Five Australian cities will be in the grip of Ashes fever this summer. Here’s what to do before, after and between matches in Sydney (test matches 4-8 January).


The burgers are not so basic 
at Bar Ume, the reincarnation of chef Kerby Craig’s hatted restaurant, Ume, in Surry Hills. Jostle with locals for a seat inside the compact Japanese-bar-style eatery and team a signature burger – stuffed with crisp chicken katsu or beef – with a side of kimchi and an ice-cold Japanese beer.

Leave the banter and the baggy greens behind and sink into the understated luxury of Fred’s, which, despite the name, is run by women, from head chef Danielle Alvarez to head sommelier Caitlyn Rees. The focus on seasonal, ethical produce at this Paddington restaurant doesn’t constrain 
the menu – the day’s offerings 
might include Yamba sardines with pea and tahini hummus 
or smoked lamb’s tongue with horseradish yoghurt, salsa verde and beetroot. There’s 
a comprehensive list of wines 
by the glass and the cocktails receive the Australian touch with lemon myrtle in the Americano and eucalyptus 
in the Gimlet.


Depending on what’s broadcast, you might catch the day’s replays or a live match on the big screens in Brigade Bar, at Woollahra hotel The Light Brigade, where local and international beers come bottled or on tap. Alternatively, celebrate your team’s win with a sundowner – the appropriately named Harbour View or Grapefruit 
Sky – while ogling the city skyline from Brigade Rooftop.

Find your tribe among the patrons at The Clock hotel, a heritage building in Surry Hills that conceals a contemporary interior. For a break from the game (which you might see 
on-screen in the downstairs 
bar), head up to the balcony 
bar and watch the bustle 
of Crown Street below with 
a G&T made with Australian gin. Or, if you’re feeling celebratory, order a dram 
in the Whisky Room.

Between matches

Download a Centennial Parklands walking tour app and do a self-guided walk 
– themes include nature and wildlife, and history – around one of Sydney’s most prized green spaces, adjacent to 
the Sydney Cricket Ground. Expect to encounter horseriders, joggers, cyclists and plenty 
of native flora and fauna on your amble around this 360-
hectare oasis.

There’s only one thing more Australian than cricket: beach cricket. Grab your bat and ball, gather your friends and take 
a bus or taxi to Coogee Beach for an afternoon of classic Aussie summer entertainment. Chances are you’ll be inundated with challenges from other beachgoers but if you’re forced to draw stumps, traverse the picturesque coastal trail 
from Coogee to Bondi Beach.

Best breakfast

You’ll find Sydney’s best (off-field) catch of the day at Saint Peter in Paddington, where the weekend brunch menu might include smoked-eel pikelets, blue mackerel on toast or 
sea urchin crumpets. Head 
to Reuben Hills in Surry Hills for spicy pre-match fortification in 
the form of green chilaquiles and huevos divorciados. 
If you’re running late for 
the match, grab a heavenly croissant (chocolate, almond praline or tomato and cheese) or an easy-to-juggle quiche (bacon, gruyère and leek) from Surry Hills’ much-
loved Bourke Street Bakery.

SEE ALSO: Sydney's Best Rooftop Bars

Illustration credit: Rohan Cain

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