Rediscover Sydney at its best and brightest
There is a very good reason why millions of visitors flock to Sydney each year. Our harbour city offers the waterfront, food and wine, culture, unique experiences, and much more. Set yourself a challenge: fall in love with Sydney all over again, discover some hidden treasures, create picture-perfect memories, and leave refreshed, renewed, reinvigorated – make a weekend of it. The Rocks is the ideal place to base yourself, with its heady mix of heritage and contemporary architecture, and prime position to explore all that Vivid Sydney has to offer. Enjoy a Sydney weekend full of indulgence with our top picks for a perfect getaway on your doorstep.
9am Morning pick me up
A weekend away can’t begin on an empty stomach. Make your first stop at La Renaissance Café, a charming French-inspired café which is deservedly known for its tempting, indulgent cakes, pastries and desserts, and whose head chef Jean Michel Raynaud has been officially inducted into the prestigious Relais Dessert, the equivalent of the Michelin star in pastry. We suggest starting the morning right a flaky, buttery croissant with a strong coffee, the Parisian way.
La Renaissance Café, 47 Argyle Street, The Rocks, (02) 9241 4878
10am Spot of shopping
The phrase one-stop-shop is overused these days, but when you do find a single pocket of boutique shopping heaven, where it’s possible (and even pleasurable) to find gifts for all those you love, then hallelujah, let’s go shopping. Sorry Thanks I Love You covers all those occasions and everything in between, offering champagne to beach towels, from caviar to cufflinks, and more. Everything in this gift store has been carefully chosen either because of its interesting story, provenance, or makers. Once you leave this treasure trove, there are plenty more to be found along George Street, and in the hidden laneways, so take the morning to fully explore the shopping options in The Rocks.
Sorry Thanks I Love You, 140 George Street, The Rocks, (02) 9045 3241
1pm Tastes of Australia
Recently reopened with a slick new look and a brand new menu, Pony Dining offers the best of modern Australian food prepared on a woodfired grill. This is definitely a meat lovers paradise, with steak, lamb, chicken, pork, salmon and more on offer—and the wagyu burger with the lot (and shoestring fries) is a must try. Do leave room for dessert, the roasted pineapple cheesecake is pretty special.
Pony Dining, Cnr Argyle Street and Kendall Lane, The Rocks, (02) 9252 7797
3pm A little indulgence
For Her: we recommend a treatment at CHI, The Spa, at the Shangri-La hotel, for the ultimate indulgence. Choose a relaxing massage, based on natural healing methods, or the Samadara Ultimate Age Defying Facial for an instant pick me up.
CHI, The Spa, Shangri-La Hotel, 176 Cumberland Street, Sydney, (02) 9250 6000
For him: it’s TLC of the facial kind, with a visit to Barber Supreme. This old-world grooming shop invites you to step into another world, a time when a trip to the barber was about so much more than just a haircut. Enjoy a moment of luxury with a cut and shave combo with all the extras such as hot towel and after shave balm.
Barber Supreme, 31 George Street, The Rocks, (02) 8068 0772
6pm Cheers to the view
This is a local secret, but it’s too good not to share. The rooftop of The Glenmore is one of the best vantage points to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the spectacular Vivid Sydney lights. Offering panoramic 180 degree views of the harbour and the city, the rooftop will be decked out in glowing furniture for the duration of the festival. Enjoy a pre-dinner drink and these truly special views, while soaking up the unique atmosphere.
The Glenmore, 96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, (02) 9247 4794
7pm Fine food and more
Book early as Quay is definitely a restaurant with both global interest and a waiting list. Crowned the 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Restaurant of the Year, Quay offers both a degustation tasting menu and a la carte. Every dish is simply a work of art, thanks to chef Peter Gilmore’s impeccable skills and craftsmanship. And did we mention the view?
Quay Restaurant, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Hickson Rd, The Rocks, (02) 9251 5600
10pm A sound sleep
This luxury 5-star hotel offers generous rooms, some of the most luxurious interiors in Sydney and well, those harbour views. All the attractions of The Rocks are within walking distance, including boutique shops, restaurants, bars, markets and Vivid Sydney artworks.
Four Seasons Hotel, 199 George St, Sydney, (02) 9250 3100
Vivid Sydney lights up The Rocks
26 May to 17 June
The Rocks, NSW, 2000