I never thought I’d say this but I am absolutely in love with Manly. I can’t handle the ferry because of my crazy sea sickness but after spending the weekend exploring I can now say that I will willingly travel to Manly via 2 buses to get there! The beaches are clean, the people are friendly and the restaurants and cafes are bloody amazing. So hey, read on and see for yourself!
For a beautiful brunch overlooking the water, head to The Boathouse Shelly Beach (1 Marine Pde, Manly) and start off with a dozen Sydney rock with native lime vinaigrette ($3.50each).
The Tuna Cracker ($26) is almost too pretty to eat! The cracker is crisp but still able to hold its shape without disintegrating and is topped with ruby red slices of juicy tuna. The splotches of creamy anchovy mayo has me instantly hooked and the hit of spice from the green chilli is brought down a notch from the fresh coriander and salty dabs of olive puree.
Ange chooses the Trout board ($26) which comes with a jar of creamy trout pate with a heap of dill, a pile of silky smooth sliced trout, a tub of crème fraiche and thick slices of sonoma miche to slather everything on. It tastes like summer and is the perfect meal that won’t leave you with a heavy feeling.
I could’ve opted for a light meal buuut I really wanted the Green Spaghetti ($29) that came packed with juicy pippies and scampi. The spinach spaghetti has the perfect bite and I made sure to swirl forkfuls into that gloriously rich garlic butter sauce!
Oh and we ordered a basket of Chips ($9) with aioli because well, who doesn’t like chips at the beach!?
Have a nap at Shelly Beach or sign up for the 2 hour Ecotreasures Manly Snorkeling Tour ($65/adult, $40/child). The tour starts at Shelly headland lower lookout and includes all snorkel gear and wetsuits if needed, as well as snorkel lessons. The Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve is a sheltered habitat and is a ‘no take’ marine zone, it was pretty amazing to see so many fish and so close to shore!
Take the Cabbage Tree Bay Eco-Sculpture Walk from Shelly Beach towards Manly Beach which is approx 15mins and perfect for all ages.
Relax and take a dip at the Fairy Bower baths
Feeling peckish? Lunch at The Herring Room (94 Pittwater Rd, Manly) will blow you away, the Squid ink & egg yolk ravioli is a must order!
For the carnivores, head to Papi Chulo (22-23 Manly Wharf, Manly) and order yourself the Ranger’s Valley wagyu F1 brisket, (300 gm) ($36). And the Papi Chulo Burger ($20) because it is fricken amazing.
Or if you’re after something lighter, Daniel San (55 North Steyne, Manly) has got you covered for all your sashimi needs. P.s the Sticky Goma Lamb Ribs ($25) from the Robata are finger licking delicious.
The 2016 Australian Open of Surfing will be held from February 27th to March 6th so if you’ve still got some energy to burn, sign up for a 2 hour surf lesson ($70/adult, $55/child) with Manly Surf School (North Steyne Rd, Manly). I absolutely loved the class, we had a great instructor who was super patient and encouraging and yep I managed to catch a few waves! Me! The most uncoordinated person in the world!
There were volleyball nets set up but I was absolutely wiped and decided to park myself on the sand and rest 😛
We headed back to Novotel to freshen up before it was time for a cheeky beverage or two… Sunset Sabi (26-28 Pittwater Road, Manly) is pretty rocking on a weekend, the cocktails are a winner and the Caramel, chilli, seaweed Popcorn ($7) is crazy addictive and the perfect bar snack. For something more substantial, try the Super Chicken ($12), bite sized pieces of southern fried style popcorn chicken that is just perfect with the yuzu crème dipping sauce.
Or head to local fave, Chica Bonita (7 The Corso, Manly) for the off menu mega drink: The Lagerita! A deliciously refreshing alcoholic concoction of a margarita and a Corona!
The Carne Asada Fries ($13) are my weakness, golden fries are smothered in melty cheese, juicy nubbins of steak, creamy guacamole and tomato salsa.
And then there’s newly opened Cured, (42 Market Ln, Manly) which will tempt you with charcuterie and cheese boards with delicious (and affordable) wines by the glass.
Head to Hugos Manly (Manly Wharf) for modern Italian food with an unbeatable view. They don’t take bookings so be sure to get there early!
ChocolateSuze visited Manly as a guest of Destination NSW