FEEDING OUR IMAGINATIONS: SYDNEY'S MOST INSPIRING RESTAURANTS

As designers, we are continually translating the world into our work, taking inspiration from our surroundings to inform our projects in unique ways.

Restaurant interiors, particularly, are a constant source of inspiration, especially in Sydney where restaurateurs have fully embraced the old saying, ‘we eat first with our eyes.’ For us, dining out is an aesthetic experience as much as it is a culinary one, as we gobble up ideas for provocative compositions, creative use of colour and an enriching take of materials and textures.

We invite you to some of our favourite spots that feed our mouths and minds alike.

Franca – Potts Point

Image via Broadsheet

Image via Broadsheet

Franca is a little slice of Paris just a hop, skip and jump away from our studio; all charm and elegance with its cherry red velvet chairs, parquetry floors and marble detailing. You feel chic, and all at once at home and far away, simply sitting in one of their green leather booths.

Fred’s – Paddington

Image via Merivale

Image via Merivale

The moment you walk through the front door at Fred’s there is a distinct feeling of coming home. A home that is always warm and welcoming, with the most saliva-inducing scents wafting from the stove. The centre-piece is the open-plan kitchen complete with an island-bench and front row seats to the kitchen theatrics.

French farmhouse style is at work with its cream-painted bricks, wooden bench tops and a wall of vintage cutting boards, all adding to the week-long relaxed vibe usually only reserved for long Sunday lunches with family and friends.

Blanca – Bondi

Image via Broadsheet

Image via Broadsheet

True to its name, Blanca’s interior unfolds in a monochromatic palette of crisp, white textured walls with contrasting dark furniture. It’s minimal elegance at its best, reflecting the refined atmosphere of Bondi and drawing focus to the culinary adventure of Japanese Mediterranean fusion. Sometimes simple is best.

 Bert’s – Newport

Image via Delicious

Image via Delicious

Image via Broadsheet

Image via Broadsheet

Part high-end brasserie, part 1930’s holiday manor, stepping inside Bert’s is to be transported to an altogether more decadent, bygone era.

An olive green and pink palette continues the old-school attitude, while vintage tropical prints, pastel panelled walls and rattan furniture create a sense of vacation glamour, perfectly complimenting the seafood heavy menu.

Fonda – Bondi

Image via Yellowtrace

Image via Yellowtrace

Image via Yellowtrace

Image via Yellowtrace

A vibrant and youthful palette of rust, blush pink and powder blue welcomes those who walk through Fonda’s doors.

Studio Esteta, the team behind the restaurant’s fit out, took inspiration from modern Mexican architecture choosing curved and arch shapes to create a warm and welcoming setting that stays true to the brand’s motto of ‘mi casa, su casa.’

The textured wall finishes, rattan screens and rust-toned encaustic tiles all contribute to the feeling of stepping inside an authentic Mexican eatery.

Reign - Sydney

Image via Broadsheet

Image via Broadsheet

Reign-at-the-QVB_cocktailsandbars.jpg

Like the love-child of a Marie Antoinette palace and Millennial pink cocktail bar, Reign offers the kind of setting that demands decadent dinners and more than a few glasses of fizz.

The interior is a haven of blush pink tones and brass detailing. No luxury has been spared: marble clads almost every surface and Romanesque grand arched windows overlook Town Hall and George Street.

LONG WEEKEND TREATS FOR EVERY BUNNY!

Just like bunnies, this year we’ve been hopping like crazy from one week to the next, and then one month to the next without stopping!

So, we are jumping for joy ahead of all that next week has to offer – the spicy sweet scent of freshly baked hot cross buns served with dripping golden butter, our ever-growing bounty of delectable chocolate treats, only for them to disappear faster than the White Rabbit as we while away the eggtra-long long weekend spent at home or away, with family and friends.

Join our Easter hunt as we discover some eggcellent ways to make next weekend seem even longer . . .

CHOCOL'ART

It could be easy to devour all of our chocolatey sweets before the Easter Bunny has officially finished doing his rounds, but having a basket filled with art-like treats almost makes them too beautiful to eat! And will most certainly make the weekend seem much longer if we take just one bite at a time . . .

Quite simply, if  Ms Peacock  doesn't LOVE it, it's not on the menu.

Quite simply, if Ms Peacock doesn't LOVE it, it's not on the menu.

A  Coco Chocolate  organic chocolate egg painted with cacao butter artwork simply melts away as the chocolate is eaten.

A Coco Chocolate organic chocolate egg painted with cacao butter artwork simply melts away as the chocolate is eaten.

Bibelot coloured gemstone Easter eggs are precious indeed!

SWEET SECRETS

HA! If only we could take just one bite at a time!

Our chocolate stash isn’t the only thing that we’ll be devouring next weekend. We’ll be putting our feet up, sinking deep in to a comfy couch and devouring all the latest interior design inspiration including the current April issue of Belle magazine featuring our beautiful Victoria Street project!

