Sydney Travel Tips from Julia Trotti, Aussie Fashion Photographer

Conversations with Locals

You might know of Aussie-born Julia Trotti for her dreamy fashion photography for labels such as Suzi Rose Designs and Bride La Boheme. When she’s not shooting for work, she shoots dreamy landscapes on the side, which have brought her to some of the most beautiful views of the Australian outback. In this interview, Julia shares her favourite Sydney suburbs to get the local experience, why an Australian coffee is not to be missed, and where to get that perfect cup of Joe. 

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Photo: Julia Trotti


Where can we go to see your favourite view in Australia?

Kangaroo Valley is my favourite place in Australia. I could spend days exploring the countryside and driving the winding roads up and down mountains. One day I hope to own a little cottage there.

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Photo: Julia Trotti


Name one local dish you feel travellers can’t leave Sydney without trying

This isn’t a dish but I will always tell someone visiting Sydney that they can’t leave until they’ve had a cup of locally brewed coffee! If there’s one thing that Sydney does right, it’s coffee.

Where are your favourite restaurants or cafés in Sydney?

The list could be endless, so I’m going to keep it to my favourite two. Flying Fajita Sisters in Glebe for some delicious Mexican, and the Coogee Pavilion in Coogee for some beachside lunch.

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Photo: Julia Trotti


What is a typical Australian breakfast for you?

I love eating local organic plain yogurt with some fresh blueberries, strawberries, kiwis and bananas for breakfast. I’ll occasionally add some granola if I’m going to have a big day!

Name your favourite spot in Sydney for a good cup of coffee

Like I mentioned before, one of the things that Sydney does best is coffee so you can pretty much walk into any place that makes coffee and it’ll be a good cup. If you’re in the city centre, a good place to get coffee is the Workshop Espresso in the Queen Victoria Building.

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Photo: Julia Trotti


As a local, where would you recommend travellers go to get the true Sydney experience?

While Sydney is known for its Harbour, where you can see the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, I would recommend that you explore the smaller suburbs on foot to experience Sydney more like a local. Suburbs like Newtown, Surry Hills and Darlinghurst have so many amazing local restaurants, coffee shops and Australian designer clothing stores to explore.


WHERE TO EAT IN SYDNEY

Flying Fajita Sisters
Where: 65 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe NSW 2037, Australia
For: Mexican food
Coogee Pavilion
Where: 169 Dolphin St, Coogee NSW 2034, Australia
For: A casual meal by the beach
Workshop Espresso
Where: 500 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
For: Locally brewed coffee


WHERE TO GO IN SYDNEY

Newtown
Where: King Street and Enmore Road, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
For: Vintage shops and cafés
Surry Hills
Where: Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
For: For art galleries and boutiques
Darlinghurst
Where: Darlinghurst NSW, Australia
For: For restaurants, bars and clubs.

WHERE TO GO IN AUSTRALIA

Kangaroo Valley
Region: New South Wales
Where: Kangaroo Valley NSW, Australia
For: Great views

Melbourne Travel Tips from Rhiannon Taylor, Founder of Lifestyle Website In Bed With

Conversations with Locals

Having slept in an endless list of hotels all over the world, Rhiannon Taylor is the founder of the lifestyle website In Bed With, where she curates beautiful hotel stays from her travels. Her taste for charming hotels with a stylish twist has garnered her a strong following. The Melbourne-bred photographer reveals where to score a lovely pressed juice, her perfect itinerary to explore the city, and her one beauty advice to travellers heading to Australia’s all natural landscapes.

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Photo: In Bed With

 

Where can we go to see your favourite view in Australia?

If you can get there, the top of King George Falls in The Kimberly, WA is my favourite view in the entire world. It’s a ridiculously tough climb and the height at the top makes your head spin, but it’s untouched wilderness at its best.

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Photo: In Bed With

 

Name one hotel you fell in love with in Australia?

There’s a divine bed and breakfast called Drift House in Western Victoria, a region close to my heart. Individually designed rooms with open fires and bath tubs in a historic house is heaven. Don’t be fooled by the B&B category, it just won a Best Luxury Hotel award from Qantas.

