Is it just us, or does it seem like everyone and their dog is on holiday in Europe, lounging on a beach with a cocktail in hand? If you’re stuck in the Southern Hemisphere like us, don’t fret. There are so many great places to explore within Australia, and you won’t even have to take any annual leave to do it. Whether it’s a staycation, a “working-from-home” breather in the country or a quick weekend trip to another city, there’s no shortage of things to keep you busy and entertained.
And to make it even easier for you to plan that local trip, we’ve put together our “Mosey Stays” series; providing a no-fuss guide to the must-do’s in each location we visit. First up we’re sharing our tips for a stay in Sydney, from our Commercial Director Jessie who recently did a staycation in Surry Hills:
“Being the biggest city in Australia in terms of population, you can imagine there’s no shortage of things to do to keep you busy. And no doubt your mind goes to beach and harbour first, because Sydney is quite the stunner when it comes to ocean views. But the city and inner suburbs have lots to offer as well. As a former Melbournite who has done several stints in Sydney over the last decade, I’m always drawn to the inner-city places that remind me of home.”
“Paramount House Hotel is al boutique hotel located in Surry Hills, just minutes from Central Station and a short walk from the top end of the CBD. Located in the former in the former headquarters of Paramount Picture Studios, the hotel has 29 rooms, a recreation club on the roof, café in the lobby and a movie theatre in the basement. The rooms are industrial without being cold, with considered details like terrazzo tiling in the bathroom, Seljak throws on the beds, Aesop products and a curated minibar. Greenery fills the communal spaces as well as art curated by local China Hearts gallery. You’re offered drinks at check in, including sparking tea or beer, and in the evenings a fresh jug of water is left outside your room, complete with orange and lemon slices. The location of the hotel is fantastic too – walking distance from the shops and cafes of Oxford Street and Darlinghurst.”
“There is no shortage of great places to eat around the hotel, including Nomad and Melbourne eatery Chin Chin. But my favourite has to be Poly. Dubbed a wine bar, this restaurant is located within the Paramount building premises but has a vibe all its own. With polished concrete floors and tables and chairs crammed in every inch of available space, the atmosphere at Poly is vibrant yet relaxed. The wine list is excellent, focusing on organic and biodynamic varieties, and the food menu is just as fantastic. I went with a big group and we did the set menu. Everything that came out was beautiful but also delicious. There was no shortage of food and the staff were incredible at accommodating all our various dietary requirements. It’s the sister establishment to Ester, one of Sydney’s best restaurants.”
“For more coffee-and-croissant vibes, just ride the elevator to the Paramount rooftop where AP Bakery has taken up residence. Think all types of buttery pastries and breads, both sweet and savoury. They have an all-day café menu, and can seat up to forty on this leafy rooftop.”
“When I lived in Sydney, Piccolo Bar in Kings Cross was my local and we loved it. This tiny hole-in-the-wall bar was a Sydney institution, originally a café that traded in the Cross for more than 60 years and attracted a creative clientele including actor Judy Davis and stage icon Peter Allen. After closing in 2017, it was re-imagined and reopened late last year as an aperitivo bar and diner. There’s an extensive cocktail list as well as a great selection of wines and vermouths. For nibbles, you can’t go wrong with the Sicilian olives or the cheese plate supplied by local retailer Penny’s Cheese Shop. Go early if you want a table as it fills up quickly.”
“One of the cool new kids on the block, Chinatown Country Club has caused quite a stir since it opened in February this year. The multi-brand concept store delivers interesting, hard-to-find brands as well as an inviting space to relax in. The store has an airy and clean aesthetic and houses a café and library too. Located at the top end of the city, whet your appetite here before continuing your shopping spree in the CBD.”
“White Rabbit Gallery has to be one of my favourite art galleries in Sydney. Founded by Judith Nelson, the gallery is one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of Chinese Contemporary Art. The gallery is in a former Rolls-Royce showroom near Sydney’s Central Station, and has four floors of exhibition space as well as a theatrette and a teahouse. Only a fraction of the Collection is on show at any time. The entire contents of the gallery are rehung twice a year. The teahouse is a must-visit; the dumplings are delicious, and the selection of Chinese teas is extensive. The current exhibition is titled “I Loved You”, running from 2nd of July until 21st of November. Admission is free.”
“If art galleries aren’t your thing, there’s always the Golden Age cinema that’s worth a visit. Located in the same building as the hotel, this boutique cinema only has one movie theatre and plays a mix of new releases and old classics. The 1920’s-inspired snack bar has a great selection of cocktails and wines, as well as choc tops supplied from Sydney Gelateria Messina. The cinema can also be hired for private functions.”
We hope you enjoy our Mosey Stays Sydney edition!