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Sydney Confidential

Sydney was long regarded as the edge of the known world, looking to other shores for inspiration. But the rest of the world is now flocking to Sydney. Whilst the USA was once viewed as the ultimate lifestyle mecca, Australia is now the place to be in terms of living. Nine Sydneysiders who are Nespresso Club Members give a tour of their paradise down under.

Straight lines

Nothing in the aesthetics of Sydney is left untended. It’s a land of where order and clean lines live alongside cosmopolitan chaos. White-clad bowls players roll their leather balls along an impeccably-mown green. Seawater pools are barely separated from the ocean by a fragile sea wall. The raucous cries of Cockatoos with their neatly-combed crests remind you which continent you are on.


Sydney and its population seem to be gripped by wanderlust, a wayfaring temperament. Most Sydneysiders head off travelling in early adulthood, perhaps to make up for a feeling of loss, thinking that a visit to the other hemisphere might be a cure for bipolar disorder. They return with the world in their pockets, and their rich pickings add to the wealth of this ocean-side city.


Member since 2002

Robert’s mother was English, which is probably why he was a tea-drinker for so long. With the Italian culture that is ever-present in the city, it was inevitable that this Chartered Accountant should eventually get into coffee – he now prefers VIVALTO. Although the 2000 Olympic Games brought this bay to the world’s attention, Australia has been open to world cultures for many years, granting special visas to chefs, which has had an extremely positive impact on local cuisine. But of all Sydney’s delights, Robert still prefers the smell of the bush, which still holds out against the urban jungle.

Robert prefers less touristy spots like Manly.

MANY AUSTRALIAN CITY-DWELLERS GREW UP IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, and they are very attached to the fragrances of their childhood that waft down from the papaya, frangipani and eucalyptus trees around Sydney. Although he obviously recommends the lush walk from Bondi Beach to Tamarama, Robert prefers less touristy spots such as the suburb of Manly, about half-an-hour north of the Opera House, an area loved by surfers and boasting the best Italian restaurant in Oceania, PILU AT FRESHWATER, which looks out over the sea, back towards its owner’s homeland of Sardinia. A nearby kiosk serves up panini with pancetta and scrambled eggs throughout the day. Heading on a bit further in the same direction, you come to the Palm Beach lagoon, where the secretive BOATHOUSE rustles up fish & chips and BLT in a sleepy backwater atmosphere, with seaplanes touching down in the background. The traditional NIELSEN PARK CAFE is a delightful Italian eatery in a secluded picture- postcard cove, protected from sharks throughout the year with safety nets. The best breakfasts in the city are available from another Italian café, FRATELLI PARADISO in the city centre.


Member since 2004

In Sydney, outdoor living is an integral part of life. Joseph lives opposite Clovelly Beach, one of the communities that persuaded the Bank of Australia to issue waterproof banknotes so that surfers could keep them in their trunks. He runs a handmade furniture design workshop from this ocean-side location, and is addicted to ARPEGGIO macchiato.

A curiosity shop, florist and porcelain warehouse, alongside old hunting trophies.

JOSEPH DESIGNS THINGS TO LAST AT LEAST A LIFETIME OR TWO. Many of his favourite retailers share this philosophy of durability. DAVID MET NICOLE gives another life to forgotten treasures from an industrial revolution or the closure of a primary school, while SEASONAL CONCEPTS is a strange combination of curiosity shop, florist and porcelain warehouse, alongside some old hunting trophies that seem to have been pawned off by a hard-up lord or lady. Another interesting haunt is ICI ET LA, where Mike McEnearney, former chef at Spice Temple, cooks up his delights once a month in the midst of a jumble of interior design artefacts. Reserve a place by e-mail, in the hope that you will be one of the lucky few to get a confirmation message in reply. CHEE SOON & FITZGERALD sells pretty china and a wide range of African, Japanese and Indian fabrics whose designs are based on previous pieces (just like antique tapestries would be copied from a master piece).


Members since 2009

Linda has been the head accountant of the same company for twenty-three years. She recently took a Nespresso machine to her office. Her boss was delighted, and soon she was having to make repeat orders several times a week. She enjoys DULSÃO do Brasil after all her meals, preferring a cappuccino to a dessert. Linda was won over by her daughter Catherine, to the great surprise of friends and family who had previously only ever seen her drink tea. She now wouldn’t dream of going home to her native Philippines without a PIXIE in her luggage.

