After a very short flight, our plane touched down for our much anticipated stay in Sydney. Due to the way the flights had worked out we would be spending another stint in Sydney at the end of the holiday and spending Christmas there. Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia. The residents are known for having an very good quality of life and the city itself is gorgeous, having been built on hills and surrounded by national parks and beaches.
The first hotel that we stayed in was the Shangri-La, located on The Rocks. The hotel was a great location as it was an easy walk to the harbour and there was a salon that did a great spray tan next door! The hotel was a great base for us but for me it falls into the category of ‘generic hotel’ and it felt quite business-y. Here’s a few pictures of the room so you can see what I mean.
The Shangri-La did have one thing that really made it outstanding and that was the views. Here’s the view from our room.
As I mentioned it was very close to the Harbour so ideal for getting around.
And we so excited to see the iconic Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
We also had a fabulous dining experience at the hotel’s restaurant, Altitude, which is on the 36th Floor of the Shangri-La with gorgeous views over Sydney. The restaurant has been awarded One Hat by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and serves delicious modern Australian cuisine.
The weather was cold on the first day in Sydney and I talked Mr Silver into another cheesy coach tour as I wanted to make sure we saw the full surroundings of the Sydney.
That evening we took the ferry to Manly beach and took in the wonderful views of the coastline as we cruised along.
Manly beach is situated among the Northern beaches of Sydney, and though full of exciting attractions it was much quieter and more relaxing than other beaches in Sydney.
We were here to meet with one of my friend Edith who had emigrated from London and she took us for dinner at the famous Hugo’s at Manly which was a buzzy restaurant right on the waterfront and one I would highly recommend trying.
The weather was on our side the next day and we took the opportunity to visit Bondi beach, one of the most popular beaches in Sydney as you can see it was very crowded.
Here we met one of Mr Silver’s friend James who had also emigrated to Sydney and we spent the day with him and his friends on the beach. While we sat on Bondi we were surprised at the number of English accents we heard, perhaps even outnumbering the Aussies! When afternoon wine-time dawned James took us to a nearby bar, Bucket List. Mr Silver and I loved Bucket List! It was located directly on the pavilion of Bondi and had a shabby-chic cool but relaxed vibe. And fab wine!
Mr Silver happily enjoys a beer!
That evening we met a different friend of mine for drink. Clearly, the number of our friends of ours who had chosen to leave London for Sydney shows how amazing the quality of life is out there. Crystal took us to Opera Bar, a cool bar in the centre of Sydney with fantastic views over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
I loved this bar because I really felt like I was in Sydney as I could see everything that represented the city to me. Later Crystal took us on to another bar, unfortunately the name escapes me as I’d already had one too many sparkling wines!
So ended the first leg of our experience in Sydney city centre, but we would be back for more!!