Myer hosts the stars at Randwick Racecourse for Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day

On Saturday 9 April 2016, Lucia Valentina and Damien Oliver won the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Petra Nolan won the Longines Prize for Elegance, Stacie Kidner won Best Dressed Woman, Brock Cross won Best Bressed Man, Longines Ambassador of Elegance, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, presented the Longines prizes and Myer hosted Sydney’s top models and celebrities in the Myer Marquee.

Lucia Valentina and Damien Oliver won one of the richest races in the world. The Swiss watch brand Longines has the honor to lend its name to this race, as well as be the Official Timekeeper and Watch of the Royal Randwick racecourse and the Australian Turf Club. The winning owner, trainer and jockey were awarded an elegant Longines watch by Longines Ambassador of Elegance Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Another elegant Longines watch was presented as the Longines Prize for Elegance by the Longines Ambassador to praise Petra Nolan from Sydney’s highly distinguished outfit during the raceday. Stacie Kidner was awarded Best Dressed Woman and Brock Cross won Dressed Man on Myer Fashion on the Field.

The watch prizes were from the Longines DolceVita collection, which illustrate the contemporary elegance of the Longines watchmaking brand worldwide. The watch is cased in steel, decorated with diamonds and featuring a silver-coloured “flinqué” dial adorned with painted Roman numerals. This timepiece is mounted on a red leather strap.

In the Myer Marquee, Myer hosted celebrities such as model Kris Smith, TV presenter Nikki Phillips, actress Jodi Gordon, The Bachelor’s Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich, celebrity make-up artist and presenter Michael Brown, model Dougie Joseph, PR guru and blogger Simon Hancock, model Carlie Philby, and many others.

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The opening night of Turandot on Sydney Harbour was a star-studded event

On Thursday 24 March 2016, Opera Australia held the opening night of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s Turandot at the Fleet Steps at Mrs Macquarie Point.

Turandot is opera in three acts written in the 1920s by Giacomo Puccini, completed by Franco Alfano after his death, and set to a libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. It is a Persian tale which is set in China and is about a brave suitor that risks his life to win the love of Princess Turandot.
The scenery was spectacular, with the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney opera house in the background. The performance space is situated at the water’s edge in a pop-up opera house with purpose-built bars, restaurants and a grandstand under the stars.

For the fifth year, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour makes the aria the “firework moment” and it’s lead tenor, Riccardo Massi, provided the Luciano Pavarotti vocals to match for the aria Nessun Dorma. There is also a magnificent, massive, fire-breathing dragon, which comes to life at a dramatically poignant moment, and a pagoda tower from which Princess Turandot rules over China.

Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng does his best to adapt the production to a less stereotypical Westernised view of China. Italian tenor Riccardo Massi plays the smitten suitor Prince Calaf with enormous vocal passion. Serbian soprano Dragana Radakovic is an outstanding ice cold princess Turandot. However, it is Korean Australia soprano Hyeseoung Kwon who is the crowd favourite as the lovelorn servant.

The who’s who of Sydney attended this black tie event including: actress April Pengilly; Channel 7 presenter Anne Sanders; fashion designer Peter Morrissey; TV presenter Fiona Falkiner; media personality Deborah Hutton; theatre and cabaret talent Paul Capsis; actor Tim Draxi; journalism queen Ita Buttrose; TV presenter Sophie Falkiner; actor Craig McLachlan; editor and journalist Melissa Hoyer; Channel 9 news presenter Deborah Knight; artistic director of Sydney Dance company Rafael Bonachela; Home & Away actress Emily Symons; TV presenter Heather Maltman; actor, singer and writer Peter Phelps; Master Chef winners Adam Liaw and Julie Goodwin; Home & Away actors Nic Westaway and Kyle Pryor; actor Ian Stenlake; fashion designer Carla Zampatti; and the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy Turnbull (who arrived just after me and I had a security guard tell me from behind to move aside for a little while so he could pass).

