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A couple of weeks ago I decided to join Mr Fletcher in Sydney for the weekend as he was already over there for work. We had grand plans: hit the shops, wander through the art galleries, make fun of the bats in the botanical gardens and chow down in Three Hat restaurants.

It started well, I was flying Emirates and was lucky enough to get upgraded so I spent 3 hours lying back, relaxing and sipping Moet but when I arrived, Mr Fletcher’s plane from Melbourne had been delayed… for an hour and a half! As you can imagine, my champagne buzz wore off pretty quick.

But even better than that was the fact that Mr Fletcher had come down with a very nasty flu [man flu] leading us to spend 75% of the weekend in the hotel room while Mr Fletcher moaned, groaned, coughed and sneezed. Perhaps this was some kind of karmic revenge for the time I went to Melbourne for the weekend and got the flu BUT at least I dragged myself out of bed to go out to dinner 3 nights in a row, this time I had to suffer the indignity of 2 nights of mediocre, hotel room service.

Mr Fletcher did manage to redeem himself on the Sunday night with cocktails at the Opera House and dinner at Aria Restaurant. Yes, it IS one of the most expensive restaurants we’ve dined at and probably not one you would choose for a random, sunday, early evening but the food WAS amazing & the wine outstanding. Lovely warm, inviting dining room with a fantastic harbour view and looking right at the Opera House. Starting with an amuse bouche of Sweet Potato Soup topped with Parmesan foam which was divine, followed by my entrèe which was an amazing variation of the traditional Caprese Salad but with Buffalo Ricotta, Jamòn & toasted Focaccia… this dish was just incredible.. with its use of tomatoes and herbs it managed to transport me to a sunny summer afternoon. For my main I had the Lamb Loin which because of its tender, juicy texture I will venture to say was probably sous-vide cooked, and was accompanied with deconstructed ratatouille, this dish was great but after the mind-blowing entrèe it had too much expectation to live up to and suffered just a little because of that. We had asked the sommelier to recommend an Australian chardonnay for us, as our knowledge of Australian wines is still only limited to an (excellent) handful. Instead he actually pointed us in the direction of a Montrachet which was beautiful but sadly I can’t remember the name of. My only regret that we were too full for dessert, what a shame.

So yes, it was a rather disappointing holiday and probably a fairly large waste of money but at least I had one very memorable meal and that is definitely, always, worth something.