Many performances, museums and venues have been closed and cancelled due to coronavirus so we've come up with a list of fun things to do while you're self quarantining or social distancing.
Usually as April kicks off we're the first to bring you a run down of the month's best events popping up all over Sydney. We're still doing that with gusto, but have catered this list to our current indoor situations. Lucky for us, our city's galleries, museums, bars, restaurants, and zoos are plying us all with crafty online and deliverable solutions. Keep your chin up Sydney, and have a browse of what's in store for us this April.
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The best things to do in Sydney in April
As we while away the time at home under physical distancing rules, unleashing on a creative project or pouring a glass of Pinot are vices many of us are turning to to pass the time. But, especially if you haven’t picked up a paint brush since a high school art class, a blank canvas sitting before you can be a bit of an overwhelming prospect. Thankfully, local ‘paint and sip’ studios are now offering at-home options so you can have an instructor on hand to guide your creative spark (it’s just up to you to keep your wine glass topped up). Cork & Chroma are offering budding artists the opportunity to join online sessions via Zoom that will guide you through the creation of your own work of art, whether you’re looking to paint up your own take on a starry night, mandala magic, petite plants or Joshua Tree inspired landscape for $20 a session. You have the option to provide your own materials or you can order your own At Home Studio Kit ($60 for one, $100 for two, $160 for a family) to pick up from their Surry Hills or St Leonards studios. Cork & Chroma’s online sessions generally run on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings as well as Sunday afternoons. Pinot & Picasso have also adapted their offerings. They’re streaming free classes on Facebook from their collective of studios. You can try your hand at painting rolling ocean waves, the northern lights, silhouetted palm trees that evoke California dreaming and even sessions catered to kids to keep their little hands busy. To
In fairly devastating news for kiddies and adults alike, Sydney's Royal Easter Show has been cancelled (for the first time since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic). But, there's a silver lining. Over at the Showbag Shop, you can choose from your favourite type of showbag with goodies inside, to be delivered straight to you. Sink into that early 00's nostalgia and let it guide your choices. Were you always a chocolate fiend? There's a Kit Kat showbag with your name on it.
The drawbacks of physical distancing may seem never-ending, but, every now and then, we stumble upon a silver lining. Since you can't currently sit-in while you polish off a few rounds, Inner West favourite the Toxteth Hotel is now flogging full-sized kegs of pre-batched Espresso Martinis for you take home. Priced at the princely sum of $600, simply chill and whip out whenever you're feeling like being a little caffeinated and a little tipsy at the same time. Let's just say this one will go very well with the House Party app. View this post on Instagram Kegs for Sale! Purchase your Pub favourites to help you through the home isolation ;) #supportyourlocal #thetocky #stayinside A post shared by The Toxteth (@thetoxteth) on Mar 30, 2020 at 5:13pm PDT If you're not a fan of the noble Martini, they've also got you covered with a keg of Young Henrys Newtowner or Coopers Pale Ale, for $400 each. There's a bunch of other beer options too, from 4 Pines to Pirate Life brews. The offer is on until stocks sell out, so act fast. And get your hands on some pub grub while you're there, because the Toxteth is still making your favourites like beef goulash and Thai green chicken curry. Call 02 9660 2370 to order, or get your goodies delivered if you're less than 5kms away. If a keg is a little too much of a boozy investment for you, we have a less outrageous alternative: the 1.5 litre 'bagnum' of Espresso Martini from Melbourne bar Mr West – and fear not, it
Everyone's favourite '80s aerobics style-mavens are back – and they've gone digital. Retrosweat's high-energy dance workout is the perfect, feel-good way to get you moving in these physically distanced days. Set to boppy vintage tunes, the queens at Retrosweat have launched a new VHS Workout Club where you can stream their classes online. Get out your fluorescent leotards and pouf up that hair, because it's time to sweat. View this post on Instagram A post shared by R E T R O S W E A T ™ (@retrosweat) on Apr 1, 2020 at 12:52am PDT They're hosting a complimentary class on Saturday, April 4, at 11am. The theme is 'Synthwave Sweat’, and they've got a stellar lineup of retro wave artists – and they'll even include a Spotify playlist link so you can listen to their favourite artists after class. Expect the usual outrageous costumes, huge hair and a heart-pumping workout. View this post on Instagram A post shared by R E T R O S W E A T ™ (@retrosweat) on Mar 31, 2020 at 3:43pm PDT Here's our rolling list of the best online workouts you can do at home.