Turandot is at Mrs Macquaries Point until April 24. For more information, go to:


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Coogee’s Foreshore Festival brings Coney Island to Sydney

Coogee Pavilion hosted a beachside festival of food with tasting plates from Merivale’s family of restaurants called The Foreshore Festival on Sunday 19 March 2016.

Attendees experienced the Coney Island beachside vibes as they feasted on food provided by Vinnie’s Pizza, Manly’s Papi Chulo, Surry Hills favourite El Loco, the CBD’s Mr. Wong and Japanese treats from Sushi e.

A foreshore festival wouldn’t be complete without gelato, so the Pavilion is serving its special ‘Fat Tony,’ a creamy vanilla creation with marsala soaked sponge, crumbled amaretti, chocolate and espresso swirls. There was also other flavours such as chocolate and raspberry to take your fancy.

There was live music and activities for the children.

There was even a Veuve Cliquot pop-up bar outside.

Tickets were $45, which includes six tokens to be used on the food and drink.

For more information, go to:

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Sydney Family Show is the perfect place for a family day out.

The Dodo Sydney Family Show runs from 19th – 28th March at the Entertainment Quarter Showring, Moore Park.

Enjoy the many rides the show has on offer. Get closer to a tiger than you ever imagined and roar like a lion at Australia’s first animatronic zoo…it’s like no zoo you’ve seen before!  Join your favourite yellow friends, the Minions, as they work to save all Minionkind or help Snoopy solve some challenges with his friends from the Peanuts movie.  Don’t forget the numerous showbags to choose from and many delicious treats to fulfill your appetite. There is definitely something for everyone at this year’s show!

The best part, it’s FREE ENTRY, that’s right, FREE ENTRY! You just pay for the rides you want to go on or buy an unlimited ride pass. Grab the kids and prepare yourselves for a fun-filled family day at the show, opening daily at 10am!

For more information, check out our website

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Color Me Rad Explosion Hitting Sydney

Want to join a party and a workout all in one? Color Me Rad Australia is bringing a 5k colour explosion to Sydney on March 19th at Heron Park, Chipping Norton.

Each section of the run adds a new explosion of colour to your clean, well-chosen outfits until you cross the finish line into a final blast of rad colour.

Following up from the highly successful 2014 Sydney event, which raised over $12,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Fund, the rad run is back and better than ever.

A single day event, all participants will receive the ultimate “rad pack”; including 5k entry, Color Me Rad t-shirt, a colour pack, and free photos from photographers.

Alongside the rad run festivities, participants will enjoy a selection of entertainment, including music acts and a Zumba warm up before the run kicks off.

The only colour run featuring Colour Gels, participants will enjoy this unique colour sensation alongside our traditional colour bombs across the eight colour stations throughout the race

All ages are welcome to participate in the rad action, encouraging a fun environment where your workout feels more like a celebration!

Tickets to Color Me Rad Sydney are available from the website:

The Brazilian Fields in Centennial Park will transform into a food lovers paradise with Taste of Sydney

Here’s a ‘taste of Sydney’ this 2016 Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux is thrilled to announce the initial line up of Sydney’s latest, greatest and hottest restaurants that will take part in 2016. The Brazilian Fields in Centennial Parklands will be transformed into the ultimate one – stop food lover’s paradise, from Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th March.

A record turn out of 24,000 guests flocked through the gates in 2015 to sample a taste of Sydney’s best and this year is set to be bigger and better with more of the city’s finest restaurants, international guest chefs, an abundance of producers and plenty more. New to the event, the trio behind food truck, Eat Art Truck will showcase their latest venue, Thievery (Glebe) to the festival, creating contemporary Middle Eastern inspired dishes with a twist.

Returning restaurant favourites such as hatted-restaurants, MoVida (Surry Hills), Biota Dining (Bowral) and Saké Restaurant & Bar (The Rocks and Double Bay) will each serve up a selection of delicious and exciting dishes, and the competition is on again for the most ‘instagrammed’ dish following Biota’s win for their smoked taramasalata with pickled lettuce and charcoal cracker.

