Biccies, wigs and a Four Seasons ballroom blitz

Since we came back from Italy last month, I’ve been longing for taralli.Taralli are little hoop-shaped biscuits that are originally from Puglia in southeastern Italy, where we just were.

Last week I decided I’d have a crack at making them. The results were… interesting. We’ve got the details below.

Plus, our friend Sean McGrath has had his art featured in Sydney Fringe Festival this year and lastly we get to see the new and very swish Grand Ballroom at the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel here in Sydney.

We hope you enjoy this week’s IG Edition.

By the way if you’re subscribed to our newsletter (which you should be!), you may have noticed I sent it a day early.

I have no idea why I did that, but the link to Friday’s post wouldn’t have worked. Here’s the link for you to try again – the post’s worth a look; it’s about wine!

Cheers – Jim & Christina x

Our friend Shaun is quite the creative. In fact, the things he comes up with are absolutely genius. We’re so pleased he’s got a spot at this year’s Sydney Fringe Festival working on one of the things he loves best: wigs.

He loves combining his remarkable skillsets of hair styling, repurposing, wig making and environmentalism to make statements like these. As Shaun says, the purpose of his art in these wigs is to provoke a reaction.

Check out the full story of Shaun’s installation over on Mrs Romance’s site Hair Romance.

Mrs Romance first met Shaun through her hairdresser, the superb Stevie English and also through our friends Paul and Ewelina, who run Refoil and Sustainable Salons Australia – incredible ventures that are doing amazing environmental work. In fact, check out this brilliant video showing the best of Paul and Shaun!

You can see these fascinating sculpture-like wigs at Fringe’s event at Broadway in Sydney until the end of September ’17.

This evening, Mrs Romance is taking me out for a little treat. We’ve had a pretty hard time recently getting up to speed in a couple of big projects, so it’s great to get away from the office for a little bit.

We’re at our favourite cocktail bar in Balmain Wilhemina’s for a martini or two. The gin selection these guys have is superb with lots of Aussie flavours here too.

This saffron-infused gin not only holds a beautiful golden hue, it tastes amazing too.

These guys have incredible food and an award-winning wine menu, so if you’re looking for somewhere awesome to try for dinner and/or drinks, we’ve just solved your problem.

Taralli. They start out life looking like this; wormy tubes of dough. But by the end of production, they’re crunchy delicious biscuits that take us straight back to the coast and cucini of Puglia.

These pre-dinner snacks – aka aperitivi – are actually made from a pasta recipe. They’re shaped into little donuts then boiled and then baked. You can add any number of different herbs or spices into them, but the classic Puglia flavour is fennel seeds.

This is what they’re supposed to look like – this was one of my first tastes of taralli in Italy. I’ve been hooked ever since.

My first attempts didn’t turn out all that pretty, but it wasn’t a bad effort for my first try. There are about a million different recipes for these delicious snacks, so I’m going to give another method a go, then I’ll share my findings.
The good news is these fellas are vegetarian – potentially vegan – so if you’ve got friends with these dietary requirements or if you’re looking for a snack to make for yourself, these are perfect.

Mrs Romance has been seriously busy today. And things aren’t over yet. However, we find ourselves in the city this evening with a spare 90 minutes or so.

Therefore, we’ve done the obvious thing and gone to the pub!

It’s in fact an old favourite of ours we haven’t been to for ages. It’s the East Village in Darlinghurst, and it’s been so long since our last visit they’ve even finished the rooftop bar!

If you get the chance, get over to the East Village; I’ve got a feeling this bar’s going to be featuring a bit with us this summer!

And here’s why we’re in town this evening: the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney‘s new Grand Ballroom is finally open! How impressive is this space. We’re already big fans of this hotel – it being home to Grain Bar, which we’ve mentioned a few times in the past.

Tonight we’re getting to experience this ballroom when it’s fully functioning. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a good night! Oh and by the way, yes, those are trees in the room you can see.

Our expectations have certainly been met. Tonight’s opening party for the Four Seasons Sydney’s ballroom is awesome. This is just one of the places you can get food: a beautiful landscape of cheese, including – to our joy – burrata.

Along the far wall is another food station where we enjoyed freshly shucked oysters, Mt Cook salmon and kingfish. But my favourite – and something that’s going to be on my mind for some time – are the Tajima marble score 9+ wagyu scotch filletserved on a delicious chewy savoury blini.

We’re being very spoiled tonight!

To officially open the Grand Ballroom, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney’s general manager Rudolf van Dijk introduces us to the room’s crowning glory: this incredible LED screen that can play at full 4K definition. Pretty impressive for a 12-metre by 3.5-metre screen.

It’s always hard to get the attention of 500+ people at the same time – especially with so much delicious food to eat. This show does it pretty well.

After the presentation, we move to the other wall where we discover dessert. It almost feels like we destroying an art installation when we grab the little cakes and petit fours from this wall display. But cake!

Finally this chocolate diorama is in fact a cocktail fountain – like something out of Willy Wonka. This punchy cocktail of Ketel 1 vodka, Absolut Peach, pear liqueur, mandarin, rum and gin, runs over the landscape of chocolate into your glass. If I only had the courage of Augustus Gloop, I’d go for a swim!

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

Cheers – Jim & Christina x

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