A New Era for The Charing Cross Hotel

Feb 25, 2015

Photos by Natalie Hayllar

A New Era for the Charing Cross Hotel
Eastern Suburbs landmark venue, The Charing Cross Hotel, officially reopened its doors late last year following an extensive makeover that saw the unveiling of an expansive, light-filled public bar and a new sixty seat dining room with Chef Matt Kemp heading up the kitchen. Having driven past this Pub for many years on route to Bondi, it was a nice surprise indeed to take a look inside and spend some time lunching in this fresh new French inspired Sydney pub.

British born Matt Kemp leads the food direction with his signature French trained, English inspired style of food. Well known in Sydney for his previous restaurants Balzac and Montpellier Eating House, Matt has created a contemporary European menu that reflects his heritage. Some of Matt’s favourite dishes from the menu include the Gnocchi with chestnuts, cauliflower, peas & pecorino and a salad of seared albacore tuna, pickled fennel, English cucumbers & mint. The dining room will also serve shared feasts for groups as well as an impressive traditional Sunday roast menu. Matt adds “This is not about overworked, fussy cuisine; it’s about feeling at home with a menu that’s easy to understand and enjoying food with your whole family.”

The Charing Cross, originally founded in 1857 by ex-convict William Newland and home to early meetings of the newly formed Waverly Council, was once a premiere hotel in the area has now been returned to its former glory with a cool, polished interior that is inspired by its original art deco features, but with a more contemporary coastal feel that reflects the laid back attitude of the neighbourhood and nearby beaches of Tamarama and Bronte. The decision to take on a venue with such a rich local history was a personal one for owner Warren Livingstone, who says “I have lived around the corner for a decade and as a local I wanted to create something that my family and friends from the neighbourhood could enjoy. I want the hotel to be casual and good value - geared towards people going a couple of times a week rather than for a special occasion.”

The Timorous Beasties wallpaper was the first thing I noticed when I walked in followed by the expansive dining area and those big French letters! The airy glass ceiling in the dining room leads the way to a courtyard featuring impressive seven metre high illuminated lettering that were sourced in Paris from the former Concorde Lafayette Hotel sign. Apparently these look pretty special lit up at night. Stylish interior flourishes include a gorgeous seven metre long high Chesterfield bench seat in powder blue leather, elegant vintage pendant lighting and soft white polished concrete floors. The marble topped, corrugated American oak clad bar is a signature of the main bar, an intentional move by Livingstone who says “I love the feeling of the New York Bistro where folks can grab a seat at the bar”. The drink offering focuses on craft beers and natural wines designed to accompany the fresh, light menu.

There is a lovely art deco private dining space downstairs and upstairs, perfect for a small party or gathering, as well as some onsite accommodation also. The rooms upstairs are fresh and bright with simple furnishings and easy access to transport for Bondi Junction and Bondi Beach. 

The Charing Cross Hotel
81 Carrington Road, Waverley
(02) 9839 3093

* I was a guest of Charing Cross Hotel thanks so much for having me Waz and Pen Livingstone. 

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