The Mercantile, Sydney

Life has kicked in lately so I do apologise for my lack of blogs coming your way lately. To say I have been stressed would be an understatement. I’m glad I have my blog to balance out the craziness of the world sometimes. It has been a huge few weeks for me. I’ve been busy preparing for a work trip to Italy in a couple of weeks, I’ve moved closer to the city with Lex, and the school term is coming to its end which means marking! I have managed to fit in some foodie adventures though so my aim is to just keep on blogging…

Usually I’m in bed pretty early – yes I know that makes me seem old and somewhat lazy, but it’s just what I do. When Lex and I go out we normally get home at a reasonable time. However, we went out with Matt and Jade and for some reason, us girls felt like kicking on! And kick on we did at The Mercantile. In a redbrick building dating from 1914, this casual, Irish-style hotel is a 9-minute walk from Circular Quay train station, located in Sydney’s historic The Rocks. It’s a traditional Irish pub and when we walked in it had an Irish band playing and was FULL of atmosphere! The four of us snagged one of the last tables and sat in to the night watching the band and sipping on wine. Jade loves her Irish heritage and I can definitely see why. It was fun and festive and it wasn’t even St. Patricks Day!

I know you’re probably thinking this is a food blog and where’s the food? So I won’t disappoint. Jade and I ordered…a CHEESE board!! It consisted of a variety of cheeses including Castello creamy blue, double brie and waxed Cheshire, and was accompanied by Maggie Beers classic quince paste. The warm toasted turkish bread and lavosh chips were also a great addition.  It was amazing and everything a gal could want in life. Who doesn’t love cheese?

I hope you all had a lovely Easter if you celebrate, and managed to spent some quality time with your loved ones.

Lis x


Union Jacks, London

Lex and I love our Football (or Soccer, as some Aussies still call it…), and when we went to London, football games and stadium tours were high on our list of things to do. Royal family stalking was also high on the list…

It was a rainy day in London when we decided to head to the home of my beloved Spurs. The stadium tour was unreal and we got to see behind the scenes of White Hart Lane. On the bus on the way home we drove past Union Jack’s in Convent Garden. We decided to pull over because a) we were hungry and b) I’m a huge Jamie Oliver fan.

Union Jack’s is Jamie Oliver’s themed diner for wood-fired flatbread pizzas, grills and sharing plates. It has a great vibe to it and the staff are super friendly and laid back. The prices were also quite reasonable with a full pizza setting you back about 12pounds. Think of it as Italian pizza with a British twist.
Below are my top 3 picks at Union Jack’s:

Old Spot
Slow-roast shoulder of pork, quince and Bramley sauce, Cropwell Bishop Stilton, cracklings and watercress

Red Ox
Oxtail and brisket, slow braised in Worcestershire sauce, Sparkenhoe Red Leicester, watercress and fresh horseradish – not my typical go-to kind of pizza, but the fact that it is slow braised makes it a winner

Chilli Freak
6 chilli varieties, roasted and crushed with tomatoes, Tom Calver’s fresh curd, rocket, mint and lemon. Not for the faint hearted but perfect for Lex and I.

Lex, fancy going back to London? The Premier League is heating up and it could be the year for Tottenham!

Lis x



In House Kitchen, Port Stephens

Continuing on with my Port Stephens foodie adventures, I simply had to write about the beautiful ‘In House Kitchen’. This is a cafe come restaurant nestled within a drool-worthy homeware interior store. Mum is obsessed with this shop (actually she’s obsessed with shopping whenever she goes up the coast!). Her main reason for loving the shop is because it’s jam packed with kitchen gadgets – you name it, she’s bought it. Noteworthy items she’s bought include the Watermelon slicer and the Avocado shell…Mum, have you used these yet…?

