Adventure, baby!

CBD

Date Night In Sydney: Sheraton on the Park Conservatory Bar

Sheraton on the Park Conservatory Bar Paired Menu via christineknight.me

Ahhh date nights aren’t what they used to be! One of the few things I really miss about my pre-kid life are the regular evening outings with just me and the hubbie. What used to be on-the-fly no-organisation-needed nights out have turned into carefully planned weeks in advance scheduled productions to lock in babysitters, restaurants and friends. As a result, we probably only have a night out once every few months these days.

So when Hubbie and I do get a night out alone, it’s special. This is where the Conservatory Bar at Sydney’s Sheraton on the Park comes into the story. We badly needed a bit more of a special night out after a rough few weeks on the home front, so a luxurious evening at the bar was a blessing.

Sheraton on the Park Conservatory Bar Paired Menu via christineknight.me

The Conservatory Bar is on the second floor of the hotel, overlooking beautiful Hyde Park. As evening falls, the bar darkens and gets a really romantic vibe.

The bar has just launched a new Paired Menu that we sampled during our evening out. The tapas-style menu has been designed to match perfectly with handpicked wines and craft beers to compliment each small plate. That said, we went rogue when we saw the cocktail menu and decided to order some fancy sounding concoctions instead.

Sheraton on the Park Conservatory Bar Paired Menu via christineknight.me

The dishes are designed to be shared, but unfortunately for us there was only one vegetarian dish, which meant I ordered the vego dish, the Gyoza (steamed Japanese dumplings in spicy soy, pork or vegetable, $18) and hubbie ordered Garlic Shrimp (shrimps sautéed in olive oil and garlic, $20) and Scallop Fritters (crispy deep fried battered scallops, tamarind chilli sauce, $22).

Sheraton on the Park Conservatory Bar Paired Menu via christineknight.me Sheraton on the Park Conservatory Bar Paired Menu via christineknight.me

My dumplings were absolutely delicious. A plentiful serving, with fresh filling, and a tasty sauce on the bottom to dip them in.

Sheraton on the Park Conservatory Bar Paired Menu via christineknight.me

The dishes were larger than we’d expected, and also more filling. According to my husband, the prawns were juicy, nicely garlicly without being too spicy, were perfectly cooked and went extremely well with the crusty bread they were served with. He also found the batter around the scallops to be a bit heavy for delicate seafood inside, but he still enjoyed the dish.

Sheraton on the Park Conservatory Bar Paired Menu via christineknight.me

The cocktail I ordered, the Louisiana Jam (southern comfort, apricot brandy, aperol, pineapple, jam, lime, $20) was the best of my life. Honestly, I wanted to set up a mainline to this and just keep the good stuff coming. It was sweet without being sickening, and strong enough despite the ice. So. Good. Worth going back for this cocktail alone.

Sheraton on the Park Conservatory Bar Paired Menu via christineknight.me

Hub’s cocktail was the Rum ‘n’ Rhubarb (7yr rum, liquor 43, rhubarb bitters, vanilla, $21). He liked the delicate flavours but found it a touch on the weak side.

As well as the food and drinks being top notch, the service was also extremely professional and friendly. Exactly the vibe we enjoy. With music playing in the bar and the lights going down around us, it was easy to forget our cares and enjoy each other’s company.

Sheraton On The Park Conservatory Bar
161 Elizabeth Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9286 6000
Prices: $$$
Get Directions

We dined as guests of Sheraton on the Park. All opinions are our own. A big thank you for facilitating a rare date night out for us!

The Conservatory Bar - Sheraton on the Park Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Tea Salon’s Katherine Sabbath High Tea: Sydney’s Best Afternoon Teas

the-tea-salon-katherine-sabbath

The promise of a high tea created in collaboration with the amazing baker Katherine Sabbath beckoned me to The Tea Salon in Sydney’s Wesfield this week. The limited edition high tea only runs until October 31st, so if this amazing tea looks good to you, make a booking post-haste!

Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me

I hadn’t thought to try a high tea at The Tea Salon until now as I was a bit put off by the thought of a relaxing high tea … in a shopping centre. Like I said, it took the promise of Katherine Sabbath goodies to draw me in with my fellow food-loving blogger friend Jayne Gorman of Girl Tweets World.

tea-salon-katherine-sabbath-3

The Tea Salon is indeed right in the middle of Westfields, but the atmosphere was very quiet, and I forgot very quickly that I was in a shopping centre. The decor is whimsically playful and delightful – a little bit Alice in Wonderland with the cutesy pastel china and white furniture.

Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me

We ordered the Katherine Sabbath high tea for two – at $39.95pp for the basic tea, it’s pretty good value. Kids up to the age of 13 can order a children’s version of the Katherine Sabbath high tea for $19.95 per child.

I didn’t bring Cheese with me on this occasion, which is a shame as the venue is incredibly kid-friendly.

Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me

Onto the high tea! Each tea come with pot of Premium Loose Leaf Tea or Espresso Coffee. We chose tea, which arrived quickly in large pots. The tea menu was quite extensive with some interesting selections to be had. We chose the “Creme Brûlée” – a black tea with caramel notes. The tea was a bit on the sweet side, but not sickeningly so. It was a great accompaniment to the food, and we managed to get at least three cups out of the pots.

Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me

As I requested vegetarian substitutions to the regular menu, we were given our own three-tiered stands. The teas were identical with the exception of the sandwiches, and our choice of scone.

Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me

Tier 1: Scone
One scone per serve. I chose the Katherine Sabbath Blueberry & White Chocolate Scone with raspberry cream.

Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pinwheel Sandwiches:
Smoked Salmon, Rocket, Lemon & Capers
Cucumber & Dill Butter
Savoury Tartlets:
Beetroot, Goats Cheese & Caramelised Onion Jam
Pumpkin Feta & Pesto
Vegetarian sandwiches: 
Cucumber and Dill Butter
Pesto

Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.meSweet Treats:
Rose & Pistachio Pannacotta with Persian Fairy Floss
Lemon & Raspberry Zig-Zag Gumball Donut
Banana Cupcake with fresh Raspberry Cream
Dark Chocolate & Orange Fudge Tart with Salty Toffee Shards

Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me

The verdict:
I really enjoyed my vegetarian sandwiches. They were light and soft, freshly made, and the pesto sandwich in particular was really tasty. The scone, while being very blueberry-y, was a bit cake-y and lacked the sharp flavour that Australian scones usually have. This one was a bit more like a sweet American scone. The desserts were super cute and nicely bite-sized. My favourites were the Banana Cupcake and Rose & Pistachio Pannacotta with Persian Fairy Floss. The Pannacotta in particular was amazing – it tasted quite like Turkish Delight. I found the chocolate tart a bit rich for my taste, and the doughnut a little dense.

I really enjoyed the service at The Tea Salon. The staff were extremely friendly and attentive, and our waitperson was very knowledgable in teas, which I really appreciated!

The size of the teas were actually perfect. We were both so full that we needed to take one of the sweet treats home for later (little plastic take away containers were brought to our table to help facilitate a smooth transition of the cakey goodness to our homes).

Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me Katherine Sabbath high tea at The Tea Salon #Sydney via christineknight.me
I highly enjoyed the high tea at The Tea Salon. For the price in particular, it is exceedingly good value. The Tea Salon has a very kid-friendly atmosphere – a lot more so than most traditional high tea venues – so I will definitely be back with my kid in tow next time.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: Yes.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

The Tea Salon
Westfield Sydney, Lvl 4,
Cnr Pitt St Mall and Market St,
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9233 2231
Prices: $$
Hours: Daily 10am-6:30pm
Get Directions
Bookings recommended. Email: sydney@theteasalon.com.au

The Tea Salon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Archibald Inspired High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Archibald inspired high tea at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney via christineknight.me

The Sofitel Hotel prides itself on being Sydney’s Hotel of the Arts. As such it presents an Archibald inspired High Tea at the same time as the Archibald exhibition is on display at the nearby Art Gallery of New South Wales. While the high tea is over (today, September 27th, was the last day), the Sofitel has a Wentworth High Tea available all year round.

Archibald inspired high tea at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney via christineknight.me

The basic high tea starts at $49pp, including savouries and sweets and your choice of tea ($59 with a glass of sparkling wine) and a ticket to the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Chef of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, Boris Cuzon, created an amazing replica of last year’s masterpiece, a portrait of champion snowboarder Torah Bright, by artist Zoe Young, on decadent white chocolate, as the centerpiece of each platter.

