Rose Bay to Watsons Bay Walk

From Circular Quay it’s only a bit over ten minutes by speed catamaran to Rose Bay, the starting point of one of the most spectacular walks we’ve done in Sydney. The walk follows the coastline from Rose Bay to Watsons Bay all of about 8km distance with only a few exceptions, when the path is a bit further inland. More than half the distance is through light woodland, so that you are not fully exposed to the sun, and there are several cafes and picnic stops along the way.       From nearly all points you have beautiful views of the city and the harbour and of the many ships and boats in between. The vegetation is abundant and we saw many lizards, cockatoos, kookaburras, rainbow lorikeets, parakeets, butterflies, and other colourful birds and animals.       After about two hours and a half, despite many stops to shoot photos […]

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The Baxter Inn, Sydney’s Best Cocktail Bar

We met up with a few friends at The Baxter Inn, yesterday, a basement whiskey honky-tonk of great style and true awesomeness, half way between Darling Harbour’s Sea Life Aquarium and Pitt Street in Sydney’s CBD, and equidistant to Wynyard and Town Hall train stations in 152-156 Clarence St. The little brother of Darlinghurst-based Shady Pines Saloon, The Baxter Inn opened only a few years ago, but has already become the established star of the Sydney bar scene. The entrance is well-hidden in a dark backyard of an industrial building. Often the lines of admirers stretch all the way to the street, though, giving good indication of the direction of the entrance. The atmosphere inside is dominated by dimmed warm light, heavy wooden furniture, and – the center piece of the bar – a giant, beautifully backlit wall of whisky, whose upper shelves are only accessible by scrolling ladders, so […]

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A Murder at the Church, a Car Crash on a Tapestry, and a Dead Pig, what’s not to like in Canterbury?

We had been to Canterbury many times before. As a matter of fact, I proposed to my wife there, three months after we had first met, in 2008 with the help of an airplane pulling a banner. Back then, it had all been very hectic (for me, not so much for my then future wife, who was unaware of the preparations). The pilot initially cancelled the whole thing because of strong winds at his airport, eighty miles north of our location, then texted again to say he’d be ready to go, then texted that the start had been delayed, and it went back and forth at least five or six more times. Then, two hours later, while we were in the middle of lunch, said he’d arrive within ten minutes and needed us to be on an open space, ideally close to the cathedral.           I gently (as gently […]

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La Vache et Le Cuisinier, Montmartre, Paris

We arrived on Easter Friday at 6:30pm without a reservation at this small restaurant a short walk from Sacre-Coeur, close to the bottom of the hill, and were among the first guests, but the place filled up very quickly and soon every seat was taken. We shared a very smooth Absinthe “Un Emile” 68* verte, distillerie Les Fils d’E. Pernot, as aperitif and the razor clams as starter, which were very tasty and just the right texture.   As mains we chose duck breast with baby potatoes, vegetables and cranberry sauce, and stuffed saddle of rabbit with Bourgogne truffle, dark sauce, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. The duck breast was very nice, even though maybe a tiny bit chewy. However, the rabbit was delicious, at the same time a hearty taste but with an air of sophisticated cuisine. The Bordeaux that was recommended to us by the waiter was pleasant and […]

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Allard – Disappointment of the Decade

My wife and I had discovered Bistro Allard in the Saint Germain area of Paris, close to the Latin Quarter and Saint Michel, on one of our first trips together to Paris as a couple. To this day we both believe that the meal we had back then was the best meal we’ve ever had in Paris, or anywhere in the world for that matter. I remember that we had to-die-for escargots, prepared to perfection. As mains my wife went for grilled seabass, one of her favourites, while I had medium-rare grilled veal roast. The piece of meat was gigantic in size and tasted like it was from another world, so juicy and tasty, pure culinary bliss. My wife was very pleased with her fish dish, too. The cheese platter we shared to finish the meal contained some of the best cheese I’ve had in France (and I like my […]

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