Pepe Saya butter – fronted by that instantly recognisable Roman-nosed profile – has a bit of a cult following amongst Sydneysiders. The butter connoisseurs take their art very seriously, perfecting it via a 25-hour fermenting process after which it's aged for four weeks and hand-churned until it reaches an ideal, seriously creamy finish. Whether you usually order Pepe Saya's goodies online or are used to swinging by Carriageworks Markets to pick them up, there's no denying that their butter is rich, smooth and perfect for lathering onto crumpets. So, in order to lift us from these isolation doldrums, Pepe Saya has partnered with sister outfit Crumpets by Merna to bring you the cozy breakfast box of your dreams, featuring pillowy, handmade sourdough crumpets and an assortment of condiments. Last week, they kicked off with the lemon curd box, which sold out in a flash. Pepe Saya asked their fruiterer what they should do next. His answer? Rhubarbs. Their current breakfast box is chock-a-block with deliciousness: a six-pack of crumpets, single-serve foil packets of Pepe’s luscious butter, a tub of perfectly fermented crème fraîche, and a jar of stewed rhubarb with vanilla pods for that sweet, tangy finish. In times like these, we wouldn't blame you for needing a delicious, buttery morning pick-me-up. They're $35 a box and can be ordered from Pepe Saya online or via Crumpets by Merna. Check out other kinds of delicious goodies you can get delivered straight to your home.
One of our top spots has to be Wendy Whiteley's secret garden, just off the coast of Lavender Bay. It's an enchanting, winding little paradise of native trees, snaking vines and lush, shady lawns, perfect for setting up a picnic and gazing out over Sydney's iconic habour. Now, thanks to Sydney Living Museums, you can visit the garden virtually, courtesy of a video filmed last year. Take in the dappled, sunlit trees, dramatic foliage and bridge views on a virtual stroll along its charming paths. With a lilting piano ditty playing in the background, it's the perfect, relaxing escape.
Simple pleasures like going out for a nice lunch are not to be under physical distancing rules. However a good old fashioned picnic should never be off the cards, and the Sydney Picnic Co are on the case. They’re delivering hampers packed with beautifully arranged gourmet picnic feasts to doorsteps all over Sydney – so you can lay down a blanket in our own backyard (or lounge room blanket fort) and tuck into a feast fit to transport you back to a less complicated time. View this post on Instagram Brightening up this gloomy day with a delicious and nutritious picnic for a lucky customer .. we all need a bit of extra love at this time .. if you’d like to surprise someone with one of our picnics, just get in touch . We can deliver right to their door ... we’ll ... 2 meters away from it 😊#thesydneypicnicco #carpetpicnic A post shared by Natalie Thomas |SydneyPicnicCo (@thesydneypicnicco) on Mar 25, 2020 at 4:38pm PDT There are five different hampers to choose from. Starting at $145 for two people is the ‘Wind in the Willows’, which features burrata with nectarines, toasted buckwheat and mint, and a spiced chickpea puree with charred baby eggplant (it's a vegetarian hamper, but it can be adapted to be vegan). At the top of the range is ‘The Great Gatsby’, starting at $225, featuring poached and peeled Australian king prawns and chargrilled pasture-fed beef fillet with dijon mustard. The Sydney Picnic Co are offering a flat rate of $10 for no-contact delivery (u
International travel may be off the cards for the foreseeable future, but with Sydney’s eclectic, multicultural food scene still delivering cuisines from around the world, you can at least send your tastebuds on the occasional globe-trot. The talented confectioners at one of Sydney’s most authentic French patisseries, Sacrebleu Caneles & Co, are ready to take your tongue on a jaunt to gay Paris. Founded by Adrien Bochel, who trained at some of the finest culinary establishments in France, including the revered Ferrandi School, Sacrebleu specialises in traditional cakes like madeleines and canelés with a contemporary twist. His creations are amped up with unexpected toppings like honey and gingerbread spices, Nutella and hazelnuts, and organic raspberry coulis and fresh fruits. Sacrebleu’s wares can usually be found at markets all over Sydney, but with the introduction of government restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, their roving stalls have had to be shuttered for the time being. However, you can still get your hands on their delicious, fresh-baked treats by ordering online, with delivery offered anywhere in Sydney. For a limited time, Sacrebleu is also offering a value pack of four canelés and six madeleines for just $32, so why not give your morning coffee a gourmet glow-up with some Parisian flare? Check out these other top Sydney restaurants and cafes offering deals and deliveries during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Like so many other restaurants faced with the crippling challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bella Brutta made the decision to transition exclusively to pick-up-only service and expand its days of trade on Friday, March 20. The beloved Newtown pizzeria (and our Best New Restaurant winner at last year’s Time Out Food Awards) is no stranger to slinging takeaway Margheritas, but chef-owner Luke Powell and the team have added a home delivery option, with craft beer and natural wine up for grabs to keep your pizza company. In an effort to provide relief for the hospitality industry, they’ve also launched ‘A Slice of Life’ – an initiative offering slices to workers without the means to fund a meal. The restaurant is encouraging hospitality staff that have lost their jobs or found their income negatively impacted to register via the tailor-made website (designed by Stuart Torkington of Tork Design, who lent a hand by doing the job free of charge), which allows customers to donate any dollar amount when placing an order. Each day, kitchen staff will calculate the number of pizzas they’re able to make at cost price based on the total figure donated and contact those who have signed up directly when they are able to offer a slice. And for every ten pizzas paid for by punters, Bella Brutta will add one to the tally. It’s yet another example of how restaurants and bars are continuing to care for the community at large during these trying times. The management are insistent that this isn’t
Mitch Orr has cooked in some of the Harbour City’s best kitchens – including Sepia and Pilu at Freshwater, to name a few. But odds are you fell in love with Sydney’s so-called “prince of pasta” and his famous pig’s head macaroni at ACME, the Asian-Italian eatery in Rushcutters Bay that nabbed Time Out’s Restaurant of the Year trophy back in 2015. Sadly, ACME called curtains in June of last year, but it wasn’t long before Orr found himself boiling linguine once again – this time down in Bondi at CicciaBella, the latest offering from Maurice Terzini and the Icebergs family. Although the restaurant made the decision to close until further notice on March 22, the head chef hasn’t stopped cooking; he’s sharing simple, traditional recipes on his Instagram account to help you weather these tough times. “After everyone panic bought all the tinned tomatoes, pasta and mince, I couldn’t bear the thought of all the shit Bolognese people would be making,” he says. “I figured this would be fun way to engage with people and hopefully teach them some new and easy ways to make some tasty pasta.” So far, he’s posted step-by-step guides to Bolognese, carbonara and a humble aglio e olio, featuring some of the subtle Asian influences that define his style. The ingredients are mostly inexpensive pantry staples, and though he intends to keep it that way, he’s not opposed to taking requests or moving beyond the savoury repertoire. “I think I’m going to slide a tiramisù in this week,” he says. Bette
On Thursday, March 26, Danielle Alvarez decided to bake a brown-butter apple cake because “it felt like the only sane thing to do”. Like so many others in the hospitality industry, the head chef at Paddington’s paddock-to-plate fine diner, Fred’s, is coping with the temporary closure of her workplace. And like the rest of us, she is looking to her pantry for a bit of inspiration. Luckily, she’s sharing some of that wisdom via Instagram. You’ll find the recipe for that comforting cake on her account, along with other step-by-step guides to simple, nourishing dishes she's been posting, such as a spiced coconut and butternut pumpkin soup and a pasta with staples like leftover greens and tinned beans. There’s even a quick multipurpose Italian-style salad dressing recipe. Practically all the ingredients can be found in your cupboard or fridge, but should you wish to make dinner a tad more luxe, you can also try your hand at a steamed whole snapper with ginger and shallot (“Don’t be afraid of whole fish. This preparation is VERY forgiving.”). Meanwhile, Mr Wong head honcho Dan Hong is cooking up a storm in his home kitchen – and his 70,000-plus Instagram followers can’t get enough of his videos (complete with hilarious interruptions from his three young kids). He talks through a series of mod pan-Asian hits he’s become known for over the years at Lotus, Ms G’s, Queen Chow and Mr Wong: miniature prawn toasts, kimchi fried rice with ox tongue, prawn gyoza. He also butters a cheese-
While we’re all stuck in, the nation’s most famous house is throwing their doors wide open, in spirit, at least, with a little help from Missy Higgins. The Sydney Opera House has launched an inspiring digital arts season dubbed From our House to Yours. It includes livestreamed performances, podcasts, behind-the-scenes footage and long-form reads to feed your imagination while we wait this out. The timings and content will vary, with the schedule announced each Tuesday. Highlights include an All About Women talk with writer and artist Chanel Miller, footage from First Nations dance competition Dance Rites in 2019, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven’s Ninth.
