Gurdys, a vegan friendly bar, launches in Newtown

King Street Newtown has a new vegan-friendly bar, Gurdys, that launched on Thursday 25 August 2017.

Gurdys is the lifelong dream of husband and wife team, Clare and Brett Davies who between them have more than 30 years experience in the hospitality industry. It is located just a hop, skip and jump away from Newtown Station. The decor of the venue is sustainable looking, using earthy tones, recycled wood panelling, exposed brick, loaded bookshelves, plants and a brightly illuminated bar.

Gurdys serves cocktails, wines, beers and a shared menu that caters for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans.

The launch party menu consisted of vegan, vegetarian and meat options including: an antipasto board; citrus cured salmon with fennel and orange; beef cheek croquettes; mushroom cigars with whipped goats cheese (vegetarian); shallots and ginger arancini (vegetarian); green dog (vegan). The antipasto board and the green dog were the highlights. Green dog uses sausages from Newtown’s vegetarian butcher, Suzy Spoon, and tastes better than most hot dogs that use meat.

The cocktails, that were served in vintage style glasses, included: Hurdy Gurdy made from whiskey, frangelico, pilsner and honey; G.G.made from gin, Aperol and berry tea syrup; and Vanilla Passion made from vodka, passionfruit and vanilla (which was my favourite).

They have Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache Tempranillo on tap from R!ot Wines (which is a more sustainable option than bottles) and beer from Mountain Goat and Balter.

Gurdys is located at 349 King Street Newtown. It is open every day except from Monday.

For more information about Gurdy, go to:



Top of the Lake China Girl premieres in Sydney

Nicole Kidman, Director Jane Campion and Jane Campion’s daughter, Alice Englert (who is also Nicole Kidman’s real-life god daughter) drew in the crowds at the Sydney Opera House for the premiere of new TV series, Top of the Lake China Girl, on Tuesday, 1 August 2017.

Top of the Lake: China Girl stars Elisabeth Moss, who is Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie, and Nicole Kidman. It is a crime mystery about Detective Robin Griffin (Moss) who recently returned to Sydney from New Zealand and is trying to rebuild her life. When the body of an Asian girl washes up on Bondi Beach, there appears little hope of finding the killer, until Robin realises “China Girl” didn’t die alone.

While working the case, and trying desperately to restore her professional standing, Robin also deals with meeting her own biological daughter, given up at birth and raised in Sydney by her adoptive parents (including Kidman as mum, with an unconventional lifestyle of her own). The interaction and tension between Moss and Kidman are highlights that will live long into memory.

Housed in the iconic Opera House, and with unprecedented access to the show’s stars and creators, the event was a mesmerising mix of fashion, entertainment and insight.  Most notable during the screening was the mix of shock and laughter from the audience. Campion and her team’s ability to find humour in such dark subject matter is not only a credit to their renowned talents, but also vital in allowing the audience to experience the journey without getting overwhelmed by the harrowing nature of the events under investigation.

A Q&A session followed the two-episode screening, with Campion, her co-writer and the director all exploring the creative process as if they were having a chat in their own front room, rather than having a theatre full of patrons hanging on their every word. It is clear that exhaustive research went into the project, from understanding the seedy world that is presented to us, to the detailed recreation of the police station and crime investigative process.

Our evening concluded with drinks and canapes, with several of the actors and creative forces staying until the bitter end. Kidman had quietly slipped out by that stage, but after making herself available for more than three hours, we can forgive her an early night!

Catch Top of the Lake China Girl on BBC First on Foxtel, starting from Sunday, 20 August 2017.


Skye Hotel Suites launches in Parramatta

SKYE Hotel Suites Parramatta opened its doors on 1 August 2017 and invited top international media and bloggers to experience luxury in Sydney’s second CBD. The space and convenience of apartment living, the luxury and style of a 5-star hotel; SKYE Hotel Suites has arrived, and is changing the landscape of Parramatta.

This all suites hotel features spacious apartments, first class amenities, luxurious toiletries, modern appliances and quality dining options. Located on the site of the old Wheat Sheaf Hotel, dating back to 1840, this modern redevelopment includes a meticulously restored and preserved heritage site.


The suites themselves are generously proportioned, with everything you would need for a short or long stay. Your choice of studios, one bedroom and two-bedroom apartment style rooms are all available. Full laundry facilities in each suite complement the modern kitchen appliances and refrigerators. If you do need to order from the hotel, the seamless experience is achieved via an in-room tablet. Everything that you could need for a business stay, a family getaway, or a girls’ weekend, all available within a short walk to Parramatta train, bus and ferry travel options. My one minor gripe would be that some of the two-bedroom apartments only have one bathroom (with no bathtub), which may not suit all visitors.

Our visit to SKYE Hotel Suites included a tour of both the business and recreational facilities. Generously proportioned meeting rooms, each with high quality media devices, offer ample space to conduct that all important public seminar or staff away-day. Meanwhile, the gym, sauna and pool will provide welcome fitness and relaxation options for long stay guests or those purely on vacation.


We checked out the signature restaurant, Husk & Vine Kitchen and Bar, which offers a modern take on traditional, local ingredients. The highlight for me was the swordfish crudo, grapefruit, pink peppercorn and white balsamic sharing plate. The fish main course (blue eye trevella) was slightly overcooked, but I think we can put that down to opening night jitters.  The morning after’s breakfast menu has everything that you could imagine, from light bites, to fresh fruit, to a full cooked breakfast – which I badly needed after sampling the “vine” part off Husk & Vine Kitchen and Bar the evening before!


For more information on SKYE Hotel Suites, go to: