Monday 11 December 2023

Flawless Festivities in Smaller Spaces - Part 2

Part 2 – Staging in the silly season!

After reading Flawless Festivities Part 1, you’ve hopefully organised the main practicalities in advance so like any great general, you’re ready for action. However my best advice to any host is before you do a thing, pour yourself a glass of your choice and put on your favourite music. This will take away any hosting jitters, allow you to collect your thoughts and help you get into the swing of things.

Now let’s get cracking! Hopefully you’ve prepared any food possible in advance, so now take care of food that needs preparing early and put drinks in the fridge or an esky with ice so they’ll be lovely and cold for when the guests arrive. I do love an alcoholic punch to get everyone in the mood so you may want to prepare this and put get it cooling sooner rather than later.

And now for the fun part – Staging! Take a deep breath and take in your space. With larger groups, you’ll obviously need to use as much area as you have at your disposal. You’ve hopefully already sorted the table, chairs and festive touches, so now work out if you want to go buffet style for serving. I highly recommend this as it leaves you far freer to enjoy the occasion than if you are busy serving up for your guests and keeps the centre of the table free for festive tableware.

The kitchen benchtop is a great spot to set up your smorgasbord or you may own a buffet. Now start preparing your servery by putting out non-perishable food and plates. Next work out where to set up the bar. If there is not enough space on the kitchen benchtop, find a table large enough to hold drinks and glasses. Place it in an accessible spot that won’t be in the way of your guests. Place red wine and glasses on top.

Now to the table and chairs. If you have a large or extendable dining table, put it in the middle of the room, which may involve moving couches to the wall. If your table’s a bit on the small side, extend it with a foldout as per Part 1. It’s summer, so if you have a balcony, and are short on interior space, open the sliding doors to their max to accommodate your spread.


Next, and before you go placing the chairs, dress and set your table. You’ve worked out your theme, now apply it! If you are joining two tables together, a tablecloth creates a seamless transition. If you’ve gone for buffet style serving, you have plenty of room to populate the middle with scented candlesticks, flowers/pinecones/fir tree branches/crackers – whatever you’ve chosen for the occasion. Next lay down the cutlery and you’re ready to place the chairs. And a final staging hint - where there is any tension, the clever use of place cards is not to be underestimated. Separate any blood rivals at opposite ends of the table.

Finally finish cooking/preparing last minute menu items and you’re ready to get dressed up and welcome your tribe! So however you choose to celebrate the silly season, we wish you a wonderful hosting experience and the happiest and healthiest of holidays.

Best wishes from the Cramer Crew

Flawless Festivities in Smaller Spaces - Part 1

Part 1 – Getting prepared!

Whether celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, the holidays or the long summer days, the festive season is a time to come together. And for those of us who love to host, fitting the family can seem challenging when living in an apartment. But be not discouraged! Help is at hand with the following tips on how to entertain big in a smaller space.

Rule #1 – Get prepared! I’m going to call it from the outset - families are great but we can’t choose them. We can however choose our friends so if you love entertaining without the stress of not putting Aunt Claire next to Susan, don’t forget to organise separate festivities chez toi for your non-familial nearest and dearest. With your friend tribe coming over, it’ll be all the fun with no drama. Unless of course you are in one of those rare breed of family where everyone just gets along.

Start with the numbers first. Hosting 101 dictates that every guest and your own household members need a chair and ideally something to put their plate on when they eat. With this in mind, do a chair audit and if your home doesn’t have enough places for bums to sit, beg borrow and steal prior to the date, ideally from neighbours as you’ll have less hassle returning them.

Then on to the table. If yours is a little on the short side, consider buying a foldout for future occasions, or better still, get an extendable table. Trusty Ikea have a pretty great selection that will not break the bank or for cheap and cheerful foldouts, head to Officeworks, Bunnings or your closest camping shop.

Now, clean and clear away all clutter, which is the enemy of smaller spaces anyway so hopefully you’re already well organised in this regard. And don’t forget the fridge as in terms of food prep, you need to do as much as you can ahead of time and you’ll no doubt need fridge space for perishable dishes. And in order not to clutter the fridge buy or borrow an esky to keep all the drinks cold.

And don’t forget to have some fun shopping for festive tableware. Before you leave the house, look at what you have and decide on a theme. Will it be Christmas old school style or summer themed- or perhaps Hanukkah à la Australiana or straight out of Jerusalem? Make sure whatever you buy is quality over quantity as you’ll have nowhere to store too many baubles after the fact! We love Bed, Bath and Table and Adairs, and for something more uber, Papaya and David Jones.