To celebrate one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world, Taste of Sydney will welcome South African chef, David Higgs and South African MasterChef judge and chef of Tsogo Sun Hotel, Benny Masekwameng, who will share their culinary knowledge and signature food offerings throughout the weekend at the South African Garden.

The South African Garden, which was a huge success at Taste of Melbourne 2015, will bring the exotic cultural vibe to Sydney and present South African food culture at its best in a relaxed, fun and social atmosphere with live music and African drums. The garden will also showcase local flavours from five star South African restaurants served up on the Braai (a traditional South African BBQ). Australian food identities who have travelled to, and developed an appetite for the region, including Masterchef 2014 winner Brent Owens, and wine critic Mike Bennie will join chef Benny Masekwameng to take Taste-goers through a series of food and wine masterclasses with award-winning wines and South Africa’s eclectic pot of flavours.

For the first time, guests will have the opportunity to cook like a professional chef at Electrolux Chef’s Secrets. This intimate masterclass experience will allow visitors to cook alongside a renowned chef and prepare one of their signature dishes, before sitting down at a communal table together to enjoy the meal with matched wines. These hands – on sessions will allow visitors the unique opportunity to pick up hints, tips and techniques to create inspirational dishes from leading chefs in a beautiful kitchen and dining space.

Returning to Taste of Sydney is the Electrolux Taste Theatre featuring live cooking demonstrations by some of Sydney’s leading chefs on the latest cooking appliances from Electrolux. Guest chefs at the Lurpak- Go Freestyle sessions will demonstrate the art of matching flavours with Lurpak in a series of 15 minute masterclasses, and for those keen to learn more about the latest trends in food, and experience premium wine tastings, there will be several masterclasses with The Wine Society, presented by charismatic wine experts. An abundance of local artisan producers including the Hunter Distillery, Madhouse Bakehouse, Petersons Wines, as well as plenty of live entertainment will also be on show throughout the four days of Taste.

There’s no festival like Taste of Sydney, which showcases only the city’s best restaurants, all in one spectacular spot in the park.

Tickets (from $15) are available now via Ticketek Australia –

World-Class Racing is set to start in Sydney from 12 March

Racing fever will hit Sydney in autumn for the 2016 Sydney Autumn Carnival (12 March – 16 April) which sees an impressive six week program of world-class racing and social activities. Featuring two of Australia’s biggest and most respected racing events, the Longines Golden Slipper Carnival and The Championships, Sydney Autumn Carnival boasts the world’s finest thoroughbred racing with more than $34 million in prizemoney across 45 Group races.
This year racegoers will witness history with the 60th running of the Longines Golden Slipper, featured as part of the three week Longines Golden Slipper Carnival at Rosehill Gardens which accounts for the first half of the Sydney Autumn Carnival. The Carnival then shifts to Royal Randwick for the third running of The Championships, the Grand Finals of Australian Racing before concluding with Schweppes Stakes Day on 16 April. Over six big weeks, Sydney’s racegoers and social set will enjoy a world-class festival of thoroughbred racing, stunning fashion, entertainment and premium hospitality.
As the focus moves to Royal Randwick, The Championships will offer racing purists and Sydney’s social set the prestige and glamour only expected from this world-class venue. Both Carnivals will offer a line-up of promotions, fashion and entertainment like no other, and we encourage racing enthusiasts to book early and plan to join us for what is guaranteed to be one of the biggest Sydney Autumn Carnival’s yet,” Mr Partridge said.
Australia’s most celebrated sporting event of the year, Longines Golden Slipper Day will be headlined by the world’s richest race for two year olds – Group 1 $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper, as well as the $1 million George Ryder Stakes, $700,000 Ranvet Stakes, $600,000 Rosehill Guineas and $700,000 The Galaxy, on a day which is the centrepiece of three weeks of action at Rosehill Gardens. In 2016, the day will also include the Longines Award for Elegance, the NOVA 96.9 Garden Party, pamper lounges and live music, making it a not-to-be-missed event this autumn.
The first day of the 2016 Longines Golden Slipper Carnival, Cellarbrations Ladies Day on 12 March, features a first class program of racing, fashion and entertainment with Sydney’s richest race for fillies and mares, the $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic. Western Sydney Legends Day, on 26 March at Rosehill Gardens, will celebrate “Living Legends’’ from all sporting codes, and feature two Group 1 races, the $1.5 million BMW and $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes.
The Championships, the Grand Finals of Australian Racing at Royal Randwick on 2 April and 9 April, in 2016 will offer prizemoney totalling $20 million – making them the richest two days in Australian Racing. With the support of Racing NSW and the NSW Government, The Championships is now in its third year and in a short period has captured the attention of the racing world, while also generating enormous benefit for the NSW economy.

