Just around the corner and up the street from Bondi beach you will find Jo & Willy’s. It is hard to miss really. It is the spot that almost always has a long line of people waiting outside for a table. This is where the locals hang out, and for 3 days we too were locals and this is where we spent most of our down time.
There are lots of things I loved about Jo & Willy’s. Inside it is so welcoming and fun with wildflowers on the tables. The walls, furniture and decorations are every shade of blue, all reflecting the nearby ocean which you can see if you sit at the tables outside or near one of the windows. The staff were fantastic, they all seemed like they were part of one big happy family and it seemed that the mangers, or owners were hanging around a lot of the time, greeting the locals by name and giving smiles all around.
The first time we stopped by was after a stunning walk from Bondi beach to Bronte beach and back along the coast (highly recommended). We sat inside and ordered from their full day breakfast menu. My favourite was green eggs and ham . Rich ordered the Spanish breakfast. Both were amazingingly delicious.
And yes the hot chocolate was very nice. I kept forgetting to order it in a mug, so I kept getting little glasses of hot chocolate, but it was nice and easy to drink.
Verdict: If I lived in Sydney, and happened to live near Bondi beach, or even if I lived anywhere remotely close to Bondi Beach, this would probably become my local for an early morning green eggs and ham and hot chocolate. Jo & Willy’s Depot, 286 Campbell Parade, Sydney, Australia
Located on the foreshore of the beautiful Sydney Harbour and surrounded by parklands, Nielson Park Cafe & Restaurant has a pretty ideal location. This heritage listed property sits right in the middle of a very popular beach and is surrounded by stunning trees that have grown to form a leafy archway across the pathway to the beach.
It was raining again today. It just hasn’t stopped raining for the past week, which I’m told is good since there hasn’t been a lot of rain this past summer. The good thing about the rain is that it meant that this spot which is usually jam packed with sunbathers and beachbums on a Sunday afternoon was empty and peaceful. It also meant that we managed to walk in and get a table for four inside the restaurant.
The restaurants is a light and airy space with colourful stained glass windows and wild flowers on all the tables. Several tables next to us had been reserved by a large group of women, all beautiful and well dressed, throwing a baby shower for one of their friends. This spot is often used for weddings and it isn’t hard to see why. It is both fancy while still having that laid back cool feel that Sydney does so well.
We ordered our hot chocolates before lunch to help us dry off from the horizontal rain outside. Our friend Bradley was smart – being the local he knew to ask for a hot chocolate in a mug. I had completely forgotten that around here if you ask for a hot chocolate they almost always bring it to you in a water glass, which as I have mentioned many times before, makes no sense to me. So his arrived in a nice big red mug while mine came in a small sad looking water glass. But despite this it was a nice hot chocolate which I thoroughly enjoyed. Nothing overly fancy but good quality, dark chocolate.
The food, as very often is the case in Australia, was beautiful. I had baked Portuguese style fish of the day in a cast iron pot which I highly recommend. The bowl of yam chips with rosemary salt and lemon yoghurt dip looked fantastic as well.
Verdict: Great spot on a rainy Sunday afternoon…great spot anyday really. And then there is that view of the harbor… Nielsen Park, Greycliffe avenue, Sydney, Australia
I travel a lot, maybe too much, but one of the benefits of travelling so much is access to lounges. There are some nice lounges around the world but my favourite by far is the first class lounge for Qantas in Sydney Australia. Strangely enough this is probably also one of my favourite restaurants in the world! The lounge has a full service restaurant that is free of charge once you enter and has a whole range of delicious food with a view of downtown Sydney and the airport.
While waiting for my flight from Sydney to Dallas, I made the most of the opportunity to visit the restaurant in the lounge. I started off with salt and pepper squid with green chilli sauce and then follow that up with Barramundi with capers, lemon and anchovy butter, butter baby leeks and speck both perfect. While waiting for my desert, there was plenty to watch outside. A massive A380 waits in line on the runway to take off as a tiny 6 person private plane lands just in front of it. I watch a 777 for Air Canada arrive and park near by. A catering truck makes its way to a Qantas 747 which turns out to be my plane home. My dessert then arrives, a gorgeous fruit platter followed by, of course, a Vittoria Hot Chocolate.
The hot chocolate was nice. It was hot and creamy. It was quite a light hot chocolate but after such a meal it was a perfect finish. It is presented in a small glass that at first is too hot to handle which is unfortunate because by the time I can pick it up the hot chocolate has already cooled down quite a bit. The chocolate is a little bit sweet for my liking but because it is presented in quite a small glass it makes a very nice dessert.
Verdict: If you have the opportunity to go into the lounge, arrive early so you can enjoy the meal and follow that up with a hot chocolate. Qantas First Class Lounge, Sydney International Airport, Australia (free of charge with entrance to lounge)
The thing about Sydney that no one else has are its beaches. It seems like everyone has a harbour view and the harbour and the area outside the harbour is just lined with beautiful beaches. Every neighbourhood has their own complete with beautiful soft brown sand, trees to provide shade and BBQ stations to help with your picnic.
Today we visited a whole range of beaches across Sydney. Bondi of course being one of the most famous of all the beaches was on the list. We also went to Manly beach and a whole range of less well known but equally popular beaches in between. The day started through at Bronte Beach where we stopped for a nice big breakfast and, of course, a hot chocolate. This was a very pretty hot chocolate and an awesome location to have one. From where I was sipping my chocolate I could see the beach and hundreds of people walking to and from it.
The hot chocolate was nice and came with a nice big marshmallow. I would definitely have it again, especially since it would give me the chance to visit beautiful Bronte beach again. After my drink, we went over to the Beach and found a shady spot. While sitting there within 5 minutes we spotted a pod of about 10-15 dolphins just off the beach looking to have some fun in the waves. Does it get any better than that?!
Verdict: Hot Chocolate on a beautiful beach first thing in the morning…recommended. G’Day Bronte, 487 Bronte Road, Sydney, Australia ($3.40)