A journey into fabulousness!

Toughen Up Princess!


Here we are on a continuous roll call of arguments, counter-arguments, vile attacks and vitriol as we head to November and the results of the Marriage Equality postal survey that we ‘had’ to have.

And here I sit, following the last few years of discussions about an issue that really does not affect everyone and I find myself beginning to struggle with all of the negative words I see, articles that are printed and negativity that is being presented on a daily basis.

I really thought that I was much more resilient than this and if those politicians on the “right’ think we should just all toughen up and deal with it then they are obviously coming from a privileged white middle class male space, where they have not had to deal head on with hate speech, divisive comments and so much more.

As we are more and more connected through social media it is hard to miss the negative messages that seem to seep into even the filtered content.  It really is disheartening to see the misinformation and outright lies that are being peddled to try and get people to vote to stop two people who love each other from getting married.

Of course that is because if they just talked about that people would not engage, instead they have to wrap their arguments up in safe schools, children, ‘stolen generations’, religious freedom and so much more.  It fascinates me that we have to dress something so simple up in complex, confusing lies.

As is said in my previous post we need to remember that we are all human beings and we all deserve respect, thoughtful discussion and a sense of fairness when coming to the decision on which way we want to vote.  I may not agree with people who want to vote no but I will never attack them for that right.  We are a democracy and as flawed as this whole process is, I wish for a more measured, fair and respectful debate!

My partner and I, after 35 years together, may not choose to get married when it finally becomes legal for us to do so, but we will always fight for the right for other same sex couples to get married because at the end of the day it is all about equality and nothing more!yes

I would like to say that I could ‘toughen up princess’, but the daily attacks and negatives have started to have an affect on me, and other people around me, so I am quite happy that I am leaving for annual leave on Monday for 3 weeks so that I can have a rest from this debate for a while and hopefully come back with some of that resilience restored so I can continue to talk, listen and engage with people on why a YES vote is so important.


Having A Conversation About Marriage Equality


A fabulous photo that was taken for a story I did recently on Marriage Equality for Community News Group.

As a person who has been in a relationship with my same-sex partner for over 35 years I have from time to time discussed and thought about marriage.  I suppose when I reflect we go against the grain on some levels.  We co-parented 2 children with 2 amazing lesbians many years ago and since that time we have seen our children grow into amazing young adults.  We have walked our daughter down the aisle when she got married and we have welcomed 5 grand children into our lives.

The issue of marriage equality has been front and centre for a number of years now and we have had the issue of getting married raised by our oldest grand child.  It was about  2 years ago that our 11 year old grandson said to me, “Poppy why can’t you and Grandad get married?”

Out of the mouths of children, I thought.  A child that only saw 2 people who love each other and did not understand why those 2 people, if they chose, could not get married.

This bought on a great conversation about marriage and the lay of the land at that time here in Australia.

Now here we sit at the beginning of and the further discussion that has been happening out there for the past few years and finally momentum may be turning the tide to get a positive resolution.

It always astounds me that these sorts of issues and debates bring forth so much negativity and vile words and that we cannot conduct these sorts of discussions in a sane, rational and respectful way.  But I also remember back to the days when we were protesting for equal rights in the country and the negative comments and actions of people who did not understand equality.

Whilst I have a preference for those that we vote in to run our country to be the ones who legislate this change without spending $122 million on a non-binding postal survey, I also understand the reality of our political system currently.  We have a PM who is bound by the right wing of his party and if he allowed a conscience vote then he could be rolled from the top job.

It is really quite funny when you look at the roll call of countries that currently have marriage equality in their countries and you then look at Australia and contemplate  how a country that for many years set much the bar with comprehensive and committed societal change could be so far behind the eight ball.  Are our conservatives just digging their heals in on a matter that really does not affect them at all? Or do they really believe the horrible hate speech and vile words that they constantly spout for a 5 second grab on the nightly news!

I think the right wing politicians are evenly spread on this and if this postal survey goes ahead and the Yes vote wins we will see how many of those politicians actually follow the will of the people.  That will be interesting to see.

