Vividly Chandon @ love.fish Barangaroo

Right down near the wharf at Barangaroo, it’s an area where it’s easy to catch a ferry, check out the Sydney nightlife and enjoy a meal at the waters edge.

love.fish is a seafood restaurant located at this Barangaroo precinct. It is a casual eatery and has a superb menu celebrating Australia’s quality seafood options. Simple food prepared extraordinarily well.

During the Vivid light display, love.fish have collaborated with Chandon to create an intimate pop-up bar to celebrate. Fitting with the light concept, they have created a range of cocktails, sparkling with bubbles and colour!

They have put together a couple of super interesting cocktails featuring Chandon, including:

GOLDEN WATTLE: Chandon Blanc de Blancs, marionette apricot brandy, castanga Bianca, cucumber and cardamom

LILY PILY: a cosmic royal blend of Chandon S bitter orange, marionette blackberry liquor, Seppeltsfield apera, and a splash of cranberry

DESERT ROSE: a delicious citrus bouquet, floral notes created with Chandon brut rose, marionette orange curaçao, maidenii, sweet vermouth, grapefruit lemon thyme

All the drinks feature a bright lit up swizzle stick in keeping with the VIVID theme.

You can grab a meal from love.fish, whether it be a bunch of snacks which the pop up bar serves or you can have food from the full menu too. We enjoyed oysters, tuna crudo on a betel leaf, salt and pepper calamari and wild red spot crispy whiting and chips over a few of the above mentioned drinks.

A great place to get quality food, refreshing drinks and check out the VIVID lights

We recommend arriving around to take in the sunset before the light show starts. We hope you enjoy!

LOVE.FISH

7/23 Barangaroo Ave

Wulugul Walk

Barangaroo NSW 2000

* images – pushplay media

Dining and drinking – The Branksome

The Branksome Hotel, only only 1km from the airport is a great hotel for travellers, families and corporates alike. See our blog here for more details.

If you’re staying here, chances are you’ll need to eat and drink – you do that all here too. You can enjoy a meal at the restaurant, alfresco or order room service if you’d prefer to stay in. They’ve also got a huge rooftop bar where you can go for a few bites to eat and a drink or two.

Restaurant

Th Branksome has a restaurant and bar onsite, “Nate’s: east meets west dining” where we had both the buffet breakfast and dinner here.

The decor is bistro style with marbled tables and some Art Deco influences furniture.

The buffet offered cold and hot options; from fruit, cereal and cold deli items to western hot breakfast options such as scrambled eggs and sausages. You can also make pancakes and try a few baked goodies.

There’s a huge variety of loose leaf tea, coffee and juices to accompany your meal.

For dinner, we tried the new menu. The name of the restaurant is apt, since there are both eastern and western options. The food is quality and nicely presented. We shared three dishes including a Riverina Sirloin steak, Cooked to order and nicely seasoned. It came with a lovely jus and presented with julienne carrots and toast and sweet potatoes. This was a decent portion.

The quail was also a great choice, the tender meat was also flavoured superbly and served with similar sides to the steak.

Miso cod is also a favourite and the one here is particularly good, served with Hainanese rice and edamame beans. We really enjoyed this fish and it’s delicious glaze.

We were pretty full by this stage, but dessert wise, the sticky date pudding or deconstructed cheesecake would be our pick.

They have a good range of drinks on offer st the bar, including craft beer on tap, an extensive wine list and cocktails. The drinks are well priced and there’s also an early weekend happy hour.

Rooftop bar

They also have a lovely rooftop bar and outdoor terrace, perfect for an afternoon drink and you can also order food up there. Catch a glimpse of the amazing sunset with an unobstructed view stretching from the airport to the city skyline.

We enjoyed a networking event, which they have time to time, with heaps of food, drinks and live music.

IMG_6702.JPGThe space is large, so it could certainly host a number of events from parties to weddings or even fashion shows; it has a cool little stone walkway and plenty of tables and lounges to relax.

