Royal Hotel Randwick
This stately two-storey heritage listed hotel looks like a country pub. Built in 1887, it’s wrapped by wide verandahs. The downstairs one is the perfect place to sink a ten-buck Frozen Margarita ($10) on a sunny day, watching the people of Randwick pass by.
Queens Park Shed
New is out, converted is in. A disused sports shed in Centennial Park is the latest ‘found café’ to emerge in the fields of Queens Park. The space is modern and airy, while maintaining the integrity of its past through rustic finishes, quirky light fittings, and a gorgeous water station that employs the original pipes.
The Ivanhoe Hotel
With alcohol-fuelled violence plaguing Manly, this pub took a clever way out. It started with a total renovation by Paul Kelly, the man responsible for The Bourbon and The Oaks. The resulting airy, modern hotel has a whitewashed and gently weathered Hamptons feel, with multiple spaces to enjoy, including The Pines, a nautical level fitted out by another big name - Sibella Court.
Joining the fast food line-up on George Street is a little stealth vegetarianism, crossing over from south of the border. Lord of the Fries (who have eight Melbourne-based stores) dish up hand cut fries, special sauces (my pick is the Canadian poutine) and burgers with LOTF patties rather than meat.
It's pretty much the only place on Oxford Street where you can dine al fresco and not be in a gutter. At first it seemed to be a chain store fad, but it's actually still popular after all these years, so I thought I'd revisit. While the uniforms, rum and cigars are distinctly Cuban, the food only hints of Havana, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Cornerstone Bar & Food
“We have to remind ourselves that we are a theatre bar,” says Manager Dominic Carnevale. After Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week saw them cater to 22,000 people in a four-and-a-half day period, I reckon Carriageworks’ pre-and-post theatre crowds should be a breeze.
It’s not often a food festival offers a burger lover like me the chance to wrap my mitts around different burgers from sixty-nine different eateries, but that’s how Visa Wellington on a Plate rolls. It’s taking over Wellington, New Zealand (just a three hour hop across the ditch) from the 9th -25th August.
Ultra cool space. Very Newtown. Bloody delicious burgers. And queues! Is it worth the wait? We wandered upstairs and downstairs early on a Thursday night looking for a table and finally we grabbed the only available stools at the end of a shared bench. The BAR DUDE seated me like a lady while he ordered our drinks, brought back his beer and reported that my Sazerac would be brought to the table.
The Botanist Kirribilli
Taking an atypical expedition to the north side of the harbour, I set out at dusk to observe a rare species: the Kirribilli wine bar. Rumoured to be the only one operating, I entered carefully, scoping the darkened layout under the cover of leaves, before proceeding to the only remaining table in the loudly buzzing room. The natives, it would seem, have adopted this bar rather wholeheartedly.