This past week has been typically unreliable here in Sydney. As summer comes on, the risk for everything to either get rained out to the point of drowning or roasted to death in a sudden heatwave are equally possible.
Thankfully, our plans have somehow fallen perfectly into the gaps in the crazy weather gods’ schedules.
Bad weather wouldn’t have suited our plans this week. A top Sydney hotel hosting its latest creative collab, one of the most progressive wineries launching this year’s romantic rosé and our favourite local pub bringing in a new beer. No room for storms, thanks.
But here’s what ended up happening.
We hope you enjoy this Weekly Edition.
Cheers – Jim & Christina xx
How amazing is this bed? Christina and I are spending to night here at the West Hotel Sydney to check out their latest ‘Meet The Creatives’ collaboration.
The Darling Harbour-based hotel has given the key to one of its rooms to creative designers Bonnie and Neil, who have created this concept of ‘Sleeping Amongst Botanics’.
The beautiful flower decorations flowing out above the bed are by event floral designers The Hunted Yard, and there are lots of other amazing little touches that turn this regulation hotel room into something quite special.
Everything down to the pictures on the wall, the fabrics on the bed, and the pots and ornaments on the tables have been carefully curated for this room. It even has its own summery scent from Air Aroma.
As you can see, I’m pretty excited to be spending the night here! In a way it’s a chance for us to go camping (not one of Christina’s favourite pastimes) without leaving the sanctuary of a solid building. Or risking contact with wild nocturnal animals.
I’m surprised Christina doesn’t enjoy handing out with local untamed nightlife more to be honest. I mean, we lived happily in Surry Hills for over a decade!
The ‘Sleep Amongst Botanics’ package with West Hotel Sydney doesn’t just include the room. They’ve also worked with local distillery Archie Rose to bring a cool selection of bar snacks and cocktails you get as part of your stay.
The gin-marinated grilled prawns and the gin-infused salmon tartare are amazing, and the two cocktails we tried featuring Archie Rose’s gin are great too.
The West Hotel Sydney is in fact part of the Hilton group – one of it’s Curio Collection. So the breakfast after our night under the flowery canopy is on point. I do love a hotel breakfast. There’s something about it.
I’ve timed it just right and watched the chef bring out more bacon while I was waiting for my toast. Love it when a plan comes together!
We’d like to introduce you to the latest member of our team: this is Pepper – or Peperomia on her driving licence.
We recently invested in a whole load of plants to try and green up the office. It’s nice to have pants around, the only trouble is they don’t tend to last that long with us. Because we travel quite a lot, they can sometimes be a bit neglected.
But I’ve got a good feeling about this latest lot.
Tonight, we’ve decided to pop into town for dinner at El Loco at the Slip Inn – just round the corner from the West Hotel in fact.
We don’t often come here as things can be a bit hit and miss. The best thing is there are often great food and drinks deals going on here. We’ve stumbled upon the $15 burger night and we’re also in time for happy hour on the drinks!
Christina’s chicken burger is off the charts. The chicken is incredibly crispy and tasty, and the jalapeños give it a good heat.
Highly recommended by the bar staff, my bacon cheese burger is amazing. Always take food tip-offs from the bar staff.
I’m just so impressed these burgers are only $15 each. And any wine or beer for 2 hours is $6 too (or $7 for a pint). Can’t go wrong – I’m quite surprised why it’s not busier tonight to be honest.
And then the rain begins.
What an incredible storm. It woke me up at around 5.30am with thunder and torrential rain. When the sun finally gets bright enough to shine through the clouds and rain – at about 6am – this is all we can see.
Sydney gets over a month’s worth of rain in about 3 hours. And it just doesn’t stop. It’s quite amazing, but sadly the rain doesn’t go far west or south enough to help the drought-affected areas that need it.
With the rain storm over, we’re out tonight to see the launch of the latest vintage of rosé wine from Handpicked – a winery with a real difference.
And tonight is all about the rosé.
This is a collaboration between Handpicked and Aussie fashion label Romance Was Born. It’s the second time these guys have worked together; and with last year’s vintage selling out, the 2018/19 rosé is set to be a winner.
The Handpicked Wines cellar door, which is right in the city, has blacklights going tonight. That’s because they’ve done something pretty daring with the labels.
They’re glow-in-the-dark pink!
The rosé itself is excellent. Perfect easy-drinking for the coming summer – light, dry, but full of flavour. And the labels, which is where the Romance Was Born collab comes in, are just stunning.
To entertain us while we enjoy the rosé tonight, Handpicked have something to go with their Studio 54 theme: retro-rollerskaters!
These guys are amazing and are ruling the dance floor with enviable moves. I’d need a lot more space and much less glass around to try some of these! At one point, they even trundle around the cellar door offering oysters to the guests.
Just as impressive as the rollerskaters is the cheese and charcuterie table. Not only do Handpicked offer tastings of their wines at their Haymarket cellar door, they also have an incredible cheese menu you can enjoy while you’re there.
Handpicked is a really interesting winery. They have several vineyards all around Australia, and grow their own grapes in many of the other best wine regions around the world. Handpicked’s vision goes that – although most wine regions can grow most grape varieties well enough – different wine types are better from specific regions.
For that reason, Handpicked grow the grapes best suited to specific styles in countries and the regions where they make the best style of that wine.
Inspired by last night’s amazing rosé party, we’re bringing out one of our other favourite pinks: Big Men In Tights Rosé from Bloodwood Wines in Orange, NSW.
Orange has some incredible wines on the market (though this one’s particularly hard to get hold of) and their food and wine festivals are not to be missed.
While we wait for the next one, we’re enjoying a glass of the good stuff while we tap away at work today!
Tonight is an exciting night for our local pub: the East Village Hotel in Balmain. It’s a tap takeover with an Australian first: Boneface Brewing from Wellington, New Zealand have brought their craft (beer) across the Tasman.
Their beers are as unique as their story, but all are incredibly drinkable.
From left to right, the beers are:
– The Juice – a sharp, citrusy beer Christina’s now completely in love with
– Hoptron IPA – it’s a little unbalanced but still excellent – full of hops but a bit grain-heavy
– War Machine Rye Pale Ale – probably my favourite. Sharp, hoppy, beautiful texture
– The Unit NZ IPA – a hefty beer at 6% but dangerously drinkable. Grapefruit and spice for the win
– The Big Unit Double NZ IPA – not to be trifled with at a big 8.6%, this incredibly smooth high-percentage IPA is packed with flavour and richness
I hope these beers are here to stay – especially if they become a regular feature at the East Village, which already has a good beer line-up.
It certainly makes me want to get over to NZ and drink more of their beers. Marvellous.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this Weekly Edition. It’s been a lot of fun to make, that’s for sure!
Cheers – Jim & Christina xx