Tag Archives: restaurants

Solo in Sydney* or: Getting My Groove Back

17 Dec

candle-lit mantlepiece with shiny silver backdrop.

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a pulse will not be in want of attention in a cocktail bar. I have no idea how I’d forgotten this. But I had…

Over the course of a “career” not so much chequered as positively gingham, but dominated by language and creative stuff, one of few constants has been writing about bars, cocktails, bartenders and combinations thereof.

So as the witching hour when economics moves me from travelling mama to digital nomad mama approaches (accelerated by the prices in Oz), I’ve dipped a tentative toe back into the world of paid writing.

More specifically, an old, old friend and quondam employer who has asked me to identify, write up and take the odd shot of the top bars in Sydney and Melbourne. Z? He’s frolicking in saltwater pools outside Cairns with his dad.

So here I am, in Sydney. Solo. Bouncing around cocktail bars and landmarks with a notebook and a camera as I did rather a lot from age 24 until Z arrived on the scene two years later.

And how does it feel? Continue reading

Bang Bang, Vang Vieng

21 Mar

View of huts and karsts, Vang Vieng, Laos

The View From Here

Vang Vieng, Laos. Sullied paradise. Stoner playground. Backpacker hell. Apparently not the ideal destination to explore with child in tow, silkscreen landscape, gorgeous river and tubing paradise notwithstanding.

My son, however, is loving the place, from our hippyesque hut on the river to the identikit TV bars, international restaurants, pancake stands and, err, brownie stores which line the main drag, producing a sense of total dislocation, even without any herbal assistance. Continue reading

Before I Kill You, Mr Bond . . .

1 Feb

The crocodile pit at Snake House, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

There’s something of the Wild West about Sihanoukville, Cambodia. A sort of post-Soviet Wild West, where Hummers park off Soviet Avenue, portraits of two kings and the Queen adorn the brutalist concrete of Independence Square, candy-coloured cod-Buddhism is just a step up the hill, the crime rate is the highest in Cambodia, backpacker guesthouses and low-rent girlie bars fight over hillside space, and, oh god, did I mention the snakes?

The elegant Nikolai, who owns the Snake House restaurant, the Airport disco and an exquisite and extremely expensive island, is responsible for the snake thing. Continue reading