Paddington restaurant Tequila Mockingbird has been a local Five Ways favourite for years, slinging bar snacks and Latin American plates – as well as, as you'd expect from its name, wittily named cocktails. As a result of the mandated closure of restaurants and bars around NSW, it has pivoted to offer a fully kitted-out takeaway and delivery service – just like many other restaurants around Sydney. But there's a slight snag. Tequila Mockingbird's owners have got 8,000 (yep, that many zeros) bottles of Patron tequila in the cellar, and they'd like you to help get rid of them by ordering cocktails to sip in tipsy self-isolation. The eponymous Tequila Mockingbird combines elderflower with a kick of jalapeno, while the Atticus Finch is a sweeter aperol and tequila combination – and there are many more to choose from. Grab a plate for dinner along with your drinks: think Peruvian and Argentinian-inspired dishes like soft shell crab tacos, an espresso grilled rump steak, or, if you're feeding a few, a whole chargrilled chicken with guajillo chilli and tomatillo salsas. The big drawcard? When you order online, they're also offering you the opportunity to donate to their initiative which drops off meals to homeless communities near Woolloomooloo or by Central Station. These donated meals are cooked fresh at the end of their service each night, so you can rest easy knowing that they're of the same quality as the ones you're ordering. It's not just flavoursome cuisine on offer, though
It’s not always easy to find non-mainstream movies to stream, especially free ones, but happily the Japanese Film Festival Online website has launched a new, free film streaming service called JFF Online. They have 12 recent independent Japanese films available for three months to all countries outside of Japan. Films include JFF Australia 2019 highlights Moonless Dawn and Rent a Friend. Moonless Dawn concerns three teens who find themselves and each other through music, while Rent a Friend is a romcom asking the question if men and women can be platonic friends. Some of the short films look intriguing too, such as ‘Excited Death’ – a 30 minute short about a stalker, and ‘Made in Japan’, also half an hour in duration, in which a young man takes to social media to reveal he used to work with a murderer. All movies on JFF Online include English subtitles.
In the midst of tough times, there are always glimmers of hope. Mindful, locally focussed Newtown restaurant Hearth and Soul has re-opened its kitchen to offer free takeaway meals on Fridays to those who have lost their jobs, or suffered hits to their revenues because of the pandemic outbreak. Hearth and Soul began by creating pop-up seasonal feasts and conscious cooking classes offered from its King Street abode. Its menu items feature locally-sourced produce, pasture-fed meat and sustainably caught seafood. That's the same philosophy owner Rachel Jelley and her team are applying to their free takeaway meals. With organic produce donations by local growers like Feather & Bone, Pocket City Farms and Bluewren Urban Farm, no effort or artisanal ingredient has been spared. Last Friday, they kicked off with a slow-braised beef with barley and rosemary, with a tomato and basil risotto on the side, topped off with some roasted marrow. The gourmet bar has well and truly been set. View this post on Instagram Free meals at Hearth & Soul this Friday 3 April!!! If you have lost employment or been adversely affected by COVID-19 we would be delighted to furnish you with a delicious, nourishing, takeaway meal made from local and organically grown produce, and pasture-raised meat 😊. Head to www.hearthandsoul.com.au for all the details and to register for yours 😍😍. 💛 💛 ***REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE MEAL AT www.hearthandsoul.com.au*** 🧡 🧡 Please share this far and wide as we
In light of the NSW government-mandated shutdown to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, this week has seen the closure of some of Sydney's most beloved restaurants. So, what do you do if you're a gourmet grocer in this new reality, and your biggest spenders – the city's top chefs – are no longer buying your goods? Well, you bring it to the masses, just as Two Providores' are doing for the first time.The artisanal produce supplier is giving us (yes, us regular folk!) the chance to get classy in the kitchen with a warehouse sale of luxe ingredients that are usually reserved for elite kitchens the likes of Quay and Firedoor. With so many unique Sydney businesses being shuttered during this crisis, it's now more crucial than ever to buy local, so why not up your grocery game in the process? Over Saturday and Sunday, March 28 – 29, Two Providores will be taking orders online for pick-up from their Marrickville warehouse or for delivery within 48 hours across Sydney. Follow your culinary instincts and check out their range online: there's in-season, fresh vegetables and fruit, locally-sourced honey, tinned delicacies, deli favourites (sharp cheese wheels and local yoghurts), luxe pantry staples, grains and jars of marinated olives.It's a win-win-win scenario: surplus stock won't go to waste, you'll be supporting local makers and you'll have a pantry stocked full of ingredients to give your quarantine cuisine a classy upgrade. Find other local hospitality businesses that have pivoted
Feast your eyes on the clear blue waters of your favourite Sydney beaches with puzzles from Salty Sea Dog. Local photographer Nick Holton has been training his eye on the eastern beaches for some time now, and in an effort to stave off your isolation ennui, he's now bringing you his postcard-perfect prints in jigsaw form. You can start in the scenic waters by Coogee, wander over to Bronte, stop for a dip at the Bondi Icebergs pool and finish off at the iconic Bondi homestretch. Choose from aerial shots, ocean pools, and vistas of the city lit up at night from the sea. Each puzzle starts at $64.50, and you can choose between kook (260 pieces), intermediate (500 pieces), pro (1000 pieces), or if you're really feeling like a challenge, take on the extraordinaire (2000 pieces). Just remember, always start with the corners.
