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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Serial’s Julie Snyder
She was the co-creator and producer of the most addictive podcasts of the past decade and her investigative journalism skills unearthed a case that had the world round wondering just 'whodunnit'. And now Serial's creator is coming to Sydney for Bingefest. Julie Snyder – the woman behind the smash hit Serial – will be giving you an inside look into the creation of her true crime podcast. This exclusive Australian conversation will see Snyder sharing recordings peppered with personal anecdotes and memories from creating the series. Aired in 2014, Serial blew up to be one of the biggest podcasts ever, breaking Apple's download records as the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads. The the murder of Hae Min Lee and conviction of Adnan Syed was pulled apart across 12 detailed episodes and Snyder and co-creator Sarah Koenig scored critical acclaim for reinvigorating long-form nonfiction storytelling. It went onto be so influential that podcasts were created about the show, everyone had an opinion to who the murderer really was, and Adnan Syed's case even went to retrial. Don't miss your chance to hear from the storytelling maestro at this year's inaugural Bingefest.
NYE at Portside Sydney
Another year has sped by and now it's time to farewell it. Do so in style at one of the best vantage points in Sydney for seeing the Harbour Bridge fireworks: down at Portside Sydney Opera House. All night long there will be free flowing Moët & Chandon Impérial, and local Falcona signed DJ Dena Amy will be spinning electronic, pop and classic hits to soundtrack your 2016 send-off. A menu specially curated by Lauren Murdoch will be served throughout the evening, alongside a signature Belvedere Vodka cocktail list. There will also be wines from Cape Mentelle, beers from James Squire and 5 Seeds Cider. The celebrations at Portside Sydney kick off from 7.30pm, meaning you will have one of the best vantage points in all of Sydney for both the 9pm and midnight fireworks.
Experience the magic of Christmas in Martin Place
Bulgari is helping set Christmas aglow with a mesmerising jewelled light installation in the Martin Place precinct. Crafted using thousands of individual LED lights, the festive decorations interpret the Roman jeweller’s most famous shapes. The coiling Serpenti centerpieces evoke precious garlands, while the Divas’ Dream collection becomes stylised Christmas trees. The shimmering display is on every evening from 6pm to midnight up until Wednesday December 28. As well as admiring the light display shoppers and commuters will be able to visit the GPO Dessert Bar, installed in Martin Place next to the Christmas Tree. Visit the dessert bar for gelato, housemade sweets, cakes, coffee, cold beverages and savoury options, with casual seating available as well as views of the interactive Christmas tree. The GPO Dessert Bar is open Monday to Thursday 8am-10pm; Friday 8am-11pm; Saturday 9am-11pm; and Sunday 10am-10pm, up until Friday December 30. Bulgari Christmas Lights and the GPO Dessert Bar are part of sydneychristmas.com.au.
Lights of Christmas
It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas and you’ll certainly feel it if you visit St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt. Every night until Christmas (7.30pm-midnight) the grand cathedral will be transformed with a beautiful free light and sound show.The Lights of Christmas, presented by PAYCE, will see a Fantasia-style animation projected onto the façade of St Mary’s Cathedral. The colourful, interactive story will be set to a soundtrack of the festive favourite, Tchaikovsky's 'The Nutcracker Suite'. The show kicks off at 7.30pm every evening, with choirs from around Sydney performing carols on the steps.Following The Nutcracker Suite animation, there will be beautiful super-sized projections of great artists' interpretations of the Madonna and Child. There are also projections at Sydney Town Hall and Martin Place, so make an evening of it and head to the heart of the city to celebrate the festive season.