Destination: 2050

No, this is not a post of me yearning to be 70 years old in 2050 but the mere postcode of where the ELG family live; otherwise known as Camperdown. When asked the question of where I live and I say Camperdown, the usual response is “ohhh near RPA hospital…” or “oh, near Sydney Uni..?” Both replies are correct but since residing in the 2050 area for the last 14 months, I now know it is much more than the suburb of both a major hospital and university. Situated in the thriving inner west of Sydney, surrounded by Annandale and Leichhardt on one end, Glebe as you stretch closer to the city and Newtown as you head past the hospital to colourful King Street, it is a suburb that I have come to love with its fabulous places to eat and other haunts to go! So, I feel it necessary to update you on the top 5 hotspots of postcode 2050:

1. Franks 

When Mr ELG and I moved into Camperdown, a friend of mine said that Franks was the local place to go to for pizza. A cheap and cheerful number and she recalled that the price of a large pizza was around the $12 mark. She was not wrong there. A family size pizza is $15. In an old fire station house on Parramatta Road, Franks serves up pizza and pasta to go and I almost always order “Franks Special”. Most nights, people pack the place from 6pm and the weekend lunch slots are equally as busy with family lunches packing the tables. Service is quick and the pizza is hot; a terrific combination most can’t go past and I certainly don’t!

2. Deus ex Machina

Part motorbike shop, part restaurant; this phrase from their site sums them up beautifully “Motorcyles for the postmodern world – silk purses out of sows’ ears.” This place also situated on Parramatta Road but closer to the city screams blood, sweat and tears. Oh and great food thrown in for good measure! Deus is iconic in Camperdown and you will likely find Mr ELG, BIT (baby in tow) and I there on a weekend for their spot-on breakfasts. They do a mean eggs hollandaise with Tasmanian salmon, baby spinach and asparagus. And when I wake with a sweet tooth to satisfy, I order the strawberry and lemon pancakes. Out the back there is the shop selling motorbikes (classics and new), clothes, leather jackets and accessories and if your bike needs a tune-up, there’s also a workshop attached. So don your leathers and get to Deus for a bit of grit, noise and bloody good coffee.

3. Butch

Discovering this place with BIT en route to Mothers group one morning, I bought a quick coffee and returned hours later to feast upon one of their homemade pies after spotting it earlier on. If you have read past posts, you will know about my love of pies and this one went above and beyond. Butch is a bit of a hole in the wall, at the bottom of a terrace, on a narrow street in Camperdown and when the winter chill is about, their cafe is one of the only locals that have a cosy fire burning to warm the hands while their food warms your soul.

4. Chef and the Cook

Ever the foodie on the hunt for the right tools to master my trade, this place hits the mark in every regard. I’m sure many a cook would have been in their kitchens at one point wishing for a utensil that somehow was not in their drawer or repertoire whether it be kitchen string to tie a chicken’s legs together before a roast, a piping bag to ice a cupcake, a peeler that leaves your fingers in tact afterwards or a balloon whisk to get enough air through egg whites. I have always thought to buy kitchen string instead of using the string Mr ELG bought at bunnings that’s blue and dreading a Bridget Jones blue soup kitchen moment and last week I finally purchased some along with some flat scales to accurately measure my ingredients. Just recently Chef and the Cook have also started stocking food for sale and have a wonderful Herbies spice selection amongst other jams, couverture chocolate, coloured sea salt and oils galore. So when you can’t be asked to fight the crowds at Peters of Kensington and need the perfect wooden spoon, head to Chef and the Cook for a great selection of tools and industry advice.

