The Old Clare's Rooftop Pool and Bar is a recent arrival on Sydney's elevated bar scene. Photo: Nikki To
Sydney's spate of elevated bar launches continues, with Brigade Rooftop due to open at Woollahra's Light Brigade Hotel in April. The Old Clare's Rooftop Pool and Bar (pictured) is another recent arrival, but be warned – once the sun disappears behind the neighbouring greenery-clad Central Park building, it can get a tad chilly. That doesn't stop punters taking off their shoes to paddle in the water (if you like an audience, you can bring a cossie and dive right in). The cocktail list is short but interesting, such as the fizzy but subtle Strawberry Earl Grey, with earl grey vodka and strawberry shrub. Murray's Rude Boy pilsner comes by the half-pint, and the bottled beer is an all-Australian line-up. Eats-wise, get there early for the pork scratchings, but if they've run out, go the squid ink crackers, which resemble an astounding edible black lava flow, with a trout roe dip like frothy taramasalata. The sourdough flatbread, also known as a small pizza, arrives in its own pizza box; the pulled lamb with pesto and Jersey milk ricotta gets the thumbs up. Apart from having to negotiate the slowest lifts this end of the universe, and not quite enough seating, this is a spot to tuck away in your mind for sooner or later. Take a cardie. 1 Kensington Street, Chippendale, 8277 8277, theoldclarehotel.com.au.
The bar tucked away downstairs at the Eternity Playhouse is a choice spot for a quiet drink. Photo: Brett Boardman
Less exposed is the bar tucked away downstairs in the Eternity Playhouse (pictured), the beautiful former Burton Street Tabernacle converted into the home of Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Even if you're not theatrically inclined, it's a choice spot for a quiet drink with a brief but appealing food menu by Two Trouts, the people from popular Glebe cafe In the Annex. Dishes run from house-smoked ocean trout to slow-braised beef rib and chocolate hazelnut ganache tart. It's not often a root vegetable gets a starring role, but the carrot medley is a wildly constructed and delicious bowl of grilled mini heirloom carrots with crispy chickpeas, dukkah and glowing orange carrot puree. The restaurant is open the nights a play is on. The Pride is in the theatre upstairs now, and it's a terrific show. Grab a ticket before it closes on March 6. 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst, 8356 9987, darlinghursttheatre.com.
If you fancy a trip to your favourite NSW vineyard this weekend, head to Hyde Park, where winemakers from across the state have gathered for the annual Sydney Cellar Door, sponsored by this very publication. Hunter Valley, Orange and Mudgee have the most representatives, but smaller wine regions are showing off their grapes too. On food duty are Sydney types Porteno, Bloodwood and Papermill, The Castello Cheese Bar matching wines with free cheese, as well as regional names like Baxter and Bird making buttermilk hotcakes, and Greentrees Gourmet Preserves selling edible souvenirs to take home (pictured). February 27-28, Hyde Park South, city, free entry, sydneycellardoor.com.au.
Edible terrariums by Eclairisse Patisserie.
Graphic designer by day and French-trained pastry whiz by night and weekend, Shi Wah Tse has always loved terrariums, the compact gardens in a glass bowl. She has created an edible version, with dinky little hand-made fondant animals, flowers and mushrooms. This version (pictured) has a green tea matcha powder meadow, dusted over a base of chocolate marshmallow, roasted hazelnuts, macadamias, soft salted caramel and dark chocolate ganache. Which presents an agonising dilemma. How can you resist digging down to find this treasure, but how can you destroy such an adorable scene? If you're up to this challenge, you can buy them from Tse's Eclairisse Patisserie website, and admire her other too-good-to-eat-but-how-to-resist creations. Or you can meet her in person at next Sunday's Brewery Yard Markets at Central Park, Chippendale. See eclairiss.com.au.
Here's one for the diary on March 12. Africulture celebrates Sydney's diverse and vibrant African cultures with a day of food, music and fun, including a soccer tournament, fashion parade, drumming and dance workshops and children's activities. The Nile Food Court has dishes from Senegal to South Sudan, Kenya to the Carribean, as well as coffee by Djebena (pictured), an Ethiopian Fair Trade enterprise. Last year, 38 of the continent's countries were represented and this, the festival's eighth year, will be bigger as the event moves to a more expansive venue in Lidcombe, easy to access by bus and train as well as car. As festival director Fatma Mohamed says, "a trip to Western Sydney is a lot closer than a trip to Africa". March 12, 11am-6pm, Wyatt Park, Church Street, Lidcombe, africultures.com.au.