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An Insider Guide To Sydney With Nicky Zimmermann

Sydney is a city intent on relishing the best of life. Endless flat whites with friends: check. Surfing by sunrise: check. Stupendous shopping: double check. From brunch capital of the world (truly: the brunch scene here is next level) to elevated dining availble city-wide, plus a plethora of suave bars – there’s no end to Sydney’s charms.

And charming, is just how we’d describe Zimmermann – a brand synonymous with Aussie style. Sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann founded their luxe swim and resort wear label in 1991, and  the Australian vibes have permeated oceans ever since. With collections sure to evoke wanderlust, we caught up with the Aussie fashion design brand that created our favourite summer wardrobe.

Read on for Nicky Zimmermann’s whirlwind tour of her hometown, Sydney.


Essential items to pack?

An oversized straw hat – it’s a must to protect your skin from the strong Australian sun. Sneakers to explore the city and, if you’re anything like me, several swimsuits to change into throughout the day. As many floral cotton dresses as you can possibly squeeze into your luggage and a big tote bag to throw everything in for a long day of exploring.

The best time to visit Sydney is…

You can’t beat a Sydney summer so anytime from December to February to enjoy our long balmy sunny days – bliss!

Our first pitstop should be…

What better way to beat jet lag than a dip in the ocean – try one of the local surf beaches like Bondi or Tamarama or in the Harbour at Camp Cove. They’re all heaven.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

This is always a tough one. Living in Sydney I rarely stay at hotels – I’d probably suggest to friends to look at some great home or apartment rentals around the Eastern Suburbs.

For an early morning workout head to…

The Bondi to Bronte (or to Coogee if you’re fit!) coastal walk – the views along the way never get old.

Where should we go for breakfast?

Bills in Bondi – they do the best ricotta hotcakes and you can head straight off on the walk mentioned above.

How about for a long, lazy lunch?

You can’t go past lunch at Icebergs – the food and service is great and the view is spectacular.

And for dinner with friends?

Sean’s Panorama in Bondi – it is cute, homely and right across the road from the beach. I love the relaxed feeling you have when dining there. The food is also extremely delicious.

A must-try spot for date night?

Alberto’s lounge is a great little Italian speak easy place bursting with charm and character – the food, drinks, the hustle and the staff.

Your favourite restaurant in town?

Budget: Din Tai Fung for dumplings.

Blow Out: Bennelong, which has the iconic views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Where should we head post-dinner?

Charlie Parkers in Paddington (downstairs from Fred’s – which is also a delicious farm to table dinner spot). It has a great vibe, it’s kind of dark and mysterious with a basement feel to it and they do a great martini.

The drink to order at the bar…

For me – a dirty martini.

The best place for people watching…

North Bondi.

The culture spot to rave about…

Art Gallery of NSW.

The best place to treat yourself is…

A facial at Melanie Grant in Double Bay. She does an amazing microdermabrasion and ‘red-light’ facial which takes about 40 minutes. Both treatments really prep my skin for any long-haul travel – so a great one to do before you jump on the plane.

For great shopping head to…

For Australian Designers, I love The Intersection at Glenmore Road in Paddington. It has this small village vibe and the area has always been central to fashion in Australia. The neighbourhood has a good mix of established and emerging designers.

Your favourite neighbourhood(s)…

I love to walk around the Harbour in Rose Bay and Vaucluse, particularly on the Hermitage Walk. But there are so many great and diverse neighbourhoods across Sydney.

The one place only locals know about…

If I mention the places, I’m thinking of the locals would never talk to me again! But it’s always a good idea to ask a local where their favourite swimming spot in the city is and it will be great…

For the best views head to…

You can’t beat sipping a No.8 cocktail and taking in the ocean view from Icebergs in Bondi. It’s also lovely to go on a walk out to South Head and look back towards the City.

For a change of pace try…

Hiring a boat and cruising around the glittering harbour, taking in views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Great day trips include…

Palm Beach, which is about an hour North of the city. It gets very busy in the summer but it’s also lovely in the winter. There are cute little café’s like the Boathouse and a nice walk on the beach and up to the Barrenjoey lighthouse at the northern tip of the beach.

A book to read before we go (or while we’re there)?

The Bodysurfers by Robert Drewe.

How should we spend the final day of our trip?

For me a perfect day is a long walk, some time at a favourite beach and quiet lunch with friends eating fresh Australian seafood.

What’s your Sydney secret?

I think it’s the greatest city in the world and that still feels like a little bit of a secret.

In a word, Sydney is…

Optimistic.

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