Tag Archives: review

“Mm, I love scotch. I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down. Down into my belly. Mm-mm-mm.” Will Ferrell

 I got invited by the lovely guys at Eau De Vie to attend their first Johnnie Walker tasting night event of the year. Now I’m not usually a big fan of Scotch, I have to be honest. I figured I’d give it a shot, if nothing else I could review it as a great gift for the blokes in the relationship thingy types (forget what they’re called) out there.

Now let me start with the venue, it’s simply a very classy, uber cool establishment – it has character, atmosphere and the most amazing drink selection you’ve ever seen. Deep mahogany tones (a lot of Anchorman type reference here), leather seats and 1940’s style design ooze glamour and sophistication.  With this in mind however, the mixture of clientele only proves how it is a ‘one-size fits all’ kinda place – Gentlemen who drink scotch on the rocks. Ladies who lunch with a cosmopolitan and guys who want their rum and coke (or shock horror – a schooner) it has it all.

It’s located at the very back of the Kirketon Hotel with no signage out front. Cue driving around in a taxi – not helped by the fact that the numbers go up on one side of the road, and down on the other – not confusing, not confusing at all!! Grrrrr

Once you manage to locate the place however it is well worth it, I like to call it escapism at its best – your transported into a pre world war, high society, Manhattan type bar.

The stunning bar

We didn’t have time to get a pre-tasting session drink as we were late (due to the street number fiasco!). We were ushered into the tasting room – decedent space lined with every kind of whisky you can imagine. The room holds about 25 people and we all sat around the edges of the room. At the front of the room is James, a cocktail/ Johnnie Walker connoisseur. He owns Grandma’s Bar – a venue I hope to frequent soon!


The tables are lined with bottles for smelling the scotch, glasses for tasting the scotch and food to eat with the scotch.

We’re walked through the history of Johnnie Walker and other whiskey from around the world – Japanese, Irish, Canadian and American. Suffice to say, me and the lovely Georgia didn’t fair to well on any of the taste tests.

I did however get a gold star and a pat on the back (performed by myself as only cool people do) when I correctly pointed out that the reason they fill the ice with glass for ‘Scotch on the rocks’ is so that the ice doesn’t melt as fast! (I learned this during my cocktail bar tending days in Manchester – good times.)

Another shining moment – that saw James asking what you’re meant to do with Scotch – a guy shouted out “to be drunk!” to which Georgia shouted: “Just like me!” he he. We also agreed that we are in fact ‘on the rocks’ kinda girls. Quite a revelation!

I won’t spoil the whole tasting session for you, otherwise you won’t need to go will you, but let me tell you, it is the IDEAL Valentine’s gift for your other half.

At the end of the tasting session we were welcomed into the bar to sample some Johnnie Walker cocktails – yum!

Def go check it out for yourself! You won’t be disappointed!

Address 229 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, 9357 2470 Open Mon-Sun, 6pm-1am

 For full venue listings and ticket information, visit www.johnniewalker.com.au.

How very swish, my first ever bar review – The Island Bar – Cockatoo Island

So working in PR daahhrrrllliiinnggggg I’m used to being the one that organises the event and get the cool media types to attend. I have also been guilty of engaging food/ mummy/ fashion bloggers to come along too. So as I’m sure you can appreciate it’s nice to be on the other side of a media launch event for once.

More than anything else I appreciate the hard work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’, so it was with a gracious attitude that I attend the official media launch, the launch of The Island Bar – Cockatoo Island. (More images to follow shortly)

The invite explained that water taxis would transfer us to the venue at 5:45pm and 6:00pm, as I have a day job it was the latter for me! Now as I hail from faraway shores, the water taxi in itself was somewhat of an experience for me as much as the event! (Well not as much, but still exciting non-the-less!)

The journey took us past the opulent Opera House at dusk and under the stunning Sydney Harbour Bridge, quite the scenic route indeed!

The journey was short but sweet, about five minutes. We arrived at Cockatoo Island to see the bar in all its glory. Quirky industrial machinery is peppered around the site, which is somewhat eerie, partly due to its history and partly due to how quiet it is. You would never believe that you were just a short boat ride from the heart of Sydney, or for that matter on the site of a former imperial prison!

Cockatoo Island is the largest island in Sydney Harbour and is located at the junction of the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers. It is the site of one of Australia’s biggest shipyards during the twentieth century. The first of its two dry docks was built by convicts and was completed in 1857.

As you approach the bar you can see three shipping containers that have been transformed to create a venue like I’ve never seen before. A bar with two levels, two hanging egg chairs and fully trained mixologists no less!

Outside the views of the harbour are breathtaking, the Sydney Harbour bridge is in the distance along with the iconic Sydney skyline on the horizon. The astro turf at the back of the bar adds a cool are deco twist, along with the deck chairs and parasols aplenty to take in the view. The ecliptic mixture of an amazing space, tasty cocktails, beautiful people and soulful music performed by local Sydney band Kinetic Method (highly recommended!), they certainly ensured that they’d dotted all their Is and crossed all of their Ts.

The concept for the venue came about by renowned Sydney mixologist the charismatic Marco Faraone, of Bacco in Chifley Plaza and formerly Lotus in Potts Point. The bar definitely lives up to the calibre of his previous ventures – fun, relaxed and with the best quality drinks and food.

Signature cocktails and drinks were served by the beautiful bar staff that were just perfect for ‘aperitivo’- as we all watched the sun go down over Sydney with a perfectly blended drink and an Italian accented snack.

The drinks, ahhhh the lovely drinks… what can I say… here goes: the cocktails were inspired by some of the finest brands around and definitely weren’t shy when it came to the measures: signature cocktails were available by Campari, Sauza tequila, Russian Standard Vodka, Hendrick’s Gin, Maker’s Mark and Mount Gay rum ( personal fave of mine – can’t go wrong with a Mount Gay, Diet Coke and a generous squeeze of lime!). Peroni and Grolsch beers were also on tap along with Jacob’s Creek and Brancott Estate wines.

If you fancy attending The Island Bar, it will be open every day and entry to the UNESCO World Heritage listed island is free. Transport is easy too (and a LOT of fun in my opinion – did I mention you go under the harbour bridge?!) with regular ferry services, getting you from the heart of the city at Circular Quay to the Island in 12 minutes.

A rolling calendar of exciting events will take place at The Island Bar each week, including:

  • Sunday Bloody Mary sessions
  • Mastering the Margarita with Jason Crawley
  • Croquet & Bocce (Italian bowls) competitions
  • Laid back summer tunes throughout the day with intimate live acoustic acts
  • Public events: New Years Eve and Australia Day festivities.

 With its relaxed bar vibe, fantastic views and professional team of bartenders, The Island Bar on Cockatoo Island is sure to become the destination venue for Sydney Summer.

More info if you wish to frequent:

About The Island Bar on Cockatoo Island

 Opening Hours:  December 11th – April 10th

                              11am to 9pm, Monday – Thursday

                              9 am – 9pm Friday – Sunday

Cost:                      Entry is free; large range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and ‘aperitivo- style’ food

Transport               Regular public ferry service 7 days a week gets you to Cockatoo Island from Circular Quay in 12 minutes; ferry services also from Woolwich/Greenwich, Balmain/Birchgrove

Water taxis are available

Marina for private boats to dock for two hours at Cockatoo Island

 For more information go to www.cockatooisland.gov.au or visit www.theislandbar.com.au