Wednesday, 8 Feb 2023

Summer in Sydney means … the Hermitage walk, dumplings and the Salisbury Hotel

What does a Sydney summer mean to you?

Finding sand throughout the house; warm evenings drinking a cold beer at a local pub and listening to live music; trying to avoid the seatbelt buckle when you first get into the car; the call of the cockatoos and cicadas. Summer means longer daylight hours to see friends and family and it’s no longer checking the weather forecast because I know it will be hot and humid most days.

First memory of summer in Sydney?

I grew up in Canberra so we’d regularly come up to Sydney for a day trip or a few nights. We’d split our time between shopping in the city and going to yum cha (the since-closed Marigold was a favourite), or going swimming at Maroubra, eating fish and chips and getting a sweet treat at a local Greek bakery.

First place you take visitors?

Anywhere along the Hermitage Walk in Vaucluse – it’s got some of the best views of the harbour and you can see all sorts of fish, birds and stingrays! But you can also never go wrong with some dumplings in Chinatown or a good old-fashioned pub meal at the Rocks.

Favourite cafe?

Anywhere with a good view, great coffee and banana bread.

Salisbury Hotel in Sydney’s Inner West suburb of Stanmore.

Secret spot you escape to?

The Salisbury Hotel in Stanmore. It’s got some great food and drinks which you can enjoy under the fairy light and next to a 1926 delivery truck that’s been transformed into a communal table. They even have live country music every Sunday.

The best summer food is …

As if I could name just one! I am a big fan of ripe mangos, mince pies, pavlovas, or fish and chips.

I know it’s summer when I smell …

Freshly mown grass, barbecues, pine trees (although I’m oddly allergic to them), sunscreen or the salt spray of the beach.

My favourite summer song is…

The sound of cicadas! It never gets old – although occasionally very deafening. Although, In the Summertime by Thirsty Merc is a favourite because it reminds me of watching Bondi Rescue and blasting the aircon.

The worst thing about summer is …

Being stuck inside on a beautiful day and hayfever. I desperately need my eyes to stop itching and my nose to stop running.

My closest bolthole is …

Anywhere with aircon.

Guilty pleasure?

Reality television – I am currently obsessed with Below Deck.

What aspect of summer life would you change, and what do you want to always stay the same?

I hope my love of an Australian summer never changes. There is something magical about the smells, sounds and things to do in our city.

But if I could change one thing, it would be the amount of pollen – I am so sick of hayfever.

Summer in Sydney is a series where Herald staff reveal the best – and worst – of our city in the hotter months.

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