By Wednesday we were finally making our way to the beach. The soft sandy beaches we have heard so much about. We made a quick stop for breakfast at a coffee and bagel shop near the ferry terminal for yet another flat white and delicious fresh pressed juice – Garden Park Kitchen – The Bagel Shop. Tickets in hand we boarded the ferry for a speedy ride to Manly Beach.
After a few days strolling around the city it was refreshing to slow down the pace. Our first stop was the beach (naturally) for a relaxing and soothing view of the ocean. We watched surfers catch some morning waves and others set up shop for a day at the beach. After a while we strolled across the street for a glass of wine at Manly Wine, a beachy wine and oyster bar overlooking Manly Beach.
A little way further on the coastal walk we found the Fairy Bower Pool – triangular in shape – adorned with two sculptures along the rock edge known as ‘The Sea Nymphs’ or ‘The Oceanides’, which were created by Helen Leete. To the left of the Fairy Bower Pool was The Bower Restaurant where we sat outside (again enjoying the beauty of the historical pool) and peeled some rock shrimp with a fresh salad and coconut water. We even got to watch three dolphins galavant and play near some surfers catching waves. A perfect beach day.
After a relaxing day at the beach we grabbed the ferry back to Circular Quay and sipped on a happy hour glass of wine at Tapa Vino and freshened up for what we hoped to be our first evening out on the town.
We popped into the Absinthe Saloon in Surry Hill, on our way to dinner for an aperitif, where we chatted with the owners about how Absinthe is made and the different types available. The saloon had a Parisian Gothic feel that was intimate and cozy. We also learned Marylin Mason has his own brand of Absinthe called Mansithe. While we didn’t get around to trying the Mansithe, we were told it was well regarded but not heavily marketed by Marylin Manson himself. After a couple glasses and some truffles to go we headed over to Four in Hand in Paddington for a lovely dinner. By now, most of the meals we ate were Asian influenced so it was a nice change of pace to have lamb and steak options. Post dinner and a mild food coma (these dinner portions are no joke) we headed over to the much acclaimed Eau de Vie for a post dinner digestif. By now, we realized that all of the cocktail spots on our list were hidden from street view. We had to enter through a hotel building and down a dark hallway. Through a black door that blended into the wall we emerged into a packed dimly lit room (cocktails shaken, clanked and gulped)… just the place we were looking for. With an impressive cocktail list, ranging from confectionery cocktails to cocktails that claimed to grow hair on your chest and a robust whisky selection, Eric had found his version of Canon in Sydney.