The Paris issue

Our October issue is on sale - the Paris special. Grab your copy for all-things Parisian, plus ultimate French baking recipes and more.

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Seven ways to do dumplings

Dumplings may be bite-sized, but they pack a flavourful punch. Here are seven mouth-watering recipes, from Korean mandu to classic Chinese-style steamed dumplings.

Best feta recipes

Feta's tang livens up all sorts of dishes, from beef shin rigatoni or blistered kale ribs to Greek-style roast lamb neck.

Recipes with zucchini

Whether served raw with olive oil, grated with fresh herbs, or pan-fried in a pancake - zucchini is a must-have ingredient when it comes to spring cooking.

Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie, Melbourne

Here’s Pickett’s inside running on the menu at Melbourne's new European-style eatery and wine bar Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie.

Apfel kuchen

"This is my mother's famous apple cake. The apples are macerated with sugar, cinnamon and lemon, and this lovely juice produces the icing," says Brigitte Hafner. The apples can be prepared the night before and kept in the fridge. This cake keeps well for four days and is at its best served the day after it's made."

Nougat, salted peanut caramel and milk chocolate tart

What's not to love about a Snickers bar? All the elements are here, but if you don't feel like making your own nougat, you could always scatter some diced nougat in the base of the tart instead. The caramel is dark, verging on bitter, while a good whack of salt cuts through some of the sweetness - extra roasted salted peanuts on top can only be a good thing.

Melbourne's best late-night bars

As the shutters come down in other Australian capitals, Melbourne's vibrant nightlife is just hitting it's stride. Michael Harden burns the midnight oil at the city's best late-night bars and diners.

Chicken stir-fried with holy basil and chilli

Ovolo Hotels open in Woolloomooloo and Darling Harbour

Ovolo Hotels brings its quirky vision to Sydney.

No detail was too small, no idea too outlandish when Girish Jhunjhnuwala opened his first hotel in 2002.

"I thought about all the things that irked me about hotels I've stayed in, about the unfriendliness once you get to your room," says the Hong Kong entrepreneur, "and I used those experiences to model what became Ovolo."

Among his family-owned company's nine hotels are two new Sydney acquisitions, in landmark heritage buildings: a former wool store in Pyrmont, refurbished and rebranded Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, and the wharf-front Blue Sydney, reopened last month as Ovolo Woolloomooloo after extensive renovation. Other properties are in Hong Kong and one is in Melbourne's Little Bourke Street.

Though the look of each hotel is different, they share features that Jhunjhnuwala says are designed to make the hotel experience "effortless and connected", offering all-inclusive services and carefully designed communal spaces. Ovolo hospitality extends to nightly happy hours, free minibar and breakfast, 24-hour gyms, Apple TV and self-service laundries. "The number-one requirement of travellers - business and leisure - is to stay connected," says Jhunjhnuwala, so Ovolo hotels have always had free, high-speed WiFi with no limits on data or devices and an oversupply of USB charging points.

Both Sydney hotels showcase contemporary Australian art - the walls in the 90-room Ovolo 1888 are hung with bold murals by Jasper Knight. The most striking transformation is in the cavernous entrance to the 100-room Woolloomooloo hotel, which has become a tree-lined laneway of lounges, bars and dining areas - a kind of grown-up playground, with three retro video-game tables, featuring Space Invaders, too.

Ovolo 1888, rooms from $208, Darling Harbour, 139 Murray St, Pyrmont, NSW; Ovolo Woolloomooloo, rooms from $254, 6 Cowper Wharf Rd, Woolloomooloo, NSW

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