Sydney is one of our favorite cities, and Vanessa Holden – our fearless Creative Director here at west elm – just so happens to be a local. That meant it was especially exciting for her when we opened our first Australian store in Sydney earlier this month, and for all of us, it meant that we had our own insider guide. Here are some of Vanessa’s top Syndey picks, with a focus on west elm Sydney’s Bondi neighborhood!
This is just the best (free!) way to see how beautiful Sydney is. It’s a
walk that goes from Bronte Beach to Bondi – you can start either end but I
like walking north: when you get to the broad sweep of Bondi it’s
breathtaking). I do it every time I’m back in Sydney.
The Eveleigh Farmers Markets at Carriageworks
245 Wilson St
Saturday mornings, this is the place with the best local food + produce. I
head there early for a coffee and one of Kylie Kwong’s steamed pork buns,
and grab a sausage roll (or four) for later – it’s worth a visit.
North Bondi Beach
The famous Bondi Beach is actually a lot of different beaches. My favorite
is the north end, because it’s much more low-key and relaxed: you can walk
into the surf or jump in off the rocks, and wander around the rockpools
drying off. It’s my local.
Shop 1, 173–179 Bronte Rd
Literally an every day stop every time I’m in Sydney. Not just because a
couple of my best friends own and run it, but because they make the best
breakfast I know of in town. I’ll have the scrambled eggs with a side of
avocado, or the poached eggs with quinoa, shaved cucumber and chili jam.
Neptune Street, just south of Coogee Beach
Ocean pools – like salt water swimming baths – are a signature of Sydney: Bondi Icebergs is probably the most famous one. I grew up swimming in Wylie’s Baths’ at the southern end of Coogee Beach, almost every day. A couple of leisurely laps in the pool and drying out on the hot concrete under the boardwalk: nothing feels more like home!
85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery
The School is Megan Morton’s mixed-purpose studio and learning space that is becoming the center of a real maker culture in Sydney. She hosts great classes for kids and adults, and right next door are Koskela and Kitchen By Mike – two Sydney must-visits. It’s a little bit out of the way, but I think it’s one of the city’s most interesting creative hubs: you’re missing out if you don’t check it out.
Sydney Opera House
Some things are tourist attractions for a reason. The Opera House is just
a spectacular building from every angle: from the street, from the ferry,
from a car, it’s amazing. It will always thrill me.
And don’t forget to visit us at west elm Sydney!