Once a neglected inner city address, Collingwood is now a mecca for shoppers and bar hoppers, and the streets are packed with local designers, craft breweries and cutting-edge cocktail bars. When furniture designer Mark Tuckey first moved to Collingwood in the early ’90s his friends looked down their nose at him; now they all want to move there. “When I opened on Smith Street in the early ’90s you could shoot a shotgun down the street on a weekend and not hit anyone, now you can’t move on a weekend,” says Tuckey of his showroom dedicated to custom-made wooden designer pieces. “The area has become very popular of late and more interesting shops have crept in.”
Those shops include Pickings & Parry on Gertrude Street, where Chris Pickings and his team sell menswear that manages to be modern yet with nods to the past, invoking well-dressed mid-century explorers who were ready for anything.
Nearby on Peel Street, Oxford Larder opened just last year and is the second outing from the team behind South of Johnston. Oxford Larder prides itself on a seasonal menu packed with free-range bacon, house-made baked beans and plenty of baked goods from popular Melbourne bakery La Madre. Come evening, Collingwood’s great and good are pulling up a stool at The Everleigh, which has a similar love of old-world craftsmanship to Pickings& Parry and Mark Tuckey, only in a glass.
Yarraville is a rare combination: peaceful, green, full of life and only a few minutes from the centre of Melbourne. “I say that it is like living in a country town but only six kilometres from the city,” says Kris Jansson manager of the Sun Theatre. The Art Deco Sun Theatre has been independently run since 1938 and attracted Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino and actors Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson to the ’hood. “We don’t show commercials before our films, we show a Sun Theatre newsreel about the community,” says Jansson.“One news reel was about us restoring a 70mm projector so we could show [Tarantino’s film] The Hateful Eight.”
Around the corner, English pasty chef Matt Forbes offers the city’s finest breakfasts at Cobb Lane. Don’t leave without trying his selection of doughnuts, pastries and beautifully decorated desserts. Afterwards grab a coffee at buzzing café Corner Shop or grab something stronger in glamorous surrounds at Acqua e Vino. Find the perfect retro-cool gift at Village Idiom, a quirky vintage store full of kitsch gifts and great mid-century fashions.
On a nice day simply chill out in Yarraville Gardens, the green expanse at the suburb’s heart that has a constant roster of food trucks serving burgers, churros or Greek street food.
Sitting in The Henson, Young Henry’s brew in hand, you know this is the sort of local pub that people change postcodes for. Friendly, welcoming and wonderfully diverse, The Henson is the embodiment of this inner-west Sydney suburb.
“The pub has been here for 90 years and is part of the neighbourhood story,” says general manager Brigette Jakobsen. “We get a dynamic crowd, a lot of young families, long-standing members of the Greek and Vietnamese communities and creative people.” Attached to the pub is Grocery +Grog, a bottle shop with a difference, offering artisan cheese and smoked meats.
Elsewhere, Addison Road is a meeting place for the Marrickville community who congregate at the Marrickville Organic Market or shop at the treasure trove that is ReverseGarbage, a second-hand shop that sells everything from shop dummies to stage sets.
Signs of this bohemian neighbourhood maturing are seen at hip barber Tooth & Nail, which even has a signature shop scent. And no trip to Marrickville is complete without a visit to Cornersmith, a family-run business that offers two cafes and a picklery to the local residents, as well as cheese-making classes, pickling lessons and courses on how to make infusions.
Bowden, South Australia
Bowden is a neighbourhood that is growing fast, but it is also keeping a keen eye on the sense of community that drew people here in the first place. Described as the heart of Bowden, Plant 4 is a warehouse space on Third Street for markets, co-working, pop-up food and events set in an old Clipsal factory.
“Bowden has this rich industrial history,” says Plant 4owner Jono Kaitatzis. “We designed the space as a way to bring the community together via markets, events and food. We are attracting the old Bowden community as well as the new community.” Jono Kaitatzis says the area is special because of the pride locals take in where they live and it is a suburb focussed on the future. “One thing I’m very proud of is that our building has a 5-star green rating, we are very passionate about sustainability,” Kaitatzis says.
With up to 3000 new houses coming online in the next two years, Bowden is Adelaide’s growth precinct but Kaitatzis says developers are aware that they need strong community spaces. One such meeting place is Entropy, a multi-purpose events space set inside a relocated rail shed. Here you can eat from a menu that champions South Australian farmers and producers or hang out at the Friday Char Bar featuring local meats cooked over hot coals. Over at Jarmer’s Kitchen, third-generation chef Chris Jarmer produces deceptively simple meals packed full of passion.
Something is brewing down in Beaconsfield, a fast-growing suburb in the city of Fremantle. It could be its close proximity to one of the state’s – if not the country’s – leading purveyors of craft beer. From its stunning waterfront location, the LittleCreatures Brewhouse pours a wide selection of craft brews in a sunny, dog-friendly beer garden right by the waterside. Try a tasting paddle to get the full range of beers on offer and you can always join a brewery tour to learn even more about the way this hugely successful craft brewer does things.
One of the biggest draws for Fremantle foodies is The Mantle, a hub in the city’s east end.This multi-purpose warehouse space offers restaurants, a cocktail bar, a co-working space and gallery as well as the finest burgers in the west. Short Order Burger Co churns out righteous stacks, flavoured milkshakes and perfect shoestring fries.
A loaf from Crust& Company Artisan Baking is the perfect start to a day in Newmarket, a leafy northern suburb known for its hidden treasures. One such gem is The Tiller Coffee, with the ideal pick-me-up for a tropical day. The Tiller team uses a seasonal house blend from Wolff Coffee Roasters as well as a host of single origin guest coffees; pair it with a freshly baked pastry from, yep, Crust & Company, which supply The Tiller with delicious treats.
The creative nature of Newmarket is also on show in galleries like Lisa Taylor King, a visual artist who tries to capture the wild beauty of Australia on canvas. Add in cycling trails by Breakfast Creek, access to the bushy Bank Street Reserve and some beautiful old Queenslander style houses and you have a Brisbane suburb well and truly on the rise.
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