October 30, 2016


Coffee, the fragrant dark liquid, is the lifeblood of Croatia where there is not just a café on every corner but entire streets lined with café bars. Croatia’s coffee culture is distinctive, with an eclectic mix of Italian, Turkish and Austro-Hungarian culture.

Sailing on a Sunsail food and wine flotilla along the Dalmatian Coast is the perfect way to discover the coffee cosmology.

Sunsail has a host of flotillas in Croatia with 2017 departures, including the Dalmatian food and wine flotilla.

Sailing in a flotilla means the company of other boats and a set itinerary with dining companions plus an experienced lead crew dedicated to putting you on a gourmet path of wine tasting, vineyard tours and exceptional meals.

The Dalmatian food and wine flotilla offers many tours that include fresh seafood, excellent local wines, underwater wine cellar, traditional Croatian peka, vineyards and charming fishing villages for $185 more than the standard flotilla price.


Sunsail’s base at marina Agana in Marina village is the first port of call on the Croatian food and wine adventure. Arrive early to explore the nearby UNESCO World Heritage towns of Trogir and Split. At marina Agana you’ll meet your new flotilla companions over dinner in the local konoba (restaurant).

Prices are based on a Sunsail 36i 3 cabin monohull for seven days and include a fully equipped cruising yacht for the duration of the holiday, supportive lead crew including skipper, host and technician, one tank of fuel, guaranteed mooring at each stopover, dinghy and outboard, all sailing, navigation and safety equipment on board, fully equipped galley/kitchen, all clean linen including bath and tea towels, snorkelling equipment, end cleaning, end of week regatta.

A great way to explore the delights to be found along the Dalmatian Coast.

Sandra Tiltman


October 30, 2016

The Genesian Theatre Company in Sydney’s Kent Street has yet again come up with an interesting and gripping drama for their latest production. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, which has been adapted by Stephen Dietz, is another “away from the mainstream” play presented by this dynamic amateur theatre company.

The mood is set within a spooky stone castle staging, just right for the mysterious and exotic European Count Dracula to send shivers down our spines. The Count has hired a young English solicitor to organise his migration to England but after trapping the solicitor in his Transylvanian castle and murdering the crew of the ship that was to take them to England, it becomes clear that the Count has other plans and is about to unleash a reign of horror on the unsuspecting people of London.


This sets in motion a series of strange and deadly events that lead to a desperate struggle against an evil being intent on corrupting the souls of the solicitor’s fiancée and closest friends.

First published in 1897, Dracula has gone on through the years to signify the horror story format and the vampire legend, which has led to an extensive portfolio of works based on this original story. As with many Victorian classics, Dracula explores the clash between science and the supernatural, civilized society and the primal. The fear of the exotic and unknown plus the evil hidden behind a cultured human front as well as primal passions, the corruption of the soul and morality in relation to the expectations placed on women are all themes running throughout this play.

Directed by Michael Heming who is ably assisted by Shane Bates, the production manages to convey the mood of horror and suspense as we wait for Count Dracula to strike his victims.

Madeleine Boyle as Lucy Westenra and Cassady Maddox as Mina are excellent in their roles as Count Dracula’s targets.

“Dracula” is currently playing at The Genesian Theatre until 3 December 2016 on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm
with a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm.

Sandra Tiltman     Photo: John Pond


October 26, 2016


22 kangaroos, designed and produced by award-winning sculptor Louis Pratt, have been created from COLORBOND® steel to commemorate the Australian brand’s 50th anniversary.

Made from the 22 colours in their current steel range, these full size male and female kangaroos, the largest being 160cm high, along with a handful of joeys, will be on display at a “hop up” exhibition at Hickson Road Reserve in The Rocks which will run for three days only, from Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 October. The roos will also be joined by real life joeys from Featherdale Wildlife Park from 12 noon to 2pm each day and there is no charge to visit the exhibition.


Sculptor Louis Pratt, who won the prestigious $100,000 Mt Buller Sculpture Prize in 2013, created the kangaroo mob that weighs over 700 kilograms, in six weeks. “This was a fun job. Drawing, designing and producing the mob by hand took some work but I enlisted the services of some great fellow artists to lend me a hand. I’m thrilled with the result and the location for the pop-up exhibition is terrific -grass, water, views – I think they’ll be very happy here!” said Louis.

After the exhibition three of the kangaroos, Ned, Matilda and Banjo, will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the National Council of State Emergency Services. Those who visit the kangaroos in Sydney also have the chance to win one to take home.

Sandra Tiltman meets Barry

Sandra Tiltman meets Barry

Since 1966 COLORBOND® steel has become an integral part of Australian life, from the garden shed to some of the biggest and most beautiful pieces of architecture in the country and now the iconic kangaroo.