And finally, make a list of what to do on the day so you don’t get overwhelmed. Work out what food needs to be prepared in the morning if you are having a lunch, then take note of Part 2 which is coming soon and will give you sure fire ways to avoid the panic prior to arrivals. Staging in the Silly Season provides a great to-do agenda for making you the Christmas Host with the Most! So until Part 2, best wishes from the Cramer Crew

Part 2 Coming soon – Staging in the Silly Season

Monday 4 December 2023

Why does Bellevue Hill top the charts as one of Australia's best long term capital gain suburbs?

A view from Bellevue Hill, "Bonnington" at 8 Victoria Road across Sydney Harbour

The past decade has been a whirlwind of change in the housing market across Australia. Despite the sharp downturn during the APRA-induced credit crunch between 2017 and 2019 and the recent steep declines, there are a handful of suburbs in the country that have shown incredible capital gain over the last decade. And among this illustrious list prepared by Michael Yardley (of Metropole Property Strategists), is the gorgeous suburb of Bellevue Hill.

Allala | 26-28 Cranbrook Road, Bellevue Hill, sold for $11.8m in 2019

It is not difficult to identify what makes this suburb so highly attractive. Firstly, home to many of Sydney’s rich and famous, the suburb is peppered with magnificent mansions, glorious established gardens and wide tree-lined avenues. And to add to the divine aesthetic, the elevation affords the homes with panoramic views across the verdant landscape and out to the sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour.

Murray Rose Pool (formerly Redleaf Pool), Double Bay

Another major drawcard in Bellevue Hill’s stellar capital gain performance is its Inner East location. The suburb is so close to the commerce and attractions of the CBD, a short drive to fabulous harbour beaches such as Murray Rose Pool (formerly Redleaf), Neilson Park and the lovely and less known beaches along the fantastic Hermitage Walk. Then also very close by are the world-renowned coastal beaches of Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte and Clovelly and expansive parklands of Centennial Park and the lesser known but incredibly captivating 38 acres of Cooper Park.

Kambala School, Rose Bay

The next attraction is the wealth of prestigious schools that are all located nearby. Cranbrook, Scots, Kambala, Kincoppal, Ascham and Moriah College have educated some of Sydney’s greatest minds and continue to be the education options of choice for so many parents prepared and able to invest in their children’s future. And not to be overlooked, the amenity of luxury shopping in Bondi Junction Westfield is a jewel in the crown of Sydney’s high-end retailing. With the finest international designer brands, luxury local labels, iconic department stores, a day to night dining and entertainment precinct and supermarkets to boot, Westfield provides for every shopping need and offers unsurpassed amenity to Bellevue Hill’s residents.

Bellevue Hill Village Shops

Then for charming village shopping, picturesque Bellevue Hill Village is home to deluxe homewares stores, fabulous cafés, a beauty salon, a marvellous old-style fruit shop, delicatessen and scrumptious bakery. And at the foot of this magnificent hill lies Double Bay Shopping Village and all its extravagant shopping spots and renowned restaurants and cafés.

If you are considering purchasing in the strong and sure Bellevue Hill market, please peruse the following exquisitely crafted properties in our stellar development, Splendour:

To book a private viewing appointment contact:

Emma Chappell
Head of Projects (Sales & Marketing)
Tel: +61 (0)404 769509

Romance and Charm - Discover the rich history of Bellevue Hills' Cooper Parklands

Cooper Park

As Woollahra Council’s largest natural asset, Cooper Park is one of Sydney’s least known arcadian treasures. A veritable Secret Garden, its rich history and cultural significance contributes heavily to the current push to have these glorious parklands State Heritage Listed, elevating them from their current Local Heritage Listing.

Cooper Park is full of meandering pathways, bridges and hidden gazebos                                       
Made up of a vast 17.7 hectares, approximately 12 hectares consist of urban bushland which acts as a botanical lung for surrounding residents. Throughout the charming acreage, one discovers such novelties as Moon Bridge, Rosewood Walk and Coral Steps, meandering pathways, ponds and weirs, secret grottoes, gazebos, sandstone staircases and even an earthen amphitheatre. But how did this hidden gem become a public asset to the Eastern Suburbs when all around it are multi-million dollar properties?

