Saturday, March 09, 2024

Weekend Cooking: A Weekend in Sydney

Last year, my husband and I spent a week in New Zealand visiting the South Island. Our primary reason for going to Christchurch was to go to a SailGP event, which is a grand prix event but for very fast yachts. Whilst we did contemplate going back to New Zealand for this year's event, we decided to go to the Sydney one instead, which we did a couple of weeks ago. 

I love visiting Sydney. Usually when we go we catch the train in from the airport, and there is a moment when you pull into Circular Quay train station where you get the first glimpse of that famous view - Harbour Bridge on one side, Opera House on the other, usually a big cruise ship in port and people enjoying the view. We didn't catch the train this time as we were staying outside the city in the beachside suburb of Manly, so instead we got to see the view as the ferry pulled in which is just as amazing! And the people? A fair portion of them were in town to see Taylor Swift who was in Sydney on the same weekend!!

We flew in Friday night after some flight delays due to storms in the Sydney area. We decided that on the Saturday we would have brunch in Manly and then wander around the city before heading out to dinner.

This brunch was probably our best meal of the whole weekend. The cafe is right on the beach so perfect for people watching and looking at the water. The brunch here was also really good, including potatoes which you don't normally see on brunch menus unless they are in the form of hash browns.

One of the best things about Manly is that there is a gorgeous beach but because of where it is located, you can walk a really short distance and you are at a ferry terminal on the harbour waterways. We wandered around the Opera House for a while then meandered through the Botanical Gardens slowly working our way towards the new building at the NSW Art Gallery. 

What a gorgeous space. It is light and bright and so cleverly designed. It is build into the side of a hill, so you go down into the exhibition spaces. The very bottom level was a storage tank in WWII and this has been converted into a space called The Tank. 

When we entered the building we noticed a faint smell of curry but didn't think too much of it. It was only as we went through the various installations that it all began to make sense. One of the displays was by artist Ernesto Neto and is called Just like drops in time, nothing. 

These look like gigantic stockings and each of the bulbs at the bottom is filled with spices: pepper, turmeric, cumin, paprika, cloves or fenugreek. It was very unusual.

Because we were there, and we like an exhibition, we bought tickets to see Louise Bourgeois: Has the Day Invaded the Night or Has the Night Invaded the Day? I liked it more than Robert did. It's fair to say it's not our kind of art but there were a few things I liked or that caught my eye at least

The bottom two photos are pieces that were displayed in The Tank, which was basically dark except for the spotlights on the art. It made for very interesting intersections between shadows and light.

After a brief stop for strudel at the Queen Victoria Building (a place I love to visit every time I visit Sydney), we eventually made our way to our dinner destination, Skyfeast at Sydney Tower. This is a revolving restaurant which does a full rotation in an hour. The views were, as you would expect, amazing and worth doing once. Unfortunately, the buffet dinner wasn't as good. We did a buffet for our anniversary back in January and whilst the views were nowhere near as good, the food was vastly superior! Still, it was worth it for the views.

On Sunday, we had the worst brunch experience that we have had in years at the hotel we were staying in. There were plenty of locals there and it was a proper brunch menu so it wasn't just a hotel breakfast.  My food came after about 20 minutes, we went and picked up the coffee from the counter after another  20 minutes, and then Robert's food out another 25 minutes later after we had nagged a couple of times, and then looked like it had just been slopped on the plate. The less said about that the better. Safe to say we won't go there again.

Fortunately the rest of Sunday was much better. We made our way to the pick up point and then took a boat out to an island which is normally called Shark Island which was inside the course, so the boats are literally sailing right in front of us. It was a beautiful day. We chose to sit in the shade and just enjoy the action. Part of the ticket price was a gourmet hamper, which included a chicken sandwich with vegies, cheese, crackers, hummus and fruit. 

There were also various flavours of gelato available during the day. This one was mango

Here's the view and a video

Obviously we were cheering for the Aussies!!


It was a great day!! And there's every chance we will do another race next season. The main question will be where! There are races all round the world  so it could be anywhere.

Weekly meals

Saturday -  steak baked potato coleslaw
Sunday -  Fried chicken
Monday - spicy pork noodles
Tuesday - Takeaway
Wednesday - Smash Burgers
Thursday - Spaghetti Bolognaise
Friday - Meatballs

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. My goal is to come for the Australian Open some day but I think I'd be happy to visit any time. I recently read a romance set in Sydney and I must have pulled up some photos of places in the book because now I get every airline sale advertisement. The challenge (besides finding the right companion) is getting at least two weeks off from work; otherwise, it is a very long trip before one has to turn around.

    1. If you come for the Australian Open let me know. I live in Melbourne and we could sort out something

  2. I always enjoy reading of your travels! Australia would be for us a wonderful destination.

    1. Thanks Melynda! I wasn't 100% sure about posting this one given I had some average food experiences.

  3. Sounds like a perfect getaway! The CN Tower revolves and the restaurant is usually very good.

    1. I suspect the two towers were probably built at similar times

  4. What a wonderful weekend. That brunch! And what a view.

  5. What a great visit to Sydney. Love the views and the boats are amazing. Thx for the tour for us newbies.

  6. Sydney always seems wonderful though your food experiences are a little disillusioning. Your descriptions of the art space and the opera house are tempting. I was only there for a few days once, and wish I could get back, but it’s really a trek!
    best, mae at

    1. It is a long way from the US for sure!

      I was a bit disappointed by the food experiences. It was a relief to go for brunch this weekend near home and get great service and great food!!



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