Friday, 27 August 2010

Living in Sydney in the noughties: Part 3

Some of you have told me that this made you feel nostalgic, remembering the Olympic glory days when Sydney actually seemed to work properly!  I agree, in the past decade or so, Sydney has sadly slipped down the 'liveability' scale (note to self: do a post about 'The things I don't miss about Sydney'). That said, in the main, we generally loved our time there. It neatly divided into two halves - pre-Planet Baby as DINKs (double income, no kids) and on Planet Baby as SITKs (I made that one up for single income, three kids. Someone needs to think up a snappier acronym!).

So when I wasn't doing this, what did we get up to as DINKs in Sydney? Well, we spent many hours relaxing beachside. Sydney has a plethora of beaches, given its position hugging the coast. Bondi and Manly are probably the best known but we found them too big and crowded for our liking. Finding parking on the weekends, particularly at the eastern suburbs beaches, was also a trial as they were so popular.
Walking the promenade past Bathers
We preferred the charming Balmoral, near Mosman, with its famed Bathers Pavilion (one of our favourite haunts), soft white sand and long promenade which was perfect for strolling along, admiring the view. We kayaked there from The Spit, pulling up onto the sheltered beach and eating scrummy fish and chips from the Bottom of the Harbour on the grass or the sand, the water lapping at our feet. Priceless. Picnicking on the grass under the shady Moreton Bay figs was also a highlight, watching the brightly coloured sails of yachts and ferries pass through into Sydney Harbour.

Dining out with friends was a favourite pastime. Sydneysiders are spoilt for choice with the vast array of cuisines on offer.  Given our penchant for all things French, one of our preferred haunts was the delightful Tabou in the famed Crown Street, Surry Hills.
Isn't it just divine?
The service was always impeccable and discreet and the food delectable, without fail. I rarely strayed from my favourite choices - a Kir Royale to start (champagne and créme de cassis), the twice baked gruyère and goat's cheese soufflé, the sirloin steak with café de Paris sauce, frites and salad and the crème brulée. Heaven!

We also adored whiling away lazy afternoons, picnicking at picturesque Cremorne Point on the North Shore of the Harbour, just opposite the striking Sydney Opera House and the towering Sydney Harbour Bridge. We'd stop under one of these trees, spread out our picnic rug, savour a glass of riesling and just gaze for hours at the loveliness in front of us.
Our vantage spot from Cremorne Point
Tucked below, directly on the water's edge, was MacCallum Pool, surrounded by a timber deck. According to North Sydney Council, it was originally just a rock pool created by local residents to form a safe harbour swimming hole. In my opinion, it's one of the prettiest harbourside pools in Sydney.
Simply stunning MacCallum Pool at Cremorne Point
Ian enjoyed having a dip there in summer but I never did. I know they clean it regularly but the water looked a little, er, green for me! So, life as DINKs in Sydney in the noughties was fun. Tomorrow, I'll wrap up this little yarn about Sydney by having a chat about our life there whilst on Planet Baby. Good night!



  1. I am loving this little trip down memory lane. I have never lived in Sydney but oh it is beautiful to visit. I can only imagine the wonderful time you had exploring and enjoying your child free days. Pre children seems like another lifetime to me! A-M xx

  2. Oh, A-M, you had an early start this morning! I'm glad you're enjoying it. I'm trying to cherry-pick some of my favourite places - the choice is hard. It really is like another planet to me, that time in our lives. I really struggled to remember what we did before children! That's why writing this blog is proving so enjoyable and distracting from PB - I am having to actually focus instead of feeling like my head is full of cotton wool! J x

  3. Your posts are making me very nostalgic for Sydney Jane! It seems we did very similar things pre-babies! Loved going to Balmoral, although we lived in Leichhardt. My husband used to work for Macquarie Bank and we spent so much time eating out at fabulous restaurants like Bilsons and Rockpool...oh those were the days ;) Now I get excited if we have Noodle House take-out lol!! Looking forward to your next post. Hope you have a wonderful weekend ~ Tina x

  4. was born in Sydney and always hold a soft spot for it. I love all the little bays on the harbour.

  5. Ah, Tina, yes, writing these posts has brought back fond memories of yummy meals in life pre-PB! Buon Ricordo, Becasse...We are planning a weekend away soon sans the pixies to celebrate our 40ths - can't wait!

    Oh, Simone, you are so right. I'll post about exploring them one day. J x

  6. I love seeing Sydney through other peoples eyes. One can quickly forget how stunning it is! I have never been to MacCallum pool, now adding it to the list of places to explore. x

  7. I just hope they've cleaned it for you, Em! J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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