The Boathouse Restaurant, Palm Beach, SydneyNovember 28th, 2017
One of the hallmarks of The Boathouse Group’s highly successful takeover of café culture on Sydney’s Northern Beaches is the “green spacing” strategy that they have taken with each of their locations. The group has sites at Palm Beach, Whale Beach, Shelley Beach, Manly and includes Moby Dick’s for weddings and functions. More recently they have opened a retail store at the old “Beach Road” for those who are wild about their design, accessories and garden décor.
When the original Boathouse restaurant opened it was on a site that had been screaming ‘potential’ for years. Located at the end of the Palm Beach golf course on a long jetty on the Pittwater side of Palm Beach, it is home to sea planes, kayaks and barges and the hordes who come to see episodes of Channel Seven’s ‘Home & Away’ being filmed at Summer Bay. Fast forward many years and it is good coffee, great breakfasts and/or French champagne for those who fancy it, all served by the young local crew wearing the stylish Boathouse Group uniform.
A funky shack was reborn into a destination for those who made it to the “end of the road” of the Peninsula. With a floral entry straight from the markets, before ordering anything the eye is already being seduced. This abundant statement sets the scene for a deceptively casual approach to what is on closer inspection consistent and carefully considered landscape design. Clinker built dinghies, rope covered glass buoys, freshly painted wooden umbrellas, well placed water features and masses of plants, potted, hung or mass planted transformed an unremarkable building with an great view into an experience. The use of Indian marble water bowls and huge ceramic vases (placed artfully on sturdy wooden tables) creates scale. Sculptural white pots filled with cycads and under-planted with soft succulents are well used for backdrops and enjoyed often at eye level. Amid great coffee and food, The Boathouse retail store has created a winning formula.