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Secret Sydney

Secret Sydney

In a big city, intimacy is everything.  Call it ahead of the curve or call it agoraphobia, but the people who get the most out of their city are the ones who avoid trends.  We’ve kept one to ourselves, but the rest of Sydney’s best kept secrets are now open slather. 


Marlowe’s Way

This is by far the best eatery in the CBD and on Friday nights it becomes the best drinkery as well.  At 8am on weekdays the queue for Marty’s coffee and beats snakes out the door and up Tank Stream Way - and not just because this place is the size of a tamagotchi. After 6pm on Fridays, the gloves come off and the Montenegro comes out. We continue to thank Ivy for loud music so distracting that the rest of the city walks right past the laneway without batting an eyelid.

SSO’s Vanguard

Thank god chamber music doesn’t have the cool-factor it had in the 18th century. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Vanguard program takes classical music out of the concert hall and puts it in the right kind of wrong places, like abandoned warehouses, distilleries and sunny vineyards.  It’s a members’ only affair and has been designed for people who know nothing about sonatas or semiquavers – though they think they probably should. The next event is at Young Henry’s in Newtown and, as always, will be entirely wank-free.

Join here.

Henrietta Supper Club

6am licences are few and far between in Sydney, and if you open a bar that also serves food 24 hours, then the pressure is on – because there’s no crowd more discerning than the hospo crowd.  Part cocktail lounge and part restaurant, The Henrietta Supper Club is the work of the guys behind Bondi’s Neighbourhood (not that you’d know) and the industry has given it their tick of approval.  Irish Kim Douglas, former sous chef at Rockpool, is on the pans which means the fare is either fancy British pub fare (spatchcock, Yorkshire puds) or fancy British bar snacks (croquettes and scotch eggs) depending on whether you arrive before or after 10.30pm.  Low-lit lamps, navy walls, leather bench seats and Messina gelato cocktails – this is the right kind of club.


Obelisk Beach 

As any seasoned sun-seeker will tell you, nude beaches are the best beaches.  Small, isolated and about a thousand times more private than any others, nude beaches allow their visitors a rare tranquility in which to enjoy the sun and surrounds.  Sydney is so famous for its beaches that overcrowding makes them borderline unlovable come December, so beaches like the secluded turquoise oasis that is Obelisk Beach (on Middle Head but best accessed by boat) are infinitely important for permanent residents  - fully clothed or otherwise.

Kings Lane Sandwiches

Huge slabs of soft white bread.  Thick, crunchy schnitzels.  Creamy, fresh herbed mayonnaise.  It’s hard to pinpoint the source Kings Lane Sandwiches’ magic and it might be important not to try.  Despite being tucked neatly amongst Darlinghurst’s sandstone brothels, locals are most definitely in the know and the queues here are unfathomable after 12pm.  Lucky you can call ahead.

Plein Air Prize

In a city where art is commonly projected onto the city’s most cliché buildings, choppered on to the headland, or housed in renovated Rolls Royce depots and carriageworks, Parliament House is about the most unsexy art setting imaginable.  This could be why so few people know about the Plein Air Painting Prize – an annual competition open to any artist who evokes a subject found in New South Wales in their painting.  Past winners include Guy Maestri and Rodney Pople, and this year sees an even higher calibre of entrants.

 Go forth.


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