Shannon Thomas opened original Darlinghurst designer boutique Désordre (the name translates to “mess”) in 2009. With the likes of Christopher Esbar, Khaite, Dion Lee, Michael lo Sordo, Area, Sophia Webster, Petar Petrov, Slvrlake all featured on the racks, the small, inviting boutique reminded us of what it was like before the internet made it so shockingly easy to shop online.

In 2020, that taste for curation continues to pay off. Thomas recently opened another Désordre location in Bondi, where she sells high-end women’s clothing from Australian and international designers.

That finely-honed feel for what’s making waves around town means Thomas knows her city intimately. We asked her for her picks on where to go and what to see in Sydney.

Sean’s, North Bondi
This quirky institution overlooking Bondi Beach opened in 1993 and now sits beside the second Désordre store. Thomas says it’s perfect for hosting clients. “They can shop and then we can go next door for lunch. It’s baby-friendly, which is good too.”

Seafood is the star here, and every meal comes with a side of fresh bread. There are set menu options as well. “It’s delicious home-cooked food, elevated,” she says. “It’s great if you want to go with your girlfriends, or for an anniversary or date night.”

Désordre, Bondi Beach
A decade after opening the first Désordre, Thomas branched out with a second shop showcasing exclusive designer clothing for women. “Darlinghurst [her original city store] is the more dressy destination for Sydney events,” she says. “[It’s about] not trying too hard but always looking really cool.”

In Bondi, an area Thomas has always loved, she wants to cater to residents who don’t shop outside that suburb. “It’s got more swimwear and more relaxed everyday wear, but still party dresses,” she says of her store there. “[They’re] things you can’t find anywhere else, including international designers, so you know you’re getting something special.”

Early morning walks from Bronte to Bondi
This gorgeous beach-flanked walk isn’t exactly a secret, but Thomas loves to take advantage of early mornings to avoid crowds – it’s an aspect of her routine that does feel special to her. It’s also a place to reconnect with her childhood, which was spent one beach over at Clovelly. She developed a habit of making the journey daily while pregnant with her daughter, who she now brings along with her.

“It’s my therapy,” says Thomas. “I’m a big fitness and fresh-air person. It’s just always felt really grounding to me to get the salt air. It’s clean and sunny: everything I love about Sydney in this little corner.”

Barry’s Bootcamp, Surry Hills
“I discovered it this year and can’t recommend it enough,” Thomas says of the LA-founded fitness movement that’s expanded into Australia. She loves the structured balance of treadmill sprints and weights, focusing on different areas of the body each day.

“It’s changed my body more than anything else I’ve done,” Thomas says, comparing the classes to having a personal trainer. “And it’s not unattainable. There are so many entry levels – I think everyone could get something out of it.”

Tequila Mockingbird, Paddington

Editor’s note: If you are drinking, leave your car at home.

True to its name, Tequila Mockingbird makes a topnotch Margarita. “It’s the most delicious Margarita I’ve ever had,” Thomas says. “And that’s even compared to LA, which is famous for its Margaritas.”

Situated in a quaint converted terrace house, complete with courtyard, the venue offers a broad Latin American food menu in a comfortable setting. For Thomas, though, it’s her drink of choice that’s the draw. “I’m a real Margarita girl, so that’s a big selling point,” she says, laughing.

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