A Day With Rose and John

Today we reunited with two of our lovely QM2 tablemates: Rose and John, who live in Sydney.  They very kindly volunteered to take us out to some of their favourite Sydney places which we might not otherwise discover.

They picked us up at the hotel at 10am.  So very nice to see them again.  They love to travel too and there is always a lot to talk about.  Our first stop was near Rose Bay to do the Hermitage Coastal Walk.  This is a lovely 3.6 km roundtrip walk that literally hugs the edge of the coast on the harbour side.  Along the way there are little sand coves and of course fantastic views of the harbour, Sydney Opera House and the Bridge all the way.  Like all of the hikes we’ve done here, the authorities have done a terrific job of putting in a wooden walkway/track and keeping it in great shape.

The last place on the walk was Neilsen Park, where the cove is named Shark Beach!!!  There were nets up I must say!  Like the others it was a perfect crescent of golden sand and hardly anyone there.  Except for a big, fat seal, who was flat out sunbathing!!!!  I don’t blame him.  It was boiling.  Didn’t expect to see a seal, I must say.  There was a really nice cafe in the park that backed the beach and we stopped and had coffee there.

A very nice walk that gave us a good workout – plenty of steps!  Recommended, definitely!

We went back to John and Rose’s apartment which is on the harbour on a finger wharf almost opposite our hotel.  Had showers – much needed! – and then we headed out for a late lunch at a restaurant called Ripples at Chowder Bay website.  This is in the very lovely suburb of Mosman, must be one of the prettiest locations in Sydney.  Some amazing houses, both large and small and a villagey atmosphere.  The restaurant is over the water and absolutely stunning.  We were having a late lunch (230) so it was pretty quiet.

I would say that our lunch was the best meal we’ve had in Australia.  Sublime setting.  Really excellent food.  And an amazing lunchtime deal Monday to Friday.  If you haven’t tried it, you must go.  It’s superb.  For $39 we could choose any entree from the main menu, any side and a glass of wine.  So, we started with a glass of bubbly – why not?  John, Rose and I then went for the chargrilled fillet with sweet potato mash, onion crumb and mushrooms and Bob had pork neck with creamed potatoes.  Both dishes were absolutely delicious.  We had the full range of sides too.  When you consider that the fillet main was normally $38, the sides were $10 and the wine was $10, you can see the lunchtime deal is a great one.  The mains were not cut down either.   Like quite a few Australian places it was BYOB – a $12 per bottle corkage that was very reasonable.

We sat and talked and enjoyed the view until nearly 5pm!!!  Oh – we couldn’t resist a dessert either.  John and Rose had trifle – looked great – and Bob and I had affogato.  So, needless to say, we were not going to need dinner!

We have been so pleased and delighted with our week in Sydney discovering some of the smaller locations around the Harbour.  It’s just gorgeous.  You would never dream you were within a few minutes of the largest city in Australia.

We had such a lovely day and we are only sorry that we live so far away from John and Rose.  We were very, very lucky with our QM2 table companions and we hope that if they revisit the UK in the future we will have the chance to see them again and take them to some of our favourite places.

A brilliant day!