31 December 2013

new day

“Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new

 day with no mistakes in it yet?” 

11 November 2013

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam

Laurence Binyon


08 October 2013

it wasn't all eating

There was some time spent around the (relatively)
quieter back of the Opera House.

 An art installation near the Botanical Gardens,
made from parts of old buildings that have been
pulled down in Sydney over the years.

Old stairwells squeezed in beside new buildings.

 A quick, early morning trip to the museum to see the

A stroll through some lovely gardens
on the way to and from the museum.

A quirky, but expensive, art gallery.

Lots of very good coffee (a nice surprise given the
quality of some of what we drank in Sydney).

A ferry ride to Manly and a walk around the beach.

More awkward selfies on the way back.

Sydney, thank you, we will be back.

02 October 2013

and then we spoiled ourselves

I'm not entirely sure how to introduce this next part of our holiday without sounding extremely spoiled. You see, The Sparky was enjoying himself so much at Quay that he decided to see if we could, perhaps, maybe, get into Aria for lunch the next day. C'mon, a girl's not going to say no to that, right?

A little bit of internet research and a phone call later and we found ourselves sitting in another fancy restaurant for lunch the next day.

The Sparky started with scallops, which he liked so much that scallops have become his 'go to' entree order ... for someone who used to not eat seafood at all, I think that says a lot!

I stayed safe and got myself another beetroot salad. I was so very glad that I did too, not only was it pretty, it was delicious.

For main The Sparky ordered a duck and pea pie. Another step away from 'the norm' but another signature dish ... a phrase that I've learned draws him like a magnet. Weird green blobs aside, this dish really was as good as it looks.

As was my chicken dish. Unfortunately they seem to have changed the menu since we were there and I really can't tell you much about this dish except that it was stunning and delicious and stuffed with something that still makes my mouth water (and as a bonus was nowhere  near as strong as my partridge).

Back to something a bit more like I would usually expect from The Sparky for dessert (I think I've mentioned before how much of a chocoholic he is). A lovely, and not too rich, mix of chocolate and nuts and caramel and honeycomb and other deliciousness.

I went slightly out on a limb (for me anyway) and ordered the banana souffle. Part of me really, really wants to rave about how delicious it was but sadly it just fell slightly short compared to some of the other food I ate over these few days. Maybe I'm becoming a food snob but it just seemed a little ... ordinary. Elsewhere I would have found it fine but I really was expecting something with a little more pizazz.

I'll share some more of our sightseeing photos next week and will leave you here with just a little more food spoilage (in the good sense).

The deceptively named Cafe Sydney was where we ended up for dinner that night. With one dimly glowing fake candle there was no way we were going to be able to take photos of the food ... you'll have to take my word for it that it was quite nice. The view however, made up for any short falling in the food or atmosphere ...

(mental note already made ... next time we take the good camera!)

25 September 2013

Sydney, Day Two

After our early start, walking and eating our way around the place on Monday we ended up pretty much crashing in the late afternoon, popping out briefly in the evening for a short walk, nondescript dinner snack, coffee and relatively early night.

Then it was up early the next morning for a bit of 'touristing'

... awkward selfies ...

... and uncomfortable poses in front of landmarks included ...

We wandered around and through the Opera House, almost buying a ticket to an opera on the way (The Whitlams had played only a few days before ... that would have been a no-brainer!).

After a little more wandering we headed back to our room to get all fancied up and ready for our lunch at ... drum roll please ...

When I had rung weeks earlier to make a dinner booking I was told they could fit us in in November (Friday to Sunday dinners were booked out until February)!

Um, yeah, we were there for less than three days so I booked lunch instead.

Somehow we were lucky enough to get a table in the circular room at the end, an almost full circle of glass with views of the Harbour.

Bridge out one side ...

... and Opera House out the other.

As we had been wandering around the day before we spotted the monstrously large P&O Cruise Ship parked at the Terminal and were concerned that it would be blocking our view. Thankfully it left later that afternoon and the only thing interrupting our view was other diners ... and most of them cleared out before we had finished.

We were served a delicious starter of potato mash and oxtail soup. I can't even begin to explain how delicious this was ... possibly one of the best things of the day.

No photos of our entree sorry, they were half finished before either of us even thought to snap a pic! The Sparky couldn't go past the crab consume after reading several comments about it being a signature dish. I went for the beetroot salad, mostly because everything else had seafood in it.

For round two The Sparky continued with the 'food he doesn't normally eat' decision and got himself squab and abalone.

While I went for a dish that isn't on the current menu ... should have paid more attention at the time! I do remember that it came with a vegetarian option but I decided to take a risk and get the option with partridge.

Short version ... I should have gone with my gut instincts. Everything about this dish was absolutely delicious, except the partridge which was far too strong for me and ended up giving me a stomach ache.

Round three ... The Sparky's 'Poached King George Whiting,
scallop velvet, swimmer crab broth, bean sprouts and blossoms' (I think) 

... and my 'Roasted milk fed lamb,
aromatic house made crème fraîche, Styrian pumpkin seed oil, salty ice plant, capers, nasturtiums'. The Sparky ended up having to finish this off for me. Yes, it was delicious but with my stomach already a little upset the red meat was just too strong for me.

Finally, we wound up with dessert.

The Sparky was torn between the Chocolate Cake and the signature Snow Egg but in the end decided he couldn't leave without trying the 'Jackfruit Snow Egg'.

Me on the other hand, I couldn't go past the 'Jersey cream, pedro ximenez
salted caramel, prune, confetti'. Not so pretty but my goodness it was delicious!

We were enjoying ourselves so much we ended up ordering coffee and petite fours in order to prolong the experience.

Oh, and we had to finish with one more awkward selfie!

17 September 2013

Sydney Snapshots

Monday morning four weeks ago we landed in Sydney, already relaxed from a week off and ready to enjoy our little holiday away.

Getting to The Rocks from the airport was nice, quick and easy and just a short walk later we were dropping our bags at our accommodation.

While our room was being cleaned we popped around the corner to La Renaissance for second breakfast/first lunch. I'm fairly sure that the food seemed nicer than it was because we were so hungry (not that it was bad per say), but the view was definitely nice -

Having oriented ourselves and then checked in, we headed out to take a look at the Bridge up close ...

... walked over and back again then climbed a bollard for a better view ...

... and not just of the Bridge.

It had some pretty cool stuff going on inside too.

From there we walked all the way around to The Star in Pyrmont (a short 2.8 km) where we had second lunch and afternoon tea.

Starting with burgers from a place that I remember having read about but can't for the life of me find now. Burger was good, chips were good, sharing was a really smart idea because ...

... with a coffee of course, and then ...

Okay, so I failed a little in the photo taking but we were really enjoying being slightly switched off.

We were kinda rolling by this point and it was a pretty good thing we had to walk back as well.

It was a lovely day and a wonderful start to our holiday, thankfully there was still more to come ...

12 September 2013

From one self to another

just get over it
said one self to another
while the third looked on thinking

it's not necessarily as easy as that


it is in fact a daily struggle

three individual parts
puzzle pieces
living inside the same shell


living is the key
living each day
living through it all

keep on living
keep on winning

see it through 


09 September 2013

It's official ...

... today is The Sparky's first day as his own boss.

05 September 2013