Now that over 90,000 new people, most of them under 25 enrolling to vote I would think that some of those conservative politicians will begin to get worried as the next election looms as we all know that many of the younger voters do not tend to vote with the conservative side of politics but it was our right wing pollies who wanted this vote.

The following is from the Equality website and it makes some really strong points when having some of those respectful conversations with those people in your lives who may not have thought about this issue and why it matters to you.


Some handy tips to talk to your friends, family and co-workers about why equality matters to you.


We are now closer to winning marriage equality than at any point in Australian history. We’ve come too far to stop now!

To achieve equality for all Australians, we will need to talk to more people in more ways than ever before. Research shows real life conversations are incredibly powerful. They’re what change hearts and minds.

Moreover, the people you know — whether friends or family, work mates, people at church, your local sporting club – will be far more influenced by their personal conversation with you than by any advert or message they see from an organisation.

That’s why right now, marriage equality supporters are igniting thousands of conversations all across Australia. Some of the people we talk to will already be on board — that’s fantastic, let’s encourage them to take action! Others won’t have thought about it much yet, or won’t be sure where they stand. 

Research shows only a small group of Australians firmly oppose marriage equality. It’s actually something two-thirds of the population support!

But lots of people who may show ‘soft’ support for marriage equality still have questions. The evidence from overseas tells us that by listening, sharing our experiences, and approaching this as a conversation rather than a furious debate, we have a much better chance of bringing as many people as possible along with us.And with that, convincing our MPs not to delay equality any longer.

Now it is over to you.

It’s time to have a conversation. We have some information below to help you, but it is a suggested guide only. (You can also download this information as a PDF here.)

Personal conversations can sometimes be confronting. But they can also be incredibly respectful, beneficial and even joyful. Creating an open space for people to reflect, ask questions and share their concerns means we’re campaigning in-line with the values we stand for — respect, dignity and love. And it means we’re making this journey more positive and unifying. 

Invite some people around, visit your grandparents, or set-up a meeting with your church or community group and chat with them about why you believe in marriage equality.

Now is the time to bring all those people in our lives who do not necessarily think that this is an issue that relates to them on our journey and to encourage everyone who can to vote YES and support those people in their lives which this vote is an important step in our lives!

PIQFF – A second year of great Queer Cinema on its way!

PIQFF News-Item

I have been blessed in my working life to have done a range of amazing roles and over the past 22 years of working at the WA AIDS Council have directly worked in a range of different positions.  One of the main focuses, other than my direct work with people with HIV has been working on a range of fundraising initiatives, most notably STYLEAID.

One of the new areas that I am excited to be working on and developing is the Perth International Queer Film Festival.  After a sell out year last year I have expanded it from 6 to 9 nights.

Once again the Festival will run at The Backlot Perth and this year we have a free satellite screening of the Mexican  film “Velociraptor” with Festival principal sponsor Curtin University on 19th September on campus.

As Artistic Director I have been fortunate to have sat through many hours of both feature films and short films to put the program for this year together.  With films from 15 countries this year the program explores LGBTQI experiences from a varied and diverse range of lived experiences.

It was always my aim to present a wide range of stories that are of course entertaining but also have strong narratives about what it is like to be LGBTQI in 2017.

For the second year for the Festival I linked in with film makers all over the world through the Film Festival Portal “Film Freeway” that enabled film makers to submit their feature and short films for consideration to be included in the Festival this year!

The amazing thing about this process is that I received over 1400 films for consideration. This just shows how many film makers are keenly working on expanding their vision of LGBTQI issues and stories.  Many of the films submitted where short films, hence my decision to do a night that is just made up of some the best short films submitted but to also include at least 1 short film with each feature during the Festival.

Tickets are starting to sell in the lead up and opening night is almost sold out, which is really exciting!

So now to the films for this year.  Opening night features  the world premier of ‘Discreet’ from director Travis Matthews that tells the story of a drifter who reconnects with his abuser from when he was a child and wrestles with his sexuality whilst also plotting his revenge.  This is a dark, moody film that features amazing performances from the cast.

Discreet 1

Opening night (Wednesday September 13) will also feature the Iranian film “12 Eyes Gauging the City”.  This surreal short film follows 12 gay men in Iran surrounded by loss and anger and is a powerful statement on the current Iranian landscape for gay men.


