While few can afford the rent, Mosman is home to some of the prettiest Sydney harbour beaches and walking routes in New South Wales. Nestled to the right of congested Military Road, it is a pleasant surprise to find Mosman unaffected by its close proximity to the frenetic Sydney CBD.
An infamous landmark of it's own, Balmoral Beach is fronted by tranquil waters and backed by lush grass begging for a picnic blanket. A true Aussie favourite, fish and chips are served in crispy, vinegar-laden portions at Bottom Of The Harbour Seafoods on The Esplanade. Ironically, the serenity surrounding Balmoral Beach has resulted in carloads of weekenders scooting the streets in search of parking, picnic space and quiet time on the sand.
A more secluded space requires a wonder around the corner to George's Heights. A picturesque walking track lies hidden behind Balmoral oval and in 15 minutes, brings walkers to the spectacular beauty of George's Heights. In posh North Shore style, The Tea Room offers superb views of Sydney Harbour while serving exhorbitant High Tea. Cakes, pastries and every tea imaginable can be savoured for around $40 per head. This may seem steep, but reserve the astonished expression for another time- it is venues like these which host Mosman's affluent society figures and uphold its high-class reputation.
A further 10 minutes along the walking track brings you to Chowder Bay. Crystal blue sea laps sandy white shores while people barbecue, relax and throw frisbees in the nearby quaint Clifton Gardens. Ripples Cafe, perched on a wharf which stretches into the ocean, takes full advantage of the view as glass windows encase the sought after restaurant.
Serving modern Australian cuisine, Ripples Cafes are located in some of Sydney's most beautiful areas including Milson's Point and Whale Beach. An outstanding menu wets appetites with freshly opened Sydney rock oysters, homemade foccacia accompanied by sun-dried tomato or eggplant parsley dips. Sicilian style chargrilled swordfish or fresh pea, mint and asparagus risotto, make for satisfied albeit rounded stomachs. In true Mosman style, the rest of the meal should be spend chit-chatting with your company while sipping a fine shiraz in between dainty mouthfuls of candied fruit salad, melon sorbet and crisp wafer biscotti. Including wine and three courses, Ripples Cafe delivers artfully flavoured dishes and astounding views for around $65 per person.
Middle Head, located a short tangent to the right of Balmoral Beach when facing the water, is in possession of bushland uniquely surrounded by placid ocean. Cobblers Beach Reserve offers walking trails as scenic as anywhere along Mosman's shore, yet without the crowds of Balmoral Beach or Taronga Zoo. A dip in the refreshing sea at Cobblers Beach will place you among glitzy, glamorous North Shore residents as they soak up the sun and gossip over the lastest fashion trends.
Burnt Orange cafe, situated centrally on Middle Head Road is open daily to serve customers organic porridge, Eggs Florentine and buttermilk pancakes to name a few of the outstanding taste sensations on the menu. If brewing fine coffees and offering tempting breakfasts wasn't enough, Burnt Orange has boutique retail merchandise ranging from womenswear and homewares to gourmet foods from across Australia, including Tasmanian honey and Yarra Valley chocolates.
Public transport to Mosman involves either ferries or buses with timetables, routes and transport guides easily located on the Mosman Council website:www.mosman.nsw.gov.au/mosman/place/public-transport. Driving to Mosman is also an option, however parking can be scant and expensive so be prepared to walk a fair distance to your desired location while keeping a track on the allocated parking time limit.
A weekend among Mosman's beaches, restaurants and reserves is a family-friendly way to experience one of Sydney's most luxurious yet notoriously unaffordable suburbs. Dress to impress, including stylish sunnies and high-grade sunscreen and mingle among Sydney's aristocracy. Oh, and don't forget the credit card.