Paddington is regarded as being a very trendy place for cuisine, fashion and design. Its busy Oxford Street is viewed by many to be the epitome of Sydney chic and it has loads of trendy clothing and shoe shops, restaurants, cafes and homewares stores.
You can go on a Fashion Secrets tour of the popular parts of Paddington. These upmarket, trendy boutiques, Australian iconic shops and independent stores will tantalise you with their unique treasures. You’ll see items from big names and newcomers alike, all sharing space in many of these stores. The tour runs for 2 hours and will cover stores that also sell jewellery, lingerie, bags and shoes, vintage and recycled fashion and much more. You’ll visit over 30 retailers along the way.
One of the most popular attractions, also in Oxford Street, is the Paddington open-air Markets which are found in the grounds of the Paddington Uniting Church, a heritage-listed building. The Markets are well-known for being a serious springboard for the Australian Fashion Industry. Some of the more recognised labels who had their humble beginnings at the Paddington Markets include: Lisa Ho, Sarah Jane, Black Vanity, Third Millennium, Von Troska, Braceweil, Yoshi Jones and Pablo Nevada.
The Markets are open every Saturday morning from 10am, regardless of what the weather decides to do. More than 200 stalls offer a fantastic range of Australian made merchandise. You can sit and enjoy lunch or a light snack either inside or outside. You can choose from Aussie BBQ, Thai and Himalayan, coffee, tea, fresh juices, cakes and home made soups.
The Markets flourish under the church banner and provide support to assist the church in carrying out its various welfare and community programs. Among them are the Paddington Children’s Centre, Eastside Arts and The Eddie Dixon Centre. You can also check out the Aussie made products in the Emerging Designers section in the courtyard.
Eastside Arts offers a range of visual arts and performance events all staged within the historic United Church Buildings. Audiences can relax and enjoy a diverse range of different cultural activities.
Victoria Barracks is famous for its military architecture. The barracks was originally constructed between 1841 and 1850. British troops occupied these Barracks until 1870 and then were replaced by the colonial forces of New South Wales. The Sudan contingent were also recruited and trained at the Barracks.
When Federation took place in 1901, the barracks continued to be the main point for military activity in NSW. Victoria Barracks housed the Royal Military College of Australia from 1931 – 1936. It was at Victoria Barracks that the first NSW forces were recruited for both world wars. Today, Victoria Barracks is home to Headquarters Training Command and Headquarters Land Command.
The Paddington Reservoir was constructed between 1866 and 1878 and was an integral part of Sydney’s early water supply system. In 1899 it was decommissioned and became the workshop and garage for the Metropolitan Drainage, Sewerage and Water Board and then, much later, a service station. In 1934 it was used as a commercial garage until 1991 when part of the roof collapsed and it was closed down.
The park above the reservoir was named, after a former mayor, the Walter Read Reserve. The John Thompson Reserve, adjacent, was named after a journalist and poet who was one of the founders of the Paddington Society.
The Paddington Town Hall was built in the late 1800’s for a wide variety of different events. Its European architecture is impressive and makes it perfect for this flexible venue. It’s next to the Victoria Barracks and sits on the highest part of the Oxford Street Ridge with its 32 metre clock tower looming above. This clock was created to commemorate the crowning of King Edward VII in 1905.
The Grand Hall has a fantastic 9 metre high ceiling, excellent acoustics and polished timber floorboards. It has a chic reception and bar area and a huge commercial kitchen along with a Green Room and superb backstage facilities. Access to lighting rigging and an external banner rigging platform are accessible to people who hire the venue.
Centennial Park was dedicated in 1888 by Sir Henry Parkes, a man destined to play a major role in the inauguration of Federation. The park was designed in the Victorian style with wide paths for horse-drawn carriages and buggies. It also had plenty of ponds, statues and formal gardens. You can enjoy activities such as picnics, walks, horse riding or rent a bicycle. The park is great for the whole family.
Paddington has a diverse range of hotspots for your dining and drinking pleasure. The popular Irish pub, Durty Nelly’s and its in-house restaurant – the Print Room – offers patrons a unique blend of homeliness and style for everyone.
Enjoy fresh Australian produce with a European and Irish influence in the upstairs restaurant or have a few drinks in the downstairs bar. Durty Nelly’s caters for functions of every imaginable kind and up to 100 people at any one time in its exclusive function rooms.
The Eastside Music Café is a fantastic venue to enjoy food and drink while being entertained by some top class performers. It can seat 150 people comfortably and you’ll enjoy a mixture of local and international talent, depending on when you go.
Another popular haunt is the London Tavern with its two levels of wining and dining as well as an exterior courtyard. With a plush modern interior and a few odd quirky touches, it’s a great place to enjoy a quiet brew or two with friends.
If French cuisine is your taste, you can’t go past the Four In Hand Hotel. It serves up a varied assortment of unusual dishes for your enjoyment. They’re open Tuesday to Sunday and, as they’re always busy, you should book if you want to check them out for yourself.
Paddington is an amazing place to visit. We have only just breached the surface of the huge assortment of goodies that Paddington has to offer. It’s a place with plenty to see and do for everyone, no matter who you are. Add it to the list when you’re visiting Sydney so you don’t miss out.