Having been in Sydney now for just over five months, I’ve had long enough to get into a routine and gain a sense of life in a new city. The most interesting revelations have been the breakfast culture and beach lifestyle.
After my travels in South East Asia, I was curious to see how the beach would fit into daily life; would I be visiting the beach every day and getting sunned before and after work? The reality of working PR is that work/life balance often comes second to the urgent deadlines that appear to crop up on an hourly basis. But for those pals back home wondering: it’s a weekend thing; I’m not hanging out on the beach all day every day!
As a few visitors have already noted, it’s not sunny all the time here; in fact it can be rather Scottish at times, with plenty of horizontal rain, but there have been loads of weekends spent on the beach already – even when it was still early spring! There seems to be a tragic trend of poor weather when people visit.
What’s become weekend ritual with my flatmate Louise, aka “Lomax”, is a weekly breakfast (or more usually brunch) at the nearly innumerable cafe/bars. In the past ten weeks, I’ve been to at least eight different cafes – all with their own personality and varying menus. More on those later.
I’ve also had the chance to meet Bill Granger, probably Australia’s most well known chef in the UK. Writing a profile article about him for an Australian ex-pat magazine, I was able to ask him about his new restaurant in London (in Westbourne Grove) through which he’s hoping to sell the culture of brunch to London’s Notting Hill types. Having lived near Bondi, in Bronte, he’s all too familiar with the local cafe scene and loves to take advantage when he’s home.
A thoroughly genuine bloke and emphatic Bondi export, he’s managed to generate success in Japan and Australia, so has the nouse he’d need to crack London. Having spent a lot of time in London, I reckon there’s a gap there for good brunch cafes and hope to give it a try when I’m back in Blighty.
Being in Sydney has allowed me to start exploring more of the east coast, which I’m making some progress on. I’ve taken a trip up to the Whitsundays, started exploring some of Sydney’s restaurants and visited the Hunter Valley wine region, which is just a couple of hours away by car. More to follow on those too.