Those attending opening night will also receive a glass of Billecart Champagne on arrival and at the end of the night will receive a special gift bag filled with some amazing gifts!

Click on the link above to purchase your tickets to opening night.

The rest of the Festival features:

Retake – a taut psychological drama following a lonely, middle aged man who hires a male sex worker to recreate a road trip from his past.  This film will be accompanied by the German short film “Trade Queen”.



BWOY makes its Australian Premiere and tells the story of Brad, who, after the death of his son, becomes entangled in a chaotic and passionate online love affair with Yenny, a young Jamaican man.

Screening along side this feature are “The Magic Hedge” and ‘Ruptures’.

The Saturday night during the Festival sees the romantic comedy ‘Signature Move’. Zyanab is a young Muslim Pakistani woman who moves back in with her mother following the breakup of a relationship.  The film follows Zyanab as she falls in love with a female wrestler.

Mai and Alone Together screen with Signature Move.

Sunday 17 September sees our Short Film Festival as part of PIQFF.

Featuring 10 short films that explore many aspects of LGBTQI life journeys.  All of the films featured are Australian Premieres.

The short films screening are:

NIQI – tracing the life of transgender ballet dancer Niqi.

Mum, I’m Back – A woman returns, after 40 years to the village where she was born to attend her mothers funeral.

Crack Open My Head – deals with trans and queer self-espression, and presents Isreal’s queer community’s conflict.

Our Skin – A late night chat takes an emotionally intimate turn in this beautifully shot black and white study of a transgender woman and an ex-Marine suffering PTSD.

A Tale with Christ and Jesus – Christ is a lonely young man who has not overcome the loss of his mother and the memories of a violent childhood. Jesus, a student who still lives with his parents, with an intolerant overprotective mother and very different to Christ’s past.

Always – this Australian film explores a young mans journey caring for his dying mother and the consequences of his life when she passes.

Elevator Love Story – a story about attraction and the inner dialogue we create with ourselves.

Breakfast – when a young man suffering from anorexia is pressured to eat breakfast by his boyfriend, the couple are thrust into an other world.

Naughty Amelia Jane -A short film that is a satire of the hilarious hypocrisy of society towards anything that goes against the conventional social order of things.

Little You – exploring what it truly takes to make a family.


Centre of My World premiered at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival in May. This German/Austrian co-production tells the story of a young man who returns to school after a summer spent trying to dodge family conflicts and begins to questions his feelings toward Nicholas, a new classmate and the evolution of his relationship with his best friend Kat.

Also screening with this is the amazing experimental visual short Iridesence, which exposes how society needs to label a person by their sexuality, through dance and interpretive movements that replace dialogue.



FLUIDO – what promises to be one of the most controversial films of this years Festival, we find ourselves transported to a science fiction film set in the 2060’s in a world in which HIV/AIDS has been full eradicated. In some people, however, the virus has mutated into a gene which can be extracted to create a new psychoactive drug.

Cruising Elsewhere films with FLUIDO.


Satyavati  is a work of fiction with a primary focus is to let the audience understand that lesbianism is not a disease that needs to be cured and the film maker aims to stand a story of example of why we need to understand each other on levels of humanity more than inclining our existence on misconstrued and judgmental rules.

The short films (A)Typical Couple and The 3rd Try screen with Satyvati.

(A)Typical Couple is about a typical day in a typical life of a typical couple trying to communicate their way through their typical relationship.

The 3rd Try follows Lorie and Ryan as both women navigate their relationship.



Closing night features the Australian Premiere of Fabio Massa’s “Aefetto Domino” – a film about life and its transformation. It is a story of Lorenzo who receives sad news about his health that will change his existence and its domino effect on his life and the lives of people he loves.

The powerful UK short film Partings will screen on closing night and tells the story of an elderly couple, where time has stopped after a lifetime together as they prepare to say goodbye.

As you can see there are lots of amazing films to partake in this year and by attending you are also supporting the fundraising efforts of the WA AIDS Council.

PIQFF promises to once again present some of the best new Queer Films from around the world.

