ask Bel about
italian food • mexican food • comedy clubs • rooftop bars • pubs • outlet store • beaches
What do you do and why do you do it?
I need creative outlets, which is why I now work in events and marketing. I am very fortunate to work in a science industry with plenty of quirky personalities to keep each day filled with punny jokes and I thank my lucky stars each day that I get to explore the world and organise events in a european and american city each year.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Broken hearted....? No, no, ain't nobody got time for that. Don't let the bastards get you down. The playlist would be an eclectic mix gee up tracks spanning from Tina Turner to Thundamentals, Red Hot Chili Peppers to The Rubens. Aussie artists are seriously underappreciated, get your Spotify onto The Australian Sound playlist.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Friends, Entourage, RuPaul's Drag Race, Summer Heights High, You Can't Ask That (check it out on ABC iView), Brooklyn Nine-Nine and recently spending many Netflix hours with Peaky Blinders.
Name some spots in Sydney that are good for a Tinder date.
Hands down, The Potting Shed, Alexandria. Perfect first date venue which I have recommended to all my girls. The Potting Shed serves shared dishes and cocktail jugs, you can eat or just drink as much or as little as you like, it is all socially acceptable! The lighting is perfect for ambiance and concealer. Plenty of conversation starters everywhere with with the space filled with gardens, hanging pots, flowers, fairy lights(!) There is even a talking parrot if your date turns out to be too dull. The staff also know when to bugger off or step in with the next wine order. I hope to see none of my past Tinder dates recycling my killer venue
Who’s your hero and where in Sydney would you take them out for a serious hang?
My Dad, he's set the bar so high for what it takes to be a top bloke and an all around legend. He likes bourbon, fishing & family so I'd lease a luxury catamaran or yacht for us all (complete with hospitality staff so Mum doesn't lift a finger) for 4 hours through Sydney Harbour Escapes. You can bring your own snacks and booze and be served while enjoy Sydney's spectacular harbour and small beaches in private decadence.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
I haven't made the full transition into online shopping yet. Working 5 days a week in the corporate world has me chasing bargains at DFO in Homebush, weekends at Macarthur Square in Campbelltown or Pitt Street Mall in CBD after work. I can always find unique local designer pieces on King Street, Newtown. Or if you want a little slice of USA active wear prices, Nike at Birkenhead Point is the best for nabbing a sweet deal on new runners.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Bondi. Bottle neck to get in or out of, beach is filled with drowning tourists (seriously guys, understanding a rip is more useful than knowing how to punch a shark in the nose), also I'm not really into avocado infused kale quinoa so not much need to go there.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Cycling. I'd love to go for a cycle around Centennial Park, however I am quite uncoordinated and would run into a tree or fling myself into lake. I've got the scars to prove cycling isn't my bag baby, can someone else let me know what it is like to spend a sunny morning exploring Centennial Park by two wheels?
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Sydney and where did you get it?
The BBQ Meat Platter at The Eate, Dulwich Hill. This limited time dish was advertised on Facebook and each of the meats fell off their bone. I am drooling on my keyboard just thinking about it.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Sydney that you particularly like?
The SG Bar, CBD. SG stands for Spooning Goats, they're having some trouble getting the actual name approved. Another example of the NSW Government trying to spoil Sydney nightlife (yes, the rumours are true, we have 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks at bars, pubs and clubs in the Sydney CBD). Nevertheless, Spooning Goats have personable staff, great booze, arcade games, Star Wars memorabilia. Scored some points on a first date suggesting this little hole in the wall. Look for the I heart Goats sign.
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Sydney? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
This is a hard question for a bargain hunter. Porteno, Surry Hills. It was my suggestion for a work celebration. Porteno staff are amazing, they set us up with a table of mouth watering meat dishes, paired with just the right wines and side dishes. I wish my dirty backpacker traveller budget would allow me the pleasure of dining here on the regular. Porteno is top knotch amazing and worth the price, A+, 10 stars, with sprinkles on top
What restaurant in Sydney looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
The Goni's Schnitzelria have saved their marketing budget for their massive schnitty's! The venue is a fluorescently lit basement so there is no hiding your shame when inhaling one of their 20 styles of over-sized schnitzels. Actually, I dare you to eat a whole one by yourself, it cannot be done. Goni's is best with friends, or a takeaway container.
Where can you get the best cocktail in Sydney? Which one do you like?
Ryan's Bar in the CBD aka the Dry Cleaners (a great place to pick up a suit) does 2 for 1 cocktails on a Thursday night, their French Martini's are certainly worth ordering in multiples. I think cocktails taste even better when they come at a bargain price!
Where would you take your partner in Sydney if you wanted to really pamper them?
To the bedroom! Wheeeyyyyyy. And then all you can eat Yum Cha.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Vegemite, Tim Tams, Pavlova, Milo, Caramello Koalas. I actually think that Sydney does Thai food better than Thailand (Thai Pothong, Newtown)
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Sydney?
The Ivy. Very pretentious and full of contoured & cleavaged 18 year olds or coked up blokes looking for contoured & cleavaged 18 year olds. I'll take a hard pass.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Sydney?
Balmain. It is a spectacular little suburb with plenty of Old Sydney Pubs, great restaurants, quiet grassy parks and connected to the CBD via a relaxing ferry ride.
What are the Sydney spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
The Coogee to Bondi coastal walk bypasses some of the best beaches and views Sydney has to offer. I suggest looping back around and finishing in Coogee for lunch or a swim. There is a sea of sexy surfers to perve at along the way too.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Sydney. How do you spend it?
With family at Mum and Dad's house. I've seen a lot of what Sydney has to offer but there is only one place that I couldn't leave Sydney without visiting one last time.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Amsterdam has my heart. Each of my four visits have been filled with wonderful memories. Airbnb is the best way to go, I booked a funky artist loft on my last visit and spent my mornings basking in the sun atop of the roof looking over the canals and listening to church bells. In the arvos I enjoy blazing in Coffee Shops and then wandering up and down Leidsestraat tasting cheeses, viewing tulips at the flower market and buying lingerie & gifts to surprise future Bel with.