Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe
The spiritual, if not political, capital of Australia and home to almost a quarter of its population, Sydney sprawls along the shores and cliffs of the Tasman Sea, unfolding parks, skyscrapers, piers, landmarks and pretty Victorian suburbs into those long, flat horizons Australia does so well.
Whatever the temperature at night, gentlemen are expected to wear closed shoes and trousers, not shorts. "Thongs" (flip-flops) are a no-no for girls too.
Collared shirts are the norm, though men of all orientations will brave the Bondi body fascism to reveal well-honed biceps and disco tits. In terms of getting around? Well, the heart of Sydney is relatively small. Most upscale cocktail bars cluster downtown in the CBD around central George Street, an area, like most city centres, best experienced earlier in the week, before the bridge 'n' tunnel crowd deluge it at weekends. More hipster, boho bars have moved out from Kings Cross where they once clustered into Darlinghurst and even Surry Hills, with a smattering of upscale venues joining them. Plenty of bars make their own syrups and go to a real effort to source rare spirits and bitters. Fresh fruit is the norm.
All in all, given the right footwear, and an awareness that the local palate is on the sweet side, even the most anoraky cocktailian will be able to spend many a happy evening in Sydney's bars. And any fan of beer is in for a real treat, too.