accompanying Bennie’s salt and pepper calamari ($28) is much better, with its orange, radish and fennel components in harmony with the rest.
This is our most expensive selection, but there’s no doubting its quality, the soft-textured batter allowing the calamari’s flavour to sing.
Spinach and ricotta dumplings with basil, napoli sauce and parmesan ($26) are a lighter treat with appropriately milder flavours.
On the way back to Woodend, we pause for a breather at Trentham Falls – yes, that’s Bennie right in the middle there.
Then we’re at Pet’s Haven for the culmination of a long-considered decision – yes, a feline for us.
I don’t let us get too involved in hand-wringing because, yes, they’re all gorgeous.
I withstand Bennie’s forceful arguments in favour of one particular kitten, but only after ascertaining from the staff that the fact it has only one eye and stitches where the other used to be will in no way harm its chances of finding a new home.
We settle on a feisty 11-month-old black devil named Boris.
So now Team CTS is three.
In our first 48 hours with Boris, I wonder if I’ve made a mistake – if perhaps we should have chosen an older, more sedate and settled companion.
Boris is a small holy terror, a ball of hyper-energy.
But then again this is probably the first time he’s been able to run and cavort relatively freely for who knows how many weeks or months!