There’s no denying FebFast is a great initiative: abstain from alcohol for the month of February and raise money for disadvantaged youth in the process. As if that wasn’t enough, FebFasters are in line for many personal benefits – a joyous absence of hangovers, improved overall wellness, increased productivity and good karma.
The only teensy tiny problem is despite February being the shortest month of the year, 28 days can seem like a long time without your favourite vice. Fear not, FebFasters of the Sydney-verse, for we have your game plan sorted, bulking out your weekends with fun fast-friendly options that will make time fly. Allow us to present our 4 Step Plan to FebFast success.
Step 1: Make friends with Mocktails
Sure, you could go out and drink water but aren’t mocktails so much more fun? Thanks to Sydney’s cater-for-all philosophy, mocktails are on the menu at most venues. Here are our favourites:
How does Smoked Lemonade sound? What about Wattle Cola? Intrigued? Head to PS40 in the CBD and test them out guilt free. Your non FebFasting friends can add spirits to theirs and you can be the annoying one who remembers everything the next morning. What fun.
Sydney institution Din Tai Fung doesn’t just have the world’s tastiest dumplings: it also has the most refreshing slushie known to man. Called the Lychee Mint Freeze, this little baby has been sold over 100,000 times, surely making it one of the most popular drinks in town.
Chasing something less sugary? Order a Virgin Negroni at Newtown favourite Blood Wood. Made with orange and lemon peel, star anise, cinnamon, and non-alcoholic wine, you’ll swear you’re drinking the real thing.
Step 2: Venture beyond the pub
It’s no secret that abstaining from alcohol can be harder in certain settings, like your local pub or favourite wine bar. So we say make things easier on yourself and enjoy nights in places where deliciously cold beers aren’t the focal point. You’ll skirt temptation and potentially see a whole new side of Sydney.
Outdoor cinemas are a summer staple here in the harbour city, setting up their screens in picture perfect locations citywide. Take your pick of Moonlight Cinema in leafy Centennial Park, St George Open Air Cinema with its multi-million dollar views near Mrs Macquarie’s chair, Open Air Cinemas by the sand at Bondi, or Sunset Cinema in North Sydney.
If you’ve never experienced live stand-up, Happy Endings Comedy Club in Kings Cross is your new best friend. This award winning venue hosts shows every Friday and Saturday night in a moody jazz cellar, complete with piano man. Funny and fancy.
If theatre’s more your shtick, the Sydney Opera House has some excellent options this February. Check out Barbu for cheeky contemporary circus or long-running Aussie favourite Away for a couple of hours of love and whimsy. The Belvoir also has a great line-up, with a special mention going to their production of Jasper Jones – a wonderful adaptation of the iconic Australian book which, coincidentally, will grace cinemas in big-name movie form later this year.
If you really want to push the health angle on a Saturday night, book yourself into The Colour Run Night in the Royal Botanic Gardens on February 18th and prepare for gallons of neon paint, glow in the dark bubbles and pumping party tunes.
Step 3: Embrace early morning activities like the non-hungover champ you are
Everyone knows markets are best early in the morning – you get dibs on the best produce and beat the crowds. Wake up early on a Saturday and explore the Carriageworks Farmers Market in Everleigh or the Farmers Market in Bondi; on Sunday try the Marrickville Organic Markets or the Collective Harvest rooftop markets on the Paramount Building in Surry Hills.
CARRIAGEWORKS FARMERS MARKET is on tomorrow from 8am till 1pm with amazing fresh NSW produce that you can buy directly from the wonderful farmers, growers and producers. We also have a wide range of tasty food, delicious coffee, fresh flowers and more. CARRIAGEWORKS NIGHT MARKET is also on tomorrow night from 5 til 10pm featuring over 50 locals producers and chefs curated by @kylie_Kwong to celebrate the Year of the Rooster. Tickets are $10 + bf and can be purchased at carriageworks.com.au. We look forward to welcoming you to both markets, cheers Mike @mikemcenearney. #CarriageworksFarmersMarket
If you’re after something more active, embrace water sports before the heat of the day kicks in. Try stand-up paddle boarding in Balmoral, where $30 gets you a board and a rundown on the basics, a surfing lesson in Maroubra where the waves break clean 90% of the time, or SUP yoga in Rose Bay to work your core (either by displaying an impressive ability to balance in strange poses on a moving object or by laughing hard every time you fall off).
Coastal walks are also an excellent option here in Sydney. You can do the more standard options, such as the Bondi to Coogee or Manly to Spit walks, or venture a little further afield to the spectacular Royal National Park where you can tackle the Figure 8 Pools or Bundeena Drive to Marley walk. Both come with epic scenery and, if you time it right, some pretty spectacular swimming spots.
Step 4: Eat stuff that’s good for you
So this one isn’t strictly a must while you FebFast but why not take advantage of a distinct lack of cravings for late night kebabs and mid-morning bacon and make February 2017 your healthiest month in history. You with us? Then head to these healthy joints ASAP.
Porch and Parlour in sunny Bondi serves up organic, healthy dishes with heart. For brunch, try the Green Breaky Bowl and for lunch the Seafood Pie. Healthy? Absolutely. Tasty? OMG yes.
O Café in Surry Hills is a long-time favourite for good reason. As well as the best gluten-free banana bread south of the harbour, it offers a delicious selection of Asian inspired eats and a collection of healthy drinks, including the pretty-to-look-at Purpleberry smoothie.
Newer kid on the block, Alexandria’s Bread & Circus, serves seasonal, organic dishes with lovely little twists. We recommend the I-had-curry-for-breakfast (which is a very fun order to give) or the rainy day toast, which comes with a heavy drizzle of melted honey-thyme-cinnamon butter. Mm nom nom. Who said eating healthily had to be boring?