Tucked away at basement level beneath the hustle and bustle of Elizabeth Street, Rabbit Hole Bar & Dining is one of Sydney’s premier bar and dining experiences in the CBD. Last night the restaurant and bar celebrated turning one year old with a birthday party for 120 invitees, with guests including top media, local customers and celebrities such as Justine Schofield, Nacho Pop, Sam McMillan and Brittany Cairns.
Owned and run by Doug Laming, an avid and passionate molecular mixologist turned bar owner, the Rabbit Hole cocktail list for the night was compiled using ground breaking, pioneering techniques and flavour combinations that Australia is yet to experience. “Molecular mixology” means the process of creating cocktails using a physical and chemical modification of ingredients. Cocktail guru Doug’s experimentation last night translated into the use of house-made spices, powders and jellies in unique cocktails available exclusively at the Rabbit Hole, such as Torrontes and Pomme Verte layered agar apples, Powdered Rum with flaming passionfruit and Jellied G&T’s with fizzing tonic powder and flamed orange oils.
Newly appointed Executive Chef Jeremy Metivier, who has worked in numerous Michelin star restaurants, showcased his new modern French fine dining menu, and Michelin styled food. Guests enjoyed a selection of dishes such as goats cheese and beetroot apples, scallops on beetroot shortbread with mango and beetroot emulsions, mini wagyu sliders with brie cheese and house made relish, slow roasted lamb with artichoke puree, coriander and wine jelly, and the pièce de résistance – chocolate skulls, with firm spicy pirate cream and coconut cake – served on a flaming bar in front of awed guests.
The Rabbit Hole successfully balances what’s current in the kitchen with what’s trending behind the bar. You’d be mad not to escape the city…and hop down The Rabbit Hole!
Last night I escaped into an enchanting world of design in this elegant Victorian arcade that has been tucked into the CBD of Sydney since 1891 and houses many of Australia’s leading and upcoming designers.
The stunning arcade was transformed into an fashion wonderland. Fairy lights twinkled, Chandon champagne was flowing and a live performance from singer Emma Louise perfected a wond
This was a celebration of the designers, artisans and craftsmen who make the Strand Arcade so unique to other shopping experiences.
Short videos directed by Hugh Stewart and powered by Samsung were shown throughout the evening titled “The Story Behind The Makers” providing an insight to the talents and skills of those behind the brands.
Loyal shoppers had the opportunity to meet their favourite designers in store while viewing the latest arrivals giving us all a sneak preview at what Spring/Summer 2013/14 has to offer (FYI lots of monochrome)
With many stores offering generous discounts for one evening only there was plenty of shopping to be done (in between sipping champagne of course). Guests snacked on Bon Bon’s signature French style nougat and freshly roasted Tamari Almonds courtesy of The Nut Shop. For those requiring a break from shopping there was a Cointreau Fizz Garden Bar where complimentary cocktails were enjoyed.
Before departing it was time to freshen up with a visit to the Pamper Suite for a mini manicure and lipstick touch up.
Champagne, shopping and mingling with your favourite designers… what’s not to love? If you didn’t make it this year, next year is a must.
This event was attended and reviewed by Sydney Social 101’s latest contributor: Susan Black. You can view her blog here: http://www.susanblackfashion.co.uk/news
The Strand Arcade is holding its much-anticipated annual Evening with Our Designers shopping event next Wednesday, 21 August, Sydney Social can’t wait to go!
If you’re into fashion and love to support local designers, we suggest you get involved!
WHAT: Strand Arcade Evening with Our Designers
WHERE: The Strand Arcade, 412-414 George Street, Sydney
WHEN: Wednesday, 21st August 2013, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
The Strand Arcade will celebrate the launch of Spring Summer 2013 as it invites customers to come and meet the makers – the unique designers and artisans behind its retailers – at the arcade’s annualEvening with Our Designers event.
The night brings together some of Australia’s biggest names in fashion: Lover, Akira Isogawa, Manning Cartell, Michael Lo Sordo, Christopher Esber, Ellery, Ryan Storer, Terry Biviano, Dinosaur Designs and Leona Edmiston amongst others.
Stunning illuminated floral archways by Grandiflora’s Saskia Havekes will welcome guests before they are treated to exclusive in-store offers from the Strand Arcade’s leading stores and an acoustic performance by in-demand songstress Emma Louise.
