A Christmas Gift Guide for your favourite food & wine lover

Christmas is a difficult time for everyone. There much to do including scheduling those extra catch-ups with friends and family, organising the family event to make sure it’s perfect and nobody sets fire to Auntie Betty this year and finding the time to buy all those gifts. Although harder than the buying, we think, is working out what to get everyone.

To help ease your load we have some ideas for that special someone in your life who has a fondness for restaurants, food and wine.

Wine Glasses

Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a wine glass able to hold an entire bottle of wine. Beautiful large crystal glasses designed specifically for your favourite grape such as the Riedel Veritas range are just that. Not only do they enhance the wine drinking experience, they’re also highly efficient as you only need to pour the one time. Now that’s a gift.

Wine Decanter

The perfect accompaniment to beautiful glasses is, undoubtedly, an equally gorgeous decanter. It’s the sausage to go with the eggs (so to speak). Riedel do sleek sexy decanters but we have a soft spot for those slightly quirky decanters in the shape of a chicken or a duck. Duck and Pinot Noir anyone?


Let’s be honest. Nobody ever uses a cookbook for cooking. Most cookbooks end up as shelf fillers, coffee table coasters or moving box contents. Yet it’s impossible to deny the beautiful feeling that comes with unwrapping a brand new cookbook. All that potential, all those food dreams create those precious moments when the room suddenly fills with the self-satisfying aromas of shallow but well intentioned promises of future dinner parties. You can’t put a price on that kind of bonhomie.

Bishop Sessa Gift Voucher

A restaurant gift voucher gives the gift of experience

Restaurant Dining Voucher

This is the perfect way to show your gratitude/love for a family member or even a work colleague. Send them back to their favourite restaurant or, even better, force them to try that restaurant you’ve been raving about (and they’ve been ignoring) by giving them a dining gift voucher. It will burn a hole in their pocket until they use it. At which point they will have to admit you were right. The bragging rights are well worth the money we think.


Buy them a restaurant (kind of)

The ultimate gift for the restaurant tragic in your life. Making a small contribution on their behalf to a crowdfunded restaurant start-up is the perfect way to enjoy the roller-coaster world of new restaurants without the potential life-shattering risk. Give the gift of blue-sky promises followed by the dark despairing truth of small business struggling in a saturated market. It’s a game the whole family can play. Foodstart.com is a website dedicated to crowdfunding restaurants, cafes and breweries. All its current projects are in the US but frankly watching your restaurant investment slowly erode is probably safest done from a distance.

Make a donation

Lastly, and somewhat more seriously, please consider donating to a charity helping those who have very little and aren’t expecting much of a Christmas at all. We support StreetSmart at Bishop Sessa by being involved in their DineSmart program but, really, any little thing you can do will help.

Chef Paul Cooper delivers a refreshing heirloom oxheart tomato salad just in time for summer.

The overarching philosophy for Bishop Sessa chef and co-owner Paul Cooper is sustainability and ethical provenance. For many kitchen operators these are hot button topics and mere grist for the public relations mill but Chef Paul has lived and breathed this philosophy at Bishop Sessa since 2012.

Each change in seasons is a chance to reacquaint himself with the best seasonal produce.

This year the quality of some heirloom produce has been outstanding, in particular the Oxheart Tomatoes.

An exotic looking heirloom oxheart tomato before being served as a salad at Bishop Sessa

An exotic looking heirloom oxheart tomato before being served as a salad at Bishop Sessa

The texture and sweetness of these beefy looking tomatoes make them ideal for a hearty salad. Chef Paul has given them a lift by smoking them lightly with paperbark before combining them with grilled watermelon, sour onions, dried black olives and dressed with a savoury mustard and miso ice cream.

“I was looking to create something fresh on the plate, in both flavour and texture, while still being an intriguing combination of flavours and ingredients” said Cooper. “This dish simply reminds me of Summer dining” he added.

The season for the Heirloom Oxheart Tomato won’t be long so make sure you visit Bishop Sessa soon for this truly seasonal dish.



charity degustation event supporting Movember Foundation

Men, judging by my personal research, are infuriating creatures. This is told to me by infuriated people who are usually looking directly at me. (Mainly my long suffering partner).

It’s fair to assume men have their good points as well as their bad. It’s also fair to assume nobody’s perfect and we should endeavour to celebrate the positives.

This is exactly what we plan to do on Thursday November 17, celebrate blokey things but with half a mind to helping blokes who insist on acting blokey against everyone else’s better judgement.

It’s no secret men are often very poor at taking care of their own health, adopting a ‘she’ll be right’ approach. The Movember Foundation aims to put a spotlight on men’s health, to make it easier to talk about.

Our Big Blokey BBQ dinner is all about celebrating men. as. It’s also about helping them by donating $10 from every seat sold to the Movember Foundation.

We would love for you to join us.

How to get involved?

You can read more about the dinner and the menu on our event calendar or you can jump straight to it (in that manly “never ask for directions” way) and buy your seats at our online store.


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The best value early week dining in Sydney

The best value early week dining in Sydney

Offered all day Tuesday & Wednesday as well as Saturday lunchtime the Menu 49 concept is simple. Order any 3 courses from our regular a la carte menu (entree/main course/dessert) for only $49 per person.