Local Mum Francesca Dalmasso
Where and how long have you lived in Sydney's east:
We are an Italian family and we came here from Switzerland almost one year ago for my husband’s job but moreover for a new family experience. We have chosen Darling Point for its central location: amongst the city, the beaches and the smaller bays…close to everything I like the most!
How many children:
I have 2 lovely daughters: Greta, almost 12 years old, and Bianca, 9 years old. They are very happy about living so close to the sea, even if they miss a little bit the Swiss and French mountains where we used to ski every weekend…but now they are ready to learn surfing and become 100% Eastern Suburbs girls!!!
Eastern Suburbs offer a large range of outdoor locations, but my favourite one is Cooper Park, between Bellevue Hill and Bondi Junction. You can have a walk under the shadow of the trees, play tennis or simply have a drink at the Café. Another lovely park is Beare Park in Elizabeth Bay - so relaxing, for a picnic or an aperitif by the sea, especially at sunset time.
Being European I prefer smaller and more calm beaches so I usually go to Camp Cove in Watson Bay or Shark Bay in Nielsen Park, but I also love Bronte beach with its natural rock pool on the side, where you can easily swim! If I have time and I can drive longer Little Bay beach and Cong Wong beach in La Perouse.
Favourite kid friendly cafe:
A nice place for the whole family is Coogee Pavilion, everybody can find their space, their favourite kind of food and you don’t have to leave the table quickly. Sometimes I go there even with my PC to work. On the other hand, if I have little time and some shopping to do, I usually go to Little Jean in Double Bay - very good and a healthy kids menu.
Favourite Coffee Spot:
My daughters attend the French school in Maroubra so every day I cross all the Eastern Suburbs and after dropping them off I often go to have a Cappuccino at the Pavilion Beachfront in Maroubra beach, in front of the sea, looking at surfers…amazing!
Favourite date night place:
We go to restaurants a lot, with or without kids: there is a very big choice but we have been several times to Doyle’s on the beach. I love the location and the “casual but charming” atmosphere. For healthy food Chiswick in Woollahra or in winter time Bibo in Double Bay: cozy, romantic and delicious!
Favourite Local Day Out Activity:
Being Italian, food to me is convivial, even better with a glass of wine, so I’m delighted to have lunch with friends in a charming restaurant with a view, and kids running around!
Favourite Local Shop:
If I want to buy something different I have a walk in Paddington, there are a lot of small boutiques where you can find Australian or foreigner brands, cheap or expensive. And I always enter in Parlour X, even just to have a look! For furniture, I love Parterre in Woollahra, so refined and chic.
Favourite wet weather location:
“Home sweet home” with friends or with a book! We also visit Westfield in Bondi Junction to do shopping or to go to the Event cinema inside and, if we are in CBD, some art galleries or Queen Victoria Building for a tea.
Describe an ideal day in Sydney’s eastern suburbs for you?
Every ideal day starts with a good cappuccino in front of the sea! I’m really lucky because I can enjoy this beautiful city everyday but would be ideal if I could share these moments with my family and old friends from Europe.
What area of the east have you yet to explore much but would like to?
As I said, I go back and forth twice a day from Darling Point to Maroubra so almost every day I take advantage of it to discover some new streets, spots, neighbourhood of Eastern Suburbs: maybe I should start to look out over new suburbs of Sydney.
Work or SAHM:
I’ve always worked in an office, part-time since I had my daughters, but now that we have landed in this new country full of unconventional jobs I realised I could find something more cheerful so, with Emilie, a French friend of mine, we have created Dreaming Teepee (www.dreamingteepee.com) We organize fairy slumber parties under indoor teepees – with real mattresses, pillows and bedsheets - to celebrate a birthday, a farewell or just a friendship; we will think about everything so that mothers can relax while their children have a “dreaming teepee” night!
Motherly advice :
Children are happier when parents are happy, so it’s very important to enjoy our kids as much as we can but always remembering to find time for ourselves and for the couple!