The Strand Arcade will also unveil the debut issue of 1891, a quarterly paper curated by super stylist Meg Gray that highlights the covetable style found at the iconic shopping destination. The publication includes a We Are the Makers profile series shot by renowned photographer Hugh Stewart capturing the masterful skills held by Lover, Dinosaur Designs, Andrew McDonald Shoemaker and Pendolino Restaurant.
Chandon, Cointreau and San Pellegrino bars will be set up throughout the arcade with sparkling wine, cocktails and mineral water served to customers along with mouth-watering roasted Tamari almonds from the Nut Shop and creamy nougat from Bon Bon Fine Chocolate.
Other activity on the night includes screening of the We are The Makers videos presented in the Samsung Smart Lounge with an Instagram treasure hunt and live feed; MasterCard Priceless Sydney VIP Pamper Suite complete with mini manicures, lipstick touch-ups and fragrance spritzing; and the Strand Hatters’ celebration of 100 years of the Akubra with hat making demonstrations.
Plus spend over $250 on your MasterCard to receive a bespoke 1891 gift bag packed full of the Strand Arcade’s best of the best including goodies from Haigh’s Chocolates, Aveda, Dinosaur Designs, Gorman, Leona Edmiston, Funkis, Akira, Farage, Cointreau and Emma Louise’s album Vs Head Vs Heart just to name a few.
Adding to the buzz new retailers to the Strand Arcade Scanlan & Theodore, Hunt Leather and Skin & Threads will be holding launch parties on the night as well as The Corner Shop in its new space.
SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES
This will be Sydney Social’s fifth City 2 Surf and were really excited! We love the way that all the runners team together to spur each other on… Even when it comes to the notorious ‘heartbreak hill’.
Another aspect of City 2 Surf that cannot be ignored is the celebrations that take place following the 13k run from Sydney’s CBD to Bondi Beach!
Bondi is literally awash with runners, their supporters and a stonking great atmosphere! Here is a list of Sydney Social 101’s top picks to raise a glass (or ten) to the runners of City 2 Surf!
Lets begin with the Beach Road, a venue that requires no further introduction or explanation! If you don’t fancy queuing for the bar for 30 mins minimum or don’t like venues that are packed to the rafters, here’s some other gems:
Lox Stock & Barrel
140 Glenayr Ave, Bondi
Deli Diner – American
Harry’s Espresso Bar
Shop 2, 136 Wairoa Avenue, Bondi Beach
101 Hall Street, Bondi
The Crabbe Hole
1 Notts Avenue, Bondi
Rooftop, Level 3, The Eastern Hotel, 500 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction
North Bondi Italian Food
118-120 Ramsgate Ave North Bondi
Jo & Willy’s Depot
286 Campbell Pde, Bondi
Icebergs Dining Room and Bar
Level 3/1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach
270 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
292 Bondi Road, Bondi
126-130 Roscoe St, Bondi Beach
Shop1/173-179 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction
Porch Bread and Wine Parlour
17/110 Ramsgate Avenue, Bondi Beach
Three Blue Ducks
141-143 Macpherson St, Bronte
The Bogey Hole Cafe
473 Bronte Road, Bronte
178 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
463-467 Bronte Road, Bronte
Last week, Sydney Social was invited to the grand opening of a Kiehl’s boutique in Sydney’s iconic Queen Victoria Building.
The long standing international brand who prides themselves on being NYC ‘born and bred’ opened their doors with a very special charity partnership announcement with National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW). Founder, Deborra Lee Furness opened with an official video announcement and was supported by Australian Women’s Weekly Editor in Chief and NAAW Board Member, Helen McCabe.
VIP guests were treated to entertainment from DJ GothenBros and nibbled on NYC style canapés—think bite-sized Caesar salads, popcorn and salmon bagels! In the spirit of National Adoption week, guests were invited to get creative and draw their own families on tubs of Keihl’s hottest selling product, their Ultra Facial Cream. One sells every 14 seconds worldwide!
Key VIP attendees included: Kris Smith, James Tobin, Anthony “Harries” Carroll from Bondi Rescue, Alan White and Prinnie from The Voice.
