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Music | Posse - Part 2

A New Take on the Humble Picnic

November 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm


One of the joys of the warmer months is the humble picnic. But picnics aren’t so humble anymore. Enter the two English foodies who have formed the Sydney Picnic Company, with a gourmet basket for each and every occasion.

Simon and Natalie Thomas were just a pair of newlyweds on their Sydney honeymoon when they fell in love with the spectacular picnic spots that Sydney has to offer. Now, twelve years later, they have taken the picnic basket far beyond a roast chicken and a couple of dinner rolls.

The couple offer fresh, seasonal hampers filled with everything you need for the perfect picnic. Their most popular hamper, the Sydney Picnic, comes with Australian king prawns tossed in Sichuan salt and pepper. Open the lid a little wider and you’ll discover free range roast chicken on a bed of fregola tossed with lemon and toasted pepitas. Each basket has a little twist and Natalie and Simon have just introduced their Spring Picnic which offers a jumble of salads and hearty mains, paired with double cream French brie (they love to use Aussie produce, but Natalie lives by French cheese) and a blueberry compote with crushed salted shortbread with vanilla cream.


basketPacked to perfection. These hampers aren’t missing a single thing.

This is a truly different way to dine. What once was a favourite with couples celebrating anniversaries and birthdays, has now become a popular treat for hen’s nights, baby showers and even weddings.  Simon and Natalie are constantly tailoring each basket to reflect every occasion, offering delicious additions like an extra cheese course or a vegetarian and gluten free option.

sydneyweddingpicnicA sneak-peek of Simon and Natalie’s basket for an al fresco wedding reception.

So maybe it’s time to head outside and choose a spot on the grass without the fuss of packing your own basket. Sit back, relax and let the Sydney Picnic Company take care of everything.

Contact Natalie on 0420 943 670

Bookings should be made 48 hours in advance

Belvoir Bring Theatre to the Masses

November 5, 2014 at 12:25 pm


10537286_10152295816526710_7914468533368362988_oThe Belvoir St Theatre is a Sydney institution. This year it will celebrate twenty years of it’s Unwaged Performances Program which invites keen theatre goers to matinees, free of charge. (Source)

The play bill for 2014 at the Belvoir St Theatre has been impressive. Just last month, director Eamon Flack offered audiences his take on the Tennessee Williams classic The Glass Menagerie, showcasing the talent of Luke Mullins (Angels in America) and Australian tour de force Pamela Rabe. In the coming months, audiences will be drawn into a Dickensian Christmas with  Anne-Louise Sark’s direction of A Christmas Carol which promises to put a modern spin on the classic tale of second chances, and finding joy in each little corner of the world.

But the theatre is certainly not cheap. Belvoir has enjoyed a rich history of community connections and  for twenty years now, has invited members of the public to come for a free Thursday matinee. This is all part of the theatre’s Community Access Program which aims to bring Australian theatre to everybody, regardless of age, financial constraints or physical location.

10373021_10152306982101710_5312823340127510398_oRose Riley and Pamela Rabe in ‘The Glass Menagerie’ (Source)

While concessions and pensioners are welcomed frequently at a little under the normal cost, it’s good to know that everybody can come to the theatre if they stay in the Belvoir loop. There is a full house of 320 seats for the taking in the Upstairs theatre but the keen ones had better get in there fast as these Unwaged Performances have a history of long lines of enthusiastic audiences weaving out the door and down the street.

These performances are just a fragment of the Belvoir community experience. Local groups and charities are frequently invited to apply for the Charitable Tickets Program which helps to fill the theatre with audiences who wouldn’t normally have access to it.

Australian theatre at its finest, the Belvoir St Theatre is bringing theatre to all those who want it.

Unwaged Performances:

Thursdays at 2pm

To check eligibility visit here

Step Back in Time at the ArtHouse Hotel

November 3, 2014 at 6:33 pm

drsketchysHeading out for a quiet drink on a Tuesday night will be forever changed with one visit to the ArtHouse hotel. Flex you artistic muscles for a night of live Burlesque drawing, courtesy of Dr Sketchy.  (Source)

Taking inspiration from Brooklyn, NYC, the ArtHouse hotel plays host  to live models and artists of all skill levels for an evening of drawing and debauchery. Dr Sketchy’s live burlesque drawing class was devised in 2005 in an effort to bring a new flavour to life drawing. But this class is not just for seasoned artists, it’s for everybody. It’s completely up to you whether you use your time beneath the red glow of the bar light to refine your sketching skills, or you just grab a group of friends to enjoy the bar food and cocktails while you attempt a quasi-masterpiece of your own making.

sketchAn art sample from a night with Dr Sketchy (Source)

If you want to just go and soak up the atmosphere, the ArtHouse hotel has a generous menu that you can enjoy including a James Squire beer battered fish and chips or stuffed portabello mushrooms. It wouldn’t be night of scandal however without a cheeky cocktail, and this menu doesn’t disappoint. If you want to keep up that burlesque era feel, then it’s worth sampling the disaronno sour, a double serve of almond liquor mixed with a healthy measure of sours and egg whites. There are also small cocktail jugs to share which are sure to refresh and impress.

