13 images

The former county Clare pub and Carlton & United Breweries building meet at the new lobby


1/13

The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney in pictures

Hip yet hospitable, both contemporary and classic, Sydney's hottest new hotel, The Old Clare, places its guests in the thick of the city's action.

For a city that otherwise punches so far above its weight in hospitality, Sydney is home to surprisingly few hip hotels - which makes the arrival of The Old Clare Hotel all the more welcome. A designer hotel in the living heart of the city, it's a property envisioned with ambition and realised with verve. It's quirky without being twee, modern without being cold, and put together in a way that sees aesthetics complement comfort. Best of all, perhaps, it's the sort of hotel that can be enjoyed by Sydneysiders as much as their guests - a gleaming addition to a quarter of the city that's on the up.

You have to give it to Loh Lik Peng. In the four years since the project got under way, Chippendale, the Singapore-based hotelier's neighbourhood of choice, has gone from being an inner-urban dead-zone to one of the most talked-about parts of town. Loh knows Sydney well, and he likes Chippendale because it puts guests in the thick of things. "I just wanted to be part of this scene. The real grittiness and energy of the area was exactly right for the type of hotel I love to do," he says. "We build them to be a part of the neighbourhood, and so have their own sense of place."

Structurally the hotel comprises The County Clare, a pub built in 1940, and the older former administration building for Carlton & United Breweries (and the old Kent brewery before that), which have been linked with glass by architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, forming a lobby decorated on high with vertigo-inducing scraps of old fire escape stairs. "The building had so much character with the brick, huge windows and steel," says Loh. The pub's old poker-machine room is now the reception, its bar is still a bar, and the 62 rooms are spread across four levels of the larger building.

Read more about The Old Clare Hotel here

Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 25th June, 2017 and receive a Laguiole cheese knife set!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

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. 

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.

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.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

more collections

Email your friend

Send this link to your friend or yourself via email.

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×