Hello lovely beach cottage ladies!
Well I am logging in away from my old cottage this fine day in the world they call Down Under and continuing my journey with Australia Love…if you have been blogging with me from the early days, you’ll know I have my own hashtag on Australia over on Instagram #abeachcottageAustralialove and that our sea-change to Australia is the best thing we ever did…
You know I thought I loved the Lucky Country a whole lot? Well, that just grew by a million and one.
You see I have been the last couple of days, thanks to the people at Tourism Australia and TQUAL shipped around to see some more of what this special country has to offer…oh the Lucky Country, she sure did not disappoint.
TQUAL is Australia’s sign of quality, love that…bottom line is you can trust that tourist operators have had to meet certain criteria to get accreditation – it’s super easy to find tourist operators too, all you have to do is go to the TQUAL Trip Advisor portal and search on things you’d like to do, safe in the knowledge that whatever you find will have been put through its paces…
So I started my journey travelling by one of the most spectacular modes of transport Sydney has to offer – riding the Manly ferry over to the city past the Opera House and taking in the Harbour Bridge, with Sydney putting on a showstopper of a day of it just for me.
…this trip has been organised by T-Qual and basically we are popping here and there seeing lovely Australian things…
So ready to get into it I checked into a lovely hotel, with the exceptional view you see above – the first stop was The Grand Pullman, sitting right beside the Opera House and facing the Harbour Bridge… with the ferries pulling in and out from the quay out the front cannot really be in much of a better position – it ticked the location box pretty well I believe.
…this hotel offers Sydney Harbour playing at its best and sitting right in the heart of Sydney’s lovely old buildings which I adore.
Monday morning led us to one of Sydney’s fine dining restaurants…by way of celebrity chef Matt Moran, if you don’t know who he is, he’s the one from Masterchef…
Apart from enjoying a gorgeous spot in Sydney, the Aria restaurant, we had to style and present a dish – ‘plating up’ as they say in the business…ladies, I foofed to my heart’s content….guess who does just a little bit of food styling in her spare time and came last in the competition????
….that would be me.
I present you with the losing dish.
Yes there were flowers.
In my dish the lovely Matt Moran who was judging couldn’t see why sea salt was sprinkled on the plate and not just the food…yes I did debate going through with him the intricacies of foofing and how sea salt foofed onto a plate makes life good, but decided that really, I would save my breath…
Up next we headed on over to Mickey’s, another lovely Sydney place and famous in Sydney parts as a bit of a diner, easy food a million miles away from that of the previous establishment and right up my alley.
This is a super place boasting a list of milkshakes to die for and the food wasn’t bad either…good ambiance with hipsters hanging and trendies smoking…
Off next to Sydney Harbour to do some kayaking with the sharks
I love a bit of dabbling with the sharks.
A stunner of a day thank you very much.
We went out on the water with a lovely fellow from Life’s an Adventure, a T-QUAL accredited company who know the know on kayaking. We were in the hands of the owner a lovely guy passionate about Sydney and being out on the water…if you ever make it to Sydney I highly recommend this tour.
I am not fabulous at small boats on water and sharks, but one did have a fabulous time paddling out to Clark Island watching the ferries go by, looking into the beautiful water and seeing the Harbour Bridge from a very different angle – if you fancy doing something like this and have never done it, I’d say bit the bullet and have a go…such a great way to spend some time.
Here is one looking ummm a tad on the apprehensive side
And we finished off here on the rooftop terrace of the Sydney Harbour YHA, yep Sydney does Youth Hostels extremely well, this is a youth hostel with a multi-million dollar view, as is only to be expected of the Lucky Country…we do most things surrounded by Mother Nature’s fine gifts.
Best of all was twilight…
Oh Sydney, girl as the lights go down you rock it my sweet friend.
See you soon Beach Cottage friends, I hope you enjoyed this part of my trip, ummm you won’t guess what I did next, well you might do if you follow me on social media, but there is one thing I did that you won’t know…
The T-QUAL Tick is Australia’s symbol of tourism quality.
When looking for places to stay, something to eat, and things to do, the T-QUAL Tick helps you make more informed choices by identifying Australia’s quality tourism businesses.
What T-QUAL means for you and me : Confidence that your expectations will be met, you can trust high standards & quality experiences, you will gain value for money at your price range and you can relax!