5. Camperdown Cellars

At the end of my street is a wonderful thing; Camperdown Cellars. Now there are bottle shops and then there are bottle shops. Not pretentious with their exhausting range of alcohol, top shelf reds and whites, aged whiskys, Penfold Grange and the best cider ever – I think the owners there must look at me with BIT and think; well frankly I can only imagine what they think! OK let’s get back to talking about the cider. One word; Rekorderlig. Mr ELG first tried this drop at a quaint Balmain pub and came home raving about it as if it was the best thing since sliced bread and well I agree with him as it most certainly is! Refined, crisp and clean; the taste of this cider is heavenly and at $8 a bottle is somewhat on the pricier end but well worth it. Served over ice on any afternoon; it is just a little bit of heaven. With flavours in pear, apple, strawberry-lime and a winter version, I recommend heading to the cellars just for this or to satisfy my other two cravings…there is always Pastabilities and tubs of Ben & Jerry’s in their freezers too. So you now know where to find me at 5pm too on any given day when I have no idea what to cook for dinner and I don’t want to go to Coles.

Now, I know I said top 5 but the new mum in me can’t help but add one more and rave about the bright red and green toystore at the end of my street (opposite the Cellars and across the road from Chef and the Cook)  – Kidstuff. A treasure trove of toys for kids of all ages; it stocks all the big brands as well as the obscure and unique. Whether your child is at rattle stage, building blocks, painting, gaming or just plain playing, you never walk out of this store empty handed. And one of the best things is that they do free wrapping with rainbow ribbons.

So type 2050 into your GPS or catch a bus down Parramatta Road and come visit, come play and always go where your heart desires.

Franks @ 137 Parramatta Road, Camperdown NSW 2050

Deus ex Machina @ 102-104 Parramatta Road, Camperdown NSW 2050

Butch @ 130 Church Street, Camperdown NSW 2050

Chef and the Cook @ 28-32 Mallett Street, Camperdown NSW 2050

Camperdown Cellars @ 140 Parramatta Road, Camperdown NSW 2050

Kidstuff @ 101 Parramatta Road, Camperdown NSW 2050

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Go Alfresco

This phrase actually reminds me most of year 9 Italian class with Mrs Rihani when she asked us to think about how many Italian words were actually already immersed in the English language….

Today, however I am actually talking about Alfresco, the wonderful store on Pittwater Road, Collaroy Sydney. Alfresco is a store I regularly go to when I have a spare moment to browse, forget about time and dream about all of the beautiful things that I could buy from Alfresco to have in my home.

From the moment I park my car and go through the side entrance to wander past the fresh flowers, through their corner store where it’s ever so tempting to buy some Barefoot Contessa to stock up the pantry with and into the Emporium of all of their major goodies, time stands still for me and I love this feeling.

Alfresco is situated on the corner of Pittwater Road and Ocean Grove, Collaroy and looks like a big Hamptons-style house with a large carpark at the front – perfect for impromptu drop-ins! It rivals Peters of Kensington as a superstore of goods offering a wide range of affordable brands; both wide-spread and exclusive. Where it differs from Peters however, is that it is always visually appeasing to the eye so no matter what display they have in the front window, it always transports you immediately to the vision that they have laid out before you. Last week for example, their furniture display was a combination of old-world safari meets tropical island Bahamas; there was a unique leather bar cabinet which I imagined I could use to just whip up a mojito to sip on and home fragrances from Sicilian brand Ortiga to ferry my senses to a faraway place. As you turn and walk a few steps away the mood changes and you find yourself looking at clean, white finishes and texturised fabrics and the style instantly becomes more country home-esque.

Alfresco’s kitchen range is hard to out-do and the owner of the store obviously has a love for baking as their range of bakeware, aprons, mixers, blenders, utensils and specific icing ingredients is extensive. One’s eye can never go past the rainbow of colours that Kitchenaid make their mixers in and the other thing that happened to take my fancy last week were a cute range of aprons titled “Kiss the Cook“.

Alfresco also stocks a terrific range of books, mostly coffee-table types and a noteworthy one for me last week was a book dedicated to A life on Pittwater and its beauty (given my wedding will be located up there in 12 days). There is also a gorgeous range of silver jewelery, lovely smelling candles and staff who are helpful, knowledgeable and care to stop and have a chat. Additional stores are also located in Mona Vale and Cherrybrook, Sydney.

So whether you are buying a gift for someone or spoiling yourself with a “just because”, go to Alfresco and get whisked away and feel time slip on by.

Published in: on March 29, 2010 at 9:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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