Anyway, Mum, Lex and I went to In House Kitchen for a lunchtime bite to eat. The cafe is set up beautifully and you can just tell attention to detail is everything! Have a look at the pictures below:


What we ordered:

To start with Lex and I ordered a ‘Real Fruit Smoothie’ – I chose Mixed Berries for mine and Lex went with the Mango. These were absolutely HUGE but absolutely declious – it was a win, win! For our food the three of us all decided to be really different and adventurous, so we all ordered the Open Steak Sandwich which came on on morpeth sourdough, and had cheddar cheese, beetroot relish, aioli and rocket – served with chips of course! Mum and I opted to have it without beetroot. The presentation was faultless and the food was really, really nice. I’m not usually a steak sandwich kind of girl, but I found this full of flavour and perfectly cooked. Mum is a bit of a steak sandwich connoisseur, and when I asked her if she’d order it again, I was met with a resounding “yes”!

I feel like any description could not do this meal justice. Have a look at the photos below – I apologise in advance if they make you hungry!!

Lis x

Little Beach Boathouse, Port Stephens

Lex and I went up the coast this weekend with my parents. It was a lovely weekend and we were lucky that the sun came out for us on Sunday so we could have a swim at the beach. For my overseas and inter-state readers, Port Stephens really is a beautiful part of NSW and it’s far enough from our home to feel like a holiday but close enough to still feel relaxing and not be a mission to get to. My parents have a holiday apartment up there so it’s also home to a lot of fond memories and sunny summer days.

Being as it is a sleepy coastal town, food is limited and Lex and I struggle to find a decent meal. All that changed on our last trip when we came across Little Beach Boathouse. We went with Mum and Dad on a Saturday night and were lucky to snag a table (the compromise was that we had to be there at 6.15pm). When Dad suggested making a booking earlier in the day I was absolutely gobsmacked when I called up and the automatic answering machine said they were full booked. In Port Stephens this is rare! You can walk in anywhere and get a table! Lucky with a bit of persistence and luck we managed to get a table.

As soon as you walk in to the Little Beach Boathouse you know that service is their priority. The staff were exceptionally nice. The host who greeted us introduced himself and asked how our days were, the first waiter ran through the specials (with incredible detail and knowledge) and the second waiter was just as friendly. For a little holiday town that would serve many tourists, the exceptional service was a real winner and one of the main attractions. The decor is also beautiful and serene with polished wooden floors, bay views and a white dining room.

What we ordered:

Our waiter placed a small bowl of popcorn on our table while we flicked through the menu. This was something I’ve never seen before, but I welcomed the surprise. I love popcorn! He also recommended the Scarborough Sangiovese which is a light, summery wine that goes well with seafood. We started with a side of the Toasted Turkish Bread with olive dip and hommous. Normally I don’t enjoy olive dip (which is ridiculously ironic as Im addicted to olives!), but this olive dip was delicious, as was the hommous.

For mains Lex went with the ‘Boathouse 3 Pigs’ – Crisp pork belly, grilled chrorizo, pork and garlic croquettes with roast chats, fig jam, cauliflower puree and macadamia nuts. It was everything a carnivore could hope for and needless to say there wasn’t any left on the plate when said carnivore was done…

Dad ordered the Market Fish with green bean, fennel and olive salad,red capsicum puree and a fresh tomato, corn and basil salsa. Dad is like me and enjoys his seafood so this dish was a winner!

Mum went with Wagu Rump on crispy kipflers, garlic roasted field mushroom, broccolini and salsa verde with truffle and parmesan butter. This was my second preference on the menu so it was good to see what it looked like – I’d probably order that next time, it looks great!

I wanted to order a few things on the menu but chose the Miso Glazed Salmon with paw paw and noodle salad, japanese black pepper and sesame dressing. It was an Asian infused me and although I had to run the risk of exaggerating, I really think this has to be one of the best meals I’ve ever ordered. The sesame dressing was amazing. Dad tried some and absolutely loved it (I bet he was secretly wish he ordered the salmon – unlucky Dad!).

We were incredibly satisfied with our meals and although dessert was tempting we decided to head down to the Marina for some gelato!

My new favourite restaurant – thank you Little Beach Boathouse!

Lis x

Up ↑