I'm confused and wandering around the Botanic Gardens. I want to ask someone directions but everyone else looks like a tourist. My phone rings and it is Christie. She too is lost too. Joggers are everywhere with earphones so I am loathe to stop them although I figure they are locals. I stop one that has no earphones and ask him directions. "Oh I'm sorry" he says with a friendly American accent "I'm a tourist".
"Are you lost?" an English voice chimes in behind me.
"Well...yes I am" I admit.
"What are you looking for?" I tell her the Andrew Boy Charlton Pool and she is amazingly headed in the same direction. Even though I was born and bred here, I am directionally challenged and it takes a friendly visitor from overseas to lead me to the door where I find my fabulous blogging buddy Christie.
We're about thirty minutes late for our booking and it's pretty crowded. Downstairs, swimmers are bathing and doing laps . There are families still on holidays with their small kids and tanned gods (yes it's said to be a popular gay haunt) strutting around in very small swimmers. Upstairs is the cafe and we take a seat on the bright orange seats. We're hot after our little traipse across the Botanical Gardens and all I want is a cold drink and the lukewarm tap water does little to cool us off.
We take a quick look at the menu but are too busy catching up. It's been over six months since we last saw each other and the waitress really seems to want to take our order so we have a quick look. We're both trying to eat healthier so we choose frappes and salads. There is a breakfast menu which we presume is available now as they're presenting us with it and a lunch menu which is broken up into small plates with items such as Manzanillo olives, artichoke dip with crostini, zucchini flowers and lamb cutlets and then there are the mains which features salads, a prawn spaghetti and battered flathead fish and chips. Prices reach up to the low $20's for a main.
very good looking men
I like the Lychee, strawberry and cloudy apple frappe which is chillingly good and just the ticket for this swelteringly hot Sydney day. The strong perfume of the lychee blends nicely with the strawberry and cloudy apple although there isn't one flavour that stands out as strongest. The blood orange and mango frappe looks a little different, more slushy as we figure that they probably used gelato or sorbet. It's strong in blood orange which always has that distinct almost tomatoey taste to it. It's also very strikingly pretty.
The first thing Christie notices is the petite portion of pork belly as she counts four sashimi sized pieces. We're sharing so I lift two onto my plates along with two pieces of ripe black fig, some batons of crisp Granny Smith apple and slivers of fennel and baby spinach. The pork belly is quite delicious but the rest of the salad isn't sufficiently dressed with most of the baby spinach leaves dry (it is said to have a vincotto vinegar dressing) and it needs seasoning.
The heirloom tomato salad is an Italian flag on a plate with red tomatoes, thick slices of spongy buffalo mozarella and green basil leaves. The tomatoes are extremely ripe and look like they were cut with a blunt knife. It's also not a particularly flavoursome heirloom variety tasting more like an overipe regular tomato and curiously there is a single slice of heirloom Black Russian tomato at the bottom. But yes it's just a single slice.
We have other tasks for the day so we soak up a bit more atmosphere before high tailing it out of there. Whilst the salads didn't wow us greatly, the frappes are good and the view and being poolside certainly thrilled.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you get lost in your own city?
Poolside Cafe @ Andrew 'Boy' Charlton Pool
Andrew 'Boy' Charlton Pool
1C Mrs Macquarie's Rd, Sydney, NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 8354 1044
Open 7 days 7:30am-4pm