4Fourteen and…Lunching Bloggers

I had the most wonderful day yesterday.

Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial organised a lunch with a few Sydney bloggers; bloggers I have been virtually communicating with for around six months but never met.  Those who joined me yesterday at 4fourteen in Surry Hills were Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella, Brydie from City Hippy Farm Girl, Celia, and Rebecca from The Intolerant Chef who flew up from Canberra for the day to be with us – great effort!

We had arranged to meet at midday and I planned to be there almost ahead of schedule but you know how it is and at the last minute my punctuality plans became thwarted by a phone call letting me know Arabella had managed to secure a place on an HSC Crusader Study Camp at Galston Gorge starting the next day.  We had to do a mercy dash to the local mall to buy a couple of essentials she desperately needed, but firstly and before we could leave, she had to have her time in the bathroom.

I think she’s finished in there

At the mall I just wanted to bag up the essentials but we ended up with secret socks, sports socks, tights, thermals, canvas shoes, jumpers, skivvies, scarfs, textbooks, a kebab and a hand bag – ‘Oh look mum!  It’s 40% off’.  It’s amazing I was only 15 minutes late.

Then, on the way, Archie phoned.  I had asked him during the week if he would like to pop in and join me and the girls at the restaurant because he goes to uni just a few blocks away from where we would be.  He told me there was no way he could do that because he had an exam that afternoon and would need that time to prepare for the exam.

But when Archie phoned me he all of a sudden had plenty of spare time.  When I arrived he was waiting outside for me.  I told him how lovely it was to see him (he hadn’t been home for a while) and that I was so happy he could join me for a drink.  He said, ‘Actually mum, the reason I’m here is that you know how I didn’t come home last night, well, I’ve run out of money and I was just hoping you could buy me some lunch.  And do you think you could give me some money because a mate shouted me breakfast and I said I’d pay him back.’

I didn’t let the fact that Archie uses me like a cash-cow put me off my lunch.

I walked in with Archie and the girls were already seated.  I had already met Celia and I recognised Lorraine from a photo on her blog and I didn’t know Brydie or Rebecca but somehow I just knew who was who.  I introduced Archie who despite living like a vagrant was actually pleasingly presentable and Celia couldn’t resist asking, ‘How is it that you returned from your formal wearing only your underwear?’  And Archie said, ‘Oh right, well I think there’s just some things you can’t explain’.

After the introductions, gifts were presented.  For any novice out there, food bloggers are generous souls and when they meet they present, share and swap gifts.

I know this now.

Rebecca made me a truffle butter that was in a very cute little jar.  Lorraine made me some chocolate brownies that were beautifully wrapped and presented.  The brownies contain a secret ingredient that gives them a wonderful flavour and texture and I’m sure the recipe and the unveiling of this ingredient will be on her blog any day now.  Celia gave some homemade chocolates, a jar of her president plum jam and a beautiful dish from the Turkish Homewares Shop she recently promoted on her blog.  I gave NOTHING as the food-blogger-generosity gene had bypassed me.   I will be better prepared next time!

We then ordered drinks.  Water for the girls and a beer for Archie.

A liquid lunch for Archie

And then another beer for Archie.

The food at this restaurant is designed to be shared and we enjoyed many varied and unusual dishes including pig’s ears and pig’s tails but we do not know what happened to the middle bit of the pig because it wasn’t on the menu.  Archie had a couple of beers then stumbled back to Uni to sit his final exam for this semester.  He would have been relaxed for sure.

Here’s a selection of some of the food we shared and enjoyed…

Chicken Wing Parfait, Crispy Tortilla and Quince Chutney $7.50

Crumbed Pigs Ears $9.50


Warm Crab Roll $14.50

Crumbed Pigs Tail, Crab and Corn Salad, Avocado Puree $22.50

Licorice ‘Beef and Bone’ for two $60.00

This came with crumbed, crunchy bone marrow on the side to prevent it from becoming soggy.

Roast Spanish Mackerel, Crisp Eel, Beetroot Jus $28.00

3 Hour Celeriac ‘3-Ways’ $14.00

Mixed Grain Salad $12.00

Roast Pineapple, Cinnamon and Star Anise Ice Cream

White Chocolate Sandwich Dulce de Leche $14.00


It seriously was a wonderful day out and the restaurant was a great choice but I don’t think it would have mattered if we were sitting on a park bench eating slightly stale vegemite sandwiches.  This was wonderful food but the friendship, bonding, relating and laughing eclipsed the fabulous cuisine – by yards!

Looking forward to the next invite!

