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Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Meet your maker: Anekka

Clockwise from above: white and black Hoed bowls, white Maan bowl (overturned), nude Tulip cups, nude Melk vase and black Maan bowls.

Clockwise from above: white and black Hoed bowls, white Maan bowl (overturned), nude Tulip cups, nude Melk vase and black Maan bowls.

Simple matte and gloss-finished table settings celebrate understated elegance.

Over a long lunch in 2014, Sydney artist and Lantern book designer Evi O and her business partner Pamela Sarly put their heads together on Anekka, a collection of modern homewares with a global outlook. Anekka pieces are designed in Sydney, the material sourced from Japan, and the final products individually handcrafted in Surabaya, Indonesia. It sounds complicated, but the outcome is beautifully simple. Wide-lipped plates, oversized sake cups and vases that double as jugs come in peachy sherbet, navy, black and white, and always let your food or flowers shine.

What does Anekka mean, Evi?
It was adopted from the word "aneka" which means "variety" in Indonesia. We aspire to create a variety of beautiful homewares over time. Ceramics are just the beginning.

How do you describe the Anekka philosophy, Pamela?
One of simplicity. Every feature of a product, including texture, is based on a reason or a requirement. Life is complicated, so let's make other things in life simple.

There's a beautiful uniformity to the wares. Is that intentional?
Our products are all individually handmade. They might look like they're made out of a machine, but it's actually us being really strict on shapes and finishes to make it as perfect as possible. There's a real sophistication in minimal lines and forms.

Anekka, from $22, anekka.com

Styled by Aimee Jones

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