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