Despite torrential rain and gale force winds Sydney continues to light up in STYLE for its annual VIVID event (www.vividsydney.com.au). For approximately three hours on Saturday night we saw some respite in the weather and it was just long enough for us to jump on board the Sydney Showboat paddlesteamer to cruise the harbour, enjoy the lights and the show!
Each year my little six year old boy Dante and I look forward to Vivid - he loves the lights and for us its an excuse to take a little outing and do something great even in the cooler months. Whilst there is so much on show on the streets, in galleries and even in new venues like Central Park the Botanical Gardens this year, there's no disputing that cruising the Harbour is perhaps the most indulgent way to take in the show!
So Dante and I "styled" up and booked ourselves on board the Sydney Showboats, a three hour cruise departing from King St Wharf and cruising all around our beautiful harbour. Instantly we were greeted by the smiling staff who guided us to our table on the third level of this imposing yet glamorous vessel.
Our deal which is worth noting was $99 for myself and only $30 for little Dante, but included the three hours on board, a two course meal and beverages. Having been on many of these before I know they primarily target the tourist market and therefore my expectations were only average, I was more there to enjoy the festivity of the festival. However, I'm saying right here right now I was more than surprised on this occasion.
Although not promised on the ticketing information we sat down to our table and there was already a beautiful entree plate and a welcome drink awaiting us. The platter was met with excitement from Dante - sautéed king prawns with chives and garlic, flame grilled Tandoor infused chicken and a selection of Italian meats.
What's admirable and noteworthy is that "included drinks" actually meant continuous service of beer, wine and spirits for the duration of the cruise. And although Dante was only booked for a child's meal the very accommodating staff offered him the adult option. Being the little connoisseur that he is he chose the veal for his main. I'm honestly surprised at the quality of our main meal. Even though at functions you're usually presented with a meal that seems like its been "stewing away" for the last three hours in Bain Marie I have to say this meal was restaurant quality through and through. Veal rib eye on the bone cooked to perfection with roasted chats, flamed cherry tomatoes, lightly steamed broccolini (or trees as Danté calls them) complemented by a light but tasty onion balsamic reduction.
Between courses we were thrilled and delighted by the entertainment including a visit to our table by the on-board magician! See Video on Facebook @sydneychicblogger
Throughout the evening we of course took the opportunity to explore the boat on the outer decks and enjoy the views of the bridge and the Opera House - #stunning.
Upon re-entering it was time for the show.... The cabaret style entertainment was a little burlesque, a lot vaudeville with of course just the right amount of camp! From dancing girls to dancing boys and a lead vocalist reminiscent of Kylie her very self it was thoroughly entertaining.
The cruise concluded with a dessert platter consisting of staples such as tiramisu, warm chocolate fondant and a delicious Brûlée panna cotta. Again all to the delight of the by this time increasingly full Danté.
I have to say for me the value was presented on this night just in the meal itself and for the privilege to be on the Harbour with great company. The show was a bonus !! All in all I'd have to say we had a very "STYLISH" evening and I'd urge you to do the same soon. Visit www.sydneyshowboats.com.au for more info on Sydney Showboats- old fashioned but oh so good!
Your style editor, Glen xo