More backlogged posts… 2 weeks ago I went on a business trip across to Sydney. While my original intention is to blog about my business trip contemporaneously (i.e. on the same day and at the same time as I am in Sydney), the plan worked just for the first few hours on the first day and then fell apart as I flew into Sydney. With the travel, the business meetings, the work I have to do, I just couldn’t find the time write properly – and couldn’t bring myself to just post a jumbled mass of photographs without any attempt in writing! (Besides, if it was posting jumbled mass of photographs every few minutes, we have Facebook for that).
So taking off from where I last left off… The next morning after arriving in Sydney I had scheduled to meet a few clients throughout the day: one mid-morning for coffee, another for lunch, and the last for coffee in the afternoon. I am serious about making an impression in Sydney, so I decided to get properly “dressed up” in an expensive dress. I bought this gorgeous TED BAKER Gemisa encyclopaedia floral pleated dress (in nude pink) with a shiny contrasting copper zipper from Ted Baker a while ago on one of my trips to Melbourne for pricey $321 (original price was $459) and hadn’t worn it much except for the one time at the open house and private inspection for an apartment we were selling last year, so figured today is a great opportunity to wear it again.
Needing to look both equal parts stylish and professional, I matched my new floral Ted Baker dress with my favourite CITY Black Revere Collar Blazer. A pair of nude hosiery, and my usual earrings, pearl necklace and pearl bracelet set complete the elegant and professional look. Slipping on my black NINE WEST ‘Mailin’ pumps (Still available to buy from NineWest for A$159.95) and carrying my NINE WEST handbag I checked my look in the mirror before I left the hotel room: A tasteful dress combined with recently done hair and light make-up, I feel confident, empowered, and feminine. I am super-excited and looking forward to my work day here in Sydney!
I scheduled to meet our first client over lunch. Business lunch, as I call it, although I am not sure if it even is what it’s even called these days? I know at one point it’s called ‘power lunch’… but then I am never any good with terminology. All I know and all I care is that I am in Sydney and that means any business meeting has to be done quintessentially Sydney style – beside the water with view of the Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House.
I settled on a booking at The Squire’s Landing last week; I figured that a place with a semi casual vibe probably works best. Problem was, not knowing Sydney well, I googled and booked a place with the nicest looking views rather than the best reviews.
Having had a poor experience with Sydney Taxi drivers, I decided to take the train into the city for my meeting rather than giving taxi drivers my business. Hey if taxi drivers behave like assholes, they don’t deserve my business. And it is probably the reason why uber is so popular: better service with less cost. Reading customer reviews of The Squire’s Landing as I took the train in towards Circular Quay made me a little worried now. But it’s too late to change venues anyway. Oooops.
I arrived early enough and proceeded to snap a few photographs of Sydney Harbour. This has probably got to be the train station with the best view ever: taken from the platform of Circular Quay train station, I can take in the views of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House and also the ferries as they pull into the Harbour.
As I went about happily snapping photographs, I actually ran into the business client I was supposed to meet. Turns out he was early too. So we decided to take a stroll together to the restaurant from the train station:
Which turned out pretty handy as I even got him to snap a quintessential tourist-in-Sydney shot: one of myself standing in front of the Opera House!
I didn’t realise it at the time but it was kinda a hazy day, with the sun and the light in all sorts of wrong places for photographs. It ended up giving all my photographs a very washed-out look, and none of the photographs I took ever turned out well. I am kinda disappointed, as I don’t come to Sydney often and I took all the trouble getting all dressed up but with no decent photographs.
When we got to the restaurant the first impressions are good: The restaurant looks as though it is in a fantastic spot… probably one of the best places to view the Sydney Opera House over a glass of wine. Mindful of the number of very poor reviews with regards to poor value (ie over-priced) and the service, I decided to play it safe and lowered my expectations.
Given I am a West Australian girl, I decided to go for a West Australian wine. A little sick of the cheap stuff they served at the Qantas domestic Business Lounge yesterday, I treated myself and the client and ordered a bottle of 2014 Leeuwin Estate ‘Art Series’ Chardonnay. It was tasty, to say the least, going well with the Pan fried Fish fillet of the Day ($37). Not that I expected any less from this top shelf Margaret River winery, nor its $200 a bottle price tag. Pricey, I know, but I figured I am on a work trip and the company can definitely pay for it!
A satisfying (albeit slightly boozy) long lunch later, we parted ways (but not before agreeing to chat again with regards to business) and I took the opportunity to stroll around the vicinity of the restaurant and buildings to have a closer look at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I managed to get quite up close with the foundations of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which was a surprisingly pleasant spot given the parklands and the water views under it. This is how the bridge looks up close and under, and you can see what I meant when I say it is kinda hazy with the sun and the light in all the wrongs places giving all my photographs a very washed-out look.
The next meeting with another business client was scheduled for mid-afternoon. Again all I know and all I care is that I am in Sydney and that means any business meeting has to be done quintessentially Sydney style – beside the water. Given he can spare time only to do coffee today, I decided to meet him close to his work place but still close enough to the water in Barangaroo at a restaurant/ café/ posh grocer/ wine merchant called Bel and Brio.
I jumped onto the train again from Circular Quay to get off one stop at Wynyard Station. The really interesting thing about Sydney Trains is that they are double-decker trains: an upper and a lower deck with seats and a spacious lobby between the 2 decks that allow bicycles. From a capacity perspective, double-decker trains actually increase the number of passengers a train can carry. Now that is a good idea!
Barangaroo is, again, where Sydney differs from Melbourne. While Melbourne’s Docklands are thoroughly unloved, Barangaroo is a result of the transformation of a disused container terminal on the edge of Sydney’s CBD into a spectacular 22-hectare waterfront precinct. Everything is on a grand scale here in Sydney. And everything is so much more cosmopolitan. There are shops including a cool record and bookshop:
There is a stunning water-front with water views:
And then, unlike Melbourne, Sydney has public transport: access to Barangaroo is an easy walk from Wynyard station, and there are ferry terminals next to the water too! There is certainly no place more convenient and picturesque for a casual afternoon coffee with a business client!
Occasion: work/ office
Dress: TED BAKER Gemisa Encyclopaedia Floral pleated dress in nude pink
Blazer: CUE CITY Black Revere Collar Blazer
Pumps: NINE WEST ‘Mailin’ pumps (Still available to buy from NineWest for A$159.95)
Hosiery: Nude hosiery from Target