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The best nail artists in Sydney
Nail art has flourished from a DIY underground affair right into mainstream salons. Miss Lauren LaRouge is one of Sydney’s most in-demand nail artists, dazzling the digits of Sydneysiders who are looking to turn their nail beds into miniature canvases. “People think it’s this crazy over-the-top thing, but once people try it – even starting with a feature nail – they usually get hooked,” says Miss LaRouge, while painting pastel pink polka dots and leopard spots on Time Out's claws.A trip to Japan originally piqued Miss LaRouge’s interest in nail artistry, and on her return home she started using herself has a mani mannequin. “I did a course in Sydney, which was great for hygiene, acrylics, but nail art is just one small component, so I taught myself a lot and practiced on myself.” Lauren’s background in burlesque dancing – she’s an MC and ukulele-player over at Oxford Street’s Slide – dovetailed neatly with her newfound passion. “I used to add things to my costumes, bling them up and embellish them. I then took this to my nails.” This soon enough spread to the hands of friends and family, before she made the big jump and quit her office job to pursue her passion full time.Rather than the production-line set-up that many salons employ, Lauren ensures her little corner at Indulge Studios is one filled with sass, colour and solid client banter. “A beautician once told me that I shouldn’t bother getting into nail art and that the industry was dead, but I want to put the love back
The best barbershops in Sydney
Finding the right barber can be a lifelong search — ask any man who’s had too much or not enough of his locks cavalierly lopped off and stepped out onto the street disaffected. Thankfully, there are experts in this area who excel in getting the discerning man’s ‘do’ just right. Here, some of Sydney’s best barbers are recommended.
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Local guide to Newtown with Tara O’Connell, the Marlborough Hotel
You’d have to call it one of Sydney’s top party bars. Always a popular student hang, the Marlborough Hotel has become, since the lockouts skewed the crowds away from the east of town, an absolute lightning rod for Sydney nightlife. Maybe it’s the fact they’re open till 4am six nights a week, or the large beer garden. Perhaps it’s the live music or the DJ nights downstairs in their Tokyo Sing Sing room, or the classic rock upstairs at Miss Peaches. Whatever the reason, the Marly is the epicentre of one of the most vibrant parts of Sydney. Observing it all with wide, admiring eyes is staff newcomer Tara O’Connell. How long have you been at the Marlborough, Tara?I have been an assistant manager at the Marly for just over two months, and before that a loyal post-work frequenter. What do you love about Newtown?Newtown has always been a place in which I’ve felt not just safe, but wholly welcome. The sense of community that binds the neighbourhood is as blindingly obvious as the rainbow flags plastered throughout business fronts on King Street in shows of love and support. The venues dotted throughout Newtown work together in a fashion I doubt you’d find anywhere else. The overall connectedness is what really gets me. Who is the most memorable customer you have ever encountered and why?I remember this young uni student who was a dead ringer for David Wenham. I said to him: “How many times a day do you get told you look like David Wenham?” The guy had no idea who I was talking abo
Pre-theatre dining at The Star
Going to see The Book of Mormon? Then why not make your evening complete with a fabulous meal at Momofuku Seiobo, Balla or Black Bar & Grill? The Star’s premium restaurants are offering special menus designed for theatre-goers who need to get into the Lyric Theatre in time for curtain up. It’s a great, memorable meal for people in a hurry. Be sure to book ahead online. The Star practises the responsible service of alcohol. Photograph: Supplied Momofuku Seiobo The first restaurant to be opened outside of New York City by global food icon David Chang, Momofuku Seiobo is a showcase for the skills of chef Paul Carmichael, who draws upon his Caribbean heritage and the bounty of Australian ingredients. Momofuku is normally a full-tasting-menu-only proposition at $185 (worth every cent) that takes two hours to get through. But for theatre patrons the Pre-Theatre Menu, offered Tuesday to Saturday, is a four-course affair for $115 per head, seating at 6pm and getting you out by 7.30pm. Indeed, the Pre-Theatre Menu is a great way to experience one of the city’s best restaurants at a lower price point. Photograph: Supplied Black Bar & Grill One of the top steakhouses in town, Black Bar & Grill is where chef Dany Karam smokes premium cuts over cherry wood before grilling them over ironbark coals. The pre-theatre menu offers a selection from the contemporary Australian grill menu and comes with an option of a two- ($70) or a three-course meal ($80). Starters include oyster
Side with Amex in Sydney's north
If you live north of the bridge and feel like getting a little extra something with your meal, you've come to the right place. Pay with your American Express® Card at these leading restaurants, and you'll be rewarded with a complimentary side for your first main meal ordered. Want to know more? Check out our Side with Amex FAQ. For more great offerings, return to the American Express casual dining guide.
Six top events in Good Food Month
Now in its 20th year of fine dining and food events, Good Food Month presented by Citi gives Sydney’s food fans and would-be chefs an opportunity to experience specialised dishes from the city’s most renowned chefs and providores as well as industry leaders from across the globe. From October 4-21, diners will flock to Hyde Park for diverse culinary experiences within the transformed pop-up restaurant and foodie haven, Hyde Park Palms. There’s a huge roster of events, so we thought we’d help you out with a menu of six fantastic feasts that won’t leave you in a state of food FOMO. Time Out loves innovative and inclusive eating, so make your first port of call our official Good Food Month partner event, Vegan Italiano. The Night Noodle Markets are also a regular favourite throughout the month, and if you’re still agonising over the menu, here’s our guide to all the program highlights.