The Branksome Hotel & Residences

60 Robey Street

Mascot, NSW 202

Nate's Restaurant and Bar - The Branksome Hotel & Residences Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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High Tea at Intercontinental, Double Bay

Whether it be for Mother’s Day, or to celebrate a birthday or other special occasion, what a better treat than to take your loved ones to a sophisticated and luxurious high tea. We enjoyed a signature high tea at Intercontinental Hotel in Double Bay, located just 10 minutes from Sydney’s CBD. It is an upmarket hotel and it oozes class. This 5 star hotel pulls out all the stops to make for a wonderful experience.

Make your way upstairs to the lounge area of the stillery bar and you’ll find some high backed couches and an area reminiscent of an English tea room.

Afternoon teas and High teas are steeped in British tradition. History has it that ‘afternoon tea’ became the bridge between meals, since the real “tea” (or dinner), was not often eaten until late. This was often a light meal such as cake or scones and a cup of tea. This became fashionable by Anna the 7th, duchess of Bedford in the 19th century who invited friends over for the first ‘afternoon tea’. What we see here at the Intercontinental is an afternoon tea with a long history, and it has evolved into something that is still heritage based, but with some new additions like beautiful patisserie goods and even Martini’s.

Award-winning Pastry Chef, Chelsea Logan has curated sweet and savoury items to fill a three tiered stand for guests’ dining pleasure.

The bottom tier has the iconic and historic feature of high tea; freshly baked scones, both plain and fruit filled. Served with home made jam and cream, these scones were delightful. On this tier were also warm quiche with goats cheese and caramelised onion.

The second tier contains an assortment savoury bites including; fresh sandwiches of sage lemon poached chicken and watercress, as well as wild mushroom bruschetta with grilled leek and pecorino. Rounded out with blini’s topped with cold smoked trout with ricotta and black caviar. We always love a few savoury options with our high tea.

The piece de resistence or sweets level on the top was a plate full of delights. We all loved the Lemon Myrtle cheesecake with wattleseed crumble and Meyer lemon curd as well as an other tasty bites.

There was a special treat – a specially crafted macaron, that was designed like a work of art, sitting on an easel and a “chocolate” made canvas. The Mascarpone mousse and crab apple in a patisserie style piece was so cleverly crafted. There was a surprise inside – one was champagne infused, and the other caramel.

This experience was enjoyed with a glass of Champagne on arrival and later with your high tea, you can also order your preferred LDMT loose leaf tea or Vittoria coffee.

If you’re up for something a little different, you can have a martini high tea matching experience or even try the Oriental High Tea.

The Intercontinental also does a lovely peach blossom tea for something different.

High Tea is $69 per person with Champagne, $79 per person with three mini martinis and $59 per person with coffee and tea. 

Staff are attentive and absolutely delightful. This is a wonderful experience all round.

Available 11:00am – 4:00pm daily.

Intercontinental Double Bay

33 Cross St

Double Bay NSW, 2028

Stillery - Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sydney Vegan Tours

Sydney Vegan Tours has just started up in Sydney after having success in Melbourne. The Vegan community in Sydney are growing and it’s great to get an insight into restaurants and stores available in Sydney for Vegan diners to find some delicious food options.

Sydney Vegan Tours are offering tours in different locations, beginning with the tour we experienced in Glebe. For $89, they take you to a few places including the Cruelty Free store and three different food locations. It’s super great value for a lovely day out and the opportunity to try different foods and meet new people.

The meeting place was at the Cruelty Free shop on Glebe Point Road. It’s a great meeting spot, whilst you wait for people to arrive you can look around at what the shop has to offer and even buy yourselves a few things. They have over 3500 vegan and cruelty free products including cooking ingredients, ice cream, snack food, sweets and even pet food. The store also sells Vegan make-up, shoes by Birkenstock and Doc Martins as well as a range of handbags. It really opens you eyes to a great range of products all in the one location.

Meeting the group is easy since the guide Sarah (and on this occasion Dan as well) is there in the Sydney Vegan tours T-shirt. We also receive a environmentally friendly shopping bag, some products (Vegan Aioli by Dibble and Bennetto chocolate) and some fact sheets to read through. We also hear about the tour for the day and are our way.

