Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Some Bread and Butter?

Bread and Butter, 89 Parraween Street, Cremorne
Just 4 weeks ago a new coffee shop, named Bread and Butter, opened in Cremorne (yes, my hood!). It's the little sister of Foundry Fifty Three from Manly and it is so worth mentioning!
It is small, only a few seats inside and two tables outside, but therefor very warm and cosy. They buy their coffee from a boutique roaster named Barrel One, which is pretty strong, but that's the way I like it :-). You can even chose your own brew method (cold drip, pour over, aero press or chemex…). For lunch I ordered an organic fruit toast with ricotta, fresh figs and a winter ginger sauce, really really outstanding! The rest of their menu consists out of fresh breads, muffins, all kinds of eggs, bruschetta, wraps and delicious salads.
Next door they also just opened a furniture store, Warehouse Four Ten, where they sell beautiful industrial and timber pieces with very rare oddities. Bit French Provence / Northern Beaches style.
The coffee and furniture shop are run by a mother and her son and daughter. They are currently very busy as they will soon open a wine bar next door as well! As if that's not enough, coming Friday they will open the doors of a pop-up store, upstairs, with designer clothes and art. I will definitely check this out (and grab another coffee at the bar as well…)!
Warehouse Four Ten, 392 Military Road, Cremorne

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A day on the river...

One of the many things I like about Sydney is that within 30 minutes from the city centre you can be in the most beautiful nature you can imagine.
The other day we took the kids to Hawkesbury River. We drove to the Empire Marina on Bobbin Head Road and started with a nice coffee at the Galley Foods Kiosk. In the meantime the kids enjoyed themselves with feeding the many fishes swimming in the marina!
At this same marina we hired a small tin boat (also called a tinny by the Aussies). It has an outboard motor and a convenient sunroof. From the marina we sailed all the way up onto Cowan Creek till Cottage Point. Cowan Creek is a beautiful river with many scenic bays to swim, fish or have a rest. On the way back we anchored in one of those bays and enjoyed our picnic, what a treat!
Bobbin Head is part of the Ku-ring-gai Chase national park. Besides enjoying this gorgeous river you can also try the many hiking trails this area has to offer to explore much more of this beautiful part of Sydney!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

On the grounds..

Today I checked out Sydney's suburb Alexandria. This inner-city suburb is well-known for its warehouses and trucks which does not make it very pretty. But nevertheless it is becoming very popular nowadays due to the great demand of the brunchers in Sydney. And going out for brunch is what you do in Sydney! A very special place is the Grounds of Alexandria. This beautiful area contains of a huge kitchen garden complete with a chicken run and lamb stable for the little ones. In the garden you can order take away coffees and bbq, while the kids are playing in a tiny but very cute playground.

 You can order delicious home made breads, cakes and fresh lemonade from the outside stalls or buy your fresh flowers for the weekend! On the grounds you can also find their own cafe, where it's all about coffee and rustic food. Every day it is packed with people who love to try their sustainable kitchen and their own roasted coffee. They even offer world class trainings where you can learn all the aspects of the coffee journey!

The Grounds of Alexandria, 2 Huntley St., Alexandria

On the same grounds you will find Salt Meats Cheese. This enormous warehouse is full of high quality imported food and... it's reasonably priced! The owners are Italian but you can find goodies from all over the world. They offer cooking classes and food demonstrations and sell delicious fresh pastas, meats and cheeses, yum!
                                                 Salt Meats Cheese, 41 Bourke Rd, Alexandria

Friday, 16 August 2013

La douce France down under!

