A quick trip for Lizacuh.
by cjg1 on October 25, 2007
This was one of my best ever hotel stays, perhaps because it is not your typical hotel. Set up with several rooms that they call suites each is quite unique and individual. We were in the Cloud Suite which consisted of the main bedroom with queen sized bed and also a bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub and stand alone shower.Check in was a breeze in that there really is no check in. We arrived and rang from the front door to Damien that we were there. He buzzed us in and came out to meet us. Showed us around a little which really meant the living/sitting room then up to our room. This was on the 1st floor (2nd in America) facing the street. Here he left us to ourselves, and left the registration card for us to "bring down in the morning at breakfast, no rush."The room itself was quite amazing. I did not measure the size but would say that it is about 14 by 21 feet or so. From the door facing the window and street you have the wardrobe and TV along the left wall. Inside the wardrobe we found a full ironing board, iron and hair dryer as well as extra blankets and pillows and room to hang our clothes. Under the TV you find the refrigerator with mini bar and also a DVD player with a fairly large selection of DVDs. In front of the window is the couch and in the right side corner the chair. The bed is on the right wall and is one of the most comfortable I’ve ever been in. The bathroom is to the right on the wall that the main door is on. It opens with the toilet behind the door and the sink to your left. Stand alone shower by the window and a large Jacuzzi tub.Each morning they give a light breakfast of breads, cereal, and canned fruits and some fresh fruit along with juice and tea/coffee. This is given in the solarium in the back down stairs. Their main office is just off of this too where they are very happy to give ideas and help you out with what ever it is you possibly need. The service and the people are the best parts of this place and trust me the room was amazing.
When we booked to come down here I was still in need of an SPG stay. So we booked into the Sheraton on the Park as I felt the “Park View upgrade at check-in” rate I got was the best of the three SPG hotels for that time period. Even though the needs changed before we arrived we stuck with it for the originally booked first two nights of the trip.The location is right by the St James train station on Elizabeth Street right next to Hyde Park. This proved to be a very good location to start exploring each morning. As we were still adjusting to the time zone we would be awake at sun up and were able to go explore the park while the “attractions” of town were still closed.Check in was very nice. The man helping us went to some extremes to find us the upgrade and also get us a room soon. As it turned out there was not a room ready unless we’d settle for a smoking room, which I will not do. So he called up housekeeping and asked them to clean the room he wanted to assign to us. They said it would be an hour or two and being that even at two hours would still be before noon we said we’d be back and left our bags. When we came back to check in after touring town the same man helped us and informed me that our bags had been delivered to the room for us. A nice touch.Upon entering the room I must say I was quite pleasantly surprised. The room was very well appointed as you can see in the pics above and the bathroom was amazing. The door is on the left side of the room rectangle so the wall and closet are on the left and the bathroom on the right as you enter. Then flowing into the bed on the right as you walk straight in. I really liked the pictures and mirror behind the bed and the work area was sufficient. The TV had a rather wide range of channels for Australia and we were able to watch weather when we needed.And that brings us to the bathroom. This was one of the nicest I’ve seen in an SPG hotel. It is behind two pocket doors that put you in the center of the bathroom wall. Big two person tub on the left and stand up shower on the right. The entire wall in front of you is a mirror with only a single sink (minor downer) and counter in front of it and the toilet on the right. Then if you turn around at the sink and look back out the doors the far wall is again a mirror. This really makes it feel big and gives you a great feeling.
