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Attica chef Ben Shewry has been thinking about your buttocks, and wants to introduce them to an Australian design classic.
Charleston, the antebellum jewel of the Carolina coast, has embraced its Lowcountry roots, writes Shane Mitchell, and now shines anew.
Our June issue is out now, and it's all about breakfast. Pat Nourse kicks things off with his editor's letter.
Andrew McConnell’s Cantonese-inspired restaurant will become a classroom for a night during the Emerging Writers’ Festival.
A bloody good dinner for a bloody good cause.
An ambitious, brand new regional hotel has been awarded not one but three top accolades this year.
Andrew McConnell’s yakitori, buns, dumplings and lobster rolls head south of the river.
Sydney’s favourite whisky bar makes a rare overground appearance at a pop-up on Pitt Street Mall.
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 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 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.
Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.
No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.
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.
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.
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.
To be on the set of Russell Crowe's directorial début is to
journey back a century to bustling Constantinople, writes the
movie's co-creator Andrew Anastasios.
In the film The Water Diviner, Russell Crowe reads a story from the Arabian Nights about a prince and his enchanted carpet. Anyone who sits on this carpet is miraculously transported wherever they most desire. It feels like that has just happened to me.
I have been to Istanbul many times during the past 20 years - as an archaeologist, a tourist, a travel writer, a bridegroom and now as a screenwriter and executive producer. I'm on a magical tour of Turkey to see The Water Diviner being shot, a film I have co-written with Andrew Knight. Standing on set, it's quite surreal to see scenes that for so long have existed only on a page or in my imagination suddenly spring to life before me.
In Istanbul, it never takes much to catapult you into the past. Today it's 1919 in Constantinople. The Great War has ended and the British have occupied the city. I'm watching as Russell runs frantically through a marketplace, chasing a Turkish boy who has his suitcase. It's my first day on location in Balat, a traditional Jewish quarter on the European side of Istanbul renowned for its Ottoman terrace homes.
Chris Kennedy, the film's production designer, and his team have transformed this intersection of narrow streets into a bustling marketplace with a fishmonger, fruit sellers, a metalworker and a café. It's so authentic that an old lady meanders down the hill and tries to buy a watermelon. Balat locals hang out of windows and crane over their precarious balconies to catch a glimpse of Russell and Olga Kurylenko, who plays Ayshe, a Turkish hotel owner.
They are equally excited to spot Cem Yilmaz, who is Turkish cinema royalty, playing belligerent Turkish soldier Jemal. As a gauge of his popularity, Cem has more than seven million Twitter followers.
Cem brings honey-soaked baklava to the set, handing it out with
jokes and generous smiles. He confirms the famous Turkish
hospitality and goodwill between our countries, despite the fact
that a century ago Australians and New Zealanders invaded the
coast. When I first met Cem, he told me how excited he was to be
working on a film that tells the Turkish side of the Gallipoli
story, too. The Turks regard Gallipoli as the birthplace of the
modern Turkish state.
The film tells the tale of an Australian farmer, Connor, played by Russell, who travels to Gallipoli after the war looking for the bodies of his sons. A tour of the battlefields a century on is an extremely moving experience. Trenches are still visible and row after forlorn row of graves remind visitors of the scale of the loss for both sides. Our script is, in part, an exploration of the common grief and part love letter to Turkey.
The next day in Istanbul, I stand near the gates of the Blue Mosque and recall the first time Andrew Knight and I met in Turkey 15 years ago. He looked up at the soaring minarets and the magnificent dome and said dryly, "So, is there much to see around here?" I knew immediately we would be friends.
When we were penning The Water Diviner we had a wish-list of locations, some so outlandishly ambitious we knew we'd have to write them out in later drafts. Top of the list was the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, more commonly known as the Blue Mosque. No building says Istanbul like it. It dominates the skyline as one of the city's most identifiable and inspiring buildings, completed in 1616 to rival the nearby Christian edifice of Ayasofya. Andrew and I liked the idea of Russell's character coming from a small outback town with a creaky wooden church and being confronted with this magnificent symbol of religious might.
The film is Russell's directing début. Emboldened and undeterred, he goes straight to the top and meets with Turkey's Minister for Culture and Tourism, Ömer Çelik, to ask for permission to film inside the mosque. Again Turkish hospitality is extended and today the Blue Mosque is closed for us for three hours. Russell and Dylan Georgiades, who plays Orhan, a Turkish boy who befriends Connor, are standing before an ocean of lush carpets, marvelling at the ceiling. Director of photography Andrew Lesnie sets the shot under the breathtaking blue dome while crew bustle about, enlivened by the uniqueness of this moment.
