So much for grabbing a bite with friends.
The rain didn’t dampen the red carpet vibes.
“Police request the community respect the privacy of the young people involved.”
It’s a hard life, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Petting an owl while sipping hot cocoa from a toilet is the next big thing.
With the worst of winter weather nearly over, it’s time to plan the first few weeks of spring. Discover what’s on offer in Sydney and the places you absolutely can not miss out on. So put it in your diary, tell your friends and make the most of Sydney during the sweet spring weather!
Chocolate Walking Tour
When: 1 August 2015
Where: Sydney CBD, George Street (Meet at Martin Place)
Who doesn’t love a little chocolate? Well, what’s better than a walking tour of the city with eight venues and a tasting of high quality chocolate along the way? Not much else! You will learn how it’s crafted, how to tell good chocolate from bad and other practical tips as well.
When: Saturday 1 August – Monday 31 August (9am-6pm)
Where: 225 George Street, Sydney
Raise your hand if you love oysters? Sydney’s annual oyster festival is back with international awarded executive chef Sean Connolly throughout the month of August. With over twenty different types of oysters on display, there’s so much to do and see.
Wine Tasting and Meet The Makers
When: Friday 28 August (6pm-8:30pm)
Where: Hyde Park, Sydney
Taste up to sixty wines and meet the makers in this interactive festival located right in the heart of Sydney. Indulge in light canapés all night long and bring your friends together for a fun night out!
Taste Orange @Sydney
When: Thursday 10 September (11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-8pm), Friday 11 September (11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-8pm).
Where: Martin Place
The food and wine showcase brings delicious produce from the Cool Climate Orange Wine region right to the heart of Sydney. Pop in during your lunch hour, or bring a group of workmates to the event afterwards for some fun.
Glenfiddich Pop-Up Bar
When: Thursday 10 September (10am-5pm), Friday 11 September (11am-7pm), Saturday 12 September (10am-5pm), Sunday 13 September (10am-5pm)
Where: Carriageworks – 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
Cost: Adults ($25), Concession ($22)
Enjoy quality whiskey at the Glenfiddich pop-up bar and vote for your favourite Australian artist to win big at the end of each night. Your favourites will go into the running to live and work for three months at the Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland
Images via City of Sydney
Who doesn’t love to be spoiled with a bouquet of flowers at work? Little Flowers is a local Sydney start-up offering a unique bunch of flowers for $30 each day – this includes free delivery to almost anywhere in Sydney.
Australia’s fastest growing online florist operates from a garage in Marrickville and offers some of the most amazing floral combinations you’ve ever seen. Simply log onto the website, choose the flowers of the day and send a sweet note to a loved one! SHESAID chatted with Sarah and Chris about leaving their jobs and starting their own successful business.
How did the idea of Little Flowers come about?
Co-founders Ben Sampson, John Kane, Chris Berents and myself realised there was a huge gap in the market. From our own experiences we knew that while it was really awesome to get flowers, we didn’t send them as often as we’d like to because they were really quite expensive. They were also big. And awkward – and sometimes a huge bouquet wasn’t right for the occasion. My partner, Chris, would often send me “just because” flowers and while I felt incredibly lucky to get them, a part of me also felt quite guilty because I knew they would have cost him an arm and a leg and unfortunately, they were going to die in a few days.
The four of us met in advertising and were very good friends. So when we unearthed the idea of taking the ‘bigness’ out of the flower industry, we all got very excited about the possibilities and potential, and quickly began developing the concept.
We loved the thought of making flower delivery more accessible and something that people could do for any reason, big or small, serious or ridiculous, and knew we could have a lot of fun with it. For me personally, the whole concept was also really exciting because it appealed to my emotional side. I loved that I would be helping to spread smiles across the city by delivering these messages and beautiful little bunches of flowers.
What was it like quitting your job and starting in another industry?
It was nerve-wracking, on one hand. I’d been in advertising for over ten years and I felt I was really going against the grain to throw it all in. In retrospect, I’m sure my friends and family must have been quietly questioning my decision to jump ship, as it was quite out of character. But it was time. I felt ready to try something new and to explore other possibilities.
I told myself I could always go back to it later and that I could just think of this as a ‘sabbatical year.’ Not that I intended to, but the idea of turning my back on the familiar and going into the complete unknown was, in some ways, quite terrifying! But I was so utterly passionate about this idea and really, really excited about the possibility of running my own business. It felt audacious, but the possibility of making it a reality was exceptionally enticing. I couldn’t die wondering. None of us could.