Archibald inspired high tea at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney via christineknight.me

The platters were arranged very differently from a regular tiered high tea. The sweets and savouries were arranged artistically on a piece piece of slate, and placed on a tripod-like stand.

Sweets
Opera cake “splash”
Mini pastel macarons
“Painted” eclair
Gold framed apple “tarte fine”
Scone, cream and homemade jam
White chocolate painting

Savoury
Egg & herb sandwich
Roasted beef and tomato mini baguette
Chicken and leek tartlet
Avocado, tomato, lettuce mini baguette (vegetarian option only)
Mixed vegetable sandwich (vegetarian option only)

Archibald inspired high tea at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney via christineknight.me

The food was a great amount for lunch – I polished off the lot and didn’t feel ill from eating too much food. The desserts were so small that I didn’t feel like I had sugar overload at the end, either. The only weak spot I would suggest would be the scone – it was tiny and more like a biscuit than a big, fluffy scone.

The sandwiches were fresh and light, and I liked that I received my own extra vegetarian sandwich platter.

Archibald inspired high tea at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney via christineknight.me

At $49 I thought the price was very reasonable. The only downside of our experience was the service. While very polite, we had to constantly flag down a server if we needed anything, like ordering the tea or asking for the cheque. We would have all loved our waters to be topped up and an offer for an additional tea or coffee.

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
61-101 Phillip Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Bookings

Soiree - Sofitel Sydney Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Shangri La Hotel Afternoon Tea: Sydney’s Best High Teas

Shangri La Hotel: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas via christineknight.me

A very happy birthday to me! I love to celebrate with high teas, so the family and I head to the Shangri La Hotel Lobby Lounge on this birthday to try their Traditional Afternoon Tea. The Traditional Afternoon Teas are priced at $42 pp, $52 pp with a flute of Chandon NV Brut and $65 pp with a flute of Perrier Jouet Brut Champagne. (They also offer a Wickedly Chocolate Afternoon Tea which I will try next time.)

Shagri La Hotel Afternoon Tea via christineknight.me

The Lobby Lounge is a relaxing venue. Not as posh or filled with character as many of the other tea venues, but instead very laid back and relaxed, while still being chic. Afternoon tea here is a quiet, refined affair. Small groups gathered to sip tea and munch on treats – more of a sedate crowd than the large groups of hens and birthdays you often see at many afternoon teas.

There was a bit of a mix up with our reservation and they prepared one more afternoon tea than we needed. It was a bit confusing but they were extremely gracious about the mix up, and gave us the extra tea service anyway. Very kind.

Included in the tea is your choice of tea and coffee. I believe it’s not limited to just one tea or coffee as my parents both ordered one of each and we weren’t charged for the extra pots of tea. I appreciate little things like that, it makes the tea feel like good value rather than getting the bill and finding unexpected charges having added up.

Our afternoon teas arrived on large platters, very impressively displayed. My dad has some dietary requirements which they were more than happy to accomodate with zero fuss, and my afternoon tea was vegetarian – exactly the same as the Traditional Tea except for the sandwiches.

One of the main reasons I was so keen to try this afternoon tea is because I wanted to sample delights from the hand of renowned pastry chef, Anna Polyviou. I have to say, they did not disappoint.

The afternoon tea is served in 3 layers. Sweet on top, savoury in the middle, scones on the bottom.

Shagri La Hotel Afternoon Tea via christineknight.me

Top layer: Sweet

Tropic-Anna: Coconut dacquise, white chocolate disc, coconut and Malibu crème, tropical fruit compote, popping mango pearls, baby coriander. This was one of my favourites. Light, citrusy with a hint of coconut. Amazing.

Carrot cake: Carrot cake rice bubble and hazelnut crunch layer, Apricot and carrot insert jelly, praline cremeux, caramel glaze, and yellow graffiti. Finished off with orange and milk chocolate discs. This is a dessert Polyviou is well known for, but as I’m not the biggest fan of carrot cake, I enjoyed the others more.

Rhubarb and Ginger Pudding: Rhubarb and ginger cake, whipped cream baby celery on top, custard sauce. My other favourite. Simple and so delicious.

