It’s been a rough week internationally. The horrors of Nice and the Bastille Day truck attack, the bloody attempted coup in Turkey and the recent spate of gun violence in the States have left terrible scars. And that’s just the things we hear about in the news.
These things that have happened, and that happen all the time around the world, are harsh reminders of how lucky we are to be living in Australia. This is a country where – on a sliding scale – peace and safety are the predominant notions. It’s a shame it’s so easy to take this for granted. It’s even more of a shame that horrible things have to happen elsewhere before we realise this.
With this in mind, our week, which has been pretty bloody good to be honest, seems all the better in contrast to what’s been happening elsewhere.
Here’s our latest IG Edition and some of the highlights of our week just gone. We hope it cheers you up and gets this week off to a better start.
There are few things that are better to get a week going than a dinner of dumplings with good friends. Tonight we’re out with Sammie and David from The Annoyed Thyroid to celebrate their birthdays, which are within a week of each other. How convenient!
The goods on offer at the New Shanghai in Sydney City Westfield are spot on – as is the company. What a perfect way to get the week rolling!
And of course there are cocktails before the dumplings. Sammie and David have taken us to Burrow Bar, a little nook of a place down off the George Street doors of Hunter Connection. Those of you that know Sydney will possibly know where I’m talking about – but I bet you didn’t know there was a little speakeasy here, did you?
If you want a warm welcome, a cosy corner and superbly made cocktails, you need to check this place out. It’s spot on. My gin martini, made with Sydney-based (indeed Marrickville-based) gin Poor Toms is absolutely sublime.
Tonight, my mate Pete and I are at the Glenmore in the Rocks for a Night of Whiskey! This pub has been one of the best kept Sydney secrets for years. And with crazy views from its rooftop bar of Sydney Harbour, no wonder us locals have wanted it kept quiet.
Since its refurb though, the Glenmore has become a real attraction and the vibe matches its popularity.
But never mind all that. Tonight is all about whiskey. The Glenmore is celebrating Rye July – a much more interesting idea than Dry July, which many people do every year. The thought of going dry for a whole month doesn’t appeal to me though, so this evening is right up my alley.
We’re tasting some of the best whiskeys (and whiskies) in the world tonight and learning about what food goes with them, the differences between each brand and each bottle, and also how to make a perfect rye whiskey Old Fashioned.
The styling alone at this event is incredible. Everything looks so beautiful – it’s really encouraging us to drink more whisky!
They’ve even got my absolute favourite Lagavulin here tonight, so I’m absolutely made up about. And even better, they’ve paired this beautiful Scotch with a salty blue cheese. Excellent!
Make sure you get involved with Rye July – there’s still another half a month left after all. Make your way down to the Glenmore and learn about it all – whiskey, whisky, scotch, bourbon or rye.
Today we’ve heard about the terrifying horrors of the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families involved. #PrayForNice
This afternoon, we’re back in our old haunt – Surry Hills – to check out a new burger place and meet up with our lovely friend Stacey. Brooklyn Depot is the newest burger joint on the block to fire up a grill, and what a great place.
We’ve scored a spot at the bar (because every other table is taken) and have started with some sides. These loaded chilli fries are amazing and on the right are our Freckles – deep fried pickles. That’s right. Deep. Fried. Pickles.
And then the three horsemen arrive. Annoyingly, mine is as far away from me as possible. But that’s ok.
From right to left, Mrs Romance has ordered the Wisenheimer – slow-cooked pulled pork belly with green apple slaw and truffle mayo, Stacey has gone for the Flip the Bird, which has pulled barbecue chicken, hickory smoked bacon, guacamole and sweet barbecue sauce.
As for me…
I’ve gone for the Fuhgeddaboudit! This beautiful monster is home to a grass-fed beef patty, onion rings, beef chilli, American cheese, chilli relish and – poking out of the top like a funny hat – a syringe of hot sauce. You can choose between mild, medium, hot or Fuhgeddaboudit! levels of chilli.
I’ve gone for the hot level – thanks to a discerning Mrs Romance. I can only imagine what the Fuhgeddaboudit! is like. Perhaps I’ll try it next time!
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.
Pearl Beach, north of Sydney and just before you get to Palm Beach, is a real hidden gem. This is the view as you drive down into the little town. Perfect. And at the far end of the beach is a cracker of a restaurant called – appropriately though not very imaginatively – Pearls on the Beach.
The food’s great, the service is so friendly and the location is to die for. Check out what we wrote a while back about this beachfront Central Coast eatery.
When we were in Vanuatu last, we visited the intriguing island of Tanna. Here, you’ll find the world’s most accessible active volcano – you can literally walk up to its brink from the carpark – and a host of other fascinating things like cargo cults and godlike shrines to Prince Phillip.
We also discovered this little fellow a metre from the beach outside our accommodation. He was so inquisitive, the macro setting on my underwater camera couldn’t focus on his head. How friendly!
We asked the locals and they assured us these sea snakes are not dangerous. It wasn’t until we were back home and spotted one of these on a nature show in TV that this was in fact a banded sea krait and it’s the proud owner of one of the most poisonous venoms in the world. Thanks, locals.
If you’ve been following our travels for a while, I’m sure you know we’ve got a gigantic soft spot for this place. Burano, north of Venice city, has to be the most colourful town in Italy. The houses here never used to have street numbers, so the locals painted their buildings different colours to tell them apart.
The tradition continues thankfully.
Another shot from Burano – but this one’s got a cat in it. And a door. This, therefore, is Mrs Romance’s ultimate travel photo!
Crystal Pier in San Diego’s Pacific Beach – or PB as locals call it – is Southern California personified. You can even rent these little cottages on the pier. So cool. Imagine falling asleep to the sounds of the waves of the Pacific crashing right under you!
The Cook Islands has to be our ultimate destination – I mean we did get engaged there after all! The beaches here are spectacular; the sand’s soft, the water’s warm and crystal clear, and the locals are the friendliest people on earth.
Seriously, if you haven’t been here yet – or even if you have – get over to the Cooks asap. It’s just the best!
To finish off this week’s IG Edition and Travel Recap, we’ve got a real blast from the past. This is our old family dog, Dottie (on the right). Though it wouldn’t have mattered what you called her as she was profoundly deaf. My mum took her in from the rescue centre she found her in and took her from being an uncontrollable nervous wreck who’d been thrown from family to family to one of the most intelligent, confident, well-behaved dogs I’ve ever met.
You see, my mum managed to train her to understand sign language! We each had a sign name, her toys all had signs too, and we could control her from a distance to stay, sit, lay down, fetch and a whole load of other things. It was amazing. And total credit to my mum too – she’s the true dog whisperer!
As you can see, she also loved the beach and would swim until she could barely float. She was a lovely pooch and we all miss her, even though she died quite a few years ago now. Bless her.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s IG Edition. Now it’s your turn: tell us what you’ve been up to, what you’ve eaten and drunk, where you’ve been or just what the highlight of your week was. Go on! Right there in the comments!