You can find Kiehl’s Boutique in Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building, Lower Ground South, Shop 57, 455 George St, Sydney. They’re open for normal business hours through the week and open late on Thursdays for a cheeky after work shopping spree.
Sydney Social’s roving reporter Betsy Oyler attended on behalf of Sydney Social 101.
With the newly released winter menu at Sebel Pier One Sydney, why not hide from the elements & indulge yourself with our delicious room service menu while relaxing in style in one of the new luxurious suites. Built over the waters of Sydney Harbour at Walsh Bay, you can devour the sensational new menu and awaken your tastebuds while gazing at the unrivalled harbour views. Take in some of the iconic landmarks, such as The Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Sydney Opera House or the famous smile of Luna Park, all while sipping on a glass of champagne in absolute luxury.
Sebel Pier One Executive Chef, John Slaughter, believes he has created a winter menu that will satisfy every diner’s palette. “Every season, I update the menu. I take a lot of time in choosing fresh produce that compliments the season and is readily available at that time of year. It’s important that we only use the highest quality food, sourced both locally and abroad, so that each mouthful is an experience in itself.”
As exquisite as the new suites, the ‘melt in your mouth’ Braised Beef Short Rib, Mirin & Soy on Chili Slaw is a must-have from the new menu. The Pan seared citrus pepper scallops with salted cucumber & sauce verge are the perfect way to start the evening whilst to finish, John Slaughter suggests you must try the Toasted Marshmallow, Strawberries, Lemon Curd, Champagne Chillout with Strawberry Sorbet.
Alternatively, dress for winter and have your room service outside, as four of the suites boast large balcony spaces. A wrap-around balcony for three of the suites, provide generous space with divisions to ensure privacy, while the fourth suite balcony offers an impressive 40 metre squared space jutting over the Pier. The space makes for an ideal setting for your own private alfresco dining and sunset drinks.
All of the new suites feature king size beds, a marble topped wet bar with Nespresso coffee machine, marble topped working desk, two LED flat screen TVs – one of which rises from the bed base, Foxtel, iPod/iPad docking stations and WiFi internet access. The bathrooms have (insert “a”) designer, deep standalone bathtub, soothing rainwater heads with side jets, double brass bowl vanities and deluxe amenity kits from Appelles Apothecary.
Complementing The Sebel Pier One Sydney, is its sister hotel in The Rocks, Harbour Rocks Hotel. This historic 59-room hotel was completely redeveloped in 2012 & delivers outstanding luxury and attention to detail while maintaining respect for the historical and architectural features of the original building. Both hotels are perfectly located to explore Sydney.
Continuing Sydney’s seemingly insatiable thirst for innovative small bars and bespoke cocktail experiences, The Lobo Plantation has opened its doors today, located at 209 Clarence Street, Sydney.
The Lobo Plantation is a specialist rum bar, stocking over 150 hand-picked varieties from around the world – enough to give each of their patrons a different drop if they so desired, and is the brainchild of Sydneysiders Michael Hwang Eddie Levy and, with Jared Merlino as General Manager.
The faded grandeur of the The Lobo Plantation will combine the old-world glamour of 1950’s Cuba and the non-stop party vibe of the Caribbean with just a dash of European elegance, all fuelled by a unique selection of bespoke rum concoctions.
The Lobo Plantation is named after Julio Lobo, the legendary Cuban sugar baron who built two of the world’s finestcasinos there, dated a string of Hollywood beauties including Esther Williams for whom he reputedly filled his swimming-pool with perfume, and became a folk hero in Cuba for championing workers’ rights, before finally having to flee from Castro with just a small suitcase.
The bar interior is an homage to Lobo’s extraordinary life, which Sydney designer Josh Clapp from Taught By Blackhas reinterpreted, creating an urban hideout Julio would have been proud of – the ornate, vintage doorway is from Argentina, the bar is built from timber and brass using antique French shutters with a British Racing Green colourtone throughout the venue.
Patrons glide in past a vertical garden and down a stunning, curved staircase, which on egress reveals a unique mosaic comprised of flamingos tiled on to each step. Once inside The Lobo Plantation, guests will find themselves lounging on red leather Chesterfields with an intricate domed ceiling above and herringbone timber floor below, while a trip to the bathrooms will reveal beautiful mosaic tiles and custom built vanities with beautiful hand-painted basins.
