My Sydney: Emma Campbell
Award-winning fashion and beauty blogger Emma Campbell lived under Australia’s sunny blue skies for a year, working as digital marketing co-ordinator for luxury department store David Jones in Sydney. She tells Global Blue’s Gemma Latham about her favourite discoveries during her time down under
Where in Sydney did you live?
I’m English, so it’s no surprise I lived on Bondi beach! Every day was like being on holiday, and Bondi leads to some other beautiful beaches like Tamarama and Bronte, which are a short walk away. Being in Bondi also means you’re close to the train station, which lets you get anywhere in Sydney really quickly.
What was the best thing about living in Bondi?
The fact that the beach was literally on my doorstep – and that the most amazing bars and food places line the entire Bondi front. On weekends, you can stroll across the beach and pick up healthy food from the hundreds of sushi bars and smoothie huts. Everyone is in holiday mode, the atmosphere of the place is so lovely.
Which is your favourite area of Sydney?
I’m a city girl so, as much as I loved being at the beach, I equally loved Sydney CBD, where I was lucky enough to work. The shopping and dining is fantastic and it is incredibly clean for a city. I also loved a place called Manly across the northern shores – a huge beach destination with lots of walking routes and gorgeous views.
Who is your favourite Australian fashion designer?
I really like Carla Zampatti, who I discovered while I was working at David Jones. I’m quite girly and she designs lots of very feminine dresses that incorporate pretty finishing and are perfect to wear on an evening out.
Who is your favourite Australian shoe designer?
With shoes I try to avoid anything too trend-based or too much of a novelty. Stuart Weitzman’s designs are classic and timeless – lots of basic colour heels in simple shapes for work and evening wear, but still with a glamour factor.
Who is your favourite Australian jewellery designer?
Samantha Wills! Her jewellery collections are so ‘fun’, always incorporating a touch of colour or a theme.
Which are your favourite stores and boutiques in Sydney?
David Jones, who I worked for out there. It’s a department store, home to hundreds of designers, as well as high-street names and some fantastic beauty brands too. There are a few stores such as Country Road and Sportsgirl that I absolutely love too – they sell trend-led clothes that are really good quality and you can pick up statement dresses or shoes that look designer at good prices. Sydney is so good for shopping! Bondi and Paddington markets are also fantastic places to pick up unique pieces that no one else has.
Where did you like to go for breakfast in the city?
There’s a café called Coco Noir that’s famous for its hot chocolate and chocolate-based deserts and drinks. They also do amazing breakfasts and coffees. Australia is really good for its bread selection so if you order toast for breakfast you get offered the largest range of amazing breads. Sourdough toast with avocado was my usual breakfast!
Which were your favourite restaurants in the city?
Criniti’s is a fantastic Italian and you’ll find it on Darling Harbour in the city. They do two-metre long pizzas and amazing cocktails and desserts. Thai food is very popular in Sydney too so there is an endless list of fantastic Thai restaurants, such as Chat Thai, which is all around the city.
Did you have a favourite bar or nightlife hotspot?
I always went to a bar called the Establishment on a Friday, leading onto the Ivy. The dress code is strict but they have a really nice ambience and great DJs. For a more mainstream night out, Bungalow 8 at Darling Harbour is a good option, and Zanzibar in Newtown is laid back with a really cool roof terrace.
What did you show out-of-town friends?
The obvious, of course – the Opera House and Harbour Bridge! But other than that you have to show people the Rocks, a place full of cool bars, eateries and shops. On weekends they have great food markets and shopping stalls. There are so many bars and restaurants round there with rooftop views of the Opera House. Surry Hills is also a place to take friends. It’s an uber-cool, hippy-vibe town with a very cool crowd!
What did you do to relax in the city?
Everyone goes to the gym or runs everywhere but I suppose that’s not relaxing! A great chill-out day is spent doing the coastal walk that takes you on a beautiful stroll over the cliffs, starting from Bondi, overlooking Tamarama and Bronte, and eventually ending up at Coogee beach.
How did you like to travel around the city?
The train, and there is no point doing anything else! It’s like London’s tube system, only better, with three-floor air-conditioned trains.
Tell us a secret about Sydney…
There are secret bars that are never advertised. Just ask people. They are back-door entry down little back alleys – the best is Palmer & Co, with its Great Gatsby 1920s theme. Make sure you ask the locals for more! You’ll never see them promoted ...
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