Kings Cross has long been Sydney’s after-dark playground: the place to party until the sun comes up. These days, though, the strip joints have been joined by sleek bars and restaurants, and visiting sailors are outnumbered by A-list night owls. Here’s our dusk-till-dawn agenda for Smith-style soirées…
A weekend in Kings Cross is all about living large, and boutique bolthole the Diamant Hotel Sydney, perched behind the iconic ‘Coke’ sign, makes the ultimate urban crash pad, thanks to its glittering city views and handsome black furnishings. Plump for a spacious courtyard suite and you can sip champagne on your terrace before hitting the town.
Now that Time to Vino wine bar (left) has set up shop on the ground floor of the Diamant, you don’t have to venture far for smart bites. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your room – from 6–10pm, the sassy staff will have piping-hot empanadas or gourmet toasties and a bottle of pinot grigio whipped upstairs in no time.
When you do head out, Hugo’s Bar Pizza (below), on Bayswater Road, draws the style set for supermodel-thin pizzas and killer cocktails. After dinner, nip upstairs to Hugo’s Lounge for chilled tunes and prosecco with Sydney’s party people. More raucous and rebellious is basement-level Theclub, a sprawling ex-strip joint that’s now one of the hottest tickets in town.
If all-nighters aren’t your thing, then hightail it to neighbouring Potts Point for dinner. Kick things off with a Campari and spuntini (Italy’s answer to tapas) at Café Sopra on Macleay Street, a casual trattoria and gourmet food store in one.
Just around the corner on Victoria Street, so-hip-it-hurts Ms G’s is current flavour of the month, thanks to its off-beat menu of Asian street food, such as banh mi rolls with pork belly (left) or fried chicken with kimchi mayonnaise, and a quirky drinks list – the yuzu slushie is a must.
A few doors down, Bootleg Bar + Italian Food is an intimate, New York-style space of black leather banquettes and vintage posters. The blackboard menu offers arancini, crostini or veal lasagne, and there’s a neat list of local and Italian wines by the glass. Need a pep-up before you hit the dance floor? Bootleg’s espresso martini should do the trick.
And if you are still partying when the sun comes up, stop off at the organic farmers’ market in Fitzroy Gardens for a bacon and egg roll and a latte before slinking back to the Diamant (right) to close the black-out shades and jump into your king-size bed.