Berry Me: Vanilla panna cotta, raspberry jelly, biscuit crumbs, mixed berries, meringue kisses, yoghurt and strawberry macaron, baby basil. A very delicious, creamy affair.

Shagri La Hotel Afternoon Tea via christineknight.me

Middle layer: Savoury

Tart: Caramelised onion, goats cheese, tomato and baby basil salad. Delicious! The basil salad was unexpectedly cooked inside and was delicious.

Traditional Sandwiches: Roast pork, Vietnamese salad roll; Chicken and celery sandwich; Salmon, cucumber and cream cheese, salmon roe, sandwich.

Shagri La Hotel Afternoon Tea via christineknight.me

I had vegetarian sandwiches instead. I’m not sure exactly what was in them, but they were light, with very fluffy, fresh bread, and light, tasty ingredients like sweet potato, cheese and cucumber. Really good.

Shagri La Hotel Afternoon Tea via christineknight.me

Bottom level: Scones

Buttermilk and vanilla scones, Buttermilk and tea raisin scones, Clotted cream, Mixed berry jam. The scones were on the flat side, small and dense, rather than the large fluffy ones you often get in high teas. They still tasted great, but were more like an American biscuit than a traditional English scone. The jam was flavourful but a bit on the runny side, and the cream was thickly whipped.

Shagri La Hotel Afternoon Tea via christineknight.me Shagri La Hotel Afternoon Tea via christineknight.me Shagri La Hotel Afternoon Tea via christineknight.me Shagri La Hotel Afternoon Tea via christineknight.me

I highly enjoyed the Traditional Afternoon Tea – in particular the surprising, innovative desserts. I will absolutely be back to try the Wickedly Chocolate Afternoon Tea next time.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: Yes.
Kids’ menu: No.

Afternoon Tea at the Lobby Lounge, Shangri La Hotel
176 Cumberland Street,
The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9250 6000
Prices: $$$
Hours: Daily 1pm-5pm
Bookings are essential. Please call (61 2) 9250 6000 or email dine.slsn@shangri-la.com
Get Directions

The Langham Sydney Afternoon Tea With Wedgwood: Sydney’s Best High Teas

An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Langham Hotel has under gone a significant refurbishment, and is now lighter and brighter than ever before. The Palm Court at the London Langham Hotel is heralded as the birthplace of the traditional Afternoon Tea, so it has been on my list of “must-do” Sydney afternoon teas for a while.

Mother’s Day is always a good excuse for an indulgent high tea, and so it was the location for an elegant lunch (yes, even with my 30 year-old in tow) to celebrate, well, me!

An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Palm Court at the Langham Hotel offers guests an exclusive afternoon tea experience with their new global partner, Wedgwood. The beautiful tea experience was heightened with the serving of Wedgwood specialty teas in tailor-made “Langham Rose” Wedgwood teaware.

An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me
Our server for the tea was lovely beyond belief. She offered our testy preschooler a hot chocolate and made it on the lukewarm side without being asked. Perfect not just for Cheese to drink straight away, but also in case of spills.

An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me

Since we visited on a weekday, it was a quiet seating. Our tea and then food were brought out quickly. I particularly enjoyed our server’s attention to detail through out the tea, ensuring that we were happy with everything and asking if there was anything more we could do for us. She also made an effort to engage with Cheese, and complimented us on how well behaved she was (lucky Cheese saved her tantrum for refusing to wash her hands in the bathroom!).

An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me

With one vegetarian and one regular diner, our platters looked exceptionally pretty with the added variety.

An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me

Starting with the savoury, I loved the pumpkin tart the best. It was just a delicious morsel of pumpkin and pastry with nuts for garnish. Next was the corn and avocado cornet (delicious) and the sandwiches. The sandwiches were sadly the only part of the high tea that I wasn’t happy with. All three were a kind of vegetable medley – it would have been nice to have a bit of variety like an egg salad, or cucumber. The bread was also kind of on the dry side and god stuck in my mouth. The fillings were fresh and flavoursome however.

An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me

The scones were my favourite part of the tea, along with the pumpkin tart. They were freshly made that day (not warm, but obviously not made long ago) and came with the most delicious strawberry jam and cream.

