Booze

Darlo Country Club

Gone are the eccentric lamps and mismatched antiques that made The Victoria Room so endearing when it burst onto the Sydney bar scene around eight years ago. The new quartet of owners - The Lobo Plantation’s Michael Hwang and Eddie Levy, and The Island's Adam Abrams and Julian Tobias – have redone the spacious loft with an L.A. country club in mind.

Dove & Olive

It is ‘Thirsty Thursday’ at the Dove & Olive, and in addition to $5 craft beer schooners, everyone seems to be tucking into the $9.90 burger special. This would normally seem par for the course, but since it is 38 degrees outside I can’t quite face a burger and just need something cold.

Food News – Quick Bottle

The holidays are almost upon us, and like many Australians, if you use your time off to eat, drink and be merry, you’ve likely been caught needing to visit a bottle shop whilst a little on the side of merry. Throw in NSW Police’s current MDT campaign (no it’s not a hip new drug, they mean Mobile Drug Testing) and you start to amass a powerful number of disincentives to driving under the influence of anything.

Bar Fly – Della Hyde

This opulent underground drinking den will shield you from the heat while also tricking you into thinking you're in a Wes Anderson film. Inspired by the 1920s actress, Della Pringle, Della Hyde pays homage to luxe lobby bars from around the world.

Walsh Bay Kitchen

I’m surprised to find Braised Mushrooms Bibimbap ($24) on the menu at Walsh Bay Kitchen. With charred vegetables, pine nuts, brown rice and abundant slippery oyster mushrooms, it’s a bibimbap that warrants being eaten piecemeal, rather than mixed.

Roadhouse Bar & Grill

Lured by the promise of poolside Frozen Margaritas ($15) and High Tea ($45/person) I parked myself under one of the swishing hula-skirt umbrellas for the afternoon. It’s a very modern high tea rendition with the customary cucumber sangers switched out for sliders, Reuben sandwiches and grilled cheese toasties.

Food News – Xmas Books

Yes, beer matching is a thing. Beer Bites [RRP $45] by Christian DeBenedetti and Andrea Slonecker is pitched at the home beer enthusiast, with plenty of beer consumption tips. Trust me when I say: you won’t ask for a pub-chilled schooner glass after reading this book.

Bar Fly – Gin Garden

Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art has rolled out the Astroturf, popped the pink umbrellas and created a truly whimsical fairy-lit pop-up leafy oasis called the Gin Garden, that had me feeling like I'd time travelled and gatecrashed a 1950s backyard tea party.

Food News – Ovolo Woolloomooloo

Lit up cherry blossom trees and vibrant washes of colour turned the 100-year old Woolloomooloo Wharf into a magical fairyland for the launch party of Ovolo Woolloomooloo last week. Alongside celebrity guests like Marcia and Deni Hines, and Jessica Mauboy, I wove my way through the clever interiors that have transformed the cavernous warehouse style-space into something surprisingly intimate, all without losing sight of those soaring ceiling heights.

Bar Fly: Woolpack Hotel

My approach to cooking steak usually involves buying whatever's on special, overcooking it until it resembles old carpet, and then failing to rescue the taste by drowning it in tomato sauce. Since discovering this cool Redfern gastropub, my approach has changed... now I leave it to the professionals at The Woolpack to fulfil my meat cravings with a grilled slab of what I'm convinced is Sydney's best steak.