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A La Colthard

Five restaurants and a hotel to review so I will be briefer than normal on each.

When we arrived at the Amora on New Years Eve at 12.30 the rooms were not ready. Fair enough, but not at 2-30. Hotels are charging premium rates for New Years Eve and should get extra staff to cope.

The room itself on the 11th floor with view over Sydney was spacious and somewhere between superior double and junior suite. Its location in the business area was not ideal but only a short walk to the Rocks where the Opera House, ferries and Bridge are to be found.

On the first night I could find nothing open except a Bavarian restaurant.

I fancied a wiener schnitzel but they were out of stock.

I am sure my pinot gris was pinot grigio and they added a surcharge for the bank holiday so I decided not to return.

On the trip to Hunters Valley the restaurant at Bimbadgen winery was superb.

I had an octopus salad and barramundi, Australia’s most popular fish, not unlike turbot.

It took three attempts to explain to us that we would only have the one estate glass free but this time it was a refreshing and genuine pinot gris.

Yesterday I walked down to the Rocks for lunch at Graze.

My hopes of a spectacular view over the harbour were dashed by an enormous cruise ship right in front of me. Here I had 12 oysters, kingfish and honey ice cream washed down by a couple of glasses of Pinot Gris with a Negroni beforehand. This came to £88, expensive but Sydney is – and the Rocks area especially so.

Last night I met up with my second cousin for drinks at Butler, a restaurant in King’s Cross. This was once the red light area but it’s been cleaned up and has many cool restaurants.

Things got off to a bad start as the supercilious barman did not make eye contact to order. As  you know I am very big on greeting and first impressions. We had a update on family issues before my 3 other friends joined us and we went downstairs to the table. The food was shared platters of oysters, barramundi and lamb – all first class and the final bill, with much wine, came to £500 with drinks beforehand. One aspect of all the restaurants except Graze, which was out doors, that I did not like was the loud music played. Personally I do not think loud music generates atmosphere, all it does is make conversation the harder.

My younger cousin is going through marital problems which – at 51 and as a loving mother and dutiful wife – she does not deserve  … you men!!! Must introduce her to Bob!!!!!

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts