After a feral 26-hour slug from New York to Sydney, I’ve finally made it back to Australia. And despite the slurring, cranky-eyed haze of jet lag, it’s been fantastic to see friends and more friends and enjoy the beautiful, gorgeous Bondi… cold chill and rain. What the? Oh well, at least I missed the dust storms.
OK, so my excitement of leaving a cooling-down New York in autumn for the summer-yearning excitement of Sydney spring hasn’t exactly materialised yet. Still, there are other things to warm the cockles. Maybe a celeb-studded opening party at a new Bondi bar? Why not?
Just as I was packing my bags back in Hoboken, the folks at Ravesi’s were kind enough to welcome me home by inviting me to the launch of their new wine bar at the beach-facing Bondi hotspot. I’d already leapt into Sydney life with yoga at Dharma Shala and a chilly swim at North Sydney pool, so a bit of tipple and schmoozing by the beach seemed about right – all good things come in threes, of course.
I’ve always preferred the more stylish Drift cocktail bar upstairs at Ravesi’s to backpackers gazing out from the window-laden ‘fishbowl’ at street level, so having a wine and tapas option to complement Drift was good news to my ears, and palate. Besides, I won’t have to always fight for a scarce seat at The Shop wine bar on Curlewis Street.
Ravesi’s wine bar has much of the same appeal as Drift: a social crowd that’s a bit more chilled and refined, and the opportunity to stretch out at balcony tables overlooking Hall Street and the cornering views of the Tasman Sea. The focus of the bar is on Italian vino, but there are less-common gems to enjoy, like the Argentinean malbec I coddled for a while. Either way, the best bit is grabbing a glass, staking out some turf on the balcony and watching the surfers and beacheratti below go by. That’s Bondi living for ya.
The opening night kicked off with a VIP degustation dinner that was unexpectedly (to me, at least) stacked with TV personalities. There was a quick drink with The Castle’s Michael Caton on the balcony before we all decided it was too chilly outside. Bondi Vet Chris Brown (man, that dude’s tall) arrived with Packed to the Rafters‘ stunner Jessica McNamee, and told me she had bought him his cool Zara coat that look like a modernised London Fog jacket. I also got to say hi to the equally stunning Sarah Wilson, who I first met during my crash-and-burn attempt in Melbourne to make it onto Masterchef.
Wow, name-dropping feels good! Ok, I’ll keep going. Well, apparently the talk of the night was that fashion designer Wayne Cooper had shown up newly reunited with his ex-wife, while his previously younger, model ex-girlfriend had shown up with her new boy-toy as well. Sadly, there was no catfight, but there was much whispering. I’m sure you’ll read about the details in the Sunday Tele goss pages any day now.
All right, I’ve had my 15 milliseconds of fame. It’s back to priorities. Food. Wine. Beach. Now all I need is a bit of sun and warmth. Even so, it feels great to be home, and I can’t wait to enjoy the spoils of being back in town and also enjoying this month’s Sydney International Food Fest. Bring it on.
Ravesi’s Wine Bar
Cnr Campbell Pde & Hall St, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
+61 (02) 9365 4422