“…When you tell a Brit there’s a rooftop pool with a cocktail bar attached to it…you can guarantee attendance …”
Locate me: The Ivy is tucked down the alley of 330 George Street, 2 minutes from Martin Place Station. Arrive before 10 and avoid the $20 charge
You can choose between two entrances. Which ever one you choose, you’re going to be blown away.
Leads you to the Main Bar. The space is huge and caters to any manner of taste:
The big sofa’s to chill out on
The dance floor
The outside/inside courts
Eat some Thai or simply take a seat on one of the balconies
You can relax or move in a variety of comforts. Yah, it’s cool, but it’s also very corporate. If you go between 7 and 9 the atmosphere is buzzing. The suits are looking good and the evening has that happy Friday feeling. Past 10 it takes on a club vibe and a different style of dressed attitude to accompany the scene.
I prefer the early hours when the nights just kicking off, whatever your mood or taste – come and have a look. Dress a little nice, too, its that kind of place.
You’re now in the pool.
Need I say more?
More you say? There’s a regular happy hour kicking off at 5-7pm.
For further details please see: http://merivale.com.au/ivy READ ON: Cocktail bar Sydney (australia123business.wordpress.com)
After returning from travelling back in early January 2012 it became evident that I still had no idea where I wanted to stop in the UK and my increasingly restless pace led to a rather swift (and slightly impulsive) purchase of the Australian Working Holiday Visa. Within 24 hours I was in possession of a 12 month pass to enter a country I’d never set foot in and to further attempt my search of a more vibrant lifestyle with some direction towards a career path.
“Nat, we’re becoming those people who go off and have stories to tell!”
This mindset is 100% to blame on my brother, call him a nugget of inspiration or a cruel entity aiming to drain my bank account (and common sense), but his experience last year has only confirmed by agitated belief that I’m not quiet ready to give in to homeland (the UK) just yet.
Convince me it’s true!
About a year ago my brother took a leap into New Zealand with the Working Holiday Visa and has since found a new girl, a new job and a new –relaxed – attitude. I mean, since when did the Talbutt’s jump out of a plane and hurl off bungee bridges? Somewhat unheard of until 2012! He’s acquired a log book of experiences and stories to tell. In fact this is one of the main reasons he left, I remember him saying: “Nat, we’re becoming those people who go off and have stories to tell!”
He’s demonstrated that it’s perfectly possible to take yourself out of your comfort zone, with a bit of money in your pocket; you can become acquainted with another lifestyle, people and culture. It’s all accessible, as well as nerve wracking.
“You know, one day you’re going to run out of money”
As my big bro. edge’s ever closer to the capped age of 30, which means he won’t be able to apply for another WHV, I’m here with no ties, a last token of money and a taster for exploring the new. I also have 6 more years until I reach this capped age and it seems almost silly not to take the opportunity to have one final adventure before my bank balance says NO! One of my favourite remarks from a nervous (idiot) friend was: “you know, one day you’re going to run out of money” So, apparently moving to another country costs money, who knew?
I’m a planner, you see, caused by having parents that take no less than 6 months to make any single decision, be it a new roll of wallpaper or a quick bite for lunch. This isn’t a bad quality to have, running head first into a decision is a sure disaster, you need background, time, imagination – but at the same time you don’t need to take a decade to figure it out. This hasty visa purchase was a sure sign that I wanted something else, even though my head didn’t really know the logistics of it at the time.
Let’s try not get to get too panicked about the big plan and enjoy the ride to follow – she says with tense restless shoulders.
Its official guys, I live and work in Sydney, Australia!
My neck is crushed from crawling my arse across the city with that suitcase AND backpack. I don’t think I’ve accumulated that much more gear. A bottle of wine perhaps. OK two. Totally worth the neck ache…
As I was heading to my new home in Sydney I realised that this was it. I was finally settling in.
