Monthly Archives: April 2012

Fast Five with Mario Kalpou, The Old Library

Mario Kalpou, owner of The Old Library, Cronulla’s new Italian diner that’s receiving praise and recognition for its standout design, takes part in our Fast Five.

1.   Best meal you’ve had in Sydney?
The zucchini flowers and meat balls at sopra.

2.   Favourite drink with dinner?
Glass of pino nior.

3.   Favourite Sydney bar?
Zeta Bar, Hilton.

4.   Favourite Travel Destination
Greek islands, of course!

5.   I never leave home without …
My wallet — in-case I feel like eating out!

Congratulations to Mario and design practice, Hecker Guthrie, for Commendations in the Hospitality Design category at the 2012 Australian Interior Design Awards!

Missed our interview with Mario Kalpou about The Old Library? You can find it here. 

Mario Kalpou

The Old Library

The Old Library, Cronulla NSW


Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Art Melbourne, May 24 – 27

For its ninth consecutive year, Art Melbourne will open its doors at the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton. Organisers this year are excited about its contemporary twist and fresh new look that will inspire over 14,000 visitors set to flock to the event.  The art fair showcases thousands of quality, original artwork under $5,000 in an encouraging environment, highlighting the demand for quality artwork at affordable prices.

Fair Director, Tasmin Roberts says, “The Art Melbourne model lends itself to the current economic climate. Now more than ever people want good quality, original work without the high-end price tag. Art Melbourne delivers this to buyers and creates a new market for galleries.”

Exhibitors have been encouraged to be creative with what they show for under $5,000. Galleries may choose to commission special, editioned work from some of their more established artists, show a strong collection of works on paper, or promote their up and comers with a solo presentation in the New Gen sector.

New at Art Melbourne in 2012:

  • Art Asia
    A selective group of galleries from the broader Asia Pacific region and Australian galleries representing Asian artists. The feature is sponsored by the Australia China Art Foundation (ACAF).
  • Street, Urban, and Graphic Art
    A representation of the highly popular artistic movement that is somewhat of a phenomenon in Melbourne laneways and broader Australia.
  • Ausin Tung Gallery
    Ausin Tung Gallery will be exhibiting and will work with Art Melbourne in the creation of an education program covering topics such as ‘The Asian market, how relevant is it to Australia?’, ‘Collecting work under $5000’, and, ‘What to look for in an art work’.

For more information visit Art Melbourne.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art

Nic and Rocco Sydney Cooking Classes

Sydney fans can now try their hand at Nic and Rocco’s traditional Italian recipes with a modern twist as they bring their cooking classes to NSW! Nic and Rocco will be appearing at Peter’s of Kensington from May 14-19 for exclusive cooking classes that will cover dessert, seafood and pasta.

The dynamic duo dazzled judges and TV audiences earlier this year on season three of My Kitchen Rules. Armed with delicious Gateau Operas, mesmerising Macarons and charms to kill, they whipped up inspired creations night after night, making their way to the final cook off. Despite being pipped at the post in the final stages, the boys have maintained a steady following and have opened their own ‘desserts for order’ business as well as cooking classes for the culinary enthusiast.  Book now for Nic and RoccoWeek at Peter’s of Kensington as places are limited and will sell out fast. Every session will have free giveaways including a Kenwood prize pack plus lots of Nic and Rocco specials!

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Interview: Mario Kalpou, The Old Library

Originally a library in the 70s, The Old Library has been redeveloped into Cronulla’s hottest modern Italian diner. By the Sydney beach, hungry guests can relax in the spacious sit-down eatery, that comes with complementing bar and private dining room, and indulge in delicious Italian flavours. It boasts an impressive menu as well as a character-filled interior that’s been shortlisted in the Hospitality Design award category at the 2012 Australian Interior Design Awards.

Owner, Mario Kalpou says, “The space was designed with relevance to its surroundings. The interior is reflective of a contemporary seaside establishment while still retaining the essence of the original building and its features including its vaulted, timber-lined ceiling.” We chat to Mario about the award-nominated design.

Describe The Old Library before you got your hands on it?
It wasn’t in the best shape. All I had to work with was the bones of the building, but what great bones they were! There was an amazing sense of volume, and its character was screaming at me. I knew I had a winner! The inspiration was to keep it classy yet not intimidating and also very much in touch with its surroundings, the beach.

What was it like working with designers Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie who helped revamp The Old Library?
When it comes to design, the most important aspect of doing a job in partnership is speaking the same language. We successfully bounced ideas off each other. I had to incorporate hospitality and industry practicality with their vision of aesthetics and, it was a juggle, but we nailed it!

What’s you favourite feature of the restaurant’s design?
The bar and the book lounge.

What does it mean to be short-listed in the Hospitality Design award category at the Australian Interior Design Awards?
Not to sound arrogant, but I wasn’t extremely surprised because I knew how much we put into its design, of course, it’s always humbling to see your hard work pay off. It means a hell of a lot and it’s great to know we’re up there with some of the country’s best venues.

What can people expect when visiting the old library?
To me it’s all about the experience. Food and beverage is about bringing people together, creating a great vibe and sharing — that’s what I want people to feel. The food is good, simple, fresh, Italian cuisine. I don’t believe in complicating food, we use fresh produce and always the best! We keep it seasonal — the way it should be.

The Old Library owner, Mario Kalpou, shares his Fast Five with us next week! Stay tuned.

Fig Salad

Chocolate Budino


Filed under Design, Interviews

Jay-Z to launch ‘Empire’ Facebook game

Rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z is set to stretch his business legs in a new venture — Facebook gaming.

His beta version of ‘Empire’ has just been released. It shadows the story of his own life where players follow a ‘rags to riches’ tale where they see themselves rise from the Brooklyn projects to rap stardom and successful businessman.

“Make the right choices and you can have it all: money, fame, street cred, and good karma.”

Empire is available to play via Facebook.

Image: NME

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Snap Happy, Polaroid 300 in purple

18 months ago we welcomed the arrival of the Polaroid 300 instant camera. It was an example of retro revival in its best light with a streamlined, modern twist. Missing from its collection of instant image-makers was a colour that rounds out its varied selection of fresh and funky hues.

Polaroid has now released the purple rendition of the 300 model that features the same curvaceous design, features and instant fun of its predecessors! The ‘pearlescent’ purple joins the force alongside red, blue and matt black. The Polaroid 300 can be found nationally from camera stores, specialty stores and department stores. For more information visit



Filed under Design

IKEA to launch UPPLEVA HDTV Entertainment Package

IKEA is venturing into the world of technology. Teaming up with Chinese technology manufacturer TCL, IKEA has unveiled its new home entertainment package — The UPPLEVA.

The UPPLEVA line is designed to eliminate the cluttered look in the lounge room. It’s achieving this by discreetly hiding that unwanted mess of cables and combining a 1080p HDTV, Blu-Ray player and a 2.1 surround sound system into a customisable cabinet. The UPPLEVA also features a wireless sub-woofer and all-in-one remote to make life — as is always with IKEA — a little simpler!

Coming in various HDTV screen sizes and a number of different cabinets, you’ll find UPPLEVA in Stockholm, Milan, Paris, Gdansk and Berlin in June 2012. The rest of the world will have to wait until mid 2013.

Leave a comment

Filed under Design