FACT: Double Bay was called Keltie Cove before 1821. The present day name comes from the two geographical bays between Point Piper and Darling Point. It became a place to be seen in the 60s for its’ glamourous social set and luxury lifestyle.
My Double Bay love affair started on a wintry evening trip for ice cream in 1992, the year I arrived in Sydney. Shocked by the Aussie tradition of frozen treats on a cold night (are you serious?), I was not so keen, but I could see from the sparkle in my friend’s eyes, I would have to experience it for myself.
We queued in the cold outside a "Double Bay institution", French Riviera, among the hungry buzzing crowd. Opened in 1980, by Jean-Paul Pulcet, ‘The Riviera’ serves up oh-so-rich and creamy confections that Jean-Paul himself has handmade for almost 40 years! His love for ice cream is long lasting - so is my love for Double Bay.
For me it was love at the first sight. From window shopping through elegant shop displays of glamorous clothes and luxury jewellery and designer homewares, to continental streets with flashy cars and alfresco dining. What a scene! I made up my mind immediately that I would open my own boutique in Double Bay one day.
I found work with Fashion Designer, Stuart Membery’s Double Bay studio and learned to drink and fuel my love for coffee months later, while I studied fashion at East Sydney TAFE.
Little known fact: it was a homesick Hungarian, who escaped from a war-torn country, who introduced café culture to the suburb. The first espresso café in the neighbourhood was George’s opened in 1956.
No wonder my Budapest born husband’s favourite coffee is espresso. (And no, I didn’t meet him by placing a bunch of bananas in my basket in Woollies on a Wednesday night – as the flirtatious code was – or is – of the day!)
Among the new and trendy eateries were, the long-standing '21 Espresso' and my favourite, 'The Cosmopolitan Double Bay'. Their goulash soup and french toast and crepe kept me going back for more.
Although my fashion dreams fizzled and many boutiques have gone, my love for Double Bay hasn’t changed. Like a fine wine, my affections have matured, I see beyond the glitz and glam.
The beauty of life enjoyed in this ‘Ritzy’ harbourside suburb, has eternally won my heart. However, apart from the high quality shopping, I now know it's the people who live and shop in Double Bay, who make it what it is and the reason I love Double Bay.
As a result of my continued affection for Double Bay, I organise social gatherings for the community - To attend the next event call 0414 690 218.
180 Campbell Parade Bondi Beach NSW 2026
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- Since 30-01-20
- Posted by April Strauss
- Bayside Area*
- Key Words: Love at First Sight, Double Bay, Fashion, French Riviera, Exceptional Ice Cream, Community Gatherings, 21 Espresso, Flashy Cars, Alfresco Dining, Hungarian Cafe Culture, Between Point Piper & Darling Point.
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