Time does fly when you are having fun. Easter has come and gone, the long hot summer is over and we are now getting requests for recommendations on restaurants with fireplaces and resorts in the mountains. Lilianfels in the Blue Mountains is one of my favourite country getaways and with new owners and a new chef, (ex Four Seasons) taking the reigns, from all reports it is busier and more popular than ever. I have been invited to stay at the Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort 3 hours drive from Sydney, and experience its luxury. I might just leave the laptop and mobile behind as this sounds like the ultimate place for total relaxation.
The last six weeks have also been pretty busy, however our trip to the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore was cancelled at the last minute due to the airline turmoil following the volcano eruption in Iceland. So we are off to Singapore in June and will be reviewing and filming some of the award-winning and newly-opened restaurants. Newly-opened is our very own Tetsuya Wakuda’s restaurant called Waku Ghin. Our other destinations will include restaurants run by Mario Batali and Daniel Boulud from New York, Wolfgang Puck (Los Angeles), Santi Santamaria (Barcelona) and Guy Savoy (Paris). The cancellation of our trip has meant that we will also be able to stay at the newly-opened 55 storey, 1000 room Marina Bay Sands Hotel which sounds pretty impressive.
Sydney certainly is continuing its reputation for having some of the world’s leading restaurants. This was reinforced with a recent announcement in London that placed three local restaurants in the World’s Top 50 Best Restaurants. Congratulations to Peter Gilmore of Quay, Mark Best of Marqueand Tetsuya Wakuda from Tetsuya.
Here at de Groots Media, we are all very excited to have recently partnered with Tourism NSW to supply restaurant content for its website http://www.visitnsw.com/. This was announced by Minister for Tourism Jodie Mackay who said this partnership will help facilitate the promotion of the dining scene in Sydney and regional NSW. “This will make it easy for visitors to our website to view reviews on restaurants and even to make direct bookings, access a food and wine calendar and watch video clips of restaurants,” she said. We have some other exciting marketing plans in place with Tourism NSW, including supplying our gift certificates from www.bestgiftcertificates.com.au to its recent Sydney Seekers competition which will mean that all winners from Brisbane, Melbourne and New Zealand will have the opportunity of experiencing some of our world class restaurants.
One of our social highlights of the last few weeks was the launch of the Montreux Jazz Festival Café at Sydney Airport. This restaurant gives visitors a glimpse into Montreux Jazz Festival’s unique history and to rare footage of this world famous music Festival. I had heard a rumour that Deep Purple would be playing at the launch, but unfortunately they were not able to appear. We did watch a video of the group playing its most famous number “Smoke on the Water” which brought back many memories of my days living in San Francisco and hearing this song played regularly, along with Led Zeppelin’s music – timeless music and still heard regularly on the radio. Sydney’s newest eating precinct will give travellers a great reason to set out early to the international airport with five world class eateries opening as part of the $500 million redevelopment of Sydney International Airport. These include the world famous Caviar House Prunier Seafood Bar, two iconic Sydney establishments Bambini Wine Room and Danks Street Depot, an Italian restaurant, Trattoria Prego and finally Itacho Sushi from Hong Kong, renowned for its Japanese seafood.
A couple of great new restaurants that have opened recently and definitely worth a visit are the Manly Pavilion, Dietmar Sawyers new Pymble venture AdLib and Maze in Melbourne.
Yolanda and I are off to Melbourne next week so hopefully we can experience Maze. Gordon must be happy though as thousands of bookings went through our Dimmi booking engine for the first few weeks of opening.
Happy dining and happy travelling.
Maureen de Groot