05 Dec // So I went to Sydney

I've had many delicious trips to Sydney, and in January when I had no work on and had yet another what-am-I-doing-with-my-life lull, I spent my last $500 on a plane ticket: to sleep in my sister's lounge, hang out with her baby, cook them dinner, and gorge on Queensland mangoes like my life depended on it. It's such a great city - beautiful beaches, great restaurants and bars, warm weather, and good public transport. It makes for the perfect long weekend destination.

In September I had a few days there thanks to Emirates. In a bid to promote their trans-Tasman route, three Aussie bloggers came to Auckland for the night, before heading back to Australia each with an Auckland blogger in tow. I went to Sydney with Arrnott from Rogue Homme, Courteney from Gather and Hunt went to Melbourne with Paul from The City Lane, and Sarah of From the Kitchen fame went to Brisbane with Ranyhyn of Gourmand & Gourmet.

In Auckland, we met at Masu by Nic Watt for dinner. Masu, with its cherry blossoms hanging from the bar and its outrageously good sake selection, and with food and service to make you think you really could be anywhere in the world. Courteney and Sarah and I met first, and welcomed ourselves with a Monday night negroni. My favourite way to eat is when the chefs just feed you, and that’s exactly what happened after the Aussie contingent arrived and we sat down. Plate after plate of delicious food rolled out and it was made all the more entertaining by the fact this was a table of bloggers and no dish was left un-photographed.

The next morning we had a wine tasting with wine legend Bob Campbell MW. It was glasses of Moët at 11am (#partylikeafoodblogger) at the Seafarers club down in Britomart, before an excellent lunch courtesy of Ostro and a full wine tasting. We got to try all the wines served in First Class on Emirates flights, all chosen by Bob Campbell, who expertly walked us through it. Goddam, it was amazing to sit through. The big ol’ Margaret River chardonnay (Pierro 2011) was my pick, but the ports and the reds were all spectacular too.

Nicely tipsy we headed to the airport, and kicked back in the Emirates lounge, before departing on the Emirates A380. We were in business class (!) which is always a dream, but especially if you, like me, are blessed with being 6 foot tall. I had my own pod, which included a mini bar, an insanely large TV screen, and a charming German steward using me as a guinea pig to perfect his Manhattan-making technique. Emirates business has a bar at the back too, where you can hang out and get drinks and snacks, and after wine tasting all day, a couple of Manhattans, and a wine matched meal, it was a bit like being at a party.

I was put up at the Pullman Hyde Park, which was great - very central and with a sweet view, not to mention a giant comfortable bed. It was an easy point from which to wander, and the next morning was an easy stroll in to Surry Hills to meet Arrnott for breakfast. We ate at Four ate Five, which had an interesting menu and excellent coffee. He ordered the haloumi, which gave me massive food envy, but my eggs with avo and dukkah were really good too. We wandered the shops, stopped for more coffee, then went our separate ways.

I stayed on for a few days with my sister in Coogee, before flying back business after breakfast in the lounge: starting Monday morning with waffles, fresh raspberries, coffee, bubbles, and sparkling water was again, an absolute dream!

Thanks so much to Emirates for an exceptionally fun trip.