Sydney 2018 -Day 1

My first drip Down Under.

After a few days in Bangkok we hopped aboard yet another plane for an overnight flight and headed south.

Arriving at the airport we easily found our way by train to the Air Bnb we had boomed in the Redfern district, which is on the City Central train line so good for access to the hub of things. The Opal card (like Oyster) makes it easy to get around and the prices are comparable.

After dropping off our bags we went for a wander around to get a feel for the location, Redfern is a quiet,sleepy kind of place but good for commuting and with plenty of bars and coffee shops. We stopped at a bar for a drink in the beer garden only for me to accidentally order a bottle of cider that cost about £8…. it wasn’t even imported! As we had flown overnight but without sleep we grabbed some bread,cheese and cold meat from the local shop for a quick lunch before an afternoon nap- I felt pretty rough by this point and am unlikely to ever eat prawns for breakfast on an airplane again!-I needed the sleep.

In the evening we met up with a couple of Jordan’s friends down by the water at Birrunga. The restaurant is fairly new and shaped like a giant UFO, it’s an area undergoing a bit of a transformation and as such, there are now a huge round of waterfront eateries cashing in on the revival and sunny climes. It reminded me a bit of Portsmouth. Dinner was good and the menu varied and interesting, I played it safe in terms of my choices after feeling ill for most of the day but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try butter made with powdered crickets-giving it a slightly smoky flavour. We also had asparagus spears served with crispy hunter ants! They were delicious with a citrus kick and I would love to try them again.

After dinner we went in search of some drinks and ended up in The Barbershop (I think there actually is a Barbershop at the front of the building) This was a gin bar and hipster dream come true. The back bar featured a rolling ladder that reminded me of a Victorian sweet shop and vintage cabinets around the room held the excess bottles from the bulging shelves. Their range of spirits was impressive and the staff certainly knew their craft. We had already decided that we wanted to try Australia or NZ gins as they are harder to get at home and we were not disappointed. Well served and with an excellent soundtrack that included Sex Pistols and Buzzcocks I was in my element. Staff were well dressed in waistcoat and dickie bows (and well groomed too with some amazing moustaches on display) and had plenty of useful suggestions for us on what we may like to try. 1 drink quickly rolled into many but with reasonable pricing and a big selection it was perfect.

Not a bad introduction to a new city.

Sydney 2018- Part 2

A rainy start for day 2 but we got going with good coffee and breakfast from a local cafe before heading off to explore, flowing the advice of our friends from the night before we headed to Manly island. The ferry trip provided the perfect opportunity to get some shots of the harbour and the weather perked up just in time. We came across 4 Pines brewery and had a few samples-life would certainly be easier for me if I liked beer or ale but there was a pretty tasty ginger option that was good!

Wandering around the area we spotted a number of cool, independant shops and settled on somewhere for lunch based on positive Trip Advisor reviews. One of the things on our holiday ‘to-do list’ was to try some of the Australian seafood that we had heard about and can’t get at home so this gave us an ideal opportunity. We shared a plate of Morton Bay bugs which were a real treat, similar to lobster but smaller and a little sweeter and tried some orange roughy which came served with an incredible beetroot,fig and walnut salad with blue cheese dressing.

After doing a bit of research whilst watching some very noisy Cockatoos flying past we opted to walk to Northern Point, a spot with a lot of heritage and natural beauty spots. Our route took us down to the water and close to some protected areas that are known breeding spots for the local penguins-despite our best efforts we didn’t manage to spot any and as we continued our walk around the coastline our journey was cut short by a torrential downpour that saw us walking without any cover up a steep hill in shorts and t-shirts. Thankfully the temperature didn’t drop but we abandoned our plans in favour of drying off and headed back to the ferry via a scenic route.

That evening we headed out again in the rain for our ‘highlight’ dinner for Sydney- Quay. We have seen Peter Gilmore on MasterChef Australia and his food has always been intriguing- we also had to have a taste of his famous Snow Egg dessert. We had the full tasting menu which I will review at a later date (when we get home!)

Quay was good but not as exceptional as we had hoped, that said it does offer fantastic views of the harbour and we were lucky enough to have been there during a fireworks display which was certainly an added bonus.

Sydney is certainly worth another visit I think

Gaggan: Bangkok-in pictures

Too busy eating to be writing so here are a few pictures of our travels so far