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24 Hours in Paddington, Sydney

24 Hours in Paddington, Sydney

MEANDERING LANEWAYS reveal the thriving inner city cultural feast that is Paddington.  Home to a diverse range of art galleries and an abundance of restaurants and bars; giving ample opportunity to explore (and relax) – if you know where to look.

Paddington Streetscape
Paddington Streetscape

The Urban Mum calls Paddington home – waking up to this vista every morning certainly has its advantages.

Paddington sky

However Sydney can give the illusion of being overwhelmingly large. Dig a little deeper and the city gives way to a collection of villages, each with their own vibe.  Often I don’t take the time to explore our own Eastern Suburbs backyard; so when Grandma offered to take the boys off our hands for 24 hours recently – well their bags were packed and they were delivered within 30 minutes of hanging up the phone (I didn’t want to leave any door open for a change of mind).

Escaping your usual routine frees you to amble at will – luxury in itself.  As I have mentioned before (many times); my most memorable urban journey’s have been taken on foot, shrugging off the need to actually be anywhere. To make the most of the best on offer, planning is the key.

With that in mind I consult local hair stylist to the stars, Dee Francis.  A long-time resident of Paddington (just 3 kilometres east of the CBD), she has daily access to what’s hot and what’s not.  I ask where she would go if she had a day in her suburb, with nothing to do but wander and enjoy.

“I won’t kiss and tell,” she laughs.  “But I will give you plenty of suggestions.”

The magic list in hand; The Husband and I set out to investigate.

Centennial Hotel - a cosy spot...
Centennial Hotel – a cosy spot…

It’s Friday

Our weekend begins at the Hotel Centennial.  We watch a group appear through the huge glass door that separates us from the twilight; they try their luck for a table. It seems the dice is rolling their way as the magician (maître d’) conjures a few stools at the bar.  The barman pops a champagne (French) cork and our neighbours take delivery of their drinks.

Delicious smells from the open kitchen blend with the scent of expensive perfume, the people are beautiful.  It is Friday night and all is relaxed.

Laneways to explore...
Laneways to explore…

Slow Lane Saturday

Zen vibe is in abundance at Flow Athletic. “Create more space for happiness,” says owner Kate Kendall as we arrive for a yoga class.  In the luxurious surrounds we find happy and emerge with space for brunch – a healthy body needs healthy food.  On Dee’s advice we locate Jackie’s Café, where Jackie herself delivers our Bircher muesli (sublime). “Don’t leave your arrival too late,” Dee warns in her instructions. “The crowds move in on the weekends.”

Jackie's Café...
Jackie’s Café…
Flow Athletic & Jackie's Cafe...
Flow Athletic & Jackie’s Cafe…

From here it’s time to stroll – shop if you must, says our list– but make time for the galleries.  Paddington has been home to many renowned artists, including Del Kathryn Barton and the late Margaret Olley. Key picks are Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery and Martin Browne Contemporary (both tucked away in Hampden Street).

Paddington boutiques…
Martin Browne Contemporary Gallery...
Martin Browne Contemporary Gallery…

Lunch is takeout from Sonoma (artisan sandwiches and well brewed coffee), eaten in a peaceful spot under a large oak in The Royal Hospital for Women Park.

Paddington Greenspace...
Paddington Green space…

The afternoon disappears along with the knots in our muscles – there’s that magic again – with a massage at Endota Spa. As we emerge the setting sun casts a golden glow.  Strolling to 10 William Street (a cosy bar offering up international wines and plates to share) we can no longer recall the stress of the week – a spell has been cast and magic revealed.

10 William Street - Wine Bar...
10 William Street – Wine Bar…

The Urban Mum’s Guide

I always travel around Sydney with a copy of Urban Walkabout – even if you are familiar with the suburb; there is always a new gem to uncover and these guides are the bee’s knees.

Urban Walkabout Paddington Guide...
Urban Walkabout Paddington Guide…

Eat

Jackie’s Café – 1C Glenmore Road –  02 9380 9818

Hotel Centennial – Oxford Street – Woollahra – 02 9362 3838

Sonoma – 241 Glenmore Road – 02 9331 3601

10 William Street – 10 William Street, Paddington – 02 9360 3310 – no reservations

See/Do

Flow Athletic Yoga – 134 Oxford Street – 02 9331 6721

Robyn Oxley9 Gallery – 8 Soudan Lane (off Hampden Street) – 02 9331 1919

Martin Brown Contemporary Gallery – 15 Hampden Street – 02 9331 7997

Endota Spa – 124 Jersey Road – 02 93632483

Stay

Bedroom - The Residences Centennial Park...
Bedroom – The Residences Centennial Park…

The Residences Centennial Park – 02 8039 1566

We stayed at home because The Urban Mum sleeps in so many different beds throughout the year; it is a luxury to snooze in my own. That said, if there was one other spot I would lay my head in the locale; The Residences Centennial Park would be it. Beautifully restored; historic buildings – every creature comfort catered for. I took a twirl around The Superintendents Residence with Executive Director James Ruben and talked about it here.

 

The Wellbeing Travel Guides

If you are a slow traveller, seek a sense of wellbeing, love Retreats, and tips from chic locals – you are in the right place.

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