Dining at the Australia Hotel

Detail of cover for the full menu for The Hotel Australia, Sydney, circa 1970. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums

Detail of cover for the full menu for The Hotel Australia, Sydney, circa 1970. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums

Currently on show at the Museum of Sydney, ‘Demolished Sydney’ showcases the fate of several of Sydney’s iconic buildings.  For eight decades one of these ruled among the most fashionable places to dine in the country for which it was named – the Australia Hotel. Continue reading

Merry Christmas from the Cook and the Curator!

Blandfordia grandiflora ['Christmas bells']. Detail of a watercolour by Gertrude Lovegrove, c1888. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums

Blandfordia grandiflora ['Christmas bells']. Detail of a watercolour by Gertrude Lovegrove, c1888. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums

For our Christmas card this year we’ve looked to a beautiful exhibition held at the Museum of Sydney: The Artist & the Botanical Collector – The lost works of Lovegrove & Bäuerlen [13 August - 20 November, 2016]. Continue reading

A floral bounty

Holding a favourite collection piece. Detail of photograph (c) Paolo Busato for Sydney living Museums

Holding a favourite collection piece. Detail of photograph (c) Paolo Busato for Sydney living Museums

This weekend is the last chance to see the beautiful exhibition The Artist & the Botanical Collector: The lost works of Lovegrove & Bäuerlen at the Museum of Sydney. It’s inspired me to write about beautiful works of botanic art in our collections, found on a magnificent dessert service. Continue reading

The lotus position

Detail of table setting at the Sydney Living Museums 2013 Governors Ball. Photograph © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Detail of table setting at the Sydney Living Museums 2013 Governors Ball. Photograph © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

In many of our recreated 19th century table settings you’ll see my favourite napkin-fold, the lotus. It may look fiendish, but its actually very straightforward. Why not give it a go? Continue reading

Do try the chow-chow

Ginger and melon jam heading to the table. Photo (c) James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Ginger and melon jam heading to the table. Photo (c) James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Today piles of fresh ginger are everywhere in grocers and supermarkets. In early 19th century Sydney (as with much of the world) your options were restricted to dried, powdered, preserved in sugar or in a zesty marmalade-like mix known as chow-chow. Continue reading