Quinn Connors

Correspondent

  • Sydney, Australia

Quinn Connors is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent based in Sydney. A former neo-parisienne and U.S. transplant, Quinn has been consumed by wanderlust ever since her first trip overseas at the age of six. She moved down South from the Northeast of the United States for university, and continued moving around, spending three years in Paris, until she settled in Australia. Each new location has developed her knack for discovering the hot spots and top events a city has to offer. You can find the fashion and lifestyle writer in Sydney, where she explores all things fresh, fun, exciting and hip. A former editorial translator for Vogue Paris’ English site and contributor to the Vogue Paris Huffington Post UK blog, Quinn also has written for the luxury travel magazine LUXOS and her own blog, Quinntessential Style.

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  • On August 1, 2013
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    What is Sydney’s dining scene like?

    Aussie Breaky From dinner with a view to an appetizing array of Asian cuisine, Sydney’s dining scene presents a vast amount of extraordinary spots to satisfy your appetite.

    During your stay in Sydney you must have a dinner with a view. Many restaurants line the water in various areas of the city, so you have a large selection of waterside restaurants to choose from. Another advantage this city by the sea has is its easy access to fresh seafood. Sydney has a very impressive, award-winning Fish Market in Pyrmont where many restaurants purchase their seafood like oysters and shrimp. You can also go straight to the fish source and dine on the fresh finds of the day at the several restaurant stalls set up in the market.

    Located not too far from the fish market, Sydney’s bustling Chinatown is lined with restaurant upon restaurant cooking up all different types of Asian cuisines from Korean barbecue to Japanese sushi to Chinese dumplings. Head to Chinese Noodle House in Haymarket’s Prince Centre for amazing pork and chive dumplings and out of this world braised eggplant. Also found in the area are large food courts that are perfect for family dining. Although not the most attractive places, the food courts house a great selection of cuisines in a large setting so kids can run around without disturbing anyone. My favorite Asian food court dish is Laksa, a spicy noodle soup made with coconut milk and topped with veggies and tofu. You’ll find a great laksa at Happy Chef in the Sussex Centre Food Court.

    Your food journey through Sydney wouldn’t be complete without a true Aussie breakfast. The best thing about Australian breakfasts is that almost anywhere makes a fantastic one, but that said, Sydney does have some standout breaky joints. Without a doubt, make sure to hit Bills in Surry Hills for Bill Granger’s famous sweet corn fritters and creamy scrambled eggs. Other fantastic options are 2204 in Marrickville serving pan-baked breakfasts, Brown Sugar in Bondi Beach putting a twist on the standard bacon and eggs, and The Shortlist Espresso Bar in Darlington rolling up scrumptious bacon and egg rolls to go.
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    Where is the best nightlife in Sydney?

    The Baxter Inn Sydney has a buzzing nightlife where its inhabitants take full advantage of the evening. While some dress to the nines to go dance the night away, others head to their favorite local bar for a subdued evening over masterfully mixed drinks.  The top areas where you can burn the midnight oil in Sydney are Kings Cross, Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, and the CBD.

    Sydney’s Red Light District, Kings Cross, is home to an eclectic group of people. If you’re looking to dance until dawn, head to this area to hop from bar to bar along Burton Street and Bayswater Road. If you’re looking for a calmer pace, enjoy a few deliciously unique cocktails in Surry Hills and Darlinghurst. These trendy neighborhoods host a slew of small bars offering not only extensive drink menus developed by Sydney’s best mixologists, but also meticulously curated interior designs creating a fantastic ambiance for a night out with friends. Another area that is beginning to see several small trendy bars moving in is the CBD. Typically considered an area of worker bees and tourist groups, the business district has seen a rise in bars like Grandma’s, Grasshopper and The Baxter Inn moving into the area and bring out the night owls with their tasty bar food menus and even more delectable cocktails and brews.
  • On August 1, 2013
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    What are some things to know before visiting Sydney?

    Sun Exposure
    One of the most important things to know before your trip is just how strong the sun is in Australia. As you prepare your itinerary and figure out the best spots to visit from restaurants to bars to the best attractions, make sure you are also preparing yourself for major sun exposure. Due to the sun’s strength in Australia, skin cancer rates are high, so it’s best to be smart and protect your skin by wearing hats, sunglasses and SPF30+ sunscreen, also by seeking shade when possible. Don’t ruin your trip with a sunburn, prepare for the sun before!

    Transportation
    Although Sydney is connected by train, bus and ferry, you should be prepared for a more relaxed pace. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to get anywhere as the most common form of transportation is the bus, and you can hit some heavy traffic depending on where you’re headed.