“Australia’s widely diverse environmental conditions demand a product that is specifically tested and developed for Australia. Our research and innovation teams have been conducting real-world outdoor exposure testing and accelerated laboratory testing to thousands of panels of COLORBOND® steel for almost fifty years to ensure the steel is an ideal building material for Australian conditions, so whether the roos reside in the heat of the Northern Territory or much cooler climate of Tasmania they’ll sure feel at home,” said Lisa Dent, Manager Marketing & Market Development – Sales & Marketing, BlueScope.

Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond,

Win a Roo – #WINaROO


October 17, 2016


Every summer The Sydney International Art Series brings the world’s most outstanding exhibitions exclusively to Sydney. This summer, as part of the Sydney International Art Series 2016-17, Sydney will be hosting two exceptional art exhibitions, Nude: Art from the Tate Collection at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Nude: Art from the Tate Collection will showcase the story of the nude across two centuries, with more than 100 artworks loaned from Tate, London’s distinguished collection. Many of the works will be exhibited in Australia for the first time, including one of the world’s most iconic images of erotic love, Rodin’s marble sculpture, The Kiss (1904).

Nude is a journey through many major art movements, including romanticism, cubism, expressionism, realism, surrealism and feminism, featuring works by some of the world’s most celebrated artists including JMW Turner, Auguste Rodin, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Cindy Sherman and Ron Mueck.

The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, photographs and prints.


Program highlights include free daily guided tours as well as lectures, artist and curator talks plus a series of fiction readings by some of Australia’s finest writers including Christos Tsiolkas. Late night openings will be available on Thursdays and Fridays in January.

Nude: Art from the Tate Collection will be on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 5 November 2016 until 5 February 2017.

Tatsuo Miyajima is a leading contemporary artist in Japan, known for his immersive and technologically driven sculptures and installations. He draws inspiration from Buddhist philosophy with its exploration of life, death and renewal. Central to his practice are numerical counters that count from 1 to 9 repeatedly using light emitting diodes, then go dark momentarily. The repetition of numbers, along with the shift from light to dark, reflects the importance of time.

Tatsuo Miyajima

Tatsuo Miyajima

Miyajima has held solo exhibitions in Japan, the United States and Europe. He represented Japan at the Venice Biennale in 1999 with the installation Mega Death and more recently Arrow of Time (Unfinished Life) at The Met Breuer, New York.

The exhibition includes key sculptures and installations from his career.

Sandra Tiltman with MCA Gallery Head, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE

Sandra Tiltman with MCA Gallery Head, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE

Curated by MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent, this exhibition is a Sydney exclusive and is the artist’s first major survey exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere.

As well as free daily guided tours and late night openings on Thursday evenings, there will be Japanese inspired workshops every Thursday evening in December, plus a Japanese menu at the MCA Café and a pop-up Cherry Blossom Bar with Japanese bites and exclusive cocktails.

Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything will be on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art from 3 November 2016 until 5 March 2017.

Purchase a Sydney International Art Pass to see both exhibitions and save 20%.

Sandra Tiltman




October 17, 2016


Berlin based Israeli, Avi Avital, will be making a triumphant return to Australia where he will lead the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in an adventurous exploration of the mandolin.

By overwhelming popular demand, Artistic Director Paul Dyer is proud to bring Avi Avital to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane following his sellout 2014 Brandenburg debut. “Avi has charisma, sparkle, sensitivity and a disarming musical depth. He holds the audience and those he shares the stage with in the palm of his hand, then famously captures the moment in a selfie. He has catapulted the mandolin into a completely different stratosphere,” Paul Dyer said.

Born in Be’er Sheva, southern Israel in 1978, Avi began learning the mandolin at the age of eight. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padua, Italy. Playing on a mandolin made by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman, Avi continues to forge new ground for the mandolin and open the world’s ears to its potential. “When I hold the mandolin, it is so much part of me, my voice. I don’t think of it as an instrument, but just an extension of myself,” Avi said.

The first mandolin player to be nominated for a classical Grammy Award, Avi has electrified audiences throughout Israel, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Americas. Memorable performances include Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Berlin Philharmonie, Forbidden City in Beijing, the Paris Philharmonie and Zurich’s Tonhalle.

Avi is also a successful recording artist, recording exclusively with Deutsche Grammophon. “Between Worlds” introduced chamber music compositions from Ernest Bloch and De Falla to traditional Bulgarian Folk tunes and was released in 2014 to critical acclaim.  Other prominent recordings include “Bach” and “Vivaldi”.

