SHUK – North Bondi’s very own market place

Shuk, the bustling food hub at 2 Mitchell Street North Bondi, has become a favourite meeting place for locals and tourists alike. It is a corner café, bakery and deli, which offers the freshest produce and dishes from Isreal and the Mediterranean. On Thursday 20 November 2014, Shuk celebrated their first birthday party and I got invited me to sample a variety of their impressive dishes.

For 40 years this location served the area as the local corner shop, but the new owners transformed the space into an elegant 80 seat establishment, offering an incredible array of Israeli/Mediterranean delights for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

“The food we offer is inspired by what we grew up with in Israel, where the cuisine available is one of the largest melting pots on the planet, with food coming from a variety of cultures that migrated to the country from 130 different countries in the past 50 years. The menu is directly influenced by Arabic, Turkish, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines,” says co-owner, Yoni Kalfus. Together with business partners, Erez Beker and Ariel Hefer, the trio are bringing their passion of food to life, sharing traditional Israeli dishes they learnt from their families back home.

A central feature of this establishment is the bakery, so everything is made fresh daily on the premises; bagels, pastries, muffins, pasta and, of course, their signature bread loaves including country sourdough, rye and fruit bread. The bread is stacked in abundance, in rustic boxes for all to see and choose from.

SHUK’s breakfast and lunch menus are bountiful with many delicious dishes to choose from, ranging from the traditional Middle Eastern speciality, shakshuka, eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chilli, peppers and onions ($16), to the sweeter beghrir, cinnamon and almond meal pancakes with honey-lemon glaze and halvah ($15).

Lunch favourites include the signature Lamburger with charred eggplant, harissa aioli served with chips and sage salt ($18) as well as house made gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, fresh mint, oregano and ricotta ($19).

SHUK is definitely making itself known to the Sydney dining scene, promising a treasure trove of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours.

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The Bucket List journal is launched at The Bucket List Bondi Beach

Hanna Axelsson Sahlen and Ashleigh Powell (aka Axel and Ash) launched Axel & Ash in April 2012 when they both finished reading Sebastian Terry’s book ’100 Things’. The book inspired them to follow their dreams. After sharing their personal bucket lists, they discovered they shared similar interests in travel and a desire to start a business, and decided to develop inspiring journals. Two years later, on 19 November 2014, Axel and Ash launched their second book, The Bucket List, at The Bucket List Bondi Beach. 

My Bucket List is beautifully bound book in black cloth that invites the reader to decide what they would like to do with their one wild and crazy life by collecting all their dreams, desires and ideas in the one place.

The duo first entered the world of book publishing in with their first book, Swept Away by Wanderlust. This beautifully bound book, in an earthy latte coloured cloth, is filled with writing prompts for everyone who wanted to capture their stories whilst travelling in a fun but easy way. This book has been so successful that globetrotters and jetsetters all around the world are buying it from trendy stores in major metropolitan cities like London, Paris and Sydney.

Hanna Axelsson Sahlen is a TV studio director for ABC news while Ashleigh Powell works in finance. Both women have been very successful in their professions and are planning to release more life-style journals in the future.

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SLAM Beach Volley Ball Festival launches in Sydney

It is almost summer, and it is time to round up your friends, grab your gear, head down to the beach, and play volley ball while listening to cool tunes.

On Tuesday, 18th November 2014, fitness fans, celebs, bloggers and sponsors headed to Tamarama Beach for the official Summer Launch of SLAM Beach Volley Ball Festival. The gorgeous beachside location was transformed into a SLAM haven, which even included an inflatable court.

In its 15th year, founder Andrew Lemon was thrilled to announce SLAM’s first international launch to New Zealand.

Guests were treated to H2Coco and Zubrowka Vodka cocktails, Corona beers and canapes from Tamarama Kiosk, while enjoying the smooth sounds of New Native as the sun set.

Amongst the crowd was Samantha Frost and Jessica Jones, Tom Derricks and Dane Rampey, Lauren Seymour, Lola Berry, Pia Muellenbeck, and Christian Miranda.

The sponsors were Corona Extra, H2Coco, Schick, BONDS, Rockstar Energy and CLEO Magazine. The gift bag contributors included Wet Ones, Banana Boat, The Nut Job, Anytime Fitness, flopZ, Verival Muesli as well as some goodies from the sponsors.

SLAM is excited for its national tour around Australia for the loudest social beach volleyball festival kicking off in Cronulla 6th December. Team registrations are now open at www.slamfestival.com where teams can enter in Social sixes or Competitive fours as DJs play and teams compete in crazy costumes.

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Waterford Polo in the City series kicks off at Sydney’s Centennial Park

The Waterford Crystal Polo in the City series, now in its ninth year, kicked off at Mission Field, Centennial Park on Saturday 15 November 2014.

Polo is a sport that has been around for about 2,000 years. Ruki Baillieu and Janek Gazecki established Polo Enterprises Australia Pty Ltd in 2006 to introduce polo to a broader audience, promote professional polo players and attract new players to the sport. Polo Enterprises spends the whole year organising the Polo in the City series, which is Australia’s only national polo series and one of the largest in the world.

At this year’s annual Sydney event, attendees got to witness Australia’s best professional polo players compete for the Waterford Trophy. The day featured polo matches, a fashion on the field competition for both men and women, divot stomping, the women’s and men’s barefoot dash, a lucky door prize, and the best ex-racehorse competition.