    Look Both Ways
    I’m sure you already know that Australia drives on the left side of the road, but it is definitely something to bear in mind while you’re visiting if you’re accustomed to driving on the right. Hark back to your childhood when you were learning to “stop, look and listen”. It may sound silly, but as I’m sure as your own parents have already told you “it’s for your own good”.
  • On July 31, 2013
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    What are the five best Sydney food experiences?

    Pavlova Topped with Raspberries and Chocolate During your stay in Sydney make sure you really dig into some true Australian food experiences and eat like a local. Most of us know about the infamous Vegemite yeast spread, but there are a few more Aussie classics that you should try (and you may find them a bit tastier). Don’t miss out on these top five.

    Tim Tam
    Made of chocolate cream sandwiched between two malted chocolate cookies and smothered in a layer of chocolate, the Tim Tam is considered “Australia’s Favorite Cookie”. This chocolaty treat is delicious on its own, but even better when dipped into some tea or an Aussie made flat white, in what’s called a “Time Tam Slam”.

    Meat Pie
    Australians love these hand-sized pies filled with minced meat, gravy and sometimes onions, mushrooms, cheese or tomatoes. Pies are found almost everywhere and are perfect for a quick lunch. Some bakeries in Sydney have taken the pie even further and created gourmet fillings like Bourke Street Bakery and The Pie Tin – where you can grab a sweet pie for dessert too.

    Pavlova
    This favorite cake was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in honor of her tour through Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. Popular during the Australian summer and often served for Christmas, the cake is meringue based and often garnished with fruits and whipped cream. Yum!

    Kangaroo
    Taste test Australia’s coat of arms and find yourself some ‘roo meat. This lean, entirely free-range meat is available in most supermarkets in the form of steaks and sausages. You can also find kangaroo featured on some restaurant menus throughout the city. Try the Pepper Kangaroo pizza at the Australian Heritage Hotel in The Rocks or the highly acclaimed Kangaroo Steak prepared at The Meat and Wine Co.

    Lamington
    This list wouldn’t be complete without the Lamington. With sponge cake coated in chocolate and coconut flakes, this cake has been dubbed ‘The National Cake of Australia’. Bite into this popular cake at Single Origin Roasters in Surry Hills, which offers quite possible the best lamington in Sydney.
  • On July 31, 2013
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    What is the one must-do activity when visiting Sydney?

    It’s hard to choose just one thing to do in Sydney. That being said though, one thing you must do is, take a ferry ride from Sydney to the Taronga Zoo in Mosman, and back. Absorb Sydney’s sites from the water, to the blue skies to the lush vegetation as you make your way to see some Aussie animals. On your way back, prepare to see an unbelievably breathtaking view of all of Sydney Harbour as you head to Circular Quay. If you time it right, you could catch the sun setting behind the Harbour Bridge, making the gorgeous view even more remarkable, and if you're lucky, you could possibly spot a whale or two during your ride.

    Sydney is so beautiful. No matter how you choose to do it, make sure you spend time enjoying the stunning panoramas.
  • On July 31, 2013
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    What is the best way to see Sydney in one day?

    Bondi Beach You will definitely want to spend more than just a day in Sydney, but if it happens that you only have 24 hours or less, here is a quick tour of how to spend your day seeing the top attractions in Sydney...

    Starting in The Rocks, make your way around Sydney’s historical district to find a spot to enjoy a true Aussie breakfast with eggs, bacon, sourdough toast, roasted tomatoes and avocado. There are plenty of places offering their own take on Australian breakfast, including the famous Pancakes on The Rocks.

    Continue your way through the historical streets until you hit Circular Quay where you’ll find the most iconic view of Sydney with the Harbour Bridge connecting the city to the North Shore and the Opera House with its white sails, resting on the water.

    Hop on a train at Circular Quay direction Bondi Junction to dive deeper into the ultimate Sydney experience. Once in Bondi, explore the trendy, tightly packed bars, restaurants and shops, and of course, when you need a rest, set up on Bondi Beach to enjoy some sun and surf.

    End your day overlooking one of the world’s most famous beaches, as you dine at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar set above the legendary Bondi Icebergs Club.
  • On July 31, 2013
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    What are the best museums in Sydney?

    Sydney has a large array of museums on offer. While visiting the city, you’ll have many options to choose from including a great selection of art, history and science.