Sydney boasts two great temples of shopping.

LINDA HAS BEEN LIVING IN SYDNEY FOR THIRTYFOUR YEARS, TIME ENOUGH TO KNOW EXACTLY WHY SHE LOVES THE CITY. It’s clearly a stunning setting. Anyone who strolls along the winding promenades, among pearly-white cliffs that look like they are sculpted from mother-of-pearl, cannot help but be won over. The city boasts the rainbow arches of Harbour Bridge and the worldfamous Opera House. But Linda is more attached to DAVID JONES and the QVB (Queen Victoria Building), Sydney’s two great temples of shopping. QVB was opened in 1898, and is probably the oldest mall in the Pacific. David Jones is a highclass department store with a food hall where you can be sure to find a delicious surprise to slip into your shopping bag. Linda’s daughter Catherine prefers window-shopping in the designer boutiques of PADDINGTON or treating herself at COCO CHOCOLATE, a box of delights run by artisan chocolatier Rebecca.


Member since 2010

The name Pearl suits her down to the ground. She is a slight young waitress with mother-of-pearl skin and a love of coffees with a fruity note, like VOLLUTO. She left Thailand to come to Sydney while she was still a girl. She loves her adopted multicultural home – it’s the whole world in one city, from the Thai restaurants in Newtown, past the Korean grills of Strathfield, to the Vietnamese bistros in Marrickville.

The whole world in one city.

PEARL WORKS AT SPICE I AM, A DARLINGHURST RESTAURANT, which she describes as loyal to Thai traditions, but daring enough to update them for today’s world. Peanuts are replaced with cashews, for instance, in order to cater to those with allergies. Her favourite dishes are Betel-leaf tempuras with shrimp and spicy yum gai salad with chicken, lemon grass and ginger. Cocktails are also served, including the Pink Paparazzi, designed by Pearl herself, with pomegranate seeds, lime juice, raspberries, mint, kaffir lime and a dash of gin. Further down Crown Street, she recommends the RED LANTERN for Vietnamese home cooking and the outstanding Japanese-inspired TOKO, featuring a multitude of small dishes orbiting like a mini solar system. In the vibrant Kings Cross district, JIMMY LIKS mixes up a delicious fusion of Asian food in the dusky interplay of shadow and light.


Members since 2007

George is an IT Consultant and has travelled the world with his job, but has never been tempted to move away. He feels Sydney has everything a father could dream of for bringing up his children. George and Penny are both from a Cypriot background. Along with many other Greeks, their parents came to Australia in the 1950s to start a new life, luggage packed full of fine foods. They love their European roots, but prefer a strong LIVANTO to the traditional Turkish coffee, which they find as appealing to drink as mud.

Spanish tapas with an antipodean twist.

SYDNEY HAS BECOME A PROMISED LAND FOR EUROPEAN CUISINE, A PLACE WHERE FOOD IS MORE REFINED, HAVING SHED ANY TRADITIONAL DEAD WEIGHT. It is here, nearly ten thousand miles across the globe, that European food has found a way to create accessible concepts that even children like George and Penny’s daughter Chrystall (8) and older brother Stephen (11) can enjoy. BODEGA offers Spanish tapas with an antipodean twist – a flavour of the Southern hemisphere. The bar does its utmost to draw in its punters, with an off-beat take on Spanish identity, both on the plate and in the surroundings, with surreal murals, tattooed arms, massive quiffs and Dali-style moustaches. The WINE LIBRARY continues the Spanish theme, slicing up tapas and bocadillos across its traditional counter, leading you into temptation. LUCIO, down on Crown Street, serves up the city’s best pizzas, and the EATHOUSE DINER takes you to the wilderness of America, the other continent that Old Europe has always loved to explore.


Members since 1998

Mathew is a Manager at the Australian stock market. Larissa was born in São Paulo, the coffee metropolis whose region supplies one fifth of the world’s needs. In Brazil, in fi ne São Paulo tradition, she drank short black coffees throughout the day, in small but very regular doses! However, after fourteen years in Sydney, her habits have clearly been influenced by the people around her. She now takes her ROMA with large quantities of hot milk, and even drinks it with her meal, instead of after dining.