After enjoying a delicious authentic French paté (with a good glass of red wine) in my friend's backyard, she revealed the secret place where she bought this extraordinary French appetiser: L'Ami de Pain Boulangerie Café in Cremorne.
Of course I immediately needed to check this place out and it is indeed very special!
Besides the beautiful paté de campagne (with pistachios or mixed herbs) they have a great choice of cheeses, confit de canard, escargots and of course croissants, quiches, pies, brioches and baguettes. Fancy something sweet? Try their exquisite chocolate truffles, florentines and tartes éclaires!
They serve their food from 6.30 am till 6.00 pm, all provided by the professional French chef Thierry. Outside they have put a few tables to enjoy your food and coffee in the sunshine and kids can enjoy themselves in the special play area in the corner of the restaurant.
The restaurant itself lacks a bit of atmosphere, it even feels a bit daggy! But as long as the food is great and the coffee outstanding, who cares? Just 'vérifier cela'!
L'Ami de Pain Boulangerie Café, 37 Spofforth St., Cremorne

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Vaucluse's little gem

Tucked away on the water edge of Vaucluse you will find Shark beach. This gorgeous white sanded beach is situated behind the unspoiled green Nielsen Park where you can play ball and enjoy your picnic. Of course it is one of the several beautiful beaches Sydney has to offer, but this one is special due to several reasons. The first reason is the way you can get there. You can park your car right behind the park but you can also park on Bay View Hill Road. From there you start a 45 minute hike which leads you along the foreshore of Vaucluse to Nielsen Park. The track, which is part of the Sydney Harbour National Park, is a bit up and down hill, but very easy to follow. You pass several small glistening white secluded beaches, as Queens beach and Milk beach and you have a constant view towards the city, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge! The other reason is that when your hike is finished and you have arrived at Shark beach you can sit down and relax at The Kiosk. This beautiful authentic cafe, formerly the Old Kiosk, has been build in 1914. It belonged to the Greycliffe house, a large Victorian sand stone residence, but is always used as a cafe for the locals visiting Shark beach and Nielsen Park. When sitting on the terrace or on the brick steps of the beach you can still feel the atmosphere of the early days, as if time stood still... Another reason to experience this gem!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Found it!

After being in Holland for a week, I managed to find the place for my cup of coffee; the Espressofabriek in Amsterdam. It happened this morning when they totally surprised me. When ordering, I already started my full story of how I like my coffee: 'Uhh, can I have an espresso macchiato but with more milk, not too much.., etc.' The guy behind the counter got a twinkle in his eyes and said: 'Ok..., you mean a piccolo?' Aaahh... really? This was the last thing I expected! Then he told me that it is not common in Holland, but that he got to know it from Australia! How nice! Their wifi password is even 'flatwhite'..., seriously!! Besides the easy way of ordering, their coffee was made in perfection and they even serve it with a cold glass of water, as it should be. Lucky me!
Espressofabriek, IJburglaan 1489, Amsterdam

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

24 hours in Hong Kong?

Do you have 24 hours in Hong Kong? This is the best way to spend your time:
After a long flight you might need some relaxing time, right? Well, first stop at 98 Wellington Street, 13th floor, Jade Center, for the best foot massage at Happy Feet. It can hurt a bit, but afterwards you will feel totally renewed! Walk the escalators upwards and stroll along Hollywood Road to check out nice antique stores and lots of vintage fashion shops. Walk down into Peel Street and experience the impressive food stalls on the wet market. When this did not spoil your appetite, go for lunch to Dumpling Yuan, 69 Wellington St, Central. This authentic Chinese restaurant makes their own fresh dumplings which are a must to try! Also order the hot and sour soup which will keep you on your feet for the rest of the afternoon, hot and spicy!
From there walk down Pottinger Street. This steep little street is full of shops with funny costumes, face masks, trimmings like buttons, hairbands, ribbings, etc. Cross Queen's Road Central and explore the so called 'Lanes' (Li Yuen St West / East and Douglas Lane) for nice souvenirs and cheap goodies to take back home. 
When you still have some energy, walk to Garden Road and take the Peak tram. This steep train track will bring you to the top of the mountain and you will be treated by the most stunning vistas of Hong Kong! At diner time go to Soho or Wyndham Street, where you can find divine restaurants from all over the world. Still time left for a drink? Dive into Lan Kwai Fong and soak up the buzzing atmosphere or go in style and head to the top floor of Prince's building to have a cocktail at the rooftop of Sevvas, bliss!
Of course these are just a few of the hundreds of tips what to do in Hong Kong, but I am sure you will be back soon to explore much more of this amazing city!