Map of Woollahra showing Point Piper Estate 1889                                                            Woollahra House circa 1885

It started back in the early 19th century, when wealthy merchant and renowned philanthropist, Sir Daniel Cooper, purchased the land as part of his Point Piper Estate. Initially a convict, through his business acumen and charm, Daniel Cooper was eventually knighted. It was one of his descendants, Sir William Charles Cooper, who donated the entire gully from Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, to Manning Road, Double Bay to Woollahra Council in 1913. However, due to the outbreak of World War I, the park was not finally gazetted until 1917.

Also in 1917, the Chinese Market Gardens that had operated along the valley floor since the 1840s, were moved and the land was incorporated into Cooper Park in 1917. The ‘City Beautiful’ movement which had developed in Europe and North America in the late 19th century began to influence urban design in Australia although relatively few examples were developed in NSW. However, with this movement in mind, in 1927 a design competition was conducted for the development of Cooper Park. The winning design by architects S E Coleman and RCG Coulter, began to be implemented soon after.

Cooper Park Synthetic Shelters

Specialised craftspeople, including Mr H Arnold, were brought in to construct specific features including the synthetic stone shelters from ferro-cement, based on his previous work in constructing faux rock animal enclosures at Taronga Zoo. Ernest Miles, head of a gang of fifty, taught workers to cut and lay stone. He led the team of stoneworkers to construct the Moon Bridge in the centre of the park. A tennis pavilion and tennis courts were also constructed in the 20s.

On its completion in 1929, Cooper Park was deemed an oasis from the bustling city. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald, 29 December 1929, under the headline ‘Valley of Surprise near Heart of City, describes the park as “A valley where all is peace, away from the noise of street traffic, the roar of trams, and the strident, jarring tooting of motor sirens”.

Beginning in 1931, numerous trees were planted with a focus on native tree species included 500 specimens of Tasmanian Blue Gum, Lilly Pilly, assorted wattles and Queensland Kauri. Additional plantings of exotic species included Weeping Willow, Liquidambar, White Poplar, Cottonwood and Sweet Gum. Almost all of these trees remain today in all their mature glory.

Cooper Park Entrance Columns

In 1948 Cooper Park was extended to include Bellevue Gardens into the grounds. Then fast forward to 1994, when two sandstone Doric columns which once graced the old 1847 Sydney Post Office were installed at the Victoria Road entrance to Cooper Park, at the top of the stone steps down into the Amphitheatre. For a time after the demolition of the old post office, the columns were moved to Elizabeth Bay House, then to Vaucluse House where they stood for many years.

Brook at Cooper Park

Cooper Park’s cultural history dates back even further, with Aboriginal engravings and rock shelters dating back to 1788 still evident today. The brook that still exists today, meandering through the park, follows the line of a volcanic dyke that formed during the Jurassic age. Stretching up from either side of the creek are sandstone and riparian forests and woodland vegetation, providing diverse habitats for local fauna.

Rising resplendently above this idyllic park is the divine new Denwol development, Splendour which even has its very own Secret Garden. Cramer Property are delighted to present The Final Release of The Splendour Residences as seen below:

Splendour Residences, Bellevue Hill

Contact the Cramer team to learn more:

Emma Chappell
Head of Projects (Sales & Marketing)
Tel: +61 (0)404 769509

Monday 13 November 2023

Splendour Bellevue Hill – Live the high life in one of Sydney’s most prestigious addresses

View at Splendour, Bellevue Hill

Long been regarded as one of Sydney’s most distinguished suburbs, Bellevue Hill has been home to Sydney’s elite for over a century and a half, with the Fairfax family building Ginahgulla which still stands today. Prized from early settlement for its glorious views and beautiful, sheltered valley, the name ‘Bellevue’, translated from the French ‘beautiful view’, says it all.

Ginahgulla, Bellue Hill

As one of Syndey’s most long-established suburbs, Bellevue Hill boasts an abundance of historic mansions and gardens and one of the loveliest parks in Sydney. Cooper Parklands spread across a massive 38 acres, showcasing an impressive array of mature trees, meandering pathways, ponds and weirs, secret grottoes, gazebos, sandstone staircases and even an earthen amphitheatre.

Cooper Parklands, Bellevue Hill

Befitting a suburb of this calibre, some of Sydney’s most sought after schools are located here. Cranbrook, Scots College and nearby Kambala, Kincoppal and Ascham have educated some of Sydney’s greatest minds. Also being located so close to Sydney Harbour, its best beaches and the Sydney CBD yet having such a peaceful atmosphere, the exclusivity of Bellevue Hill can rarely be equalled.

