Pork Roast for Sunday at The Ship
I was recently in London and made plans to get together with expat friends on a Sunday. They suggested we meet at The Ship in Wandsworth for Sunday Roast. My friends are foodies and we’ve never shared a bad meal. I’m always game to try something new, and I was excited to head to a new area of Southwest London I had not yet explored.
Yorkshire Pudding on top of the pork roast
Sunday Roast wasn’t a tradition I was familiar with, but it sounded fun and tasty. I learned that going out to a pub for Sunday Roast is a thing for Brits. It’s like brunch is to Americans, only with more meat and beer instead of mimosas. The Ship had a few different roasts to choose from– chicken, pork and beef.
The Ship is also known for their excellent Scotch Eggs
We started the meal with a few Scotch Eggs ((£4.25), which are a pub favorite of mine and they were delicious. When our roasts showed up, we were all surprised by the amount of food. Portions are more than generous. Sunday roast is served with the traditional trimmings- mashed potatoes, vegetables, and topped with traditional Yorkshire pudding. I had the pork roast and my husband went for the beef. We swapped halfway through and gave our thumbs up to both versions.
We split sticky toffee pudding for dessert
Our friend insisted we finish the meal with sticky toffee pudding. It was drenched in toffee sauce which had a lovely caramelized burn and was served with prune ice cream. One order was enough for all four of us to share.
The bar at The Ship
The Ship has a great location along the Thames in an area of London I have never explored before. There is a lovely riverside patio that I’d like to visit again when the weather is warmer.
The exterior of The Ship Wandsworth
Pork and chicken roasts cost £14.50, beef roast £16.00. The Sunday Roast experience at The Ship in Wandsworth was a great introduction to the tradition. The generous portions, atmosphere, and overall goodness of the meal was also a good value for money.
41 Jews Row, Wandsworth
London. SW18 1TB
T: 020 8870 9667
The sunny reception area at the Prince
I first stayed at The Prince Hotel on a trip to Melbourne over a decade ago. I immediately fell in love both the Aussie chic boutique property and the St. Kilda neighborhood.
The living room of the Prince Premier Suite
But boutique hotels age in dog years– and a lot can change (or needs to change) over the years. While I still adore the property, and particularly the it’s pleasant staff, the hotel is really in need of a makeover. Design details which seemed so innovative when the hotel opened now feel stale.
The bedroom area of the Prince’s Premier Suite
My room- the Prince Premier Suite- was well maintained and still had a great bathroom with a fabulous free-standing tub and gorgeous light. The balcony off the bathroom felt a tad neglected and in need of some “freshening up.” The carpet in the hallways is visibly showing the wear and tear. The bright pink chair in the hallway, which once seemed like a bright and bold choice, made me think, “Wow. You’re still here.”
Left: The large soaking tub and Right: natural light fills the contemporary bathroom
The light-filled bathroom with it’s huge soaking tub was my favorite feature of my suite at the Prince. It’s definitely stood the test of time and provides enough space and light for a couple to share, although the sink and shower area are a bit cramped in comparison.
REN amenities in the bathroom
One of the hotel’s best features is it’s Aurora Spa, which I did not have a chance to visit this trip. The Prince also has a great dining option, Circa. The public spaces are beautifully maintained and breakfast was delicious and included in my room rate.
The breakfast room at The Prince
One of the hotel’s prime features is it’s location, just above St. Kilda’s gay friendly Prince of Wales Public Bar (this means both Kylie and Danni Minogue are in heavy rotation when the jukebox is working). The Prince of Wales also has a Bandroom which is staple of Melbourne’s music scene featuring both local acts and international ones– Michael Franti and Spearhead played here earlier this month.
I still love the Prince and recommend it for those who want a pleasant place to stay in the area. But boutique hotel connoisseurs won’t find anything edgy or innovative here.
2 Acland Street, St Kilda
+61 (0) 3 9536 1111
Rates start at $133 USD
Cicciolina has a great lunch special: Pasta of the day + a glass of Wine for A$29.50
One of my favorite things about visiting St. Kilda is checking out the ever-changing restaurant scene. On my recent trip, I decided to try Cicciolina Restaurant and Back Bar. According to the restaurant’s own website, Cicciolina’s has been a “St. Kilda Institution since 1993.” Despite Cicciolina’s long running presence in the area, the restaurant was still new to me.
