A Local’s Guide To Bondi
At Slow House, self care is a daily ritual and communal activity. Inspired by Roman bathing culture, Slow House is best known for its state-of-the-art infrared sauna facilities, and while both the infrared and traditional saunas can cater to small groups, the interiors instil a sense of repose and privacy. For the full Slow House experience, sauna sessions can be complemented with an ice bath, Omnilux LED treatment and thoughtful extras such as scrubs and body oils.
The Bondi spa-crawl continues at The Calmm, a holistic massage therapy studio. Here, massage is so much more than a ‘treat yourself’ moment - it’s a means to de-stress, address pain, relieve tension, and increase circulation, mobility and overall health. Treatments range from facial acupressure to a lymph detox, and every element of the experience is designed to leave you completely and utterly r-e-l-a-x-e-d.
Gertrude & Alice
Any Bondi bibliophile worth their weight in hardbacks is bound to be a regular at Gertrude & Alice. With books stacked from floor-to-ceiling and armchairs in every nook, this charming cafe and bookshop delights in life’s simple pleasures - tea served in old china, well-loved furniture you’re welcome to curl up in, homemade treats, and of course, a grand selection of new, vintage and rare books.
Skittle Lane’s Bondi Beach location has an in-house roastery, which means they’re serving the freshest coffee in Bondi seven days a week. Stop in to stock up on quality beans and home brew gear, then grab a takeaway coffee to go.
My Flower Man
If you’re wondering where locals go for their coffee fix and flowers, head to My Flower Man where you’ll find them sipping short blacks and cradling fresh bunches of blooms. Located just down the road from the Assembly Label Bondi store in Tamarama, My Flower Man is a florist with a coffee shop out the front, and it’s precisely the sort of place where good days begin.
What could be more quintessentially Sydney than tucking into a plate of Bills’ iconic ricotta hotcakes heaped with honeycomb butter after a morning coastal walk. No matter where you are in this city, no matter what time of day, a visit to Bills is always a good idea.
Getting a weekend lunch booking at Sean’s isn’t easy, but there’s nothing exclusive or pretentious about this bona fide Bondi institution. Fresher than fresh ingredients are sourced from Sean Moran’s farm in Bilpin as well as local ethical producers so the menu is ever-changing, the food is cooked simply and soulfully, and the wine list champions Australian makers. A meal at Sean’s will remind you of how special Sydney really is.
Two words: puffy bread. While that’s not technically what’s written on the menu, anyone who’s had a meal at Totti’s will insist you order the wood-fired bread, and lots of it. This is casual Italian dining done Bondi-style - take a seat in the sunny courtyard surrounded by olive trees, order a round of spritzes and feast on share plates with your friends. The more the merrier.
Bondi to Coogee Walk
There’s no better way to take in the eastern suburbs than by embarking on this coastal clifftop walk. Starting at south Bondi and taking you past Tamarama Beach, Bronte, Waverley Cemetery, Clovelly, Gordons Bay and onto Coogee Beach, the walk is utterly breathtaking thanks to the panoramic ocean views (and steep stairs). There’s plenty of rest stops and swimming spots along the way, so it’s worth making a day of it.
Bondi Icebergs Club
An early morning swim at Bondi Icebergs Pool is perhaps the best way to feel like a local. In summer you’ll find a sun-kissed crowd drying off in the sun after a few laps, but for a truly authentic experience it’s worth braving the cold in winter. And a visit to Icebergs isn’t complete without staying for some food after a swim - the club has a casual bistro, and there’s nothing more iconic than aperitivo at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, where the food almost rivals the view.