21 September 2020
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Jess Blanch

15 January 2010
Friends with benefits

Simon Johnson – Sydney’s self-professed purveyor of fine foods – chooses his friends well. I caught up with him following his return from a ‘research trip’ and a tip that his passport had recently been stamped everywhere – from Milan to Puglia – eager to unearth his most amazing food moment while abroad. Naively, I […]

11 December 2009
The year of living fearlessly

When New York’s 82 year-old Gramercy Park Hotel re-opened in 2006 following a $200 million makeover, renowned hotelier Ian Schrager insisted it wasn’t just another “art hotel”.   He was referring to the surge of hotel chains that had begun to adorn their walls with big-name art in an attempt to gain credibility. Far be […]

27 November 2009
For the love of the game

Who can forget the polo scene in the iconic 1990 film Pretty Woman where handsome eligible bachelor Edward (Richard Gere) and the ‘escort’ Vivian (Julia Roberts) frolic flirtatiously during the divot stomp? Having removed her shoes, Vivian, a vision in brown and white polka dots, leans on Edward’s arm, flashes him her toothy smile and […]

20 November 2009
The out of towners

“This is the top venue on the Gold Coast,” the driver told me as we approached the Palazzo Versace. “If you don’t like this, don’t come back.” Straight off the plane from Sydney, I, a brunette, dressed in sombre black had clearly been labelled an out-of-towner. Pulling into the heavily mosaic tiled driveway of the […]

26 October 2009
Secret wine business

When an invitation to lunch arrives to celebrate the “world’s hottest new secret wine varietal”, it’s hard to remain suitably nonchalant. To my mind, the words ‘secret’ and ‘wine’ are seldom used together enough so it was with piqued interest I showed up to Kiwi chef Justin North’s Clarence Street restaurant, Etch (a dressed-down sibling […]

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