Friday, October 4, 2019

Bar Wars

From the 1980s to the mid 2000s Sydney's nightlife was unrivaled anywhere in the world. KIngs Cross and nearby Darlinghurst, mainly Oxford Street were chockablock with nightclubs and bars and more or less open 24 hours a day.
And then came the "lock-out laws" after 2 shocking deaths where 2 innocent men were hit by complete drunken strangers and died after hitting their heads on the pavement. Clubs put up the shutters at 2am.
It's hard to recall the number of night spots that have now vanished but the recent prestige 'Bar Awards' held last night in London tell the story. In the Central Business District of Sydney, exempt from the lock-out laws. 4 bars have been named in the top 50 best bars in the world:
The Baxter Inn in Clarence Street, Bulletin Place near Circular Quay, PS40 in Skittle Lane and Maybe Sammy in The Rocks.

Congratulations guys you had some pretty tough competition from around the world including some legendary drinking spots around the world including London, New York, Singapore and many many more.
And the Top Spot went to Dante in NY's Greenwich Village which is owned by two Australians, Nathalie Hudson and Linden Pride.

Aussie Publishing Wars

High drama as an ex-pat Aussie media man takes legal action against high profile journalist Ronan Farrow (pictured right) who wrote the 2017 New Yorker "expose" on Harvey Weinstein that kicked of the so-called @MeToo movement. He won a 2018 Pullizer Prize for that reporting.
Farrow is the son of actress Mia Farrow and director Woody Allen and the grandson of legendary Australian film writer and director John Farrow who found fame in Hollywood in the 1940s.

Enter from stage right heavyweight publisher Dylan Howard who was brought up in Geelong outside Melbourne and who studied journalism at Deakin University. After working on the daily Geelong Advertiser in 2009 Howard decamped to the US to work as a TV reporter for Kerry Stokes' Seven Network.
Howard left, has become a pretty high powered media personality over the years managing publications like Us Weekly and OK! as well as editing the hugely popular celebrity gossip tabloid the National Enquirer which no US supermarket worth it's salt would dare not feature at the check-out counters.
Recently, with a weekly circulation of over 270,000 the Enquirer was sold for $US100M.

Back to Ronan Farrow who is this month releasing an anticipated tome called Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators which rumours say will document claims Howard attempted to dig up information on Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan ( well he is a journalist- sort of his job really..a bit like Farrow's) along with other tales about US president Donald Trump.
Apparently M'Learned Friend has been contacted by Howard with high powered US, UK and Australasian law firms telling all and sundry in the book business..publisher, retailers etc they could be in line for a legal rumbling should anything untoward appear about their client.
Ronan is the image of his grandfather John Farrow. His book is due to be published on October 15th.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Body Politic

 The prestige auction house Lawsons is at again. Recently we brought you news of their auction of the former Temple 22. Now they have a timed online auction of  member of Victoria's Parliament Fiona Patten MP collection of erotica !. Patten was a member of the Sex Party and now runs the Reason Party.

Here are some of the "tamer" pieces on sale but you can see an awful lot more:
HERE (*Warning* Explicit Content)

# The poster from the Sydney Morning Herald of "How I Lost My Pants" is a true story of how former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser lost his trousers in a down market Memphis hotel.
You can read it HERE.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Hiding" in plain sight?

Much fulminating in the New York tabloids about a very large "super yacht" parked- if you are at a certain angle- obscuring the Statute of Liberty.
The rather grand Hasna is owned by our very own 'Aussie Home Loans' king John Symond, he of the amazing modern mega-mansion (now sold) that peeks out over the bay at Sydney's ritzy Point Piper. Whispers has been to a couple of shindigs there and while it's a very impressive house we were rather disappointed with the very slow lift that takes you down a couple of floors.
# you can buy the Hasna for a cool $97M.

What has actually been missed by the  assembled US media is that John is married to one rather attractive Amber McDonald and the happy couple seem devoted to each other and have recently been traveling the world having the Lady Liberty dispatched to each destination while the pair travel by John's nice little private jet. A fortnight ago it was parked off Los Angeles.

The Symond mansion
Amber McDonald? Who she you ask (or our American readers do). Why she is the ex-wife of one Patrick Keating as seen here in our exclusive wedding photo when the pair were wed at Sydney's impressive St Mary's Cathedral. The pair separated in 2012 after 10 years of marriage and two children. It wasn't an acrimonious parting- they grew apart like couples so often do and have remained friends as some couples also often do.

 In fact the entire Keating family has remained on fairly good terms with Amber and Symond which includes one- Katherine Keating who was recently thrown into the public eye having been seen off by the father of her very close friends- one Prince Andrew from Jeffrey Epsteins' Manhattan mansion.
Is Katherine on the yacht? Well we aren't telling. You decide for yourself. The fact various Keating family members have holidayed on the Hasna is entirely co-incidental.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Katherine Keating in Manhattan Special

Dom Perignon & Ghislaine Maxwell Invite you to a cocktail reception Celebrating the launch of Ideapod

116 East 65th Street, NYC
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Photo above: Katherine Keating, The President Of Iceland- Olafur Ragnar GríMsson, Dorrit Moussaieff, Ghislaine Maxwell.

It takes the tabloid media awhile to catch up. Katherine Keating, daughter of former Prime Minister Paul Keating has been living in New York now for over 10 years.
Keating apparently visited the home of the late Jeffrey Epstein and managed to get photographed by a paparazzi being farewelled by Prince Andrew.
There is a problem with the reporting here though: Epstein's NY house is regarded as one of the cities more substantial residences and he may well have had numerous guests staying over the years. Keating has been photographed with and is apparently pals with Prince Andrew's daughters, hence, it's not too a leap of logic to suggest she was in fact visiting Andrew seeing that it was he who showed her to the door.

