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 




August 31, 2013


To keep up with growing local demand and interest, Yoga Village Potts Point has moved to a larger space, where they can offer more classes and workshops, yet still keep their intimate focus.

Yoga Village founder and leader, Nadia Rihani, said the move is inspired by her vision of creating and nurturing the growth of a Yoga community, a home away from home that enables students to escape the daily grind of city life and relax and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.

“Although incredibly physical, we believe that Yoga is an inherently spiritual practice and our new home will allow us to host even more classes that are dynamic, challenging and engaging. At the same time, the new space will foster our commitment to offering a personalised class environment where students can flourish and create genuine relationships with their teacher and peers” said Nadia.

The new Potts Point studio is located at Level 2, 18-20, Darlinghurst Road, Potts Point and features the five different styles of Yoga, including Hatha Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Meditation, Restorative and Pre-natal classes. The new studio also allows for monthly community events, including health and wellness seminars and movies, that require a donation to The Wayside Chapel upon entry.

Visit      Sandra Tiltman 


May 26, 2013

CC MV Reef Endeavour in Fiji 2

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji has launched their new 2013/2014 brochure for the Fijian Small Ship Cruise operations.

The new brochure titled “Fiji Islands Small Ship Cruising”, features the company’s weekly three, four and seven night Yasawa Island cruises, their new 11 night Lau cruise and their Northern Discovery Cruises, including the 4 Cultures Discovery Cruise (formerly known as the Northern Discovery Cultural Cruise) visiting Kio, Rabi and Labasa and Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise (formerly known as the Northern Discovery Heritage cruise) visiting Levuka, Savusavu and Taveuni.

The brochure also features information on their Tivua Island Day Cruise, Sunset Dinner Cruise, Tivua Island stay and wedding and private function cruise packages.

If you would like a copy of the new brochure, please contact their Australian distributor on 9516 0024.

Sandra Tiltman 


March 29, 2013

400To celebrate the 60th year of the Sydney Film Festival, Minister for the Arts, George Souris, launched a free online publication.  This digital only publication has thousands of pages of content and images, so large it could never have been printed.

Sydney Film Festival 1954 to Now: A Living Archive, features over 1,000 photos and over 50 archived videos including award-winning short films, news clips and trailers plus a list of all 8,580 films that have screened at the Festival.

Festival Director, Nashen Moodley, commented “This free digital archive provides a thorough historical overview of the festival, which has challenged, delighted and entertained Sydneysiders for six decades.  Within its pages you will find a multi-layered, 444multi-dimensional chronicle of Sydney Film Festival – its past, present and future, seen from many perspectives and told with many voices.  It is an amazing resource full of multimedia, interviews and analysis of the history of the festival, its relationship to the local and international film industries, its position in
cinema history and its role in the development of local art, culture and entertainment.”

The City of Sydney bestowed the Sydney Film Festival with a special history grant through their History Publication Sponsorship Program.  “The City of Sydney is pleased to support this wonderful archive which shows how significant the Festival’s impact has been to the evolution of the city’s cultural life over the past 60 years,” said Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore.

Words & Photos:  Sandra Tiltman.



March 12, 2013


In Vietnam, unlike its modern neighbours Singapore and Hong Kong, it’s still possible to experience the feeling of old Asia.  With street hawkers cooking food and soups, known as pho, on the footpaths to sell to passers by, women wearing traditional cone shaped straw hats and carrying baskets slung from poles across their shoulders, bicycles and motor bikes everywhere.

400 bikesCo-existing in complete harmony with the traditional are the modern shiny department stores and shopping malls offering the latest in high end consumer brands from the boulevards of Europe, as well as the popular American branded merchandise.

Crossing the road in Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon as it is still called by the locals, is an experience that most first time visitors find
very confronting.  As the most populous and busiest city in Vietnam, the traffic is 24/7 and never seems to take a break.  There is an endless stream of motor bikes, sprinkled with cars and buses, which the locals just walk out into the middle of, to cross the road.  Miraculously this system seems to work, with the bikes and cars avoiding the pedestrians.

400 VietFor the visitor, crossing the road is much more daunting.  Even though there are traffic lights and marked pedestrian crossings on some streets, the traffic never seems to stop coming.  I have visited Vietnam on two occasions and found the best way to cross these busy roads was to wait for a local to come along, then cross the road beside them.  As there are so many people on the streets, I never had to wait too long.   Sandra Tiltman.   Photos:  John Pond