The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

ENGLISH-BORN chef Sean Con­nolly is at the helm of As­tral restau­rant in Syd­ney; he has also worked aboard QE2 and at 25th Floor at the then Syd­ney Boule­vard Ho­tel and Gekko at Syd­ney’s Sher­a­ton on the Park. He was awarded Vit­to­ria Cof­fee Chef by TheSyd­ney Morn­ingHer­ald ’ s Good Food Guide 2008. Con­nolly trav­els to Eng­land ev­ery 18 months to check out new restau­rants while stay­ing with fam­ily in Lon­don.­tral­restau­ PORT STEPHENS, NSW Ev­ery year the fam­ily goes camp­ing at Port Stephens on the lower north coast of NSW. Af­ter work­ing 70 hours a week, I love to hang for three weeks at the height of sum­mer with Jo, El­iza, Kiera and Toby. We camp at Hal­i­fax Hol­i­day Park, on one side of which is Lit­tle Beach where the kids play, and on the other side is Big Beach, which has to be one of the world’s most beau­ti­ful. www.port­ I AL­WAYS PACK I take my es­presso ma­chine when we go camp­ing; it is the one thing I can’t do with­out. A lot of peo­ple on the camp­site can’t be­lieve it; as it’s a touch glam­orous to make es­pres­sos out­doors, we call it ‘‘ glamp­ing’’. Sharon Fowler SPACE FURNITURE, SYD­NEY I spend a lot of time re­search­ing for the restau­rant, look­ing at con­tain­ers, serv­ing dishes, crock­ery and glass­ware. Space has some beau­ti­ful home­wares and I’ve re­cently pur­chased a life-size horse lamp and some burnt-wood chairs by Mooi, which are gor­geous ad­di­tions to As­tral’s lobby.­fur­ni­ ARTHUR GALAN, MELBOURNE Melbourne-based Arthur Galan also has a cou­ple of stores in Syd­ney. He al­ways has fab­u­lous shirts and the cut of his suits is per­fect for me. I never shop in Europe; I just head to his Padding­ton store.­cloth­ OR­SON & BLAKE, WOOL­LAHRA I like to buy gor­geous pot­tery and beau­ti­ful trin­kets for my home and the restau­rant from Or­son & Blake in Queen Street. www.or­so­nand­ HO­TEL GAN­SEVOORT, NEW YORK This 187-room bou­tique ho­tel is in the Meat Pack­ing dis­trict, which has to be one of the hippest places in the world; it’s sur­rounded by some of New York’s hottest restau­rants. www.hotel­gan­ THE FAT DUCK, BRAY, ENG­LAND I re­cently dined at the Fat Duck with my wife, Jo, and it was fan­tas­tic. He­ston Blu­men­thal is renowned for his in­ter­est­ing cui­sine, though don’t call it molec­u­lar gas­tron­omy, as this phrase is frowned on th­ese days. My favourite is his so-called Sound of Sea, a col­lec­tion of seafood served with a side or­der of a mini iPod hid­den in a large shell. Place the head­phones in your ears and lis­ten to the waves crash­ing on the rocks and seag­ulls squawk­ing as you eat your cock­les and win­kles. EN­TER­TAIN­MENT QUAR­TER, MOORE PARK, SYD­NEY With movies, ten­pin bowl­ing and or­ganic mar­kets, this precinct on the city’s east­ern fringe has ev­ery­thing to en­ter­tain my whole fam­ily. www.eq­

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