The February issue

Our March issue is out now. Welcome autumn with blood plum galettes, make the most of apricot season and more.

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Fig recipes

Figs. We can't get enough of them. Here are a few sweet and savoury ways to add them to your summer spread.

Australia's best rieslings

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Top Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2017

A lot has changed since we first published our pick of the best chefs to follow on Instagram (way back in the dark ages of 2013). Here’s who we’re double-tapping on the photo-sharing app right now.

Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Christine Manfield recipes

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Sleep in a Grampians olive grove this autumn

Under Sky are popping up with a luxe camping hotel experience at Mount Zero Olives this April.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

Atura Blacktown

A new brand aimed at savvy business travellers shows cutting-edge flair in its flagship hotel in Sydney.

The nation's campaigning politicians weren't the only ones paying attention to western Sydney late last year. Soon after the Federal election, the 122-room Atura Blacktown opened, the first property in a new hotel brand by Amalgamated Holdings Ltd (AHL), better known for its portfolio of QT Hotels & Resorts, Art Series and Rydges hotels.

The aim, says AHL's Stephen Howard, was to create a radically different mid-market hotel for savvy business travellers in fringe CBD and high-growth locations. Atura Blacktown, for example, is near the M4 motorway, a business park and 10 minutes' drive from Sydney's second CBD of Parramatta. "The focus is on design, personality and great value," says Howard, citing state-of-the-art business and conference facilities, in-room kitchenettes, Malin + Goetz bathroom products and complimentary in-room movies, local calls and parking for a lead-in price of $159. (Last month, AHL introduced free WiFi in all its hotels.)

Designed and styled by Nic Graham, responsible for the bold, eye-popping interiors at QT Sydney, Port Douglas and Gold Coast, Atura Blacktown has features such as a retro mosaic-tiled pool, industrial-styled exposed pipework and a pool table in the lobby.

Dining options include the hotel's poolside Roadhouse Bar & Grill and grill-your-own steaks at the heritage-listed Royal Cricketers Arms Hotel next door. Weekend guests will be drawn to chilli dogs and banana splits at the 1960s-styled diner at the adjacent Skyline Drive In, perhaps after a day at close-by Wet 'n' Wild Sydney.

Howard says the company plans to open Atura hotels in Albury and Bankstown by the end of the year in redeveloped AHL hotels, and is scouting for other Atura sites around Australia.

Atura Blacktown, 32 Cricketers Arms Rd, Prospect, New South Wales, (02) 9421 0000.


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