What is the most rewarding part about starting your own business?
Well, I find this hard to describe, but I think overall the best thing is this sense of ‘wow.’ It’s a combined feeling of satisfaction, relief, excitement and possibility. I think it’s human nature to sometimes doubt what we are capable of, so to see your dreams come to fruition is immensely rewarding – and what’s more, it makes you excited about what else you could be capable of in the future.
If you had to do it over again, what are some dos and don’ts you would suggest to others in your position?
- Dare to dream.
- Back yourself.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your idea.
- Hire people who can do what you can’t.
- Look after yourself and look after the people who work with you.
- Stop to celebrate all the victories of your business, big and small.
- Be true to yourself and your brand.
- Be scared to ask for help. Starting your own business is a steep learning curve and a huge workload. You can’t do everything yourself.
- Be too hard on yourself. Most small business owners at some point get overwhelmed with the enormity of what they are trying to achieve. Break the big tasks down and just keep chipping away.
- Be scared of making mistakes. You learn more through your mistakes than anything else.
How important is social media in spreading the word about your business?
Really important. We don’t have a shop front, so it’s our way of meeting, connecting and conversing with our customers and our beloved Little Flowers community. Ever since we launched, we have posted the day’s flowers to social media channels to announce what’s available and it’s a lovely way to keep our customers up-to-date with the fun things that are happening behind the scenes.
What’s next for Little Flowers – spill!
We’ve just opened our delivery zone to Chatswood and we’re planning to keep extending to new suburbs in Sydney over the course of 2015 – and then, hopefully a little further afield in 2016… Watch this space!
Don’t let the colder weather bring you down! Round up some of your closest friends, bundle up in your favourite coat and head down into the city to some of the best pop-ups Sydney has to offer. We promise the mulled wine and banging tunes will be worth the winter chill!
The former Victoria Room has been transformed into The Chalet, which will be open for the next three months. The quaint space looks just like a traditional ski lodge, equipped with an in-house snow making machine, delicious mulled wine and even a chairlift at the entrance.
235 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst from June 25th
Winter Garden St Mary’s Cathedral
If you’re up for a bit of ice-skating, head down to St Mary’s Cathedral for the annual winter festival. The forecourt is transformed into the ultimate winter wonderland, without the hassle of heading to the snow itself! Kids will have fun playing on the various slides, ice skating and even exploring the igloos. Unwind with a cocktail at the winter garden lounge if you need a break from the chaos of it all.
St Mary’s Road, Sydney
Fire and Ice Festival
June in Sydney will see Saké Restaurant and Bar transform into a full-blown whisky bar featuring Japanese Nikka Whisky. Try it with some nibbles, in a cocktail, or try a tasting session with a few friends.
12 Argyle Street, The Rocks
Rye July at The Glenmore
One of Sydney’s hottest rooftop bars is getting into the winter with one of our favourite spirits – whisky! Rye July is packed with cocktails, whisky tasting (Johnnie Walker to be specific) and many canapés to choose from. Kicking off on Thursday 2 July, the event will be available every week.
96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
Images via The Chalet, Winter Garden, The Green Welly Stop, Daily Telegraph
If you live in Sydney, you are very lucky. It is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world and there is always something to do, but seemingly, more so during summer. With some of the most amazing beaches and the stunning harbour, Sydney has plenty to offer during the warmer months, but what about winter?
If you’ve spent too much time curled up under a blanket in front of the TV lately, take some inspiration from the following list of things to do in Sydney in winter:
1. Bondi ice rink
You think Bondi is only good in summer? Put your ice skates on and change your mind! From June 20 to July 12, Bondi Pavilion will transform into a winter wonderland with its own ice rink. Enjoy the view on beautiful Bondi Beach while showing off your skills on the ice.
2. Art Gallery NSW
There’s nothing better than escaping a cold, rainy winter’s day and entering the magical world of a museum. The Art Gallery of NSW located in Sydne’s CBD offers over 30,000 artworks to inspire you and you don’t even have to spend a cent to see them. General admission to the museum is free!
3. Whale watching
If you’ve always wanted to see a whale but you don’t want to go on a whale watching cruise, then Sydney is the place to be in winter. Between May and November, thousands of whales are migrating and passing Sydney, so just keep an eye out! There are plenty of good vantage points; we especially like the many scenic lookouts around Watsons Bay.
4. Hire an igloo
Want the ultimate winter feeling? Gather your friends and hire an igloo as part of Sydney’s Winter Garden Festival. Ok, so the igloos aren’t made of ice, they’re inflatable. That doesn’t make it less fun, though!
