Sydney. It’s a smorgasbord of cosmopolitan culture, exquisite dining, breathtaking vistas, designer shops and cocktails to die for. In essence, it a girl’s mecca. So when Mouths of Mum’s Jessica Jane Sammut went looking for a luxury mummy’s escape, there was only one place it could be.
Oh Sydney, you make me swoon. Swoon with your beauty, your magnificence, your iconic status, your twinkling harbour and beaches of gold, your city of lights and cool sophistication.
Ok, ahem. So I have a slight Sydney fetish. One vice I actually don’t mind admitting. A Londoner born and raised (and now living in Noosa, Queensland), Sydney is my all-time favourite city break. Offering all that I love about London (think fine food, fine wine, culture, class and choice), Sydney tops it all by also providing its visitors with a fantastic climate, sensational beaches, and a beauty that is unsurpassed. Sydney has that wow factor – the feeling that you are standing in the best place in the world and there is no-where else you would rather be.
So when I came to plan a long-overdue post-baby treat – a high-end kiddo-free luxury girls weekend away to a favourite destination – there was no other place to consider. And what a weekend it was. Cocktails, champagne, fresh seafood in abundance, desserts, high teas, spas, shopping, shopping, shopping …
Let the fun begin
Starting with a Champagne pick-up from the airport (a frivolous expense but so worth it to kick-off our decadent weekend), my girlfriend and I skipped the taxi queue and instead found ourselves coasting through Sydney with a private driver as the sun went down and our heads filled with bubbles.
In looking for a five-star hotel in the shopping district of central Sydney, the Swissotel had looked the goods when booking (we got a great deal through lastminute.com.au), so we were interested to see how it stacked up. And it didn’t disappoint. Located on Market Street above Myer’s city store between Pitt Street Mall and George Street, this little number was flanked by all the high street and designer stores, including the Westfield shopping centre and the Queen Victoria Building, making it a girl’s dream come true. Our little squeals of delight as we glided into the area noted the perfect location, whilst we clutched our credit cards evermore tightly as slightly-crazed grins moved across our faces. And you can imagine our further skips of joy when we checked-in to our room to find chocolate-dipped strawberries and a bottle of Champagne on ice (together with an amazing view over Sydney), together marking the beginning of a princess-like couple of days.*
And so started our first night. After polishing off the strawberries and bubbles, a scoot down to the Opera House was in order to get an evening glimpse of her magnificent architecture – one that I think screams ‘Sydney Wow!’ with wild abandon. This was followed by an excited meander along the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay where we chose Wildfire to eat (Balmain bugs and lobster with matching wine) followed by a few liqueurs at Cruise Bar before returning to our beds (and chosen pillows via the pillow menu) to slumber.
Shops, spas & sunsets
On awaking the following morning gloriously late (with no kidlets to attend to), a yummy breakfast at the hotel set us on our way for the day as we hit the shops: Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Karen Millen and Prada to satisfy our designer craving, followed by Zara, Topshop, Wittner, Nine West and Esprit for our more down-to-earth personas. Dresses were the order of the day as we mentally justified each and every one by the naming of various potential future special occasions which might require such pretty attire. It’s amazing what the imagination can conjure up, but one can never have too many dresses, non?
An interval of lunch at the Opera Bar provided the necessary refuelling, before heading to the endota spa the rocks for a completely blissful dual endotarama (foot soak, foot scrub and foot massage, facial and body massage) which soothed our aching bones and left us feeling like we had floated up to the clouds. Not wanting to waste the feeling, it was decided a high tea was in order and so we proceeded to The Bar at The Westin for its renown Mad Hatter’s High Tea (based on Alice in Wonderland), offering a totally exquisite collection of gourmet sweets and savouries in theme (think smoked salmon triple stacks with caper berries, ocean prawn boats with crostini and lime, Belgian chocolate profiteroles, scones with homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream), together with a glass of Ruinart Champagne and a deluxe blueberry mojito. And so the afternoon merged into evening, and we returned to the hotel to glam-up for nightfall.
When originally booking a venue for cocktails and dinner for that evening, I had envisaged a sunset, gorgeous frocks and stunning vistas, so O Bar and Dining had been locked in from 7pm, and boy, did it please. Arriving to watch the sun descend over Sydney town, our table offered an uninterrupted view over the whole of the city in an environment which made us feel like film stars. Located 47 floors above ground, the venue oozed class and style. offering the finest five-star drinks, dining and service, including some of the most incredible cocktails I have ever tasted (one was on fire, I say no more …) Our every need was attended to without hesitation by guys and gals who looked like they had stepped out of a modelling agency, and our dishes were prepared by renowned international chef Michael Moore. The night was an unforgettable experience, and so concluded our final evening in Sydney.
Seafood & sayonara
On waking the following morning, we decided to treat ourselves to a parting gift of the Chandon Seafood Buffet Lunch at The Crossroads Bar of the Swissotel before our flight, scoffing on oysters, prawns and bugs amongst a plethora of other dishes, and revelling in the tantalising desserts, all whilst sipping Chandon (of course).
It was a beautiful way to end our perfect girly trip of indulgence, and as we hopped on the plane just hours later, relaxed and revitalised from our Sydney escape (looking forward to the cuddles we would soon be receiving from our beaming babies), I knew that although I was no longer in this special city’s vicinity or even in the state, she would always be in my heart, and my memories of this fine weekend etched in my mind forever. It’s amazing what a girly trip away can do for the soul. Now, who needs a nappy change?