The Championships Day 1 featuring the BMW Australian Derby on Saturday 2 April, set against a backdrop of traditional black and white fashion, sees world-class racing combined with premium hospitality and entertainment. The day features one of the world’s richest open sprint races, the $2.5 million Darley TJ Smith Stakes, the world’s richest mile, the $3 million The Star Doncaster Mile and the iconic feature race the $2 million BMW Australian Derby. This day will also feature the coveted Myer Fashions on the Field, and a host of on course activations including pampers lounges and pop up bars.
The Championships Day 2 featuring the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday 9 April, features the world’s richest 2000m turf race, the Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes worth $4 million, the Group 1 Cellarbrations Queen of the Turf Stakes, the Group 1 Australian Oaks and Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup over 3200m, now worth $2 million, a $400,000 increase from previous years. Once again, Myer Fashions on the Field will attract the fashionable fillies including the second Longines Award of Elegance for the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Little Sydney will return to the track over The Championships, enticing food lovers and Sydney’s gastronomical social set. Bringing back Sydney’s iconic restaurants Icebergs, Chiswick and China Doll, Little Sydney promises to be the hottest ticket to the track this Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The bumper six weeks of Group 1 racing will culminate with a Royal Randwick finale on Schweppes Stakes Day 16 April, including a live performance for all racegoers to enjoy. The day’s racing features two Group 1s, the $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes and $500,000 Moët and Chandon Champagne Stakes.
For all ticketing, information and hospitality options, including exclusive dining and reserved seating options, visit


To celebrate the 60th running of the Longines Golden Slipper, the Australian Turf Club are offering a limited number of pre-purchased $30 Golden Tickets. This will allow entry to Longines Golden Slipper Day and all six days of the 2016 Sydney Autumn Carnival.

The Golden Ticket is available for purchase at until 12:00pm, 19 March 2016 OR General Admission tickets are available at the gates on the day. For all ticketing and hospitality information visit


For more information on an Australian Turf Club membership, giving you exclusive access to all four Australian Turf Club racetracks and guaranteed entry to the 2016 Sydney Autumn Carnival, with membership starting from just $25 per month, visit 2016

Sydney Autumn Carnival:

Saturday 12 March Cellarbrations Ladies Day, Rosehill Gardens

Saturday 19 March Longines Golden Slipper Day, Rosehill Gardens

Saturday 26 March Western Sydney Legends Day, Rosehill Gardens

Saturday 2 April The Championships Day 1 featuring the BMW Australian Derby, Royal Randwick

Saturday 9 April The Championships Day 2 featuring the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Royal Randwick

Saturday 16 April Schweppes Stakes Day, Royal Randwick Rosehill Gardens Racecourse Address: James Ruse Dr, Rosehill NSW 2142 Phone: (02) 9930 4000

Getting there… Free on course car parking Train, bus and ferry services – Full transport information available at Royal Randwick Racecourse Address: Alison Rd, Randwick NSW 2031 Phone: (02) 9663 8400

Getting there… Free on course car parking Direct bus services from Central Station. Full transport information available at

Pullman Hotel Hyde Park hosts bloggers for Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade

The Pullman Hotel Hyde Park hosted bloggers for a party before the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday 5 March 2016 at their Cafe Thirty6.