5. Explore the Blue Mountains
Yes, you’ll need a warm jacket, but hiking in the Blue Mountains is a beautiful winter activity as the crisp winter air makes for an even more spectacular scenery than in summer. And if you’re lucky, you might even see a bit of snow falling from the sky!
Image via firstdegreepr.com
A good cocktail is hard to come by, but finding a bar which isn’t crowded at 5pm is another hassle in itself. We are sharing the love and shouting out some of our favourite hidden or underground bars in the Sydney CBD and surrounding suburbs that you must visit… If you can find them, that is!
Basement 1/488 George Street Sydney
Technically this bar is quite well known since it’s part of the Hilton Hotel, but you do have to take a lift downstairs to find it. The heritage listed bar dates back to 1893 and features delicious cocktails and live music.
The Wild Rover
75 Campbell Street Surry Hills
The Wild Rover gives an entirely different meaning to a hidden bar – just make sure you keep your eyes peeled! The security guards at the front of two large wooden doors will allow you to enter this 2-storey bar that’s ideal for a cocktail, or two. Go straight for the cocktail list and ask for a Pash and Dash.
61 York Street Sydney
Blink and you might miss the sewing machine which is a dead giveaway for this stunning underground bar. Go through the wooden saloon doors and down the stairs to be led to a world of smokey cocktails and yummy food. The Smoking Rocket is a must-have if you’re looking for a signature cocktail, with whiskey, tequila, and a slice of chilli for an extra kick of flavour.
Eau de Vie
229 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst
While Eau de Vie technically doesn’t have any signs, it’s always packed to the brim with patrons waiting for one of the best cocktails in Australia. We’re not kidding. Ask for the Noble Experiment which is made with nitrogen, or a fruity Yuzu Mule with tequila instead of vodka. You’ll thank us later!
The Baxter Inn
Basement 152-156 Clarence Street Sydney
Voted as one of Sydney’s best bars (for real) this place is known for it’s smokey scotches and port wines. Situated in a back alleyway and under 2 flights of stairs, the 1950’s music is welcoming and the bartenders basically all sport a cool moustache.
Images via Urban Walkabout, Marble Bar, Timeout, News.com.au
The winter weather isn’t always a bad thing, especially when the annual Vivid Sydney festival comes to town between May 22 – June 8, 2015. Whether you’re planning a night out with great food, warm drinks, or even a trip with the kids, here are our top 10 suggestions on what to check out.
Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
You might be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Future Classic, one of Australia’s biggest independent record labels. They’ve teamed up with Vivid this year to celebrate their 10 year anniversary and it certainly won’t disappoint.
Over 2 nights, major acts such as Flume, Flight Facilities, George Maple, and Seekae will be performing at the Sydney Opera House, right under the stars. Tickets are officially sold out, but it’s definitely worth a shot looking for one.
Even if you don’t have pipes like Mariah Carey, it doesn’t mean it should stop you from belting out your favourite tune. Vivid has paired up with The Star and various other pop-up bars including Martin Place, The Rocks, and Darling Harbour to bring you the ultimate karaoke outing.
Take the kids for a fun night out with some child-friendly light walks over the city and the eastern suburbs. Campbells Cove, First Fleet Park and Martin Place are just some of the major attractions this year. The best part? It’s absolutely free.
Freda’s: 107-109 Regent Street, Chippendale
Escape the crowds in the city and head to Chippendale for a quite meal over the next few weeks. This hidden bar is located inside a 100-year old warehouse (if you can find it!) and is packed with yummy food and drinks to re-fuel your adventures.
Sydney Town Hall: 483 George Street, Sydney
31st May 5:30pm-7pm, $30
As part of Vivid Talks, there are a number of different seminars taking place over the next few weeks across the city. One of the highlights of the program is Matthew Weiner, the creator of hit television show, Mad Men.
What do you plan on attending during Vivid Sydney 2015?
Images via Vivid Sydney
Regardless of where you live in Sydney, there are many brunch spots scattered all over the city which are definitely worth their travel time. So whether you like poached eggs, pancakes, or avocado on toast, these cafes specialise in mid-morning meals, which is sure to bring in the likes on Instagram.
The Grounds of Alexandria
This is technically cheating since The Grounds is perfect at any time of day, but who can resist a brunch session on a lazy Sunday morning? The fruit platters are divine, but the baked eggs and fresh juices are a must, also.