    The Art Gallery of NSW
    Located just behind the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in the Domain is home to a huge variety of art from Australian and Aboriginal, to European and Asian. Admission is free to its permanent collections and most of its exhibitions. Every year during the Australian autumn, the prestigious Archibald portraiture contest is held at the museum. The works by finalists and the winners are shown for a few months after – a definite must see.

    The Australian Museum
    The oldest museum in Australia, the Australian Museum holds over 10 million artifacts from history. Take a tour through Indigenous Australia on the ground level, and then head up to the second floor where you will learn about “Surviving Australia”. While you’re on the second level, be sure to check out the dinosaurs. This museum is one to add to the list if you’re traveling with kids.

    The Powerhouse Museum
    Dedicated to showcasing Australian innovation, the Powerhouse Museum presents permanent and temporary collections featuring technologies from science and creative industries. Here you can learn about a huge variety of subjects including fashion, engineering, furniture design, medicinal developments, technological revolutions, space, and much more. The museum is a great space for adults and children to explore, discover and play.

    Read more about Sydney museums and what’s on, now on the Forbes Travel Guide blog.
  • On July 31, 2013
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    What is the tipping etiquette in Sydney?

    Tipping in Sydney isn’t expected, as there is a 10% Goods and Services Tax included in your bill. Also, basic wages are relatively decent in the Australian service industry, so, servers don't necessarily depend on their tips as they do in other countries. However, tipping is always appreciated. If the service and experience at a restaurant or bar has been enjoyable, a standard 10% tip is often given. At cafés, it’s also nice to leave some change when paying a bill, or add it to the café’s tip jar if they have one. The 10% tip is also the standard accepted at hotels, but again, it is not required.
    When taking a taxi, a tip is not expected, though people often tell the driver to keep the change.
  • On June 30, 2013
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    What are the best places for opera in Sydney?

    The Force of Destiny by Verdi, now showing at the Sydney Opera House Look no further than the iconic Sydney Opera House set on the water for spectacular opera performances. The opera house sails, conceived and designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, are not only a national symbol, but they also hold a world-class performing arts center, home to Opera Australia and three other performance companies. Running eight months of the year, shows at the Sydney Opera House are split into summer and winter seasons.
    During the summer season, you can also catch outdoor opera performances held by Opera Australia and the Sydney Opera House. Enjoy free opera at The Domain, or see the waterside Handa Opera on a floating stage in Sydney Harbour. For the 2013 season, Handa Opera presented a critically acclaimed, knockout performance of Carmen, complete with amazing dance numbers and a fireworks finale.

    What’s on for Winter 2013 at the Sydney Opera House?
    • The Force of Destiny by Verdi – June 29 to July 23
    • Tosca by Puccini – July 6 to August 31
    • Don Pasquale by Donizetti – July 18 to August 15
    • La traviata by Verdi – July 30 to August 31
    • Albert Herring by Britten – August 16 to August 30
  • On June 30, 2013
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    What are some day trips worth taking from Sydney?

    During your time in Sydney, you should plan a day and travel outside of the city. From the mountains to the bush to the beach, New South Wales has an abundance of striking landscapes for you to visit.

    The Blue Mountains
    Named for its blue eucalyptus haze, the Blue Mountains are great for a family-friendly day trip. Head to the area by car to enjoy scenic drives, tour the region and explore the national park home to the Three Sisters rock formation and old steam Zig Zag Railway. The largest town in the area, Katoomba, holds quaint boutiques and antique stores, and is in close proximity to some of the region’s biggest attractions including the temperate Leura rainforest and Scenic Railway – the world’s steepest railroad.

    Bowral in the Southern Headlands
    Bowral is to Sydneysiders as Deauville is to Parisians: a rustic escape from city life. This charming town full of historic manors and estates sits south of Sydney and is easily accessible by train or car. It’s recommended you rent a car though to fully enjoy your trip from the picturesque ride down, to traveling to the local Mount Gibraltar for a must-do bushwalk. This small mountain rises over the town and holds many picnic areas and look out points, as well as a nature reserve at its peak. Head down for a day or a weekend to wander the town and its antique and artisanal shops, explore the landscape and discover some local vineyards on your way.

    Palm Beach
    At the northern most point of Sydney you’ll find the beautiful Palm Beach. Grab a bus or a train and make your way to this northern beachside suburb. Here you’ll find the beaches that Australia is known for, featuring white sand, deep blue water and surfers catching a wave. “Palmy” as some locals call it, has the ultimate beach town vibe. Spend the day in the sand, then head to a café where everyone’s barefoot, footloose and fancy free.