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A Love Letter to Sydney

A Love Letter to Sydney

 

 

This Valentine’s Day, we talk to friends of Sorry Thanks I Love You about the secret spots and oh-so-Sydney experiences that have made them fall in love with their home city.

Maggie Scardifield
Writer
@mjscardi @studiosearchparty

Best place for a first date?
It’d have to be a toss up between Love, Tilly Devine in Darlinghurst (an oldie, but a goodie) and The Old Fitz in Woolloomooloo for a ripper, casual pub feed. How could you not get along when there’s the promise of Si Vintners and a rissole sanga?

What about a third date?
By the third date I reckon you’re ready to slurp noodles and splash broth all over your chin together, so I’d head to Rara in Redfern. Go early though, lines form fast. And if you can’t be bothered to wait (although for the chashu alone, I suggest you do) you can always join every other third date in Sydney at Arcadia Liquors. 

Arcadia Liquors

Most ridiculously Sydney-ish spot in the city?
A visit to Paramount House and all within its walls feels very Sydney right now. On a Saturday morning, The Locals Market takes place on the Rec Club roof. After an outdoor Stretch class, grab some produce, sit and have a coffee, take great delight perving on all the seductive curves of the building, and if you’re not ready to go home, hit Golden Age Cinema for a matinée screening. 

Best meal youve eaten recently in Sydney?
The return of Cafe Paci was long-awaited and doesn’t disappoint – especially if you catch wine-man Giorgio de Maria working the floor. And on the last Sunday of the month, you’ll usually find me at Don Peppino’s. Those guys can do no wrong. 

The place youre always raving about is…
For the hyper-seasonal food, the service, the interiors inspiration, the lot really, it has to be Sean’s at North Bondi. It’s been open for more than two decades and you can understand why – Sean and his partner Manoo have created something so distinctly their own, yet so familiar at the same time. It’s Sydney at its best. Peach-leaf ice-cream for life. 

Best place to fall in love with Sydney?
Sundowners after an early evening dip at the north end of Bondi Beach, is Sydney to a tee for me. The North end is a lot more chilled out than the South end and has much more of a locals vibe. Bring a bottle of something fresh, grab fish and chips from Bondi Best, an iceberg lettuce from Nio and Tony’s (for DIY chip choy bau) and watch the sun go down in summery, salty bliss.

 

 

Andy Braithwaite
Photographer
@andrewbraithwaite @shiro.kumosan

Favourite secret spot in Sydney?
Old Mate's place is a beautiful little cocktail bar hidden at 199 Clarence Street. It might look like you are entering through the tradesman’s entrance, but once you push open the door on level 4 (hint: there is an elevator), you'll be welcomed by a charming bar with plush leather couches, book covered walls and some fantastic cocktails. On a sunny day, the rooftop is an amazing place to spend a few hours.  

Best meal you’ve eaten recently? 
I love ramen, and one of my favourites in Sydney is the Kogashi Miso at Gogyo in Surry Hills. The charred miso base is so rich and hearty that I am still craving more when I'm finished, despite being completely full. 

Best place for photo fodder?
Bridge Street in the city during the morning commute. The light is amazing, and with so many glass buildings around you get some amazing shadows.  

The place you’re always waxing lyrical about is…
Wylie’s Baths in Coogee. It's a stunning harbour pool set into the side of the cliff, it looks like it has been lifted straight out of a 70’s ice cream ad. It's paid entry ($5 for an adult), but the facilities are great and they have a nice little cafe for water-side snacks.  

Wylie's Baths

Where do you always take visitors?
The cliff walk around Diamond Bay reserve in Vaucluse. Whilst not as famous as some of the other big names (Bondi to Bronte and Manly spit), it's equally beautiful and generally a lot less busy. Plus, at the right time of year you can often see whales on the horizon.  

Where do you go for a culture injection?
We have a lot of great galleries in Sydney, but I love White Rabbit the most. It feels the most "interactive" of the galleries, in some cases with the viewer becoming a part of the art through how you observe it.  

Best recent discovery?
I sort of missed the revival of libraries, but now I'm making up for lost time. The recently renovated Green Square library is fantastic. It's a beautifully designed building with a great reading room, but they go over and above with what you can borrow, from musical instruments to retro video game consoles.  

What do you love about Sydney?
I never feel more smug than when I have a swim in the ocean before work.

Samie Oliver
Background
@backgroundcc

What place do you adore the most in this city, and why?
I grew up in Sydney, so there’s a lot of sentimental value peppered all over the place, but if I had to name a few - the back deck of any Sydney Ferry, seeing everything from the water or one of the Eastern beaches at sunrise.