A walking tour is great to explore an area and get a sense of the amazing stores and cafes around, whilst also meeting many like minded people and hearing a range of life experiences. We really enjoyed this aspect of it.

We walked down Glebe point road where we pass a few Vegan places (not on this tour, but incorporated into some of them) and head into Victoria Park (cnr Broadway and ) in the Sydney University surrounds. We make our first cafe visit to the Gardeners Lodge cafe. In and old historic building, it has been converted into a Plant based cafe, boasting a wide range of Vegan items from cakes to sandwiches and even pastas. This comes to us from the famed ‘Gigis’ superstar chefs.

Here we begin with a coffee of our choosing, espressos, cold brews, hot chocolate or turmeric latte if that’s your preference. Coffee beans by Flying Pig Coffee.

Whilst we wait for our mains, the lovely staff bring us some Vegan cheese and Charcoal crackers which was polished off pretty quickly! So good you wouldn’t know the difference.

We the quickly polished off a few panini, our favourites were the oyster mushroom with raddicio and vegan blue cheese on a crispy sourdough. We also loved the schnitzel (plant based) roll with avo, lettuce, tomato and vegan mayo.

The next stop on the journey was to Salts Meats Cheese. You would not expect this place to be Vegan, however they have an amazing all you can eat pizza and pasta Vegan menu at $20 pp with any drink purchase. They had some amazing pizzas using Vegan Cheese! There are plenty of plenty of pizzas available. We enjoyed the eggplant pizza, the Patatufo with ‘not-Zarella’, roasted potato, rosemary, truffle, garlic as well as the Zucca – pumpkin purée, crispy capers, and walnuts.

They also have pastas on the menu such as the Rigatoni All’Arrabita, Linguine Al Funghi – vegan cream, mushroom and roasted hazlenuts, Rigatoni Alla Norma – not-Zarella, eggplant, napolitana as well as Seasonal Linguine – napolitana, broccolini, cherry tomatoes, basil, pangrattato. We didn’t have pasta on this visit but it’s good to know it’s available.

After this we took a walk down Ambercrombie street to Something for Jess Cafe. It’s an eclectic little place, quite rustic in its styling. We like that they have art for sale on the wall, showcasing local artists, with some money being raised for charity.

Food wise they have a weekly menu change with their fritters and we tried mini zucchini fritters with salad and sweet potato. We tried some amazing cakes – the apple and cinnamon bread was phenomenal!!

After this stop the tour finished and we thanked the hosts for a wonderful day. We thoroughly recommend this to meet new people and find yourself introduced to new Vegan stores to visit.

Use booking code TWT for 20% off your next booking on a tour

Sydney Vegan Tours

sydneyvegantours.com

Stanton and co turn 1

Stanton & Co is a stunning new venue in a revived warehouse in The Cannery, Rosebery. The space has an industrial feel to it, and the team of designers took inspiration from New York’s Meatpacking District. You certainly get that vibe with its exposed brick walls and pipes, velvet chairs and deep cedar tables. It’s a huge space and can seat 240 guests, so it’s also perfect for an event. There’s a large bar, open kitchen and outdoor space to enjoy your dining experience.

We were lucky enough to attend celebrations for Stanton and CO’s first birthday with a bunch of foodies and we certainly had a great time.

Photo – supplied

The night kicked off with cocktails, wine and beer from Frenchies out in the spacious bar outside on the balcony of Stanton and Co. The ‘Bramberry cocktail’ with Roku Gin, yuzu juice and blackberries is a must try – very refreshing and a nice accompaniment to the food.

Photo – supplied

As we were at the first birthday, it was appropriate to to have a variety of party style food that could be shared canape style. We tried some beautiful oysters; both smoky and soy on arrival as well as the spanner crab mini taco, served with avocado and tobiko was super cute and a great little dish to share’.

Photo – supplied

We sat down and were kindly greeted by the staff who served drinks and started to bring out entrees. We shared a variety of small plates including the highlight – some deliciously crispy Jamon mozzarella croquettes with aioli.

