In May we farewelled peaches, tees without jumpers and Game of Thrones – three of life’s great joys. But that’s okay, because in June we welcome others. Roaring fireplaces. Soups and stews. Hot chocolate. (Is it back in fashion, or is that just the Broadsheet office? Or is it just me?)
Yes it’s chillier, but this time of year still has its fair share of pleasures. And a 145-year-old mill in Tasmania makes two of them: super soft merino wool blankets and scarves. Waverly Mills is the last wool mill of its kind in Australia, and it’s fighting its way into the future with fashion-forward colourways and patterns pitched to the customer who cares deeply about design, sustainability and provenance.
Provenance. It’s one of the catchwords of the past decade in design but also food and drink. Our desire to know who’s behind this natural wine or that limited-edition whisky, and where the ingredients come from, is just one of the differences cited by producers, somms, bartenders and more about how much Australian drinks culture has changed in the past decade. That evolution is the subject of our cover story, and Rootstock co-founder and drinks writer Mike Bennie is one of your tour guides.
Bennie’s also co-launched a radical new way of honouring excellent Australian drinks (more about that in the cover story) like the kind he recommends you warm up with during the cooler months. We like the sound of a 2018 syrah from the Adelaide Hills that’s dark-fruited, lightly spicy and “ideal to cut through thick vegetable soup and brooding stew”. (Will it cut through a brooding Jon Snow when I watch seven seasons of re-runs? I have a feeling it will.)
For this instalment of Staff Meal we head to Clayton Wells’s acclaimed Chippendale diner Automata, and get the recipe for a very special red chicken curry. And Wells’s A1 Canteen is the location for a close-up with Sydney’s most photographed sandwich: the muffuletta.
In A Closer Look, Max Veenhuyzen spent time at one of the city’s finest wine bars, 10 William St, which is now under the stewardship of chef and vegetable-whisperer Trisha Greentree. The Paddington institution makes another appearance in our investigation into How Kitchens Work, which looks at what it takes to get multiple plates on the restaurant table simultaneously, hot, and looking and tasting like they did last week.
And if you’re looking for a winter getaway we recommend Australia’s newest designer hotel. The Calile is a stunner, and most importantly, its closer to the equator.
If you’re staying local, there are plenty of places around town to get cosy. And for when it’s really cold there’s always the couch, an interesting syrah, and wool blankets to wrap yourself in, burrito-style.
This story originally appeared in print issue 18.