Where to eat, shop, spa, and stay like a true style queen.
If I had to describe the perfect weekend, it would definitely include the beach, shopping, and good food. So you can imagine my excitement when I was invited to experience the ultimate fashionista weekend in Sydney, packed with all the activities I love, at places I always wanted to visit.
I am lucky to call the Eastern suburbs of Sydney my adopted home, but even though the destination for my weekend extravaganza wasn’t new to me, there was still lots to discover. So for two days, I swapped pizza and Netflix on my couch with fine dining and A-lister experiences at Sydney’s most fashionable hotspots.
It started with my hubby and I checking in to Bondi’s new QT Hotel located right on Bondi Beach (million-dollar location would be an understatement). The newly opened boutique hotel offers 69 studios and suites oozing beachside glam. It’s so bright and eclectic, walking through the front door compelled me to stop and take a moment to look at all the images and fluorescent signs that greet the hotel’s guests before continuing to the front desk.
Staff were friendly and helpful, immediately parking our car and taking our luggage up to our room, located on the third floor with city views. I absolutely loved the fact that the mini bar didn’t only include standard snacks and drinks, but more useful things you might need when in Bondi, such as flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts sure to make you want to catch a wave. Guests also have the option to buy some of the rooms’ decor, including the plants, cups, and picture frames.
The bathroom, with its double sinks, rainforest shower, and backlit mirror, was a dream, and the fluffy robes and all-natural Malin & Goetz toiletries made me look forward to my shower at the end of the day.
It wouldn’t be a fashion lover’s weekend without some retail therapy though, and the best place for it is without a doubt The Intersection, an all-Australian shopping precinct in the heart of Paddington. I met The Intersection’s founder, Theo Onisforou, for coffee and talked all things fashion and style.
Onisforou is a bit of a local celeb in Paddington as I learned when he showed me around the shops and was greeted by everyone while he explained how he fell in love with the historic buildings and bought them on by one to create Sydney’s first and only fashion precinct dedicated to Australian designers.
The result is nothing short of incredible. Every boutique has been designed with the idea to create a light-filled, organic environment that blends indoors and outdoors and makes for a much more homely feel than the average big shopping center store.
I seriously had to stop myself from spending too much money as every boutique I walked into had such a warm, welcoming feel to it that I was very tempted to stay and try on everything. All my fave brands, such as Sass & Bide, Ellery, and Zimmermann were right there, and as I walked from shop to shop, I could read about every designer on metal plates in the ground, making up the Walk of Style (another one of Onisforou’s ingenious ideas).
Any fashion addict like me knows how exhausting shopping can be, which is why my scheduled spa treatment in the afternoon was a welcome treat. So armed with my shopping bags, lighter wallet and hubby, I made my way to SpaQ in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, excited to unwind and get away from all the hustle and bustle of the city.
After half an hour of pure relaxation and sweating in their hammam steam room, hubby and I chose to have a partner massage and facials which were custom designed by the therapists to meet our skin needs. What followed can only be described as pure bliss. I cannot remember the last time I was as zen as during those 60 minutes, which of course went by way too quickly.
Refreshed and rejuvenated, it was dinner time. Being a bit of a foodie, I’d been looking forward to dining at Gowings’s Bar And Grill for weeks and wasn’t disappointed. The restaurant offers fine dining with a laid back atmosphere, in other words, enjoy your $100 glass of wine, but don’t be a snob about it.
The food was delicious and staff were fast, friendly, and attentive. I enjoyed the half crisp spiced duck, but the standout of the night – and something hubby and I still talk about – was the French classic steak tartare, which we shared as a starter and reminded me of my trips to Paris and all the amazing food I had in France.
Full, relaxed, and satisfied, we returned to QT Bondi where a long, hot shower followed by on-demand movies awaited us. After a good night’s sleep in the comfortable king size bed, we got up early and made our way to the beautiful Bronte beach.
In true Bronte-locals style, we had breakfast at Three Blue Ducks, a small cafe serving dishes made from local produce with some of it literally coming from the cafe’s own backyard. My chia seed breakfast bowl wasn’t only tasty, but also the epitome of Instagram-worthy food with its fresh fruit and vibrant hues.
After breakfast, there was nothing left to do but put on our swimwear and jump into the ocean, and so we did, declaring the past 48 hours activities a weekend to remember.
Comment: What’s your fave thing to eat, do or see in Sydney?