The cafe has views of the parade starting line and outside guests got to enjoy a view of the parade in a dedicated area which was off-limits to the general public. At the party guests enjoyed De Bortoli wines, canapes and an antipasto spread. All guests were also given underwear as a gift thanks to their sponsor Funky Trunks

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade brought the city to a standstill in a glittering explosion of pride.  An estimated 200,000 people looked on as the biggest and longest parade in recent years, made up of 178 floats and 12,500 participants, marched, rolled and danced through the heart of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian district.

Born from a single night of celebration turned political protest, the true Mardi Gras spirit lives on 38 years later. The Mardi Gras theme of ‘Momentum” saw thousands of LGBTQI people and their supporters from all over the world come together to joyously celebrate how far the community has come, as well as recognise the journey ahead.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Michele Bauer revealed the makeup of the Parade:

  • 178 entry floats/groups;
  • Close to three hours viewing time;
  • 1.4km Parade train of vehicles;
  • 300 bikes;
  • More than 150 vehicles or pushables;
  • More than 11,500 walkers;
  • More than 1,000 riders;
  • 12,500 total participants.

Reflecting on last night’s parade, Ms Bauer said, “The combined efforts of everyone involved delivered a stand out Parade. The enthusiasm of all the parade participants made for a truly wonderful experience.”

“Aside from all the fabulousness there were some very important and touching moments in the Parade. Over the last two weeks the 78ers, the participants in the very first Mardi Gras Parade, received a apologies from the NSW Government, Fairfax and the Police for the violent treatment they received on that first night. To watch them come down the Parade route celebrating this historical moment was something the community will cherish.”

“While we celebrated the victories, we also had a number of floats dedicated to issues prevalent in society today. Homelessness in the LGBTQI community, refugees, marriage equality and the recognition of transgender rights were all represented widely in this year’s parade.”

Bauer also praised the behaviour of spectators on the night, at an hour when many of the revellers continued to celebrate Mardi Gras at the Party, which took over several venues in Moore Park until 8am.

Guests of the Party were treated to an incredible line up of international and home grown music acts including: RnB superstar Deborah Cox, Eurovision song contest winner, Conchita Wurst, RuPaul’s Drag Race Top 3 Finalist, Courtney Act, Dirty Pop, Ben Manson, Rado, YO! MAFIA, Tracy Young, Mark Picchiotti, Buck Naked, Mark Alsop MA15+, Victoria Anthony, Kitty Glitter, Maze and Masters, Colin Gaff, Haylenise, Seismic and Tanner Derrby.

The 2016 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade was proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.

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Hendrick’s Gin brings the abandoned circus installation to the Spectrum Now Festival

Hendrick’s Gin has returned to The Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum Now Festival from Thursday 3rd to Sunday 13th March 2016, in The Domain.

This year Hendrick’s Gin will be surprising and delighting festival goers with their aptly named ‘Abandoned Circus’ displays and Hendrick’s & Tonic serves – with a cucumber, of course.

These captivating exhibitions will be brought to life with Hendrick’s performers, who will welcome visitors into the wondrous world of Hendrick’s.

Also as part of the Spectrum Now Festival, Hendricks has partnered with gelato connoisseur, Gelato Messina. The talented team behind this gelato powerhouse have developed, and will be serving, a custom created cucumber sorbet, designed to savour with a wondrous tipple of Hendricks Gin & tonic. Festivalgoers can savour this gin and sorbet delight for FREE during the festival.

