Tucked away in a shady stretch of Pitt St, Accor’s latest hotel opens up like a glowing box of jewels. Step inside the Hotel Morris – Handwritten Collection to find yourself in an Italian-inspired, Art Deco bar/reception, adorned with rose marble and twinkling chandeliers.
Situated in the entrance lobby, we grab our seats. We adore the savoury madeleines with nduja, preserved lemon and guanciale as well as the Sydney rock oysters with vermouth vinaigrette. Our table are raving over the perfectly al-dente pasta and the spelt panfocaccia – freshly warm and springy, accompanied by Parmigiano & garlic butter.
A plate of cured fish – “Fish Crudo” – with translucent-thin slices of yellow squash marinated in yuzu kosho – was one of those painting-on-a-plate dishes that’s too pretty to eat. Appetite overtook aesthetics nonetheless, and it was devoured.
Morris has a long history – it was once Sydney’s tallest building, later a backpacker hostel – but has now been entirely refurbished from top to bottom. There’s even a custom-designed wallpaper with Graeco-Roman sybarites carousing and cavorting. Accor has kept the original name while adding it to their new “Handwritten” range of elegant boutique properties.
Whilst we didn’t stay, we did get to stay in the rooms we did get a few sneaky peaks of these ones. The largest ensuites are beautifully fitted out with King sized beds and all mod cons such as multiple USB slots. Bathrooms, featuring IIUVO soigné amenities, have been designed to maximise the space – you could easily fit two people in the shower, should your stay be less about business, more about pleasure…
Described as the hotel’s very smallest. Anticipating a bunk in a broom cupboard, we were surprised to find them also amply sized – larger than many London or Paris rooms, in fact – with Queen beds and spacious ensuites.
TINA – The Tina Turner Musical
We could have hung out in the stylish-but-cosy bar until the early hours, but it was off for another treat: TINA – The Tina Turner Musical at the Theatre Royal Sydney. This is a wonderfully sung-and-danced tribute to the late legend’s life, from her early childhood in the American South to global showbiz domination. The final scene, with its “twist”, was spectacular.
The costumes are glorious throughout as the musical takes you on an journey of neglect, grief and abuse to eventual love, success and stardom, to a soundtrack of Tina Turner’s top hits where the lyrics find poignant new meaning. The Australian angle too – with the actor (playing manager Roger Davies) styled in a 1980s Jason Donovan bleach-blond mullet – gave the show local resonance.
Hotel Morris – Handwritten Collection, with Bar Morris wine bar and restaurant, is located at 412 Pitt Street, HayMarket, Sydney. Official hotel website here
TINA – The Tina Turner Musical is showing until 31st December 2023 at the Theatre Royal Sydney, 108 King St, Sydney. Book tickets here