Now what to wear to walk the red carpet on opening night!

Follow the news on PIQFF on FaceBook –


The Other Side of the Moon – Dining Brilliance @ Pullman Bunker Bay!


The wine barrels beckon

Recently we, along with our friends Ken and Karen spent the weekend at the Pullman and decided to try dinner at the hotel restaurant – The Other Side of the Moon.  We decided that after a day of hitting the sights of Margaret River, exploring the beaches on the coast and doing some great wine tastings and a dinner at the Pullman was in order and the experience did not disappoint.  It was a great evening  and was a very high standard from the time we walked into the restaurant until the end of the meal.

The staff were very friendly (in a very Australian way) but that did not distract from the quality of their service. They were attentive without being intrusive. The only problem was they had no idea how to light a fire.  It was hilarious watching the staff set alight some newspaper and see the fire go out in a minute as the big logs would not catch. But really the service has raised up since our last visit and we could not fault them at all.


Incredible Pork Belly

The food was of a very high standard and we enjoyed the soup of the day, the pork belly and for main course the kangaroo loin (served on mash and thinly sliced beetroot which added a subtle complexity to the dish  . The barramundi was a real highlight and was very tasty and cooked to perfection.

Barra and Kangaroo with divine carrots

I usually only eat two courses at dinner, but the desert menu was so tempting that I ended with creme brûlée which was excellent.  The others on the table enjoyed a stunning champagne pavlova with pineapple and passion fruit which was a real shoe stopper.  The desert chef came out and introduced himself to us.  He gave us a bonus extra serve of macaroons which were scrumptious and are made fresh daily – the pistachio and olive oil were amazing.

The most amazing final courses and the platter is a little treat from the pastry chef from our last night at Pullman Bunker Bay!

I see forum comments on Trip Advisor about the high price here but we  found it to be very good value for a top class meal. If you want to eat cheaply, go to a pizza shop in Dunsborough.  If you want a high standard meal, eat at The Other side of the Moon.

Sites from around the region!




An Iconic end of an era!

It has been a week since the curtain fell on the final STYLEAID and what a week it has been.

StyleAID 2017 ICON

Every year when the dust settles and sleep has been caught up I reflect on the journey to date and this year it is tinged with both joy and sadness.

Joy because the night was such an amazing look back and celebration of what we have achieved over the past 20 years and also sad because it is the last STYLEAID as we have grown to know and love.

STYLEAID has certainly been on an amazing journey over the past 20 years and in that time the event has managed to raise over $1.6 million for the important work of the WA AIDS Council.

Each year I have been blessed to have been supported internally at the AIDS Council with the most amazing staff and volunteers and with the most talented and hard working STYLEAID Committee who have each year worked to make the event a memorable one!

For the final STYLEAID we moved into the new Crown Ballroom in Crown Towers and it was the most amazing space to put the show together in and gave us more room than we have ever had!

When we were planning the night we wanted to go out on a high and bring back a range of elements from previous years whilst still giving the event the edge that we have become famous in creating.

To start the evening people were greeted with 4 Angel boys in black wings taking centre stage and they were then joined by the incomparable Ali Bodycoat who wowed the audience with the most powerful, scene setting songs that raised the roof and set the mood for the night ahead!

Then there was a parade unlike anything we have done before, featuring 20 ICONIC WA Designers and 20 of the top models in WA.  This was followed by a breathtaking performance from the WA Ballet, a drag performance that hit the right note and got the party started at the end of the night, a DVD that reminded the audience about the impact that HIV still has on peoples lives in 2017 and a memorable finale which saw the committee take a final bow.  We were fortunate to once again have DJ Shaun Sandon close the night of with the best music for the guests to dance to and remember the ICONIC finale!

STYLEAID has been instrumental in supporting not just the work of the AIDS Council but also a range of WA designers, emerging designers and new and established models.  All of these elements have been central to the event.

LUX Events created a mind blowing series of 4 runways with central screens that set the mood and Fox and Rabbit created the most amazing flowers for the front row tables and also created a piece for the entrance to the ballroom that had guests oohing in amazement.

