I can’t seem to get enough of Surry Hills and surrounds since moving back to Sydney – it’s always been a favourite, but there’s something about the energy, architecture, cafe culture and non-stop crop of cool new bars and restaurants that makes it the place I want to be right now.
A sunny but slightly chilly Saturday called for a Surry-hurst exploration on foot. First stop was cute cafe Kawa, with its tiki and tribal accents, hanging tropical plants, bountiful fruit display awaiting the juicer and mismatched vintage vibe. After fuelling up on eggs benedict and coffees we headed off on an epic walk all over the inner east, from Darlinghurst and Surry Hills across to Kings Cross and Potts Point, and eventually back to the city.
Lunch was at the very Euro La Petit Creme (french onion soup and merguez and harissa sandwich). The cafe has an old school, antiquey look and a busy, bustling vibe, an open fast paced kitchen and cool French and Spanish accented patrons.
Next stop was Gelato Messina, renowned for their innovative gelato flavours and often hailed as Sydney’s best gelato – now I see why. The rosewater, mandarin and honey combination was a middle eastern inspired taste trip and my overall favourite. Also devoured – the salted caramel and white choc chip, the chocolate fondante and raspberry, which were all amazingly rich and full of flavour.
We also visited The Artery, a not-for-profit gallery featuring contemporary aboriginal art. The art is actually affordable (well, by art’s standards!) and really appeals to my love of colour and pattern. I fell in love with so many stunning pieces and am seriously thinking of buying something!
Water Dreaming by Rex Winston Walford (image courtesy The Artery)
Bush Yam Dreaming by Jeannie Mills Pwerle (image courtesy The Artery)
After a wander across to Potts Point’s shops and art galleries we headed back to the city to Grandma’s, a fairly recent addition to Sydney’s small bar scene. A subterranean room is decked out in mismatched retro furniture and fittings and the cocktail list is long and enticing. Tiki and rum flavoured cocktails dominate, with a nod to prohibition era concoctions. There are a few beers like Tiger (umm, no thanks – after nearly five years in Asia I don’t want to see another Tiger for a long time, or Beer Chang, or Angkor, or 333….!). We stuck to wine and had a great Printhie Shiraz from Orange that the barman suggested (tip – the pour here is VERY generous!). Like hanging out in someone’s loungeroom, Grandma’s is a comfortable, casual and cosy affair. There was even an actual grandma having drinks there – she must have been at least 75! The clientele was a really diverse mix – definitely a welcoming and unpretentious place for a drink. Loved it!
Kawa, 346-350 Crown St, Surry Hills, tel: 02 9331 6811
La Petit Creme, 118 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst, tel: 02 9361 4738
Gelato Messina, Shop 1/241 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, tel: 02 8354 1223
The Artery, Shop 2 The Westbury, 221 Darlinhurst Rd, Darlinghurst, tel: 02 9380 8234
Grandma’s, basement of 275 Clarence St, Sydney, tel: 02 9264 3004