With over 100 beaches to choose from, Sydney knows a thing or two about the summer lifestyle – especially when it comes to casual seaside dining. But even though al fresco options are rife across the city, The Boathouse Balmoral Beach still stands out from the crowd with its light, bright nautical interiors, signature anchor-clad coffees, fast and friendly service and huge wrap-around deck that overlooks one of the most popular beaches in town.
Long an Insta-fave due to the artfully presented fresh plates of food and cute anchor motifs on their coffees, I had been wanting to visit for a long time, but had been stalling due to the fact that traffic getting into Balmoral can be pretty bad on the weekends and the beach tends to be super busy. So why I chose the holiday between Christmas and New Years to finally venture down is beyond me. But it turns out that getting a table was pretty easy despite the summer crowds (adding to the casual vibe, you just grab a seat when you find one and order from the counter), and our food and drinks arrived in no time.
I had opted for the Whale Beach Muesli with fresh fruit and yoghurt and the fiance ordered Avocado and Tomato Toast with feta, fresh basil, sourdough and lemon. We also ordered coffees and shared a green juice, which was delicious, but I also couldn’t stop eyeing off all the colourful milkshakes and iced drinks I saw being carried to nearby tables.
We happily devoured our brunch (which was quite a feat for some, given the avocado toast was nothing short of massive) and watched as kids splashed with abandon off the jetty next to us and bobbed past in various bright floating devices – all wearing their carefree summer holiday smiles.
Almost all of the seating is out on the deck at the Boathouse, but make sure you pop inside to check out some of the beachy interiors, like rattan lampshades, striped walls of pale blue and white, and clusters of bright flowers (many of which are for sale).
Despite the beach looking a bit like the human equivalent of an ant colony, we were able to find a quieter cove-like spot after brunch at the northern end of the beach to put up our umbrella and settle in for an afternoon of ocean-side lazing. Aaah, Sydney.
GETTING THERE: If you don’t have a car, you can take a bus the 7kms from the city to reach Balmoral (you may have to take two buses to get right down to the beach or you can get off at nearby Mosmon and walk less than 1km down the hill to the beach), or consider coupling it with a trip to Toronga Zoo and walk between the two along the coast for great harbour views as well. If you do arrive by car, try parking up the hill a little, where there are no parking meters and you can stay all day.