Bellamy Beach, Rose Bay / Bellevue Hill

And not to be overlooked, the amenity of luxury shopping in Westfield Bondi Junction caters for even the most exacting shopper. With the finest international designer brands, luxury local labels, iconic department stores, a day to night dining and entertainment precinct and supermarkets to boot, Westfield provides for every shopping need.

Westfield, Bondi Junction

Then for even more boutique shopping, charming Bellevue Hill Village is home to deluxe homewares stores, fabulous cafés, a beauty salon, a marvellous old-style fruit shop, delicatessen and scrumptious bakery. Then at the foot of this magnificent hill lies Double Bay Shopping Village and all its extravagant shopping spots.

Belleview Hill Village                                                                                                            Tucker, Bellevue Hill Village

And now this illustrious suburb has a prestigious new addition, Splendour Residences, created by esteemed developer The Denwol Group and a team of multi-award-winning architects, interior and landscape designers. North-facing atop a dramatic cliff overlooking the Cooper Parklands, Splendour offers a boutique selection of exquisitely crafted homes inspired by their idyllic natural surrounds. These extraordinary properties magnificently frame the divine outlooks across the expansive Park and beyond to Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Splendour, Belleview Hill

To own a property of unsurpassed refinement, extraordinary serenity and beauty that will make your heart sing, discover the Splendour Residences as only a select few remain. Contact the Cramer team today to book a private viewing and learn more.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Upcoming ‘New Central Park’ a Boon for Redfern and Surry Hills Residents

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns has just announced that the state intends to reclaim 20 of the 45-hectares of land occupied by Moore Park Golf Course once the current lease on the land expires in 2026. The decision to take back this massive pact of land has been made to provide the public with green space and much-needed recreation areas for the residents of the increasingly dense local area.

The Government will create a thriving new park with masses of green space, grassroots sports and multiple recreation hubs. A discussion paper will be released year early next, 2024, as part of a consultation process about the future of the course, and an extensive design project creating a myriad of green areas, sport resources and recreation spaces will get underway soon after. 

In an effort to explain the decision to disgruntled golfers, Premier Minns said, "We're certainly not declaring war on golf, what we are saying is this golf course in the heart of the CBD, which is already densely populated, is a better use as a park than an 18-hole golf course." Further justifying the decision, Minns notes “Over the past century, Sydney has changed significantly. When the golf course was first established, the surrounding areas were largely industrial land.” But given the ‘significant urban regeneration…. delivering public infrastructure including parks is more important than ever before.”

The City of Sydney had previously proposed a similar plan to convert part of the course into public parklands, but the plan was blocked by the previous Coalition State Government. City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said this current decision is "a terrific outcome for the community. This is public land and the public will have access to 20 hectares of public parkland," Ms Moore said. She said the area was allocated as a golf course in 1913 when its surrounds were primarily industrial.


And member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, whose electorate includes the course, is also enthusiastically backing the decision commenting, “This announcement respects the growing need of the expanding inner city for new open green space and I thank the government for returning this precious parkland back to public use.” And all is not lost for our city’s golf-mad residents, as 9 of the 18 holes will remain as will a driving range.

If you want to live close to the incredible upcoming parklands and recreation areas that will make up this expansive and exciting new park, check out the magnificent new TOGA development, Surry Hills Village, contact the Cramer team to learn more.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Wining, Dining and Living Large in Superb Surry Hills

Food at Nour, Crown Street, Surry Hills

Surry Hills has long been known as one of the best places to eat out in Sydney, and at no time this uber cool suburb’s wining and dining been better. Taking a culinary and vinous trip through the culturally buzzing streets of the Surry Hills Hood, we have discovered some extraordinary venues that should be at the top of any food and wine appreciation list.

Nour, Crown Street, Surry Hills

One of our absolute favourites is Nour, a Middle Eastern restaurant that is not only aesthetically superb, but also appeals to the most demanding gourmand’s palate. Chefs extraordinaire, Farag and Lonati take classic Lebanese flavours and through bold experimentation, create dishes that will set your senses alight. Standout á la carte dishes include the Mussel-topped Hummus, Raw Bluefin Tuna with Caramelised Kishk and Bulgur, Glazed Lamb Shoulder, Wagyu Beef Skewers and Chicken Bits Shawarma. And check out the award-winning wine list for the smoothest drop.

