What is the best way to take in the 2021 instalment of Sculpture by the Sea, the world’s largest outdoor art show? Stay in Sydney’s famed Bondi and soak up the scene.
Start by checking into QT Bondi – the smart design Sydney hotel is a short stroll to the promenade and the beach. Each room comes with a well-stocked minibar and while there are no culinary offerings on site, there’s plenty of top-notch nosh in the surrounding streets.
Find coffee at Skittle Lane – just two minutes from the hotel – before retracing your steps and heading east for a block to the Saturday morning farmers’ market – the egg-and-bacon rolls here are a favourite with locals. Wander back along Gould Street to scan the boutiques, including Venroy for cultstatus leisurewear and Lucy Folk for luxe jewellery.
Hit the promenade, heading south to the Bondi to Bronte walk– home of the free annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition (21 October to 7 November). The twokilometre cliffside stretch that runs between Bondi and neighbouring Tamarama will be transformed into an open-air gallery for the 24th year, featuring an estimated 100 works of art – more if you count the sandstone curves and golden pockets of sand below.
Along the way, have a dip at tiny, little-known MacKenzies Beach or continue on to reach the Bronte rock pool known as the Bogey Hole at the southern end of the beach (next to the swimming baths). Across the road, fill up at the café with the same name, ordering from a menu that covers laksa, poke and Mediterranean flavours.
Once you land back in Bondi, stop in for a drink at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar under a setting sun then make your way to The Royal. Grab a table in the courtyard restaurant, Totti’s, for puffy woodfired bread and antipasti dishes, including burrata, ’nduja and salami. Or settle in at North Bondi stalwart Sean’s, renowned for its farm-to-table fare. After that it’s an easy walk back to your digs, breathing in the salty air as you go.
Top image: Joel Adler’s Viewfinder at Bondi Beach for Sculpture by the Sea in 2019. Image credit: Henri Fanti