If you love bacon, then Cuckoo Callay is definitely the place to be. Pumpkin fritters, marinated avocado, and a classic quinoa bircher is the best way to bring in the weekend.
Bread and Circus Wholefoods Canteen
While you’ve probably seen this one splashed across your newsfeed before, there’s a good reason why. Offering clean and healthy brunch meals, the menu at Bread and Circus is sure to satisfy any craving.
Three Queens on King
Indulge in a generous serving of cured salmon and poached eggs with a side of freshly squeezed orange juice… Yum!
The Boat House
Where: Balmoral and Palm Beach
Another cult favourite has got to be The Boat House, which features stunning views of the beach plus some killer coffee.
The 5 Cafes Pantry
Tucked away in a little side street is a delicious menu perfect for those who want to enjoy egg and dairy-free options.
Indigo Double Bay
Where: Double Bay
Treat the entire family to wholewheat pancakes and aromatic coffee, located in Sydney’s east.
For something a little sweeter, why not test-run the crunchy French brioche with yoghurt, nuts, and berries? Drooling in 3, 2, 1.
Lady J Cafe
Where: Bondi Junction
Try one of the best cronuts in the city if you’re taking a meal to-go, or sit down and enjoy a classic smashed avocado.
Try the new breaky box featuring sticky roasted pumpkin, boiled egg, blue lentil, avocado, and raw veggies.
Images via Instagram
Are you a Sydney local who fancies a drink (or two) after a long day at the office?
Look no further! We have tracked down some of the cities best cocktail bars to unwind at with an after-work beverage, and all of which you can really let your hair down until it’s time to do it all over again.
The Baxter Inn
Where: Basement, 152-156 Clarence Street, Sydney
We recommend: Whiskey and Fresh Apple Juice
Often hailed as one of the best cocktail bars in the entire city, there is no way you can be disappointed with a statement like that. While the focus is on whiskey and wine, the bartenders specialise in all kinds of cocktails and the 1950s music is sure to get you in the party mood – that is, if you can find the underground bar.
Eau de vie
Where: 229 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst
We recommend: The Noble Experiment
Located in the bustling suburb of Darlinghurst, Eau de Vie serves up some of the most interesting cocktails in the entire city. There’s no chance of ever getting bored in this establishment, just take a look and see how your cocktails are made!
Where: 123 Victoria Street, Potts Point
We recommend: Air France
Although The Butler is a relatively new bar located just east of the city centre, it deserves a visit for more than just its views of the Royal Botanical Gardens. With a long list of cocktails, which are sure to land you Instagram’s popular feed, they are accompanied by a tasty cuisine of modern Australian food.
Where: 61 York Street, Sydney
We recommend: The Smokey Rocket
If you’re ever working near Wynyard, then Stitch Bar is the place to be. With a broad range of cocktails on offer, there is bound to be something you like. Definitely try The Smoking Rocket if you love a gentle fusion of whiskey and tequila with a pinch of lime and chilli.
Gazebo Wine Garden
Where: 2 Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay
We recommend: Giggly Rose
You’ve probably made it to the Winery in Surry Hills before, but nothing beats the charm that is Gazebo Wine Bar. If the French garden isn’t enough to lure you in, then the cocktails will.
Images via Ecouzi and Chanel Bags And Cigarette Drags
Walking into Esstudio Galleria is like entering an oasis of calm, luxury and, most importantly, comfort. Upon my visit, I was greeted instantly and taken my ‘seat at the table’ which is where I would have my hair coloured and blow-dried as well as my mini manicure.
The beautiful hardwood table in the centre of the space already had a number of women sitting around it, with some lollies and a pot of herbal tea in the centre, as well as some magazines and a few small mirrors for the ladies to check on their progress. The table is positioned directly under a beautiful chandelier that, I am told, came all the way from Argentina. It is certainly a sight to behold, trust me!
I wandered around the site as I waited and snapped these amazing pics and definitely do NOT do the place justice. You need to see it for yourself!
Established in 2011, by hairstylist Aleks Abadia and beauty therapist Jacqui (Jax) Arnold, Esstudio Galleria has quickly become an institution for all things beauty.
Located in Sydney’s inner-city artistic hub of Chippendale, the duo specialise in the entertainment industry. On-screen and press credits to date range from Sunday Night, MTV, Today Tonight and from OK! magazine right through to Australian Country Style. Aleks has also had the opportunity to work with the likes of Kate Bosworth and Miranda Kerr.