An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me

Desserts included a pannacotta with lychee, blueberry tart, sesame macaron and a kind of pistachio cake. My favourite was the blueberry tart, which was nice and tart rather than sickeningly sweet. I wasn’t a fan of the macaron as I don’t like sesame flavour in general, but Alec really enjoyed his. The panacotta was creamy and light, and the cake a dense chocolaty way to finish.

An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me

All in all, it was a very enjoyable high tea.

An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me An Afternon Tea With Wedgwood #Sydney via christineknight.me

Wedgwood High Tea at The Langham Hotel
89-113 Kent St, Millers Point,
Sydney NSW 2000
Prices: $$$ (From $55 pp Mon-Fri & $65pp Sat & Sun)
Phone: 02 8248 5220
Hours: Daily 12pm–5pm
Get Directions

The Tea Cosy, The Rocks: Sydney’s Best Afternoon Tea Spots

The Tea Cosy: #Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

I’ve written about how I love The Tea Cosy before. This adorable, family-owned cafe is tucked down in The Rocks. It’s well worth a visit for a quick scone and tea, or a larger afternoon tea like I had on this occasion.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me

Alec once again had the Ploughman’s Lunch ($15). We ordered Cheese the Kid’s Devonshire tea ($7, one plain scone, jam & cream and a babyccino) and I enjoyed the High Tea ($35 pp: sandwiches, 2 scones, 2 drinks and cakes).

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me

 

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me

The scones at The Tea Cosy are always the star of the meal. I think they are baked fresh all day, so the ones we had were the freshest scones I’ve ever had. The jam is sensational – such a big flavour in a tiny bite of jam.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me

I also loved the sandwiches – the bread was so fluffy and fresh that it almost melted in my mouth. The toppings were great – cream cheese and cucumber and curried egg. The egg was my favourite and I could have eaten even more.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me

The desserts were very simple – one lemon meringue tart and a berry friand muffin type of thing. I really liked having just the two pastries as I often find high teas a bit too sweet when they have the large tray of desserts. I must prefer to have more sandwiches and scones and only a few sweet things at the end. So this was basically my perfect high tea.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me

Cheese loved her fancy babyccino (it came with two marshmallows – one was eaten before I could snap the picture) and scone. She even ate it with jam this time.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me

I love The Tea Cosy and always want an excuse to get back down to The Rocks so I can indulge in more scones, yet again.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me

 

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Teas #restaurants #Sydney via christineknight.me

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Minimal – it’s a very small space.
Easy access: Small steps in, narrow corridors.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

The Tea Cosy
33 George Street,
The Rocks NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9247 4955
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon, Wed-Fri 10am-4pm, Tues closed, Sat & Sun 9:30am-5pm
Get Directions

The Tea Cosy on Urbanspoon

Yum Cha at Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood Restaurant, Pyrmont, Sydney

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

I know pretty much nothing about yum cha, except it’s food on carts that you choose when the servers come hurtling past. It turns out that “yum cha” is actually the Cantonese term for “drinking tea” and refers to the custom of eating tiny servings of different foods while sipping well-brewed Chinese tea.

Yum cha fun for those who like a visual of their food before they order it, and also if you like to try lots of different bits and pieces for your meal. Yum cha is also an extremely good meal option if you have kids, which is how we found ourselves trying yum cha at Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood Restaurant, Pyrmont.

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

We had a booking for 11am, which was lucky as even though it is a huge restaurant, it was absolutely packed at 11am (it opens at 10:30, which is when I took the photo as we were a bit early). The staff were efficient and friendly, showing us straight to our table and setting up the high chair immediately.

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Food started flying past on carts immediately, and our friends who yum cha more than we do did the choosing, and also helped me track down some vegetarian dishes. I managed to find vegetarian spring rolls, dumplings and soy noodles, plus some kind of greens dish.

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Cheese hadn’t been to yum cha before, but surprised us by trying a few things. She was mostly keen to master chop sticks, and she had a pretty good try, managing to get food into her mouth using them.

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

When the kids got antsy, they went for a walk to the big fish tank where all the fishies and crabs who are going to be cooked later are kept alive and swimming. The kids thought they were super cool, so that was a good distraction while we ate a bit more food.

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Yum Cha #Sydney via christineknight.me

Yum cha is a pretty messy meal, so there is no pressure to have a neat table afterwards. It’s also a fast meal, which I always appreciate with a wiggly kid.

