Thursday 24th September

Another dull day dawned so we decided to go into the City In search of a birthday gift to leave for Mickey, do a little retail therapy for ourselves (!) and have lunch, as we had agreed on an independent eating day with Justine and Tony.  We took our time on the bus issue and arrived in the city centre at circa 11.30.

We almost stumbled on the Queen Victoria Building when we got off the bus.  It is quite beautiful – several floors of shops in a stunning red brick Victorian building with stained glass windows

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There were cafes on nearly every floor where ladies who lunch were beginning to gather…….   A number of designer shops displayed their expensive wares – all geared towards the imminent summer.  We found a toy shop, but despite a thorough search, left still undecided as to whether we had found a suitable present for Mickey. We took photographs to consult with Justine and Tony and went in search of Cafe Sydney, a restaurant that Keith had identified as doing good food.

The Cafe was on the top floor of the old Customs House building near the harbour. The window seats looked over the water and the bridge. However the only remaining table was further back in the restaurant which enabled us to look out on the assembled fellow diners and on the kitchen teeming with gastronomic activity.

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The food was lovely and I ended the meal with a most amazing cocktail instead of a pudding – salted caramel, butterscotch, vodka and Kailua.  It was the most incredible taste – like nothing else I have ever tasted!!!  Apparently it had just come second in the best cocktail in Australia competition.  I cannot imagine what the prize winning cocktail was like!

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We left there very happy with life – not a good time to go shopping!  A few purchases later we were back on the bus. I have to admit to a bit of a doze on the journey home……..

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