This ‘Indulgence on a Budget‘ idea is my most favourite. I’ve lived in Sydney all my life but it wasn’t until recently that I stumbled upon Sydney’s best kept secret: Wendy’s Secret Garden.
Wendy is the widow of late artist Brett Whitely and her magical garden, which was created in memory of Brett, is one of the most perfect picnic spot you will ever find.
It is hard to imagine that once, this land was merely a large patch of junk owned by NSW Rail Corp, adjacent to her home.
Now, full of secluded chairs and benches, quiet spots, tucked away paths and a myriad of gorgeous ferns, trees and plants, both exotic and native, this scenic garden in Lavender Bay is the setting of this spectacular ‘Indulgence on a Budget’ post – a picnic at Wendy’s Secret Garden.
Often when we think of indulging, things such as pampering at a day spa or fine dining come straight to mind, but these are not only expensive things to do, they’re also hard to keep up with, if indulging on a weekly basis is your thing. So here’s something you can do all day, any day.
A simple homemade picnic with fresh produce at a secluded corner in Wendy’s Secret Garden, with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, this will definitely turn into the highlight of your week.
Tomatoes and figs are both in season right now. With the tomatoes, it needs nothing more than a sprinkle of sea salt flakes, cracked black pepper, olive oil, finely chopped basil and a gentle drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Sometimes for something slightly different, I’d even replace the balsamic with a glossy sweet kecap manis which gives it a beautiful Asian twist. Rub a clove of garlic on toasted sourdough and serve.
Figs, figs, figs, where do I start! I adore juicy ripe figs which is just fabulous paired with anything salty such as jamon or prosciutto. So for an easy peasy starter, put together a cured meat platter with your favourite cuts (be as economical or as gourmet as you like) and arrange with some fresh figs, olives, caperberries or cheese.
Wendy’s Secret Garden is nestled between Clark Park on Lavender Street and the Lavender Bay rail shunting yard. It is easily accessible by car or is a short stroll from North Sydney train station. Enjoy! xx
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Wendy’s Secret Garden
Near Clark Park, Lavender Bay, NSW