Just when I think that I’m finally desensitised to those famous views across the harbour, Sydney always finds another way to leave me breathless and inspired.
Having spent a lot of my time in Australia hanging out in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, I am no stranger to Watsons Bay. I posted a blog around this time last year of my “weekend-at-home” which climaxed with a ferry ride across the harbour to Watsons Bay, and I also celebrated my 29th birthday over brunch in the suburb as well. As one of my favourite small Sydney suburbs, it was really only a matter of time before Watsons Bay found it’s way into my mini travel blog series on Sydney suburbs!
Watsons Bay has a decent selection of cafes and restaurants for it’s small size, though if you’re only visiting Watsons Bay for one day I would leave the dining options on the main road for the locals and head straight down to the water’s edge. This is why visitors come to Watsons Bay. Nestled in a serene little inlet next to the mouth of Sydney Harbour, the amazing view from the shoreline looks back across the harbour, with the silhouette of the Sydney CBD skyline in the distance, and facing the setting sun in the west. For a bit of a contrast, you can also stroll to the opposite side of Robertson Park and, in just a few minutes, you will find yourself looking down from a dramatic cliff top over the vast blue expanse of the ocean beyond.
You can get to Watsons Bay easily from central Sydney, with regular ferries departing from Circular Quay (next to the Sydney Opera House) that docks literally in front of all three of my recommended eateries! Breakfast or High Tea can be enjoyed from Dunbar House, a beautifully refurbished beachside Manor house offering a quintessentially English experience with contemporary chesterfield furniture and the best fine bone china. Get there early or call ahead and book to secure a table on the terrace so you can absorb those killer Sydney views.
A visit to Watsons Bay wouldn’t be complete without enjoying an al fresco lunch or dinner at Doyle’s on the Beach. Doyle’s has been a family owned and operated business since 1885, and this particular Doyle’s still stands on their original site. Literally on the foreshore of the Bay with stunning panoramic views across Sydney Harbour, Doyle’s and their scrumptious range of fresh seafood dishes are still as famous with the locals as they are with tourist’s, so make sure you pay them a visit (and don’t forget to book ahead!!).
Finally, to my favourite hang out in Watsons Bay… The Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel has it all. From boutique accommodation, to great pub food and delectable cocktails, an insane multi-level beer garden with sweeping views across the harbour, and even a little takeaway kiosk for if you want to just grab a coffee and a sandwich to-go and have a little picnic across the road in Robertson Park instead. The atmosphere has been great every time I’ve been in this place, the decor is beach-chic, and you just can’t get much better than watching the sunset over the city and harbour with an ice cold exotic cocktail in hand!
I hand on heart recommend Watsons Bay for a Sunday session to anyone visiting Sydney. Catch the ferry over in the morning, have breakfast at Dunbar House, a cheeky harbour swim, a late lunch at Doyles, a stroll around the bay and across Robertson Park to the Gap for awesome views of the ocean, and then watch the sunset over the harbour whilst drinking with friends in the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. Trust me, this is a perfect day!!!