SO FRENCH, SO CHIC

This weekend the French celebrate Bastille Day. It’s an opportunity to be patriotic, and wave the flag and for the rest of us to celebrate French culture - which includes wine, food, art and fashion. For ‘Francophiles’ all things French represent the pinnacle of culture and, you have to hand it to the French, they do know how to eat, drink and dress incredibly well.

Here is a short, completely subjective list for the Bastille Day Weekend Vibe you’re bound to be searching for.

WINE - its practically a way of life in Eastside and our favourites for a tipple include Rosé Royale a (world first) wine bar and restaurant dedicated solely to the Rosé wine. With more than 70 Rosé from around the world and a French inspired food menu this bar is situated in a terrace in Kellet Street, with an outdoor garden area just right for a summers afternoon. This winter, there’s a mulled Rose lunch every Saturday and all-you-can-eat Tartiflette on Sunday.

Wine is the focus at Lankelly Laneway bar Dear St Eloise although lately they have been giving opportunity to up-and-coming junior chefs with a new series of Monday night suppers. Expect to be wowed by the 400+ wine list, but don’t be afraid to ask for advice and try something new here - you’re in good hands.

The Bishop Wine Bar in Surry Hills has a lot going on, with specials deals and offers every day. But it’s the substantial range of their French Pinot Noir that have us coming back for more in this chic Crown Street venue.

rose royal, bishop wine bar,

FOOD - a relatively new player on the scene Métisse brings an impressive all-French team to Potts Point, with nine Michelin stars between them. Situated in the ‘gaudi-inspired’ building on Roslyn Street, Metisse is sophisticated yet affordable French dining with degustation and à la carte options available from Tuesday to Sunday, from 5pm.

Bistro Rex has been a favourite since opening. Oozing casual insouciance and always bustling, this take on a Parisian Bistro with its classic tiled floor, leather banquettes and copper trims is in the heart of Potts Point and offers daily specials, classic bistro fare and a happy hour in the early evening. Open 7 days per week, the share menu Le Banquet is the way to go for a little taste of everything.

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Macleay St Bistro is another local institution that has weathered the storms, the comings and goings, the ups and downs of the neighbourhood. Situated at the “paris end” of Potts Point, MSB has been serving up classic French Bistro stalwarts for over 30 years. Favourites include steak tartare, onion souffle and creme brulee. There’s a weekly blackboard specials menu and BYO is an option too.

et al. is the kind of restaurant every neighbourhood needs, with its casual yet perfectly executed menu reflected in the ambience. Indoor and outdoor seating face the bustling Llankelly Laneway - perfect for people watching. Early dining 5-7pm offers two prix fixe menus ($37/$47) and winter sees the mulled wine back again. They’re also offering Bastille Day dinners all weekend.

Still at the “Paris End” of Potts Point (locals like to think that it all gets a bit more sophisticated heading north on Macleay St, past the fountain) a few new shops springing up are definitely bringing back style in the fashion stakes.

Check out Baz Inc and by freer, two new players in the ‘hood that we talked about recently. Plus Mon Petit Chou, Macleay on Manning for kids clothes, Becker Minty for uniquely curated fashion and homewares, Booty for shoes, Skarfe for the best selection of scarves of all sizes and styles. Most of these shops have online availability but stroll along Macleay St with a glass of wine and the end, is a nice way to spend the day. Make sure to check out the Potts Point Galleries a veritable treasure chest of antique furniture, clothing, jewellery and homewares.

skarfe

STYLE - FASHIONISTA ALERT

TWO new boutiques have opened up on Macleay Street, Potts Point which is quickly turning into a fashion lover’s destination. No cookie-cutter, fast fashion here - it’s all slow fashion, locally designed and locally made too.

Both stores have their resident designer on hand to help with selection, styling and basically give you a gentle nudge in the right direction. Think silk basics, slinky viscose dresses, cool velvet jackets and snuggly woollen knits for winter.

Carolyn from BAZ Inc loves to layer and has the most sublime selection of prints, as well as brocade and-jewel toned velvet jackets.

BAZ Inc

BAZ Inc

Lesley from byfreer is all about natural fabrics, classic style and the small details. Coining the phrase “perfectly imperfect” to sum up her vibe, The byfreer girl raids her boyfriend’s wardrobe and looks better than he does! Think long shirts, slouchy pants, cosy knits and luxe fabrics..

Both stores were involved in the first PoPo late night shopping last week which was a great hit and a little bird tells us will become a regular event with special offers, styling nights and collaborations in the planning.

by freer

by freer

STYLE - Shopping for the stylish mum this Mother's Day

If your mum is a style maven, Eastside Sydney has got you covered. A multitude of small boutiques in Potts Point, Surry Hills and Darlinghurst cover off fashion and jewellery for all tastes and budgets. Hand made and quirky jewellery from Industrial Bling or some classic accessories from Dinosaur Designs there is more than enough variety for every style. Also - check out the blog for another 5 of our best places to find jewellery and accessories across the precinct. 

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And if clothes are more mums thing than we can't recommend highly enough taking a look at what AXL Bazaar in Potts Point has on offer. They have the latest in designer brands from bags to belts: owner and artist Athena Levendi will be more than happy to work with you to find the perfect gift for the one-off Mother's Day gift.  We also recommend Blue Spinach in Darlinghurst, whose collection of bags and purses will have you swooning. If none of this takes your fancy then peruse our own list of fashion spots across Eastside which will no doubt have the perfect option come May 12th. 

