It’s kind of ironic really that I’m writing this post in an empty house (kept company by only an air mattress, potted succulent and Wedgwood teapot), with all my life’s belongings in the process of being hovercrafted to Sydney, which in three days’ time will sign off my new home address.
Yet a month ago, I was just a girl from Melbourne in Sydney for work, who coincidently had a girlfriend from Adelaide also in Sydney for work. And what do you do when two interstater pals are flukingly in the same city at the same time? You call it a holiday and plan an epic girls-only weekend.
Here’s what we planned, did and I highly endorse in the itinerary copying of:
Sunset drinks at Opera Bar
Meeting up with Ali (who you might remember from such posts as: ‘Girls’ weekend: 48 hours in Melbourne’, ‘Melbourne Cup: some VERY important decisions’ and ‘A Yarra Valley road trip: 4 of the best wineries to visit‘) on the steps of the Opera House, it was only fitting that the weekend commenced with the drinking of some Vitamin D (and Vueve) at the famous Sydney drinkery that is Opera Bar. The view is orrite too.
Opera Bar | Lower Concourse Level, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9247 1666
Dinner at China Doll in Woolloomooloo
Me: “What cuisine do you think they do?”
Face palm. If you’re looking for an Indian curry you might be disappointed by China Doll, but if you’re looking for modern Asian served against a city skyline, this wharf-side restaurant in Woolloomooloo (the suburb with way too many o’s) is a winner. The barbecue pork and prawn fried rice deserves a gold star, while the corn and zucchini cakes are worthy of a scratch-and-smell sticker.
China Doll | 4/6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9380 6744
Drinks at Restaurant Hubert in Sydney
If you’re wearing anything less than an evening dress you’ll likely feel underdressed in this new post-war Europe-style fine dining and drinking establishment. You enter Restaurant Hubert off the unassuming Bligh Place, walking through a heavy unassuming wooden door and descending some long spiral stairs. When you finally get to the basement level of this heavily wood-panelled speakeasy enclave in the ground, the old world opulence will punch you in the eyeballs.
Restaurant Hubert | 15 Bligh Street, Sydney, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9232 0881
Breakfast and shopping at Rozelle Markets
If you’re into used and vintage fashion, along with antique and collectable hunting, you’ll love scouring the stalls at the open air Rozelle Market, which commandeers the Rozelle School every Saturday. Personally, I’m not so much a fan of anything pre-loved. Fortunately, the food trucks kept me company, while Ali dug away.
Rozelle Markets | Rozelle School, 663 Darling Street, Rozelle, New South Wales
A lunch picnic in the Royal Botanic Garden of Sydney
Pack a picnic of cheeses, meats and breads and foxtrot on over to this garden that is the Queen Elizabeth of all gardens. All that’s left to do is eat your camembert and prosciutto in the average company of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Royal Sydney Botanic Gardens
A massage at Endota Spa – The Rocks
Massages and girls’ weekends go together like Carrie and Big, and Endota is always a reliable choice.
Endota Spa – The Rocks | Shop 5, 66 Harrington Street, The Rocks, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9241 3828
Afternoon wine at The Barber Shop in Sydney
After our massage, I was feeling floppy like Dad’s gardening hat but Ali was feeling like a Fiano. She twisted my ear and we found ourselves sleuthing out a fun place for a drink.
If you’re like me and go gaga over any bar that is a game of Cluedo as to how you actually get in, you’ll die for this speakeasy gin den that masquerades as a barber shop.
Hint: the bar entrance is behind the beard cutting, through the heavy metal door.
The Barber Shop | 89 York Street, Sydney, New South Wales
Pre drinks at Ms. G’s in Potts Point
Another hour, another bottle of champagne. This time we Ubered over to Potts Point and gate crashed Ms. G’s ultra modern, street art-adorned Asian house. Glad we did because we uncovered four levels of frivolity and fun, fuelled by an Asian fusion menu, communal tables, lots of drink choices and an energetic DJ.
It seemed mean that we couldn’t stay for longer. But you don’t stand up Neil Perry.
Ms. G’s | 155 Victoria Street, Potts Point, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9240 3000
Dinner at Eleven Bridge in Sydney
Ultra organised, we’d booked a couple of chairs at the newly-opened reinvented version of Neil Perry’s former stalwart restaurant Rockpool Est. 1989 – now called Eleven Bridge. We were treated to a date with Brad Pitt on a plate. The mud crab salad with salted duck egg mayonnaise is a total heart stealer.
Eleven Bridge | 11 Bridge Street, Sydney, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9252 1888
Walk around Bondi Beach and Bondi Markets
The fact that it’s August (well then it was) and there were more people swimming in the ocean than what you’d find taking selfies in front of the Opera House blows my Melburnian mind.
The beach vibe at Bondi is blatant and I love it. I also love strolling around the Bondi Markets, where you can find plenty of non-pre-loved treasures. I may have bought a dozen soy-scented candles before remembering that I was flying home.
Lunch and drinks at North Bondi Fish in Bondi
Lettuce drink some more! Tucked into the top of Bondi Beach, this fancy beach shack has a great buzz and serves some of the best looking seafood around. Try and jag a table out on the deck (sun permitting) where you have full view of the beach and people swimming in August. Mind still blown.