Meandering Mornings: Brunch & Shopping

Does it get any better for a group of girlfriends?
One of the highlights of every Sydneysiders’ weekend: brunch. That late long lazy breakfast that somehow turns into midday and later. For us hectic Sydneysiders, constantly whirlwinds of task-oriented efficiency and hubs of activity, brunch is a welcome oasis, a signal of newfound time in the week’s schedule. Often followed and enhanced by a foray to the local markets or a meander amongst the nextdoor niche boutiques…

Yes, I believe it is a true art and a pleasure of life to be able to turn up late to the 10:30am (or possibly 11am!) brunch appointment either to share intimate conversations with old timeless friends, or to relax with new acquaintances adding a new dimension to your life, each experience made whole by those moments where a group of girlfriends falls into paroxysms of laughter.

Ladies, we are lucky to have in our lives that hearty, simple, joyous, colourful late morning meal – be it ‘the regular’ or a new explosion for your palate: brunch. A social ritual. A symbol of luxury.

5 Inspired Brunch Explorations (…in no particular order!)

1. Le Monde (Surry Hills Markets): only open on Saturdays, and tucked away on Fouveaux St a little off the main Surry Hills strip, this spot is a top pick on the brunch map for Surry Hills trendoids. But it is worth it! Conversation flows freely in this rowdy, crowded and social breakfast spot! My latest foray into this tasty chamber also involved raspberry and lemon pancakes with fresh ricotta and berry coulis…needless to say, I was seriously considering a second plate! Preceded by a savoury dish with rocket, capsicum, pumpkin and rosti (and a strong soy cappuccino)…the entire meal was a taste explosion!

Recommended shop hop: vintage Surry Hills markets which occur once a month in the Surry Hills Park (corner Fouveaux St and Crown St) are a delightful source of colourful clothes and crowds, secondhand books and bags, and local artistic or historic finds.

2. The Book Kitchen (Bourke St and Danks St interior design strip): just near to the the gourmet Bourke St Bakery (which surely encourages gluttony!), and surrounded by still fabulous alternative offerings including Cowbelle 808, Café Zoe and St Jude’s into the Redfern side of Bourke St, and the well known four ate five and Gnome along Crown St, The Book Kitchen is still a standout brunch spot. Books and papers strewn across chunky wooden share tables, warm loose figurative artworks decorating the warehouse-style interior, it offers a unique and forgotten favourite: toy soldiers (strips of yummy toasted sourdough!) with vegemite, and soft boiled organic eggs! Fresh, gooey, flavoursome eggs don’t get better than this, served in a relaxed and bustling Surry side street bathed in sunlight and books. The menu is full of tasty offerings, but my recommendation is to go with the classic, add half an avocado and you have a winner!

Recommended shop hop: follow your satisfying wholesome breakfast with a wander through the designer furniture, homewares and accessories offered along Devonsire St Surry Hills, Bourke St Surry and Redfern and Young and Danks Sts Waterloo (and surrounds). Gems like La Maison, Rock’oco, Aero, Anibou, smallspaces, Pyd, Kaleidoscope Gallery, The Country Trader and more are but some to name a few…

3. Tiger’s Mottle (Paddington Markets): the Five Ways in Paddington and the nearby markets at the local primary school are a staple for all stylish Sydneysiders. Tiger’s Mottle is a lovely oasis from the hustle and bustle of this busy intersection with a quiet courtyard out the back and relaxed, friendly service.

Recommended shop hop: Don’t miss the designerwares and general upmarket version of all things bohemian at the Paddington markets on a Saturday morning. It never tires.

4. café-ism (Eveleigh Markets): tucked away on a quiet corner in the back streets of Chippendale, this café overlooks a suburban park and is awash with bright light and casual charm. The amazing lush corn fritters with poached eggs that ooze over a bed of wilted spinach, guacamole and tasty tomato are also charming. Need I say more?

Recommended shop hop: The Eveleigh fresh produce or growers’ markets are a Saturday early morning regular in the Carriageworks with live music, fresh tasters and colourful whole foods to attract a regular inner west crowd. The top pick however in my view is the indie designer markets on the first Sunday of each month…support local artists, floral designers, jewellers, designers, craftsmen, handiworkers and textile creatives as you meander through the stalls – snacks, savoury and sweet, also available to keep you going in anticipation of the heartier brunch or lunch to come!

5. TOP PICK: Revolver (Annandale): this quaint café in a treelined sleepy street of Annandale is a dream for the vintage enthusiast with a selection of mismatched colourful vintage crockery and cutlery collected lovingly over the years to complement a menu filled with homecooked delightful food whose flavour is second to none in Sydney! The Bacon and Egg Roll with Awesome Sauces is a personal favourite that has never been outdone and is consistently tasty, fresh and wholesome. Sensational value for $8.50 as well! A recent visit for lunch included a baked eggs dish with Danish feta, beetroot dip, spinach and more…incredible. The homemade desserts (especially the vanilla and passionfruit slice) are mouthwateringly good – homemade by the owner whose 1950s-esque hairdo and maternal gaze overlooks the café. The thoughtfulness extends to warm, bright red plaid blankets are provided in winter for outdoor seats. Be prepared to wait.

Recommended shop hop: don’t miss the vintage stores on Johnson St (near Booth St intersection), and the artistic side of the suburb with bookstores, gardening centres, framing stores and art galleries dotted along Booth St.

Love Maz x

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