We were in and out in about an hour, which is about the amount of time we can dine before Cheese gets bored and wants to do something else, so that was perfect. Cost-wise, the bill came to $110 for four adults, with the three kids kind of pecking at a few things, but not ordering anything specific just for them.

Fisherman's Wharf, Fish Markets, Sydney

The restaurant is level one of a building at the Fisherman’s Wharf in the Sydney Fish Markets, and after we dined, we had a stroll down on the wharf to let the kids burn a bit of energy. They enjoyed chasing seagulls and spotting pelicans, and us adults enjoyed walking off the food in the sun. What a view!

Fisherman's Wharf, Fish Markets, Sydney

Fisherman's Wharf, Fish Markets, Sydney

Fish Markets Sydney via christineknight.me

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: Yes.
Kids’ menu: No.

Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood Restaurant
1 Bank Street,
Pyrmont NSW 2009
Phone: (02) 9660 9888
Prices: $$
Hours: Yum cha: Mon-Fri 11am–3pm Sat & Sun 10am–3pm
Restaurant is open daily 5:30pm-11pm
Get Directions

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood on Urbanspoon

Swissotel: High Teas In Sydney

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

Ever on the hunt for Sydney’s best high tea, this time I tried the Swissotel’s buffet high tea. For $69 (Sat & Sun) or $59 (Mon-Fri), you get to eat your fill of finger sandwiches, scones, savoury delicacies and delightful desserts. It sounded like a great idea for this little piggy, so off I went with a dear friend to see how much sweet stuff I could eat.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

I scored a Groupon voucher in advance which gave us the high tea experience at a 2-for-the-price-of-one deal. Seriously, a bargain. Keep your eyes peeled for more of these deals as they are run regularly.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

I was a little unsure about how this high tea would measure up from the outset, as I didn’t have much luck with their customer service team. I emailed them to confirm our booking, and to make sure that they received my note that one of us was vegetarian, and the other gluten-intolerant. I received a curt reply that it wad been noted in the reservation request and that was it. I was unsure if this meant that they were able to cater for dietary requirements or not, so email back asking this. The reply was again curt and vague. The staff would show us what food was vegetarian or gluten-free. Um. Ok ….

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

So I have to say that when we arrived we were a little worried about what we would be eating. The staff in on the day were also a bit confusing. We were each given a plate of sandwiches that suited our dietary requirements. The gluten-free one had three selections, but my vegetarian one was only one type: six small summer vegetable sandwiches. It was way too much of one sandwich. A plus: because the sandwiches had been made and delivered they were super fresh.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

On our arrival we were offered our choice of a special mocktail or cocktail of the day. I accepted the cocktail which sounded fruity, and then realised afterwards that I was supposed to have the option of a glass of sparkling, which I wasn’t offered by the waitstaff. Very confusing. I would have preferred he glass of sparkling, as even though the cocktail was delicious, it was about 70% crushed ice. It was also removed from the table half finished, when I went up to get my first plate from the buffet.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

We asked about the savoury items on the buffet, and if they could show me which ones were vegetarian (there were no labels on any of the dishes), and I received a vague, “yes, there are vegetarian dishes”, but it was up to me to work it out for myself. Through guess work I discovered that there was in fact a vegetarian quiche.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

My gluten-free dining companion fared better than I did. The staff very thoughtfully provided her with a special plate of gluten-free desserts, even though over half of the desserts on the buffet had no gluten in them. She received two little cakes and a pot of some kind of fruits. Again, we weren’t told what they were, so your guess is as good as ours. The cakes were really delicious, and the fruit proved to be nicely poached in a sweet juice.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

It was just as well that the food was pretty solid after the pretty meh service we received. There wasn’t anything that particularly stood out as being amazing or innovative, but everything was decent quality, fresh, well-made.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

I found a menu that listed the buffet dishes but couldn’t locate some items on the menu and vice versa, so I’m not exactly sure what everything was.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

Savoury dishes: roasted chicken, cucumber, cream cheese on quinoa soy bread, slow roasted NSW Angus beef, semi dried tomato, rocket, pesto aioli, grilled summer vegetables on dark rye with lemon mayonnaise, Gold Coast prawns and corn salad on mini brioche, smoked salmon, cream cheese and wild rocket on sourdough, goat cheese and pine nut quiche, chicken and leak pies.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

