The Last Word
Avant-garde Australian designer Kym Ellery shares her perfect day in the city
I’ve always had an affinity with the ocean and I’m very careerfocused. Sydney is the perfect place for both of these things. The most incredible subtropical coastline with pristine beaches is on your doorstep, yet the city itself is an awesome hub for design, arts, culture, restaurants, bars and live music.
I live in the city’s north, in Palm Beach, which is on a spit bound on one side by the Pacific Ocean and the other by Pittwater. A typical day for me begins at 7am. My yoga instructor comes to my house and we do an hour of yoga and meditation on the balcony. The 180-degree view of the ocean and the salt in the air create a very therapeutic experience. We’re often joined by a row of kookaburras perched on the railing—the record number at any one time is eight.
I’ll often have breakfast at a restaurant near me called The Boathouse, which is housed in a beautiful old building on the shore of Pittwater—and a post-egg paddleboard is a must. After breakfast, I drive into the city to my studio and atelier to meet with my team. I love talking to my art director and graphic designer about the different prints and fabrics we will be using.
Fratelli Paradiso in Potts Point is one of my favourite lunch spots. The scampi pasta is incredible and there are plenty of gluten-free dishes to choose from. They even do glutenfree wine. It’s a perfect spot for light business lunches and also popular with the city’s designers—we’ll quite often end up there for a late dinner after a party.
On a weekend, I can often be found at one of the city’s galleries. The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Powerhouse Museum have great collections and exhibitions. For something a little different, the Brett Whiteley Studio has been left exactly as it was when the famous artist died, complete with unfinished works and walls full of inspiration. It’s a little bit eerie, but truly compelling.
Shopping in Sydney is exciting. My friend’s shop, Parlour X, recently moved into a heritage-listed church that had been vacant for a long time on Oxford Street, Paddington. The shop really championed bringing new luxury goods into Australia. For something a little more local, the Strand Arcade in the city has a lot of Australian brands, and Paddington’s Glenmore Road, where my store is located, also has some great boutiques.
Whenever I’m exploring, I always pack cashmere; it’s comforting and warm. My favourite shoes for moving around a city are something clunky—my style—but also easy to wear. I take my film camera wherever I go; I love taking photographs and have decided I want to exhibit my work.
The best way to end a day in Sydney is at Icebergs overlooking Bondi Beach. The restaurant and bar are run by Maurice Terzini, who is a fantastically eccentric Italian gentleman and a real icon of the city. The food is incredible, but the highlight is the cocktail bar—the perfect place to enjoy sunset drinks with a quintessentially Sydney view.