As the year winds down and the festivities ramp up, any opportunity to take the pressure out of an event is welcome. But making social occasions a little more relaxed, doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on the decadence.

A simple solution is to outsource everything to one location. The Strand Arcade is a heritage-listed Victorian-era arcade located in the heart of the CBD and offers one of Sydney’s most idyllic shopping and dining experiences. Aside from The Strand Arcade’s diverse range of retailers of speciality craftsmanship, an Italian dinner at The Restaurant Pendolino makes for a memorable outing.

Book a restaurant instead of hosting
You could host a Christmas party – always more work than it seems between the requisite planning, cooking and cleaning – or you could meet friends and family at a restaurant for a stress-free catch-up. The Restaurant Pendolino, an award-winning eatery located on The Strand Arcade’s second level, is renowned for its exceptional service, sophisticated setting and authentic regional Italian fare. A dedicated pasta kitchen produces up to 15 different varieties of handmade pasta each day, and the varieties of premium extra virgin olive oil that are served to each table are available for purchase. Sync calendars with your pals and book a table pronto.

Get your outfit in person
In-person shopping has the advantage of allowing you to try before you buy, which means no more ill-fitting purchases that don’t live up to expectations. Make a beeline for local designers like Manning Cartell, Aje and Ginger & Smart. For a low-key but luxe Christmas Day outfit, head to Jac & Jack, which has been in the business of producing clothes defined by their high quality cut and fabric for almost two decades. The latest collection features pieces to elevate a summer wardrobe: ombre maxi skirts and dresses, long-sleeved linen shirts and tees made from sustainable cotton. On Boxing Day, hit the couch in wildly comfortable Bassike basics.

Make gift-buying simple
Tick off everyone on your Christmas list in one easy go. A fixture in The Strand Arcade since the ’80s, Dinosaur Designs is universally acclaimed for its striking resin jewellery and homewares. You could also stop by Mecca Cosmetica’s glamorous flagship store, where you’ll find the beauty emporium’s extensive range of skincare, makeup, hair and nail products, as well as an expanded perfume department. If you’re on the hunt for a gift that will last the test of time, head to Le Creuset on the ground floor. A French institution beloved by chefs and cooks worldwide for its enamelled cast-iron cookware, Le Creuset also stocks a comprehensive collection of kitchen and dining essentials.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with The Strand Arcade. To plan your trip to The Strand, and for a complete list of its retailers of speciality craftsmanship, visit