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.

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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.

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EAT & DRINK - Eastside gets the Nigella tick of approval.

There are few people in the world that do not melt when they hear Nigella Lawson’s dulcet tones as she waxes lyrical on her favourite subject - food! The Domestic Goddess is a household name and has returned many times to our shores. A Broadsheet article alerted us to the Nigella food stops on her most recent trip down under and were were rather chuffed to find not one but five Eastside venues on the list!

She first visited breakfast favourite Bills in Darlinghurst for a healthy injection of toast with avocado, coriander and kimchi. A classic Sydney favourite. Onward to beloved Billy Kwong for blue swimmer crab, prawn, chicken, and duck with plums where upon finishing her meal pronounced it “joyous”.

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Over at Woolloomooloo’s Flour and Stone Nigella popped a recipe from chef Nadine Ingram’s new cookbook onto her site (stars really are just like us!) and as a quick snack, opted for the chocolate manjari cake.

This was followed by a visit to The Apollo, where she shared eleven dishes with Sydney’s food scene stalwart Christine Manfield, no doubt an incredible meeting of minds (and taste buds). Then on to Alberto’s Lounge where she dined on octopus and chickpeas and spaghetti with sardine and fennel.

If Nigella approves, then who are we to argue? We will be spending our weekend following in her footsteps and indulging in the splendour of Eastside food delights.

EAT & DRINK - The best places to detox in Eastside

January calls of all kinds of overhauls. None is more significant than that of your health. Whether you are looking to lose the post Christmas bloat or make some lasting changes to your lifestyle, Eastside is home to some of the best health and wellness outlets.

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We are loving yoga and reformer pilates at One Hot Yoga in Potts Point, and the fresh whole food breakfasts at Ouroboros Wholefoods in Surry Hills.

Another gem is the outdoor training in the many parks around Eastside, Rushcutters Bay is a sweat fest thanks to Rushcutters Bay Boot Camp and the pool is splashing from 6am at Andrew Boy Charlton in Woolloomooloo. If you’re after a flexible training option then maybe ClassPass is for you? The credits based gym membership gives you access to multiple classes and fitness experiences around the city, and means you can jump around town, invite friends and really be a part of Eastside.

If none of these establishments are your thing, don’t forget that Eastside is bordered by some of the most stunning foreshore walks in Sydney. The Botanic Gardens are the ideal spot for a picnic or take a stroll down to Elizabeth Bay and then along the wharves of Woolloomooloo, finishing with a fresh salad at Fratelli Fresh or a cutting edge play from the Sydney Theatre Company.

Eastside is all about experiences, the best of both and balancing creativity and fun with activity and health, take advantage of your neighbourhood in 2019!

EAT & DRINK - Tiny Bars are Sydney's latest trend. Here are the top 5 in Eastside.

Tiny Houses are all the rage and now it’s small bars. From hole-in-the-wall sake bars to the suave and intimate wine sanctuary, Eastside has it all.

  1. Osaka Bar - Shop/50 Llankelly Pl, Potts Point NSW 2011

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2. This Must Be The Place - 239 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

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3. Black Bottle - Shop 2/118-116 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

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4. Pocket Bar - 13 Burton St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

5. Nom Japanese - 166 Riley St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

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