And girls…Archie says, ‘Thanks ladies for the beers’.  It will not be his shout next time.  It never is!

4fourteen is located at 414 Bourke Street Surry Hills, Sydney

Ph:  9331 5399

Open Tuesday to Saturday Lunch and Dinner, Sunday lunch only

Want to keep in touch?  Join the fun on the Hotly Spiced Facebook page!





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  1. It looks seriously delicious! And I am so impressed that they stock the Lord Nelson beers! I haven’t had a pint of 3 sheets in way too long!

  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Charlie, what a wonderful lunch it was! And as you say, we could have been sitting anywhere and we would have had a great time together although I’m glad we could combine it with a meal as lovely as this! Xxx

  3. J Cosmo Newbery says:

    Oh wow!

  4. Wow… You ladies sure know how to have fun huh? 😉 What a lovely afternoon spent with the gals. Now, you’re making me paranoid whether I should bring something and what as well when I’m meeting bloggers for the first time! Haha. But it is a very friendly culture to have, I love it. Pigs ears and tails totally work for me I’ll keep this place in mind next time I’m in Sydney. Looks like a relaxed, not too busy place to have lunch in the CBD. Works for me!

  5. A_Boleyn says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful outing, eventually and enjoyed the food and company. And, I love how ‘crumbed’ sounds so much tastier and special than simply saying ‘dipped in bread crumbs and deep fried’.

    My parents were farmers back in Yugoslavia and while growing up in Canada, pig’s head and other parts made more than the occasional appearance in our kitchen. Not that my brother and I tried any of that ‘stuff’. 🙂 Though we might have been tempted if they had been presented in such an elegant fashion rather than as “cotoroage de porc” or headcheese like this.



    • hotlyspiced says:

      That is certainly different cuisine from what I was served when I was growing up. The foods I were given were a lot more conventional. xx

  6. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    What fun! What sheer and utter fun to be able to get together with fellow bloggers (wonderful ones at that) and enjoy such interesting food. I so wish I could fellow blogger to ignore the bad press on Mexico and join me here–San Miguel de Allende is Paradise. Truly!

  7. The food was great. Really, I’m sure it was great. But I honestly didn’t pay much attention, I was having so much fun discussing ninjas and mediums with all of you. And meeting the extremely debonaire Archie and Brydie’s incredibly gorgeous Baby Monkey were just the highlights of the day for me! xxx

  8. Tammy McLeod says:

    I’m so jealous. That sounds like terrific fun and the food looked interesting as well – especially three hour celeriac.

  9. yummychunklet says:

    Everything looks delicious, especially the desserts!

  10. That restaurant looks fantastic… I love the look of the celeriac especially… any chance of a more fuller description of how it was prepared, if you can remember it all?

    “slightly stale vegemite sandwiches” – heresy… you Aussies with your vegemite… it’s Marmite all the way baby! 🙂

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I actually am not sure how they did the celeriac but it was probably my most favourite dish of the day. Not only because of the flavour but because it was so original and not something I have seen before. If I find out more I’ll let you know. And Charles, I was actually brought up on marmite in NZ but when we moved to Australia I had to make the switch. I found it unpalatable at first but I’m a true believer these days! xx

  11. Sounds like such a wonderful lunch with great food and great company – I was ever so slightly jealous when Celia Tweeted about it. I’m not often in Sydney, but next time I am, I’ll be looking to catch up with a few of you!

  12. Thanks for the heads up on gifts. Who knew? 🙂

    I am so envious that you all got together. Next time, just add and extra chair and pretend I’m there, okay?

    I’m halfway with Charlies on the vegemite. The other half doesn’t want marmite either but a picnic on the lawn would suit me just fine.

    It sounds like Archie is a lot like his mother with the, “some things can’t be explained” comment.

  13. Juliet Batten says:

    What a feast, and the gifts sound amazing and fantastic to meet the other blogging women and put faces to names.

  14. What a wonderful lunch! I’m so happy to think of you meeting in person – there is a lovely but slightly strange thing about chatting with people over the web and putting faces to names must be a lovely experience. I am sure they were also thrilled to meet Archie and I am sure he was thrilled with the pre-exam beer!!

  15. cityhippyfarmgirl says:

    So great to meet you, and see the face behind the words 🙂
    Such a great lunch, just wished I could have stayed longer!