We’re always fans of Salmon ceviche and the Stanton and Co. version was great, served with creme fraiche and potato crisps, this was a great starter. We can also thoroughly recommend the creamy Burrata, green tomato and salsa verde.


If you plan to visit, it’s great for a dinner date or a group catch because you can share with small, medium, or large plates. In particular, from the large plates, they have a twice-cooked chicken, slow cooked lamb shoulder, 800g dry aged T-bone, or what we tried: the absolutely incredible 1.2k pork knuckle. This was incredible. A moist inside, crispy crackle, served with seeded mustard.

Photo – supplied

If you’re ordering a meat to share, be sure to order some sides too – some charred seasonal vegetables, fried kipfler potatoes with spiced rosemary butter, shoestring fries and house mayo or like on our visit we had a super flavoursome and creamy truffled mash. Another highlight of the menu.

For our dessert, we were grateful to try the butterscotch mousse with cherries and banana ice cream. This was super nice and certainly would pair well with a dessert liquor. You can also order a number of other desserts, including chilled pineapple parfait, chocolate crumble, cheese plate or affogato. There’s even a dessert plate you can share.

Photo – supplied

We’d like to thank all staff at the venue for their hospitality and to original spin for the invitation

Opening hours

Wed-Fri 5pm-6pm for $1.50 oysters

Happy hour 4:30-6:30

Closed Monday & Tuesday

Wednesday to Saturday 12pm to late

Sunday from 12pm to 5pm

Stanton and co.

34 Morley Ave, Rosebery 2018

Level 1 of The Cannery

02 8339 0580

Stanton & Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Canton Kitchen – new to Castlecrag

A new modern Cantonese restaurant has opened in Sydney’s North Shore, in Castlecrag’s Quadrangle Shopping Village.  It offers a menu showcasing Cantonese classics with a modern twist, a new take on traditional Chinese food. 

Photo – supplied

The dishes on offer have seen chef Jason Chan fusing together traditional flavours with new ones to give it that twist. You’ll find hot and sour, sweet and spice and we personally love that numbing sense, to be found in particular on those chicken wings. 

Photo – supplied

The venue is spacious with Chinese poster art adorning the walls and hanging lanterns from the ceiling. It has a fun vibe to it, and a contemporary feel to its decor. They also take group bookings with two private function rooms, and 10 course banquet menus for groups of four and up. We tried much of the food on offer so we are testament to this being a good choice.

We tried pretty much all the food at the tasting, so good, we kept going back for more. The food is brilliant. Below is a list of the menu items we tried. The beef ribs are spectacular, worth the drive there for these alone. Our favourites were the beef ribs, chicken wings, mushroom stir fry, and of course the dumplings!

Entrees

Steamed dim sum platter – we loved the truffle mushroom in particular 

Photo – supplied

Silken tofu with house made vegetarian xo sauce & shiso on a betel leaf – this was a crowd favourite

Steamed Venus bay blue tail prawns, garlic and vermicelli

Photo – supplied

Hot & Numbing chicken wings – kept us going back and back for more 

Mains

“Typhoon shelter” style tempura vegetables – so interesting! A nice light batter over a variety of veggies

Photo – supplied

Sweet & sour Kurobuta pork, pickled lotus root & pineapple / crispy skin and moist meat. Thoroughly enjoyed this one – their version of sweet and sour pork

Photo – supplied

The Grandma’s sticky Mongolian lamb ribs were outstanding- melt in your mouth

Photo – supplied

The Mushrooms, morel, tofu, sugar snap and truffle was a lovely stir fry. Great as a vegetarian option.

Singapore chilli king prawns, Fragrant sambal, heirloom tomatoes – the sauce is like that on a Singapore chilli crab

The Riverine beef short ribs, black bean sauce, pickled celery & onion was the absolute winner on the night – we would eat this every day 

Seafood Mapo tofu, Lobster, Alaskan crab, king prawns

Canton kitchen special fried rice, chorizo, squid, prawns & saffron – quite a strong seafood flavour to it 

Dessert

Fried ice cream, coconut caramel sauce – extremely generous serving!