Dedicated to 'inspiring spaces decked out in luxury materials and sophisticated details' the annual 'Hot kitchens & cool bathrooms' special showcases a stunning collection of Australia's most spectacular new designs by leading interior designers and studios.

We’ll be dreaming of cooking up an Easter feast in our  Victoria Street  honey-toned kitchen featured in the current issue of  Belle . . .

We’ll be dreaming of cooking up an Easter feast in our Victoria Street honey-toned kitchen featured in the current issue of Belle . . .

. . . and then post-lunch when somebunny else is soaking the dishes, we’ll dream of sinking deep into the serenity of our Victoria Street guest bath. But shhhhh, it will be our  little secret.

. . . and then post-lunch when somebunny else is soaking the dishes, we’ll dream of sinking deep into the serenity of our Victoria Street guest bath. But shhhhh, it will be our little secret.

CHECKING OUT

Speaking of secrets . . . how about we get out of town and well off the beaten track? If we could hide away from it all next weekend and not have to share our chocolate haul with anyone, there’s nowhere we’d rather escape to than Casa Cook on Rhodes, Greece.

Your poolside paradise awaits at Casa Cook Rhodes. The farther you go, the farther you’ll leave the crowds behind . . .

Your poolside paradise awaits at Casa Cook Rhodes. The farther you go, the farther you’ll leave the crowds behind . . .

CHECKING IN

But that would be terribly selfish of us . . . remember, sharing is caring!

So, perhaps we stay in town and re-live our childhood scavenger hunt days with a grown-up twist, as we adventure down the rabbit hole of Sydney’s inner suburb of Barrangaroo.

Seeing, sipping and salivating on all that the beautifully alive foreshore playground has to offer, I suggest we start at Smoke – the newest rooftop bar at at Barangaroo House.

Smoke  has just been awarded Sydney's Best New Bar at the 2018 Time Out Bar Awards.

Smoke has just been awarded Sydney's Best New Bar at the 2018 Time Out Bar Awards.

Make sure you dress to impress and match the stylish cocktails on offer at  Smoke .

Make sure you dress to impress and match the stylish cocktails on offer at Smoke.

Wishing every bunny a happy and safe looooong weekend.

CHOCOLATE INTERIORS = DELICIOUS DESIGN

It is no secret that I am a chocolate lover. In fact, who am I kidding? My name is Stuart, and I am a chocoholic.

With Easter fast approaching and supermarket shelves stacking up my colourfully foiled friends (or foes?) higher and higher with each passing day, I’m finding it hard to think of anything other than chocolate! So why not turn a little distraction into big inspiration . . .

The chocolate palette has been a magical ingredient in interior design schemes the world over and across many different style tastes for centuries. Evoking warmth and bringing richness to any space and many an accessory, a delicious addition of chocolate implies a true sense of luxury. From rich tanned leathers to soft possum throws, we really can have our cake and eat it too with the limitless choice of chocolate tones, finishes, fabrics, furniture, textures and accessories on offer.

Feeling inspired by my love of all things chocolate, here is my recipe for the perfect chocolate interior, making them almost good enough to eat!

Chocolate stained timber floors throughout our  Greenknowe Avenue  project lends a moody, masculine feel to this bachelor pad.

Chocolate stained timber floors throughout our Greenknowe Avenue project lends a moody, masculine feel to this bachelor pad.

The use of dark chocolate veneer alongside lighter white stone in our  Bourke Street  bathroom creates a classically crisp and clean finish with an added layers of richness and warmth.

The use of dark chocolate veneer alongside lighter white stone in our Bourke Street bathroom creates a classically crisp and clean finish with an added layers of richness and warmth.

Walls adorned in chocolate tones provide warmth and serenity in our  Bourke Street  master bedroom. The addition of fresh white linen and sheer drapes completes the luxurious yet inviting space

Walls adorned in chocolate tones provide warmth and serenity in our Bourke Street master bedroom. The addition of fresh white linen and sheer drapes completes the luxurious yet inviting space

Chocolate coloured wood makes a bold statement moving from the master bedroom to master bath in our  Bourke Street 2  project. Although very solid and heavy, the use of timber adds a naturally rich and warm texture to the spaces, softening the masculine lines.

Chocolate coloured wood makes a bold statement moving from the master bedroom to master bath in our Bourke Street 2 project. Although very solid and heavy, the use of timber adds a naturally rich and warm texture to the spaces, softening the masculine lines.

Tan coloured leathers lends a subtle softness to the surrounding darker tones in our  Bourke Street 2  study.

Tan coloured leathers lends a subtle softness to the surrounding darker tones in our Bourke Street 2 study.

And since we’re talking about all things chocolate, it would be remiss of me not to share Architectural Digest’s Top 10 Best-Designed Chocolate Shops Around the World aka my Bucket List!

However, if chocolate is not your poison, then why not treat yourself to a luxury getaway over the Easter long weekend? The amazing Seidler House in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales will do me just fine. Now all I need is a chocolate fondue fountain with extra strawberries . . .

All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design