If you’re looking for inspiration for your next weekend away, might we suggest Barangaroo? With a vibrant array of things to see and do all in one inner-city hub, it makes for the perfect location for that mini getaway.
Sydney’s newest harbourside suburb may appear like business on top, but it’s a party down below. The plush precinct is often referred to as the corporate end of town, but look beyond the newly constructed skyscrapers and offices and you’ll discover luxe streets lined with dynamic restaurants, bars and boutiques.
So if you’re after a new place to eat, stay, love, step this way…
WHERE TO STAY
West Hotel is Australia’s first hotel to fall under the Curio Collection by Hilton banner — meaning, it is part of a group of upscale hotels and resorts handpicked by Hilton to join its global property portfolio.
The striking botanical theme is evident the moment you enter the glass-faceted building, which is a short five-minute walk from the heart of Barangaroo. Be wowed by the waratah motif in the lobby as well as the adjacent garden atrium, which doubles as a bar and serves botanical-inspired cocktails. Likewise, leaf patterns adorn the carpets in the 182 rooms and suites that are each decorated with a palette of blues, greens and greys.
The theme continues inside the hotel’s Solander Bar where a carefully curated Australian-style brekkie is on offer. But why not sit back on the velvet-upholstered chairs and upgrade to an à la carte breakfast option for the full foodie experience.
Hotel highlight? The in-room entertainment systems. Whether on a business or leisure trip, the HD smart TV with Google Chromecast and built-in Bluetooth speakers in each room makes your stay that much better.
WHERE TO DINE
From world-class restaurants to casual dining spots, Barangaroo has endless dining options.
At the fancy end of the spectrum is Cirrus, a waterfront restaurant located in the cloud-shaped Anadara building. It’s headed by Sydney’s award-winning duo, chef Brent Savage and Sommelier Nick Hildebrandt — the culinary geniuses behind Bentley, Monopole and Yellow.
In case you didn’t catch the drift with the ’50s wooden ‘Alvin’ boat artfully suspended from the ceiling, Cirrus specialises in seafood sourced from the finest seasonal produce from local growers.
The menu is made for sharing, but dishes are so delish you may want to devour it on your own. Our pick? The charred amberjack with grilled cucumber, buttermilk and mint. Hildebrandt has also curated a seafood-friendly array of 500 wines, ranging from the classic Semillons to the cutting-edge Chablis.
Neighbouring restaurant Banksii Vermouth Bar and Bistro offers fine dining in a casual setting. The brainchild of husband and wife team Hamish Ingham and Rebecca Lines, Banksii offers a contemporary menu with a strong focus on botanicals. That’s right, the geniuses in the kitchen incorporate an array of leaves and flowers in its delicious marinades, sauces and broths.
Naturally, vermouth — a fortified wine infused with botanicals and aromates — is the hero on Banksii’s drinks menu. With 40 on offer, do your tastebuds a favour and try a few drops.
If brunch hangs are more your thing, then head over to Devon Cafe. The Instagram-worthy crowd favourite boasts fine dining dishes within a casual cafe culture.
Devon is known for adding Asian flair to its quirky brunch options invented by executive chef and owner Zachary Tan and head chef Morris Baco. Try the Dr Seuss (thick cut bacon, potato mille feuille, green ketchup, fried egg, cauliflower puree and edamame) or the Breakfast with the Sakumas (miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63′ egg, radish petit salad, kewpi mayonnaise and furikake).
And don’t leave without sampling the signature truffle sundae, a truffle-infused soft serve, topped with honey and sea salt, cornflakes and more truffle. So good!
WHERE TO WINE
Hands down the must-see structure in the precinct is Barangaroo House. Shaped like a stylish birds nest, this curved, three-tier wonder is hard to miss. And while you may come for the architecture, trust us, you’ll stay for the drinks.
Owned and led by renowned chef and restaurateur Matt Moran, Barangaroo House’s three floors each boast its own unique vibe. The House Bar on the ground floor is the perfect waterfront spot for a few sunset drinks, and in the middle level you’ll find Bea Restaurant, which serves up a modern Aussie menu.
On the top floor lies the stylish rooftop bar Smoke that boasts an extensive list of classic and contemporary cocktails — it was voted Best New Bar at the 2018 Time Out Bar Awards. With offerings such as the macadamia-laden Mac Attack! and the salted-caramel-flavoured Milkshake Flip, it’s no wonder.
WHERE TO GLAM
Got some time to kill between check-in and dinner reservations? Then treat yourself to a pamper session at Blown Lux. This chic blowdry bar can be found on Scotch Row, the trendy laneway that’s dotted with boutiques brimming with unique fashion, homewares and jewellery. Aside from the hair and makeup services on offer, Blown Lux also has champers and cocktails on the menu.
The David Jones store on the corner of Barangaroo Avenue is the perfect spot to pick up a last-minute outfit. It’s the first-ever boutique department store and was specifically designed for the Barangaroo precinct. Although compact compared to the flagship store on Sydney’s Elizabeth Street, this branch has all the essential beauty, fashion and accessories you need.
DJs also offers a one-hour personal shopping service, where an experienced stylist will pull designer looks for you ahead of your arrival — all you have to do is show up and try them on! You can really get your glam on with a personal beauty experience at the DJ’s makeup counter. A professional makeup artist will talk you through the look you want before working her magic.
Hair styled, outfit sorted, makeup done? Now you’re ready to hit the streets of Barangaroo.
This writer was a guest of West Hotel Sydney and The Streets of Barangaroo.