48 Hours in Sydney

July 10, 2017

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Sydney’s dramatic harbor and powerful landmarks – from the Opera House to the Harbour Bridge to Bondi Beach – are famous all over the world, but few people are acquainted with the city’s more secretive side. For every busy beach, there’s a hidden cove where you’d be lucky to see a person, let alone a crowd. And for every frantic tourist attraction, there’s an unspoiled stretch of national park, dotted with walks, waterways and lookouts.

It’s this unique blend of natural and man-made environments, combined with its restless, quirky creative scene, that has HUNT Sydney writer Jasmine Crittenden hooked. In one day, she can snorkel alongside rays and sharks, linger over a coffee in an art-covered café, stand under a waterfall, meet friends for high tea in a 19th-century terrace house, spot rainbow lorikeets in a wild forest, order a signature cocktail from a champion bartender and kick back to world-class jazz in a New York-style club. All this, and more, awaits in Sydney.

Day 1

Suzie Q Coffee & Roasters. Image by David Collins.

9:30am: Any day in Sydney is an action-packed one. Start our right with a scrumptious breakfast at Suzie Q Coffee & Roasters, then peruse their music collection. More often than not, you’ll find a classic among the vinyls to take home.

11am: Stroll along Crown Street towards Darlinghurst, crossing Oxford Street to browse The Makery‘s lovely curation of locally designed creations, from hand-blended teas to jewelry to painted skateboards.

12pm: Pop by Footage and check out the 80-strong collection of fashion brands in store. Whether you’re after cool kicks or funky threads, you’ll come across some unexpected finds here.

12:30pm: By now, you’ll be wrestling with an appetite. The Commons Local Eating House dishes up hearty, European-influenced lunch in a historical, sandstone building.

Strand Hatters. Image by Annie Mehra.

2pm: Walk off lunch and head to Joe Bananas in Queen Victoria Building for dapper menswear. Just a little further is the Strand Arcade, which houses Strand Hatters with akubras, berets and fedoras. Not a hat fiend? Scour the rest of this impressive three-story building for other quirky boutiques.

3:30pm: Find your way to Foundation Park for a light, post-prandial adventure. Don’t be surprised if you’re the only one here. Excluded from sign posts, this hidden attraction isn’t known to many of the city’s folks and is where to go when in need of solitude and fresh air.

4:30pm: Satisfy those tea-time cravings and drop in at La Renaissance Patisserie & Cafe for Paris-worth French pastries.

Assembly. Image by Brett Stevens.

6pm: Feeling thirsty? Indulge in a pre-dinner drink at Grandma’s Bar, where inventive cocktails and kitschy décor await.

7pm: To refuel for the evening, hit Assembly, where you’ll be drinking award-winning tipples and filling up on moreish pizzas. I recommend the carciofini (grilled eggplant, artichoke, rocket, walnuts, parmesan, basil and truffle oil) and the classic quattro formaggi.

9:30pm: When darkness falls, it’s jazz time. Swing by Foundry 616 for great live music and top-notch wine.

Day 2

The Wedge Espresso. Image courtesy of the venue.

9am: Wake up with a rush in the form of a cracking coffee and brekkie at The Wedge Espresso in Glebe.

10:30am: If it’s a Saturday, drop by Glebe Markets for pre-loved goods, handmade instruments and other one-off buys, as well as delish bites. For those of you into oddities and antiques, Halchemy Design is just the ticket. Looking to get away from the crowds? Then take a 20-minute trek to Sze Yup Temple and be rewarded with a tranquil escape.

12:30pm: Bus it or walk back to Sappho Books, Café & Wine Bar, where you can fill up with a tasty lunch and rummage through the diverse collection of secondhand books and sheet music.

2:30pm: Make tracks to Newtown to spend some time among King Street’s eclectic, eccentric shops and bars. Try Yoshi Jones Storio for Japanese-style design.

Yoshi Jones Storio. Image courtesy of the venue.

3:30pm: Pause for afternoon tea at Black Star Pastry. Pro tip: go for the signature strawberry-watermelon cake.

5pm: Jump in a cab to Bondi Beach for a sunset saunter along the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk. Feeling like a workout? You can always do like the Sydneysiders and run it.

7:30pm: For dinner in a laid-back atmosphere with ocean views, feast on seasonally driven dishes at Sean’s Panorama, prepared with fresh produce harvested from chef Sean Moran’s farm near the Blue Mountains.

10pm: To continue your night out, hail a taxi back to Surry Hills to catch live jazz, funk or groove at Venue 505.

Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk. Image by Annie Mehra.

About The HUNT Sydney Writer: Jasmine Crittenden is a writer by day and a musician by night. When not grappling with a story or a song, she’s out and about, exploring independent bookshops, alternative art galleries, jazz clubs, small bars, wild swimming spots and waterfalls. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Concrete PlaygroundLos Angeles Times Travel Plus and Music Australia. You can find her writing at jasminecrittenden.net and her music at jasminebeth.net.

For more great insider recommendations in Sydney, pick up the guide on gatehousepublishing.com.

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