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Things to do in Sydney: Visit The Rocks

The Rocks Sydney

Things to Do In Sydney: Visit the Rocks

Photos taken with Nikon Coolpix p7800

By Deb Carr

Having been a resident in Sydney for most of my adult life The Rocks has always been one of my favourite places in Sydney to go and visit. I was delighted to be invited by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority to attend the Arts, Creativity & Fashion Famil Tour of The Rocks. I'd like to mention here that SHRA are doing a fantastic job in promoting and improving this gorgeous heritage precint in Sydney. Sydney put on a spectacular day for our group of bloggers and journalists as we set off on a bespoke tour of The Rocks.

The Rocks is unlike anywhere else in Sydney, with great food, artisans, history, craft and fashion, there is plenty to see and do, as they say “it’s a place that has been built by hand”.

La Renaissance Patisserie, The Rocks

Our first stop was at La Renaissance Patisserie, after all hungry and thirsty bloggers need refreshments to keep up this hectic pace. Our coffees were ordered ahead and we walked into the courtyard to be greeted with our latte’s and pastries. Now I make no secret of the fact that I am gluten free for heath reasons but I do confess I did have a sneaky taste. Just the smell alone, walking past this patisserie is enough to always have me wishing I could eat pastries.

La Renaissance Patisserie was founded in 1974 by Paris trained Patissier and Cuisinier, Pierre Charkos and his wife Sally with a small shopfront in Roseville then opening La Renaissance and Café, The Rocks in 1992.

47 Argyle Street, The Rocks.

Next on the list we visited the Julian Ashton Art School. Founded in 1890 this historic art school intrigued me. I always wanted to be an artist, and in fact have dabbled on and off in my adult years, so having a peak inside this famous school was something I really appreciated. I especially enjoyed the talk given by Paul Delprat, who is the Principal and I must say an intriguing character, and way too much charm for his own good!

Julian Ashton Art

You will see from my photo (below) one of the artists, a rather serious young man who I could not resist taking a photo of. I guess the word eccentric comes to mind when I think of both Paul and my young artist here.

The Julian Ashton Art School was founded in 1890 by Julian Rossie Ashton and it is the oldest continuous fine art school in Australia.

The school offers full and part time courses for anyone over 18 years of age. Its most notable alumni in recent decades include John Olsen, Michael Johnson, Brett Whiteley, Nigel Thomson and Salvatore Zofrea.

117 George Street, The Rocks.

Julian Ashton Art School

The tour continued to one of Australia's most famous brands, UGG Since 1974.

The family business has been manufacturing UGG boots in Australia for over 40 years. All boots are 100% Australian made with their factory located on the Gold Coast. Believe it or not, UGG's largest clientele are tourists who wear the boots as a fashion statement. In this picture you are looking at a pair of boots worth around $17,000 - yes that's correct! Well they are adorned with Swarovski crystals after all.

UGG Since 1974 is one of the only genuine Australian made UGGs left and specialises in custom made UGGs completed within 24 hours. Stay tuned to this blog on more about UGG soon.

Shop 202, 140 George Street, The Rocks.

UGG Since 1974
The Rocks Sydney

The next stop was a real surprise to me because of all the years I have lived in this city; I had no idea about Sydney Living Museums.

If you ever wanted to step back into history, then this is a tour you must take. We often complain about our lives and how we live, and let me tell you after touring these little cottages I’m never complaining again. These tiny little cottages make you wonder how people ever lived in them. The cottages fascinated me and I could not help but transport myself back to 1844 when a terrace of four houses was build by Irish Immigrants. Having an Irish father, and hearing the stories he has told me about the thatch cottage he lived in Wexford, I felt a sense of how it must have been for him as a young boy, living in a cottage as small as this with four sisters and three brothers.

I urge anyone visiting Sydney or residents who have never explored these cottages to go and make the effort, It’s truly fascinating.

Tours for Adults $8 children $4 and Family $17

58-68 Gloucester Street,The Rocks

things to do in Sydney

After that little tour we were getting very hungry and next stop was Buttons, Buttons, Buttons where we stopped for sandwiches and champagne! This unique little shop stock a large selection of antique, vintage and new buttons made from a wide range of materials including ceramic, glass, metal, silver, horn, coroso (vegetable ivory), bakelite, celluloid, wood and more! As well they stock a wide range of children's buttons for craft and collecting.

I'm thinking of going back to buy some unusual buttons to make a statement on my jeans.

22 Nurses Walk,The Rocks

The Rocks Buttons Buttons Buttons

Next stop is to the sporty fashion label Le Coq Sportif. Le Coq Sportif was founded by Emile Camuset with the first store opening in Romilly-sur-Seine in 1882. By 1920 the brand became the official supplier to France's soccer, rugby and basketball national teams.

The brand became the first official sponsor of the Tour de France which lasted nearly 40 years and again in 2011 became the official sponsor of the Tour de France leaders' jerseys.

The store opened in The Rocks in early 2014.

We were shown how T-Shirts are printed in store. Customers can choose a design and t-shirt and customise their own shirts/sweatshirts.

450 George Street, The Rocks

Le Coq Sportif

I live in Denim, it's my favourite so the next stop had me in my element, Denham. Established by Englishman, Jason Denham (appropriate name) 2008 in Amsterdam. Denham opened its Australian store in The Rocks in early 2014 having already opened stores in Amsterdam, London and Tokyo.

The store offers trousers, outwear, shirts, jerseys, sweats, accessories and of course jeans. We were taken downstairs to have a sneak preview of what the buyers will be purchasing for next season.

77 George St, The Rocks.

Denham jeans

From denim jeans to totally colourful men's shirts and jackets it was time to visit Joe Bananas.

Joe Bananas

Joe Bananas is for those colourful men that aspire to make a statement. Joe Bananas is an Australian menswear designer creating handmade, unique and quality tailored casual wear. Most known for its unique jackets in hand-woven silk and linen. Joe Bananas originally opened in the QVB in 1986 then in January 2014 opened a pop up store in Sydney's heritage listed area, The Rocks.

103 George St, The Rocks.

CONCLUSION Whether you are a visitor or resident and looking for things to do in Sydney, you will definitely find a day at The Rocks well worthwhile.

My advice, don't just walk past the shops, pop in and have a look around.

This is just a small glimpse of the rocks. I will soon be doing a story on best restaurants in The Rocks.

Sydney Lifestyle Blog featuring Joe Bananas

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