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Since we’ve been in Australia, launching Mr & Mrs Smith’s new venture down under, we’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with some of Sydney and Melbourne’s most influential movers and shakers. Never one to miss an opportunity, I’ve shamelessly used our chats to plug them for information about their home cities, and over the next few days we’ll be posting their insider tips on our blog.
First up is Hilary Doling, editor-in-chief of Australian institution Luxury Travel & Style Magazine. Originally hailing from the UK, Hilary came to Sydney for two years, and loved it so much – especially its natural beauty and outdoor spirit – that she’s now been here for the past 18 years. Here are her top tips on how to get the most from her adopted city:
CAFES Plonk! Beach Café in Mosman offers great food and wine in a perfect location; Echo on the Marina, a child-friendly café beside Middle Harbour, is equally well situated, and serves wonderful seafood; Sous le Soleil in Roseville Park is a homewares store that also specialises in delicious, fresh local dishes.
RESTAURANTS Icebergs Dining Room and Bar in Bondi overlooks the famous beach, and its high-end cuisine more than matches the stunning views; the Italian-inspired alfresco restaurant Ripples Chowder Bay is Hilary’s personal favourite, and she also loves Ripples Milson Point, which specialises in innovative, fresh local cuisine and is, she thinks, much better than the more upmarket Aqua Dining above it.
SHOPPING Dinosaur Designs, which has outlets on Strand Arcade and Oxford Street in Paddington, is the place to pick up uniquely Australian jewellery and homeware designs; for clothes, swimwear and accessories, try Bow Wow in Palm Beach, which stocks creations by Easton Pearson, Nina Maya and Tilly Rose; Greg Ruggeri, the colourist to some of Sydney’s most famous heads, has recently opened Salon Ruggeri (+61 (0)2 9698 5400) in the newly gentrified Redfern East district – as well as styling and coiffing, he also specialises in chic homewares such as beautiful Missoni rugs.
WALKS For spectacular views, take the two-and-a-half-hour trail around the headland from Spit Bridge to Manly; if you’re lucky enough to be in Sydney in October, make sure you stroll from Bondi to Bronte Beach (around two hours) and check out the exhibits in the annual Sculpture by the Sea festival; a shorter alternative is the 20-minute ramble up to Barranjoey Lighthouse from Palm Beach.
QUINTESSENTIAL SYDNEY To get the best views of the famous harbour, and to get a real feel for the city, take a ride on one of the iconic ferries; a slightly more heart-in-mouth experience is the BridgeClimb, it’s really fun and exciting – unlike the surprisingly fêted Centrepoint Tower experience.