Sunday, November 22, 2015

Coogee legends

Every time we walk back to the apartment from the The Spot or from the 373 bus stop on St Pauls Street we walk through this beautiful (and fragrant) patch of native garden at the top of Carrington Road - that has been created by the legendary geurilla gardener "Bob" and his loyal band of volunteers.

This patch of land belongs to our local Randwick Council. It was originally part of the old Coogee tram line which finally closed in 1960. "Bob" and his team have created this beautiful fragrant oasis of native trees, shrubs, lawn and groundcovers over the past 12-13 years, in their own time and out of their own pockets (mostly Bob's). The locals LOVE it of course, almost as much as the native birds and other wildlife that are a constant presence in this sweetest of Sydney parks. Bob is our favourite Coogee legend! He reckons the Council is itching to get some car parking going in this park - I reckon the Council will have Buckley's doing that if the locals have any say in it!

Nowhere near in Bob's class but Justin Hemmes from the Merival group bought the old Coogee Beach Palace Hotel last year in a complicated sales deal that set him back a cool $35mill. He's spent another $12mill refurbishing it (so far), renamed it The Pavillion, and the place is really rockin' now, with thousands of people from all over the Eastern suburbs crowding into the place like there is no tomorrow.

We tried the rooftop terrace with the million dollar views last Thursday evening (luckily a quieter night than some!).  We're wishing that only Coogee locals were allowed entry to The Pavillion.

It was 41oC in Sydney on Friday - an absolutely putrid day which we spent mostly in the CBD, in air conditioned comfort. I took the two pics below on the Coogee esplanade after 7.00pm that evening. The beach was still really crowded with people trying to cool off.

We discovered another possible dining legend in Coogee at the weekend - more at the "Paris" end of  Arden Street (where we rarely go) in Havelock Avenue. Here we discovered Cafe de France - only been open a year so far - and a proper French style bistro - open all day serving great coffee and bakery goods at breakfast and very authentic French bistro style food for lunch and dinner with a great wine list too.
I loved my duck breast with roasted leeks and a Bordeaux reduction (with a Loire Valley Pinot Noir) while Rob's favourite was his luscious chocolate mousse for dessert.  Vive La France - at Coogee indeed!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Chore day

I've never seen girls enjoy a day of chores like Ella and Abi.  The main plan for Sunday was for Josh and Rob to take down the (rain damaged) garage ceiling (in a cloud of gyprock and plaster dust).

In the process Ella had a ball using the drop saw with Grandpa to trim the battens down to a more manageable size.  She's a natural!

The girls thought the whole demolition process was absolutely fascinating. They talked non stop about it, asked non stop questions and "helped" wherever they could.

When things got quiet the driveway proved to be a great canvas for some chalk drawing.

 Although Abi looked a bit doubtful about the outcome...
Another Sunday chore was bathing Nellie the very grubby Beagle.  This is a chore that Abi LOVES - and Nellie less so, although Nellie puts up with anything that Abi does with her...a perfect pet for a three year old.

All Sunday chores were successfully completed - well done girls!!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sculpture by the Sea

We started off Saturday with good friends at Coogee's Barzura - still looking great after a minor makeover in readiness for a busy Summer ahead.
It was late morning by the time we got started on the coastal walk to Bondi - and Sculpture by the Sea.
There's always some fun sculptures to be found on Tamarama Beach.  The best fun this year was this "wave of blue eyed blond haired Barbie dolls". 

 ....and spray and wipe bottles.

We were very intrigued by this piece - based on a 1953 photograph of a little girl on a slippery slide that must have been in the exact same position all those years ago.

Sculpture by the Sea ended for us with a final view of the Bondi Icebergs and that amazing beach.
We enjoyed a German beer at the Bavarian Bier Cafe and an Israeli beer and some wonderful food at Sabbaba on Hall Street. A perfect food and wine experience after the best sculpture show of the year.