HOME AND AWAY
THE buzz is bright and easy at the new Beach Club at the Watsons Bay Hotel on Sydney’s eastern peninsula. Bang by the harbour ferry pier and next to the famous Doyles, the bar and diner has a cool Miami-meets-the-Caribbean vibe — or maybe that’s just the happy-holidays size of the coconut rum cocktails and Itsy Bitsy Bikini carafes of fruity punch with vodka and Martini Rosso. Hoe into, say, lightly battered fish and chunky chips; garlicky yabbie and crab linguine; buckets of tiger prawns with chilli mayo and ciabatta; or salads with chilli-pepped dressings. (Mains from about $22.) Many dishes are served in enamel bowls or on wooden boards; a variety of relishes and sides (and wasabi-spiked bloody marys) come in old-fashioned glass jars. There are high tables and stools in the former beer garden or casual undercover seating with an open kitchen and sparkling views beyond the harbourside promenade. It’s been a popular hangout for trendy beach bums this summer and is easily reached by ferry from cityside Circular Quay in about 30 minutes. The adjoining heritage hotel has 32 guestrooms; open daily for breakfast, long lunches and dinner. More: watsonsbayboutiquehotel.com.au.