Coconut sago, fresh fruit, lychee popping pearls & sorbet topped with Persian fairy floss 

We were so so full by the end, but loved it and and cannot speak more highly of the food on offer. Quality Cantonese food with inspired flavours.

Canton Kitchen:

Address: Quadrangle Shopping Village, 100 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag NSW 2068:

02 9958 3288

www.cantonkitchen.com.au

Opening Hours: 

Monday closed

Tues- Thursday 5.30pm – 9.30pm

Friday 12pm- 3pm / 5.30pm – 10pm

Sat 11.30am – 3pm / 5.30pm – 10pm

Sun 11.30am – 3pm / 5.30pm – 9.30pm

Canton Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Gardens, by Lotus

Lotus Dining have recently taken up residency in the Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Darling Harbour. It is a tranquil setting, surrounded by a beautiful Chinese themed garden with fish filled ponds and Chinese art, right in the heart of the city.

Relax and unwind in this oasis, perhaps order a tea from their extensive list, whilst listening to the pitter patter of the water fountain. Enjoy the serenity of the dining space, where there are plenty of great spots to select your table and enjoy a bite to eat. Make your preference next to the koi pond or by the fountain or perhaps in the garden beneath the trees.

The tea room itself is an intricate structure made up of wooden pillars and beams supporting a traditional Chinese tiled roof.

Hanging from the roof are decorated carved lanterns. It is the perfect surrounding to enjoy their aromatic, ethically sourced, loose leaf teas at $5 a pot. Mellow cream oolong tea, flavoured with mallow blossom, safflowers and almond pieces was our favourite, or the China lychee, black Chinese tea with mellow sweet lychee flavour was also lovely. There’s plenty of choice and the pot makes for a few cups to enjoy with your dumplings. If you are not into tea, do not fret, there is a range of wine and beer as well as hot chocolate, coffee and milkshakes.

The food at lotus dining is of high quality, with some of our favourite dumplings in Sydney. The steam baskets arrive at the table carrying dim sum delights including the ever popular har gao, these glutinous opaque white parcels give a glimpse of the delicious banana prawn filling inside, with a serving of three, there was a chopstick battle for the extra portion. Defeat was quickly forgotten as we had a variety of dumplings to choose from.

The steamed fresh scallop siu mai with three pieces were great, no hiding the filling within this dumpling, the scallop peeping out, enticing you to eat it promptly.

The steamed shitake mushroom dumplings were in a thin veil, so thin the tasty mushroom and corn filling could not hide from what was to come, satisfying our need for more of these culinary gems.

The most flavoursome of the lot was the Sichuan style prawn and pork wontons, the chili and sesame sauce providing that flavour kick.

Another dim sum crowd pleaser is the trusty spring roll, the king brown mushroom version will please all, especially the vegetarians.

There were plenty of great options to share on the light lunch menu and the prices are very reasonable. We sampled the vegetarian options, all full of flavour and generous portions.

The Salt and pepper classic tofu salad included crispy fried tofu, soft in the middle, with smoked chilli having the tastebuds tingling with joy, this was served with a fresh herb salad at only $13.

The refreshing cold noodle salad was neatly served with the individual ingredients portioned separately, egg noodles, seasonal vegetables, a variety of mushrooms and a soy and sesame dressing that you could add to taste $13 to mix or not mix that was the question?

We also ordered the steamed asian greens sauced with soy and sesame oil a big portion and a simple classic dish at $11

For those of you dining with your family, there’s a kids menu with meals from $8 including popcorn chicken, fried rice or a dim sum basket.

As I’m sure plenty of diners are, we were ready to finish with something sweet and a selection of macarons certainly did the trick. They offer flavour changes and on our visit it was passionfruit and chocolate, these took our fancy at only $8 for 3. The crisp outer shell and soft filling made for a lovely taste and texture.

We also tried the iced lemon mousse, with bits of granola. It’s a sharp cool dessert to settle the meal. This one is also vegan friendly.

