going all the places, running all the races, eating all the things

Category Archives: Glorious Sydney

For the amount of coastline this city has it often amazes me how few places there are with water views. There are some of course but many are expensive or for tourists or both.

The Bird and Bear Boathouse is neither. It’s a perfect summer early brunch spot – as good as having your own boat really.

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Isn’t that just a lovely sight?

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The view from my table was a little distracting, this is why I didn’t finish the cryptic (and DS does super hard clues).

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Post brekkie kayak anyone?

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They serve T2 teas (bags) and great coffee.

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Unfortunately due to some renovations the kitchen is currently closed. In the meantime there are pastries to be had, and muffins and stuff but frankly who orders a muffin when there are enormous almond croissants? These were actually surprisingly good, with tons of crunchy almonds and marzipan like paste.

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The healthier option was the bircher – studded with pepitas and other seeds, topped with a creamy yoghurt and mixed berries (from frozen).

Bird and Bear Boathouse on Urbanspoon

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On Saturday we did something I think there should be far more of – we went on a long walk with nowhere particular in mind. Across the Harbour Bridge, round and about Blues Point eventually arriving totally by accident at the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability.

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I can’t believe I grew up on the north side and had no idea this place existed. It is totally rad. Amazing views in a hodge podge of old buildings and with the tunnel of the coal loader open to wander through.

Until the end of this weekend it will be showing the North Sydney Art Prize. You should go, lots of fun art outside and inside in a lovely setting. We also scored free wine but that might not permanently be on offer – there is however a cute cafe.

Walking through the spooky coal loader tunnel was the highlight.

But the art was pretty great too, love these little worms.

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These brass seedlings in pomegranate pots were quite sweet too.

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And what’s not to love about this!?

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If you have spare time this weekend I would definitely recommend this. If you don’t then add it to the diary for next year?


One of the last remaining places I know that do a proper Australian salad sandwich – with grated carrot, beetroot & the rest is the takeaway in Leura in the Blue Mountains.

$3 for a trip down memory lane to the taste of being a kid. They also do great sweet potato scallops.

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It’s a gorgeous part of the world, the national parks always & the suburban gardens particularly in Autumn for the changing leaves.

20130616-231726.jpg Before or after a hike I like to pop by for a quandong icecream – The Conservation Hut at Wentworth Falls has a gorgeous view. Cafe looks ok but icecream gets my money every time. They do some bush tucker type flavours & some more traditional ones.

20130616-231705.jpg This is a good entry point to Wentworth Falls but best accessed by a car. Otherwise take the train to Leura & start your hike from there. Check out WildWalks for a great listing of hikes in the Blue Mountains & the rest of NSW.


Japanese rice balls – onigiri – are my favourite snack in the whole world. If it was up to me all those places doing sushi rolls would be forced to also sell onigiri. They feature heavily in Japanese TV and movies – Cutie Honey refuels her powers using them, and Tadokoro Sachiko in Boss eats them almost every episode. In the Tokyo Marathon not only was the most popular costume with the crowd the onigiri hat (with swathes of people chanting o-ni-gi-ri! as he ran past) but some people also gave out salty onigiri as fuel on the course.

Fresh and sticky with no need for soy sauce they can be wrapped with crunchy seaweed, or nothing at all. Some are filled, but my favourites have just some flavouring mixed through, either shiso or japanese purple basil or shiitake mushrooms are all good.
In Sydney so far I have two go to places. Love to hear about any others!

The Japanese Konbini behind Woolworths at Town Hall – homemade and nicely salty. Only a small amount available every day. Flavour here is Japanese purple basil. Around $2 depending on filling.

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Middle level of Hunter Connection – Ooh, Rice! Lots of choice of fillings, crunchy nori – Japanese basil flavour again (but tried shiitake too which was delicious) $2.50 each.

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Bondi has some quite excellent op shopping – fancy vintage places & more DTE places like Vinnies (who could resist this hand mouse?).

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Touristy stores also have some hilarious finds – like this shark esky lid.

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Street art, graffiti and plants in unlikely places – some of my favourite things.

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People used to complain than the annual Vivid festival in Sydney was a waste of time – with money being thrown at avant grade curators (Laurie Anderson et al) for a festival that had no public.

Happily they were wrong.

The festival has music, plays and installations but the real star of the s the light show.

I love seeing the Harbour alive in winter, and having excuses to explore new bits of the Rocks & surrounds and uncover secret things – like this little rat.

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