Local Mum Kellie Montgomery
Where and how long have you lived in Sydney's east:
I moved from the inner city Bondi about 12 years ago and I still think it’s pretty good. Bondi often gets a really bad rap from people who don’t live here – looking beyond the perception that it’s all backpackers, traffic jams and fitness freaks, we’ve found a beautiful, local community filled with interesting people. The air is fresh and yes, the parking is absolutely abysmal, but come Autumn time when the crowds have vacated and the water is still warm; it’s a pretty excellent place to be.
How many children:
I have two children – Olive is 10 and is in Year 5, and Clancy is 6 and is in kindergarten. (He’s navigated his disrupted first year of school like a pro so far!)
My favourite park in the East is, hands down, Centennial Park. There’s something for everybody there – bike riding, picnics by the pond, walks through the bat forest, tree climbing, bird watching, or running around Wild Play. There’s just so many different places to explore and I find it a delight to visit every single time.
Favourite beach is tough! How could I choose? We are lucky enough to live within walking distance to Bondi, so we spend a lot of time swimming at North Bondi (and as my kids have gotten older, I’m so thankful that it’s less time in the baby pool and more time in the actual surf!). I’m pathetically scared of sharks and last year I challenged myself to jump off North Bondi rocks and swim to shore every time we were there. I also love Wylie’s Baths and the Ladies Baths in Coogee. Parking is (surprisingly!) usually not a problem there, and there’s something so lovely and olde worlde about them both. Oh, and can I add Nielson Park to the list, too?
Favourite kid friendly cafe:
This is such an infuriatingly typical nutritionist answer, but if I take my kids anywhere, it’s usually to The Health Emporium on Bondi Road. We often pass by on the walk home from school, so it’s an easy spot for me to grab a few supplies while the kids sit down and eat a Banjo Bear or an icy pole. The staff are lovely and don’t seem at all put out by my unruly kids tearing around. (If I asked the kids this question, I’m pretty sure their answer would be the Sushi Train or Tin Pin on Bondi Road.)
Favourite Coffee Spot:
I don’t drink coffee (I’m a living cliché!), but I can highly recommend the chai at The Shop & Wine Bar. Their whole business ethos, which is focused on authentically sustainable practices, is inspiring and impressive.
Favourite date night place:
I’m rather embarrassed to admit that we don’t go out on a lot of dates! Although we did recently have an incredible meal at Lankan Filling Station in East Sydney – highly recommend it if you haven’t been. Totti’s on Bondi Road is also a favourite for a reliably delicious meal.
Favourite Local Day Out Activity:
I love doing simple things with my kids – and I try to get them into nature as much as possible. We regularly go for bush walks around Kamay National Park in La Perouse, and Neilson Park. I usually pack a picnic and if the weathers warm, it’ll end with a swim. (It quite possibly ends in a swim even if the weather’s not warm, too!)
Favourite Local Shop:
I’m currently obsessed with Di Nuovo. It’s not far from my clinic in Paddington and it’s a feel good way to buy some new clothes! They sell high end, recycled designer items and I often find myself in there having a quick look on my lunch break on clinic days!
Favourite wet weather location:
My kids and I are all book worms, so if it’s raining, you’ll often find us getting some new reads at Waverley Library. That, or yum cha! Yum cha for lunch on a rainy day is one of the best things you can do in Sydney.
Describe an ideal day in Sydney’s eastern suburbs for you?
An ideal day for me means staying local, and keeping it simple. First up, I’d have a cup of tea in bed, while my kids play together harmoniously (well, one can dream!). Then I’d meet some friends to walk the Bondi to Bronte coastal track. (My daughter has also been coming lately, which is fantastic.) We’d have a family swim at Bondi & pick up some veggies at the growers markets on our way past. We’d go for lunch at Shuk Bondi, or get take away from Fish Bowl and eat in on the grass (or possibly sushi train if the kids had their way). A kick of a ball at the park, then we’d meet friends for an early family dinner at the Bowling Club. Simple, and enjoyable.
What area of the east have you yet to explore much but would like to?
That’s a tough question – there’d be so many great spots that I haven’t explored yet. Possibly because I don’t know about them, which makes it difficult to say what they are! (We definitely tend to be very habitual and head to the same spots.) I’ve been wanting to get to Double Bay library, I think the kids would love that. I haven’t taken them to Redleaf pool for years, so that’s on the list as well.
Work or SAHM:
My working life is tricky to describe, as it has changed a lot in the past few years (notwithstanding the pandemic!). The past couple of years I’ve juggled study with mostly full-time freelance work as a costume stylist for film & television, and it was hectic to say the least. I stepped back from the costume work when I opened my nutrition clinic, and while it’s been slowly growing, I’ve cherished the extra time I’ve had at home with the kids. Since the pandemic hit, I moved my clinic to seeing clients solely online, which I’m able to run from home, and I’ve found myself in a pretty calm and wonderful spot; treading a good balance between Motherhood and work. I would never say I’ve nailed the working-parenting balance – because basically, it’s an unrealistic & ever-changing target, and one which can create a lot of angst and guilt in a parent. But I can say that, right now, I’m in a pretty sweet spot.
Motherly advice :
Surrender. Cuddle your baby. And feed your kids whole foods.
ESM members: $50 discount off the price of an initial consult when booked through Spring 2020 (September, October and November). Just quote 'ESM' when you speak to Kellie.