I spent a night out in Sydney this week and I can’t believe how much the place is pumping! It does my old black heart good to see people partying so hard.
There are Christmas parties everywhere, spilling out from bars onto the streets… people wearing all manner of costumes… it’s like Halloween meets Mardi Gras! There are gangsters and molls, ribald versions of Disney characters, pirates… you name it. And every venue in town is packed to the gills, the ladies in their evening wear looking utterly gorgeous.
I reckon I saw more bare flesh popping out of cocktail dresses last night than you see on a hot day at Bondi Beach!
I started off at Blu Bar on the 36th floor of the Shangri-la Hotel above The Rocks. Beautiful people everywhere… (as well as PUMPA!). I was shown to a table in the VIP area with views up the Harbour to the Heads in one direction and down past the new Barangaroo in the other.
The group I was with happened to include the delightful Julie Burgess – mother of the footballing Burgess boys. What a gorgeous lady in every sense of the word. We chatted about all sorts of things, including her son Sam’s past battles with my mate, Sonny Bill. (Now the Roosters just have to bring Sonny back to League after next year’s Olympics in Rio so those monumental clashes can be renewed.)
Of course, I spread myself around and spent time with Di, Dianne, Jen, Jade, Trish, Kim and Livie and together we watched the sun set over the most beautiful harbour in the world, while sipping ‘Not Apple Martinis’… too good.
At Blu Bar, far above the madding crowd
Then it was on to dinner at Le Pain Quotidien, a classic little French Restaurant in The Rocks that was one of Old Sydney Town’s earliest prisons. Each group (depending on numbers) is given its own ‘cell’ in which to dine… (felt just like old times to me!). So after the ubiquitous Boeuf Bourguignon and Coq au Vin, we were ready to party some more.
A short walk uptown took us to the Marble Bar at the Sydney Hilton, where a queue had formed, waiting to get in to see resident band Brown Sugar, led by the infamous Lady Lyric (who you may remember from The Voice). I knew the doorman and so we were admitted right away but man did you need to muscle your way to the bar… and that was just past the women!
Beautiful ladies falling out of low-cut cocktail dresses were seemingly everywhere, including one group of stunners whom I recognised immediately as being from the Philippines. Ah those girls can party… (while all the while, some hapless male hanger-on took photos of them to upload to some social media platform or another).
The band was great with Lady Lyric in fine voice and when she saw me in the crowd (somehow) she called me up on stage to do a number with her – (a classic mix of R ‘n’ B, rap and electro if memory serves). Wonderful fun. I even stayed around during the band’s break and had some fun with the DJ.
The vibe was just brilliant… everybody was well and truly in the true spirit of the Festive Season. I love this town. Feels like I haven’t had a night at home in a month and there’s still the run into Christmas to come… and then I’m off to India for the Sunburn Festival! Bring it on!