The Lobo Plantation provides the perfect escape from the cold Sydney winter streets and creates the scenicbackdrop for a range of rum concoctions unique to Australia, with signature cocktails including:
Million Dollar No. 9
The Lobo Plantation’s twist on the Millionaire No. 4 cocktail, using Jamaican Appleton’s VX rum with homemade Lobo liqueur (stewed apples, skins and seeds, fresh cherries and almonds). Mixed with eau de vie, Mas deBressades Rose and sugar (slow cooked to a reduction), Sloe gin, lime juice and dash of grenadine. Shaken and garnished with homemade apple and cherry fruit roll up rolled in a million dollar bill, dipped in sherbet.
Matusalem Platino rum from the Dominican Republic, elderflower cordial, Cuilleron Roussanne VDP and orange bitters. Stirred and served in coupe garnished with a lemon twist.
A shared cocktail for two which consists of Cuban Havana 3 rum, Martell Cognac, Plymouth Gin, Orgeat (almond Syrup), orange juice, lemon juice and a Pedro Ximenez float. Served with smoking dry ice in an ornate silver jug and garnished with orange peel, cherries and mint.
Visitors flocked to the biggest Vivid Sydney ever, which included the largest Vivid Light Walk expanding into North Sydney with the lighting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Darling Harbour showcasing Australia’s first spectacular water show performances.
The Vivid Music program also expanded into new venues and Vivid Ideas featured more than 180 events with over 6,000 tickets sold. Over 40,000 tickets were sold for Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House.
Mr Stoner said, this year, Vivid Sydney achieved record results for NSW, with crowds significantly larger than last year.
“Vivid also reached audiences in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide through extensive media coverage. I am confident Vivid Sydney will have delivered this year well in excess of the estimated $10 million in economic impact,” Mr Stoner said.
“Vivid has huge appeal and has been successful in attracting visitors not only from this State and across Australia – where domestic travel packages were up 8% – but also internationally, with over 11,000 travel packages sold, including 7,200 from China.
“Bringing so many visitors into Sydney for this festival also delivered terrific results for local retailers who all embraced Vivid. Some of the waterfront restaurants at The Rocks saw a 300% increase in diners, with reports of their capacity last seen during the Olympics. Many Darling Harbour restaurants also experienced similar growth.”
The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest annual festival of light, music and ideas is a signature event in the NSW Events Calendar, owned and managed by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.
Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said the most successful Vivid Sydney yet was great testimony to the way the festival has been embraced by Sydneysiders and visitors alike, and the creative services industry.
“So much enthusiasm and passion is invested in making Vivid Sydney a wonderful winter event by not only the creative practitioners involved in the Festival itself, but the hundreds of thousands of people who attended. To be able to hold an event which attracts so many visitors, not only domestically but also from all over the world is very special, and of course is an important contributor to the goal of doubling overnight expenditure by 2020. During Vivid Sydney we hosted 76 media and 284 international travel buyers,” Ms Chipchase said.
“There has been excellent collaboration with key partners and sponsors as well as hundreds of local businesses and communities to make Vivid Sydney a success, and something that is looked forward to every year. It’s a hallmark event for Sydney and Australia, and is also increasing its fan base internationally.”
Vivid Sydney also saw success digitally, with almost 40,000 downloads of the free Vivid Sydney, more than 1 million people visit the vividsydney.com website since 1 May, a 200% growth in Vivid Sydney Facebook fans and a huge 2,800% growth of Vivid Ideas fans.
Vivid Sydney 2013 Highlights
Stepping into the history books with Sydney Harbour Bridge: the western façade was lit for the first time by Vivid Sydney partner Intel Australia and 32 Hundred Lighting, with North Sydney Council. It captured the imagination of everyone and even supported the NSW Blues ahead of the first State of Origin Game when Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, turned the bridge blue with NSW State of Origin vice-captain Robbie Farah.
Extending into Darling Harbour for the first time: more than 200,000 people enjoyed the dancing water fountains and dazzling light and water shows. The show was created especially for Vivid by French artists Aquatique Show International, and staged in collaboration with Destination NSW, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the Darling Harbour Alliance. The event was supported by Citibank, which hosted customers at its Pop-Up Bar.