Aleks and Jax are also two of the warmest souls I’ve encountered and I walked out with my hair reinvigorated (with a touch of colour and a beautiful blow-dry, which lasted for the wedding I attended the next day) and my nails were popping and gorgeous!
“The Esstudio difference lies in the fact that we offer our clients and talent the full spectrum of beauty services in the one place. We provide a luxe experience and superior service in an attitude free environment. Our team are artists and our goal is to ensure each and every client who walks through the door leaves feeling restored, relaxed and recreated.”
The Esstudio Galleria menu includes:
Hair: The Esstudio hair department is run by Aleks. From blow drys to cuts, colour, treatments and styles, each begins with a luxurious hair wash and massage. Hair packages and mens hair dos are also on offer.
Beauty: Jax, who has over 20 years experience in the beauty industry and over 10 years specialising in IPL hair removal and photo-rejuvenation treatments runs the beauty department. Treatments include La Clinica face rubs and body treatments, waxing, IPL, photo rejuvenation, spray tanning and an array of mens grooming treatments.
Nails: Nail treatments include deluxe or quick claws (manis) and deluxe or quick paws (pedis). Esstudio specialise in all types of NAIL-ART with a vast range of polish choices, including Chanel or Australia’s own Hello Darling, CND vinylux and Shellac polish.
Makeup: Using Mac and Ben NYE, Esstudio’s makeup services range from basic and date-night makeup to headshots, special events and of course weddings.
Eyelashes: Premium silk eyelash extensions are available at Esstudio in full sets, half sets, 30- minute refills, 45-minute refills and one-hour refills.
Cosmetic tattooing: Special guest Gordana Willesse will be joining the team and offering a full range of permanent cosmetic tattooing options, from brows to eye line and lip line.
Alternative Therapies: Esstudio caters for the soul too, offering Reiki and massage healings, ear candling and even psychic readings.
Esstudio Galleria is located at 5 Queen St, Chippendale and they can be contacted by phone on 02 9698 1135, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website http://esstudio.com.au
The return to work after the weekend leads to feelings of dread for many Australians, according to leading travel and lifestyle site lastminute.com.au 2015 travel trends data, which shows over one in three people (34 per cent) don’t like Mondays.
The research also identified almost one in two (46 per cent) Australians don’t switch off when they leave the office, answering work calls or emails on weekends or their days off. Plus, nearly half of Aussies surveyed (47 per cent) didn’t take all of their annual leave last year.
According to lastminute.com.au spokesperson, Louise Ryan, it’s no wonder so many Australians get the Monday blues, with many focusing on all work and no play.
“Between answering work calls and not using allocated annual leave for holidays, many Australians don’t make the most of their time off, making Mondays even tougher than they should be.
“Planning a few cheeky extended weekend breaks throughout the year not only means you are making the most of your annual leave, being away and ‘out of reach’ will also make it easier to escape and be unavailable to phone calls and emails.
“When you get the back-to-work dread at work on a Monday morning, having a long weekend away planned in the pipeline may just make Monday a little less painful”.
lastminute.com.au top tips for beating the Monday blues in 2015:
- Plan ahead: Before the year starts to get hectic, lock a few long weekend escapes in your calendar, from an inner city Melbourne weekend, to a tropical North Queensland retreat or weekend of wine time in the Barossa – or all three!
- Take a staycation: If the budget doesn’t allow you to take an interstate trip, then book yourself into a luxe five-star hotel in your own city. Be adventurous and book a Secret Hotel which allows you to book five-star hotels at bargain rates of up to 40% off when staying 72 hours out.
- Return to work mid-week: Where possible beat the Monday blues by heading back to work after a holiday on a Wednesday so you only have a few days to get through before the weekend. Much less daunting than a full five-day working week!
- Switch off on the weekends: Set rules with your boss and switch off the work phone and emails on the weekends, or if you can’t completely turn-off at least give yourself an afternoon away from technology.
5. Live every lastminute: Mix up your weekends and do something completely out of your comfort zone. Maybe test your bravery with sky-diving, or get the adrenalin racing by swimming with sharks, or sharpen your skills with a cooking class. lastminute.com.au has a range of fun activities and experiences on offer throughout Australia.
Inspired to beat the Monday blues in 2015? Check out lastminute.com.au for fantastic hotel, flights, packages and experiences on offer.
*According to lastminute.com.au’s 2015 Travel + Lifestyle Report which surveyed 4100+ Australians.
Now that summer is well under way, travel expert and Sydney local Louise Ryan from leading travel and lifestyle site, lastminute.com.au, has put together her ‘must do’ list of things to do this summer in Sydney. Whether you are a local on ‘staycation’ or visiting from interstate, there are so many ways to live every last minute of summer in Sydney.