I witnessed all the days activities from the comfort of the glamorous VIP Waterford Crystal marquee where I spent the day sipping Winston Churchill’s favourite champagne, Pol Roger, from Waterford Crystal champagne glasses while mingling with celebrities and polo players.

The celebrities who attended the event included Jennifer Hawkins, Camilla Frank, Guy Sebastian, Neale Whitaker, Darren Palmer, Buck Palmer, Terry Biviano and husband Anthony Minichiello.

Polo in the City matches are also held in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth. There are also Polo by the Sea events held around Australia. For more information visit www.polointhecity.com.

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NW Magazine celebrates their 21st Birthday Bash at the Boom Box room in Marquee, The Star.

Internationally renowned Real Housewife of Beverly Hills and New Weekly (NW) Columnist, Brandi Glanville, flew in to Sydney (two days earlier) to attend the 21st birthday party of NW Magazine held at the Boom Box room in Marquee, The Star on Thursday 13 November 2014. She was joined by over 200 Australian celebrities, media and industry VIPs to make it a night of nights.

The MCs for the event were NOVA’s radio duo, Fitzy and Wippa, who interviewed Brandi on stage. She revealed to them that the upcoming season “is more physical than it’s ever been”.

Other Australian celebrities also wanted to talk to her. They all waited patiently for their turn and some even came prepared with a copy of her books, Drinking and Dating and Drinking and Tweeting, for her to autograph. One of the celebrities who was photographed talking to her was Richard Wilkins. Later on she let her hair down on the dance floor dancing to a number of songs including Taylor Swift’s, Shake it off.

The Australian celebrities who attended the event included: Didier Cohen, Samantha Jade, Richard and Christian Wilkins, Tully Smythe, Tim Dormer; Mia Morrissey, Carissa Walford, Imogen Anthony, Big Brother’s Aisha McKinnon, Katie Schepis, Tom Mackay, Jake Richardson and Lisa Clark; Bachelorettes Mary O’Neil and Rachel Smith, Courtney Dober, Jeff Lack; Nikki Goldstein; Michael Brown; Milly Gattegno, Erin Holland, Krit, and Paulini Curuenavuli

Guests were treated to a selection of alcoholic beverages and canapés. The dance floor quickly filled up and guests danced the night away with Imogen Anthony putting on a show of her own.

And if you were wondering at all where was Wally that night. He was also partying at NW Magazine’s 21st birthday bash.

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Clear Complexions Clinic launches Inner Confidence Magazine

Telstra Business Women’s Award winner (2012) and owner of five Clear Complexions Clinics, Suzie Hoitink, launched the third issue to her Inner Confidence magazine on Monday 10 November at her Balmain Clinic.

Inner Confidence is a bi-annual magazine dedicated to the power of self-belief. The magazine features advice, tips and heart-warming stories of people who had overcome hurdles to become who they were truly meant to be.

In this issue, Suzie Hoitink interviews influential Australians such as former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, world champion surfer Layne Beachley, The Block’s interior designer Darren Palmer and founder of LifeSkills Group (which operates in primary and secondary schools in NSW, ACT and Victoria) Nikki Bonus.

The special guests of the launch were the people featured in the magazine (with the exception of Anna Bligh who could not attend due to the death of former Queensland premier Wayne Goss that day).

Inner West local catering company About Life provided nutritious canapés. Guests were also served wine, champagne, orange juice and water. Each guest received a Clear Complexions goodie bag (in a white box) which included a $100 gift voucher, a facial product and a copy of the third issue of the Inner Confidence magazine.

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‘Winner Circle’ after party at Circa The Prince was the place to be on Melbourne Cup and Oaks Day

According to The Age newspaper, Circa The Prince, St Kilda’s famed bar and restaurant, was the hottest place to be after the races on Melbourne Cup and Oaks Day. The after party, called the Winners Circle after party, was held on The Deck, Circa’s iconic timber terrace and outdoor space, and open to VIP guests, race day attendees and the public.

It was perfect venue for race‐goers looking to continue their daytime festivities into the night, offering an open space for guests to relax after a long day at the track. Over the two evenings, the ‘Winners Circle’ after parties hosted high profile and influential celebrities, key industry identities and the general public. Celebrities spotted over the two night included Masterchef Australia judge Matt Preston, television presenter Emma Freedman, film and television actor Firass Divani, actor and model Alisha Rutherford, and Miss Australia 2012 Renae Ayris, just to name a few. 

Premium beverage offerings by Moet, DOM Perignon and Belvedere Vodka were available for purchase. Further, there was unbridled access to premium spirits, cocktails and a striking Campari Negroni Bar for all guests.

Well-known local DJs including DJ Prequel, Edd Fisher and Andee Frost set the tone for the after parties and tempting food offerings from the award‐winning Circa, The Prince kitchen meet all guests needs to continue their carnival experience.

In addition to the parties upstairs, Circa Bar, located downstairs, was transformed into the Veuve Clicqout Bar for the Melbourne Cup Carnival week. Guests were invited to enjoy Veuve Clicqout champagne and Rose wine specials in the bright garden bar; styled with green grass, white picket fencing and the iconic Veuve Clicquot Yellow theming.

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