As our obsession with food has grown, courtesy of a smorgasbord of television cookery shows, food festivals and beautifully-realised recipe books, the nation’s tourism operators have hitched their wagons to gourmet get-aways to reverse dwindling visitor numbers.
Niche food and wine experiences are increasingly forming the backbone of tourism strategies and in Sydney, particularly, events are key: the annual Crave Sydney International Food Festival has done much to promote the city as a global food and dining destination. This year’s festival, which kicks off in October, will include food tours in Sydney and regional NSW as part of its line-up.
Hoteliers, too, have upped the culinary ante, including InterContinental Sydney with its new Sydney Gourmet Tour package, pitched not just at interstate and overseas guests but at those looking to discover new neighbourhoods in their own city. The hotel is a fitting location to kick off a Sydney tour, its picture windows framing a perfectly composed snapshot of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and I am up early to meet guide Rohan Hankinson, from Ultimately Sydney, who arrives in a silver Mercedes van.
There are two gourmet itineraries, one taking in the European flavours of the city’s inner west, from coffee roasters to Italian delis, the other a Mediterranean and Asian-themed journey through suburbs just south of Chinatown.
Our band of eight city explorers (tours are for a maximum of 14 people) has signed up for the latter, and we are soon on our way to our first stop, The Chef and the Cook at Camperdown, which sells everything from bamboo chopsticks and French crepe makers to freestanding smoking machines.
Strange Random Food Quote:
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.” ― Erma Bombeck
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Ever dream about vacationing like a celebrity on your very own private island? Do you picture yourself with toes in the sand, listening to the palm trees sway and gazing at a blue sea? Well, believe it or not, renting a private island can happen — and it’s not just for celebrities and millionaires.
Renting a Private Island
There are private islands available to rent in all shapes and sizes. Depending on your budget, islands can range from rustic and untouched-by-the-world to glamorous and all-inclusive. We’ve chosen five private islands to explore, ranging from family-style vacations to more private extravagance. All are readily available; it’s just up to what you desire.
The Rustic Rental
Cost: From $499 per week May to October, $999 November to April.
How to get there: Fly to the Majuro airport, and then take a 75-minute boat ride to the island.
Size: 14 acres.
Guests: The cabin can accommodate up to eight people, and the island can be booked for one group at a time.
Amenities: Rustic, rustic, rustic! There is a cabin for use on the island, water for washing and a conventional flushing toilet — but otherwise, all supplies must be purchased and brought onto the island. This is truly a return to nature in its purest form. If that excites you, then imagine the peace, tranquility and adventure of being alone on your own island for an entire week. You can even bring your tent if you’d prefer to sleep under the stars.
Unique features offered: Inexpensive and offering complete privacy, Enedrik Island is a real adventure vacation. It includes a private lagoon for snorkeling and views for breathtaking sunsets. It’s a perfect fit for the outdoor-loving naturalist.
Strange Random Island Quote:
“This island is almost made of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish in Great Britain at the same time.” – Aneurin Bevan (Welsh Politician, 1897-1960)
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Several New Zealand wine brands have been honoured by an international magazine.
Drinks International produces a list of top 50 ‘world’s most admired wine brands’ and this year seven NZ-based names feature.
Brancott Estate, Oyster Bay, Cloudy Bay, Villa Maria, Babich, Wither Hills, and Nobilo are listed alongside international brands such as Penfolds, Michel Chapoutier, and Chateau Margaux as being leading players in the global wine industry.
Chris Yorke, New Zealand Winegrowers’ Global Marketing Director, said he was delighted with the recognition.
“It reconfirms New Zealand’s position as a producer of premium, diverse and sustainable wines,” he said.
Sixty members of the global wine community – including wine masters Peter McCombie, Peter Marks, Tuomas Meriluoto, Kym Milne and Lynne Sherriff -nominated the wine brands they admire most.
Brancott Estate – which was recently rebranded from Montana – and Oyster Bay both featured in the top 20.
Strange Random Wine Quote:
And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
‘I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into the wine’.
G.K. Chesterton, Wine and Water
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Optus bosses tell staff they can only leave their desks for the duration of Melbourne Cup | News.com.au
IT’S the race that stops the nation – but only for three minutes and 20 seconds if you work for Optus.
Optus staff were told last week they could step away from their desks only from the time the horses leave the barrier until they complete the 3200m race – about three minutes and 20 seconds.
Staff would need to apply for an annual leave day if they planned to extend celebrations beyond that time limit.
One staff member, who did not wish to be named, said she and her colleagues were shocked at the heavy-handed approach: “It’s totally unnecessary. Talk about ripping the fun out of the day.”
Strange Random Horse Race Quote:
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- Saturday, 29th October 2011 – Victoria Derby Day in damp Melbourne! (jkirkby8712.wordpress.com)
The first time I came into contact with Adriano Zumbo’s creations was in November 2007. I remember being so excited when I saw them in the store that we drove them home nursing them gingerly like newborns. We took them to my parents’ house eager to try them and I then rushed home to write about them. It seems like eons ago and now Zumbo is a household name and not just with the food-obsessed in Australia. So four years later, what is life like for Australia’s most recognised patissier and torturer of MasterChef contestants? Is it all cakes, macarons, models in bikinis, sports cars and relaxing? The answer to that is yes, yes, sometimes, yes and no.
Strange Random Patisserie Quote:
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