Such hyperventilating like this is a tad over the top when the  Daily Mail / MailOnline  say that she must "answer allegations" why she was there. Allegations? Is it really anyone's business why she visited someone?.
Anyway here is a photo roundup from uber New York social snapper Patrick McMullan who knows everyone who should be known in Manhattan and Los Angeles.

# McMullan was a guest at a Sydney exhibition many moons ago at which other guests included the late Min Keating (Paul Keating's mother and Katherine's Grandmother) and the late Lady Sonia McMahon. The three of them got on famously and dined together later.
All photographs; copyright: Patrick McMullan / PMc

Keating is regular seen at the smarter New York parties..with her younger sister Alexandra Keating

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Fashion moment

To the glorious Sydney Opera House for a preview of department store David Jones upcoming fashion season.
The northern hall of the Opera House really is quite sensational especially in the day time. Stunning views across the harbour to the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park ('Just For Fun').
And of course.. the fashions...what fun.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Report from Liverpool

Whisper's spy disguised as top selling author Lesley -Ann Jones brings us some fascinating photos from Liverpool in the UK and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts on Graduation Day, at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, courtesy of  Sir Paul McCartney, Lead Patron of the fame school that was once his and George Harrison's grammar school, Liverpool Institute.
right: Lesley Ann Jones with Paul McCartney 
 Jones has authored a number of best selling biographies of rock stars like David Bowie and Marc Bolan and her recent tome Bohemian Rhapsody timed for the release of the recent film of the same name has been a runaway success. And there were some familiar faces receiving honorary degrees: Rowan Atkinson, ballet dancer Wayne Sleep, Stephen Fry and musician Mike Batt ( The Wombles). It doesn't get much better than that!.

and some of those Lesley-Ann Jones must reads:

Friday, July 26, 2019

So Much Fun !

An emotional Sarah Marschke is crowned Miss World Australia
I'm not sure there is anything like Queensland's Gold Coast. As a rather "downmarket" and fairly cheap holiday resort for Aussies in the 1960s it's rapidly grown to an international mega resort with pizazz and some rather strange developments over the decades. Surfer's Paradise Beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful on the planet. Sadly by 4pm it's overshadowed because of the huge apartment blocks that line the beachfront.
Many of Australia's more notorious "bikie gangs" have HQ-ed themselves there and once where there was one pub with a rather lively bear garden now night-clubs abound.
Nothing sums up Surfers Paradise more than Palazzo Versace, the uber glitzy resort where, well Versace style decor excels.
Mind you the Star Gold Casino gives it a run for their money.
But the Star doesn't play host to the participants the British mega TV hit show "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here"and the hosts Ant and Holly Willoughby. (The actual filming takes place in a nearby Northern NSW rain forest property owned by feminist heroine Germaine Greer).
The Miss World quest just took place at Palazzo Versace so we must post photos of the glittering event.
The winner was 20-year-old beauty  Sarah Marschke, now: Miss World Australia 2019

The Star Casino
The 69th edition of the Miss World will be held on
 December 14, 2019 at the ExCeL London.

Sarah Marschke crowned Miss World Australia 2019

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Prime Minister News with Boris the Bore

Retiring British Prime Minister Theresa May was at a party last week discussing her plans after she leaves Number 10, Downing Street. Although May will stay on as an MP she was overheard saying she would love a really good holiday after her successor takes over. May confided she had always wanted to visit Uluru in the Northern Territory with the added bonus- it was about as far away from the halls of Westminster as she could get.
Theresa May's successor, former London Mayor and Foreign Minister Boris Johnston spent a gap year as a teaching assistant at Timbertop at Geelong Grammar School teaching maths. A group of old Geelong Grammar students were at Double Bay's Sheaf pub last week discussing old times when one ex-student brought up the memory of being taught by the next UK PM. Asked his impression of Johnson he responded : "I can't remember much about him- he was affable but boring and pretty forgettable". Ouch!.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Foodie News #3: Vale Margaret Fulton

 So sad to hear the passing of the great Margaret Fulton who for decades was Australia's most celebrated chef who sold millions of cookbooks during her career. 
Margaret, who emigrated from Scotland died at age of 94 today, which as they say, was a pretty good innings.
Read about Margaret's life at her
Wikipedia entry

Foodie News #2

Scot's born Jock Zonfrillo of Adelaide's famous fine-diner Orana Restaurant is bringing his skills to Sydney for a month from the 16th August and is accepting reservations now. Apparently bookings are flooding in for a mere $350 per head at the temporary Surry Hills' diner. But it's for a good cause with ten percent of the profits from the residency supporting Zonfrillo’s Orana Foundation, developed to foster the preservation of Indigenous food culture and create commercial opportunities for producers of Indigenous food products. And it includes a 22 course dinner. For bookings go to :

Foodie News..

The "Godfather" of Australian nouvelle cuisine Tony Bilson has been telling pals of his stint in New York as a guest chef working for US president Donald Trump for a month at his restaurant in the Trump Tower. The deal had been arranged by the Australian Trade Commissioner without Trump's knowledge. Apparently Trump questioned why he would need an Australian chef when he believed that his restaurant served up steaks the size of Texas which would surely be all any diner would want.

Trump: steaks the size of Texas

Trump's view quickly changed when he saw the caliber of guests Bilson attracted to the restaurant which was soon packed during Bilson's stay. Beginning with Rupert Murdoch who had been a regular at Bilson's Sydney restaurant and who spread the word. During Bilson's four week stay New York's top society figures booked tables and local food reviewers were raving. At the end of his four week stint Donald Trump offered Bilson a permanent residency at the Tower thrilled with the success. Just think, if Bilson had stayed he could have now been head chef at The White House.