The Sweet Meadow

Down by the Meadow - A Vegan Dinner with Junction Moama

Aishe Besim
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The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.
— Simon Sinek

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia is the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world. It’s never been cooler to be kind, and now, we are super excited to finally announce that we are collaborating with Junction Moama to hold a completely plant-based, five course dinner as part of the 2019 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival!

Junction Moama is a stunning restaurant and bar located on the Murray River, with a menu that is devoted to seasonal, local produce complemented by beverages with a regional focus.

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While the raw ingredients we work with may differ, our establishments share a similar ethos - we believe in sustainable and ethical food production, and realise the importance of eating local seasonal produce. Our food is made from scratch using real ingredients with the goal of creating wholesome, delicious dishes that are as good for you as they look.

I have been in awe of this venue since I first visited back in June 2016 after an email from the restaurant’s then-Marketing Manager (thanks Em!). We had only just started renovating the cottage and were still months away from opening The Sweet Meadow.

It’s exciting that now, two years later, we are joining forces with Junction Moama’s Head Chef Dave Palmer to create a wholefood, plant-based menu that will allow you to indulge (guilt-free) in a sophisticated setting.

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Whether you are vegan, a vegetarian, or someone who enjoys meat and dairy products, you’ll benefit hugely by increasing the percentage of plant-based foods in your diet. It’s not about forcing people to completely change their eating habits overnight, but rather encourage diners to gradually add more nutrient-rich foods to everyday life.

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This is our first foray into evening dining and we can’t wait to showcase how accessible and enjoyable plant-based cuisine can be.

Hope you can join us for a fun evening bonding over good food!


EVENT DETAILS
Friday, 15th March 2019
Junction Moama, 6 Shaw Street, Moama
6.3Opm - 10.30pm
Tickets - $113 per person (includes a five course meal with beverages to match)
Buy your tickets online here
Dress - Smart casual


At first they will ask why you’re doing it. Later they’ll ask how you did it.
— Source unknown

Where the Wild Things Are

inspiration, living the sweet lifeAishe Besim
 "Blue Eye", Sarande, Albania

"Blue Eye", Sarande, Albania

We often forget that we are nature. It is when we lose our connection to nature that we lose the connection to ourselves.
— Fem Gucluturk

Our cafe is closing for a winter break and I am bloody excited! I don't create well around chaos, so a chance to slow down and be present will help me draw inspiration from the magic and beauty of our incredible planet. 

I was recently reading about the concept of re-wilding, which, broadly speaking, referred to the ecological recovery and restoration of natural systems. Over the years however, the definition of the word has now begun to include the idea of re-wilding ourselves

The article explained it as, "...getting closer to nature, de-domesticating ourselves, and discovering our wilder selves. Through this, we may perhaps find a deeper, more authentic way to reconnect with our innate sensibilities and feel more holistically entwined with nature."

Of course, the idea that spending time outdoors is beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing is not a new one. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can have a profound impact on stress, happiness and healing. Walking outdoors gets our blood pumping and increases our intake of oxygen, invigorating our bodies and encouraging a supply of hormones that make us feel balanced and creative. Bathing in natural sunlight will give you a boost of immune-balancing vitamin D. Swimming in a cool river, lake or ocean is great for promoting mental wellbeing because it triggers the release of endorphins. It also exposes us to beneficial minerals and microbes that support the thriving biome found on our skin.

The thing I am most excited about doing over our 11 days off is switching off - literally. I plan on deleting my email app from my phone, along with logging out of The Sweet Meadow's social media pages.  It goes without saying that to feel more connected with nature, we really need to put down the technology. Some moments in life should be for fully giving yourself over to the experience and not capturing at all. When not looking down at our phones, tablets, or computers, we can become more absorbed in our surrounds and feel more connected. 

We'll be back on deck from Friday, September 7. Until then, stay healthy, be happy and get outside!


To slow time down, practice enjoying the moment. It is where we spend our entire lives.
— Wu Wei
 Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island, Australia

Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island, Australia

Why we all need to be lazy

living the sweet life, travelAishe Besim
The habit of doing nothing at all is incredibly important to our individual and cultural well-being. Far from laziness, proper idleness is the soul’s home base. Before we plan or love or act or story tell we are idle. Before we learn, we watch. Before we do, we dream. Before we play, we imagine.
— Nikaela Marie Peters, The Kinfolk Home

Recently somebody asked me what I do for fun and I drew a blank. Seriously.

Not that long ago I could have answered that question pretty easily - hiking, photo taking, gardening, reading, taking a bath, road tripping, cooking. But running a business is all-consuming and I've found myself stuck on a cycle of eat (sometimes), sleep (not enough), work (like a dog), and repeat.

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But that is all about to change! I was reading an article in Fete magazine about the benefits of lazy days. Much like sleep, downtime allows the brain to process the huge amount of data that is poured into it every day. Prolonged relaxation is what our mind needs to consolidate and problem-solve, to rejuvenate and to restore creativity, balance and productivity. 

Relaxation activities have also been proven to trigger the production of feel good hormones including serotonin and oxytocin, which enhance mood, create better sleep and even offer naturally occurring pain relief. 

But we've known that all along, haven't we? As the classic nursery rhyme sings, "Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream."

Just the other day I was watching an Instagram story from women's mentor Tara Bliss, who was on holidays at the time. She was talking about how taking time out, while beneficial for you as an individual, is also sometimes exactly what your business needs. In other words, it works both ways - your business needs a holiday from you too. 

So that's exactly what I'm doing. At the end of August this year the cafe will close for 10 days and I will be going on my first proper holiday in over three years, to Bali! 

I have promised myself I won't feel guilty about scheduling in days to do nothing, knowing that their ultimate function is to help me bounce back and perform at my peak. 

I have held on to a quote I read years ago about fashion designer duo Viktor and Rolf, who grew up in the depths of suburban Holland. When asked how their upbringing influenced them in becoming the amazing designers that they now are, they put their finger on the creative tendencies of suburbanites: "Because it was so boring. We had too much time to dream."

Looking forward to boring days spent amongst the rice fields of Indonesia. 

ABx

 Photo of  Lauren Bullen  in Ubud, Bali

Photo of Lauren Bullen in Ubud, Bali


 
I’m lazy. But it’s the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn’t like walking or carrying things.
— Lech Walesa