With incredible beaches, a thriving bar scene, arts, events and festivals, Summer in Sydney really is the best time of the year. Lastminute.com.au’s top 10 ways to love Sydney this summer:
Hit the beaches
Sydney is spoilt when it comes to beaches, from Bondi to Palm Beach, Manly and Cronulla. Our pick this Summer is to venture to Coogee in the Eastern Suburbs, often referred to as Bondi’s ‘little sister’. Make a weekend of it and stay at the Coogee Sands Hotel & Apartments which is conveniently located next to the latest ‘it’ spot in town, Justin Hemmes Coogee Pavilion (which is also the ultimate spot for a post swim beverage!).
Summer in Sydney wouldn’t be the same without Sydney Festival’s Symphony in The Domain. Pack a picnic, a blanket, gather your friends and get ready to settle in for a relaxing, free evening of music under the stars. Why not nab a Sydney Secret Hotel deal and make a real night of it?
As the sun sets
Hot, balmy beach days are the perfect excuse to relax with refreshing afternoon cocktails! Grab some friends and sip on mojitos, cosmos or daiquiris at any of Sydney’s water view outdoor bars such as Watsons Bay Hotel, The Glenmore Rooftop in The Rocks, or The Bucket List in Bondi.
Stay in a swanky Sydney hotel
Make the most of the Summer deals by booking yourself or spoiling a loved one with a stay at one of the city’s lush five-star hotels. Beat the heat and stay at the ultra cool QT Sydney located in the heart of Sydney’s shopping district. With lastminute.com.au’s Summer in Sydney deal enjoy two welcome drinks, plus a late 12pm checkout from $295 per night. Bargain!
Hop on your bike
Explore the city by bike, either on your own or as part of a bike tour. Make sure you stop at one of the many cafes which cater to cyclists around town. Drop into Bespoke and Grind in Marrickville; Atelier in the city; Deus Café in Camperdown; and Town Bike Pitstop en route.
Get out on the beautiful harbour
Go all out this summer and experience Sydney via a luxury yacht! What better way to enjoy an evening than by cruising Sydney Harbour at sunset as you eat delicious King Island cheeses and sip on a glass of bubbles. Prices start from $120 per person.
There are so many awesome day trip destinations just outside of Sydney. Hire a car and road trip down the Grand Pacific Drive to the beautiful South Coast, visiting seaside towns such as Kiama, Gerringong and Wollongong. Or alternatively, ditch the car and enjoy a wine tasting tour to the Hunter Valley.
Pop to Popism
Check out the latest Art Gallery of NSW’s current exhibition which is on until 1 March 2015. With more than 200 pieces of work on show, Pop to Popism is colourful and fun, featuring the work of the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Hot tip – a visit to the Art Gallery is the perfect excuse to visit Matt Moran’s latest incredible restaurant, Chiswick at the Gallery.
Spend a weekend in Manly
Catch the iconic ferry from Circular Quay to beautiful Manly Beach, a world away from Sydney’s CBD. Why not stay the weekend and spend your days at the beach, or hike the incredible Manly to Spit Bridge walk.
Local foodie secrets
Explore Sydney’s little Vietnam and taste all of its culinary delights during a I ate my way through Cabramatta Vietnamese inspired tour. Enjoy the opportunity to sample lesser known Vietnamese delights at a colourful lunch banquet, plus shop like a local as your guide shows you all the best places for creating Vietnamese cuisine.
A lot happened in 2014. The world lost some amazing talent, Aussies got a royal visit and experienced terrorism first hand. Plus, the world readied itself for the spread of Ebola and flying via Malaysia Airlines became a risk many wanted to avoid. We spare a few moments on this final day of the year to take a look back at some of the big events which got our attention during 2014.
The Ukraine and Crimean Crisis
Political events in Ukraine and Russia seemed to dominate global news from late 2013 and continued for most of 2014. Crimea announced its independence from Ukraine on March 17 and over 300 000 Ukraine protesters gathered in Kiev’s Independence Square, against the decision. The authorised slaughter of over 100 protesters saw the fall of Ukraine’s President, who fled the country to avoid criminal charges. The residents of Ukraine elected themselves a new President with the hope of stopping the civil and political unrest, however tension in the region remains.