Be sure to make a booking, this spot is ever popular with tourists and locals alike. Definitely the best spot in Sydney to enjoy some dim sum, a stunning garden setting with the city skyline as a backdrop. Include the amazing food on offer, and it makes for the perfect lunch outing.

We’d like to extend our thanks to the venue for their hospitality and to The Atticism for the invitation to dine.

The Gardens by Lotus

In the Chinese Gardens of Friendship

Pier st, cnr Harbour St, Sydney

Lotusdining.com.au

The Gardens by Lotus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bringing Rum back to Sydney

Brix Distillery is located in the heart of Surry Hills, just a few hundred metres from Taylor Square, Oxford Street. Whilst Sydney pretty much had rum as a currency in the 1800’s, it fell out of favour for a while. Despite this, Australia is known for producing some of the best.

Brix is a bar and distillery, aiming to share their knowledge and passion about Rum, whilst educating and exciting patrons about this spirit.

As you walk into the large distillery, the huge copper vats are visible and you can experience first-hand how the molasses is made into the drink, they also make rum from scratch using sugarcane.

The Brix Flight is the best way to taste what this urban distillery is producing, including the White, Gold and Spiced rum.

White: made 100% on site. On the nose is green apple, lime zest, caramelised figs, banana and it is sweet and buttery on the palate. This is the perfect mix with soda, tonic and grapefruit.

Gold: is a blend of 5yo and 8yo rum from Barbados, aged in ex-bourbon oak barrels. On the nose it’s vanilla, raisin, blackberry jam and on the palate you’ll note plum, golden syrup and biscuits. The Gold is perfect for making an Old Fashioned.

Spiced: a delicate blend of the white and aged rum infused with cinnamon, vanilla and spices. Perfect in a Daiquiri.

The different varieties were distinguishable and able to be used in different cocktail recipes, which can also be sampled at Brix.

Although we didn’t eat, there is a restaurant which boasts a range of tapas, with dishes including school prawns, croquettes, zucchini flowers, as well as larger meat based dishes.

The venue is also a function space, and they have a mezzanine barrel room above the distillery where you can lay down your own for a fee. The existing barrels featuring some celebrity art one appropriately containing Woody Harrelson. It is possible to book this space for a private lunch, dinner or tasting session. It’s also great to view the distilling area from this space.

Coming up, the venue is also hosting some events, including:

  • Friday 8 March: Brix X Messina Dinner Series: an 8 course degustation with Messina
  • Thursday 14 March: Rum blending masterclass

Pop on down sometime and try a rum flight and a cocktail or two!

350 Bourke Street Surry Hills

www.brixdistillers.com

Brix Distillers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Franklin Restaurant, Hobart

Another highly praised restaurant which we checked out in Tasmania was Franklin restaurant in Hobart. We had booked for a late meal at the end of a busy day seeing the sights. The restaurants has large glass windows which are very visible from the street. The restaurant interior is paired back with concrete and industrial fittings, providing clean visual features. The open kitchen and bar provide the ability to watch what is going on. It is a busy restaurant but the staff are attentive. The ambience is buzzing and this makes for a great dining atmosphere.

The drinks list includes craft beer, interesting wine options, including natural wine and there’s also a mix of cocktails and craft spirits.

The menu has a number of inviting options and was headed up with some exciting small bites. A must eat item is the scotch quail eggs. This tasty morsel has a crisp outer crust, a tasty mid layer of sobrasada and the yolk of the quail egg oozing out once cut into.

The octopus and salt bush dumplings may not be the most appealing looking bite, however this was made up for by the texture and flavour. We were also provided some amazing complimentary bread.

The mushroom dish was full of umami from the braised wakame and egg yolk sabayan. This was the tasiest dish of the evening. With the oyster mushrooms providing a meaty texture.

Potatoes are certainly abundant in Hobart and were well put to use in the potato galette with an emulsion of huacatay, a Peruvian herb sourced locally on the Tasman coast.

