Look, who among us hasn’t had a dig at the Far East, what with their beautiful homes, jaw-dropping views and the ability to wear white linen without looking like they’ve slept in their clothes? And sure, the drive to South Head is no picnic, but once you’re sitting on the terrace of the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel with a glass of dry rosé, you have to admit that this is a bloody nice place to cash in some down time.
Happily, it’s not merely the domain of wealthy boomers with moorings – Watsons Bay Hotel is also an extremely family-friendly venue. Location alone makes this an excellent spot to bring the next generation: the pub fronts onto the gentle shores of the harbour on one side and a rolling green park on the other. But it’s the dedicated kids’ activities, events and on-site café serving kid-friendly fare that really marks this venue out as somewhere your child-toting friends are not just tolerated, but welcomed. Don’t believe us? Last school holidays they hosted cookie-making classes, petting zoos and a pirate day, complete with face painting and treasure hunts – these guys are totally cool with the underage set.
When it’s sunny they get hit hard at lunch, so arrive early for a shot at one of the tables right against the banister and this way you’ll also barely make it across the courtyard with your buzzer before your serve of fish and chips with a punchy tartare sauce is ready to go. Pair it with a glass of the King Valley rosé from winemaker Eddie McDougall, which has just enough acid to cut through all that fried food.
Unless you live nearby this might not be the place you pop in for a cheeky after-work bevvy, but for a day trip it’s ticking all the boxes: water views, Bloody Marys, seafood and sunshine. Take the ferry and you’ve got yourself a pretty perfect Sydney weekend right there.