The hotspots are on opposite ends of the promenade: North Bondi Italian Food is a Bondi institution nestled in front of a grassy knoll (which, incidentally, is the ideal picnic spot if you prefer the DIY approach.) It serves no–fuss, fresh Italian fare: their crab spaghetti in a bag is a popular favorite, as is their summer tipple of freshly-squeezed, ruby-red grapefruit juice and vodka. The balcony is a perfect spot for watching suntanned revelers on the beach.
To splash-out on an exceptional Christmas meal, go to Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, perched atop the cliff at the south end of the beach, above the Bondi Baths. Nothing beats gazing out at the acid-blue sky, slurping oysters and sipping cocktails at this iconic restaurant and bar (also the location of Sydney’s most infamous and exclusive New Year’s Day party). Set back from the beach are some fabulous drinking dens that typify the Bondi vibe. The Shop and Wine Bar is the pick of the bunch: it’s a cafe by day and buzzing wine bar by night, with stools lining the footpath and a great selection of wines.
How does everyone in Bondi manage to look so effortlessly cool? They shop on Gould Street. Head to Tuchuzy, an ode to Bondi’s laid-back-luxe style with a mix of local brands like Bec & Bridge and Lover, and international names such as Helmut Lang and Missoni.
If you want to stretch your limbs after sunbathing, there are plenty of ways to get active on Bondi Beach. Bondi Baths at Icebergs has been a local landmark for over 100 years. Do some laps or find a bit of peace in the Christmas chaos with a yoga class by the sea. From here, you can take off on a 2.5 Km Bondi-to-Bronte walk, which runs past a spectacular stretch of sandstone cliffs and coves that house smaller local beaches including Tamarama (its nickname, Glamarama, says it all). If you’re lucky, you might even spot a dolphin or whale on your way. But, for the ultimate Bondi Christmas experience, just hire a surfboard and sign up for a lesson or two at Let’s Go Surfing.