Monday, July 17, 2006
What a lovely and relaxing weekend we had!
The drive down to Sydney was fairly disgusting - rain, and several fender-benders along the way. We got down there and checked in; Pete has been working away a lot this year and had enough points for a free night at the Old Sydney Holiday Inn in the middle of the Rocks. It was still raining, so we had a brisk walk across to the Opera House to collect our tickets for the matinee of Bell Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". I hadn't seen or read the play before (although obviously I knew the storyline!!), and was pretty underwhelmed. I don't think it was so much Bell's interpretation as the original play. It was about an hour too long (just over 3 hours with a 20 min interval), and the speeches were way too flowery and long-winded for me. You know you're not really into the play when you keep thinking through the various death speeches "Oh, just get on with it!!". I thought the strongest characters were Matthew Moore as Mercutio and Philip Dodd as Friar Lawrence. Anyway I enjoyed the experience of watching Shakespeare again, even if the play didn't do a lot for me. Looking forward to the Tempest in October!
After the play we walked over to Clarence St to go to the Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe (http://www.redoak.com.au/) - Pete had tried the beers at a beer tasting night he went to. I can't rave enough about the place - the food was delicious, the service was excellent, and by Pete's report, the beer was sensational! I had Stout Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks on pappardelle pasta, caramelised root vegetables and slow roasted cherry tomatoes which was melt in the mouth, Pete had the Gourmet Sausages of the Day (chicken & lemon) on parmesan and caramelised onion mash and crisp onion rings. For dessert I had the apple pudding which came with cinnamon ice-cream and apple fritters, and Pete had the tasting dessert board which matched 4 small desserts with 4 small beers.
White chocolate and Blackberry Hefeweizen ripple ice cream with Honey Ale
Soft centred chocolate pudding with Brown Porter
Redoak beer filled chocolate truffle with Special Strong Ale
Bitter flourless chocolate cake with Irish Stout
We sat there for 3 hours eating and talking - unheard of for us! It was getting very crowded when we left - there was a 21st party on as well as a screening of the rugby.
And then a really cool thing - we were walking back to the hotel and walked past Rockpool. We looked in at the chef's working in the front kitchen - and Neil Perry was at work! It was very cool watching him work! OK, so small things amuse me... :) We ate at Rockpool a couple of years ago - it was the most fabulous dining experience I have ever had (also the most expensive lol).
Checkout wasn't until 11am so we got to laze around in the morning and sleep in - without getting woken up by a small child :) He stayed at his Ma & Pops and had a great time by the sounds of it. Unfortunately last night was a shocker - I was up several times to him with a dreadful croupy type cough and not being able to catch his breath. So tired!!! Oh well, at least we had the weekend!