Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Published June 14th 2013
Concerts, networking events, games and more
As the weather gets colder and your lunchtime jog seems less appealing we will forgive you for wanting to stay inside where its warm and dry. However if you want to stay out of the weather but get out of the office at the same time here are some suggestions as to how you can kill an hour lunching in the CBD;
1) Lunchtime Concerts
Flying in the face of anyone who says that Sydney doesn't have a music scene are the lunchtime concerts hosted by venues of all shapes and sizes. More classical than not, these venues and performers are bringing music back to the daytime and offer a complete retreat from reality. Enjoy the grand surrounds whilst partaking in Sydney's City Recital Hall Lunchtime Series at Angel Place ($15 per ticket for a monthly performance that kicks off on alternating Mondays and Tuesdays 12.30). Relax in the iconic Sydney Conservatorium of Music's grounds with their regular Wednesday lunchtime concert series performed by the Conservatorium High School at 1.10pm (entry by donation) in the Verbrugghen Hall on Level 3. Whilst still students, the talent is amazing and it is your opportunity to see music's rising stars.
$15 Lunchtime concerts at the City Recital Hall
2) Head to a gallery or museum
With multiple independent galleries, museums and also the famous Art Gallery of NSW flanking the city streets there is no excuse for one to miss out on their art fix. A quick lap around a gallery viewing the latest or favourite exhibitions is sure to refresh you and may even spark some afternoon creativity and innovation.
For some of us there's little time to increase your professional network what with the work/home/social balance becoming increasingly difficult. Meetup.com offers a free monthly networking event during lunchtimes to assist those who wish to extend their network but don't have the time pre/post work. The events are sponsored by Commercial Associates Accountants and Advisors and are hosted on their CBD Rooftop (Level 11, 117 Clarence Street) venue free of charge. The next one coming up is on Thursday 13 June 2013 followed by Thursday August 8 2013. Click here for more dates and information.
Plenty of Sydney's bars and cafes now offer board games, pool, or if you're lucky even ping pong! The revamped area of Darling Quarter, if you're willing to venture outside, also has larger than life chess pieces so why not use a different part of your brain during lunch and engage in some healthy gameplay competition. Norita Cafe & Board Games (77 Liverpool Street) has multiple board games available to borrow with your coffee if you're down the Central end of the CBD whilst Blackbird Cafe on Darling Harbour also has reading material and games on hand to accompany their nibbles and under $15 lunch menu.
5) Bust a tune out
Who says karaoke is just for late-nights? Mizuya on George Street (number 614) is open for lunch from 11.30am. If someone needs cheering up or energy is just begging to be spent; grab a group of colleagues and head on down to their amazing karaoke rooms. Whilst two hours is the rooms minimum hire time you can leave whenever you want and at $10 per person room hire only or $20 per person minimum spend on food and drink (with room hire free) this is a sure fire way to bond with your colleagues and see just who is the next rising star and who should keep their singing voice restricted to the shower! Should lead to interesting previews of the next Christmas Party.
There's little point in finishing work and then heading off to do errands on the way home. Nor should you waste your weekend on them either. Head to the supermarket on your lunch break and get your groceries, get those shoes that need to be resoled fixed (there's a great retro shoe repairer in the Strand Arcade), sort your banking or your mobile. It's amazing how much you can shrink your weekend chore list by ticking some of these jobs off at lunch-time.
Friday Music at St Stephen's Uniting Church (197 Macquarie Street, opposite Parliament House)
offers free concerts every Friday at 1.10pm for 40min.
The concert series which used to get broadcasted on 2MBS is at a very high standard. The director of music and organist, Mark Quarmby, does an excellent job in selecting the musicians and organising the concerts.