Sunday, November 22, 2015

Coogee legends

Every time we walk back to the apartment from the The Spot or from the 373 bus stop on St Pauls Street we walk through this beautiful (and fragrant) patch of native garden at the top of Carrington Road - that has been created by the legendary geurilla gardener "Bob" and his loyal band of volunteers.

This patch of land belongs to our local Randwick Council. It was originally part of the old Coogee tram line which finally closed in 1960. "Bob" and his team have created this beautiful fragrant oasis of native trees, shrubs, lawn and groundcovers over the past 12-13 years, in their own time and out of their own pockets (mostly Bob's). The locals LOVE it of course, almost as much as the native birds and other wildlife that are a constant presence in this sweetest of Sydney parks. Bob is our favourite Coogee legend! He reckons the Council is itching to get some car parking going in this park - I reckon the Council will have Buckley's doing that if the locals have any say in it!

Nowhere near in Bob's class but Justin Hemmes from the Merival group bought the old Coogee Beach Palace Hotel last year in a complicated sales deal that set him back a cool $35mill. He's spent another $12mill refurbishing it (so far), renamed it The Pavillion, and the place is really rockin' now, with thousands of people from all over the Eastern suburbs crowding into the place like there is no tomorrow.

We tried the rooftop terrace with the million dollar views last Thursday evening (luckily a quieter night than some!).  We're wishing that only Coogee locals were allowed entry to The Pavillion.

It was 41oC in Sydney on Friday - an absolutely putrid day which we spent mostly in the CBD, in air conditioned comfort. I took the two pics below on the Coogee esplanade after 7.00pm that evening. The beach was still really crowded with people trying to cool off.

We discovered another possible dining legend in Coogee at the weekend - more at the "Paris" end of  Arden Street (where we rarely go) in Havelock Avenue. Here we discovered Cafe de France - only been open a year so far - and a proper French style bistro - open all day serving great coffee and bakery goods at breakfast and very authentic French bistro style food for lunch and dinner with a great wine list too.
I loved my duck breast with roasted leeks and a Bordeaux reduction (with a Loire Valley Pinot Noir) while Rob's favourite was his luscious chocolate mousse for dessert.  Vive La France - at Coogee indeed!

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