Despite the fact that our hot, dry Decembers are more likely spent eating mangoes and licking icy pops by the beach, children of the Southern Hemisphere still grow up bombarded with images of Christmas as a snowy, woolly jumper-clad event, best spent warming cold toes up by a crackling fire, usually while the parents knock back some eggnog. Now that we're grown, we might not ever want to actually try eggnog, but it's no surprise that we want to experience the wintry version of Christmas ourselves. Whether or not you actually subscribe to the religious aspects of the biggest holiday on the Christian calendar, Sydney's got a whole lot of options to celebrate the coming of Santa Claus (six months early).
Head to the fairy-lit courtyard of Surry Hills' the Winery on Wednesday, July 22, for a trivia night to kick off the venue's festive celebrations, filled with all things merry (plus a prize for best dressed). The real event takes place on Friday and Saturday nights, where you can book in for a feast with mulled wine and a European style array of festive favourites for $65 per person. For those really leaning into the good cheer, tack on a bottomless drinks package for $39 per person for two hours. Sunday July 26, there's a Christmas meal for those who consider their friends more like family: settle in for a barbecue from 1pm for $45 per person, with an option to drink from the flowing Prosecco fountain all afternoon for $69 per person. Book in now.
At the Morrison Bar and Oyster Room, chef Sean Connolly will be plating up a Christmas menu with freshly shucked Sydney Rock oysters in shallot vinaigrette, followed by a roast turkey stuffed with cranberries and walnuts and Connolly's famed Yorkshire puddings. Each seating will be $69, which includes a glass of Champagne on arrival, and apple and boysenberry tart with eggnog custard for dessert. A similar menu will be served at sister venues Park House in Mona Vale and the waterside Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel (where you can also take your fill of two hours of bottomless drinks). Reserve your place for any of the restaurants from July 15 onwards.