Sweet: roasted Forbes peach and pistachio tart, berry white mousse cake, stone fruit macarons, chocolate cherry with coconut (couldn’t find these), pistachio white chocolate slices (couldn’t find these), chocolate macadamia brownies, creme caramel, pavlova, salted caramel lamingtons (couldn’t find these), watermelon panna cotta with salted caramel (don’t think we saw this either), dark chocolate profiteroles filled with plum pastry cream.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

We had several items that weren’t on the sweets menu: a creme brûlée, a mango pudding, a strawberry pudding and a chocolate mousse or pudding. The puddings were a disappointing substitution for the items that were missing from the menu.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

Other food options include “freshly baked” scones with jam and double cream (the apricot jam was fantastic), and a variety of fruit ready to be dipped in the chocolate fountain.

The scones on the menu are listed as quinoa, but ours were chocolate chip. They had definitely been sitting there for a while as they were dense and hard.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

My favourite food was the cheese and pine nut quiche (it was so delish – flaky, fresh, cheesy), the pavlova (something about the cream! it was the perfect ratio of cream, fruit and meringue) and the roasted Forbes peach and pistachio tart (the fruit was flavoursome, and it had the perfect shortbread crust).

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

The high tea also comes with your choice of T2 loose leaf tea or coffee. When we were about half way through our meal I had to get up and ask for our tea, as it was never offered. I ordered a berry tea that was really delicious. The service continued to be lax, however. Our water glasses were filled on arrival, and then not filled again until just before we left.

Swissotel: #Sydney's Best High Teas via christineknight.me

We had an extremely mixed time at the Swissotel high tea. The food was pretty good, but a long way from the best high tea’s I’ve had, and with the Groupon voucher it was a decent price. The service and communication was a let down.

Swissotel Sydney
68 Market Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9238 8888
Prices: $$$
Hours: Sat & Sun, call for their seating times. Mon-Fri 2pm – 4pm. Reservations advised.
Get directions.

Crossroads Bar on Urbanspoon

The Tea Cosy: Sydney’s Best Afternoon Tea Spots

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

In the heart of The Rocks lies one of your best bets for traditional scones in Sydney. The tiny and adorably named The Tea Cosy is an Irish-Australian family-run business, housed in a stunning 1870s heritage-listed building.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

If you’re serious about scones and tea – and also love a fancy tea cosy – then this is an outing for you.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

The Tea Cosy is small and very popular. Blink and you’ll miss the small sign the wall near the entrance to the Irish Shop (that they also own and run), letting you know that you have indeed reached scone nirvana. Walk through the narrow hallway to the back and find any table you can – or stand around and wait till someone leaves and then grab their table fast.

We had a short wait when we arrived on a rainy gloomy Saturday, but very happily found a little corner in which to squeeze. Our order overflowed from our little table.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

Devonshire Tea (Scone Basket) $14 per person, includes your choice of drink (I chose chocolate and vanilla tea), scones and jam (I chose Raspberry), Babyccino, Ploughman’s Lunch ($15), Ribbon Sandwiches in curried egg and tomato ($9.50).

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

The Babyccino actually came with TWO marshmallows, both of which were nabbed before I could get a shot.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

I shared the scones with Cheese, who insisted that hers was also topped with the amazing raspberry jam and cream. Alec loved the jam so much he bought a jar to take home. His ploughman’s platter was light and yet filling – as described, it is indeed the perfect traditional lunch (for those who like meat).

All of the scones at The Tea Cosy are made by hand from scratch, using an old fashioned family recipe. Their jams are Australian-made gourmet jams, and the cream is double thick.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

The food was so good, I honestly couldn’t fault a thing. The staff were really lovely – it’s really obvious that this is a family-run business as the people who run the joint really care about their customers and ensuring that they have a great experience. They’re also really friendly and chatty, which is also a nice experience in itself.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

A little stroll around The Tea Cosy reveals many, many, many tea cosies. These can be bought for very reasonable prices (I saw labels for around $25 – $35). As each looks handmade and unique, that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Tea Cosy: Sydney's Best Afternoon Tea Spots via christineknight.me

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Minimal – it’s a very small space.
Easy access: Small steps in, narrow corridors.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

The Tea Cosy
33 George Street,
The Rocks NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9247 4955
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon, Wed-Fri 10am-4pm, Tues closed, Sat & Sun 9:30am-5pm
Get Directions

The Tea Cosy on Urbanspoon

Fifth Wedding Anniversary at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman, Sydney

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Ahhh I love wedding anniversaries. This year, Alec and I celebrated number five, which seemed pretty significant for some reason. Half a decade has slipped by so quickly, and our lives have changed so very much in this time that it feels like another life time ago that Alec and I said our vows.