  16. I just love ears, tails and noses! Especially pork. There is nothing nicer than a group of good friends sharing great food! 🙂

  17. InTolerantChef says:

    I had such a lovely time too thanks Charlie! It was so nice to finally meet my Imaginary Friends 🙂
    That Archie is a real charmer, if he doesn’t break into acting I’m sure he has a secure future flattering older ladies into looking after him!
    Anytime you want to meet up again, I’m so in! X x

  18. ChgoJohn says:

    What a nice way to spend an afternoon and, I’d imagine, a bit unexpected. I mean, when you first started your blog, did you ever imagine meeting fellow bloggers for lunch? For me, blogging has brought plenty of pleasant surprises, none of which anticipated.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      That’s exactly right John. So many benefits and all unexpected. It was a real treat to meet these bloggers face to face. And one day, I hope to be in Chicago! xx

  19. JasmyneTea says:

    I’ve only met other bloggers at an Oxfam event, but I’ve never been able to make it to a meetup. At least if I do I’ll know to bring something! Thanks 😉

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Yes Jasmyne – don’t be like me. It was a bit embarrassing and then I ran out of money because Arabella had fleeced me with that final purchase of a handbag and then Archie rocked up wanting lunch money so I was a bit short of cash when the bill arrived. Lorraine kinds picked up my short-fall. With that, the no gifts and Archie’s beer tab I’m indebted to these girls! xx

  20. Pigs ears and tails, I thought that offal was only used by the Asians very interesting to a non Asian twist to it

  21. That must have been fun and exciting! I love those crab rolls.

  22. What a fantastic meet up my friwend, you all must have had a blast 😀


  23. Barbara Williams says:

    Always is fun meeting up with blogger buddies. Your lunches look delicious! Love your expression “mercy dash”…going to remember that one. So true. And your Archie stories remind me of my kids…

  24. Yum, Yum and Yum! A foodies feast.

  25. Eva Taylor says:

    What I would give to meet you and those wonderful ladies, Charlie!
    BTW, the photos are not resizing for my iPhone.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

    • hotlyspiced says:

      When I think of who else we needed at the lunch, you Eva are at the top of my list. When I think about the geographical challenges I am overwhelmed by the distance between us. I would so love to lunch with you. I do plan to go to the USA (LA and NYC) in 2013. When I’m in NY, how many hours would the flight be to Toronto?

  26. Biscuitsandbobbins says:

    Lunch looks great! And I’m sure conversng with fellow food blogger friends in person must have been a blast- love that idea of a bloggers luncheon!

  27. gardentowok.com says:

    What a varied and fabulous menu, everything sounds interesting. Great get together with fellow food bloggers, to meet, lunch and and have a fantastic afternoon.

  28. niasunset says:

    How beautiful meeting… I know dear Celia, she is amazing as you… I wished to be there with you too… Thank you dear Charlie, love, nia

  29. Oh what a lovely lunch 🙂 I love meeting other bloggers ~ its like their ‘my kind’ hahaha they don’t freak out when I tell them I’ve a whole tub of ice-cream and I totally agree with you that food bloggers are so generous ~ I once had a blogger friend send me chocolates all the way from London!

    I love all your blogs 😀 Hopefully I’ll be able to meet you in person too one day Charlie!

  30. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    Oh I’m so insanely jealous that you all got to meet! How wonderful! I know what you mean about it doesn’t matter where you are. Last time I met up with Lorraine I was so late home Will rang me to make sure I was ok!

  31. Interesting that bloggers get together. Meanwhile, I’m hungry.

  32. PromenadePlantings says:

    It sounds like a fun afternoon – ho wcoul dit not be with such great company! Claire

  33. Garden Correspondent says:

    What a fabulous lunch you had, and in such good company too. I can’t believe you were able to avert not one but two teen crises and still be in time for lunch (you’re only late after 20 minutes of you ask me).

  34. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    Oh, oh, I would have been in trouble, because, seriously, I do not think that I could eat pig’s ears or pig’s tails or bone marrow. I would have eaten the gifts the other bloggers brought. That aside, isn’t it wonderful to meet your online friends in person? So glad you all made this work.

  35. tania@mykitchenstories.com.au says:

    How very very fantastic. Both the lunch and the company….. please invite me sometime I have special gifts of food!!!

  36. I love a good bloggy get together – which reminds me we are well overdue you know! 😉 But $60 for Licorice Beef and Bone – for two? Wow that must have been a very special dish! or maybe I am just showing my naivity ha ha xx

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Yes, let’s organise our get-together when the kids go back to school. I must say, the licorice and beef was sensational and we shared it between five so the cost didn’t seem as bad as that! xx

  37. Gosh I’d love to meet you all one day!! Thanks for the heads up regarding foodies and their home made gifts, I’ll certainly remember that one 🙂

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