Sydney’s summer departs and women in distilling represent

With March picking up the slack, Sydney has finally patted summer on the bum and sent it to bed.

Some people are sad when this happens, but I welcome it.

Autumn in Sydney is probably my favourite season. It’s still warm in the day, but evenings cool down enough to warrant duvets, jackets, comfort food and a lot fewer mosquitos!

There are also a lot of fun things going on through autumn here, and almost to prove my point, this Weekly Edition is full of interesting events, new places to eat and catching up with friends.

We hope you enjoy this Edition.

Cheers – Jim & Christina xx

Bopp & Tone - Visit Sunshine Coast lunch

Today we’re heading to a lunch with some great friends and colleagues, and to learn more about what we think will be our next travel destination: the Sunshine Coast.

We’re at Bopp & Tone right in the Sydney CBD to meet with Visit Sunshine Coast tourism board.

It’s the first time we’ve been here, but not the first time we’ve enjoyed lunch with the Sunny Coast team, so we’re double excited about today.

Bopp & Tone - Visit Sunshine Coast lunch

Bopp & Tone is a beautiful restaurant and bar right in the Wynyard area of Sydney city. It has an old-world feel – full of the pleasantries and finesse of a bygone era – but with a thoroughly modern outlook on dining and hospitality.

Bopp & Tone - Visit Sunshine Coast lunch

The food here is superb.

We’re spoilt with dishes like broken mozzarella with zucchini, currants and mint, salt cod fritters with corn and ricotta salata, enormous king prawns in garlic, chilli and oregano, and sublime bone-in grass-fed rib eye served with crunchy roast potatoes.

And there’s a lot more. Things like smoky spatchcock, crunchy asparagus and the most delicious fried cauliflower. And don’t get me started on the wine.

Bopp & Tone - Visit Sunshine Coast lunch

Between sumptuous dishes, we learn more about the new stuff that’s happening in the Sunshine Coast at the moment, and it’s making us all the more excited about our up-coming trip.

From things like Saltwater Eco Tours, which teaches the stories, traditions and culture of the local Kabi Kabi people, horse riding and helicopter experiences around Rainbow Beach to the new 20-metre high zipline course, Next Level.

Not to mention incredible accommodation options like Lovestone Cottages in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and the huge wealth of dining choices of the region.

We can’t wait to head north now!

This evening, we’re out with some mates we haven’t hung out with in – literally – years. I mean we’ve seen each other independently, but we haven’t been out all together in ages.

We kick things off with a few at the London in Balmain. It seems strange to be standing up and socialising after so many months of Covid-control.

Not Just Curries, Balmain

Soon, we march up the road to the closest curry house (four out of six of us are UK-born after all!) and hit up Not Just Curries.

These samosa hit the spot just before the mains come out… which are also curries. And a quick glance at the menu suggests curry really is all these guys do.

But who are we to tell these guys what to call their restaurant? Their food’s on point and we all leave full and happy.

Saddles Mt White

This lunchtime, we’ve come to an unusual place that Christina’s sister has discovered. This beautiful spot is called Saddles. But it’s not just a pretty lunch venue; it’s also a garden centre.

Saddles Mt White

Saddles Mt White

Inside, the restaurant has a beautiful country lodge feel. Lots of natural furnishings and high ceilings. There are some really cute touches to this place – love that piano bar.

Saddles Mt White

The name of this place takes its inspiration from local master saddle-maker and horse trainer Heath Harris. His craft can be seen in some of the bar stools around the place.

Saddles Mt White

But to the important part: the food.

We’re not disappointed with the cafe menu. The sausage rolls are incredibly tasty, but the beef pies are amazing.

These are only available on the takeaway menu, so we’ll book a table next time and check out their full menu. This place does get busy at the weekend, so do make sure you make reservations… unless you only want a pie!

Saddles Mt White

We’re surprisingly full after our pies and sausage rolls though, and end up sharing desserts.

This coconut meringue with passionfruit is absolutely stunning, but Christina and I go for a chocolate salted caramel tart. It very nearly finishes us both!

Back at home, we make the most of the last of the hot weather with a dip. I’m always so impressed with Christina’s bomb form.

What you can’t see is that shade has almost covered the pool by this time and the water’s surprisingly chilly. Once again, hello March!

