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Showing posts from February, 2012

Take a wild boat ride and explore the edge of the world

It's the only way you'll see some of Australia's highest sea cliffs, rocks that 'breathe', sea caves that have no end, and feel the full might of the Southern Ocean. It's the reason why this Bruny Island Cruises has won two best tourist attraction awards.

It's the same size as Singapore but that's where the similarities end. Bruny Island, on the south eastern tip of Tasmania, has only about 600 permanent residents. 

It's actually two very different islands joined by a narrow isthmus, "The Neck". North Bruny has a drier climate and has some sheep farming whilst South Bruny is more mountainous with large areas of rain forest and sandy heathlands. Both islands have spectacular scenery with wonderful, deserted beaches and abundant wildlife.

I was covered from head to toe in a very unfashionable but extremely practical red rain coat for this morning ride. We were worried about the grey skies but the word was that the sea was calm, a much mor…

Lady Lamington, Fortitude Valley

Coco Pops with Baileys and vanilla cream for breakfast?  I was sorely tempted but it's only available after 10am at Lady Lamington, Brunswick Street's newest queen.

Jam Jar, West End

Sometimes good things happen in the most unexpected way.

Friday night loomed and I thought I was going to be stuck in front of the television watching a boy's choice movie, pretending to like it while I secretly read my iPad. (Love those back lit screens.)

Up late at GOMA

There's something delicious about being in a venue after the normal opening hours and Up Late at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is no exception.

Avante Garde Patisserie, Milton

When the boy on the counter tells me Uncle Dean is the one who bakes the cakes and pies, I can't help but be impressed.  I love a family business, especially when it comes to baking.

Gastro Park, Kings Cross, Sydney

When the taxi stopped in this narrow, shady Kings Cross back street and the driver said that's the restaurant, I was surprised and not all that inclined to get out.

And I promise not to mention my first thoughts when I heard the name, Gastro Park, which is designed to evoke thoughts of a playground of good food.

But you can leave all doubts in the taxi because this a restaurant that will surprise and intrigue you.  

Beans means ....borlotti

Gotta love a product which makes life easy and is also good for you.

More than Groceries @ Pinkeys

When is a grocery store more than a grocery store? Take a look inside Groceries @ Pinkeys on busy Zillman Street, Hendra and you'll have the answer in a snap.

It's all about the finer things in life

You're picturing me sleeping on the rough sand of a coral beach, nestled under a swaying palm tree, lulled to sleep by the sweet rhythmic pattern of waves gently rolling into the shore.

Actually I'm very comfortably ensconced in a queen-sized bed perched high above the shore line in plush accommodation known as Peppers Coral Coast.

The weather was not kind on this stay, planes were delayed and plans changed, but that didn't stop us enjoying a fabulous lunch and a very relaxing massage in the onsite day spa at Peppers.  Making lemonade out of lemons, the spa is definitely a great alternative when the weather forbids seaside walks and sun bathing.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom.  The sun poked out its face occasionally and you can see how fabulous the pool is from this photo.

We also enjoyed a flash gourmet tasting lunch where resident chef Greg Devine strutted his stuff and knowlege of local ingredients. It was so good I ate the entire Valrohna Chocolate Tasting Plat…

OB+W, Boundary Road, Bardon

Blink and you would miss this one - a hole in the wall coffee spot that's a bit of a local's secret.

Top 10 Sydney small bars

Have you ever been accused of over sharing?

I've decided that visiting six bars in one busy Sydney night should be a badge of honour rather than one for over sharing which is what I received from Foursquare (a location-based social networking website for smart phones).

Get more beer cred

Do you know when to choose ale over a porter, stout, pilsner or weissbier?

Don't even know what a weissbier is?

It's okay - you can still drink in public but if you want to do it with a bit more beer clout, you might need to enrole at the Beer Academy.

Who wants to be afternoon tea tester for Virgin Atlantic?

I've discovered there's an even a better job than being a food writer - I'd like to add frequent flyer tester for Virgin Atlantic to my resume.

But only for their Upper Class which offers a welcome aboard glass of champagne to toast the journey, a tradition made famous in the golden age of Hollywood. Another great British tradition, afternoon tea, will also be served on individual mini cake stands, but not, sadly, with a cupcake I note. But there will be clotted cream with the jam and scones so that's a plus.

Virgin Atlantic has announced its biggest ever investment into the business class product, as it pledged £100million over the next three years to enhance its Upper Class offering around the world. As part of the investment, on board flights from Sydney to London, a brand new Upper Class ‘fine dining’ experience will take to the skies from March 1, 2012.

Influenced by some of the best British restaurants and private members clubs, the new Upper Class dining servic…

Vitamin Me - the best drug around

It's what everyone wants - a sparkle in your eye, a spring in your step, the an-ti-cip-ation of a secret pleasure.

For me it's knowing that my next meal is going to be something special. That's my 'Vitamin Me'.

For the past 12 months I've been travelling Queensland, working through my wish list of foodie delights.  I've been hunting crabs on North Queensland beaches with the Indigenous owners. I've seen happy free range pigs outside Airlie Beach. I've walked through the chocolate room on Hayman Island. I've learned how to make wine at the Queensland College of Wine and shared a harvest feast in the Barrell Room at Ballandean Estate. I've talked to farmers and fishermen, cooks and chefs and plenty of people who love where they live and what they do. And you know what - it's catching!

Where does my 'Vitamin Me' come from?  The fabulous produce of Queensland, sometimes served in wildly inventive ways, sometimes just as it is.  It ta…

Meet Anthony Bourdain

Most foodies I know would give their eye teeth, well maybe not their eye teeth as that might make eating a little uncomfortable, but surely a significant body part if they could meet the bad boy of cuisine, Anthony Bourdain.

Girls go wild

Ever wondered what I do when I'm not eating and drinking my way around Australia?

Make your cuppa count for Ovarian cancer

This year more than 1,200 Australian women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and sadly, around 800 will die from the disease. However, if diagnosed in the early stages the majority of women survive which is why it is so important for women to know the symptoms.

Rude, wrong, fun and exciting, you'll love the art at MONA

A particular mode of pleasure and thought, a subversive 'disneyland' of old and new art displayed with intent, you'll find it all at Tasmania's stunning MONA -Museum of Old and New Art.

A visit here is a real experience, so don't even think of scheduling just a couple of hours or you'll walk away feeling disappointed when it's time to go, as I did.

Here's how I saw MONA

Opened in January 2011, MONA was established by David Walsh to shock and offend as much as challenge, inform and delight.  I wasn't offended, but was sometimes repulsed  by some of the art which is very graphic.  It's a cross section of everything he has enjoyed in other museums around the world and I would guess the envy of many museum curators around the world.

And another art work 'clip'

MONA sits of a 3.5 hectare peninsular which curves into the Derwent River, about 15 minutes north of central Hobart by car.  You can also catch a fast catamaran from the MONA Ferry Te…

Brisbane's new small bars

Do you know where to find Super Whatnot, Scratch, Cabiria or The End?

Read my story in the latest Brisbane Where Magazine to discover all the latest cool bars and surprise your friends by suggesting some new drinking spots.