Talking about getting a job in Sydney (that’s relevant to what I’m interested in), finding a roof over my head (at a reasonable price. no sharing) suddenly seems more possible than it has for months. Sort of.
Maybe my new housemates will be the people I’ll be in contact with for years to come. Maybe not. Maybe something totally brilliant and epic is going to change from this move. Or maybe not.
Who knows – I’m just happy to be here ! Now if you’ll excuse me I have to re-arrange my furniture in my new room. Its in Sydney you know. The one in Australia. Yup I live there, no – here. Yeah its cool. Sure, no problem, I’ll go pour a glass…
Also Read On…
In between returning home and booking my next, swift exit out of Hampshire I made a point of setting myself the following goal: to get stronger!
This goal has been influenced by travelling solo, meaning that you have to rely on your own physical strength. From a pidderly girl in the country: thank-you for wheels on suitcases and that extra backpack strap – oh, and that lovely man who helped a struggling weakling.
Counterparts will agree that my physical strength has upped dramatically in the last few months…OK, so I’ve only really put this idea into motion ever so recently, with departure getting closer jogging is becoming an everyday event and every-other- day I try this new fitness programme, BBL – the Brazil Butt Lift.
There are various programmes to choose from, depending on the area you’d like to shape up: lose weight, gain stamina, tone up a few squeegee bits or regain upper physical strength. I have personally been using the ‘sculpt’ session, which focusses on upper arm strength. It’s taken a few weeks to learn the routine but it’s slowly coming together, the biggest challenge not being the programme itself but starting it. Motivation? Please.
The Brazilian Butt Lift programme surveys a group that pop their hips like Shakira and manage to hold the plank ten minutes too long – while the trainer constantly shouts:
“Love your moves!”
I can’t wait until the sweat crystallises into a breezey-easy-peasey-work out.
The sessions last about 40 minutes and can be downloaded onto your computer/hard drive for portable use, so that when you travel you can keep tip-toned-up! That is of course if you have decided to indulge in the luxurious item of a laptop whilst travelling, something people only seem to consider if they’re going for long periods of time, although the I-pad is rapidly replacing the lightweight laptop.
If carrying around your treasured technical goods isn’t an option then an alternative could be to memorise the routine for the road. I often find that swimming is a more tempting option when abroad anyhow and this tends to keep me fit when my diet will fluctuate with food and drink consumption rising and falling with budget and effort.
I’ll let you know how I get on maintaining this programme…
What fitness tips do you have before/during travel?
Having stayed in a fair few hostels I was anticipating Britain to give a good lead on design, we were staying in arty Brighton after all, and at the very least have a bar. I’m really trying to stop holding this single hostel as a representative for all in the UK, as I’m sure there are others that up their ‘game’ and say something extra about British efforts to accommodation. So it is with the negatives that you really get to know the good. Here is a list of growing necessities that a hostel should provide for the weary traveller.
Once we leave, promise we never have to come back
FYI - I’d love to hear about your experiences in UK hostels.
1. Let’s get excited!
The receptionist’s welcome was much like the weather: cold, wet and bleak. Whatever time you arrive at a new place, you should be greeted with a big smile, a friendly persona and a brief outline detailing the hostels services: breakfast hours, internet, maps of the area, pub crawls, activities, a-z knowledge of the best places in the area.
In this 10 minute conversation you’ve just given me confidence that I can trust you as a go-to person, there’s an ease with my new surroundings and the atmosphere is pumping, even if you’re alone its all going to be alright.
…Brighton, a seriously brilliant coastal party place for the eccentric and anyone with a sense of humour
When we finally checked in and opened our dorm room, the blocks of blue rust didn’t inspire much. The lockers to store our luggage were either smashed in or dead beat and the ones that were of potential use needed a key (not a simple padlock). Unfortunately the keys hadn’t arrived yet, although how new they could be really is beyond me, judging by the state of the iron punches.