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Drift House in Victoria. Photo: In Bed With

 

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Drift House in Victoria. Photo: In Bed With

 

What are some local dishes you feel travellers can’t leave Melbourne without trying?

Melbourne is so multicultural with its food that it’s easy to say a local dish could be a burger, taco or pizza. But I really rate the Vietnamese cuisine in Melbourne. It has some of the best pho and banh mi going round.

Where are your favourite restaurants or cafés in Melbourne?

I love Chin Chin for its modern take on Thai food: fresh and unique while still drawing on authentic flavours. I’m a regular at Jimmy Grants too. Their lamb souvlakis with mustard aioli and fall-apart meat are mouth watering!

What is a typical breakfast for you?

If I’m home, I make oats. Otherwise if I’m in a hotel I’m keen to see whether they make a good croissant. Most don’t, and it’s a big sign as to whether their cuisine is going to be any good. It’s a lot of pressure though, making a croissant like they do in France is hard!

Rhiannon Taylor

Photo: In Bed With

 

Name your favourite spot for breakfast in Melbourne

East Elevation in Brunswick has incredible cafe/brunch food and also houses Monsieur Truffe chocolate – a great artisanal line of chocolate. Try the croque monsieur for a cheese indulgence and take home a bar of caramel specks milk chocolate!

Where are your favourite spots for juice in Melbourne?

Pressed Juices has spots all over town. They’re bottled and ready to go so if I want a refresher or something more filling I don’t have to wait.

As a local, where would you recommend travellers go to get the true Melbourne experience?

I have a soft spot for Fitzroy and Collingwood, I lived in that area for many years in my 20’s. There’s an eclectic mix of handmade goods, artisanal produce and cool eateries. I’d stop by at Mud Australia for some stunning handmade homewares and Zetta Florence for beautiful writing books and photo albums.

Then grab lunch at Huxtaburger for a real American style feed. Tire yourself out at the outlet stores on Brunswick street in the afternoon, followed by a refresher at Little Creatures brewery. My gals and I usually head to Naked for Satan for $1 pinxtos and you can watch the sun go down on the rooftop.

If you’re after something more romantic, dinner at Madame Sousou is quaintly French and intimate. It sums up Melbourne’s diverse culture.

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Photo: In Bed With

 

What is the one beauty advice you would give to travellers heading to Australia?

I’m probably the worst person to talk to on this topic because I never heed my own advice. I recently went to the Maldives without sunscreen or sunglasses. Stupid right? But in all seriousness, if you’re visiting Australia bring sunscreen! My pick is Aethic Sovee – it’s the only sunscreen that is triple filtered and is eco compatible. You can snorkel without leaving a trail of product on the coral reef. It also smells amazing and goes on smooth.

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Photo: In Bed With

 

WHERE TO EAT IN MELBOURNE


Chin Chin Restaurant
Where: 125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
For: Thai food

Jimmy Grants
Where: 113 St David Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065 (and more)
For: Lamb Souvlakis

East Elevation
Where: 351 Lygon Street, Brunswick east 3057, Victoria
For: Breakfast

Pressed Juices
Where: Shop 2 / 15 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria. 3000
For: Something healthy

Huxtaburger
Where: 106 Smith Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066
For: An American meal

Little Creatures
Where: 222 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC
For: A beer

Naked for Satan
Where: 285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065
For: Drinks
Madame Sousou
Where: 231 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 3065 Victoria
For: A romantic meal

 

WHERE TO GO IN MELBOURNE


Mud Australia
Where: 181 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, VIC, Australia, 3065
For: Porcelain

Zetta Florence
Where: 197 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065
For: Beautifully designed stationery

 

WHERE TO GO IN AUSTRALIA


King George Falls
Region: Western Australia
Where: King George River, Western Australia
For: Nature lovers

 

WHERE TO STAY IN AUSTRALIA


Drift House
Region: Victoria
Where: 98 Gipps St Port Fairy, Victoria Australia
For: A stylish and cosy stay