December 2, 2013

Elizabeth Cook 009

If you notice a new shiny red catamaran around Sydney Harbour, its Elizabeth Cook, the latest vessel to join Captain Cook Cruises Sydney Harbour Fleet. Named after Captain James Cook’s wife, she is SeaLink Travel Group’s new $2.6 million state of the art catamaran and first true multi-purpose boat, allowing her to operate in all corners of Sydney Harbour.

Lucy Hughes Turnbull, Chair – The Committee for Sydney, officially launched Elizabeth Cook recently in the traditional maritime way, breaking a champagne bottle across the bow, after a blessing by Father Dooley.

Designed in Sydney by Incat Crowther and built in Tasmania by Richardson Devine Marine, this new generation 24metre Rocket catamaran was designed to be eco-friendly and more fuel efficient, equipped with the latest technologies that will help reduce her carbon footprint.

Featuring two levels, the main passenger cabin has seats for 116 passengers with a further 31 seats located on the lower outside deck, while the open upper deck seats 51. There is also ample space for passengers to stand and view the sights. Elizabeth Cook will operate as a ferry, transfer service and host sightseeing cruises, especially the popular Hop On Hop Off service almost immediately. She will also be used to host charters and corporate events.

Managing Director, SeaLink Travel Group, Jeff Ellison said the company was very excited to have built a new vessel for Sydney Harbour. “We believe this is a prototype for the future. As well as being eco-friendly and cost efficient Elizabeth Cook offers a new level of comfort including large windows, a professional marine interior and a 360-degree viewing sundeck” Mr Ellison said.

Sandra Tiltman 



December 2, 2013
Scene from "All My Sons"

Scene from “All My Sons”

Darlinghurst Theatre Company recently opened the new Eternity Playhouse, previously the Burton Street Tabernacle on the corner of Burton & Palmer Streets Darlinghurst, with one of the most celebrated plays of the twentieth century, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, directed by renowned theatre director Iain Sinclair.

Set in 1947 in mid-west America, All My Sons tells the story of an all American family torn apart by a shameful secret. Joe Keller is a proud family man, successful business owner and local hero, but when he places the family’s prosperity above the lives of others, there are devastating consequences for all.

Marshall Napier leads a stellar cast including Toni Scanlan, Briallen Clarke, Robin Goldsworthy, Anthony Gooley, Andrew Henry, Mary Rachel Brown, Angus Moore, Zac Ynfante and Meredith Penman.

Named in honour of Sydney identity Arthur Stace, who became known as “Mr Eternity”, it was in the Burton Street Tabernacle that Stace heard the sermon that inspired him to anonymously chalk “Eternity” on the city’s footpaths for over 30 years.

The Eternity Playhouse is set to become a prominent theatre destination in Sydney, with its stunning architecture, brand new state of the art facilities and iconic place in Sydney’s history. Darlinghurst Theatre Company has worked closely with the City of Sydney and architects Tonkin Zulaikha and Greer to create a technically advanced theatre that is also welcoming, accessible and intimate.

Restoration work commenced in 2008 to bring the 126 year old heritage listed building back to its former glory, including repairs to the roof structure and laying new Welsh slate tiles to match the originals, as well as restoring the original decorative timber ceiling and stain glass windows, plus re-pointing the brickwork and general repairs. The original Baptismal Font, which was used for full immersion baptisms, has been retained underneath the theatre stage.

Darlinghurst Theatre Company Director Glenn Terry said, “We believe a theatre ought to be a vibrant, inspiring and welcoming place and our new home, the Eternity Playhouse, will be just that.”

All My Sons plays at Eternity Playhouse until December 1.  For online and phone bookings http://www.darlinghursttheatre.com or 02 8356 9987.

Sandra Tiltman 


December 2, 2013

Balmain Bar

The Cottage Bar & Kitchen in Darling Street Balmain is well worth leaving the eastern suburbs for. Located in a converted Victorian era cottage, this quaint bar recently launched their new summer menu. I want to spread the word so that it’s not only Balmain locals, but other Sydneysiders as well, who get to enjoy the Cottage Bar & Kitchen’s mouth-watering summer themed cocktails and their large selection of wines, beers and ciders plus delicious food.

Co-owner Osman Misirlizade said their impeccably presented cocktails use fresh ingredients.  Most of the cocktails have unforgettable names like ‘Remember Me In The Morning’ which is made with fresh passion fruit, passion fruit vodka, licor 43, crème de peche, peach bitters, egg white, blood orange and lemon juice; ‘Summer Squeeze’ is made with fresh watermelon, basil, Tanqueray gin, crème de mure, watermelon liqueur, lemon juice and ruby red grapefruit juice. The unique crowd favourite, ‘Mum’s Apple Pie’ is made with Ron Zacapa 23 year old dark rum, Batlow cloudy apple cider, lemon juice and apple pie syrup.  All are absolutely delicious.

Head Chef Ellen Young’s menu offers a large selection of items from share plates to pizza, oysters and cheeses as well as some fabulous desserts including Key Lime Pie with rum cream.

With its new courtyard for alfresco dining, main dining and bar area plus upstairs lounge as well as the front courtyard that regularly has live music, The Cottage Bar & Kitchen offers something for everyone.

Sandra Tiltman    Photos:  John Pond




December 2, 2013

Weddings at Seabreeze Resort Samoa

If you are thinking about getting married soon and have not yet made up your mind on where to have the ceremony and the reception, why not consider an exotic overseas destination instead of just heading to the local church.

Between 1 November 2013 – 31 March 2014 and 1 November 2014 – 31 March 2015, Samoa’s luxury Seabreeze Resort is offering couples who stay a minimum of six nights, a free wedding ceremony valued at AUD$960.00. Now everyone can afford to get married in paradise.

Wedding ceremonies at Seabreeze Resort begin with the sound of the Conch shell echoing through the bay, while warriors in Siapo (traditional dress) escort the bride and groom to their beachfront or pool side ceremony. Vows are exchanged to the sound of lapping waves and with the sun glistening on the lagoon, then as the sun sets, celebrations begin.

Couples taking advantage of this free wedding ceremony still get their own wedding planner to ensure the day is everything they dreamed it would be.

Made for couples and nestled into a private secluded bay, this intimate adult’s only 4.5 star resort oozes romance and is a popular wedding destination.

As well as the personal wedding planner and the local warrior dressed in traditional wear to escort the bride, the free wedding ceremony includes a Minister or Celebrant, all fees, license and administration costs, including registration of marriage, the Seabreeze Choir, a bouquet  of tropical flowers for the bride and a tropical floral lei for the groom plus up to 10 decorated chairs for the ceremony on the beach, pool side or for a smaller intimate wedding of two, on the honeymoon villa balcony.

Optional extras include a photographer, wedding cake, hair and makeup, massage, canapés, floral arch, petal aisle and Ukulele player.

Located on Samoa’s famous south east coast of Upolu, Seabreeze has 11 air-conditioned villas including the ultimate Honeymoon Point House, all with ocean, lagoon or reef views.  The resort boasts the award winning Waterfront Bar & Restaurant serving a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner and also offers Cbreeza Pizzeria and Paulini’s Pool Bar as other dining options.

Seabreeze won Samoa’s Leading Hotel at the 2013 World Travel Awards™ and was recently named in the Top 10 Hotels for Romance in the South Pacific by Trip Advisor in its 2013 Travellers’ Choice® awards

From a swim in the infinity pool, to enjoying the resorts private beach and lagoon to glass bottom kayaking or snorkeling, there is always something to experience. Seabreeze also offers a range of totally indulgent and nurturing massages and facials.    Sandra Tiltman