The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -


The Cof­fee Guide: Syd­ney 2008 (Guide En­ter­prises, $16.95) RATHER than just a list of good cafes with great at­mos­phere and flash clien­tele, this is a guide for those who seek the holy grind. All the clever paint ef­fects and groovy at­mos­phere in the world don’t amount to a hill of cof­fee beans if the qual­ity of the es­presso doesn’t stack up. One hun­dred and fifty Syd­ney es­tab­lish­ments have been rated out of 25 for cof­fee and a fur­ther 25 for venue. A five-bean rat­ing is the ul­ti­mate ac­co­lade: among those in this top cat­e­gory are Grind Es­presso in the beach sub­urb of Cronulla, Bar Fresko at Rock­dale in Syd­ney’s south and, within a latte’s splash of TheAus­tralian ’ s Syd­ney bureau, Sin­gle Ori­gin Roast­ers in Surry Hill. There is a Melbourne guide, too; caf­feine ad­dicts can buy the books and nom­i­nate their faves for fu­ture edi­tions at: www.the­cof­feeguide.com.au. Susan Kuro­sawa Gre­gory’s Un­cov­ered In­ner City Map Guides (Uni­ver­sal, $9.95) TRAV­ELLERS don’t need a glove box or back­pack to stow this se­ries of maps to Aus­tralia’s cap­i­tal cities and top re­gional cen­tres. Each about the size of an en­ve­lope, the maps flip open in a cou­ple of quick move­ments to a very man­age­able size. On one side is a de­tailed map of the city and in­ner-sub­ur­ban precinct and, on the re­verse, are the co-or­di­nate ref­er­ences to se­lected ac­com­mo­da­tion and sug­gested tourist sights. A fur­ther star­burst fold con­tains a de­tailed map of the re­spec­tive CBDs. So far in the well-priced se­ries: Ade­laide, Bris­bane, Syd­ney, Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast. The con­cept is all very stream­lined and sim­ple and, best of all, users don’t need a de­gree in origami to fold it all away. Alexandra James


The Slow Guide: Melbourne By Martin Hughes and oth­ers (Af­firm Press, $29.95) IT may have guide in the ti­tle, but don’t think of this as a hand­book for trav­ellers. In­stead it’s de­signed to help lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike chill out, ap­pre­ci­ate na­ture, his­tory and com­mu­nity or sim­ply take a sea change with­out leav­ing town. You won’t find di­rec­tions to lead­ing land­marks, travel maps or trans­port in­for­ma­tion. In­stead there’s ad­vice on un­usual places to go and things to do, such as where to get a great view of a thun­der­storm, find an­cient cor­ro­boree trees, savour si­lence in the CBD, en­joy the best ge­lato, join a free laugh­ing class, view vi­brant arts and ar­chi­tec­ture or source lo­cally pro­duced nat­u­ral ther­a­pies. Slow Guides to Melbourne and Syd­ney have been re­leased si­mul­ta­ne­ously and with the tagline of ‘‘ live more, fret less’’, they’re a nifty ad­di­tion to travel book­shelves. www.slowguides.com.au. Sharon Fowler


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