April 27, 2017

The Sak is one of the USA’s largest handbag companies and has been around for the last 24 years. Their philosophy is simple – happy & free – and their customer is one that is free spirited, with a ‘relaxed Californian’ personality.

The company and their designers believe in peace and harmony and they interweave this into their handbags’ styles and designs.  With a mixture of hand-crocheted and casual leather bags, mini bags, fashion accessories and travel, The Sak bags are sold in more than 850 specialty stores across 24 countries, including Australia.

The Sak Australia has now launched their Autumn & Winter 2017 collection which is available in all major department stores nationally, plus online at Their large product range includes handbags, satchels, crossbody & shoulder bags, cosmetic cases, wallets and smartphone crossbody purses plus many more styles.

I have one of their stylish black leather shoulder bags, complete with zippered compartment at the back and a handy pouch at the front for my mobile. This versatile bag is great for either day or evening wear and there is plenty of space inside for all my paraphernalia.

Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond



January 11, 2015


Birthdays are always fun to celebrate, so when SoCal, the southern Californian inspired restaurant & bar at Neutral Bay turned one recently, guests celebrated this first birthday in style at an exclusive birthday bash.

SoCal’s large outdoor terrace was the perfect place to be during the balmy summer evening, while enjoying one of their classic cocktails, a Margarita of Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, lime, a dash of sugar & a half salt rim. I also had to try the Garden Party made from blueberry infused Tanqueray gin, elderflower liqueur, spiced blueberry syrup, rhubarb bitters & basil. It was hard to decide which one I liked the best, but I had to give the Margarita my vote.

DSC05091Head Chef Zac Smart provided a selection of dishes especially for the event, which included lamb, ricotta & raisin empanada, grilled vegetable empanada, ceviche lettuce cups, sriracha chicken quesadillas, chicken & sopressada sliders, spiced eggplant tostadas, flank steak & chimichurri, southern fried chicken and slaw, and spiced vegetable cous cous.

If you can’t make it to California, sipping a Margarita at SoCal is the next best thing.

Sandra Tiltman   Photos:  John Pond



December 9, 2013


Neutral Bay could well be home to the best Californian food this side of LA with the recent opening of SoCal, a southern Californian inspired restaurant & bar.

SoCal is the third venue to be launched by Applejack Hospitality and should prove to be as popular as their other venues, Bondi Hardware and The Botanist.

SoCal Owners

SoCal Owners

Renowned designers Luchetti Krelle (of Momofuku Seiobo, Ananas, Hinky Dinks and Sake fame) have truly evoked the laid back, Southern Californian vibe and feel. SoCal has a retro chic ambience with bright colours, along with unique furniture and features. The design has taken full advantage of the generous outdoor terrace which should prove to be a very popular spot to enjoy the relaxed bar area.

An added bonus at SoCal is their 2 a.m. Licence.

Their fabulous Del-Martini cocktails, consisting of Ketel One Vodka with Peach Liqueur, fresh lime, peach puree and a dash of peach bitters are definitely on my list as one of the all time best cocktails I’ve had.

Newly appointed Head Chef, Zac Smart (formerly from Steele Bar & Grill) has created a menu with a Mexican, North American and seafood emphasis, including Cali-inspired share plates, taco’s, mini dogs & ceviches.

The Hawaiian tuna poke on corn tostada, crab and sopressada empanadas, refried bean and rice quesadilla, SoCal chilli dogs, Pollo Loco Pinchos (spiced chicken skewers on rice with sauce Mole) that I tried were all excellent.

I could not leave without trying the Churros and chocolate sauce for dessert. If I closed my eyes, I could easily have thought I was in Southern California.

SoCal has my vote as having some of the best food and cocktails for a fun night out.

Sandra Tiltman     PHOTOS:  John Pond