Sydney's North Shore is a abuzz with excitement over the opening of East Coast Lounge on 5th of August last year. Located on the top floor of the Submarine Miners' Corps Building at Chowder Bay. This late Victorian building was purpose-built in the 1890s for Defence workers - their responsibilities were laying and maintaining underwater mines on cables spanning Sydney Harbour.
Back in the day, the mines were to be detonated if an enemy ship entered the Harbour. After several tragic accidents over the years, the Submarine Mining Corps was dismantled in 1922 and the Royal Australian Engineers then used it until 1939. It later became the home to the Army Maritime School. Now days due to its Heritage status it contains a couple of restaurants and cafes.
I recently heard glowing reports about this lovely artisan cafe/wine bar which is also a retail homewares shop, so I set off to check it out. As it was a weekday I had no issues with finding parking at the end of Chowder Bay road. It was only a short 3 minute walk past other historic buildings to the entrance.
Make sure you bring an empty stomach and shopping bag because as soon as you arrive, your senses will be alight with a stunning visual array of sumptuous furnishings and the aroma of delectable gourmet treats.
It became clearly evident that sisters Jennifer Barrett and Christine Housego have taken on their first venture with an unbridled passion for Artisan luxury.
At first you will find it hard to decide where to sit amongst such luxurious furniture. Hand-made pieces designed by Stuart Membery Home and other notable Australian designers will beg for your touch and instantly imprint upon you what luxury should feel like. If you fall in love with a particular chair or table they are also available to purchase. You may want ensure you brought your gold amex!
It felt so peaceful sitting here, just like I was in an elegant harbourside home. The menu was a tempting selection of lusty gourmet share plates and snacks. As I was on my own and quite hungry, I chose the Blue Swimmer Crab roll.
The fresh sweet milk bun was the perfect carriage for my generous serving of Blue Swimmer Crab, Celery and Mayo filling - $22.00. I also chose a Beetroot, Apple, Orange, Carrot & Ginger Juice full of antioxidants - $5.00.
So many gorgeous homewares from all over the world have been carefully selected by the sisters that own this fabulous cafe. Christine is the main traveler who frequents Europe and India sourcing unique pieces that will inflame your shopping goddess. Perfect gift ideas for family and friends, but more than likely you will end up keeping some yourself.
This fabulous cafe/homeware shop has plenty to keep you occupied for hours. A perfect location to catch up with friends or family while indulging in a shared plate of gourmet delights washed down with maybe a pot of Bellocq tea or an Allpress espresso. If you wish to be more indulgent, they are fully licensed providing an impressive wine list - you can even drench your thirst with a bottle of Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne. Also a good selection of Australian Beers, Ciders and non alcoholic beverages are on offer.
Keep in mind that this venue is also a Wine Bar staying open until 8pm from Thursday through to Saturday evenings and available for private functions.
This is definitely a location that you would enjoy staying a few hours so make sure you top up your parking ticket. An Ideal day out for visiting friends to do sightseeing and bushwalking before or after breakfast or lunch. You could also take some stunning photos against the historical buildings or use Sydney Harbour as your picturesque backdrop.
Also a popular destination for bushwalkers due to several scenic paths that wind through the bush, historical landmarks and beaches. Click here for a map showing the walking routes. Or if you just want to chill out, then mosey on down to the nearby beach for a siesta and swim.
Chowder Bay - image courtesy of East Coast Lounge FB
By bus: Sydney buses connect to Headland Park during weekdays. The 244 bus commences from Wynyard Station in Sydney's CBD to Chowder Bay. Click here for timetable.
By ferry: Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo. The 238 bus meets the ferry at the Athol Wharf below Taronga Zoo. Take the bus to Middle Head Road (before the bus turns left at Beaconsfield Road for Balmoral) and walk ten minutes to reach Headland Park. Click here for timetable.
By foot:Walking tracks link the park to Georges Heights, Balmoral, and Taronga Zoo via Bradleys Head. Please note that the walking track gates at the Balmoral entrance and Chowder Bay entrance open at sunrise and close at sunset.
By private boat: Vessels (including water taxis) may drop off and pick up passengers for Chowder Bay at the public wharf opposite Clifton Gardens and may anchor off the beach.
If driving then follow Middle Head road in Mosman turning off into Chowder Bay road. There are several ticket meter parking areas, the closest to East Coast Lounge being at the end of Chowder Bay Road.
(8am - 10pm daily)
$3.50 per hour on weekdays
$5.00 per hour on weekends and public holidays
$18 per day on weekdays
$25.00 per day on weekends and public holidays
Meters accept coins (please note that there are no change machines available) and MasterCard or Visa (the minimum transaction amount is $4).
East Coast Lounge is a destination for lovers of fine things, not only eating, drinking and shopping, but as the perfect starting point to absorb history and stunning surrounds.