The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the world’s most iconic space traveller, Doctor Who: legions of costumed fans attend the one night only 3D-mapped projections on the façade of Customs House on Saturday 1 June. The projections, created by Sydney’s own The Spinifex Group, saw Doctor Who travel through space and time, pursued by some of his greatest enemies. The Spinifex Group also created the projections on the Sydney Opera House called Play, and Collaboration #3 with renowned artist Gemma Smith at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.
Vivid Ideas cemented its position as a champion of Sydney and Australia’s creative industries: it showcased Sydney as the place to collaborate, foster business connections and showcase new ideas. Headquartered on the sixth floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia with events at more than 25 venues across Sydney, Vivid Ideas grew in 2013 from 100 to 122 unique events and boasted a wealth of creative local and international talent including keynote talks by UK artist and Turner Prize nominee David Shrigley; IDEO’s chief creative officer Paul Bennett; street wear entrepreneur Johnny Cupcakes and big data artist Jonathan Harris.
More than 6,000 people attended 18 days of talks, workshops, panels and meet-ups at the Vivid Ideas Exchange with thousands more attending key creative industry events as part of Vivid Ideas including Semi-Permanent, AMPlify, Australian International Design Festival, Reportage Photography Festival, ISEA 2013, SPARC International Lighting Event, Mumbrella360, X|Media|Lab and more.
Over 40,000 tickets were sold to the 10-day music celebration Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House: audiences were attracted by a stellar line-up that included the world premiere of Empire of the Sun’s highly anticipated second album, Ice on the Dune, in addition to the eight sell-out Kraftwerk retrospective 3D shows, The Catalogue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, and the Australian debut of r’n’b soul legend Bobby Womack.
Vivid Music, a new addition to Vivid Sydney sold more than 5,400 tickets for a program that featured leading-edge electronic dance and house music at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, a two-day program of innovative and experimental music at the Seymour Centre, dance music at The Argyle and the sold out performance of datamatics 2.0 by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikdea at Carriageworks for ISEA 2013.
2,000 people danced in front of Customs House to Move your Building: while thousands watched wild horses run across buildings and engines rev out of walls at the Audi installation Speed of Light, the Spinifex Group transformed the historic façade of the Australasian Steam Navigation Company building into a feast of light, colour and speed. Creative light sculptures and installations were selected from around the world, including artists from Germany, England, Italy, France, USA, Korea, Malaysia and New Zealand. Australian light artists featured from Sydney, Queensland, Victoria and regional NSW including Nowra, Wagga Wagga and Tuggerah.
Vivid Sydney’s Illuminating Quick Facts
• Over 800,000 cumulative attendees
• More than 200,000 attendees to Darling Harbour
• Media coverage in over 200 countries
• Over 40,000 tickets sold for Vivid LIVE
• More than 6,000 people attended Vivid IDEAS
• Over 5,400 tickets sold for Vivid Music
• 11,304 international packages sold*
• 7,200 of these international packages from China*
• 8% increase of domestic package sales
• 284 international trade familiarisation visitors (205% increase on last year)
• 40,000 people downloaded the Vivid app
• More than 1 million visitors to http://www.vividsydney.com
• 200% growth on Vivid Sydney Facebook page
• 2,800% growth on Vivid Ideas Facebook page
*Package sales over the Vivid period generated via JTG
The annual festival of light, music and ideas is set to attract tens of thousands to the illuminated harbour foreshore of Circular Quay, Walsh Bay, Darling Harbour and North Sydney, and to music venues across The Rocks and the Inner West, for the final days of Vivid Sydney this long weekend.
Darling Harbour’s Vivid Aquatique show has already captivated over 110,000 people across the first week of Vivid Sydney, and due to its growing popularity has now been extended to include more lights, new full-colour lasers and three new water jets to delight crowds, doubling its size and filling Darling Harbour.
With shows on the hour ever hour from 6pm until midnight, audiences will also be treated to new additional dazzling fireworks at more shows over the long weekend including three shows on Saturday night (at 7pm, 8.30pm and 10pm) and two shows on Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights (at 7pm and 9pm). Full schedule below.
Aquatique Show International has developed and installed choreographed water and light shows for the public entertainment for more than 30 years, and has amazed audiences in over 52 countries. The four different shows playing on rotation at Darling Harbour were designed especially for the Sydney public.