So … 30 Dates has hit Sydney!
This week I finally made my way down under, after a very long couple of months working on the UKDA! First stop … Sydney.
I was in for a treat – with local ex-pat friends and Time Out Sydney to show me around the city, I’ve been spoilt for choice. I thought I’d share some of my favourite spots with you guys – whether you’re backpacking, on a romantic holiday, or a local wanting a new place to try.
Cirque de Soleil – Totem
I’ve always been a big fan of the blue and yellow tent, so on Tuesday, when I’d just arrived in the country, and had been up for almost 48 hours and needed an incentive to stay awake until a sensible hour, Cirque de Soleil seemed the obvious option. The thing I love about the Toronto-orginated circus is that no matter how many different shows you’ve seen over the years, it never ceases to impress. The acrobatics are breath-taking, the story is enchanting, and the whole show is put together with slick, all-encompassing accuracy. Totem cleverly illustrates the evolution of mankind … with some eye-catching appearances from Charles Darwin.
Tickets are around the 100 AUD mark (I paid £58 for a reasonable seat, and the circus is in the Entertainment Sector, near Fox Studios. Go for dinner beforehand. It starts at 8pm and runs for two and a half hours. I think this would make a great second or third date. It’s pricey, but worth the money, and you’ll certainly impress whoever you’re taking! There are lots of dinner options in the Entertainment Sector, so head to Moore Park early and spend the evening down there.
Sokyo Lounge, Piermont
Based in The Darling Hotel, beside the Star Casino, Sokyo is part lounge-bar, part Japanese restaurant. Sit at the island bar, and be entertained by the award-winning bar team (who this month have rather comedy ugly Movember moustaches!). Choose from their award-winning cocktail menu (Sokyo won Highly Commended for Best Cocktail Bar and Best Bar Team in the very recent Time Out Sydney Bar Awards) or pick from a range of incredible Japanese food options.
I love Japanese food, and I genuinely don’t think I’ve had much better than the dishes I sampled at Sokyo. It’s rare that sushi is so good you don’t even need to touch the soy sauce. Try the Morton Bay Bugs Tempura – the two different sauces are incredible.
The atmosphere is slick but friendly and the hotel lobby is incredible. Go for a third date or a special occasion. On a first or second date where you need more of an ice-breaker, opt for a bar stool and engage one of the characters behind the bar in conversation.
Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf
It’s a crazy long name, but it definitely does what it says on the tin! Perched just beside the Sydney Harbour Bridge, this bar is busy when there’s a play on … but when there’s not it’s a lovely, quiet hidden gem. The food is simple and designed to share. The drinks are reasonably priced, and for a location so close to the major Sydney landmarks, and a view so impressive (there are floor to ceiling windows all around), the atmosphere is anything but pretentious. It’s a bit of a trek from the road – you literally walk the full length of a jetty to get down to the bar, but it’s more than worth it!
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
Yes, it’s touristy. Yes, it’s expensive. But yes, it was actually worth it!
I chose the more expensive twilight tour (just over 300 AUD … other times of day are around 250), but it was worth it to see the city in both sunshine and under nightfall. I’m not great with heights and was a bit worried, but there was only one section which was remotely scary and luckily it’s right near the start. Once you’re up on the arch itself, it’s not scary at all and the climb isn’t overly physical.
You do have to wear a rather fetching jumpsuit and harness, and you have to take any hair clips out before you climb. The whole experience is a lengthy 3 to 3 and a half hours long, but you feel safe and looked after the entire time. Your kit includes heaps of extra clothes in case you get cold, and head sets so you can learn all about the city from your guide as you climb.
I would definitely recommend the twilight tour. Everyone does it for the quintessential snap in front of Sydney Opera House, which is great during the day, but when the sun sets and the sky goes dark, the city’s lights are magical. It does get quite chilly up top, so you’ll be glad for the uniform fleece and beanie hat (though they’re even less photogenic than the astronaut-like jumpsuits).
Obviously because of the price and less-than-fetching clothing, I’d suggest leaving this one until you’re really familiar with someone, but it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a nice treat to share with someone you care about!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx