Indie Christmas markets
Pick up all your stocking fillers in one fell swoop at these indie design markets.
Where to buy Christmas trees in Sydney
There’s nothing like a big, bright Christmas tree to transform an ordinary living room into a festive wonderland.
The best homewares shops in Sydney
Make that tiny city apartment feel like home with smart functional designs from one of these top design and interiors stores, or go all-out and fill your new beach house with Australian-made furniture or globally sourced homewares.
Ethical shopping in Sydney
It’s not easy to shop ethically, but we’ve found a handful of local businesses that are putting people, animals and the environment first.
This week's best shopping events
Find the best warehouse sales and markets taking place this weekend, plus one-off shopping events. If you're looking for last-minute gifts, check out our gift guide or list of the best boutique florists.
Shopping in Manly
There's more to Manly than the beach and the bars (although both of those things come highly recommended). When you wander off the Northern Beaches' suburbs well-trod mainstreet, you'll find a growing number of independent boutiques, antique stores and other knick knack sellers, as well as killer spots to pick out a sun hat or cossi to wear back out onto the Corso.
The best boutique florists in Sydney
We’ve picked out our favourite florists, who put together bunches of bloomin’ marvellous buds, from dramatic and sculptural arrangements to subtle and natural bouquets.
Sydney’s best picnic hampers
When you want to take your picnic to the next level, call in one of the experts. These four Sydney companies will prepare a delicious hamper of fresh salads, sandwiches, wraps and snacks for you. All you have to do is to decide where to take it (and who to invite to the party).
The best chocolate shops in Sydney
Looking for a perfectly delicious gift? Or a night's supply for a serious splurge? These top shops will satisfy the world's most famous craving.
Shoppers' guide to South King Street
Next time you’re in Newtown, do yourself a favour: head straight past the train station and right to South King Street. This section of the inner west suburb strip has long been overshadowed by its busier northern end, but your jaunt will be rewarded with quirky vintage finds, ethical shopping choices and authentic craftsmanship that seems all that much harder to find these days.
Health and beauty in Sydney
The best nail artists in Sydney
Nail art has flourished from a DIY underground affair right into mainstream salons. Miss Lauren LaRouge is one of Sydney’s most in-demand nail artists, dazzling the digits of Sydneysiders who are looking to turn their nail beds into miniature canvases. “People think it’s this crazy over-the-top thing, but once people try it – even starting with a feature nail – they usually get hooked,” says Miss LaRouge, while painting pastel pink polka dots and leopard spots on Time Out's claws.A trip to Japan originally piqued Miss LaRouge’s interest in nail artistry, and on her return home she started using herself has a mani mannequin. “I did a course in Sydney, which was great for hygiene, acrylics, but nail art is just one small component, so I taught myself a lot and practiced on myself.” Lauren’s background in burlesque dancing – she’s an MC and ukulele-player over at Oxford Street’s Slide – dovetailed neatly with her newfound passion. “I used to add things to my costumes, bling them up and embellish them. I then took this to my nails.” This soon enough spread to the hands of friends and family, before she made the big jump and quit her office job to pursue her passion full time.Rather than the production-line set-up that many salons employ, Lauren ensures her little corner at Indulge Studios is one filled with sass, colour and solid client banter. “A beautician once told me that I shouldn’t bother getting into nail art and that the industry was dead, but I want to put the love back
The best bargain haircuts in Sydney
Need a quick fix to that unruly mop? These student hairdressing centres and colleges offer hair cuts for next to nix. You’ll need to be available at unpopular times, like during the working week, but the money saved could equal more beers at the pub with your mates. That’s a trade off we can shake on.
The best barbershops in Sydney
Finding the right barber can be a lifelong search — ask any man who’s had too much or not enough of his locks cavalierly lopped off and stepped out onto the street disaffected. Thankfully, there are experts in this area who excel in getting the discerning man’s ‘do’ just right. Here, some of Sydney’s best barbers are recommended.
The best tailors in Sydney
There are seemingly limitless options in menswear today, thanks in no small part to fast fashion and e-commerce. Still, there’s nothing like a garment perfectly fitted to the individual’s body and reflective of their personal style, like a bespoke or tailored suit for special occasions, dinners, and meetings (or just for fun). Thankfully, a handful of tailors in Sydney still practice their time-honoured craft, while a number of businesses offer high-quality bespoke suits for the maximum in comfort and refinement for men of exacting standards.
