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Three Perfect Days: Sydney

From Bondi Beach to Woolloomooloo Bay, outdoorsy Sydney is the coolest town Down Under

Author Steven Kurutz


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DAY THREE After all that excitement, a lazy day padding around the city sounds just about right. First stop: 1 Bill’s, a renowned breakfast spot in Darlinghurst run by chef Bill Granger, whose light food echoes the airy environs. From here, stroll down Victoria Street toward the bohemian burg of Potts Point. Watch the crowds at Fitzroy Gardens, a lovely park accented by the El Alamein Fountain. Down the way is tiny 2 Macleay Bookshop, where you buy a copy of local Peter Carey’s classic 30 Days in Sydney.

With the afternoon stretching before you, hail a cab to 3 Surry Hills. Several eclectic shops line Cleveland Street, on the neighborhood’s southern edge, like David Met Nicole, which sells a well-curated mix of new and vintage decor items. Feeling hungry, you’re lucky to snag a table at 4 Spice I Am, a trendy Thai restaurant that deliciously captures the Asian influence on Sydney’s cuisine. Seeing a rocker dude waiting for a seat, you remember you wanted to track down a record by Rose Tattoo, the unheralded ’70s “Oz rock” band from Sydney, so after lunch you hit 5 Red Eye Records near Chinatown, and snag a copy of the band’s criminally underrated third album.

Ready to go upscale? Head to the tony eastern suburb of Woollahra, an Aboriginal word meaning “you can’t afford it here” (actually, it means meeting ground). Window shop in the storefronts along Queen Street, then try a macaroon at the pastry counter inside Donna Hay’s General Store, a gift shop run by the antipodean version of Martha Stewart. You pass row houses built in Sydney’s signature architectural style, the terrace home, their facades painted and dressed up like debutantes at a ball. Your final stop is 6 Bistro Moncur, chef Damian Pignolet’s classic French standby and a mainstay of Sydney’s elegant dining scene, where you’ll grab an early dinner of exquisitely slow-roasted Kurobuta pork with crackling and salsa verde.

After dessert, you suddenly decide you want another of those spectacular city views. But where? There are so many great spots. Though you’re loathe to follow the beaten path, there’s a reason 7 Summit, a bar on the 47th floor of an office tower in the CBD, is a longstanding tourist magnet. The walls are floor-to-ceiling glass, and the room slowly rotates, so there’s not a bad seat in the joint. There it is—all of Sydney stretched out before you: the Opera House; the Harbour Bridge; the magnificent bay, and, somewhere out in the inky night, Bondi Beach. In that moment you remember the plane ride here and think maybe it wasn’t so long after all.

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