This was a fitting finale for STYLEAID and the feedback has been so fabulous and I am grateful to all those who have been involved in the journey so far.

What’s next, was a question that I got all night – WATCH THIS SPACE is all I can say.

StyleAID 2017 ICON

Thanks to the amazing John Koh for the fabulous photographs xx

ICONIC Photographs take center stage

After a triumph last year out at Karrinyup Shopping Center the STYLEAID Photographic Exhibition returned to Center Court last night to showcase the work of 15 talented West Australian photographers.  As you will know Fundraising and events have played a central role in my work at the AIDS Council for the past 20 years and this year the suite of amazing events has continued!

I had a fabulous day at Karrinyup working with an amazing team to get the exhibition ready to open to invited guests. With Annette Hasluck, Bill Wenham, Tania McGuinness, Ben Conroy and the team from LUX Events our day was spent hanging, cleaning, preparing, creating and turning center court into a gallery space for the wonderful photographs.

The theme for STYLEAID this year is ICON and this was also the theme for the exhibition.  Each photograph that was selected represents the photographers’ unique interpretation of the theme.

They are all one off prints and so each one that is purchased gives the person who buys it the knowledge that they are getting an individual piece that no one else will have.

100% of each photograph sold goes back to support the work of the WA AIDS Council thanks to sponsorship from Karrinyup Shopping Centre, AMP Capital, Spice Digital Printing, Plastic Sandwich Company, Vinaceous Wines, Matso’s, San Pellegrino, Hart Black and LUX Events.

Over 100 photographs were submitted for consideration and 40 were selected to be featured at the exhibition.

The theme really resonated with the photographers and also with the guests who attended last nights opening!


Andrew Shugg and his team from Your Bartender, set up and served libations to guests all night and Styled Notion created another memorable food tasting table.

I was especially taken by the work of Carlos Fernandes, Christine Kopti Dirksz and Richard Matias who all did very different but breath taking interpretations of the theme.

Liam Rhys Jones created 4 very special photographs based around ICONIC fashion designer Alexander McQueen, whilst Shift Creative once again grabbed the theme and created 3 stunning images that reminded of those seeing the photographs of the sensuality and strength of women.

Ryan Ammon went for ICONIC fashion to create his homage to looks through the years, whilst Matt Ranford created 4 images that represented Icons of music – the tape, the CD, the vinyl record and an iPod.


Nikki-Marie Rogers presented 2 images that challenge gender and societal expectations of what it is to be a lesbian in 2017 with a sensual and powerful representation of 5 young Perth lesbians.

Tristan Jud was another favorite of those in attendance with his clever shots encouraging us all to be our own Icons.  Rounding out the photographers on show were Bharathan Kangatheran, Craig Williams & Shane Newton, Fifi Robinson, Derec Ethan Lee and Michelle Miretha who all put their own personal talented spin on the theme.


The exhibition will run until July 2nd, so if you are in Karrinyup or even in the area, stop by and have a look.  15 of the photographs were sold on opening night so there are still plenty on offer.

If one takes your fancy give Tania a call at the WA AIDS Council and get your hands on one of the stunning one- off photographs on show.


A Bali Odessey – Seminyak has lost its lustre

Having just returned from Bali a couple of weeks ago I have had time to really contemplate and think about this latest trip.

Of course as someone who is based in Perth, one of the cheapest and easiest holiday destinations is Bali and so for the past 30 years we have been heading up there fairly regularly when we wanted a few days break, some respite from the hustle and bustle of Perth and some chilled out down time.

On the recommendations of friends (some of whom where with us on parts of this trip) we did things a little differently.  Trevor had decided after our last trip that he did not really want to spend time in Seminyak again for a range of reasons that I will talk about later on.

So it was some new parts of Bali that we headed for the first 11 days of our 2 week stay with a final 3 nights in Seminyak for last minute shopping and the chance to re connect with some of our favorite spots.

The first 5 days were spent up in Ubud, a place that we had only every visited for the day and what a purely magical place it was.  There was not all the chaotic times on the roads, the pace was more laid back and the foot paths and roads were not filled with people touting and selling.  The locals were more respectful and friendly and it really set the scene for 5 magical days of exploring, sitting by the pool and exploring some great new restaurants.

