Finger Wharf at Woolloomoolloo, the largest timber-piled building in the world, was built in 1915. It has variously been a wool warehouse, a staging post for soldiers in transit to World Wars I and II, and an arrival point for new migrants to Australia. Incredibly, the wharf was slated for demolition in 1991, but this was halted after a public outcry and in 1999 it was converted to hold 8 restaurants, numerous private apartments (one of them occupied by Russell Crowe) and the BLUE Hotel. I was there for dinner at China Doll, one of the restaurants lining the west side of the wharf, with a prime view of the city. After dinner, which was excellent – modern Asian loaded with clean fresh flavours – I wandered into the cavernous centre of the wharf to find the Water Bar, which is part of the BLUE hotel. It's a challenge to create atmosphere in such a vast space catering for so many people (on a Friday night, all the restaurants were packed), but they've done their best with the creative use of lighting, lacy screens, vintage features, a massive bar, and neon-lit lifts. Shown below: the lobby at the BLUE hotel; vases from China Doll; views from the wharf; and the interior.