Art filled walls and mid-century touches add to Cicciolina’s funky vibe
I liked the restaurant’s mid-century modern space and art-filled walls. I was a bit surprised that an Italian restaurant had limited pasta options, but it all worked out in the end. The Special Pasta of the Day, featured ribbons of pasta topped with tomato sauce, basil topped with a light dollop of mascarpone cheese and garnished with shaved almonds, was rather delightful. My husband and I swapped pastas halfway through the meal.
Tubetti all’Amatriciana – guanciale, bacon, tomato and oregano ragu (A$29.50 )
Non-pasta eaters will appreciate the fresh seafood options marked up on the chalk board like wild barramundi filet and kingfish carpaccio. The standout deal was the Monday to Friday Pasta + Wine Special for A$29.50, which is available from 12-6pm. My husband got that I helped myself to his Little Angel Sauvignon Blanc 2013. It made for a delightful lunch.
The Cicciolina menu also had gluten free dishes available, including some gluten free pastas, and an extensive wine list. My biggest complaint about Cicciolina is that the bathroom is extremely difficult to find, even after getting instructions.
130 Acland Street
St Kilda, Victoria3182
T: 03 9525 3333
F: 03 9525 3397
Clouds and sand in the Hoanib River Valley, Namibia
It’s April and spring is in the air. That often means rain and cloudy skies. As a photographer, I much prefer a little dramatic cloud action to bright blue skies. Here are some of my favorite recent images to show why clouds can be a good thing. Namibia has the best clouds I’ve ever met. They add drama and softness to the often beautifully desolate landscape.
Cloud reflections on the River Derwent
I recently visited Tasmania for the first time. The landscape reminded me a bit of Scotland, only the Southern Hemisphere’s version.
#shotoniPhone6 unset panorama of the River Derwent
The island had some gorgeous wispy clouds. This made it fun photograph landscape on the River Derwent at sunset. I liked framing the scene both vertically and shooting in panorama mode on my iPhone 6.
Dramatic sunrise in Sydney
Clouds make all the difference when photographing sunrise and sunset. They are nature’s own filter, changing the color and mood of the magic hour. I liked the way their texture complemented Sydney Harbour when I took this shot of the Sydney Opera House at sunrise.
Blue hour clouds over the Olympics in Seattle
Seattle has too many gray days for my taste. But when the cloud cover is just right it can make for some fantastic colors during blue hour after sunset. I thought the Olympics looked particularly stunning bathed in pastel light this week.
The Arctic Scampi was the standout dish for me at Gastro Park
I always like trying out new restaurants when I visit Sydney, Australia. Since I was dining with my friends, Justine and Brenton of the RoomCritic and the Offen Store, I knew we’d want a place with great food and drinks and a civilized decibel level so that we couldn’t enjoy our always lively conversation. Jonathan Fambert, the amazing concierge at the Park Hyatt Sydney, suggested Gastro Park in Potts Point.
Wagyu Beef Grissini
Self described as a“ playground of Gastronomy,” Gastro Park certainly hit the mark in terms of a great place for a sophisticated double date. The molecular gastronomy was fun, but not overwhelming and technique didn’t dominate the flavors of the restaurant’s modern Oz style cuisine. But the presentations were fun and made for interesting dinner conversation. The Wagyu Beef Grissini was served sticking out of rock, Flintstones-style.
We started with garden tartlets served like a Japanese rock garden
The seared arctic scampi was less flamboyant in presentation, served with coconut, kaffir, and apple sorrel but was such a standout, I wound up ordering two in lieu of an entree.
A delicous version of pork belly
Kingfish carpaccio served with pomelo, fennel and nectarine vinaigrette
Gastro Park prides itself on changing it’s menu frequently. You can get an idea of what they serve from the menu section of their website as well as their Gastro Park Instagram.
Robata duck breast, soy & mustard glaze, kohlrabi ravioli, abalone mushroom
Grain fed beef fillet onion crumble
The liquid butternut gnocchi and mushroom consommé (A$30) was playfully delicious and fun. Unfortunately, due to second round of cocktails, failed to capture a picture of it in focus. I can vouch for it’s deliciousness.
dessert was steep (A$22) but well worth it for the table to split
For dessert we shared the chocolate honeycomb sphere with cardamom and saffron ginger A$22.
Fun and flavorful inspired food and cocktails like those at Gastro Park do not come cheap. But it’s memorable cuisine and clean and contemporary dining space make it a great choice for special meal dinner for foodies in Sydney.
Gastro Park Sydney
5-9 Roslyn Street 2011 Potts Point, Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 8068 10 17