In February, the spread of Ebola – which began in West Africa – startled health officials as they scrambled to contain the outbreak. Fearing the next AIDS epidemic, the World Health Organization implemented treatment protocols as health care workers began contracting the deadly virus. Thankfully Ebola hasn’t progressed to be the global epidemic, many health officials had feared.
The trial of Oscar Pistorius
The world watched on as the Oscar Pistorious trial began is South Africa on March 3rd. Accused of killing his lover, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14 2013, the trial took many months, concluding with a guilty verdict of culpable homicide. Sentenced to five years imprisonment, the former Paralympian is said to be appealing his sentence.
The mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 began on March 8, when the plane disappeared with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. A massive search and rescue operation was performed, but failed when the plane and its occupants literally vanished from the sky.
The Australian Royal Visit
In April, Aussies got a glimpse of William, Kate and little Prince George. For die-hard Royalists, it was an opportunity too good to miss. There was a little controversy about the royal trio skipping Melbourne on their travels, but all in all the royal visit was reasonably well received.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over the Russian/Ukraine border on July 17, on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 283 passengers and 15 on board lost their lives. Officials are currently investigating and the report is due to be released in August 2015.
The death of Robin Williams
The world was stunned by the sudden death of Robin Williams on August 11. Most of us had a tear to shed and fondly remembered the talented actor/comedian. His much loved characters were forever immortalised in history by his passing and quotes like “Captain, my Captain”, “Good Morning Vietnam” and of course “nanoo nanoo” reigned across social media.
Terror in Sydney
On December 16, Australians experienced a first-hand account of terrorism. A lone gunman stormed a local Sydney coffee shop in Martin Place, holding hostages and the city captive. Aussies across the nation watched breaking news in disbelief as events unfolded. The following day, the resilience of Australian residents was revealed to the world. Millions of flowers were laid in honour of the two victims who tragically lost their lives and displayed sheer determination as they reclaimed their beloved city.
Image via downloadwindows8themes.com/
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
“I’m not racist, I just hate Chinese people – oh and all the Muslims, of course.”
A heinous outlook, isn’t it? I’m not kidding – someone recently said this appallingly racist, stupid and ignorant statement to my face.
And in the wake of Monday’s 16-hour Sydney siege – which saw three people die, including two innocent hostages and the gunman at the centre of the siege at the Lindt Chocolate Café, Martin Place, in Sydney’s CBD – let’s look at Australia’s dark, ugly underbelly of racism, which has once again surged to the fore of public consciousness.
The siege, when ended in tragedy in the early hours of last Tuesday morning, has caused an outpouring of public grief and inevitable finger-pointing and conflicting opinion.
On the positive, the site of the siege has now become an ever-expanding sea of beautiful floral tributes as far as the eye can see. And the widely supported #illridewithyou hashtag, in support of peace-loving Muslims now scared of public retaliatory attacks and abuse on public transport, reflected great solidarity in the face of terror and mad extremism.
But nothing can bring back the dead – the innocent victims of the bloody siege – café manager Tori Johnson, 34, and barrister and mother of three Katrina Dawson, 38.
Their loved ones must be experiencing unimaginable grief and our hearts go out to them. And some of the 17 hostages held during the siege have returned to the scene of their terrifying ordeal to leave tributes. But their lives will never be the same – it will take great courage and strength to put this torment behind them.
But at a time for the nation’s sorrow, reflection and unity – and respect for the siege victims and their families – those who peddle racial vilification found a new hate target.
“All muslims are evil!” ranted some. And: “Refugees should go back to where they came from!” And the old racist’s standby: “You’re type aren’t welcome in our country!”
Police have also reported an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment and racial attacks since the siege. I like to think and hope that the majority of Australians will not tolerate such senseless, rampant racism peddled by the stupid, uneducated, prejudiced and uninformed.
Let’s all rise up to defend fellow peace-loving citizens in our community, no matter what their culture, race, religion or creed.
For the terrible atrocities committed by a mad, evil and lone Muslim gunman with a violent past is no excuse to let senseless and vile hatred infiltrate our lives. Many many peace-loving and law-abiding moderate Muslims live among us and have condemned the Sydney siege.
And sure, standing up to racist bullies isn’t easy – especially if it’s someone you know, as in my case – but we owe it to ourselves and our children to do what’s right.
Let’s hope the inherent good in most people triumphs over illogical, blind, bitter and baseless racial vilification.
For racism has no place in multicultural, modern Australia. I won’t stand for it. Will you?
What do you think?
