AFHA red carpet, a celebrity dinner and the Sydney Royal Easter Show begins

It seems to have taken 2017 a while to get started, I have to say. But deary me, now it’s under way, this thing’s out of control.

We’ve got about 6 weeks now before we leave for a 2-month trip to Europe and there are still so many things up in the air… and it’s getting pretty crowded up there.

Mrs Romance and I just have to keep telling each other ‘one thing at a time’ or we’d both go mad. Having said that, there are moments of peace and we certainly make the most of them.

Our latest IG Edition has some of those peaceful moments for you to see – they mostly consist of being on or around the water. It has a calming effect on the both of us that I don’t think we’d cope without.

Hope you enjoy this week’s Edition and we’ll speak again soon.

Jim & Christina x

This morning we’re on a gin distillery tour with none other than the Gin Queen herself – Caroline Childerley!

Caroline has organised a few of these distillery tours in the past but this is our first. We’re visiting Poor Toms in Sydney’s Inner West – one of my all-time favourite gins.

The two young fellas who run this distillery are a lot of fun and have of the few inner city distilleries.

If you want a full rundown of what we did and where we went, check out last week’s post on the gin tour here!

We also stop at Distillery Botanica in the Central Coast town of Erina. Philip Moore is the owner, distiller and creative mind behind this distillery and his genius shows through in the gin.

He speaks to us at length about the process of making gin, the botanicals he uses and even goes into how the industry works. Of course, this is all done over a drink next to his beautiful copper still and condensing chamber.

Philip’s treating us to a gin and tonic using his classic Moore’s Dry Gin, which is terrific.

Take a look at our full review of the Sydney gin distillery tour here.

Our final stop for the day is the Barbershop – one Sydney’s best bars and definitely the best gin bar in the city. Their collection of gin is profound and their cocktail menu and skills behind the bar are just as impressive.

We’re welcomed in to the lounge area – reserved just for us – and handed a great martini to finish off the day. It’s been a lot fun and we’ve learnt a lot on this tour. Well worth checking out.

Tonight we’re in the land of Hair Romance heading to the AHFA – the Australian Hair Fashion Awards. Every year this event celebrates talent in the hair industry, and every year the party’s bigger than the last.

It’s just a quick ferry ride for us to get to Luna Park where the awards are being held. Not a bad way to get to the red carpet!

It’s been a great evening and a lot of fun. Here’s the AHFA 2017 Hairdresser of the Year Damien Rinaldo receiving his award, but there were a lot more awards this evening.

For star spotters, the entertainment and VIP list was pretty good too tonight with the likes of Pia Miller and Dannii Minogue presenting and DJ Havana Brown performing.

This morning, Mrs Romance is up early enough to see a cruise ship on the harbour. But that’s not the good bit; can you spot the crazy stand-up paddle boarder in front of the ship?

How about now? Kind of gives some scale to how big these floating cities are, doesn’t it?

I wouldn’t fancy being that guy on an SUP as the ship goes past – they create a bit of a wave!

Mrs Romance is out with our dear friend Barbs this morning, hanging out with her gorgeous little girls.

These two little munchkins are absolutely adorable – and Auntie Christina isn’t bad either of course!

It’s been a long day for me today. But I’ve just managed to catch the last ferry home, which I’m very happy about. It’s a lovely way to get home I must admit.

Travelling on one of the Sydney Ferries is a pretty special thing to do. Commuters and tourists alike all get a bit of a buzz from it. You can tell even the people who have been doing it for years enjoy it.

If you compare it to the poor souls crushed into the buses or squeezed onto trains… or even worse stuck in their cars in the Sydney traffic.

Mrs Romance and our lovely friend Stacey are at the opening of a new pop-up restaurant in Surry Hills tonight. Duck In Duck Out and its celebrity chef-owners Manu Feildel and Phillip Davenport have taken over the spot on the corner of Campbell Street and Elizabeth Street.