Larissa’s habits have clearly been influenced by Sydney life.

THE CROCKERS HAVE TWO CHILDREN, RAFAELA AND GABRIEL. WHEN THEY ARE NOT OUT HORSERIDING IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS, the family hangs out near their home in Kirribill, a harbour-side suburb on the North Shore of Sydney, with all the benefits of city living, without the disadvantages. Mathew and Larissa recommend the BATHER’S PAVILION CAFE, adjoining the colonial grandeur of the gastronomic restaurant of the same name, with its airs of an ocean-going liner moored up in the quiet waters off Balmoral Beach. The pizzas are excellent and the children can draw and colour in on the tables before running off to play on the beach. Amidst the aisles of the Italian food emporium FOURTH VILLAGE PROVIDORE, the thin-crust pizzas are worthy of the fi nest Napolitano traditions – and gnocchi-lovers will find plenty to enjoy as well. The family enjoy taking the ferry into the city, with the children peering out of the portholes. They enjoy eating out at PORTEÑO, an Argentinean steakhouse offering enormous portions and an atmosphere that reminds Larissa of her native South America. She rounds off her meal with a strong Espresso, just like in São Paulo, in LATTERIA, a miniature Italian coffee bar.


Member since 2006

Deborah discovered Nespresso during a fi lm shoot in Paris, where she was working as a make-up artist, hairdresser and stylist. Since then she has been unable to resist the velvety texture of her favourite ARPEGGIO. Despite loving this little taste of Europe, she doesn’t think she would be able to leave the tranquil, ocean-side delights of Sydney, even though one of the world’s biggest financial districts is just ten minutes away. It feels so easy to get a change of scenery here, just like flicking between travel and cooking channels on the TV.

The sea in its purest state, that of the prehistoric era.

AFTER TOKYO, SYDNEY FISH MARKET IS THE SECOND LARGEST IN THE ENTIRE PACIFIC. Deborah comes here to enjoy sashimi made with freshly-caught produce, hampers full of oysters and octopus fritters that are so fresh they are almost wriggling. She also likes checking out the excellent cooking utensils, as well as the view of the sea in its purest state, that of the prehistoric era with its dinosaur-sized crabs and sea snails. Up on the tranquil headlands of Tamarama, overlooking the beach, M DELI CAFE offers excellent sandwiches on bread from IGGY’S bakery, the unrivalled king of sourdough. It is a genuine working bakery, without a proper shop front – just a large window showing you what’s going on in the ovens. If you want a taste of another world, the easiest thing is to head down to Leichhardt, Sydney’s Little Italy, where the bakery MEZZAPICA serves up unusual cakes in the form of Louis Vuitton bags and glorious sfogliatelle ricce pastries that are best enjoyed on the outdoor terrace with a cappuccino.


Member since 2010

John takes his Espressos short without milk or sugar. Although Sydney is packed full of little cafés, the best ones are not always on his route to the office. So John has kitted himself out with a CitiZ machine, that now churns out thirty-odd cups of INDRIYA from India each week, not to mention the DECAFFEINATO he drinks in the evening. But he’s no home-bird at heart. His job in Customer Relations for American Express gives John an ever-changing schedule, with plenty of new experiences to enjoy. No two days are ever the same!

A rush of new experiences to discover.

JOHN SEEMS TO THINK THAT IF HEAVEN ISN’T ACTUALLY A PLACE ON EARTH, SYDNEY IS THE NEXT BEST THING. There are so many options, so many new things to discover, new views that you’ve never seen before. You can head down to HARRY’S CAFE DE WHEELS with a group of friends for a quick hot dog, opposite the old Woolloomooloo warehouses that have been converted into a luxury hotel complex. Or why not take afternoon tea with scones and clotted cream at the VICTORIA ROOM, decked out like a colonial officers’ club with its old babysoft leather armchairs? If not, you could sink into the deep-pile carpet, sofas and dusky atmosphere of EAUDE- VIE, a throwback to the golden age of cocktail bars between the Prohibition and the early days of the Cuban revolution. Enjoy some tasty bites with your drinks. And if you’re still feeling hungry, you could head to BOURKE STREET BAKERY, where an accordion player entertains patrons each morning as they wait to taste the best pies in town.


