Tucked away in bushland north of Sydney, along the Hawkesbury River, and accessible only by water, this restaurant has been an icon of the Sydney food scene for a very long time under the guidance of Gay Bilson originally and until 1995, and since 2007 by Dietmar Sawyere of Forty One fame. (I had a chance to dine there about 10 years ago and thought that was the best meal I had in Australia at that time...).
During Gay Bilson tenure, my wife and her Australian business partner sent hundreds of high profile French corporate clients to BWI and they all raved about it. But until now, none of us had a chance to experience the place first hand: c'est chose faite maintenant!
I took our 24th wedding anniversary as an excuse to surprise my wife with lunch at this amazing place:
Rebuilt years ago under the baton of Glenn Murcutt (who I have the privilege to know well and work with) and refitted recently by Koskela Design, the place strives on a 27deg summer day, cooled by a strong breeze coming through the smart glass louvres covering the entire facade. The decor breathes a kind of understated elegance of light leather and Australian timber. The 4kms drive down to the Hawkesbury river is magnificent and then, you have the added bonus of a short ferry ride to the restaurant. You could choose to come by seaplane and have it parked just it front of the building, or come with your own boat...
Then, you can sit down confortably, and design your own degustation menu from a dozen or so courses, sipping a glass of French Champagne, and browsing through the extensive wine list, until you find the perfect match...Heaven on Earth!
You can read my full review on our "restaurant" page.
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Wines from the Canberra Region
Just added my tasting and travel notes from a recent trip in and around the Australian Capital, Canberra. This spectacular region, with a cooler climate, has a variety of vineyards in a 50-100kms radius from Canberra.
Find my own view of Lark Hill, Yass Valley Wines, Clonakilla wineries and more to come...
I will soon post an "Ode to Canberra", as a tribute to a city that most Australians would rate as "boring" but that I actually find captivating. Stay tuned!
Bonne Annee 2011!
After a summer/Christmas break, I thought we should start the year with a Bang! and a photo of the famous NYE fireworks in Sydney...We celebrated in style with some very good friends at Nick's Bar & Grill at King Street Wharf around a couple of seafood platters and some bottles of NZ Sauvignon Blanc, in this case (no, we didn't drink a case of it...) a Wither Hills 2010, probably a bit too young to my liking, as it tends to gain a lovely creaminess with age, but there is very little left of the previous vintages, in part due to my own addiction to that particular vineyard...(ouf, that was a very long sentence, wasn't it?).
Talking about wine, we had the chance to taste a particularly wide array of styles and origins over what the Aussies call the "crazy season", and thought it would make a perfect first entry for 2011. Read my tasting notes here on our "Wine" page.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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