This accompanied the main source of protein we ordered, the woodroasted littlewood lamb, served with braised almonds and pickled kohlrabi.

This dish was very simple looking on the plate, however the flavour of the lamb was incredible and the almonds provided texture and the pickled kohlrabi cut through the richness of the lamb.

Franklin is great place to enjoy a meal in Tasmania to savour some local produce and wash ot down with a quality drinks list.

Franklin

30 Argyle St, Hobart TAS 7000

Franklin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Alexandra Hotel – Leura

Fancy a getaway only 1.5 hours away from the Sydney CBD in the picturesque town of Leura? Look no further as we have the tips for you!

It’s hard to visit Leura without spending a small fortune, as there’s a number of extremely expensive lodgings and restaurants in the town and surrounds. However, we will point you to somewhere that is extremely good value for money at high quality.

The Alexandra hotel, established 1903 is the only licensed hotel in Leura and a short stroll from the mall. It is an old quaint boutique building with ornate trims and stained glass windows.

The hotel is sectioned off into a number of areas, with a sports bar and lounge bar (with floor to ceiling bookshelf). There’s also plenty of space for a party or function.

There is also plenty of outdoor space to enjoy.

The hotel is right beside Leura train station, but the noise isn’t obvious at all. The hotel aptly has has a railway theme to it, with the outdoor bar in the beer garden called “platform 3”, and a Leura Rail sign featuring in the dining room.

We also stayed in the hotel. It was a comfortable heritage room with vintage furniture, double bed and modern bathroom. The rooms have old world charm with some modern convenience including the addition of a/c and tv. The room opens onto a balcony with a nice outlook of the hotel’s backyard beer garden and out to the valley below.

The hotel is a great spot to dine, whether it be lunch or dinner, pull up a stump at either of the two beer gardens for a causal vibe or for proper sit down meal book a table in the dining room, named “Redfern Bistro”.

There’s something for everyone, casual food including burgers and pizzas, with the pizzas made in the wood fired oven in a traditional manner by Marco Marano.

The summer menu, prepared by chef Anna Borna features modern Australian gastro pub food, beautifully cooked and presented.

We were seated in the dining room and ordered a glass of bubbles.

Their Garlic bread made on a house baked baguette and is topped with melted garlic and parsley butter an ideal start to the meal.

This came out with the confit mushrooms dish, a tasty vegetarian opttion. Pan fried portobello and button mushrooms cooked in olive oil with rosemary and lemon with feta, almond and coriander dukkah (gf).

Other entrees on offer include oysters, pate, calamari and baked haloumi.

For the mains, the Pan roasted duck breast instantly piqued our interest. The meat was cooked to perfection, skin nicely seasoned, served with duck fat potatoes and rustic heirloom carrots. It’s accompanying home made Peking duck citrus sauce was brilliant and kept us searching the plate for more of it.

From specials board, we couldn’t go past the pan fried and seared ocean trout. This was a splendid fish dish, the skin salted, nicely rendered and crisp. The flesh was perfect; a lovely pink orange hue, flakey and melt in the mouth followed by the beautiful flavour of the fish. The sauce was a delicious combination of smoked paprika dill and grapefruit veloute, served with roasted potatoes, charred leeks, broad beans, peas and cherry tomatoes. Perfect Bistro fare and one of the better fish dishes that come to mind, highly recommended.

Whilst we were extremely satisfied at this point, we had to go with the dessert option on the specials menu, the banana spilt. Here it is the classic dessert that has been pimped up with two bananas, deep fried in a Moreish crisp salty batter. This has been placed atop a butterscotch sauce and served with vanilla bean ice cream. So tasty, it was irresistible .

It is worth driving up to the Blue Mountains for the charm of this beautiful old pub alone and the scenery in the area is an added bonus.

The Alexandra Hotel is well located a short stroll from the boutique town of Leura and a short drive to the tourist sights in the area. Book a room and make for a short getaway.

We would like to thank the Alexandra hotel and staff for their hospitality and Spooning Australia for the invitation to dine.

https://www.alexandrahotel.com.au

Alexandra Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato