Address: Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria, Sydney
Phone: 02 9699 2225
Oh Sydney, it's been too long since I last blogged about my other favourite city (Brisbane being the favourite, duh) and I still need to post up all my fun photos from the Circus Ball. But first, let me introduce The Grounds of Alexandria which is the place to be for brunch in Sydney at the moment. For those of you who aren't familiar with Sydney, Alexandria is a stumble down from Redfern so it's not too far from the heart of Sydney city. The site originally was an old pie factory that has now been converted to an inner city sanctuary complete with a café, a coffee research and testing facility and a luscious garden of heirloom vegetables and fragrant herbs. This venue is so hot right now that we even scheduled brunch at the ridiculously early hour of 9am, just so that we could get a table within a reasonable time frame.
By chance, they were hosting The Ground's Markets on the Sunday we happened to be there, which gave us something to do for the one hour that we waited for a table. The markets are held on the first weekend of the month where you can walk around the grounds and shop for fresh produce and wholesome goods sold direct from the source. There is everything from Italian cured meats, fresh lemonade, charcoal roast rolls, beautiful flowers and handmade sweet treats. There was even a little petting zoo where kids could go and pet the farm animals (including a little four-legged rock star called 'Kevin Bacon'). I didn't wander near there … I don't like touching animals. It is all made to feel very rustic and provincial, with the comfort of knowing that you are safely in inner city civilisation.
Finally, it was time for brunch. I can't remember exactly what everyone else had but I do remember that the menu was a bit different from your classic breakfast options. I had the most exotic meal: soft-boiled free range eggs rolled in crispy quinoa with asparagus and truffle oil - very adventurous. It was all going pretty well until I discovered that my poached eggs were slightly over poached. Noooooo. Apart from the over poached egg disaster, I still really like this place. The coffee was rich and smooth, the markets were quaint, the service was good and the large parcel of cakes and other goodies that I took home were totally worth the afternoon food coma. I'll be back here again.
The Grounds of Alexandria
Address: Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria, Sydney
Phone: 02 9699 2225
The day that I got admitted as a lawyer, I bought my first Louis Vuitton bag (a beautiful classic black clutch) to congratulate myself for being so awesome. This week I bought myself another Louis Vuitton bag, although I didn't have any particular reason to justify the purchase other than 'Whatever, I'm worth it'. On Monday, Mr Dapper and I trotted over to Queen Street and entered into the landmark Louis Vuitton store in Queens Plaza.
This time, I invested in a Keepall 50 with shoulder strap in Mon Monogram which I think will make an excellent addition to my designer bag collection. It is also a pretty decent sized bag, so that everyone on the street or in the office, plane or hotel will notice that I am carrying around an LV. And that's the whole point, right?
Of course, I couldn't help but get it personalised too. If I was willing to pay $1,560 just for the bag, I figured an extra $410 was a nominal amount to pay for the benefit of personalising the bag with my favourite colours and my initials. The Louis Vuitton assistant said I had great taste, because apparently Gwyneth Paltrow's LV luggage is personalised with the same colours that I had chosen.
Now I just have to wait for my new LV bag to be personalised in a workshop near Paris before it gets shipped over to Brisbane. I can't wait to go collect it. With summer weather and Christmas holidays just around the corner, I will be flaunting my LV Keepall on weekends away in Sydney and at the coast (just like Sean Connery).
In typical yuppie style, I spent the weekend catching up with friends over brunch in the mornings and drinks in the evenings. After a very satisfying lunch at The Crosstown, I bought this cheeky card from Absolutely Fabulous a few doors down. I think it's absolutely hilar.
It also reminds me of how I got upgraded to business class for my recent flight home from Europe. Who knew that all you have to do to get upgraded is to ask at check-in if there are any first class or business seats available (in the nicest possible voice)? My business class experience certainly gave me much higher expectations on how I like to fly. I mean really, is it that unreasonable to get served champagne and foie gras in-flight?!
When I was in Madrid earlier this month, I visited the Museo Nacional del Prado with my good friend Trendy Intellectual. Trendy Intellectual is a sucker for visual arts (in addition to classical literature, indie music and hipster jeans), so he was blown away by the unparalleled collection of European painting and sculpture at the Prado. Some of his best quotes of the day were "How much are you frothing over this Velázquez?!" and "This Rubens is dope!". Admittedly, I am not the most discerning of art buffs but I make a concerted effort to be cultured when there is a renowned art gallery or exhibition to visit. The Prado is one of the leading and most visited art museums in the world, and more importantly, part of its collection is now being shown in a must-see exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery. ...
I have this ongoing joke with my friends where we make fun of each other's ridiculous spending habits. If you buy a designer item on sale, then it is 'practically free'. If you go to a black tie charity dinner and the ticket price is less than $150, it is likewise 'practically free'. If you shout your colleagues a round of drinks and they try to pay you back, you tell them to forget it because it was 'practically free'.
Funnily enough, some things really seem to be 'practically free' when you take into account our strong dollar and excellent exchange rates. Wharton Wannabe is a new acquaintance who I met in Croatia and I couldn't resist finishing off his sentence when we were trying to find a taxi:
Wharton Wannabe: "I am pretty sure that we are getting ripped off by this private taxi but if I convert the amount back into dollars it is so insignificant that I don't even care. Compared to what I'm used to spending, it's ... "
It has been an epic week on The Yacht Week so far. Somewhere in between sailing, tanning, getting drunk, swimming in blue caves, cliff jumping, getting more drunk, partying on boats and then partying more on island clubs, we can still manage to suggest ways on how life could get better. This week's 'As Heard on Eagle Street' is from a fellow crew member and fellow yuppie of Eagle Street:
I couldn't agree more with Precious Accountant. My shellac nails are starting to chip. It's so annoying.
We constantly slag the Mediterraneans for being economically incompetent by virtue of their inherent laziness, but one thing that they have perfected is their commitment to lifestyle. After spending the past week sailing and partying around the south of Croatia, I have very quickly converted to the lazy Mediterranean lifestyle too. In fact, I have been so lazy that I haven't learned anything about sailing because every day is spent tanning on our yacht whilst recovering from last night's epic party, while every evening is spent going for a refreshing swim followed by pre-drinks in anticipation of the next epic party. That's what The Yacht Week is all about. If the 'real world' is being stuck in a window office writing humdrum advices and reports in the professional services industry, then The Yacht Week's slogan is completely true: it's nothing like the real world. ...
Some of you may recall the phase I went through when I pretended to be French. It mainly involved me expressing the same ten French phrases I knew over and over again in a haughty French attitude and eating an unhealthy amount of almond croissants from Chouquette at the time. I thought my French affair was a temporary phase, but after travelling around the French Riviera for the past week, I think it may be permanent. My newest addition to the ten year plan is to buy (or marry someone who owns) a summer holiday house on the beautiful coastline around Nice. Too extravagant? Please, extravagance is my raison d'etre. Read on for my two (Euro) cents on the extravagant destinations along the French Riviera and where to indulge in the French lifestyle in Brisbane. ...
Mr Dapper is one of my oldest friends who is currently travelling in Europe with me and a few others. He is likewise a lawyer on Eagle Street, well known for his dapper corporate wardrobe and meticulous hair. His firm even made him the poster boy for the graduate recruitment promotional material. In the lead up to this Europe trip, Mr Dapper wanted to make very clear what his priorities were:
"Just so we are clear, I don't care about going to churches and doing cultural stuff. I just want to dine at the best restaurants, drink fine wine, shop at Massimo Dutti and meet hot European girls." - Mr Dapper