STYLE - Oxtravaganza is the place to be for the local makers and creatives.

Not only are Foley Street and Oxford Square being activated for Oxtravaganza, the East Sydney Community Arts Centre will be hosting a locals clothing swap! The Clothing Exchange will be supporting sustainability from 3pm at the Community Centre on Burton Street in Darlinghurst. Starting at 3pm it’s the perfect addition to your Oxtravaganza plans! We recommend bringing 8 pieces of clothes to swap.

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For the marketplace on Foley Street we will have some amazing businesses showing their stylish and quirky designs. Oleu Life will be there with some intoxicating natural oils and therapies, whilst Scallywag Society will have a range of repurposed cushions and bags.

12pm will see Grace Grove Band kicking off the day with their soul and RnB groove, which will be driven home by local rising star Cherry Earhart from 2pm. If you are a fan of local music then make sure you are around for these sets.

For all event details of Oxtravaganza head to the website.

STYLE - Eastside's Historic Department Stores

Sydney is a first class city, with some of the most iconic buildings in the world and home to true trailblazers in fashion, design, music and business. There is a history of style and innovation written on the walls of our historic city.

In times gone by families would make the long trip by train or coach into the CBD for a special occasion… visiting the department store. Before there was a Target, H&M and Sephora on every corner, Sydney’s department stores were a haven for beautiful designs, luxurious tea and cocktails; level upon level of sumptuous and unique styles from around the world. Forget fast-fashion it was the Mark Foys fur section and the Gowing’s cocktail lounge that made Sydney a true destination.

Here are some images of the good old days of Sydney’s most stylish department stores including David Jones and Grace Bros.

STYLE - Best places to shop without sticking to trends

There’s never been a better time for a new wardrobe! If you’re looking to invest in some more quality one-off pieces which never age then we have a few Eastside favourites in mind.

Darlinghurst’s Southwest Trader is the perfect place for those stunning accessories that everyone comments on when you enter the room, whether that’s a gorgeous leather satchel, or a statement ring that transforms the simplest of outfits. Or if it’s jackets, dresses and shoes that you are yearning for then the new Axl Bazaar in Potts Point is where you should be heading. Their stunning airy showroom and racks of vintage designers are drool worthy and very reasonably priced.

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Eastside is where to go for luxurious investment pieces for every shape, age and decade.

For a scarf to hand down to the next generation then take a trip to Kings Cross and Becker Minty, their unique high quality designs are meant for the most sophisticated of fashionistas. While you’re there take a look at their jewellery and bags, you’re sure to find something you want top take home.

By Freer has popped up in Potts Point! Not too far away from their original digs in Vaucluse their classic shapes are flattering for every woman and are the perfect starting place for layering statement pieces. The same goes for their neighbour Arida, with a bit more luxury behind it, here is a store where you can find silks, cashmeres, leathers and the best denims fits. For both men and women, you really don’t need to look further than Eastside.

STYLE - The 5 Best Places for Jewellery Shopping in Eastside

Ranging from handmade local beauties to on trend funky one-offs here are the top places to pick up every kind of jewellery.

  1. Pigeonhole - 3/285 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

This shop is a gem for bits and pieces and at a great price, if you have a teenager or are after a stylish stocking filler then  Pigeonhole  is for you.

This shop is a gem for bits and pieces and at a great price, if you have a teenager or are after a stylish stocking filler then Pigeonhole is for you.

2. Burton Metal Depository - 11 Foley Street, 'Fine Fellow' Concept Space, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

If you’re looking for sleek mens accessories then take a trip to  Fine Fellow  in Darlinghurst.

If you’re looking for sleek mens accessories then take a trip to Fine Fellow in Darlinghurst.

3. Becker Minty - SHOP 7, IKON BUILDING, 81 MACLEAY STREET ENTER VIA, Manning St, Potts Point NSW 2011

For more sophisticated tastes,  Becker Minty  has a mix of jewellery and accessories. This is where you should head for something truly special.

For more sophisticated tastes, Becker Minty has a mix of jewellery and accessories. This is where you should head for something truly special.

4. Southwest Trader - 36 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021

For a global and exotic style, head to  South West Trader  and browse through their range of unique and one off pieces.

For a global and exotic style, head to South West Trader and browse through their range of unique and one off pieces.

5. Francis Street Atelier - 38 Francis St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

The most stunning  local handmade designs are found here.  Lalita Peeranan is the owner and maker and will make sure you find the perfect piece for that special someone.

The most stunning local handmade designs are found here. Lalita Peeranan is the owner and maker and will make sure you find the perfect piece for that special someone.

STYLE - Have you been naughty or nice? Baby Likes To Pony has some really kinky treats for Christmas.

The provocateurs of Surry Hills are here to save you from last minute Christmas panic for a “special someone”. Everything from lingerie to erotic accessories are available and the staff are super open, super helpful and ready to talk all things sexy.

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Make this Christmas something a bit more exciting.

Find them on South Dowling Street next to the Beauchamp Hotel or online here.