Sydney secrets

Photography: Prue Ruscoe

For Gourmet Traveller's 50 favourite things about Sydney, click here.

Collette Dinnigan, fashion designer
"The Dom Pérignon Lounge (which I designed myself!) at Hemmesphere for a pre-dinner drink followed by dinner at Rockpool Bar & Grill. Fratelli Paradiso at Potts Point for lunch (pictured) - it's almost becoming an institution - or Danks Street for lunch and shopping. The Fox Studio markets on Saturday mornings for breakfast, flowers and produce.

Among many other galleries in Paddington, the Blender Gallery, on Elizabeth Street, for great photographic exhibitions. If you are lucky enough to be flying first-class, stop in at the Qantas first-class lounge before take-off. The food and service are excellent and there's no better way to leave town!"

Justin Hemmes, CEO Merivale Group and Sydney bar tsar

"All of my bars and restaurants (best food, best cocktails, best service and best ambience)… yes, I'm biased but I do love them all for different reasons. Sean's Panaroma at Bondi Beach: excellent food, fantastic setting and a local gem. Nielsen Park beach: secluded and some of the best water in Sydney. The Souvlaki Bar in Brighton-Le-Sands: consistently the best souvlaki and friendly staff. Good Vibrations Festival: best (music) festival of the year."
Souvlaki Bar, 78 The Grand Pde, Brighton-Le-Sands, (02) 9567 7988

Sibella Court, stylist and owner of The Society Inc
"Edo Arts, Terrey Hills, for big furniture pieces, beautiful textiles, kimonos, paintbrushes, ceramics - all things Japanese and beautiful. Karman and Paul buy the most amazing things.

Textile designer Sally Campbell at Sally Campbell Home Textiles, Randwick, works with natural dyers and weavers in India and designs to-die-for quilts, cushions, scarves (I seriously have 100!). After years of designing on film sets; she has a fab sense of colour and detail.

The Antique General Store, Narrabeen, for all things Australian and vintage. I've been going to this store at the bottom of Powderworks Road (don't you love the name?) for over 20 years. My grandparents lived on this street their whole lives. I've bought old rope, hand-stitched ostrich feather cape, chopping boards and so much more. Your Display Gallery, Greenwich, is one of my best secrets that I think everyone should know about. Discovered when I worked at Vogue when I was 20, it's housed up the road in Greenwich. It's a store with great finds - mostly decorative and small furniture pieces. Drop in as often as you like and there's always something new (well, vintage new)."
Your Display Gallery, 123 Greenwich Rd, (02) 9906 7556

Peter O'Brien, actor
Underbelly: The Golden Mile premieres in February on Channel 9
"There's nothing better than getting up in the morning and having a dip in one of the saltwater pools - like Wylie's Baths at Coogee - or just grabbing a pair of goggles and snorkelling off the beach. To me, it's the everyday stuff that makes Sydney special - the accessibility of good food, going to a café and asking for a flat white, having a juice after that ocean swim and a big feast for brekkie - but a lot of the iconic places are really worthwhile, and a lot of them revolve around water. If I want to spoil people from out of town, I'll take them to Guillaume at Bennelong… or catch a show at the Sydney Theatre Company down on The Wharf. I love Longrain for a Caipiroska and the fantastic salt and pepper barramundi, and Cafe Sydney for a seafood dish of some sort and the harbour view. You can't beat the bar at the top of the Shangri-La Hotel overlooking Circular Quay, but really I'm a front-bar kind of guy. It's great to order a draught beer such as Reschs or a Tooheys from one of the pubs you find around the back of Woollahra, Darlinghurst and Balmain, though a lot of them have been gentrified. I like the Windsor Castle and The Bellevue Hotel. My favourite picnic place is Parsley Bay Reserve - it's just a great family spot. And you know what? St Mary's Cathedral is a great place to visit; it's just beautiful."

Justin North, chef/restaurateur
"On Saturday mornings, we round up the kids and head to Eveleigh Farmers' Market to pick up some great fruit and veg. We all enjoy tucking into a croque madame from the Bird Cow Fish restaurant stall while sitting in the sunshine. After this, we head to Milson Park in Kirribilli to lie under a tree and read the papers while the kids play in the park. One of our favourite restaurants is Ginger & Spice in Neutral Bay for a warm greeting, delicious, authentic Singaporean food and the best Hainanese chicken in town. I also love the Taste of Sydney festival in Centennial Park for the quality of its offerings - but the most exciting news for us in 2010 is the opening of our new lounge bar at Etch Restaurant."

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