Sunday, 31 July 2016

My Travel Diary - Girls Trip To Sydney!


Today I'm sharing some photos from a very fun weekend away in Sydney :)
It was a rather spontaneous trip, with a couple of my best friends - Jema and Niki - who I've known since high school and who also happen to be two of my bridesmaids!

I flew into Sydney on a Thursday night and made my way to our hotel - Swissotel, where the girls (who had arrived earlier that day) met me with a seriously delicious prosciutto pizza. We spent the night just hanging out in our room and chatting (we hadn't had a girlie "sleepover" type night since we were back in the early days of uni, and it was just so fun!)

We'd all been to Sydney before (many many years ago in my case though), but had never seen Bondi Beach, so the next morning we hopped in an Uber to visit the iconic location. It's a pretty cool beach, and the weather was beautiful, although coming from Perth, it does seem a bit "hyped up". It was a nice beach, but nothing that we don't have in WA - although I'm happy to have seen it now at least! hehe ;)

After admiring the view and taking a few pics, we went in search of brunch and found a lovely little place called Lox Stock & Barrel which I highly recommend! It was so funny because the waiter was such a stereotypical "Australian Surfer Dude" - just the kind of depiction of an Aussie that you'd see in some American movie, so that gave us a good laugh!
The food was delicous - Niki and I went with the Brioche French Toast, while Jem stuck with scrambled eggs. The smoothie we had was awesome too but I can't remember what was in it sadly, other than one ingredient which was goji berries!

We had such a relaxing time, spending a good couple of hours just chatting and enjoying our food in the sun. It's actually so good to be able to catch up with old friends and spend real quality time with them - they're the kind of friends where I can just totally be myself and completely relax because we know each other so well. Nix and Jem are also a lot of fun - and things are never boring with them, so they make great travel companions! 

After brunch we caught another Uber back into the city (a lot of Uber rides were taken during this trip!) to get started with shopping! As we were driving back though we realised we'd forgotten about the shopping we wanted to do in Bondi! On our way to brunch we'd passed so many cool little boutiques that we wanted to stop in, but afterwards we totally forgot. We decided we'd just have to make another girls trip to Sydney in the not too distant future and come back to Bondi then ;)

After shopping in the city, we headed to a bridal shop in The Strand Arcade called Eternal Bridal where I had made an appointment. They carry Hayley Paige dresses, which are some of the most beautiful, dreamy dresses I've seen and unfortunately aren't available in Perth. I had a particular dress that I was dying to try on and was so excited to have the opportunity to visit this store!

The arcade and bridal store were absolutely beautiful, and there were so many stunning dresses. I tried on the dress that I'd been looking at online, as well as a couple more and completely unexpectedly fell in love with the second dress I tried. By this point, I'd tried on a lot of dresses from numerous different stores in Perth, and none of them had really wowed me. They were beautiful, but none of them had made me think "this is my wedding dress". I'd actually been planning on getting the dress made as I honestly didn't think I'd find something after all the dresses I'd tried on!

This second dress was different though - I don't know what it was but I just felt so good in it, and I just couldn't stop smiling when I had it on! We weren't allowed to take photos, but I was able to skype my mum so she was able to see the dress too. We had some technical difficulties and took ages figuring out how to get skype working on our phones, but Lotta, the sales assistant was so incredibly patient and helpful and helped to make the experience so special!
I decided I needed to sleep on it just to make sure I was making the right decision, but I left the store feeling 98% certain that this was my wedding dress. In some ways it was absolutely what I'd been picturing, but in others it was really different, so I needed some time to think. (*spoiler alert * - I went back and bought the dress the next day!!)

After leaving the bridal shop on a high (I couldn't believe I'd probably found my dress), we headed back to our hotel which was conveniently right around the corner and then eventually headed out for dinner and drinks. 

We went to a place called The Butler in Potts Point and had such a great time there. It had a great atmosphere with dim lighting, candles on all the tables, beautiful paintings of plants covering the walls and an outdoor area filled with more plants and fairy lights (I think there were fairlights, I could be making it up, but there was some sort of pretty lighting out there!)
The food was fab and the cocktails were delicious (I'm not usually one to drink at all, so that's saying something!) and our waiter even brought over a free cocktail for us to share because "we were so nice" apparently! haha ;)
Speaking of "being nice" apparently (according to a few of our uber drivers), Perth people are some of the friendliest around. I don't know if that's completely true, but it's a nice reputation for us to have! 

After dinner we made our way to Opera Bar where we had a great view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, although it was too cold to stay outside for long! We nestled into one of the booths inside and somehow the time just flew by after that!
The next morning we were up pretty early as we had appointments at Mecca Cosmetica to get our makeup done! (This was a super girlie and also pretty splurgey trip).
This isn't something I ever do, so it was such a treat and I picked up some exciting beauty bits that have quickly become my new favourites so I'll probably be talking about them in a post at some point.

After a little shopping, we headed to the main event of the day - lunch at Sepia. It was a 9 course degustation menu and was amazing. I'm not a big drinker, so while the others did the wine pairing, I had the option to do a tea pairing! There were about six different teas that were chosen to go along with the different courses, starting from a rose ice tea that was served in an old fashioned champagne glass, and progressively warming up to a hot cinnamon tea to go with the dessert. Everything was presented so beautifully and it really was a whole "experience".

After lunch we made our way back to Eternal Bridal where I ended up buying my wedding dress!! I'm so excited about my decision and so happy that I really did have that "this is my dress" special moment! It also means another trip back to Sydney next year for fittings which I'm not complaining about!

The next morning, Niki had an early flight to catch, and Jem was still sleeping, while I (always the early bird) was wide awake, so I headed out on my own to explore a little more. It was a lovely morning actually, just walking around the streets of Sydney, stopping to grab a coffee and making my way towards the Opera House to get a view of the bridge in the daylight! :)

After meeting up for breakfast, Jema and I made our way to the airport and our awesome weekend drew to a close. It was seriously such an amazing few days and I can't wait to do it again sometime! I love travelling with Tom, but sometimes a girls weekend away is just what you need!

So that's it for today! Thanks for reading if you made it this far! I'd love to hear suggestions of your favourite things to do in Sydney if you have any. We only had a very short time so didn't get a chance to visit a lot of the places we would have liked, or do the bridge climb. I'll be heading back there next year though so hopefully I'll be able to fit a bit more in then!

Hope you're having an awesome Sunday :)


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