Dr Sketchy’s is on every Tuesday at the ArtHouse Hotel. Don’t be shy, have a peek.

The ArtHouse Hotel

275 Pitt St, 2000

Tickets are $25 and include:

  • Entry to Dr Sketchy’s
  • Welcome drink
  • A-Reserved seating
  • Sketch pad and pencil

For more ticket information visit:


Twisted Classica at ACME

October 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm

acmeaspargusChef Mitch Orr’s asparagus spears with toasted quinoa and brown butter  (Source)

In the food world of ceviche, cronuts and kale chips, it’s refreshing to see the humble spaghetti getting another look in.

Mitchell Orr,  Edd Loveday, Andy Emerson, Cam Fairnbairn are the team behind ACME, a new addition to Rushcutters Bay where some fresh culinary surprises are in store.

But it’s not your standard bolognese at ACME. Chef Mitchell Orr offers  twisted classics like asparagus spears dipped in brown butter and toasted quinoa. A plate of this with some deep fried artichoke is sure to tide you over as you choose your main course. These posh bar snacks are best enjoyed with ACME’s unique signature cocktails, all devised by seasoned mixoligist Ed Loveday . If you’re in the mood for something strong and fresh, the ‘Celery’ fuses rye whiskey, citrus and soda is perfect.  For something a little more daring, ‘Purple Drank’ is definitely a winner with it’s combination of gin, vermouth, Campari and beetroot.

ACME-009-590x393One of the magnificent seven: fettucini, black sesame and and spring vegetables. (Source)


But pasta is the star here, despite the restaurant being decidedly un-Italian.  Orr plays with our family favourites pairing macaroni with pigs head and egg yolk. If you want to slurp some spaghetti, the bucantini with goat, mint and spicy nduja is delicious excuse to eat like a kid again. There are seven pastas on the menu but you had better enjoy each dish while you can, because Orr has hinted that the menu may change when you least expect it.

The ACME experience is not complete without sampling the dessert menu and Andrew Levin has certainly nailed the sweet and salty trend with his Malteser ice cream topped with bacon bits.

ACME is bringing a new life to Sydney’s food scene. Get in quick and grab a spoon.

60 Bayswater Rd, Rushcutters Bay 

8068 0932

Opening Hours:

Tues-Sat from 5pm

A New Flavour for Neutral Bay

October 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Grill'd Sliders 2

If you’re looking for small bars and unique restaurants, your hunt wouldn’t typically start in Sydney’s lower north shore. In the past five years however, the backstreets of Neutral Bay have been quietly transforming into a haven for foodies and cocktail lovers alike. Nights can be spent having a quiet drink with friends or grabbing anything from hearty and healthy American style cuisine, to a shared plate of tapas by candlelight. 

Burgers for the ‘Burbs

With the health craze upon us and recipes for sliders cropping up in every season of Masterchef, along comes Grill’d as an antidote to these two conflicting desires. This Melbourne born burger joint has set up a new location in Sydney’s Neutral Bay.

When you and your friends are arguing about a place to eat it’s not often easy to please everybody but it’s true to say we all probably abide by three golden rules: good value, good quality and above all, delicious food. Grill’d is the mouth-watering solution to your problem. Their aim is simply to deliver first-rate burgers, sliders, sandwiches and salads that are healthy and affordable.

In the past few years, Neutral Bay has transformed from a neighbourhood whose only claim to fame was having the busiest Woolies in Australia, to a charming little hub of bars and trendy eateries. Grill’d has already slid nicely into the scene with locals enjoying a free burger on opening day!

The standouts on the menu are definitely the ‘Hot’ Mama, a grass fed beef burger with a spicy hit of harissa which can be washed down with a beer of your choosing . Vegetarians aren’t forgotten either with options like the Wild Field Mushroom Burger paired with sweet potato fries dipped in hot chilli mayo. Every flavour can be thrown onto a freshly baked gluten free or wholemeal bun.

But it’s not all burgers and fries. Despite being a growing franchise, Grill’d’s mission statement promises a connection with the community. Customers have the chance to drop in the name of a community project into a jar so that the projects with the most votes will have a $500 donation split between them.

Generous with taste, quality and local spirit, Grill’d is ready to serve up the goods in Neutral Bay.

 24 Young St Neutral Bay 2089

Opening Hours:

Mon- Sun: 11am-10pm

Fri- Sat: 11am-11pm

Fully licensed wine and beer



Shaken, Not Stirred

If you fancy yourself a bit of James Bond type, then step back in time through the door of Neutral Bay’s Dr. No inspired bar Honey Rider.

For a bar in the suburbs, Honey Rider is not what you would expect. Tucked quietly between a real estate agency and a laundrette is a retro style door that invites you into an atmosphere that is less north shore, more Manhattan.

