Sydney, Australia – two perfect days in this fabulous city . . .

So, what’s a girl to do when her husband announces that he has a training conference to attend in Sydney?

Well, this girl immediately says, “can I tag along?”

Which is how I found myself winging my way to Australia only a month after returning from Melbourne. Except this time the destination was Sydney. It’s a city I know well and one that holds many good memories. In my mid-twenties I made the break and left New Zealand to live abroad. Sydney seemed a good place to start. I knew I liked the city and it was close to home (just in case it all went wrong).

Fortunately it all went right. I spent eighteen months in this wonderful city and what an experience. Living away from your home country allows you to build confidence and become self-sufficient. It was a decision that changed the course of my life because it gave me the courage just a couple of years later to make an even bigger move to London. And that’s a story for another day.

So back to Sydney. I had two days to myself while my husband beavered away in his training conference. Two days to wander and explore with only myself to please – yep, I was pretty excited.

Day 1 dawned perfectly – a cloudless blue sky. I started with a hearty breakfast because I had a big day planned. My laptop goes everywhere with me but I’d made a pact with myself that during the trip I was going to spend time on the rewrites for my novel. So breakfast was al fresco on a gorgeous morning with only my laptop for company. A solid start to the day.

Sydney is one of those cities that is best enjoyed on a good day. Especially if you’re heading down to Circular Quay and the waterfront. Which is where I headed after breakfast. I was staying north of the bridge in the suburb of Chatswood so I was able to enjoy the incredible view that unfolded as my taxi driver whisked me across the harbour bridge.

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Sydney’s waterfront on a perfect day is hard to beat. It’s full of bustle and you can spend hours watching the activity on the harbour. Circular Quay is where the ferries leave from if you’ve opted for a tour on the water. You can also catch ferries to some great Sydney destinations such as Manly and Darling Harbour.

It is also, of course, where you will find the city’s most iconic structure – the Sydney Opera House. Its architectural design is so distinctive it is instantly recognisable. If you fancy a bit of culture while you’re visiting make sure you get yourself tickets to a performance. Or opt for a tour of this incredible building. Well worth it.

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If you’re spending the day at Sydney’s waterfront there is also plenty on offer in the way of dining options. Try one of the restaurants lining the eastern stretch of Circular Quay. You’ll enjoy fantastic views.

There is also the Guylian Chocolate Café. Sweet tooth anyone? Or indulge in a spot of shopping.

You could easily fill a day down at the Harbour, especially if it’s your first time in Sydney. But I moved on and headed into the city to wander and explore.

When it comes to old meeting new Europe does it best in my humble opinon. Down here in the Southern Hemisphere we simply don’t have the wealth of history. Even so there is some lovely architecture in Sydney – both old and new.

And while the shopping may not hold up to Melbourne’s offering there is still plenty to keep your credit card busy. They have my personal favourite – David Jones – so I was happy.

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Eventually my stomach told me it was time to refuel. Whenever I’m wandering a city I am always on the lookout for places to eat. Because I want every meal to be an experience. I was fortunate to look out White Rabbit early on so I knew exactly where to head once it was time to eat.

I cannot tell you how delicious my lunch was. As soon as I saw hand crafted pasta on the menu I knew I was onto a good thing. I ordered pan-seared potato gnocchi with braised short rib. Need I say more? After hours of walking it was just the sort of hearty lunch I needed and left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

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You will find White Rabbit at 28-34 O’Connell Street. On Wednesday to Friday it’s open later for dinner also. Highly recommended.

How’s that for day 1?

Day 2 promised to be just as good but for different reasons. I was meeting a friend for lunch – a highlight of the trip because my friend Ani and I hadn’t seen each other in almost fifteen years. We worked together when I lived in Sydney and have kept in touch ever since.

So now I need to tell you about where she took me for lunch because I have another recommendation for you. Fourth Village Providore in Mosman. Mosman is a lovely and rather affluent suburb on the lower North Shore of Sydney. Ani knows how much I love Italian and kindly looked out the perfect place for us to have lunch.

Fourth Village Providore can be found at 5a Vista Street in Mosman and is not just any Italian restaurant. Behind the restaurant is a bustling food market offering a deli, a dedicated cheese room, fresh produce and a wonderful array of European specialties – pasta, bread, preserves, olive oil. I loved it!

We had lunch first before exploring the market and the food did not disappoint. I ordered Risotto ai frutti di Mare – risotto with fresh fish, mixed shellfish and a wine and herb sauce. Yum, yum, yum!

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As for the market, I could have gone mad but it’s not easy to get food through customs in New Zealand so I settled for their delicious florentines, which is my favourite biscuit. Although perhaps “biscuit” doesn’t quite do justice to these deliciously sticky fruit, nut and chocolate treats.

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A perfect afternoon. Thank you to my lovely friend Ani.

IMG_3022I’ll end this blog by sharing one further culinary adventure. On our last evening my husband and I went into the city and had dinner at The Malaya, a Malaysian restaurant in Lime Street at Kings Wharf. It has a stunning view over Darling Harbour, a view we enjoyed throughout the night because I’d requested a window table.

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The Malaya had been recommended to me by a friend and did not disappoint. We had a banquet of dishes that kept coming throughout the evening and the food was exceptional. But there was one dish that for me stood above the rest and that was the Szechuan eggplant (or aubergine as I call it). It came with the curries towards the end of the banquet and was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.

The next morning we flew home. But what an incredible two days I had. I wonder where my husband’s next training conference will be?

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25 Comments

  1. Your enthusiasm and passion for travel are self evident. You make the experience for the reader that much more enjoyable. Of course, I have now added 15 pounds to my body weight just READING about the food you ate! 🙂
    Looks like you really had a marvelous time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rini says:

    Wow I did not know a Guylian chocolate café existed. I must go there in a visit to Sydney. It also looks like this year is your year for some overdue reunions. 🙂

    Like

    • It certainly has been, Rini. I’ve had the chance to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a long while. Such a privilege. Also have eaten some amazing food. Can’t complain. Had a blast in both Melbourne and Sydney!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. annika says:

    Tracey, I totally see you as a travel show host! You really know how to convince us of where our next vacation should be! As for you, I hope your husband’s next training conference brings you to Montreal!

    Liked by 1 person

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