Member since 2011

For this former architect, the two main attractions in Sydney are the Opera House and the many places to drop anchor. Michal is a real old sea dog; he and his boat have visited many different harbours around the world. He describes the Sydney coast as the ideal place to go boating all year round on his little racing yacht, the Indulgence. In his professional career, this recently-converted ROSABAYA de Colombia drinker was lucky enough to work with legendary architect Jørn Utzon on the biggest project in the history of Australia, the Opera House.

Michal is a real old sea dog; he has visited many harbours around the world.

WHEN HE IS NOT TRAVELLING TO THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD, Michal spends plenty of time at the little yacht club he used to chair - one of the oldest in Australia. SYDNEY AMATEUR SAILING CLUB is close to his home in Mosman, in the tropical luxuriance of a typical little cove on this secretive bit of coastline. Although he sometimes heads down first thing in the morning after two super-short coffees, the atmosphere is livelier on weekend nights, when the bar is buzzing with excitable sailors. In Australia, pubs are known as “hotels”, like the famous LONDON HOTEL, maybe because people spend more time there at night than in their beds. If he’s looking for a waterside treat, Michal heads to RIPPLES, which seems to fl oat on its jetty in Chowder Bay. If he ever ventures away from the tranquillity of the North Shore, he likes to have a drink at the unmissable SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, enjoying the bold, avant-garde lines of its architecture and looking out from the solitary peninsula at all the bustle of the bay.

Sara Stuart-Smith is the manager of the Pitt Street Boutique. She met us in the heart of Sydney’s main shopping street in a mall which was recently opened Following persistent local demand.

Sara Stuart-Smith, where exactly are we at the moment?

SARA STUART-SMITH : We are right on what is literally the city’s busiest street, on the ground floor in the Westfi eld Pitt St. Mall. It’s a very pretty shopping centre which has only just opened and provides the best views over Sydney from the city’s highest point – the top of the AMP Tower.

On the first floor, one of the boutique’s walls has been decorated with a composition inspired by aboriginal art...

S.S.-S. : The work of art behind me (photo top right) is called “Bush Tracks”. It was specially produced by the Balarinji design agency [see Cult Object] using Nespresso capsules. The graphic style symbolises the return of summer through its journey between ‘winter camp’ and an ideal destination on the freshwater banks.

Who are your customers?

S.S.-S. : There are so many people and they are all so amazingly diverse that it would be impossible to define them. There are single City workers, families at the weekends, passing tourists, city-dwellers looking for a place to relax and so many more.

Do celebrities ever come here?

S.S.-S. : Fashion stylist Alex Perry, stylist and magazine queen Donna Hay, celebrity chef Justin North and TV Presenter David Koch are among the many loyal Members who come to our Pitt Street Boutique.

What are the most popular grands crus?

S.S.-S. : Ristretto, Arpeggio, Roma and generally the Grands Crus with more body are the most successful. This is hardly surprising, as Australians usually drink their coffee with milk.

Do australians drink a lot of milk?

S.S.-S. : Most definitely. Australia has always had access to fresh dairy produce – they eat lots of cheese, yoghurts, icecreams, and cereal for breakfast. Admittedly, more and more people are beginning to enjoy our Grands Crus black. But more often, they are enjoyed with full milk, semi-skimmed milk and even soya milk as cappuccinos or fl at whites - a similar recipe but with a thicker foam.

Where to drink Nespresso coffee in Sydney

A selection of Sara Stuart-Smith’s favourite venues serving Nespresso grands crus.

There are two excellent restaurants right on the waterfront. The Berowra Waters , for its natural setting and the stunning Quay right in the heart of the urban jungle, which is well-placed in the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. There are plenty of hotel bars that trust Nespresso – hardly surprising in this city of connoisseurs. Sara recommends the Sheraton on the Park and the Shangri-La , two luxury establishments in an outstanding setting opposite the Opera House. Close to the Nespresso Boutique, there is also the Observatory Hotel with its fairytale décor. The Diamant Hotel in Potts Point is also worth a visit for its spectacular views out over the busy streets of Darlinghurst.

Production : Sandrine Giacobetti, Texte : Julien Bouré, Photography : Jean-Claude Amiel

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