For our 5th anniversary, Alec booked us a night at the Pullman Quay Grand in Circular Quay for a “staycation”, and organised my parents to watch Cheese for the night. He arranged a suite with a harbour view – perfect for us to play tourist for the night.

When we opened the door what did we see but a complimentary bottle of champagne and a really sweet note from the staff wishing us a happy anniversary. Little touches like this really add to hotel stays to turn them into a special, memorable experience.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Our view was spectacular. We popped the champers and enjoyed our pre-dinner wine while admiring the view.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

It wasn’t long before we were due for our dinner date. I’d booked us a table at ARIA, a restaurant right on the tip of Circular Quay, with a killer view of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

ARIA is an award-winning, hatted restaurant owned by chef Matt Moran and restaurateur, Peter Sullivan.

We went in with high expectations for our meal, and were happily very satisfied with our dining experience.

For our dining, we chose the tasting menus. The regular for Alec, and vegetarian for me ($175pp). A vegetarian amuse bouche was brought out for each of us – sadly we ate them before I could photograph them. Next was miche bread and two butters: regular and seaweed.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

The vegetarian tasting menu

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Green asparagus with burrata, black olive and nasturtium.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Celeriac and carrot salad with smoked egg yolk and buckwheat.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Slow roasted bello rosso tomatoes with lemon verbena and olive oil.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Raviolo of potato and shallot with sage burnt butter.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Salt baked golden beetroots with watercress and charred artichokes.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Creamy mashed potatoes.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Slow cooked Cornucopia egg with broccoli, macadamia nuts and black truffle.

Regular tasting menu

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Saikou salmon with apple cucumber, lemon and ear grey.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Southern calamari with Iberico Jamon, dashi custard and shiitake mushroom tea.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Pressed Jurasic quail and foie gras with pickled cherries and green almonds.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

John Dory with white beans, piquillo peppers, and sweet garlic.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Kurabuta pork belly with sweetcorn and palm sugar dressing.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Lamb loin with sweetbread sausage, peas and charred globe artichokes.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Granita and mango palate cleanser.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Blueberry pressed pineapple with coconut sorbet and summer herbs.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Selection of house made petit fours.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me
Our meal at ARIA was really incredibly good. I loved that they had a special vegetarian menu all ready to show me (most restaurants either don’t offer a vegetarian tasting menu or just whip up something when needed). This showed me that they actually care that vegetarians dining in their restaurant have an equally wonderful time as the omnivores.

Alec and I both thoroughly enjoyed each dish. The stand out for me was the slow roasted bello rosso tomatoes with lemon verbena and olive oil. The flavour from the tomatoes and lemon was just exquisite. Alec’s only let down dish was the John Dory with white beans, piquillo peppers, and sweet garlic, which he said was a bit bland with undercooked beans.

My only personal disappointment was the dessert. While the blueberry pressed pineapple with coconut sorbet and summer herbs was very nice and refreshing, I really like desserts that are a bit more innovative to make a meal end on a really high and memorable note. The petit fours were extremely tasty however, which was a good way to end the meal.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

After dinner we strolled down to the Quay to just take in the beautiful evening and enjoy each other’s company. We had a really wonderful anniversary, and appreciated some much-needed time to spend together.

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

Anniversary Night Out at Aria and Quay Grand Pullman #sydney via christineknight.me

ARIA
1 Macquarie Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9252 2555
Prices: $$$$
Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm, Sat 5pm-10:45pm, Sun 5:30pm-9:45pm.
Get Directions

Aria on Urbanspoon

Pullman Quay Grand
61 Macquarie Street,
New South Wales 2000
(02) 9256 4000
Get Directions