The Komeneka Rasa Sayang

We stayed at the Komeneka Rasa Sayang and were spoil t with a stunning large room with balcony and a bathroom that was perfect – 2 sinks, great tub and a stunning large shower!   The pool was a nice size and the staff were professional, courteous and never in your face.  It was the perfect way to start the trip.

It was great to wander the streets and never feel hassled.  We had some great meals in the local warungs and a stunning meal one night at Bridges where there was a group of 14 of us.  The food was sensational and this is really one of the best restaurants in Ubud. The only thing that let it down was the mediocre service.  They got a couple of the orders wrong and they never seemed to be around when you wanted to order another drink.  But making up for that was the food, which was simply some of the most amazing that we had in Bali.

The other simply breathtaking spot that we went to for dinner was The Chedi Club.  A small boutique (and very expensive) place to stay that has an incredible restaurant that serves and exceptional degustation menu with matched wines.  It is a fabulous resort and the food, service and night that we had there was truly memorable.

The Chedi Club

After our time in Ubud came to an end we then headed to Sukawati to the Royal Purnama Art Suites and Villas.  We found this spot on Luxury Escapes and booked a 7 night stay in an ocean view spa villa.

The Royal Purnama

They picked us up from the Komeneka in a stunning car that had leather reclining seats and had chilled towels to cool ourselves, snacks for the trip from Ubud and bottled water.

This was just the perfect way to start this next part of the trip and 20 minutes later we arrived to be greeted by very welcoming professional staff.  This is a real 5 star resort and as it was low season there were not many other guests which made for a truly magical experience as we really wanted to chill, lay by the pool and read a book and just enjoy the down time.

Our villa was simply divine! With a large front balcony with views of the ocean and an on balcony spa the room then opened up the a large king size bed, a sitting area, even a small kitchen and then the largest most luxurious bathroom.

The amazing Villa with gorgeous amenities and views

The deal we had included breakfast every day, afternoon canapes, an afternoon tea by the pool, a seafood dinner for 2, a beach side BBQ for 2 and 2 ninety minute bamboo massages.  Each one of these was fabulous and it really was the perfect spot to unwind and really relax.

Fabulous food at the Royal Purnama

They also offer daily trips to Sanur and Ubud if you get a little stir crazy just staying at the resort.  We did a couple of trips to Sanur and 1 evening went back to Ubud and found the most wonderful French Bistro.

The food was delightful and they really went to town with breakfast each day.  Unlike the big resorts who offer a buffet breakfast this was a more tailored approach that really worked.  Firstly we were served coffee and our choice a freshly squeezed juice combinations such as beetroot, apple and ginger.  This was followed by fresh cut tropical fruit, freshly baked pastries and then we had the choice to order from the menu our main dish.

A memorable breakfast each day at The Royal Purnama

This was the perfect way to start the day and every meal that we had whilst we were there was delicious and the prices were reasonable.

Then it was time to head to Seminyak for the final 3 nights and a stay in the Villa Mystique with our friends Ken and Karen.  The Villa was huge, well appointed, if a little dated but with our own large pool and plenty of space it was a nice haven to get away from the chaos that rains supreme in Seminyak.


As you will know if you have read any of my previous reviews of Bali, I love the restaurants in Seminyak but what I have noticed over the past couple of trips is that the prices have been going up – closer to Perth prices than what you expect from Bali, the roads are always busy and chaotic and it takes much longer to get anywhere than it used to (the roads are simply not made for all of the large people movers that now dominate the roads) and it is just packed everywhere you go.

It seems that it has moved from being a relaxing time away in Seminyak to being a chaotic, full on, pricey spot to stay in.  Really it has lost its lustre for me and from now on when we choose to head back to Bali we will be heading straight for Ubud – a true Bali oasis that offers the things that I have come to expect from Bali.  Seminyak for me is like Perth in a tropical location now…it does not offer much of that traditional Bali culture and experience.  Most of the top restaurants are owned by Aussies, which of course is fine, but they forget they are in Bali and have set Australian prices and over the past couple of trips I have seen the prices go up and as that happens the tourists stay away and so the landscape continues to change and evolve.

