A couple of weeks ago, I scraped together enough frequent flyer points to head up to Sydney. My mum was over there for work already so I sat up camp in her hotel room and proceeded to see ALL the people.
Sydney is without a doubt one of my favourite places. I love the harbour, the city, the vibe of the place. Sadly, it doesn’t really feel like home anymore…but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the chance to walk the old familiar streets. Particularly, I enjoyed getting to spend quality time with all my awesome friends, most of whom I hadn’t seen in over a year (!) (!!)
First order of business was to hop a ferry over to Manly. I was feeling very nostalgic for a classic ferry ride…and I proceeded to get horribly sunburnt in the process *grumbles about boats being stupid* There was a lovely lunch in a pub with a big balcony overlooking the promenade and a jug of Pimms – because it’s summer, so there.
I then accompanied Em to a hidden basement whisky bar. Now, this was a long time coming for us. We had first tried to visit when I originally attempted to move back to Sydney at the end of ’12, but the line was hopelessly too long and we’d set up shop in Grandma’s Bar instead. This time we were not to be deterred. Good thing too because The Baxter Inn is basically the best thing to happen to me so far this year. It’s a wonderful bar in the proper old speakeasy style with dark wood, a jaw-dropping selection of whisky, talented bartenders and an apt soundtrack of swing, jazz and blues. I love the place. You don’t understand. If I still lived in Sydney, I’d be there every week. Their self-invented Japanese Highball cocktail is a thing of beauty, and their Old Fashioneds are delicious orange-y perfection. So. Good. We were there three nights out of my six in town, sitting at the bar, chatting to all the barmen and being generally charming (see also: annoying). If you’re in Sydney, you must go, and you must ask them to recommend you something because they are really good at it. Except for the guy who greeted us on our first night there and recommended we have tequila. At 4.30pm on a Tuesday? Settle down, petal.
Irish, of the strong persuasion. Good, but Green Spot is nicer!
Japanese Highball. Light of my life.
Coconut Ting cocktail. And my new Scottish friend in the background.
If I get Old Fashioned, will you get old, old fashioned with me?
One half of the wall of whisky.
Writers Tears on the right, Kat’s A-something on the left…cannae remember the name. Disaster.
I got to spend some quality time with Em and Roze, including watching an Avenue Q-esque play based on the Golden Girls. Followed by dinner, wine, and attempted cutlery theft. We also had a lovely brunch one morning that included playing a game called Trouble that I had been blissfully unaware of up until this point. Turns out it’s basically ludo? Anyway, I digress. Em and I followed this with Mardi Gras parade shenanigans (complete with glow sticks) via the aforementioned glorious Baxter Inn and the new Papa Gedes bar that’s done in fantastic New Orleans style. The small bars trend that’s taken hold in Sydney has made the city so much cooler. It’s wonderful.
There is an endless supply of cool glasses here.
I spent most of my days hanging around in the city, writing in the MCA café (excellent coffee + roof terrace with views of the bridge/opera house = winner) and meeting up with people as they had time in their schedules. So basically meeting Em for lunch and chilling with Kat when she got her uni timetable wrong. In the process of doing the latter, I got to potter around UTS for a bit and it was weirdly comforting returning to the old alma mater. I spent so much time there, after all. Happily, I also got to attend a get together of my old writing group and later hang out with some of the girls. It made me feel incredibly lucky to have met these people through sheer chance and have them in my life….even if I hardly ever get to actually see them.
MCA writing times.
Before I knew it, the week was over and it was time to come home. I saw some family friends, had one final lovely breakfast at La Perouse and then high-tailed it out of a very rainy Sydney. I’d spent so much time running from one end of town to the other, I was absolutely knackered but still really glad I’d managed to find the time to visit. And as it was just before I started working again, it ended up being the perfect little holiday.