In the sizzling summer, the Stamboulis make a beeline for the Aegean coast and the city slows to a Mediterranean amble. When the sun begins to bite, I like to go underground, literally. It is not summer now, but Yerebatan Sarayi, the Sunken Palace, is still one of my favourite places in the city. I enter a prosaic booth at street level and descend a flight of stairs into one of the few remaining Byzantine cisterns that serviced ancient Constantinople. I plunge into a low-lit forest of columns surrounded by water, as spectacular as it is cool. In this tranquil world, rippling water replaces the chorus of beeping taxis and tour-bus air brakes above. One of my enduring film memories of Istanbul is James Bond rowing across this cistern in From Russia with Love. Andrew and I had this tranquil vault front of mind, imagining it in the early 20th century. Part of it was recreated in Sydney's Fox Studios.
Early mornings, the Marmara Pera hotel in Tepeba is abuzz as the cast and crew hover over the breakfast buffet and pass around the papers. The Turkish press have been following Russell and the production around since the beginning of the shoot. From the wedding-cake Haydarpaa Terminal in Kadköy to the gates of Topkapi Palace, not a day has passed without the good-humoured local paparazzi finding some inventive way to sneak a shot or two.
Papers under my arm, I take a walk with my wife Meaghan for coffee at the Buyuk Londra Hotel. Built in the late 19th century, it was the inspiration for the hotel where Connor stays when he arrives. Andrew and I have stayed many times, climbing the same grand staircase Ernest Hemingway once climbed, talking to the swearing parrot and gazing over the Golden Horn. In our script we conjured it as a post-war hotel, its glory years behind it, carpets and curtains fading with the spirits of its owners. The Londra has been recently updated but the warm reception and quirky artefacts in the foyer and salon remain.
Two days later we're in Fethiye on the Aegean coast. Russell's yacht bobs in the harbour where Alexander the Great once moored. Fethiye is a bustling tourist hub in summer but is just coming out of hibernation when the crew arrives. This district is a location scout's dream. Our script calls for a Roman theatre, a hilltop Turkish village, a ruined church and a fortress wall. Miraculously, production found them all within striking distance of Fethiye, in the abandoned village of Kayaköy and ancient ruins of Tlos.
Meaghan and I stay near Kayaköy in a restored stone farmhouse owned by local personality Ali Gürsoy. We discovered his genial place two years ago, on a literary pilgrimage to this abandoned Greek village that inspired Louis de Bernières' novel Birds Without Wings. During the forced population exchanges between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s, the Greeks of Kayaköy, or Livissi as it was known then, were relocated and the town never resettled. Hundreds of forlorn homes slowly crumble into the hillside.
As I approach the location base, I'm transported back 100 years. Costume designer Tess Schofield has meticulously researched the Turkish clothing and uniforms of the early 20th century, adding her own flair, and I'm mesmerised by the rich parade. A band of snarling bearded men in black wheel a cannon towards me. An old man wielding an antique rifle gives me a toothless smile. A troupe of dervishes in unfeasibly tall hats and flared skirts scuttles by. There is a rumble and canned smoke billows from the ruins. There is a battle brewing. Russell and Yilmaz Erdogan, who plays a Turkish officer, charge past on horseback rehearsing for the next scene. For a brief week The Water Diviner breathes life into the ghost town.
I return to Istanbul at the end of the three-week shoot, weary but exhilarated. Having been enchanted by Turkey for so long, it's been exciting to see the threads of our countries' shared history being woven into our film and to revisit the places that are central to the story. If I had that magic carpet I would wish my way to opening night to see the story come alive.
The Water Diviner opens nationally on Boxing Day.
There are one-stop flights from Sydney to Istanbul on carriers including Etihad, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Emirates.
Cast and crew enjoyed the spectacular views and some of Istanbul's finest modern Anatolian food at Mikla, on the hotel's top floor. Asmal Mescit Mh., Merutiyet Cd No: 93, 34430 Tepeba, Istanbul
Buyuk Londra Hotel
Also known as the Grand Hotel de Londres, this is a favourite of The Water Diviner writers and their families for its old-world charm and welcoming staff.
Merutiyet Cd No: 53, 34430 Beyolu, Istanbul
This beautiful 200-year-old farmhouse has been restored and converted into six self-contained apartments in Kayaköy village, about 12 kilometres from Fethiye. Contact owner Ali Gürsoy: email@example.com
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