A bang-up brunch, an Easter Show pig frenzy and a world-class martini

This has to be one of the best times of year in Sydney. That time between summer and winter – you can’t really call it autumn here because it’s still to warm and dry… usually.

The sky’s often got this amazing blue colour to it and the summer crowds have dropped off. Plus it’s not too hot in the day and the nights are cool enough to enjoy the warmth of your bed properly.

Of course it does mean that winter’s on its way, which is never much fun, but there are always ways to remedy that – in fact we’ve got a story coming up later this week all about that.

Anyway, this week’s IG Edition is coming to you a day late thanks to the Easter long weekend. Whether you celebrate the holiday traditionally or just use it as an excuse to gorge on chocolate (we’re much more of the latter), I always find the Easter holiday comes at just the right time. It feels like burn-out is just around the corner when this little 4-day break pops in and gives you a bit of a reset.

So we hope you enjoy our latest IG Edition and we’ll chat again soon.

Cheers

Jim & Christina x

Our lovely friend Tory is here to visit from the UK. We’ve taken her out for brunch to a local café we’ve been meaning to go to for ages. So we’re glad she’s here just as a good excuse to try the food here. This is Café d’Yvoire on Darling Street in Balmain East.

The good news is it’s certainly been worth the wait. My croque madame is absolutely excellent. Gooey cheese and bechamel in a french toast sandwich with a fried egg on top. Those Frenchies really know how to do it, don’t they?!

I’m so impressed with this place I’m even going to eat those tiny flowers!

Both Mrs Romance and Tory have ordered the baked ratatouille, which comes in its own skillet, and looks and smells amazing. There’s also an option to add chorizo to this dish. For some reason they’ve decided to go chorizo-less! I’m astounded.

This afternoon, Mrs Romance and I are at our friends’ house – friends we’ve known for a very long time. And even better than that, there’s a group of us that get together very rarely to have a bite to eat and chew the fat. The last time we did this was over a year ago – it’s amazing how fast time goes.

Like my mum always says: life gets in the way of best intentions.

Last week you might remember we were at the opening night of the Sydney Royal Easter Show to see the new foodie venue they’ve got there: The Stables.

Well, this week we’re back to check out more of what the Sydney Royal Easter Show has on this year. You can’t come here and not see the amazing displays of produce from different regions. These guys put so much effort into their dioramas.

Next stop: cake decorating! There are some incredible cakes here with such ornate icing… and then there’s the fruitcake section. Fruit cake.

These fine country gentlemen seem to be enjoying the virtues of one of the world’s dullest cakes though. Good on them.

But if I’m honest, this is the real reason why we’re back at the Easter Show… or at least why I’m here. We’re back at The Stables in the eastern side of the Easter Show where the food is excellent and the beer, wine and spirits is at its peak.

We sampled Burger Head‘s goods last week, but this week we’re up for another go at it. I’ve very excited.

And here she is: Burger Head’s Original Cheeseburger. Surprisingly, the burger’s not as good as last week’s. It’s a little bit cold, a little bit squished and the flavour’s not quite there. It’s still good though – and it’s not on a stick like the rest of the food at the Easter Show, so it’s already ahead.

Also, the fries are great and very more-ish, and the beer – this is from 8 Bit Brewing – is delicious.

Feeling like we should commune with the true stars of the countryside – the animals – we’ve gravitated towards the creatures we most feel like after our burger lunch. These saddleback pigs are quite excellent but you still don’t quite get the scale of how massive the sow is and how tiny the piglet is in this shot.

The other piglets of the litter are so cute. All playing and running around. They all seem really healthy and happy, which is very important.

Other sights we’ve enjoyed are the horses at this year’s Easter Show – especially since Mrs Romance has been learning to ride recently.

The chicken arena is quite a different scene – the noise and smell here is… memorable.

It’s Friday! Good Friday in fact. We’ve got the whole of the Easter long weekend to enjoy. I only found out last week that the USA doesn’t have Good Friday as a holiday. Very surprising. Australia and the UK both get Good Friday and Easter Monday off as public holidays.

Anyway, we’re celebrating this afternoon (and this evening, let’s be honest) with our latest Aussie gin purchase from Poor Toms Distillery in Sydney. Their navy strength gin makes for one of the best martinis I’ve ever had. And that’s a long list!

If you get a chance to try (or buy) this stuff, don’t hesitate. You won’t regret it.


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.

One of our all-time favourite places we’ve visited is Tulum in Mexico. And even more specifically, Casa de las Olas – the tiny hotel right on this magnificent beach on the Caribbean.

For our full review of Casa de las Olas, click here and for more info on Mexico and the Yucatan, here’s a link to our library.

The dawn of another day has inspired us to share a little series of Sydney shots over the next couple of weeks. Mrs Romance managed to get up in time to snap a shot of this morning’s sunrise from our office window. Such a pretty sky.

And that’s another reason why this is a great time of year: you don’t have to get up that early to see the sunrise!

I know I used this photo for the headline image, but I love it. There are so many photos everywhere of the Sydney Opera House – we’ve got literally hundreds just on our phones – but there’s something about this one. I think it’s the negative space and the blue sky. Lovely shot, Mrs R!

What a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the view. This time of year sees some of the last cruise ships come in and out of Sydney too. It’s quite amazing to see how they steer these relatively narrow areas of the harbour. This ship’s doing a 180º turn and reversing all the way to the dock.

It turns out some of them need to do this because they only have a refuelling point on one side of the ship. So there!

It’s so hard to get any scale of how massive these cruise liners are. Last week we showed you a shot Mrs Romance has been trying to get for ages with a guy on a stand-up paddle board really close to the cruiser. Even then it’s hard to imagine anything so big floating!

We’re always surprised by how many different angles there are to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This has to be one of my favourites though, with this beautiful old tree and the little pathway. The way the bridge is peeping out over the trees of the park across the water.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s IG Edition. Be sure to join us for another one next week for more food and travel stories!

Cheers

Jim & Christina x

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