Luckily we had a car to store our stuff, our second option was to leave our bags behind the desk, which is pretty standard in most accommodation if you’re in-between change over. Based on the quality of the room and the enthusiasm of staff we decided to take care of ourselves. Please see .1 for a further exaggerated point on this important factor of approachable staff.
3. Make me smile with your personality!
With great design comes great atmosphere and it is this extra lick of paint that enhances a hostels personality. Some hostels get crafty with their designs and take on walls as a canvas for fun and imagination, but even if the wall is a blank white colour a little touch up paint wouldn’t bust the budget.
As this hostel was just on the sea front they could have taken advantage of this for a theme: sea-shells, ropy features with blues and greens – albeit a fairly clichéd theme it wouldn’t hurt them to breathe a little extra life into this ageing accommodation.
These 3 pointers include basic comforts and safety, a social sphere and an introduction to your new environment. Is that so much to ask for on a teeny-tiny budget?! Come on Britain!
MEET MY COMPANION…
It’s about time I introduced you to my travelling mascot, Paddington Bear. He’s a miniature symbol of all that is British: suited up for a day of rain with a charming smudge for a smile.
WHERE DID WE MEET?
Paddington and I became acquainted three years ago rather romantically at Heathrow airport, both of us waiting for our next flight to New York; since then we have travelled the globe together! He can be relied on for a boozy night out, a waltz around a park or even a tricky hike.
I have come to learn that he’s not much of a talker but very much a listener; he’s a tidy travelling companion with no hesitations to just give life a good old go.
This is a section to share a few of our adventures around the world…enjoy!
Do you have a mascot? Do share!
For someone who has very little interest in football, being in Spain for the Euro final was something of a turnover; time to change my opinion of this sport, well, for one night at least.
To watch football in a British bar is like walking into an aggressive testosterone pit, not to my liking and certainly not welcoming. This is probably why I’ve leaned more towards rugby; a game that although more aggressive in action attracts a very different crowd, more gentlemen perhaps? Not necessarily, but the men are definitely of different calibre. Let’s leave it at that, shall we?
Spain is a country that adores football and this became quiet clear during the last week with a growing display of flags, practice run of fireworks and horn blowing. This was going to be an event, not just a match.
A group of us managed to get a table, positioned well for the game: directly in line with the TV and right behind a group of red and yellow fans, with a large flag ready to wave with the chance of scoring.
WHAT A GAME!
I’m not sure if Italy were playing badly, or whether Spain are actually…good? People at work have told me they were surprised, too! But wasn’t the second goal incredible? Erm, every goal was amazing – it was a goal! And each time we had red and yellow jumping up and down, hornet sounds blasting, beer glasses crashing and this great big “waheeeey!”
The atmosphere was a mix of camaraderie and pure wonderful hype. The first goal was a taster, the second was champion, the third confirmed a win and the fourth was just jaw dropping, really four goals? Well done Spain! “waheeeey!”
* Please note image is taken from Google
Waking up with every fibre of your body feeling dizzy is a sure sign that you’ve just experienced the festivities of San Juan (not pronounced San Jose…) in Las Palmas. An annual event where it is believed if you run into the sea at midnight you cleanse all your sins from the year before. You can also expect bonfires, fireworks and lots of alcohol on the beach of Las Canteras. I would recommend a trip to Gran Canaria just for this festival.
Often we’ve gone for evening walks along the beach and seen a few nutters swim in the dark, complete fools I thought, but last night was one of my favourite memories of being on the island. Holding hands with 3 other gems on the Leonardo Programme and legging it towards the waves as the midnight fireworks set off left, right and centre – such a buzz; until someone gets stung by a jellyfish. We hope this isn’t a sign for the next year!
every fibre of your body feeling dizzy is a sure sign that you’ve just experienced the festivities of San Juan
A night of epic proportions followed by clubbing at bar Mojo by the auditorium, how has it taken almost 3 months to find this cluster of decent bars? And then a gradual walk home, making one final stop along the beach for the sun to rise and Las Palmas to wake up.