So Tasmania trip came to an end in the early hours of Christmas Day. We then had a couple of days in Melbourne enjoying some warm weather, post Christmas sales (me), Test cricket (Steve) and doing the never ending cycle of post holiday laundry. Even today I have been doing laundry. It never ends.
The next time we invited some friends round - Christine, Stefanie and Christine brought two friends Eugene and Jessica and we had a lovely evening enjoying food and wine. I'd forgotten though that other people are back at work and expected people could stay up late and lie in like us!
Naturally between Christmas and New Year we continued to indulge in food. We had Christmas dinner at The Atlantic. It was nice enough but sadly not as good as our previous meal. We enjoyed a boozy lunch at Spice Temple which was flavoursome and delicious and Steve and I shared a mammoth seafood gumbo at Claypots in South Melbourne. I've posted a smattering of pictures so you can take a look at the gorgeous dishes we enjoyed.
Anyway John and Craig aka J-Cray were our hosts during this visit and welcomed us to their very comfortable and modern city apartment with an incredible view of the CBD.
The whole trip had been planned round celebrations at the Opera Bar as a once in a lifetime kind of experience. It was a great place to watch the fireworks. Steve and I enjoyed the midnight fireworks with no one in front of us and we were right next to the water.
The weather was perfect and although there were queues to get in, once in it was relatively easy to get drinks from the bar and it wasn't too crowded. There was a beach theme hence we are wearing garlands and Steve has his Hawaiian shirt on; we didn't just have them on to be fashionable! It was great to spend the time with former Hays colleagues / friends and meet new people too and everyone was very welcoming.
The brilliant thing about this trip was the chance to catch up with other dearly loved friends of mine. As luck would have it I had two dear friends from UK who were passing through Sydney just as we were. Our meetings were fleeting but so enjoyable and it was like we'd never been apart.
On 31st we caught up with Paola (I used to work with Paola in Leeds) and this chic little Italian pocket rocket is always a delight to see. She'd been in Sydney for 2 weeks already and we caught up for a super quick coffee before she headed to the airport.
We also managed to catch up with the lovely Briony Dolby (from my school days) who was also in Sydney on holiday. These Australian based men have a habit of attracting my dear friends! We enjoyed a couple of drinks in the sun at Darling Harbour before Steve and I headed to the airport to return home to Melbourne. Amazing that we struggled to catch up in UK yet enjoyed time together in Sydney! Who knows where we will catch up next? How does Rio sound Briony?
As if that wasn't enough friendship time we also had the pleasure of catching up with Karly and Cam one evening. Although I work with Karly now and see her 5 days a week if not more, the fact I hadn't seen her since we left for Tassie meant we were long overdue a meeting! Karly kindly came to Surry Hills to pick us up and showed us round the neighbourhood pointing out their home (which is rented out now they're working in Melbourne) and taking us over the Harbour bridge. They took us to a local Thai restaurant which was super delicious. Part of the charm of the evening was seeing them in their territory which they love dearly and enjoying the invitation they extended to their life in Sydney.
Naturally in Sydney as well as enjoying the beauty and wonderful friendships we also had lots of nice things to eat so I provide some pics below! There was the memorable Thai meal with the Barnes. A previous Thai meal which marked the end to a 12 noon start drinking session so apologies we don't remember too much about the food. And there was a farewell lunch with J-Cray and the Lydons at Cafe Sopra where we enjoyed delicious Italian dishes and finished with yummy dessert too.