Checking off one of my travel destination this year was Sydney. A vacation is also the only way that I resort to, to force myself to take a break from 24/7 work days. This time around in Sydney, it was Winter, a perfect getaway from the intense heatwave here. What I loved about Sydney was its rustic vintage charm, a sweet contrast to its busy streets. Most of the buildings have been preserved over the years to keep its culture and retain its history. During our 8 days stay, Jasper and I stayed in Chippendale, located in the heart of the city. Easily accessible to the trains, bus and shopping malls.
Waking up every morning was always a new experience, I had curated a list of breakfast cafes prior to my trip there.. You've never tasted coffee so good until you've had a cup of aromatic fresh brew in the coldest of winter.
Cafes to check out. (Food)
- Brewristas, Chippendale; Must try (Breakfast Bacon + Egg Rolls)
- Campos Coffee, Newtown; Campos serves one of the best coffees in Sydney. Be prepared to wait especially during peak hours of the morning. They import coffee beans from farmers all over the world to maintain the best quality beans. Order one of their affogato, where a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream replaces milk.
- Speedos, Bondi Beach; If you're craving for a sweet meal, drop by Speedos on your way to Bondi for an attractive yet delicious meal that pampers your palette. Walking into Speedos, you are welcomed and spoilt for choice with a huge variety of the most beautiful desserts and cronuts display.
- Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills; For my carb crazed girls only! I LOVE a good breakfast where I can pick my own breads, tarts and cakes. It sure does not disappoint.
- Buttermelt Cafe, Strathfield
- Flower Child Cafe, Chatswood; If you're a granola addict like me, be sure to have one of their granola fruit bowls, garnished with edible flowers. (Instagrammable Worthy)
- The Grounds of Alexandria
- The Winery, Surry Hills
- Jackie's Cafe, Paddington; Organic breakfast. I had the the most delicious egg whites on sourdough toast. Accompany yours with a soy flat white. I died.
- The Sconery, Chippendale; Nestled between alleys in the middle of Chippendale where we stayed, was a quite bakery/cafe serving huge sandwiches, breakfast trays and scones as huge as my hands.
- Miss Peaches, Newtown; If you're looking to have a beer and southern music, hit up Miss Peaches on a Friday night. Dress up in an authentic vintage look complete with pin-up hairdo, throw on some dancing shoes, get a pint (or two), order their fried chicken and buttermilk waffles. Trust me when I say you'll be prepared for the very well dressed crowd.
- Hurricane's, Bondi; Though I don't eat meat on a daily basis, (I had a salad). The boys recommend Hurricane's for the best pork ribs. Order the full rack for sharing between two.
During my travels, no matter a vacation or for business, I will always make it a point to have a few hours or a day to shop.. Or how I tell my boyfriend, "market research". While tourists get souvenirs, I'll bring back authentic vintage wear from wherever I am from. I'll make it a point (so you don't have to!) to ask locals where the best weekend markets are or where the vintage stores are at.
Shopping Places to check out.
1. Weekend Markets; Only available on weekends (Friday to Sunday). I wouldn't much recommend taking a full day to visit if you're on a short holiday. However, there are nice trinkets and homemade candles for purchase. Glebe Market, Surry Hills Weekend Market (2nd Saturday of every month)
2. Paddington, Oxford Street; One of the best shopping streets where all the best Australian Local Labels are at. Check out Ellery, Alice Mccall, Desordre Boutique, Acne Studios etc.
3. Shopping Malls in Town (Westfield, The Strand Arcade, Departmental Stores)
4. Sneakers; Australians and their love for sneakers is evident, every street is filled with multiple sneaker stores where you can find Adidas, Nikes, Pumas in every style, size and colour.
Besides the usual suspects to visit; Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour and Bondi Beach. Pack a pair of comfortable shoes for trekking, don't make the same mistake as I did by bringing boots, new sneakers, brogues and heels..
Places to Visit:
1. Royal National Park; I conquered a 4 hour hike while trashing my only comfortable pair of white Stan Smiths in exchange for the most breathtaking scenery. One of the highlights is the Wedding Cake Rock, a favourite spot among Instagrammers. Though they fenced out the rock, you can still enjoy the spectacular view from afar.
2. Blue Mountains; Layer on your thickest winter wear if you're going during cooler weather as it hits a single digit during the evening. Enjoy a long hike with waterfalls, mountains and many, many stairs.
3. Coogee Beach and Manly Beach
4. Victoria Park; Before heading to the park, grab a takeaway lunch and coffee for two. Grab a book. An affordable romantic activity for 2 in a foreign country is exciting and guaranteed fun. Find a spot and have a quick picnic on the grass. Soak in the experience. It's one of those experiences I really treasured and felt really thankful that I had the luxury to travel with Jasper.
If you're travelling in a group, rent a car like we did through Red Spot Car Rental, it was about $40/day. Parking in Sydney was a breeze, there are free parking in most of the areas outside of town. Free parking are two words rarely heard together in a sentence in Singapore. Most of the time, we walked or took the bus, really convenient and easy to commute. Purchase an Opal card from any convenience store where you can top it up to take public transport.
Checkout Jasper's Sydney vlogs where we invite you to experience Sydney together with us! #followmetoSYDNEY #SAVIinSYDNEY