Well we're packed up, we've just sent a parcel home because our rucksacks are full and we're off to get the Greyhound bus to Byron bay at 6pm tonight. It's a very wierd feeling to be leaving Sydney and I'm very sad but we're coming back for a weekend in May before we fly to New Zealand.
We've had an amazing week. Palm Beach was beautiful and we couldn't have picked a better day to come because the sun was shining and we had a lovely picnic by the beach. We also enjoyed a nice, but expensive, drink at Bondi Icebergs and unfortunately didn't see the sunset because the sun sets in the West and the bar overlooks Bondi beach which is in the East! During the week we had a boring, but necessary, admin day sorting out our tax return forms and claiming back our superannuation (pension money) but it finished with a nice cold beer in the sun at the Austalian Hotel, a beer lovers pub in The Rocks which has over 90 Ozzie beers to sample!
We've also had quite a boozy week so our bodies are crying out for a detox. On Thursday we met up with Jem's Kemeny workmates, Mark & Mike, for a beer in the Green Park Hotel and then we had a lovely Vietnamese meal in a nearby restaurant called the Dragons Den. Mark's friend Kerrie joined us for a meal and bought some great Taylor, St Andrews Rieslings to try as the restaurant was BYO!
Our wedding pressie from our friend Garry Lewis was lunch at Quay Restaurant, superstylish modern Austalian cuisine, which was a highlight for us and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would recommend this restaurant to anyone coming to Sydney. It has won best restaurant for a number of years and has been awarded 'Three Chefs Hats' for five consecutive years. When we arrived we got taken to the best table in the restaurant, overlooking the Opera House and the harbour, and enjoyed a Gin & Tonic. Then to start I had Mud Crab Congee - hand shelled mud crab, chinese inspired split rice porridge with a glass of Dalwhinnie Chardonnay 2004 and Jem had Rare breed pig belly, gentle braise of green lipped abalone, handmade silken Japanese mushrroms, chive flowers. The for my main I had Roasted pure suffolk lamb loin, slow cooked carrots, eschallots, carrot and sauternes puree and Jem had filllet of beef with wasabi butter on bed of spinach and spinach puree and we shared a potato puree. For dessert we had Snow egg, lychee granita and green apple ice-cream, followed by a selection of French cheeses. The head Chef is Peter Gilmore and his food is out of this world. Our waiter told us that we were known as the 'honeymoon table' and everyone was running around making sure we had everything we needed! We also got a complimentary glass of dessert wine which was a nice touch! After spending a relaxing four hours at the restaurant we went for a drink at the Ivy, bar of the moment in Sydney, and randomly met up with our friend Graham who took us up to the VIP bar.
We had a great, but very long, day Saturday. We were up at 6am and went to the 'Good Living Growers' market, Pyrmont Bay which is held on the first Saturday of every month and has eighty stalls selling the freshest and best produce available. We got to sample lots of yummy food and then had a look at Sydney Fish market, Blackwattle Bay. After the markets we caught the ferry to Manly and walked to North Head, 3km south of Manly and the entrance to Sydney Harbour. We started off at Manly Beach and walked the foreshore of the Cabbage Tree Bay aquatic reserve to Shelly Beach. We then popped into a restaurant called Le Kiosk on Shelly Beach to meet the chef, Paul Davis, who's the son of a friend of Hilary & Gordon's. He was pleased to meet us and invited to stay for lunch but we already had plans to meet up with some friends. We continued to North Head through Sydney National Park walking through a gap in the 1880 sandstone wall, built to separate the quarantine land from land owned by the catholic church, to North Head Sanctuary, previously a school of artillery where Army gunners lived and trained. After a couple of hours walking we arrived at North Head and the amazing views of the city of Sydney, the Harbour and the line of headlands along the Northern Beaches. We took the quicker road route back to Manly, had a look at the Manly Arts & Crafts Market and then went to meet our friends Laura & Ian for lunch at the Four Olives Deli, Darley Rd.
Saturday night was about saying bye to friends, Guy & helen, Liam & Louise, Dean & Michelle, Charlie & Celina, and it started in the very trendy Orbit Bar, which is 47 floors up & revolves so you have views of all the city. From there we went to Opera Bar, situated in the shadow of the opera House with views of the Harbour Bridge. Next we headed wo a cheaper bar called The Royal on George. The night ended at a house party in Paddington with Charlie & his mates and at 5am Jem decided to cook a Risotto!!!! The good thing was we put the clocks back on hour so at least we had an extra hour in bed because it ws definitely needed!
Sunday was spent chilling at the Botanical Gardens with Chris Buck, Laura & Ian and watching the different flying machines launch themselves off a ramp into the water. Loads of people were out to enjoy the fun with picnics and beers so there was a good atmosphere. Early afternoon we decided to head home and pack! That night we went to see Air in the Concert Hall of the Opera House which was spectacular! A good way to end our happy time in Sydney.