Best recent discovery?
Earth Walker is potentially my new favourite cafe in all of Sydney + Frank’s Wild Years + surf shops + good coffee + beaches. There’s a really wonderful community along Sydney's South coast  - Coledale, Thirroul, Austinmer… Feels like a little slice of Byron. Plus the Royal National Park is right there which is just beautiful to drive through, let alone hike through.

Best place for a culture injection?
Sydney Dance Company, the streets of Newtown and Marrickville, Art Gallery of NSW.

The place you keep going back to?
Swimming in Bronte Pool at sunrise and lining up for weekend croissants and filter coffee at Iggy’s - it’s a serious ritual.

Iggy's

When city life is getting you down, where in Sydney do you go to lift your spirits?

That’s the beauty of Sydney, it might be a global city but it’s so easy to escape that feeling. We’re hemmed in to the East by the sea and the North, South and West by National Park so in less than 1 hour's drive you could be on a cliff looking out to the horizon, or surrounded by tall trees, and easily feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere - in fact you haven’t left at all.

Best meal you’ve eaten recently in Sydney?

The natural wine, gnocchi al pomodoro, lasagne and tiramisu at Peppe’s in Bondi - they also just opened a new restaurant in Alexandria. It’s all plant based but if I didn’t tell you you’d never know.

Why do you love living in Sydney?

She’s not perfect but the proximity of the city and the sea, the distance from other major capitals - it feels like a bit of an oasis on this crazy globe!

Cameron Foggo
Furniture designer
@cameron_foggo_design

How long have you been living here and where else have you lived?
I moved over from Christchurch in 2011, but I have spent most of the last three years on the road in Europe with my laptop. I'm back now and feeling quite settled.

Best meal you've eaten recently in Sydney?
That would have to be the slow-cooked Moroccan lamb that my partner Lauren made last night. Apart from that, I would still have to vouch for the baked lamb shoulder at Apollo. It's a real staple in my diet along with the saganaki cheese.

Favourite secret haunt in Sydney?
Chester White Cured Diner in Potts Point would have to be my favourite haunt. The interior is mainly art deco, and reminiscent of my nanna's lounge room. The music is country with a touch of bluegrass. Some of the staff look like they've come straight from rockabilly band practice. The quirky mishmash of aesthetic styles, good music and great food makes for a good night out.

Chester White Cured Diner

Where do you go for guaranteed design gratification?
You mean apart from Sorry Thanks I Love You? A trip around some of the better furniture showrooms will get me going. I'm a furniture designer, so it's a furniture design that I find inspirational. There are too many favourite showrooms to list, and if I missed one, then it wouldn't be fair.

Best recent discovery?
The Spit to Manly walk. Honey with cheese on toast.

 

Misch Gomez
Yogi
@mischaism

How long have you been living in Sydney and where else have you lived?
I’ve been in Sydney for eight years now. I grew up on a cattle farm in North Queensland which is a far cry from this city! I moved to Brisbane to go to university, then the Gold Coast and eventually to Sydney. My husband is from Barcelona so we also spend at least a month every year living there.

What’s your favourite secret haunt in Sydney?
Ooh such a tough one, there are so many great, green spots to take a book and a picnic, feel the grass under your feet, the sun on your face with hardly a soul around. Lady Martins Beach in Point Piper, Beare Park and Arthur McElhone Reserve in Elizabeth Bay. (We were married here so it’s an extra special secret spot.)

Best place for some zen?
When I’m not teaching or practising yoga at Humming Puppy, the absolute zen oasis in Redfern, I’m by the ocean or immersed in nature. In the world that we live in, it is so important to prioritise relaxation and restoration. More and more studies are proving the health benefits of spending time in nature extend beyond relaxation into healing bodily ills, boosting immunity, supporting mental health. Get yourself some zen in nature!

Best meal you’ve eaten recently in Sydney?
Bodhi, just down past St Mary’s Cathedral. Dinner there (and dessert of course) is such a treat! The food is incredible, it’s all plant based and the team are so friendly!

Bodhi

Why do you love living in Sydney?
I love the extreme opposites you can find in Sydney - the juxtaposition of the big city with so much nature in and around it to explore and enjoy. It’s a balance! There’s always something happening - art, music, a new bar or restaurant but you can also choose to go for a coastal walk, a picnic in the park or even go camping for the weekend.

Where’s the best place to go to fall in love in (or with!) Sydney?
Falling in love with Sydney isn’t hard if you don’t mind the hustle and bustle! The harbour beaches are absolutely the best and most unique part of Sydney to enjoy in my opinion. There is nothing like sinking a few tinnies, while watching the sun drop down behind the Sydney skyline, after a day in the ocean. Salty, sandy, sweaty, with a full belly and heart! I like Milk Beach, Lady Bay or Shark Beach. Although I met my husband at the Marrickville Bowlo, so that’s obviously the best place to meet your future spouse.

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