Watsons Bay Hotel

We could be biased – let’s face it, we are – but Sydney has a knack for creating venues that tick all the boxes: Great food that let the produce speak for itself (bucket of tiger prawns anyone?), gorgeous design that doesn’t feel over-styled, and a relaxed ambience that draws on our distinct harbour-city vibe.

We’re out to lunch at the Watsons Bay Hotel and quite simply, they’ve nailed it. It’s a favourite of ours for many, many reasons, but most of all for its bangin’ style: broad open decks facing the sheltered bay below and the city and eastern suburbs peninsula beyond; great food and fantastic vibe. It’s the type of place you settle in for a lazy Sunday session… whether you intended to or not, and to bring out-of-towners for a quintessentially Sydney experience.

In his 2013 makeover of the venue, architect Jeremy Bull gave it an aesthetic “…that pays homage to mid-century Miami cool”. The hotel’s Sunset Room claims a distinct, “Sydney meets Hamptons ambience”. But to us, it just says Sydney through and through. The perfect celebration of sunshine, good food, great drinks. Salt water at your doorstep but the city not far off.

And with dedicated kids’ sessions held throughout the year it’s our favourite family day-trip. Be sure to bring your goggles for the Aqua Easter Egg Hunt this long weekend!

Take the ferry in from Manly, Mosman or Circular Quay and if you’re early enough to nab a table near the railing you can watch the kids play on the sand below, (allowing you to enjoy your food hot and your rosé cold), take in the harbour views, and while away the afternoon with those mates you’ve been trying to catch up with for ages.

The menu isn’t overcrowded but has a great variety to suit any taste and occasion. Take the antipasti and/or cocktail menu at a leisurely pace, go for a classic fish and chips or sample the smoked trout salad. Personally, I can’t go past a bucket of prawns and cold beer. Combined with sunshine and salt water there’s just nothing better. Cheers!