They need to be careful because if the prices do continue to rise then people will find that Bali and in particular Seminyak is just too expensive and for the same price  you can experience somewhere else such as Singapore or Thailand.

We will be back but Ubud it will be from now on!


Bentley – simply the best!


Just by chance on our recent trip to Sydney where we happened to be staying at the Radisson Blu for the weekend did we realize that we had a Good Food Guide 2 Hat restaurant at the hotel.

Having moved into the Radisson from its original location the Bentley has continued to build on its stellar reputation by offering an innovative, delightful, well considered and constructed dining experience.


We chose the Saturday night to dine at the restaurant and every Saturday they offer 2 different degustation options – a 5 course or 8 course opportunity to sample the magic that the chefs weave.  Of course we chose the 8 course option because it gave us the chance to really indulge in some of the most amazing food and really get a sense of what was on offer.

Along with this there were 2 options for matching wines – either a $90 range or the premium range of wines that was $150 per head…and of course we chose the premium wines and what a real treat they were.

What I love about fine dining and eating in a restaurant where the team that serve you really know their stuff is the attention to detail, without being overbearing. The other thing is that all the staff really knew and understood the menu they were serving and the Sommelier understood and explained the significance of each wine and the role that is played with each course and exactly why it was chosen, where it was from and a little about the winemaker.  All of this just added to the occasion and created a truly memorable experience.

As with all top restaurants we began with the Amuse and then we jumped right into the menu and wines.


Firstly we were served Alfonsino with yellow pepper, marigold and finger lime.  This was such a perfect way to start the meal and the finger lime added that extra tartness that really engaged and woke our mouths up with each bite.

This was followed by Kangaroo with plum, onion and freekah.  Oh my goodness another taste sensation (you will get used to these sorts of remarks all the way through this review as there really was not one course that disappointed and each had stand out elements that you just could not fault).  The plum added an amazing surprise and gave the whole dish an element of freshness but did not detract from the kangaroo at all.

The bass groper was next and this was served with shaved pumpkin, green olive and shiso. The stand out of this dish was the sweetness of the groper and the just blanched pumpkin that completed the dish completely and was a stunning addition to complete the dish.

Then it was time for the duck with pickled muntries, comta and kohlrabi.  The duck was melt in your mouth perfection and I have not had kohlrabi since I worked as a chef in Melbourne a million years ago and it added yet another dimension to the dish with along with the muntires and comta completed the dish perfectly.

Pork cheek with garlic and yoghurt puree served with grilled radiccho and jamon  was another stand out.  The pork cheek was seared and cooked to perfection and the grilled radicchio did not diminish the bitterness of it and yet again added a sense of complexity to the dish.

Before we went to 2 of the most amazing sweet courses we were served the wagyu skirt steak that was served with charred onion and woodear mushroom.  This again was melt in your mouth, full of flavor and a truly memorable dish.  Each of the meat courses offered very different flavors and the flow of them was well thought out and a real delight.


And now to what we agreed, if we had to choose, were the 2 highlights of the night.  Firstly it was the apple sorbet that was served with fennel and native thyme.  Oh my what the most perfect palette cleanser this was.  It was full of apple flavor and was the most perfect sorbet I have ever had.


The final course of the night was simply the best – sweet corn ice cream with puffed sorghum wheat and dried blueberries.  There really are not enough words to describe the delight of this dish.  It was surprising, light, fresh, clean on the palette, filled with amazing flavors that just worked incredibly well together and was the most amazing way to complete these 8 courses.


Finally there was some small petite fours the complete a truly memorable night and what I think has been the best degustation dining experience that I have ever had.


Now for the wines…I would love to list them all here and tell you all about them, and the restaurant did say they were going to send me the list and I am still waiting for that but I was paying so much attention to what the sommelier was saying that I did not take notes.

We did however experience some truly memorable wines including:

Terjola Tsiska Dry White 2015 from Georgia (I was not even aware that they made in Georgia) but it was full of complex flavors and an interesting first wine.