Bella Bruta, Newtown

This evening, we’re catching up with our excellent friends Stevie, Mel, Paul and Ewelina. The six of us rarely get together that often because someone’s always travelling. Normally.

But tonight we’re in Newtown at Bella Brutta. We’re surprised at how busy everywhere is and we wait for a while as our table’s vacated.

Bella Bruta, Newtown - Clam pizza

It’s well worth the wait though. The pizzas here are brilliant – even the clam pizza (foreground), which I was suspicious of initially.

But before the pizzas come, we order a few entrees. If you have nothing else when you come here, make sure you order some ‘ricotta gnudi’. These dumpling-like things are amazing.

Bella Bruta, Newtown - cannoli

We also get dessert, which I’m underwhelmed by if I’m honest… apart from these freshly filled cannoli. Can’t fault them.

Our only word of warning: if it’s a busy night (we’re here on a Saturday), don’t expect to be able to lounge and relax. It’s busy and they want to turn over as many sittings as possible.

Fair enough, but they will hassle you out of your seat if you stay past your booking.

1989 Newtown

Luckily, we have other places to be. Like 1989.

1989 Newtown

This arcade bar is like stepping back in time to your (well, my) childhood. Except you’re legally allowed to drink here!

Check out the games menus – these are all the original arcade games from the ’80s. And even better, they’ve got a great bar serving decent beers and well-crafted cocktails.

1989 Newtown

This place is a lot of fun and has a surprisingly young clientele. Pretty sure a lot of the people here weren’t alive while we were busy mastering our Mortal Kombat II skills.

Paul and Ewelina are busy trying to save Judgement Day while I’m eyeing up Time Crisis 2.

Cheese platter with Swinging Bridge rosé

After a busy day of work, Christina and I have decided to crack a rosé we’ve been saving and feast on one of her legendary platters.

No one knows how to put one of these bad boys together like she does. Here are some of her tricks.

Cheese platter with Swinging Bridge rosé

This #oo3 from Swinging Bridge Winery is an experimental wine from Tom Ward, the winemaker at Swinging Bridge Winery in Orange, NSW.

Cloudy, orange/amber and full of creamy body, clever acidity and balanced fruitiness, this is a rosé for the ages. I’m sad to see the bottom of it.

Swinging Bridge is one of our top tip wineries to visit in Orange, but if you’re looking for more, check out our Essential Guide to Orange, NSW here.

Bloodwood Newtown

On the eve of International Women’s Day, we’re heading to Bloodwood restaurant in Newtown to celebrate women in distilling. This sold-out event is only in its second year and it’s our first time attending.

The room is filling up as we’re enjoying our welcome cocktails.

Bloodwood have created a series of shared courses, starting with their incredible pecan pate. Some of the dishes have been created just for the event but if you see the steak tartare on the menu – ORDER IT. It’s spectacular.

The final savoury course of our long lunch is this snapper with crispy fried onions in a coconut broth accompanied by a grilled peach salad with almonds.

Over lunch, we listen to courageous stories of women who are changing the industry. They are making space in this male-dominated industry and they are making great waves.

Their stories of never giving up inspire us and when we taste the products that they create, you really appreciate the work that goes into Australian craft spirits.

The event’s charismatic host is the Nip of Courage ambassador, Abby from Hades Hula House.

Across the road from Bloodwood, Earl’s Juke Joint has kindly opened their doors early for our group to keep the party going.

The cocktails are extraordinary and we’re so impressed with our California Soul and Smooth Operator. The staff here are brilliant and we will definitely be back again soon.

Goodbye summer

We arrive home in time to catch this stunning sunset. If the first week of Autumn is anything to go by, it feels like it’s going to be a great season.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Edition.

Cheers- Jim & Christina xx


  • Reply March 12, 2021

    Ken Butcher

    Some of these places looked terrific. Very spacious but still atmospheric, and the food looked pretty cool too. Gonna cost you a fortune when we come to Sydney again haha. Thanks for a really nice edition

    • Reply March 13, 2021

      Mr Romance

      Ha ha! Don’t worry Pa, we’ll wash dishes if we have to. It would be so good to be able to show you guys around these spots. Everything crossed. X

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