by cjg1 on October 26, 2007
My favorite restaurant in Sydney. That should say it all. But I will go on.Our first visit here was just for dessert take-away. We came into the shop and were amazed and awed by the large display of desserts. The pic above only shows one side of the display. After some time to decide we settled on our picks. I was to have the rhubarb pie and Liz chose the chocolate truffle cookie.After these amazing treats we decided we had to eat a meal here. And that was to come a couple days later when we stopped in for her birthday lunch. We were given a corner table with a good view of the small dining area for our semi-late lunch. WOW. What a great lunch we had. After a quick Cascade beer our food shows up. She had what I consider the single best meal in all of Sydney. The spinach gnocchi was absolutely amazing. So much so she’d have it again for our last dinner on Saturday night. I had decided I needed a filling comfort meal and ordered the fried fish and chips. This was just perfect. Tasty and filling I came away praising it well. And of course we had to take some more tasty desserts with us. She chose the cheesecake and I got the $15 tub of Tiramisu. Admittedly I let it go for a couple mornings before I ate mine but she ate up and loved hers.We then also chose this as our last meal in Sydney this trip. We walked in at about 6pm and were surprised to be asked if we had a reservation and then that it might be a problem. In the end it wasn’t and we got our table. She went ahead and ordered as I mentioned the spinach gnocchi again. I decided this time to go with the fusilli with chili prawns. Once again I was completely thrilled with my meal and hers was just as she expected. We both chose to not drink anything but sparkling water this time. Then on our way out we got dessert again. I once again had the rhubarb pie and she had the caramel crème puff. Wow once again.Throw in the stop for just dessert the day between the two meals here for an apricot tart for her and you can see that it is my favorite restaurant.
The Sydney Fish Market is one of those places you always hear needs to be visited. It took until my fourth trip to Sydney to make it here. And boy was it worth the wait. We paired this with the super ticket for the light rail and rode out from Sydney Central. Upon our arrival we had to cross the tracks and follow the signs up and across the road. You then come in to the parking lot with some restaurants right there that make you wonder, “Is this all it is?” Well luckily no it is not all it is. You must walk across the parking lot and enter the opposite corner of where you arrived. As you walk past the toy and knife shop, you get the full experience. And that I must say was somewhat disappointing from what I was expecting. It is just a row of display cases and stall fronts. But the food from these places are SO worth it. We first stopped at a BBQ place to get BBQ breaded prawn and BBQ Salt and Pepper Squid. As it was crowded we walked back and got a seat where I said I wanted to buy additional prawns which I did buying a half kilo of cooked jumbo king prawns. These things were 8 inches long before I cleaned them as I ate.Favorite Dish: The Salt and Pepper Squid was so fresh and so good I am already dreaming of it and going back for more. The prawns I bought were great too and so much tastier than what I have had in recent memory.
by cjg1 on October 28, 2007
We had walked past this place several times before we finally stopped in. After all it is just a couple doors down from the Simpson’s. Each and every time it was jammed packed. Always so busy, breakfast lunch and dinner, that one wondered if a table could be had. A fairly dark place they have the menu written up on a blackboard in Italian. They come around and seem to take joy in having to explain it all to you. So they did seem disappointed when we knew what we wanted and ordered it without the whole thing needing to be explained. After all, especially with food, language is often without need of translation.They sport themselves a rather decent wine list which seems to be the norm in this section of town. The service is quite good and they do not seem to be in any rush to make you leave. Both times we ate here we had to ask for the bill to come and still it took some time. And truth be told, I like that in a place. Nothing worse than paying for a meal out and being rushed right out because you’re not eating or drinking enough.The first time she ordered the Gnocchi with Veal and I was to have the Lasagna. I found out after we ate that the lasagna is one of their signature dishes. I can completely understand why. It was very good and just what I needed after a very long and hard day that had started on the beach in 95 degree weather and was ending back in this wonderful neighborhood with temps in the mid 50s. I didn’t even mind that their lasagna has meat in it. I normally do not like it in mine, but theirs is quite good and as I said, just what I needed. We also had a salad to share.The second time we were here we thought we’d get her the gnocchi again and were surprised to find that the menu had changed. I don’t know if they could have or would have made it anyway as she decided on the Risotto, which much to her surprise she enjoyed very much and has already recreated in the first couple days home in New York. This time I had the Tagliatelle. I however did not expect what I got, based on an improperly named dish at a different restaurant. But hey, surprises are not a bad thing. I enjoyed it very much. We once again decided to skip their desert and go to Yellow around the corner before heading back home.
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