Ask the Expert: Top Tips from Vini Biancalana for November 2018

Vini Biancalana, concierge at the Sydney Harbour Marriott, offers his top tips for exploring Sydney during November 2018.

Describe your perfect Sydney day.
There is no better start than a shore scuba dive early in the morning in Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve (Shelly Beach). Our marine life is extraordinary with plenty of cuttlefish, gropers, wobbegong sharks and rays. Then, I go with the family to a local café for breakfast and I stroll in the park for some family time. In the afternoon/evening I like having a beer or two with friends in one of the historic pubs in The Rocks or some craft beers in the local suburbs. 

Sydney is known for its great coffee, do you have a favourite café?
Coffee is an obsession for Sydneysiders, and with that said; comes an abundance of great cafés to choose from. It is nearly impossible to pick a winner. Bar Bellaccino is my go to place for a morning caffeine hit. Fresh handmade sandwiches and pastries are also on the menu. If on the beaches, an all-time favourite is Seachange Café in Dee Why. Scrambled eggs, grilled salmon topped with hollandaise sauce. Yummy!

A ferry on Sydney Harbour at Manly
A ferry on Sydney Harbour at Manly (©Destination NSW)

If you could only take one ferry ride, where would it be to?
Running for more than 150 years, the Manly Ferry is certainly my favourite ride on Sydney Harbour. It is not just the biggest ferry on the harbour but it is a beautiful 7-mile ride that offers relaxed harbour, ocean and city views like no other. When I use the ferry services in the morning it is like having an enormous mood boost crossing the harbour towards the city although my favourite is at sunset to finish the day with spectacular scenery and that great gratitude feeling.

What is the ONE thing you tell guests that they have to do whilst in Sydney? 
We are very privileged to live in a city that has the best harbour in the world. My suggestion to our guests is to see our harbour in its full magnificence from above. There is nothing like seeing Sydney with a bird’s eye view from a helicopter or a seaplane. Alternatively, the uniqueness of a BridgeClimb certainly does not disappoint. Great views, history, architecture and much more!

Vini Biancalana, concierge at the Sydney Harbour Marriott.
Vini Biancalana, concierge at the Sydney Harbour Marriott. (Courtesy Vini Biancalana)