It has been a whole 7 months since I moved to Australia & a whole 7 months since I last saw my family; and I wont say that it has been the easiest ride! Of course there has been face time, which has eased missing them a (very) small amount – but I guess it just isn’t the same as going out for lunches with my Nana or dinners with my parents. However, it has felt nice having something so big to look forward to… and even more amazing now that it is so close!
The time has finally come for my beautiful Mum, Dad & Nana to visit me for just under 4 weeks in Sydney and excited would honestly be an understatement.
How have I been feeling up until now?
A lot of people do not go travelling or choose not to leave their home country for family reasons – which I absolutely understand – and I am a massive family girl at heart & they always come first in my eyes, so I appreciate that feeling of not wanting to leave. It really was a big decision to make, but for some reason; it wasn’t a tough one. As far as I can remember, I have always felt that I needed to explore somewhere new. I am originally from the UK, Essex to be precise, and it truly is a beautiful place – however, I have always had this vision of being and/or living abroad. Whether that was permanent or temporary, I just wanted something different for my life throughout my early 20’s.
A question that I am frequently asked is ‘Do you not get homesick?’
To tell you the truth, I don’t – and this is one question that I find difficult to explain. Of course I am missing my family, my beautiful dog and my gorgeous girlfriends – but the truth is that I am also in love with this city, and I am also in love with achieving something that I have always dreamt of achieving.
The thought of getting to a certain age & thinking ‘wow, I wish I had done that’ or ‘why didn’t I take that chance?’ scares me; and that is why I am now living in Sydney today.
For me, the worst part is being torn between ‘I have all the time in the world to spend with my family in the future’ and ‘who knows how much time we have’ – and if there is anything that makes me feel any kind of emotions – it is definitely being torn between those two; and I just hate the thought of the second one. However, you really can’t live your life constantly wondering ‘what if’, and I know that my family would not be happy if I didn’t pursue my dreams and if I’d have chosen to just carry on my normal office job in London. It is important to be happy, and sometimes that means being selfish with your time & how you choose to spend it. You have to grab what you want with both hands and just run with it.
– Either you run the day, or the day runs you. –
Ever since the age of 4, I have been lucky enough to enjoy some of the most amazing family holidays & trips. I think it all began when I was taken to Florida for the first time – this is when my real love for travelling abroad began. My dad & my uncle Mark would plan these trips right down to the last minute – and everything would be perfect & it would run just so! Now, I am an out & out planner. I love organizing & arranging outings from start to finish, and I get this from my dad – for sure! In fact, I actually spent a whole day devoted to wandering the streets of Sydney deciding where I love & where I feel that my family would also love! OK, maybe that sounds like I am over planning a little – but I have actually been wanting to do this for a while now, purely for my own peace of mind too… It’s always nice to know what’s around you!
I am a huge foodie & cocktail lover, and feel that there is nothing better than a good meal in an even better atmosphere! So here is my little (or long) list of eateries, bars & bits that I have planned for us in and around Sydney, and what I feel my family, and you, will enjoy too. It is highly unlikely that we will make it to all of my suggestions – as other things always come up! However, these have been the stand-outs whilst planning for my families visit…
Where I am lusting over for eats..
A hidden gem.. (The Butler)
If Instagram is anything to go by… I was sold the minute I looked at the ‘gram!
Natural light and greenery surrounds the tables along with the most spectacular view from the outdoor terrace of downtown Sydney.
Their menu is a sharers menu – meaning that everyone can get stuck right in, together!
Bottomless Brunching with a view.. (Altitude at Shangri-la)
A luscious mid-morning feast 36 levels above the harbour – accompanied by an endless amount of bellinis and mimosas!
Life is a beach.. (Hugos Manly)
A cocktail bar & restaurant on the beach – bliss!
Fare una spaghettata.. (Fratelli Fresh)
This has to be the Australian version of the UK’s well known and loved Bella Italia; an always-enjoyable chain of Italian restaurants. My go-to.
When in Sydney.. (Bennelong)
Located inside the iconic Sydney Opera House – just beautiful!
Press for Champagne.. (The Champagne Room)
I really feel that a ‘press for champagne’ button should be a necessity in all dining environments. Another bottomless brunch option – winner!
Sunset Sessions.. (Cafe Del Mar)
‘Sunset Sessions’, ‘Rooftop Terrace’ & ‘Panoramic Water Views’ – need I say more?
– If I was a restaurant, it would definitely be this one. –
For the meat lovers.. (Hunter & Barrel)
You can expect to hear crackling from the fire, coals by the pit and the smell of the meat smoking!
In the clouds.. (360 Bar & Dining)
What better way to see Sydney than from a revolving panoramic restaurant in Sydney’s tallest structure.
Not just a hotel.. (The Hughenden Boutique)
Classy, vintage & just plain lovely!
You can never have too much beach.. (North Bondi Fish)
Is there anything better than a beach day with a beachfront lunch?
$$ – $$$
& for the drinks..
The prettiest of them all.. (Hacienda)
An Instagram’mers heaven!
– If I was a bar, it would definitely be this one. –
The newcomer.. (Smoke Rooftop)
This is Sydney’s newest rooftop bar; you can never (ever) visit too many rooftops.
Cocktails & cigars.. (Cohibar)
A whiskey bar & cigar lounge; with a view – everything that my dad will love!
Let the evening beGin.. (The Glasshouse Gin & Tonic Bar)
The extensive list of gin & botanicals cannot be missed; not to mention that this is a beachfront rooftop bar.
– My nana’s kind of place –
Palmer & Co – Stitch Bar – Papa Gede – Banksii – Brigade Rooftop
O Bar – Blu Bar – 360 Bar – Flamingo Lounge
All night long.. (Qudos Bank Arena);
We have tickets to see Lionel Richie and I am a little bit excited about this. The fact that my dad has no idea either makes it just that bit more special!
– Coogee Beach
– The Royal Botanic Garden
– The Star Casino
– Taronga Zoo
– Blue Mountains
– Royal National Park
The list could go on… but I guess I’ll stop there!
I will be sure to review what I love, like and dislove..
Let me know your thoughts – if you have visited any of the above or if you are thinking of making a move abroad!