Then there was the 2014 Chablis Premier Cru Montee de Tonnerre, a simple chablis that we rated as one of the best of the night.

The Cote du Py Morgan was a 2012 vintage filled with raspberry notes and a nice acidic response in the mouth that went perfectly with the duck course.

The Vina Tondonia Gran Reserve 2004 was dry with dark fruit top notes and a more traditional finishing palette but a delight none the less.

The 2015 Olberg Riesling was the perfect riesling for dessert, not too sweet with an slight acid after taste but a fresh palette and just added another dimension to the sweets.

The final wine for the night was from Sauterne and was a 2000 Barsac Permier Grand Cru Classe.  It was filled with toffee, sweet fruit and a true delight.

This was truly a night to remember and if you are in or heading to Sydney then do yourself a favor and check out this amazing restaurant I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

The Bentley

Upscale Modern Australian cuisine, plus an acclaimed wine list, in an industrial-chic luxury hotel.
Address: Corner Pitt + Hunter Streets, Sydney NSW 2000

The hunt for a great breakfast in Perth continues!

If you are a follower of my posts you will know that over the past couple of years, Trevor and I are always on the look out for a great spot to have breakfast.

In telling times here in Perth it seems that the landscape of cafes is coming and going at a rapid pace.  It almost seems that each week there seems to be a new place opening whilst 3 or 4 close their doors.

There are a couple of things that I need to make me entertain going somewhere more than once and I am a creature of habit, so if all the boxes are ticked then I will become a regular.

Over the past year we have settled into a routine with 3 particular spots and do also occasionally venture into new territory when we want to test a new spot that has cropped up or something changes in one of our current favorites.

The three things that are a must for me when choosing a cafe for breakfast are:

  • good coffee
  • free WiFi
  • good service that is not intrusive.

If you tick those 3 items and you serve a good selection of breakfast food options then you will be a place I love to have breakfast in.

The reason I am putting this post out there is over the past weekend 2 of our regular spots let us know that for very different reasons they would not be there any more.

Every Saturday morning for the past 3 years we have headed to Boho Espresso in Scarborough opposite Observation City.  In that time Donny and his team have given us great coffee, free wifi and some of the best poached eggs on toast.  Add to that the locals who meet and greet each other and you have a great location for breakfast just near the beach.

All that is about to change as Donny is going to be closing the doors after this coming weekend because the disruption that has happened to his business because of all of the redevelopment happening in Scarborough on the foreshore and with the closure of the end of Scarborough Beach Road has meant that his business has seen a massive decrease in people stopping by.  There is no real foot traffic and it is just the regulars that were keeping the doors open.  He is having to let his staff go and is just not bringing in enough money to actually cover costs let alone make any profit.

This is a travesty really, the local Council is not really interested in anyway in supporting any of the businesses that are all suffering (and goodness knows that those that have survived will deal with winter when traffic is even less in the area) from the disruption of all the work going on.

Whilst most people are agreed that the update is necessary and will really add another level to the Scarborough area, no real thought has gone into supporting the local businesses who are all suffering badly from this.

And then we come to our second breakfast spot, FEZ in Mt Lawley,  which we have been heading too for about 5 months and that we fell in love with the first time we went there because, as you would know if you follow my posts, the coffee is some of the best coffee in Perth and we have felt at home there since our first visit.

Sunday Julie, the owner let us know that she had been given on offer to sell the business (even though it was not on the market) and much more than she paid for it and being a switched on business woman it was an offer she could not refuse.

So this coming weekend we lose not 1 but 2 breakfast spots and the hunt is now on for somewhere new to go to.  Whilst Fez is not closing, Julie is one of main reasons for heading to Fez and really adds another dimension to the breakfast experience.

It seems that the rotation of cafes opening and closing continues as we all deal with limited budgets and selecting when and were we spend our hard earned dollars.  Even though we keep getting told that the mining boom fall out is over, I think we are all still being cautious about our spending and so lots of areas of retail are suffering!

If you have any suggestions about a great spot in Perth to head for breakfast on the weekend then please let me know…but do remember my 3 needs for a good breakfast spot!

First world problems but hey the search for some new breakfast locations continues!


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