For the final leg of our stay in Sydney, Mr Silver and I wanted to try somewhere completely different. Bring on the QT Hotel! The hotel is conveniently placed on the corner of George and Market street in the centre of the CBD. The flagship QT Hotel is on the site of the former historic State theatre and the Gowings department store. The design blends Gothic style with Art Deco creating a kind of fifties-cool vibe which is even picked up in the uniform of the cool and sexy door girls.
The Gilt Lounge bar was young, fun and buzzy and the place was an instant hit with me and Mr Silver. The room reflects the historic past of the hotel while remaining quirky and modern with a huge soaking bath.
There were plenty of cool little touches such as a cocktail shaker and martini glasses, in room nespresso and different sweet treats to purchase in the mini bar.
It was Christmas Eve so we headed out to meet some of Mr Silver’s friends in Darling Harbour, one of Sydney’s main entertainment and shopping hubs. We ate hearty Italian food at Crinti’s and watched the Christmas Eve fireworks light up the harbour!
It seemed strange celebrating Christmas in a hot country, when you’re used to cold and sometimes snowy England! But I’d often heard of the famous Australian Christmas beach barbecues which seemed to me a really novel way to celebrate. However, when we woke up on Christmas Day it was pouring with rain! We felt a little despondent as we missed our families, particularly our nieces and nephews on a day like today. However, homesickness aside, it was the perfect opportunity to check out the hotel restaurant for a full on Christmas lunch.
European brasserie, Gowings, is the main restaurant at the QT and the menu features local Australian produce. For today though, it would be a set Christmas lunch.
A rather unusual Christmas!
We started with a lobster burger and glass of champagne!
Oysters two ways.
Mr Silver’s turkey and lots of side dishes
Cherries on ice!
We also drank about a bottle and a half of wine between us. When we finished we headed back to the room and followed the Christmas tradition of falling asleep after the meal! When we woke up in the early evening the rain had cleared and we took a walk down to the Sydney Opera House and Mr Silver managed to find the space for an evening ice cream. It was a lovely Christmas just spent together but felt strange as I’ve never had Christmas without my family and we definitely felt a yearning for home especially with our trip soon coming to an end.
Boxing Day will get a blog post all of its own, so I’ll skip to the last day. During the day we went to say goodbye to Bondi Beach. Icebergs restaurant had been strongly recommended to me but it was completely full so instead we ate lunch at North Bondi Italian. The restaurant sits right on the edge of beach and serves delicious fresh Italian food.
I’d heard good things about the Establishment Hotel so we decided to start our last evening there with a drink. The hotel lobby has a fabulously buzzy atmosphere and if you want a young and fun hotel I would suggest The Establishment or the QT. The Shangri-La, where we stayed earlier in the trip was a little businessy and formal. The Establishment has only 31 rooms so it has a more luxurious boutique feel about. The hotel also contains several stylish restaurants and we chose to eat at sushi e, an authentic sushi restaurant where you watch the chef’s prepare your food from your seat at the marble bar.
We finished our night at the Ivy bar. I would say without a doubt this was the coolest bar we visited in Sydney. The centre piece of the bar is a turquoise swimming people surrounded by intimate private cabanas.
The beautiful bar was the perfect place to spend our final night and though we were sad to leave Australia we were eager to get back to see our friends and family who we’d been away from for so long.
The next blog will be my final blog about Australia, where you read about the wonderful surprise I had on Boxing Day.