The guys at Duck In Duck Out are using their fine-dining chef skills to bring exquisite duck-based French-Asian fusion hawker food.

Their duck burgers, duckdogs and duck confit bao buns are – according to the ladies – amazing. Better be quick if you want to sample them though. This pop-up is only here until the end of June – open 11.30am to 10pm every day.

It’s that time of year again here in Australia. Easter Shows are starting up all over the country, and Sydney’s Royal Easter Show is set to be the biggest yet.

We’re excited to be here tonight on the opening night of the festival with our lovely mate Steph from Lipstick and Cake to check out a new venue especially for the grownups to eat and drink.

This year – for the first time ever – the Royal Sydney Easter Show has changed The Stables into an eatery and bar that’s more for the adults than the kids. Not that families aren’t welcome of course. It’s just there’s more for the big people here than the little ones.

Downstairs of The Stables is where the food’s at. But upstairs is a haven for people who feel like a comfy Chesterfield to recline in and a glass of wine to relax with.

This whole area is open to all and the attention to detail in this historic building is admirable. The posters of Easter Shows gone by, the exposed beams, the fairy lights – it makes the Easter Show even better to come to.

If you’re hungry for more than food on a stick (not that there’s anything wrong with that), The Stables has an awesome range of beautifully made food for you to try.

Balls by Jimmy Liks is dishing up its superb meatballs in subs and salads, with a bit of blowtorch action to give that delicious cheese on top a good melting.

To make your decision tougher on what to eat, across the way is Burger Head. These guys create absolutely incredible burgers using skills they’ve learnt from working in fine-dining restaurant kitchens.

In this respect, they’re doing what Manu and Phillip are doing at Duck In Duck Out. The difference is instead of a pop-up in the city, these guys are based in their hometown of Penrith. Lucky ol’ Penrith.

To top off this absolute highlight of the Easter Show is the bar. Far from generic mass-produced beer and cider on sale, the taps here are pumping out excellent Aussie craft beers from the likes of 8-Bit Brewery, Wayward Brewery, and Stone and Wood Brewery. This really is an adult’s playground and certainly a foodie hotspot.

If you’re looking for somewhere to get away from the madding crowds for a little while, The Stables is the place to come.


This week’s Travel Recap

Each week we go back in time over some of our favourite travel destinations using never-before-seen photos of our travels. Here’s where we’ve been looking back on this week.

Seeing the sun setting over the sea is one of life’s wonders. And as you can see, Mrs Romance is taking full advantage of the empty lifeguard tower on the oddly empty Okuma Beach in Okinawa, Japan.

This part of Japan is quite unlike anywhere else in the country – as you’ll find out later this week when we publish our reasons why Okinawa is so different. So watch this space.

In the meantime, here are 11 unusual things you can do in Okinawa.

Sakura – the famous cherry blossoms of Japan – usually happen around this time of year. However, because Okinawa is so much further south than the rest of the country, the trees bloom in January and February.

This makes Okinawa the perfect place to come after your skiing holiday in the north!

 

As we drove around Okinawa, we discovered more and more odd little places. This street art (the only graffiti we found in the whole of the country by the way) was on a little wall on the tiny island of Miyagi on the west coast.

There is another Miyagi Island on the east side of Okinawa, but we think this one’s better – mostly thanks to this picture of Totoro.

If you haven’t seen My Neighbour Totoro, make sure you do. It’s one of the best animated movies.

It’s been quite cold and miserable in Sydney recently, and that always makes us dream of beautiful beaches we’ve been to. One of the most extraordinary coasts we’ve visited is on the Mexican east coast in Tulum.

This part of the Yucatan is full of ancient Mayan ruins, but Tulum’s ruins are the only ones that overlook the Caribbean; all the rest are tucked away in jungles.

Tulum is a fascinating, beautiful part of Mexico. We highly recommend it.

Here are more posts we’ve written about Tulum and the Maya.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s IG Edition and Travel Recap. Here’s to a great week with plenty of fun and love.

Cheers

Jim & Christina x

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