Text by Frankie Unsworth
Photography by Daniel Boud
With the advent of pop-up bars and clandestine eateries, domestic dining seems to be the new eating out. But what happens when the creative talents of the Right Angle design crew meet a sandstone cottage dating back to 1850 with an Italian nonna at the stove?
The answer is The Pond – part-restaurant, part community design project – a low-key hangout housed in a heritage-listed house in Darlinghurst serving up seasonal Italian cucina.
Serving up fresh local produce that is a “tribute to uncomplicated recipes, traditional wisdom and ingredients that come from a farm, not a freezer,” The Pond is officially open only for two more months.
After undergoing a nine-month makeover (sponsored primarily by Fosters), the formerly run down shell on Burton Street has opened to a flood of foodies clambering to get a seat at one of the five communal tables.
Enchanted by the run-down charm of one of Darlinghurst’s earliest buildings, the team set out to “restore rather than rebuild the cottage“ to its former glory and breathe new life into the courtyard garden shaded by a Jacaranda.
“We were working with an 178-year-old building, so the idea was to introduce as little as possible and showcase the natural beauty of the cottage”, says Nadia Saccardo, who worked on The Pond’s creative concept.
With energy-efficient lighting by Melbourne-based Light Project and furnishings designed by Robert Barton and carved by Arte Veneta from reclaimed hardwood and timber, the eatery is an urban oasis in Sydney’s city centre. The 30-odd year old Jacaranda tree, Hops plants winding around the staircase and revived garden add to the natural charm of the project.