December 27, 2012
Anish Kapoor's "Memory"

Anish Kapoor’s “Memory”

If you are staying in Sydney over the Christmas & New Year holiday break, there are many sporting events such as the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race and test cricket at the SCG to take your mind off all the Christmas celebrations.  When you become tired of watching all that sport, either live or on TV, how about doing something different and take in some culture.

One major “not to be missed” event is the Anish Kapoor exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the Rocks.  It is the first major presentation of the artist’s work in Australia and includes works from the early stages of his career to the present day.  Sydney is the only city in Australia to host the exhibition.

Anish Kapoor was born in Mumbai in 1954 and moved to London in the early 1970s where he studied art.  He won the Turner Prize in 1991 and throughout his career has worked extensively with architects and engineers creating large-scale sculptures in various parts of the world.

The exhibition, showing a selection of key works, is across two floors of the MCA with one of the highlights being the 24 ton steel work “Memory”.  The exhibition also incorporates a program of special lectures, talks, tours and films.

One of Anish Kapoor’s major sculptures for a public space, “Sky Mirror”, is on the lawn outside the MCA.  The work encompasses the environment in which it is situated and was first displayed at the Rockefeller Centre in New York, then at Kensington Gardens in London.  The 10 metre polished stainless steel concave mirror is positioned upwards to create an inverted portrait of the sky.

The exhibition runs until 1 April 2013.   Sandra Tiltman.



December 16, 2012
MSC Musica Spa

MSC Musica Spa

One of my favourite cruise companies, MSC Cruises, has come up with the perfect festive season gift for you to surprise the special person in your life – a 25 night holiday package, which combines a two night stay in London with a three week cruise, sailing from the White Cliffs of Dover to the Black Sea.

This specially tailored fly/stay/cruise package includes a return economy air fare with Emirates from Australia on 7 September 2013 along with transfers, accommodation and all the usual inclusions of the cruise as well as port charges, service charges and flight taxes.  It includes ten countries and two new ports for MSC Cruises, Ferrol in Spain and Romania’s Constanta.”

Lynne Clarke, Managing Director of MSC Cruises Australia and New Zealand said “Thanks to the flexibility of the air ticket, each passenger has the chance to stay in Europe for up to six months after the cruise”.

MSC_MusicaThe 21 night cruise will be on board MSC Musica, which sails from Dover on 10 September 2013, bound for Ferrol as well as the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, Malaga, Tunis, Croatia’s Dubrovnik and Venice.  MSC Musica will then cruise to Katakolon in Greece, Istanbul, Yalta and Odessa in the Ukraine before venturing to the new port of Constanta in Romania, Gythion in Greece and Venice.

MSC Musica will provide guests with a true Italian experience of elegance and sophistication the moment they step on board.  The foyer features a three tier waterfall and a piano suspended over a crystal floor above a pool of water.  As well as the superb dining facilities, guests can enjoy a Japanese experience at the Kaito Sushi Bar and Zen garden.  Sophia Loren, who epitimises the spirit of Italian elegance and style, is MSC Musica’s Godmother.

I have cruised aboard MSC Poesia and can highly recommend the “Italian experience”. Sandra Tiltman




December 15, 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACarnival Cruise Lines’ Australian based ship “Carnival Spirit”, docked at Circular Quay, was the perfect venue where Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, recently announced details of Sydney’s world famous 2012 New Year’s Eve celebrations.Guests enjoyed drinks and canapés while standing on the open back deck of Carnival Spirit’s Serenity Zone with the Harbour Bridge, the central focus of the New Year’s Eve fireworks display, in the background.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, promised everyone that this year the fireworks are going to surpass those of previous years, being bigger and better.

The City of Sydney and Telstra have developed a free app for smartphones, that will light up phone screens as coloured lights splash the Harbour Bridge to mark the end of 2012 and launch 2013.  The app will also give vantage point maps and updates of when viewing locations have reached capacity.  The app will also allow people to “Message the Bridge” by submitting some words which could be projected onto one of the Harbour Bridge pylons.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASydney will be embracing the love, with NYE12 Creative Ambassador, Kylie Minogue, wanting everyone to Embrace 2013.  Kylie has worked with the City of Sydney and chosen magenta, yellow, purple and blue for the Telstra Colour Moments and fireworks, representing her Embrace theme.

Kylie said “This year I want everyone to embrace during the fireworks”.  “Whether its embracing new ideas, change and opportunities, or just giving a big hug to your family and friends, it’s something everyone can get involved in.  So together, we are going to make this New Year’s Eve the most memorable night ever.”

The Lord Mayor commented “Over one billion people watch Sydney New Year’s Eve in Australia and around the world, contributing $156 million to the local economy.”   Sandra T.     PHOTOS: John Pond ©  




December 15, 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASydney’s Surry Hills is now home to a fabulous new wine, tapas, pizza and more restaurant, L’il Darlin, at 420 Elizabeth Street.

The décor and atmosphere at Li’l Darlin makes one feel comfortable and laid back straight away.  It’s the sort of place you could spend several hours, enjoying their excellent food and drinks.

Li’l Darlin’s drinks menu includes a wide range of local and imported beers and wines.  The French champagne bottle price was perhaps the cheapest I have seen on a wine list in Sydney.  Most wines were also available by the glass and there is also a large selection of cider.

Their original cocktail menu will really appeal to the ladies, with such unique cocktails as Fairy Floss Martini, White Chocolate Passionfruit, Pommegranate Sour, Ameretto Sour and many more.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is not only an after work spot, but is open for lunch daily.

When I visited for lunch recently I tried the Quesadillas with Guacamole and Sour Cream followed by a Grilled Chicken and Chick Pea Salad, all very delicious.  The Giant Chicken Schnitzel and Fries that my dining companion chose looked extremely tempting.

The lunch menu is a limited version of the extensive full menu available after 5 p.m.  With friendly and efficient service, diners and drinkers of all ages will enjoy Li’l Darlin.    Sandra T.




December 2, 2012
Charles Blackman - Two Figures

Charles Blackman – Two Figures

Had the pleasure of attending Menzies Fine Art Gallery located at 12 Todman Avenue, Kensington on Thursday evening for a preview of their latest artworks to be auctioned at their premises on 6 December.

Between the champagne and savouries we managed to admire all the paintings and other mixed media that will be on offer.  The relaxed surroundings made it a joy, as always, to linger and enjoy the atmosphere.

Our convivial host, Rodney Menzies, was busy greeting guests and answering their many questions. There has never been a better time to purchase high end artworks, thanks to the global recession.

John Brack - The Scissors Shop

John Brack – The Scissors Shop

I believe art should be purchased for the love of the piece, but there is no doubt that much of the high end art can prove to be an excellent medium to long term investment.

Many famous Australian and international artists’ works were on display, with Lloyd Rees, Charles Blackman, John Brack, Andy Warhol and Garry Shead to mention a few.

Pictured are some of the auction items.  Sandra Tiltman