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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Adventures In The Rocks, Sydney

Earlier this month I went to Sydney for a few days with the trip I won with Electrolux ..... If you follow my Instagram or Facebook you would've seen some of photo feed but I can't help myself I have some fun stories and adventures to share from the trip so here is a little more.
The trip we won included flights, 1 night's accommodation, dinner at Quay Restaurant and hotel transfers. We extended the trip by 2 nights so we could venture around Sydney a bit more while we were there.

Packed and ready to go!

We were picked up by a chauffeur at the airport and feeling very much like rock stars climbed into the car and were whisked off to our Hotel.

We stayed at the Four Seasons in The Rocks which was a stunning hotel, very fancy with a separate bath and shower which I love. There was a roof top swimming pool that we ventured up to every day and a hot tub which we had a dip in while enjoying an afternoon drink or two!

The prize included airport transfers to/from the hotel/airport

Four Seasons bathroom ... a bath and a shower such a treat!

We went out for lazy brunches in the morning and to fancy dinners in the evening trying some of the places I had looked up on Urbanspoon before we left home and they did not disappoint. Being an organising queen I had our itinerary of where to eat/drink/play and it meant we could fit a lot more into our day and not be wandering around clueless, I think we fit in pretty much like we were locals!

Breakfast pastries at La Renaissance
Lunch at The Fine Food Store
There were weekend markets on Argyle Street which were fantastic to browse through and I bought myself a few treasures to bring back home.

The food markets

My Supertrooper Studio market find was this artsy tea towel

This Jackie Cooper photo block that I've already added to my dining room gallery wall

A 40 minute ferry ride took us to Manly for the day, it was the perfect place to walk around the beach in the sunshine. We spend a few hours chilling at the Yardarm Taphouse which overlooks the beach, had fish and chips and a few pints of the locally brewed ciders and beers. We also found a micro brewery 4 Pines that we had a sneaky tasting at before we jumped on the next ferry heading back to the City.

The view from the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly

Arriving at Manly Wharf

Walking around the beaches of Manly, it was such a perfect hot summers day

Lunch and drinks at Yardarm Taphouse with a stunning view overlooking the beach

Tastings at 4 pines, a must visit micro brewery not far from the wharf
The reason for our trip was to dine at Quay Restaurant and the view and service did not disappoint. Once seated, behind me was the Harbour Bridge and in front was the Opera House, there were amazing views as the restaurant is all glass windows and we arrived at dusk and watched the sunset and then the night time lights came on and it was like a fairy tale scene. Absolutely beautiful.

This is the view from the front of the restaurant during the day,
just a stones throw from Sydney Harbour Bridge
As for the food, we chose the 9 course tasting menu with matching wines and the stand out of the menu was the snow egg, even after all the hype and such high expectations it impressed us both. I wouldn't say this was my favourite degustation restaurant as the menu itself didn't really take us on a specific journey the way that other degustations do. Also the staff didn't tell us about each course other than to read off the menu, which again was a let down as part of the adventure of a degustation is to tell us all the effort and detail that goes into the little dish placed in front of you.

It was still an amazing experience and if I were to recommend it to my readers I'd say go for the view and experience and for a very special occassion as it was pretty expensive - the bill for the 2 of us was $700, but thankfully because of our prize we were only out of pocket $50 for our pre dinner drinks.

Ready to be wined and dined!

Our tasting menu ... the food and wine just kept on coming!

The famous snow egg
We also did a walking pub tour of The Rocks area on our last night which I highly recommend you do on your first few days here because it will give you ideas of places to visit, drink and eat for the rest of your stay. The cost was $54 per person, which is great value.

This tour is a perfect thing to do as a single, couples, or a few friends. It's a small group with a fun friendly tour leader who will take you all around The Rocks area, tell you about the history and when you're feeling a bit parched you'll be led into 3 different pubs to order whatever drink you like. We even got to go down into the cellar of this old pub in the photo which was a lot of fun if a little spooky!

Our tour group at one of 3 old pubs we stopped at for a drink
This was my favourite as we got to go underneath into the dark and scary cellar!

Larrikin gangs, the rum rebellion, were just a few of the stories we heard about

What to do when the plague is found in The Rocks?
They destroyed and knocked down all the buildings so it wouldn't spread!

How cool is this backpackers with The Rocks ruins underneath
They just build new buildings around and over the top of the ruins to preserve them

On our fourth and final day in Sydney we enjoyed breakfast with a view of Circular Quay, watching the ferry's go to and fro and an uninterrupted view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and all the happenings on the water front. Such a great way to end our few days here.

A morning stroll around Circular Quay
Finding a water side cafe for breakfast with a view

Our  chauffeur then collected us from the Hotel and took us to the Airport.

We had complimentary passes to the airport Business Lounge because our TVs didn't work on the way over ... it was so much fun going into the lounge with it's open bar and top shelf beverages (they even had Little Creatures cider!) and food and snacks set up. I asked about their joining fees but at $800+ for the first year and about $400 each year thereafter it was a little too expensive for me and I think you'd need to fly at least every month to get your moneys worth.
Our complimentary passes to the business lounge
Feeling very relaxed sipping on my cider enjoying the lounge

So that was our whirlwind fun and adventures trip to Sydney!

Staying in The Rocks area was fantastic, close to everything, and with a historical twist to it as well.

I'd really recommend checking out this area if you are ever in Sydney.

[All images my own, group photo via Peek Tours Sydney]
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  1. My oh my!! What a FANTASTIC time you had... I am so jealous! What a great trip to win... the snow egg is beautiful... a $700 tab? I would love to visit Sydney someday... So excited that you had such a fun trip and even got into the business lounge!

    1. It was the perfect trip to win as I wouldnt have spent $700 if it was my own money! Sydney is a great starting point for an Australian adventure, most flights around the world fly directly there :)

  2. So glad you loved Sydney and The Rocks and you are right, its a great combination of history and city. Your post made me want to rush out and book a holiday!

    1. The Rocks is the place I'll be staying from now on whenever I visit Sydney, really is such a special place :) Yay go on, you deserve it!

  3. Great trip in a beautiful city. The Quay restaurant is stunning with great food. Glad you enjoyed it all so much.

    1. It was an amazing trip and Quay really was a dining experience we will remember for many years to come :)


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