Armorica Grande Brasserie,  Crown Street, Surry Hills

Next up in our list of favs is Armorica Grande Brasserie, latest offering from the owners of the highly successful Franca in Potts Point. Sumptuously self-described as ‘an elegant evocation of a traditional Parisian Brasserie’ and ‘homage to the city of Paris’, Armorica is a delight to Francophiles and gourmands alike. Featuring a custom-built Josper grill, the menu showcases wood-fire cooking at its finest and takes steak and chips to a whole new level with their extraordinary choice of cuts. The sides are divine and the seafood is superb. If you want to get fully decadent, go for the sumptuous Seafood Tower, and with Amorica’s Friday Late Night Jazz and carefully curated wine list, you’ll surely be in foodie heaven.

Poly, Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills

Housed in the Paramount House Hotel on Commonwealth, subterranean wine bar and restaurant, Poly, is the more laid back sister to Ester, one of Sydney’s most acclaimed restaurants. Sample the sublime small scale producer wine list featuring Organic and Biodynamic offerings. Their innovative, ever-changing snack menu focuses on ironbark woodfire flavours. Current standouts on offer are Fermented Potato Bread, Cured Iberico Cebo Shoulder, Grilled Murray Cod and Whole BBQ Spatchcock.

     Tokyo Bird, Belmore Lane, Surry Hills                                                                          Tio’s Cerveceria, Foster Street, Surry Hills

In Surry Hills, brilliant bars are on almost every proverbial corner. Tokyo Bird brings a taste of Japanese bar culture to Sydney, specialising in whisky, cocktails, beer, yakitori and Studio Ghibli films projected on the walls. Go hard or go home with their Whisky Highball complete with a painstakingly hand-chipped ice ball coupled with your choice of charcoal cooked skewer. Then for some Mexican culture, head to Tio’s Cerveceria for tequila, mezcal or their killer Margarita.

Brix Distillers, Bourke Street, Surry Hills

And if rum is your thing, be delighted and surprised at Sydney’s one and only dedicated craft rum distillery, Brix Distillers. A rum trolley roams the venue every night, encouraging guests to sample the range, or there are more than 150 premium rum labels from around the world. And to soak up the alcohol, sample the Colombian chef’s South American fare such as Fish Taco with flair, Rum-glazed Lamb, Pork or Beef ribs or a fiery Pimped Smashburger.

To live moments from all the action in the divinely decadent designer development, Surry Hills Village, call Emma Chappell today to find out more about the outstanding properties on offer.

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Labour’s new Help to Buy Scheme

Labour’s new Help to Buy Scheme - A lifeline that’s not only for First Home Buyers

Labour have just announced more details of their Help to Buy Scheme, a key promise in last year’s election. Yet to give a specific date for when the scheme will come into effect, Labour has assured the Australian people it will begin in 2024 and it will apply to 10,000 homes. 

Help to Buy is what’s known as a Shared Equity Scheme, allowing eligible home buyers to co-buy a home with the government. Purchaser’s will only need a 2% deposit and the scheme will provide an equity contribution of up to 40% of the property price for new homes and 30% for existing properties. You will also need to prove you can service your share of the loan, that you can pay all associated costs such as Stamp Duty, legal fees and bank fees and you must be able to pay all rates, strata and electricity bills. 

The scheme will run for 4 years and help 40,000 low and middle income earners to buy a home. To be eligible, you must be an Australian citizen over 18 years of age, your annual income must be $93,200 or less for individuals and $124,200 or less for couples and you must live in the purchased home. The scheme is available to First Home Buyers but also includes single parents, singles over 50 and First Home Buyer key workers who are employed as police, paramedics, nurses, midwives, teachers and early childhood educators. 

Sydneysiders will reap the biggest rewards, as you will be able to purchase a property for up to $950,000. When estimating how much you will save in real terms, Labour states that the scheme will help to cut the cost of a mortgage by up to $380,000 on a new home and $285,000 on a pre-existing home, depending on the price you pay for the property. 

To make it economically viable for the government to fund this, scheme participants will need to pay a component of any capital gain back to the government, which will be calculated in reference to the portion of the government’s equity share in the property. This equity only needs to be repaid on the sale of the property, but you can increase your stake in the home by paying a minimum of 5% towards the government’s share if and when you have any extra money. 

The major benefits of the scheme are would-be homeowners can get into the market far sooner than would otherwise be possible, the government will not charge any fees or interest, Lenders Mortgage Insurance will not need to be paid (potentially saving over $30,000) and the home loan amount and repayments will be far less than if the loan balance was for the full equity amount. 

Cramer have a number of outstanding apartments in excellent locations that meet the criteria for the Help to Buy Scheme, costing $950,000 or less. To find out more contact the Cramer team today.