Since moving to Sydney, Bondi is one of my favourite places to go on a weekend when I want a good brunch, a spot of shopping and some sea air – and who doesn’t love that combination? There are almost too many cool cafes and trendy boutiques to choose from so I’ve whittled down the best of the best for you!
The number 1 attraction in Bondi is, of course, the world famous beach. It’s always a little crowded to sunbathe here for my liking but I love to walk the waterfront, watch the surfers and check out the latest street art instead.
At the southern end of the beach is the iconic Bondi Icebergs. You’ve probably seen these aqua pools and the waterfront café in a gazillion photos but did you know you could come for a yoga class here? It’s an incredible setting to do your sunrise salutations.
Another thing to watch out for at this time of year is the Sculpture By The Sea exhibition, which will see more than 100 works of art dotted along the coast from Bondi to Tamarama Beach.
Every time I come to Bondi I have to stick my head in the Camilla boutique to ogle the patterns and feel the fabrics of her latest collections. The Aussie designer, inspired by her travels, specialises in vividly patterned collections of kaftans, capes and dresses. They’re a little on the pricier side so watch out for the end of season sales.
On Sunday the Bondi Markets are a perfect place to browse and buy fresh flowers, second hand books and handmade gifts such as paintings of Bondi and delicate jewellery.
Everyone has their favourite brunch spot in Bondi – there are literally hundreds of healthy eateries to choose from – but my personal favourite is Harry’s.
Situated just metres from the beach, Harry’s serve great coffee and simply fantastic ricotta hotcakes with lemon balm and seasonal berries – they taste as pretty as they look! Harry’s also take bookings for brunch, which is a rarity in Sydney.
Never mind the health food cafes, you know I couldn’t write a guide without cake, cake and more cake! Doughnut Time, one of my favourite retro donut outlets, opened a store in Bondi recently. Their specials, including vegan options, change on a weekly basis but anything involving Oreo or Nutella gets my vote.
For something a little more refreshing head to Gelato Messina. Messina is another of Sydney’s sweet treat institutions who come up with creative iced concoctions to tempt you on a weekly basis. There’s also a roster of regular gelato flavours including salted caramel and white chocolate, which is my go-to treat.
Dinner and Drinks
For cocktails and banter on the beach, Bucket List is the place to be. Drinks are served on the sunny terrace of this surf club cum wine bar and the people-watching here is particularly fascinating – think: multi-muscled men, Bondi hipsters, fully made up ladies and surfers emerging from the ocean looking far more groomed than I ever do on shore! Cocktails come by the jug and fish ‘n’ chips by the bucket.
My favourite spot for dinner is Mr Moustache just off Hall Street. The friendly team serve fine Mexican food and even finer Margheritas. The ‘Platitos’ of homemade guacamole, beetroot chips and pulled pork rolls were made for sharing but you’ll want to order a selection of tacos (I heart the ‘Gringa’ with wagyu beef, bacon and melted cheese) just for yourself. Plus, I’m not sure if it’s because they are too spicy or too messy or just for the novelty factor but if you order the Guadalajara pork sliders you’ll be given plastic gloves to eat them with!
For somewhere stylish to stay just metres from the beach and within arm’s reach of Mr Moustache and Gelato Messina, check out the Adina Apartment Hotel Bondi Beach. These well thought out apartments are a great place to stay in Sydney if you want to live like a local.
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