In case you haven’t noticed, the weather is officially warming up and leaving the house is far more acceptable. And our mates over at Keystone (the legends behind some of Sydney’s best bars and restaurants) must have heard us coming out of hibernation, because they’re making September a veritable party bag of goodness at all of their amazing venues.
During this aptly named ‘Feel The Love’ festival, there are parties to attend, rooftop cinemas to be enjoyed, a delightful little concept called 1, 2 FREE where a third meal or drink is on the house when you order two, and much more fun to sink your teeth into. So to make sure you’ve got your September itinerary sorted, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10. Here’s what you simply must attend. Must.
#1 Cargo 2015
Can you believe that Cargo has been making our weekends ten times more epic for 15 years?! It would be downright rude not to give back and celebrate its birthday in style every Saturday night throughout September—yes, Kid Kenobi will be there on September 5th (OMG!). These guys know how to do nostalgia right, so you can expect some of the best DJs from the past 15 years to be making your weekend simply unforgettable.
#2 One Love at Manly Wine
Remember how we said it was finally acceptable to leave the house on weekends? This is pretty much the inspiration for that. On Sunday, September 13, the beautiful Manly Wine will be spreading the spring joy in the form of One Love Reggae Vibes from FOREIGNDUB from 2pm. Think rays of sunshine, live reggae tunes, $20 cocktail jugs (we’ll take five Pimms, please), and more fresh smashed crabs than you can poke a claw at. Be sure to get there nice and early so you don’t miss out. Good times all around!
#3 ‘Love is in the Air’ Rooftop Cinema at Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ
Balmy nights call for cocktails and bonding with your mates, and Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ is the place to be when this call comes, especially now that this rooftop bar is transforming into a cinema every Monday to Wednesday throughout September. With new favourites like Knocked Up and Love Actually, or time-tested classics along the lines of Pretty in Pink or Sleepless in Seattle, there’s something for everyone. Plus, you’ll still get to chow down on Sweethearts’ delicious food and cocktails while you enjoy the film.
#4 Sunday Wine Fair at Gazebo
Did you know that the 11th commandment stated that Sundays are for wine? No? Well, they are now. Sundays at Gazebo are dedicated to all things wine this September, with a different region covered each week. Kicking things off with Bordeaux on the 6th, followed by Provence on the 13th, Canberra District Wines on the 20th, and G H Mumm & Perrier Jouet on the 27th. Not only will you be getting sufficiently merry, but there will be plenty to learn about what’s in your glass. Book your spot now, because places are filling up quicker than your glasses will on the day!
#5 Love Thy Neighbour - The Animal at the Newtown Hotel
Speaking of commandments, this is one we always abide by. Every Wednesday throughout September, you can get 2 for 1 main meals at The Animal at Newtown Hotel. Sharing is caring, so grab their famous spinach, ricotta and feta pie and the full rack of beef short ribs and bond with your mates over some grub at one of Newtown’s best pubs. For something meatier, go for The Animal’s famous coal-roasted suckling lamb off the spit—although you may end up squabbling over who gets the last bite.
#6 LOVE POTION No.9 Apothecary Cocktail Bar & Naughty & Nice High Tea at The Loft
If The Loft is famous for anything, it’s delicious, creative cocktails with a modern twist. Feel the Love will be making the most of this wonderful offering on Saturdays and Sundays this September, but adding a wholesome edge. The Love Potion No. 9 Apothecary cocktail bar is full of their delicious cocktails, twisted with extra special Ovvio organic teas to keep your body happy. If you like the best of both worlds, try out the Naughty Nice High Tea, a superfood-charged makeover to your usual high tea offering. Think warm wholemeal chia and raisin scones with fresh seasonal berries, with a glass of bubbles on the side. Bliss.
#7 General deliciousness at Jamie’s Italian
September is going to be a delicious one at Jamie’s Italian. Think specials on locally-sourced food and drink, and of course the deliciously convenient 1, 2, FREE offer when you order an entrée and main at lunch. Hint: the Tuscan-style chicken liver bruschetta and the potato & truffle tortellini are proof that heaven exists. Oh Mr Oliver, how you spoil us.
#8 Sundays I'm In Love at The Champagne Room
Love yourself a Sunday session? Us too. Especially when we can class it up a bit with endless bottles of bubbles. And that’s exactly what will be happening at The Champagne Room every Sunday from 12pm. Hosted by all-around legend Gael Donaldson, you can expect flowing Perrier-Jouet Champagne, delicious eats and DJs to send your weekend off in style. Bookings are recommended, so be sure to nab your spot before you miss out.
#9 Love Me Tender at Chophouse
If there’s a place to go and get your meat on in Sydney, it’s unquestionably Chophouse. And September is all about lamb up in here, with plenty of delicious lamb specials and wine tastings to be enjoyed. You can also partake in a Tasmanian lamb on a spit outside on the Terrace on Thursday September 10, 17, and 24. Want something a little more intimate? Look no further than the Love me Tender lamb feast on Wednesday September 9. It’s four courses of lamby goodness with matching wines for a casual $99 per head, and it might just be the highlight of your year.
#10 Raise the Roof Party at The Rook
Secret CBD bar The Rook has been on our list of best spots for cocktails in Sydney for as long as we can remember. And now that the sun is officially ours to keep, The Rook is literally raising its roof to reveal a brand new open air restaurant and bar for you to get involved with. To celebrate the occasion, there will be one hell of a party on September 30th, with all of the delicious signature drinks and lobster this Sydney bar has become famous for. Drinks are on the house, so get there from 6pm to make the most of this epic celebration, but RSVP is essential, so drop them a line so you don't miss out.
Stay tuned for more info on Feel the Love Festival.
Image credit: Jackie Lyn Powell, Lisa Brooke and Federica Portentoso