It’s a genuine conundrum on a dreary afternoon on the harbour. East Coast Lounge, with its Hamptons-style, whitewashed surfaces and beachy furnishings, is a wine-bar-and-homewares-store hybrid made for the spring and summertime. But it doesn’t do too badly in the opposite kind of weather.
Located in the former Submarine Miner’s Depot, there’s plenty of water vista to spare. Despite the heritage listing and exceptional view, the atmosphere is casual, underscored by the menu which consists almost entirely of cheese and grazing plates; simple, but exceptional-quality offerings of cured meats, marinated vegetables and sourdough. With French Champagnes, Australian wines and Sydney-based beers there’s a certain provincial structure in the drinks list here.
Though it’s more formally a wine bar, some simple breakfast dishes make coffee a necessity. Allpress Espresso provides the beans as well as a cream-coloured La Marzocco (Allpress customised the shell because the signature red of the espresso machine clashed with the breezy interior). A range of vividly described teas by New York’s Bellocq cater for those who tend towards the other kind of brew.
Conceived of by two sisters, Jennifer Barrett and Christine Housego – previously a graphic designer and an accountant. It’s a convergence of their two different passions; fine foods and fine objects.
Among those objects, all available for purchase, are leather-bound notebooks, hand-stitched leather overnight bags, skincare products and Stuart Membery furniture. The artisanal assortment balances handcrafted imported goods and local producers, catering to locals who long for the exotic and visitors in want of a memento.
Unless you’re a local, East Coast Lounge is admittedly a destination venue. It’s outside the usual wheelhouse of inner-city wine bars, and invites an entire day of scouring the beach and headlands punctuated by some true lounging, drinking, shopping and dining.
East Coast Lounge
7b Chowder Bay Road, Mosman (Upstairs from Ripples)
(02) 9968 1658
Tue to Thu & Sun 10am–5pm
Fri & Sat 10am to 8pm
Mon to Wed 10am–6pm
Thu & Sun 10am–8pm
Fri & Sat 10am–9pm