There are few places in Sydney that can match the Barracks for pomp and jaw-dropping views. We’re not talking a little corridor of harbour. The Gunners’ Barracks has a 180 degree, uninterrupted, waterfront panorama that stretches from the CBD all the way round to North Head, so be sure to request a spot on the big verandah to take full advantage of it. The crockery is Royal Albert bone china in a jaunty rose print with gold leaf trim, the charming waitstaff wear pressed white jackets and the tea selection goes beyond the standard black blends (though the Earl Grey is excellent) to include seasonal green teas and a delicate peach flavoured white tea. They can accommodate vegetarians with no notice and no fuss, swapping roast beef and salmon sandwiches for fresh salad and pesto. There are crisp golden samosas and warm scones with gratifyingly short pastry. The creamy mango pudding with tapioca tastes of summer and a thin sliver of opera cake is as light as a chocolate cloud. A+.