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Girl Asleep at Belvoir
Before it was a favourite at Berlin Film Festival and in Australian cinemas, Girl Asleep was a critically acclaimed collaboration between long-time partners in crime Windmill Theatre Company and writer/actor Matthew Whittet (School Dance). This December, Girl Asleep comes to Belvoir, starring Whittet and Amber McMahon as Mr and Mrs Driscoll (aka World's Most Embarrassing Parents) in a show that's an explosion of hormones, imagination run wild, and the kind of 1970s design that would make Wes Anderson squeal with delight. Girl Asleep follows Greta Driscoll on the cusp of her 15th birthday as she grapples with crushes, first kisses and a gang of teen Queen Bees at school. Then there's her parents, who want to throw her a birthday party. Awkward. To celebrate Girl Asleep, Belvoir are transforming their Downstairs Theatre into a 1970s-themed pinball arcade, complete with retro pinball machines, arcade games, beanbags and an original Nintendo console. For $10 you get unlimited plays, with the proceeds going to Belvoir’s Arts Access Program, which gives free theatre tickets to students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Girl Asleep runs December 2-24 at Belvoir St Theatre.
NYE at the Argyle
The Rocks is party central on New Year’s Eve, and what better place to be in among the action than the Argyle? The Argyle plans on kissing goodbye to 2016 with a no-holds-barred, golden-themed event right in the middle of Sydney’s world-famous New Year’s Eve action. Expect an-over-the-top production with the whole venue dripping in gold. Dancers and performers will be roaming through the outdoor courtyard and across the Argyle’s five bars – roller skaters, stilt walkers, golden mermaids, and more. And of course, it wouldn’t be NYE without confetti cannons to add some glitter to the night. An epic line-up of some of Australia’s biggest dance and house DJs is promised over the two levels of the Argyle, with DJs Brooklyn, Tenzin and Andy Murphy welcoming the New Year with golden vibes and epic beats. So get your tickets and get ready to paint the town gold. Early bird tickets are now available for $69 + booking fee. The early bird catches the party worm when it comes to New Year’s Eve in Sydney, so book ahead and get ready to paint the town gold.
Harbour Bar and Kitchen
If you’re after Darling Harbour convenience, Harbour Bar and Kitchen is the spot. You’ll find the restaurant spanning the balcony of Harbourside Shopping Centre in Darling Harbour with views of Sydney Harbour and the CBD skyline visible from any seat in the house. Taking cues from the pit masters of North America, Harbour Bar and Kitchen takes top quality meats, adds just enough seasoning and smokes them with wood for many hours until the perfect harmony of smoke, flavour and time emerges. Then they're slow cooked over a roaring woodfire oven to produce an authentic flame-grilled meal. The house chateaubriand special for two is 500g slow-roasted tenderloin finished on the woodfired chargrill, carved and served with woodfired crispy potatoes and seasonal steamed vegetables with a choice of red wine jus or grill baste. HBK are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serve everything from smoky, chargrilled meats direct from the oven to strawberry stuffed French toast with ground cinnamon, mascarpone cheese and icing sugar. The signature cocktail list includes a refreshing strawberry and basil frozen Margarita alongside classics like the Espresso Martini and an Old Fashioned.
Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinemas Inner West
Gadigal Green, on the south-of-King-Street side of the University of Sydney, is gearing up to host the new season of Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinemas.The event's sponsors take their responsibility to cinema goers seriously, ponying up free Ben & Jerry's ice cream as well as live music before the screening at the four Sundae Sessions, which are always quick to sell out. The four movies screening in Sundae Sessions this year are comedy Keeping up with the Joneses (Sun Nov 27), Marvel flick Doctor Strange (Sun Dec 4), sci-fi think piece Arrival (Sun Dec 11) and raucous seasonal comedy Bad Santa 2 (Sun Dec 18). Live music is courtesy of Jeff Riley, Lisa Heller, Nick Casey, the Runaway Houses and Naomi Sequeira, and there are DJ sets from DJ Who. Other highlights of the season include Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge and acclaimed modern-day western Hell or High Water.Classics getting a nostalgic screening on 'Time Travel Tuesdays' include Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Rocky Horror and Will Ferrell's funny holiday flick Elf. Ben & Jerry's ice cream, booze and pizza are available for purchase on site and tickets start from $16. Loungers and deck chairs are also available. Doors open Tue-Fri at 6pm and Sat, Sun at 5pm, and movies begin at sunset. Click on the DATES AND TIMES tab for the full movie line-up and Time Out's critics' picks. Be sure to book well ahead to avoid disappointment.