The Grounds of Alexandria to build dessert oasis cafe for Sculpture by the Sea (Sydney)

It’s about that time again when one of Australia’s most attractive and unique outdoor art exhibitions, Sculpture by the Sea, comes around. Each year a huge range of public artworks are commissioned and displayed along the iconic coastal walk between Bondi and Bronte beaches, making for very memorable sight anchored by the activity in central hub Marks Park.

For the past two years Sculpture by the Sea has also hosted it’s very own exclusive pop up from inner-west favourite The Grounds of Alexandria – appropriately named The Grounds by the Sea – and you can be sure the pop up will be returning for it’s third run, but in a much different form. Previously The Grounds by the Sea has been hobbit-themed, presenting one of the most thoughtful and creative temporary cafes in Sydney. In 2016, that hobbit theme will be thrown to the wind, stripped and transformed by inspiration The Grounds’ co-founder Ramzey Choker and head stylish/creative developer Therese Moussa absorbed on a recent trip to America’s South-West, resulting in an n Adobe-styled hacienda and dry-climate vegetation display which will embody he spirit of Arizonian design and architecture.

Terracotta peach, coral, and salmon will form the colour pallete for this inspired pop-up, designed to melt in with the horizon hues of that morning Bondi sunrise, the team using Porter’s Paints to help the transformation from hobbit house to dessert oasis. Little trims of patina greens will help give the house a weathered look to make it seem like oxidised copper – just an example of the detail that’s gone into this project.

Wrought iron chairs, benches, low coffee tables, and tiled tabletops will all be used in the space, broken up by a sea-scaped scene of dry-climate succulents like cacti and agave, and shooting colours of purple, orange, and pinks, which will be mirrored by the floral rooftop made of seaside daisies, grown especially for The Grounds.

“We love creating experiences for our guests and challenging ourselves with each new endeavour to push the boundaries on our ideas, even if it’s just for 2 and a half weeks”, said Choker. “We’re constantly questioning how every single element can help take that feeling of escapism to the next level, from the menu offering through to the colour of the ceiling in house”.

From Thursday 20th October to Sunday 6th November, The Grounds by the Sea will be popped up in Marks Park to provide some necessary sustenance to sculpture watchers with Group Executive Chef Paul McGrath putting together a limited edition menu of healthy breakfast bowls, seafood platters, and The Grounds’ signature burgers with added Arizonian twists, making use of lime, chilli, and coconut throughout.

The Grounds by the Sea

Where: Marks Park, Tamarama
When: 7am-7pm, Thursday 20th October-Sunday 6th November.

Image: The Grounds of Alexandria


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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