I woke up to some serious post-holiday blues this morning. I'm happy to be back in L.A., but I'm also sad to leave Sydney behind. Maybe that's just the lot of the expat? Plus, real life is back with a vengeance... hello, deadlines, chores, workouts, grocery shopping (thanks, Mum, for your full fridge). Anyway, I had a really great time back home, getting my fix of people and things I'd missed and discovering a few new favourite places, too. Here's the new things that delighted me (and I'll be sure to share some old loves down the track, too)...
WYLIE'S BATHS, COOGEE
Shout out to my dad for this one: He'd been banging on about how wonderful Wylie's Baths in Coogee was since he'd been there with my mum last Christmas; but I had other plans, other beaches I wanted to have a dip in. One Sunday he convinced me to try Wylie's over North Curl Curl and I'm so glad he did. It's so beautiful there, with an old-school vibe and a chilled crowd (or lack thereof). It was built in 1907 by the father of Australia's first female Olympic swimmer.
Wylie's Baths, Neptune St, Coogee
DEAR DELICIOUS, DULWICH HILL
Okay, I have to credit this one to my dad, too - he spotted a review for this new cafe around the corner from our old flat and sent it to me a couple of months ago. I'm sorry, America, but Sydney wins at casual dining, particularly at breakfast time. Forget mimosas and home fries and goddamn FRUIT CUPS full of hard melon. I crave the fresh, tasty brunches that used to be a regular weekend fixture and the ability to get a side of haloumi on request (can someone PLEASE make haloumi a thing here?). But I'm kinda glad Dear Delicious wasn't in D.Hill when we were, because I would have spent all my money there (to be fair, Sydney brekkies are definitely pricier than their LA counterparts). We went not once, but twice, we were so enamoured with their food (don't miss the Avocado Heaven).
Dear Delicious, 245 Wardell Rd Dulwich Hill, Mon-Sun breakfast & lunch.
Technically not in Sydney, but only an hour away so I'm counting it, okay? We wanted to check out the Central Coast mainly because of the real estate - Sydney property prices are so expensive now, we wonder if we should consider going a little further out and live by the beach when we (eventually) head back to Australia. I think that's probably unrealistic if we want to commute to Sydney, although I know a few people who do. But I'm really glad we spent a few hours up north taking it all in and enjoying fish and chips at the surf club. It's beyond gorgeous up there!
ONE PENNY RED, SUMMER HILL
When I was growing up in Annandale, Summer Hill was just another uncool inner west suburb (at least to everyone else; I always loved it). Now the inner west is trendy as - which makes me feel both smug and despondent, as I can say self-congratulatory things like "I always loved it", but will probably never afford to live there again. Still! It's great to see the quaint village of Summer Hill getting the wine bar it deserves, and in a gorgeous old post office no less. I enjoyed a balmy evening on the balcony with my friends, Inner Westies and fellow mag girls Lauren and Jess, getting reacquainted with the gossip. The chicken liver pate is divine, and any bar that has a whole section dedicated to variations on my favourite drink, gin and tonic, is alright by me.
One Penny Red, 2 Moonbie St Summer Hill, www.onepennyred.com.au, upstairs open every afternoon.
TWO CHAPS, MARRICKVILLE
My buddy Faith's regular, she promised to take me to this cool cafe operating out of a little warehouse in Mazzaville and I wasn't disappointed. Apparently they started out just making chai, and it is damn good - particularly appreciated as I'm not drinking coffee anymore (although Faith assures me that's good, too) and it GALLS me to pay $4.50 for a bit of hot water and a teabag (is it just me?). It was chockers with locals and I have to admit that I felt a twinge when I realised I'm no longer one of them. I guess I'll just have to make do with the bag of chai I brought home with me...
Two Chaps, 122 Chapel St, Marrickville, breakfast and lunch every day.
ICE CREAM PENELOPE
How could I talk about new favourites without talking about the delicious Ice Cream, Jason's new kitty? (Honourable mention to the handsome dachshund at Two Chaps).
Did I miss anything, Sydneysiders? Xx