Summer is officially (almost) upon us – so embrace the craziness that December inevitably is and in between your piles of Christmas shopping try to squeeze in some time to get to know all the new and exciting things happening around Sydney. Whether it be trying a new boutique style workout, a new Sydney restaurant or drinking a limited edition French pink peppercorn gin, there are plenty of new things to do in Sydney this month!
The Spice Room | Circular Quay
Circular Quay's newest establishment, The Spice Room, is a combination of Indian street food and upmarket dining with an amazing interior inspired by royal kingdoms and lavish lifestyles. With an extensive menu featuring classic curries, house specialties and numerous naans, the most difficult part of dining at The Spice Room is choosing which delicious dish you'll have.
Bruce Leaves | North Bondi
After some big success in Alexandria, the newest addition of Bruce Leaves at North Bondi is sure to convince you to eat your greens. From the guys who brought us Canteen at Bondi, this new cafe puts a twist on your regular salad bar. Flavoursome with an Asian influence, the pork dumpling and Asian green salad is a must, as is the salmon sashimi salad. There is also a wide range of fresh juices and smoothies to choose from. Check it out and see that it is totally possible to make friends with salad.
Gazebo | Pott's Point
Re-opened just in time for summer, is Potts Point's recently revamped Gazebo. Capturing the feel of a local wine bar whilst offering a little bit of decadence, the new Gazebo definitely does not disappoint. The 60s feel is complete with chandeliers, a grand piano and dark leather booths and a new menu focused on 'community dining' with an abundance of share plates and pizzettas fresh from the wood-fired oven. Keystone's sommelier Sarah Limacher has also collected an impressive variety of local and international wines and every month she is offering a selection of her limited supply collection with the neighbourhood on the specials wine list. If you don't want to embrace your inner wine aficionado, never fear – there is a wide range of craft beer and cider on tap, as well as a fun yet sophisticated cocktail menu which thankfully has kept Gazebo's signature cocktail Chilcano de Pisco.
hardtofind Pop-up | The Rocks
If you're not already obsessed with hardtofind's online store, then you will be if you head down to The Rock's newest pop-up shop. The store offers a bespoke range of fantastic gift ideas personally hand-picked by hardtofind's founders and gift gurus: Eri Stewart and Trudy Jenkins. Only open till December 14, you better get in quick and find that perfect knick-knack for your boyfriend's mum. Keep your eyes peeled for all sorts of pop-up stores in The Rocks, as it's part of Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority's new initiative to find creative uses for temporarily vacant buildings and encourage new visitors to the city's historic centre.
Burger Project | CBD
Inspired by the famous Rockpool Bar & Grill burger, the Burger Project is an affordable, gourmet yet retro take on the art of the perfect burger. Earlier this year Rockpool's Group Directors, Neil Perry, Trish Richards and David Doyle decided to bring the burger to the people and the people have embraced it wholeheartedly. Whether you are after a classical approach ($7.90) or maybe perhaps a spicy pork belly ($9.90) or maybe you are after a carb-less option, the Burger Project has everything. The menu also features hot dogs (there's even a Korean version), hot wings or house-made chips. There is a lot more than just burgers at Burger Project with an assortment of Aussie shakes, house made soda and pavlova and lamington flavoured ice cream available.
The Hunter Wine Bar | Mosman
Think James Bond on safari. That's what Mosman's Hunter Wine Bar aims for with its roped vines falling from the canvas ceiling and a mix of stone and wood surfaces that channel a modern hunting lodge. The menu is game-inspired, complete with emu sliders and crocodile sosaties but there are some more straightforward seafood options such as salt and pepper squid and prawns. After a drink? The cocktail menu is quite extensive, so give the fan's favourite – the chilli and vanilla spiced margarita – a try.
Gewurzhaus | CBD
Feeling spicy? Gewurzhaus Herb & Spice Merchants, a boutique spice store, is the latest addition to The Strand Arcade. Since opening in Melbourne 2010, the Konecsny sisters, Eva and Maria, inspired by traditional European spice houses have created a store that stocks over 250 single origin spices, spice blends, kitchen-related merchandise and giftware unavailable anywhere else in NSW. Gewurzhaus is renowned for its high quality ingredients, so pop in and have a look around.
Physicore | Paddington, Surry Hills and Mosman
Are you ready for the fast approaching summer and the cringe worthy imaginings of you in a bikini post Christmas lunch feasting? Try Physicore's newest boutique fitness studio in Paddington, Surry Hills or Mosman to get you up to scratch. The 50-minute classes are modeled on the Lagree fitness method created by LA's fitness expert Sebastian Lagree who looks after a big celebrity clientele that includes Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Hudgens and Nicole Kidman. Dubbed as the "mega pilates workout", Physicore is all about a full body-conditioning workout that fuses functional core focussed cardio and resistance training, emphasising slow, controlled movement that can burn up to 600 calories per class. If that doesn't entice you, newbies also have an economic incentive - if you go to two classes in the first week, it's only $25.
Summer Gin Garden At Little Fish | Pyrmont
Little Fish is one of Sydney's best-kept secrets and they are celebrating the start of summer with their Summer Gin Garden. Open till December 19th, this sun drenched harbourside bar will be celebrating all things gin in the busy lead up to Christmas. The new menu, hand picked by gin connoisseur and bar manager, Adrien Charpentier, features a selection of 11 boutique gins. It is the only bar in Australia where you can taste the limited release French vacuum distilled Audemus Spirit's Pink Pepper Gin. Flying Fish Executive Chef Stephen Seckold has created a weekly changing menu – so think freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters with a gin and cucumber granita and a tarragon and crisp potato sandwich. So get botanical and head down to the Little Fish Summer Gin Garden.
Grandma's Little Bakery | Alexandria
Grandma's has made waves in Sydney's food scene since opening its doors in Alexandria almost 3 years ago. Not only is the food utterly delicious and healthy, but everything is made with heart and soul – just like Grandma used to make it. Here, the focus is on homestyle cooking and baking, where everything is made from scratch, whether it is the pita-bread, pies, cookies, pastries, dips, jam, gelato and more. If you're stopping by for breakfast you can't go past the spicy Shakshuka cooked with Grandma's hot chili sauce or Grandma Haya's spinach and ricotta borekas. And when you're done, be sure to stop by Grandma's Pantry, which is stocked full of homemade frozen meals and pastries, and of course their famous cookies!
Image credit: Gazebo, Burger Project