Published in the City Hub, Bondi View and City News.
Being the kind of person that avoids queues and crowds like the plague, the 36-hour seafood marathon at Sydney Fish Markets running from 5am Sunday 23rd December until 5pm on Christmas Eve fills me with horror! However my interest was piqued when I heard that people come wearing Santa hats, reindeer ears and some still in their pyjamas. Apparently the fishmongers love it, and get into the spirit of the chaotic event too. If you do get down there, when you’re choosing your seafood, do try and choose sustainable items like Spencer Gulf and North Queensland banana prawns (both MSC certified) so we’ll have seafood at Xmas for years to come. sydneyfishmarket.com.au
The New Year is best seen in with great food. There’s heaps on offer, so here are a couple of events that caught my eye. After a ripper meal (review forthcoming) at Keystone’s latest - Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ – I’m betting their four-hour free flowing beverage party with BBQ canapés will be a hoot ($150/head). Kick on to the other new jewel in their crown, The Newtown Hotel, to recover (and break all your resolutions) for free. Or avoid the crowds completely with One Moncur’s Champagne, supper and fireworks on the screens for $50/head. If you must dive into the harbourside throng, consider an oyster pit stop at The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room. They promise a casual take on things – with no set menus, and no limitations for bookings or walk-ins.
Get in practice with a New Year’s Eve warm up on Sunday 30th (or indeed on any Sunday in December or January)! Head to The Beach Road Hotel's new playground - The Backyard – for an inexpensive taste of Grant King (from Gastro Park). Being a Kiwi, Grant’s teamed up with Rochdale Cider and made three bar snacks (that each come with a cider) for $12.50 apiece. I enjoyed his Cider Slider of crisp baked pig (with crackling) but I reckon if the weather turns it on, The Rochdale Frostie of cider caramelised apple ice cream with popping candy will be just the ticket.
Now if you’re prepared to splash out for some gourmet New Year’s Eve fun, consider the Clark Island do by NSW National Parks. Along with boat rides, comfy cushions and entertainment, you get a picnic hamper bearing antipasti, premium cheese, baguette and a sumptuous dessert, followed by an island BBQ! (Think gourmet wagyu sausages and marinated beef sliders cooked by Nielsen Park.) The hefty ticket price ($440/head) of course includes beverages – but sounds positively civilized!