Adelaide, as though by choice behind Sydney’s bustle and Melbourne’s pomp, is the gem-like third city of Australia. Informal and welcoming, Adelaide is at her best in Springtime and Autumn, when ubiquitous flowers adorn the otherwise ‘regular folk’ attractiveness of this uncomplicated capital city just under two hours by plane from Sydney.
At the Naval, Military, and Air Force Club of South Australia on Angus and Hutt, a visitor almost concludes that the passing of the British Empire was a mean-spirited rumor.
One sits in a bar booth under a framed newspaper report of Lord Nelson’s death. On the stairwell, passing a framed image of WWII RAF planes on the attack, an acquaintance generously offers that they were no doubt powered by Pratt & Whitney engines. ‘Does that mean they’d be American?’, I innocently answer. ‘Of course!’, comes the reply, as though to say ‘I thought you would have picked up the compliment.’
Quiet and spacious guest rooms, a welcoming bar, and a gently distinguished dining room welcome a guest as though he were a co-conspirator in it all. And, by the end of a stay, one wonders whether, in fact, he is.
A sport-coat and tie mean ‘dressing down’ in these environs. A suit is best for the dinner hour.
But don’t let the formality of it all put you off. Conversation partners are always at hand, welcoming to conversation, and straight-forward in that way that makes Aussies the most uncomplicated population on earth for a visiting American with no axe to grind.