Staring at the same old walls can get pretty boring as we lean into months stuck indoors. So why not brighten up your life (and your living room) by scoring some world-class art while helping folks get through this trying time in the process? UNICEF Australia has assembled big-name Aussie and Chinese artists, asking them to contribute artworks to an online auction raising funds to tackle the global Covid-19 crisis. Called Love, Unmasked, it’s been organised by Vermilion Art and Bridging Hope Charity Foundation. The auction includes works by Caroline Rothwell and Tim Johnson, if you fancy nabbing yourself a piece that could just as easily hang in the National Gallery of Australia. “Art is about empathy, something to address the disaster as it unfolds and something that can also express the human spirit that survives,” Johnson says. “I was very glad to have the opportunity to add to the huge amount of support that’s surfacing.” Superstar Chinese artist Li Jin is also in the mix, though the current top bid for his admittedly gorgeous inked work is a tad out of reach for most of us: $79,000 at the time of publication. “This has been a momentous period, but nothing can stop the Spring flowers opening,” Li Jin says. “The world is full of hope and life carries on.” Debbie Mackinnon said of her offering, Beyond the Shadows, “It’s a message of hope that there will be light at the end of these dark times. I find getting out in nature, even for my daily walk in the park, helps too. My h
What is one of the first things you're going to do after isolation is lifted? If your answer is along the lines of “going to the club”, we feel you. But you need not wait to cut some shapes and make some new mates on the hallowed grounds of the dance floor. Mildly Wet is a fully interactive “online quarantine club” fitted out with sick beats, chat windows and webcams. Somewhat cringey, moist-adjacent name aside, the club kicks off every Saturday night at 9pm AEDT promising an hour of boogies and a reminder that we are not alone.
Have you ever wondered about the ancient art of kinstugi? It's a Japanese technique, where you can mend broken pottery with a gold-dusted lacquer, symbolising the process of repair as part of the object itself. If that sounds like the kind of wholesome activity you need in your life, you can now try it yourself with the folks at ClassBento, an online platform for creative, active and food-focussed workshops and classes taught by local expert makers. What's more, they've now launched livestreamed workshops, complete with a box of crafty goodies delivered to your door (and you'll pay zilch for delivery). You can join the classes online, or you can even book a private workshop, if you're craving some some one-on-one attention.
The Broad, a contemporary art museum based in LA, has brought its most popular work, an installation by Yayoi Kusama, to the digital realm. Kusama’s “infinity rooms” are quite possibly what the Japan-born artist is most famous for, as well as her recurring polka dot motifs. The piece featuring in the newly digitised experience, titled ‘The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away’, immerses the viewer in a limitless shadowy expanse dotted with orbs of light. An artwork that creates a sprawling landscape out of a tiny room could be just the fix you need when cramped up at home. The room is streaming via the Broad’s Instagram and YouTube channels as part of the museum’s Infinite Drone series.
Zoos across the world are really stepping up their online game, as visitors stay home. Sydney zoo Australian Reptile Park is adding its list of cuddly, cute and sometimes downright terrifying animals to the digital menagerie you can now view at home. And not only are there feeding time livestreams, there are also educational animal talks to teach bored kids (and adults) some fascinating animal facts.
While the doors are locked at its Ultimo dance studio for the mo, SDC will take the joy of dance classes online, launching a Virtual Studio. SDC's world-renowned instructors are now working from home, and anyone can take one of their classes. Dance classes will be offered on a daily schedule, and it’s an inspirational way to keep fit. Whether you wanna master tap, jazz, ballet or hip hop, this is your moment to shine with the aid of SDC’s world-renowned instructors, all without leaving the living room.