A taste as a tourist in my own home town.

People all over the world are aware that Sydney has the most impressive harbour on the planet. For me growing up on the Northern Beaches it was integral part of my upbringing. Riding the Manly Ferry when the swells were up. Family fun at Fairlight, Little Manly and Chainman’s Beaches. Jumping off Manly Wharf and diving for twenty cent pieces that the day trippers would throw deep down for us to retrieve. I even spent some months as the ‘lolly boy’ on the South Steyne and Baragoola ferries, with the old-style picture cinema wooden tray held by a strap over my shoulders calling “chips, drinks, ice-creams” to the tourists enjoying a day trip into Manly or into the big city for a day exploring. This job gave me numerous trips across the waterway every weekend and in hindsight many years later I realise what a sweet ride it was. 
Years on and living down south, I do get a thrill when I return to the big smoke for a little taste as a tourist. It’s a wonderful way to remind myself of how amazing our harbour city really is. On my latest adventure in, I discovered what I believe to be close to the ultimate location to base yourself for a couple of days of discovering or rediscovering.

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour is an All-Suite hotel that rivals all comers when it comes to location in this neck of the woods. Perfectly positioned it offers the best of both worlds when one half of the hotel overlooks all of Sydney Cove and the other the glorious Royal Botanic Gardens. The recently refurbished suites not only offer you luxurious lodgings with your own fully equipped kitchen, laundry amenities and bathrooms with corner spas to boot! It’s the sheer size of the space available to you that take these rooms to the next level of luxury. Between 75-100 square meters, depending on your choice, which is so far removed from some hotel offerings that don’t give the space to swing a cat in. Of course, we don’t swing cats, but you get the gist, right?

When it comes to dining options at Pullman Quay Grand things are precipitously returning to pre-C19 normality with the hotels premium restaurant offering, Q- Dining just about back to its regular opening hours. With its ‘where the land meets the sea’ concept shining brightly Q-Dining focuses on providing you with a locally produced and Australian infused based menu without making it over complicated. A La Carte choices like Hawkesbury NSW duck rillettes with shaved fennel salad & peach and seeded mustard chutney or Pan roasted snapper with diamond clams, green asparagus, coastal herbs & kombu butter sauce will certainly appease the appetite. There is also a set priced shared menu that is just perfect for a group gathering. While taking the decision making out of your hands it gives you more time to enjoy your company and take in the outstanding harbour views as well.
Saturdays also offers up a ‘High Tea by the Harbour’ for those that enjoy a touch of the regal life! All those sweet and savoury morsels with a spot of tea are always a treat, still I say it always more enjoyable with the addition of a couple of glasses of bubbles.
Hyde Hacienda Bar and Lounge is not only an alternative to Q Dining, but is also a standalone option for relishing the best views of the quay, the bridge and all the bedazzling city lights, while sipping on some of the most innovative signature cocktails I have experienced. In addition, the South American styled chow available is perfect to share with a group of friends with such delights as Halloumi Stuffed Piquillo Peppers or Grilled Swordfish with tomato salsa. The Fresh Seafood Platter at under $100 is an absolute pearler while the Chefs Share Platter 55 is one to remember, and share!
The combination of the décor, cuisine, signature cocktails and the friendly upbeat vibe that encompasses the whole venue urges me to tell you it is a must visit whether or not you are an inhouse guest.
If you want to keep up the fitness regime while visiting there is a seemingly endless walking and running track that starts at the hotel and takes you via some of the cities ultimate landmarks. Still if you happen to get some untoward weather it’s good to know there is a gym, sauna and indoor heated pool and spa available to help balance out the gastronomic goodness you may indulge in.
It would be rude of me to not give the staff here at Pullman Quay Grand their kudos. Across the board, so friendly and accommodating, yes, I know it’s their job but they seem to go above and beyond. In saying that, I guess it comes from the top? I don’t want to embarrass him, but I saw the boss, Steve Savic, answer reception phones, deliver Valet parked cars, help with general enquiries and even clear tables in Q Dining, I wonder if I can get him to shine my shoes?
Leading by example is paying dividends here! Still why don’t you decide for yourself and take advantage of the deal on offer?
I for one have found my new go to when playing tourist in my old stomping ground.

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