Whether you pull up a chair at the bar or choose one of the quieter corners amongst the leather furniture near the red brick wall, you will need to give yourself time to peruse the long cocktail list (hint: the menus are hidden in a vintage theatre program). High on the agenda is the Bramble: Tanqueray gin shaken with blackberry liquor, rock candy syrup and topped with fresh blackberries and a squeeze of lemon. If you’re still in the James Bond mood however, the bar staff are more than happy to knock up a classic Lillet martini. Shaken not stirred of course.

The cocktail menu is a little dangerous, with so many flavours to tempt the patrons so if  you’re in need of a little sustenance, Honey Rider’s pizzas are cheap, tasty and have toppings tailored to your wishes.


If cocktail’s aren’t your game, the wine list is generous, featuring a delicious $7 Prosecco served in 1920’s champagne glasses to keep that retro feel. The beer selection contains the usual Three Sheets and Mountain Goat (the latter served on tap) but also a cheeky list of bitter American ales.

Head through the Honey Rider door for cocktail, a nibble and a taste of the past.

Address: 230 Military Road, Neutral Bay

Phone: (02) 9953 8800

Opening Hours:

Tue- Sat: 4pm-12am

Sun: 4pm-10pm

Tickets disappearing for NYE festivals

October 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm

If you haven’t already, it’s time to decide on a destination for new years 2014/15. Tickets for Falls in Byron and Lorne have already sold out! So, here’s a list of what’s left.

Beyond the Valley

Bringing something different to Australia’s music festival scene is Beyond the Valley. It’s not your typical festival held at a park or warehouse somewhere, rather, its held on an island. Phillip Island that is. Located in the South Coast right next to the sea, your festival experience will be like no other.

With the likes of Aluna George, Dillon Francis, HWLS, Bag Raiders and many more set to play, you’re in for a crazy new years. They provide free camping , or you can pay for luxury camping, or reside in a small section they have created and named as the “Electric City,” which provides a powered campsite and spots for camper-van’s to park up. The decision’s yours.

When: 30 Dec 2014 – 01 Jan 2015

Where: Phillip Island

Cost: $299

Lost Paradise

Held in the picturesque surrounds of Glenworth Valley, about one hour north of Sydney, the festival is being billed as a three day glamping escape of live music, art installations, yoga, food and much more.  The debut lineup features a mix of bands and dance acts, including Boy and Bear, Ball Park Music, The Preatures and Elizabeth Rose.

The three-day event has a capacity of 5000 people and takes inspiration from the UK’s Secret Garden Festival and Bestival. According to organisers, in addition to the musical performances the festival will feature crowd-funded art installations “that’ll blow your freaking mind”; a Shambhala area with yoga, reiki and other healing arts; and luxury glamping – that includes the option to arrive at the festival by helicopter.

When: 30 Dec 2014 – 1 Jan 2015

Where: Peats Ridge

Cost: $259

The Falls Festival

The Falls 2013/2014 lineup was insane, but they’ve come back this year with an even better lineup for 2014/15. Living up to expectations, they’re bringing in some of the best in the music industry such as Jamie XX, Glass Animals, Alt-J and SBTRKT. If you missed out on SBTRKT last year at Field Day, here is your chance to see them play live. Definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Tickets are sold out for Lorne and Byron, but I highly recommend visiting the mellow Tasmanian town of Marion Bay if you get the chance.

When: December 29 2014 – Jan 01 2015

Where: Marion Bay

Cost: $249

Spring adventure to Bulli

October 3, 2014 at 11:23 am
Bulli Markets

Bulli Markets

Do yourself a favour this weekend – get out of the city, pay a gold coin donation and receive a pleasant welcome to spring in return.

The sun is warming up, the days are longer, and you need a break from the grey chill of the city. In an attempt to break out, why not venture about an hour and a half down the coast to visit the Bulli foragers farmer’s and artisan markets.

This newbie on the market scene (the first market held in July) has a great mixture of whimsy and practicality. Every Sunday the farmer’s markets pack a warehouse area with rural produce from the South coast. Come and grab your fruit and vegies, sample some honey, bread, and nuts from the friendly stallholders. Indulge in a gelato milkshake from the pines Kiama and as you stroll along at sunday pace.

The second sunday of every month the markets double in size to include a range of artisan stalls. Here you’ll find markets staples like candles, boutique clothes, jewellery and books paired with some unique treats. Don’t miss the Miss Bowerbird caravan shop, a little turquoise caravan which houses a little shop filled with knick-knacks and the most beautiful, sun soaked presentation – reminiscent of an idyllic beach cottage (a little nostalgia for those counting down the days until summer).

A trek down Princess Highway is sure to leave you a little peckish. Vietnamese pho? Easy. Turkish falafel wraps? Done. Food trucks are also around the grounds to provide you with traditional market sausage sizzles. A little gem hidden away is the steep and sip Devonshire tea room. Think white picket fences, little chairs and a milk and sugar station. The perfect place to rest after perusing the markets.


What are you waiting for? Get down to the markets this weekend!

Where: : Bulli Showground and Racing Complex

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