A special dinner cruise, a secret rosé and gong hei fat choy

Someone asked me yesterday: “so are you ready for February to be over?” 

“It’s February already?” I replied.

Where is 2018 going? And what’s its hurry?

But there you have it. Feb’s in its last throws and March is looking like it’ll be even busier!

For this week though, we’re enjoying a very special dinner out on Sydney Harbour we think you’ll love, a new rosé hitting the shelves and Chinese New Year comes to town. Plus we have a yum cha top tip and a way to enjoy real Italian aperitivo dishes at home.

Have fun with this IG Edition.


Jim & Christina xx

Gong hei fat choy! Happy Chinese New Year! We’ve braved the crowds this evening and are at a particularly busy Circular Quay. The street is thick with people, who have come to see the amazing Luna New Year decorations in Sydney.

I think the giant tiger looming over everyone and watching the world go by is my favourite, but there are lots of others you’ve probably already seen online.

But there’s another – more relaxing – reason for us to be at Circular Quay this evening. And it’s pretty exciting…

We are aboard the Clearview’s amazing Blue Room, a floating dinner palace that offers its discerning diners unrivalled views of Sydney Harbour at sunset and an impressive 4-course meal.

Before this unique boat, which has been built solely for the purpose of romance and fun, has even left its moorings at Wharf 6 the views through its windows are amazing.

Upstairs on the Sky Deck, we watch the sky turn pink as we enjoy a class of bubbles or a beer, delicious hors d’oeuvres and the beginning of our dinner trip around the harbour.

Can you spot me by the way? Talk about Where’s Wally!

The meal begins as night falls, and the views through the crystal clear 360° floor-to-ceiling windows are breath-taking.

I mentioned before that this is an experience for the discerning diner. No large groups are allowed – in fact I don’t think there’s a table bigger than 6 people on board. There’s a pretty strict dresscode too and no one under 18 is permitted either.

The crowd is remarkably local, which is always good to see. We always thought dinner on the harbour would be quite a tourist-driven experience, but this is certainly something Sydneysiders enjoy as much as interstate and international visitors.

The food served on the Blue Room is excellent. Along with the canapés served on the top deck, the trio of shared entrées, the choice of 4 main dishes and 2 desserts leaves us feeling very full.

The short but considered wine and beer list is all part of the package you pay for when you book and the wait staff are attentive when your glass gets a little shallow.

This really is a lovely experience – and has exceeded our expectations. It’s a lovely, romantic way to spend an evening with the one you love, but we also think it would be an awesome thing to do with friends too. I’m definitely going to organise dinner here again when my folks come to visit next.

If you’re planning a special evening with friends, family or just the one you love the most, this Clearview dinner cruise is one of our new favourite recommendations.

You can check out more details on Clearview, book a table and discover the fascinating back story to the brand here.

This morning, Christina and I have come into town ostensibly to run a few errands… but really we want dumplings! We’ve come to a lesser-known yum cha restaurant on Pitt Street between Park and Market. The Palace Chinese Restaurant has yum cha starting from 11am, and it’s pretty bloody good.

We arrived just after 11am and there’s plenty of space, all the trolleys are full and coming our way, and the food is fresh. It’s always worth an earlier lunch if you’re going to yum cha.

And if you want another awesome tip specific to the Palace, leave before 12.30 and pay cash, and you get a 15% discount on your bill. Eat up!

This evening we’re at Circular Quay again – but this time it’s not a fancy dinner. We’re here to meet up with fellow travel bloggers as the Sydney chapter of Travel Massive get together. It’s great to be around like-minded people in an industry that can not only quite isolating as you work online, but also a little transient with everyone moving around all the time. Gatherings like this of travellers is rare, but a lot of fun.

That’s some good group selfie work from Bryon by the way!

Aperitivo with Zonin Prosecco and Giovanni Pilu

This evening we’re being treated to a Italian master class double-down.

Chef and owner of Pilu at Freshwater Giovanni Pilu (R) is showing us how to make Italian aperitivi at home. It’s a dream come true – and those mozzarella en carozza (bottom left) are the most incredible cheese toasties you’ll ever have.

With him is Francesco Zonin (L) from the 7th generation prosecco house Zonin Prosecco. He’s here with Giovanni at the Sydney Seafood School to tell us more about the Zonin brand, the prosecco and how it combines perfectly – not just with delicious Italian aperitivi, but with many different foods.

And if you want to see the recipes for these amazing Italian dishes, click here. It’s like having an Italian osteria in your own home.

It was a pleasure to meet Francesco Zonin. His family have owned Zonin Prosecco for almost 200 years and now have the largest Glera grape vineyards in Italy. Affable, charming and endlessly hospitable, Francesco has invited us to visit him and his family in Veneto, where the Glera grape, prosecco and the Zonin empire is from.

As luck (ours, but probably not his) would have it, we will be in Italy a few times this year – and quite close to the Veneto region. See you again soon, Francesco!

We’ve been waiting – breath baited – for this afternoon for some time. We’re in Woollahra – led here by special text message. We’re guests of the Secret Foodies – a group of food geniuses (or geniui?) that create incredible food moments like this table of beautiful edibleness.

To celebrate the summer and the launch of a delicious new rosé – Days of Rosé – Secret Foodies have commandeered this beautiful space in one of Sydney’s most picturesque, elite suburbs.

Parterre is a café-come-antiques showroom that’s been scooped up from a chic Paris arrondissement and relocated with some kind of Sim City magic into Sydney. It’s a beautiful venue for an elegant event.

With glasses of Days of Rosé abound, today is all about colour, joy, simple elegance and of course the food!

We’re very impressed with this rosé. From South Australia and made in the dry Provençal style, it’s always going to be a winner. But in spite of its dryness, this rosé still has plenty of delicate fruit and flower aromas and flavours – perfect for a hot summer’s day.

You can find Days of Rosé at good independent Australian liquor retailers.

Quite enjoying all the balloons here – though it looks like I’ve got some kind of pink Mars Attacks head!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s IG Edition. We’ll chat again soon.

Jim & Christina

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