Ah, the Hills District. Much like the seven hills of Ancient Rome, those who call these majestic slopes home are known to venture to distant lands (the CBD), battle monsters (the M2) and rock a mean gladiator sandal (Sportsgirl, Castle Towers, $69.99).
On the mysterious ‘other side of the bridge’ and with more shrubbery chit-chat than a Monty Python sketch, the Hills is Sydney's leafy 'burb, double-digit kilometres from the city and home to a kick-ass café or two.
Here are 21 things you know to be true if you call the Hills home.
- You’ve heard, “So… you’re from Parramatta?” more times than you care to recall when describing your ‘burb.
- Your gratitude journal is filled to the brim thanks to The Baron and you’ll happily scoff a Baron Benny (smoked ham, brioche and a 63-degree egg) any day of the week.
- Sitting in traffic on Pennant Hills Road is something you do regularly. To you it’s like riding a bike. Except the bike is on fire and you’re on fire and everything is on fire because you’re in hell.
- Your family have started comparing your love life to the M2: never finished.
- Carlingford Court Shopping Centre low-key scares you.
- Talk of single-storey dwellings from across the bridge are told as fables imploring children to behave: “Glebe apartments very rarely have guest rooms you know”.
- Loitering at Castle Towers Shopping Centre was a staple part of your teenage years. Bonus points if you frequented ‘The Docks’. Double bonus points if you remember/pine for Timezone.
- Bella Vista and Rouse Hill will always be rolling fields of display homes as far as you’re concerned.
- You’re pretty sure you’ve met this mum at Cherrybrook shops.
- The 610 is your second, much seedier, home; and the reason for your debt-inducing Dettol addiction.
- Youeni versus The Baron is a rivalry you know well. Yes, Youeni have ventured to Surry Hills—does it still count if it has ‘Hills’ in the name?—but their Life Extending Bowl is still the business.
- Your heart sinks a little knowing people’s perception of the ‘other side of the bridge’ barely even reaches your postcode.
- Someone once mentioned the words, ‘Bible belt’ but you’re still not entirely sure what it means. Can we get one from Glassons?
- “Do you like living so far away?” is met with derision and a comeback so sharp, so well rehearsed, you’ve been booked on Fallon.
- You just about wept with happiness the day Crooked Tailor rolled into town with their polenta truffle chips and gin and tonic marshmallows. Years of birthday candle wishes and eyelash hoarding have paid off.
- A quick pop to the shops results in seeing every person you know i.e. school teachers, netball coaches, a fleeting love interest from the Castle Hill RSL and that one chick you see everywhere whose face looks super familiar.
- You’ve braved the Koala Park once or twice for out-of-towners and heard more than one rumour of escaped peacocks and rogue Koalas.
- You’ve received a couple lacklustre pats on the back for your suburbs’ burgeoning train line (to which you’ll still have the drive).
- Hillside Hotel has seen your rattier, tipsier side a few too many times. Its employees even made a speech at your 21st.
- You barely blink an eye at a driving time of 60 minutes. NBD.
- There’s a rumour that every house in West Pennant Hills (your own personal OC) has a tennis court. You’re not yet convinced otherwise.
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Image credit: Claudia Schmueli