Avi Avital will be appearing with The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra at the City Recital Hall in Angel Place, Sydney on October 26, 28, 29 and November 2 & 4 at 7pm with a Matinee on October 29 at 2pm.

Sandra Tiltman


October 10, 2016


Holland America Line announces new culinary partnership with America's Test Kitchen during an event at the Institute of Culinary Education on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 in New York. (Photo by Adam Hunger)

After launching a partnership with America’s Test Kitchen TV show, Holland America Line will soon bring new dynamic cooking shows on board ms Westerdam for the ship’s Mexico season from October 18 and ms Nieuw Amsterdam for their Caribbean season from November 13. The program is expected to roll out fleetwide by June 2017.

Designed specifically for Holland America Line, the shipboard shows will be hosted by Holland America Line chefs, trained by America’s Test Kitchen culinary experts. Shipboard cooking demonstrations and hands-on workshops, with topics ranging from shaping Asian dumplings to making the perfect pie crust, will combine foolproof, accessible recipes and cooking techniques that are rooted in the rigorous testing and science based approach of America’s Test Kitchen.


The shipboard Culinary Arts Center will be transformed to replicate the television set where the prominent America’s Test Kitchen TV shows are recorded for broadcast by more than 350 public television stations across the United States. Holland America Line is a sponsor of America’s Test Kitchen and is proud to make this experience possible at sea.

In addition, passengers will experience 24-hour access to episodes of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country television programs in their staterooms.

The planned 45 minute demo courses will feature a mix of video content, live instruction, taste tests and recipe samples. Some of the courses in development include Asian Dumplings, Salad for Two, We Love Chocolate, Everything Salmon, Flavors of the Mediterranean, Meatless Monday Meals and New Italian Favorites. Also planned are 90 minute workshops that focus on teaching a specific skill set. Proposed workshops include Perfect Pies and Handmade Pasta.

m/s Westerdam - Holland America Line

m/s Westerdam – Holland America Line

“This is an incredible opportunity for fans of America’s Test Kitchen, and food lovers in general, to immerse themselves in the Test Kitchen experience,” said David Nussbaum, CEO of America’s Test Kitchen. “The classes on board Holland America Line ships will feature our famous foolproof recipes designed to be repeated and enjoyed long after the voyage has ended. We are excited that Holland America Line is helping America’s Test Kitchen reach more enthusiastic home cooks through this onboard experience.”

America’s Test Kitchen has earned the respect of the publishing world, the culinary world and millions of home cooks who trust its experts for tried and true advice on recipes, supermarket ingredients and cookware. Similarly, the new Holland America Line shipboard shows will present a combination of well tested recipes using consumer available ingredients with kitchen tips and advice on the brands of cookware, utensils and appliances America’s Test Kitchen’s experts have tried and recommend.

America’s Test Kitchen is a fully equipped test kitchen located in Brookline, Massachusetts. A team of more than 50 highly qualified test cooks perform thousands of tests every year. Their goal is to develop the best recipes and cooking techniques, to review and rate the best cookware and equipment and to taste test and recommend brand name supermarket ingredients for the home cook. Recipes are tested 30, 40 and sometimes as many as 70 times to arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time and equipment that yields the best, most foolproof recipe.

Sandra Tiltman

84 UNION STREET, PYRMONT Pub/Restaurant/Bar

October 10, 2016


Pyrmont with its great selection of bars and restaurants is such an easy destination to access from Sydney’s CBD. Just a twenty minute walk over the historic bridge or take the lite rail, drive yourself, grab a taxi, uber or even a bus, it’s that easy to get to one of Sydney’s best entertainment and dining precincts.

P9210085.jpg84 Union Street is one venue that is definitely worth a visit. This pub / restaurant / bar and even event space has so much to offer with its live music, large menu selection of tasty food plus a range of beverages from craft beers to cocktails and everything in between. The staff are so friendly and nothing is a problem. The casual atmosphere is perfect no matter whether you want lunch or to spend an evening.
The night I visited I tried their impressive looking Beluga Moscow Mule cocktail, served in a copper mug and also the Burlito which is their twist on a Mojito, using gin and cherry herring liquor. Both cocktails made me want to come back again for more.

P9210141.jpgAfter enjoying the cocktails I thought it was time to try a selection from the extensive menu. The crispy pork belly bites, smoked pulled chicken tacos and handmade Aranchini balls were perfect for starters, followed by the crispy chicken & shitake mushroom dumplings and the wagyu beef sliders on brioche with cheese, caramelised onion and homemade BBQ sauce. I still had to make room for the special handmade roasted duck spring rolls with cauliflower piccalilli.

I could now sit back and enjoy the live music for the rest of the evening.

Sandra Tiltman     Photos: John Pond