We all know I’m exceptionally serious about my itinerary planning. If you don’t believe me, there’s evidence here and here. It also probably won’t surprise you that Jude and I are going on a month-long jaunt to Cuba and the US next year, and I’ve already started creating the itinerary. It’s currently an unfinished nine pages and we’re not getting on a plane for another six months!
Most recently, I had my friend Charlotte visiting us from Adelaide. I first met Charlotte back in 2006, when we were fresh-faced uni students wearing belts that performed no function, way too much eyeliner and lots of Roxy.
Charlotte now has two beautiful boys. So, when she came to visit Sarah and I in Sydney, the pressure was on to plan a fun, kid-free weekend. Here’s what we did (feel free to copy):
Walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge
There’s something special about climbing the Argyle Stairs, Bridge Stairs and then setting foot on Sydney Harbour Bridge. It pulls at the heart strings – of both tourists and locals. You get to feel your legs turn to red jelly, you get to marvel at how small the boats look below and you get to catch yourself turning around trying to spot the beautiful bridge – you’re on it fool. Yep, this weekend just got off to a high start – pun fully intended.
Shopping in the Sydney CBD
We all know I think shopping in Sydney compared to Melbourne is meh. But when you can try on clothes without kids hanging from your elbows, I understand the appeal. So next, at Charlotte’s request, we found ourselves going for a shopping burn around Pitt Street Mall, QVB Building and Westfield Sydney. Three hours later we were knee-deep in bags. Yeah, I can think of worse ways to spend a Friday afternoon.
Drinks at The Butler
Quick outfit change – which naturally involved a rummage through the day’s spoils – heels on, lipstick on and we’re off to Potts Point – my favourite adult playground in Sydney. While waiting the obligatory hour for a table at Potts Point’s best restaurants, there’s only one thing to do – COCKTAILS!
The Butler | 123 Victoria Street, Potts Point, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 8354 0742
Dinner at Chester White Cured Diner
I’m in love!!! Chester White is my Stu Laundy. But instead of being a rich motherfucker my man serves pasta from a hollowed out wheel of truffle-laced Pecorino cheese. It’s the stuff o’ dreams, and enough to handover a red rose for life. Charlotte couldn’t come to Sydney without being introduced to the city’s cacio e pepe.
Chester White Cured Diner | 3 Orwell Street, Potts Point, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9332 3692
Drinks at Mrs Sippy
In my head, I had this sophisticated dinner planned. We’d be eating our charcuterie and drinking Chardonnay, while discussing politics and the stock market. But after dinner we somehow found ourselves catching an Uber to Double Bay, at the bar of Mrs Sippy doing Fresh Pussy shots and dropping it like it’s hot on the dance floor. It was like 2006 all over again!
Mrs Sippy | 37 Bay Street, Double Bay, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9362 3321
Road trip to Palm Beach
After a couple of greasy croissants for breakfast, we’re up, fresh-faced and piling into the convertible for a drive out to the northern Sydney suburb of Palm Beach – also known as Summer Bay.
Yet, Every. Single. Time I visit Palm Beach it looks nothing like Summer Bay. There’s rain, fog and mist, sometimes lightening, tornadoes and snow. It seems to always resemble a scene from Lord of the Rings, not Home and Away.
Lunch at The Boathouse Palm Beach
We stopped for lunch at the Pier Diner (or The Boathouse Palm Beach, as it’s called in real life). Enjoying our salad and chips, while looking out onto the wharf that’s instantly recognisable as where Angel boarded her ill-fated seaplane back in 1995.
The Boathouse Palm Beach | Barrenjoey Boathouse, Palm Beach, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9974 5440
Touring the set of Home and Away
Charlotte is a hard-core Home and Away fan, so taking her to Palm Beach felt like telling a four-year-old Santa had just dropped down the chimney and left hundreds of presents. She was hyperventilating at the sight of Alf’s Bait Shop, running up and down the iconic yellow sand dunes, and pretending she was a lifeguard out the front of Summer Bay Surf Club.
Luckily, we left Palm Beach without our car exploding, being caught in an earthquake, shot at or diagnosed with cancer.
Brunch at The Grounds of Alexandria
There’s no better way to tie a bow on a girls’ weekend in Sydney than a visit to the over-photographed, over-styled The Grounds of Alexandria. It’s such an efficient use of time. Markets, brunch and a petting zoo – all in the one spot. (Saves us from making that special petting zoo visit later).
With Charlotte about to head home and be reunited with her family, we grabbed some take-away brunch and a seat in the ‘garden’ (rookie error if you line up and try and get a table), reminiscing about the weekend that was.
The Grounds of Alexandria | 7a/2 Huntley Street, Alexandria, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9699 2225