It’s hard to believe but the Melbourne Cup raceday is just around the corner and if, like us, you feel it has crept up all too soon, we have decided to take the weight of deciding where to go off your shoulders. The SHESAID team has scoured the east coast to find some of the best happenings to get to next Tuesday and bring your co-workers along for the ride.
Ravesi’s, Bondi Beach
Start the day as Marilyn Monroe once did, with a glass of Piper Heidsieck – all Melbourne Cup guests of Ravesi’s will receive a flute of Piper Heidsieck champagne on arrival. Then, enjoy a delicious 3-course lunch prepared especially for the day by Ravesi’s Executive Chef Darren Elmes. Be sure to pick your most glamorous outfit and your most spectacular hats and fascinators for the day, as there will be Fashions on the Terrace and fantastic prizes up for grabs for the best dressed.
The Argyle, The Rocks
The Argyle is renowned for hosting Sydney’s biggest and most exciting Melbourne Cup party, and this year is no exception with over 3000 party goers set to gallop through the gates from 11am to experience its five unique bars and outdoor cobbled courtyard. Special guest celebrity MCs will host this year’s renowned event and punters should come dressed to impress for the venue’s annual Fashions on the Field competition, where prizes will be awarded to the best dressed throughout the day. A selection of food stations as well as large screens and TAB facilities will also be available.
Yellowglen Pop-up Cup, Paddington Markets
The Yellowglen Pop-Up Cup will be hosted by Yellowglen brand ambassador and NYC-based jewellery designer, Samantha Wills. From 12noon-5pm Paddington Markets will be transformed into a bustling laneway style festival complete with a Yellowglen wine bar, beer bar, Yellowglen cocktails served on the hour, street style food, big screens showing the race that stops the nation, bookies and DJ tunes. The perfect event to pop some bubbles and enjoy the best of the Melbourne Cup in the heart of Sydney. Tickets are $90 each and include food, drinks and entertainment all day.
Located in the heart of the city, Sheraton Melbourne Hotel is the ideal raceday meeting spot. Enjoy a champagne breakfast or opt for lunch at Little Collins Street Kitchen. The celebrations continue into the evening at The Terrace Bar, a contemporary-designed rooftop space serving refreshments in an exquisite outdoor setting overlooking Little Collins Street.
Lavazza Marquee at Flemington
The best place in the world to be on raceday is at the actual race, of course! Queen of neo-soul Erykah Badu will be in attendance at the Lavazza marquee – Caffé Lavazza – on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day. All eyes will be on Badu not only for her performance but also her choice of hat, which is generating talk due to Badu’s love of signature high, eclectic and unique headwear. This year marks 12 years of Lavazza’s involvement in the Melbourne Cup Carnival, with an ever-strong entertainment line-up. In that time, guests have been entertained by the likes of Richie Sambora, Mel B, Roger Sanchez, Heather Small, Sarah De Bono, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Vogue Williams and other talented performers.
According to recent statistics, an average wedding in Sydney is estimates to cost around $70,000. The national average spend is at least $36,200 (according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission), and $53,000 as quoted by the wedding industry.
So how does city compare to country? Weddings in Mudgee can cost around $10,000, which is one-third of the city pricetag, according to Central NSW Tourism. But that’s just one of the reasons the region is a hot-spot for tying the knot.
Central NSW Tourism has launched its first wedding website showcasing Mudgee’s growing appeal as a wedding destination with gorgeous historic venues, boutique accommodation and stunning scenery.
Lucy White, executive officer at Central NSW Tourism, said:
“Mudgee weddings are much less expensive than formal city events, are a fun adventure for guests to getaway for a few days, and there is a variety of venues in beautiful vineyard settings.
“The region is renowned amongst foodies and with a culinary and creative passion that runs deep, our professionals can cater for an intimate gathering of 20 guests through to a large celebration of up to 850 people.
“Domayn Events can create a vintage-inspired Marquee among ripening vines, try food from the paddock at hip new restaurant Pipeclay Pumphouse, or dine at long candle-lit tables at Wild Oats Pavilion, our oldest winery.”
Perfect for busy brides, the new website features inspirational imagery and a directory of venues, caterers, photographers, celebrants, accommodation, churches, event planners, suppliers, florists, hair and beauty and activity ideas.
Stay at the luxurious and architect-designed Horizon Mudgee, in a historic home at Cawarra on the Park, or in a spa suite at Parklands Resort.
The Mudgee region is a four-hour drive from Sydney with a historic town centre, wine bars, cafes, restaurants, shopping and activities such as golf, winery tours and bush-walking.
Experience at www.visitcentralnsw.com.au