Seven Ways to Warm Up in the Inner West
When Sydney’s temperature dips and other parts of the city go into hibernation, our patch of the inner west comes alive. Local cafes and restaurants provide the ultimate refuge from the cold, whether you’re sampling a seasonal menu or cuddling up with a cup of hot cider to watch the passing parade.
There’s plenty more to coax you off the couch beyond the area’s epicurean offerings. From theatre that pushes social boundaries, to edgy art and music, you’ll find something to entertain and inspire a fresh way of thinking. Here are our favourite local go-to options.
DANCE TO LIVE MUSIC
Newtown and Marrickville lead the way in Sydney’s live music scene. The Leadbelly in Newtown offers a mix of free and ticketed shows, with food on the side, in a moody, intimate venue. Jump across to Marrickville’s Lazybones Lounge for live music and local microbrews on tap, or venture into the up-and-coming industrial precinct where Camelot Lounge welcomes music-lovers both young and old.
MEANDER THROUGH THE MARKET
Make grocery shopping a treat on Sundays at the Marrickville Organic Food Markets, or sample international cuisine under the stars at the Addison Road Street Food Markets, held from 4-9pm on the first and third Saturday of the month. The Carriageworks Farmers Market, held every Saturday morning, is the place to go for fresh NSW produce, or browse through the Newtown Community Market, at the intersection of King Street and Enmore Road, for unique creations and eclectic buskers.
EXPLORE LOCAL ART
Innovation and creativity thrive in our community. Check out the White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale, Artsite in Camperdown, or St Peters creative hub, Precinct 75. The latter offers an evolving mix of artworks and one-off homewares across its diverse showrooms. For art outdoors, set off on a self-guided street art walk around the inner west. Several suggested routes are available online, or book into a guided tour through Culture Scouts. You could also produce your own masterpiece in a life drawing class, held every Thursday night at Parliament on King.
When the weather has you locked up indoors, lock yourself into an escape room and put your lateral-thinking skills to the test. Newtown is home to two escape rooms, part of a recent trend which involves groups of two-to-eight people bunkering down in a themed room to solve a real-life puzzle. At the Cipher Room on King Street, there’s a case of espionage, a detective mystery and a private investigation set in 1950s New York. A few blocks up, Second Telling Missions offers two historical scenarios, based on the true story of the White Rose Nazi resistance movement.
STEP BACK IN TIME
Our future-forward neighbourhood is continually evolving. For a novel perspective on our long history, venture behind the walls of Camperdown Cemetery. Graveyard tours run on the first Sunday of the month and tell the story of the cemetery, which dates back to 1849, along with ghostly tales. Up to 18,000 were people buried there over its 18 years of operation, and range from famous colonial Australians to seafarers and forgotten convicts. There’s more history to explore up the road at Sydney University, where Nicholson Museum boasts the largest collection of antiques in the Southern Hemisphere. See historical photos, Egyptian artifacts and the ancient city of Pompeii, recreated in Lego.
WATCH A SHOW
Whether it’s a big name act at the landmark Enmore Theatre, or an up-and-coming artist at volunteer-run Red Rattler Theatre, there’s no shortage of onstage entertainment in the inner west. Local treasure the New Theatre celebrates its 85th birthday this year, and continues to challenge norms through artistic and social expression. See original works from independent artists at the Old 505 Theatre in Newtown, or choose from an eclectic lineup at Marrickville’s Depot Theatre.
Shake up your routine with a kung-fu class at Newtown community venue, Dixon Street Space, or bust out at Newtown’s community dance hub, Duti studios, where beginners can join casual classes to learn African dance, street dance, ballet and everything in between. The cooler months are also ideal for exploring local cycle paths. Sydney Park Cycling Centre at St Peters offers free guided cycling tours, with two coming up on April 14. One will investigate insect life on vacant urban blocks, and another provides an insight into the history of Alexandra Canal.