I don’t know about you, but this has probably been one of the most relaxed Januarys we’ve had in ages. Strangely enough though, we’ve been pretty busy. And as the month speeds headlong towards February, it’s not looking like 2018 is going to be all that quiet at any point.
This week’s Edition sees the end of our time with Indi – our friends Stevie and Mel’s dog, a friend’s birthday, an awesome party with friends old and new, a visit to the Sydney Fish Market and the end of ‘Ginuary’ at our favourite small bar in Balmain.
We hope you enjoy this IG Edition and we’ll chat again soon.
Cheers – Jim & Christina xx
It’s not long now till our friends Stevie and Mel come back from their family holiday to the Japanese snowfields. It means we’ve only got a couple of days left looking after Indi their adorable little Staffie.
She’s settled in so well to the point where she’s even facing some of her fears – like her fear of going in the water. Though that could be motivated by how hot it is in Sydney at the moment!
Back in her bed, Indi loves chilling out here. This is a rare photo of her not gazing out of the window watching the boats go past.
A bit of company branding, she’s wearing one of Stevie’s company hats. He and Mel own Stevie English Hair – an awesome salon in Glebe and Christina’s second home!
I’m pretty sure Indi is part cat. The way she likes to be tucked up in her bed and sleep for hours and hours. But in spite of all the sleeping she does, it’s definitely going to be quiet round here when she has to go back home.
Today is our lovely friend Tash’s birthday, so we’ve taken her out for breakfast at one of our new favourite cafes in Balmain: Black Lizard.
Tash and Christina have both gone for the relatively healthy option today – though that slab of crispy haloumi changes things a bit.
I’ve ordered the scrambled eggs and crispy pancetta with spicy tapenade on the side. So so good.
By the way, can you see the most discreet photobomb ever? Indi’s managed to get in on the action!
It’s Australia Day today, and our friends Kath and Jarrod are throwing a bit of a party at their place. It’s not really an Australia Day party – it’s more of a get-together of people who aren’t assholes (the official name of this party is a little different, but I’ll spare you the semantic details).
Kath and Jarrod own Nip of Courage – a distributor for Aussie craft spirits – and the other invitees reflect that perfectly. Our dear friends Brian and Genise Hollingworth – distiller-owners of Black Gate Distillery – are here. It’s always great to see them – especially when they let us try their new make whisky and OP rum, which you can see hereon the table!
Brian’s been working on a peated whisky that’ll be ready pretty soon. Even without the obligatory 2 years of barrel aging, this whisky tastes incredible. Even Christina, who doesn’t like peated whisky, likes this.
Along with Brian and Genise, and their awesome friends Lisa and Owen, we’re hanging out with some equally excellent folk tonight. For example, master distiller for Archie Rose Distillery Dave Withers and his lovely partner Jen, and Inoka Ho, chief drinker of Cocktail Co.
We’re definitely in good company.
After a solid breakfast and a quick train ride, we (Kath, Jarrod, Lisa, Owen and us) arrive at the busy Sydney Fish Market. As we peruse the seafood on offer, a staff member offers to get us a bit more up close and personal with the locals.
Kath’s shaking hands with a spiny lobster, which has a market price of about $250. She seems pretty happy to meet it.
Somehow Christina scores us a waterside table, and we get stuck into the sushi, oysters, salt and pepper baby octopus, and of course a bottle of bubbly.
Not a bad way to nurse a hangover and a lovely way to spend an afternoon with such lovely people.
Before long we’re back in Balmain for the very last gin event of Ginuary at Wilhelmina’s – a superb bar in the heart of Balmain. As a push back against such atrocities as Febfast, Dry July and OctSober, Mikey and co have been running gin events throughout January and will still be offering $10 G&Ts and $15 selected martinis until Jan 31st, so get in quick.
Today though, we’re being treated to an entire gin education from Sean Baxter, one of the trinity who run Never Never Distilling Co.
Sean’s not only taking us through the history of gin and its facts and foibles, he’s doing it via a range of cocktails that illustrate. Always better to show than tell.
If you’re looking for a gin cocktail with a difference, you should ask your friendly bartender for one of these next time.
We have our favourite spot at the bar watching the talent create their masterpieces and listening to Sean share his incredible knowledge. The drinks line up one after another and our hangovers rapidly fade into the distance.
These gin and tonics are exactly what we need after a long, difficult and very frustrating journey from the Fish Market.
All of the drinks we’re having today at Wilhelmina’s are with the Never Never Co’s own gin – the Triple Juniper. It’s a magnificent, bold, bright gin and one you should definitely invest in.
Five cocktails in and Christina’s really getting to enjoy herself, Monkey Gland in hand! This is probably my favourite cocktail of the day, with a delicate spice of liquorice from absinthe, a sharp sweetness of fresh orange juice and a clever tickle of gin.
Just don’t ask where it gets its name from!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our latest IG Edition. It’s certainly been a lot of fun making it.
Jim & Christina xx