Hendrick’s Marketing Manager Jacqueline Nalder says, “The Abandoned Circus is designed to reward the inherent intelligence, inquisitiveness, humour and imagination of our existing and new consumers. Whether visitors are interested in sampling Hendricks, watching quirky performances or indulging in a new Messina flavour, there’s something to delight all of the senses.” 

Hendrick’s is one of the world’s most loved super premium gins. Handcrafted by William Grant & Sons, Hendrick’s Gin is proudly distilled in miniscule batches in the seaside village of Girvan, Scotland, with a unique mix of botanicals before being infused with rose and cucumber. It creates a flavour unlike any other gin in the world.

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Sydney Cellar Door Returns to Hyde Park

Wine o’clock officially starts this Friday 26 February 2016 at 5pm at the 2016 Sydney Morning Herald Cellar Door and extends to 5pm Sunday 28 February 2016 in Hyde Park, South.

Sydney Cellar Door brings together winemakers from all over New South Wales to create a microcosm of the State’s diverse wine regions. This year, more than ever before, Cellar Door will put a spotlight on specific regions, celebrating the local wineries, producers and food from Mudgee, Orange and the Hunter.

Joining from Mudgee will be 16 wineries including Burnbrae, Huntington Estate and Robert Stein Winery.

From Orange, Cumulus, Logan, Philip Shaw and Tamburlaine will be joined by 13 of their peers to give a real taste of the region.

The Hunter will have 21 wineries both boutique and larger, including Brokenwood wines, Mount Pleasant, Tempus Two and Tyrrell’s wines alongside a TAFE NSW and Pukara Estate food offering. From outside of the Hunter, Mudgee and Orange regional offerings,

Sydney Cellar Door will also welcome a host of individual wineries including the likes of Moppity Vineyards from the Hilltops, Warburn Estate from Riverina, Warrumbungle Wines from the Northern Slopes and Vale Creek Wines of Bathurst from Bathurst’s Central Ranges.

Alongside the NSW wineries involved, Sydney Cellar Door will welcome some of Sydney and the participating region’s best restaurants, growers and artisans. The ever-popular local crew from Surry Hill’s Porteño will return to serve up barbecue pork belly sandwiches with jalapeño aioli and leeks, and their barbecue Porteño sausage served with grilled peppers with chimichurri. The trendy Newtown bloodwood are joining the food line up this year to offer up polenta chips and delicious cheese and meat boxes, and will also be joined by PaperMill with their creative new fresh rice paper rolls, ‘spurritos’ (spring roll burritos) and Portuguese chilli lamb rolls.

With the 2016 emphasis on the regions, this year’s celebration of local cuisine will see Mudgee’s Baxter & Bird appear to offer up delicious buttermilk hotcakes using local Mudgee produce to enjoy with your wine. Hailing from the Orange region, Franklin Road Kitchen will serve up tender marinated chicken skewers with rice and a rich kasundi sauce. Also from Orange will be Greentrees Gourmet Preserves with jams, jellies, marmalades and preserved fruits to take home or enjoy onsite.

Major Partner, Castello will be offering a deliciously different experience at Cellar Door, the Castello Cheese Bar where visitors can bring in their glass of wine to be paired with one of their complimentary cheeses including Castello Creamy White which goes well with a NSW sparkling or Chardonnay.

Beyond the incredible wine and food on offer, there is truly something for everyone at this year’s Sydney Cellar Door including an opportunity to get involved in some Mudgee grape-crushing. This feet tingling experience of stomping grapes in purpose-built oak barrels will offer a ‘real-deal’ experience of wine making. Head to the Mudgee region area at Cellar Door on Saturday or Sunday between 11:30am – 12:30pm or 3:30pm – 4:30pm to join in the fun.

Over 78,000 wine and food lovers attended the three-day festival in 2015 to enjoy the diverse offering and this year’s crowds are expected to love the grouped regional offerings. ‘

Stay informed by visiting the website, following us on Facebook and Instagram @sydneycellardoor and joining the conversation using #SydneyCellarDoor. –

For ticket prices, go to:

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