Instagram Takeover: The Old Clare x That Which We
Amy and I love living in the heart of Chippendale. At just 0.5 square kms it's one of Sydney's smallest suburbs but punches well above its weight due to its reputation as the capital's hotspot for dining and creativity, boasting the likes of Kensington Street, Spice Alley, Ester, LP's Quality Meats, aMBUSH Gallery and The White Rabbit Gallery. With so much literally on our doorstep it's a fantastic place to call home but as we're away most weekends for shoots we often miss out on the buzz when Chippendale is at its busiest.
Recently, however, we had a spare weekend in our busy schedule and decided to make the most of it by having a staycation in Chippo! And whilst enjoying the comfort of our own home for this rare occasion would have been perfectly enjoyable, we felt that a night at our local design hotel (and another of Chippendale's gems), The Old Clare Hotel, would fully embrace the true essence of a staycation. Our friends at TOCH loved the idea and took it a stage further by giving us the awesome opportunity to take over their Instagram account for the weekend and use our unique style of photography and commentary to share some insider tips on what a creative couple from Chippendale get up to on a weekend off.
So, this was our weekend as seen on @theoldclare:
Hello! We're Milton and Amy from @thatwhichwe and we're thrilled to be looking after The Old Clare's feed for the next couple of days! As professional photographers we're often away at weekends and miss out on all the fun as the crowds arrive to explore our trendy little suburb of Chippendale. But this weekend we have a clear schedule so we're treating ourselves to a staycation at our favourite design hotel and finally experiencing all the cool products that have been tantalising us each time we walk past the antique vault safe in The Old Clare's link lobby! During our stay we'll be exploring The Old Clare in great detail and sharing what we find! We'll also share our insider's guide to some of our favourite local places and spaces. And all our images will be delivered with our trademark captions full of interesting facts! Enjoy!
Esstudio Galleria (@esstudioeyes) is a hair and beauty salon like no other. Owned and run by Aleks and Jax (and resident canine Oxy), the Chippendale warehouse's interior is an eclectic and flamboyant mash up of French renaissance and pirate ship, perfectly reflecting their sense of fun and adventure. The centrepiece of the space is a huge antique chandelier, imported from Europe, which hangs over the communal styling table where clients can enjoy a glass of wine during their consultations. Designed as a one stop destination for all beauty needs, Esstudio also offers manis, pedis, facials, waxing and even reiki treatments. It's also conveniently located right next door to us making Amy a very happy girl!
Founded in 2009 by Judith Neilson, The White Rabbit Gallery (@whiterabbitgallery) sits at the heart of Chippendale’s moniker as Sydney’s arts hub, showcasing one of the world’s most significant collection of Chinese contemporary art. The entire White Rabbit Collection consists of almost 2,000 works by 500 artists so the four level gallery space (located in a former warehouse and Rolls-Royce service depot) only displays a fraction in the form of two exhibitions a year. The latest exhibition, Heavy Artillery, has just opened and this collection of classical figures aligned in the form of a Buddhist deity is the dramatic signature piece that passers by can’t help but stop to admire and photograph. We love hanging out in The White Rabbit Gallery. It’s a beautiful art space with free admission and guided tours, and the air conditioned tea house is the perfect way to escape the sun and relax with a pot of Chinese tea and a plate of dumplings!
It’s check in time for our staycation and the Old Clare’s design-led experience begins from the moment we enter the lobby. Located in what was the pokies room of the former Old Clare pub, the lobby features vintage chairs sourced by owner Loh Lik Peng (a signature @unlistedc feature) and walls plastered with original posters for local music gigs in days gone by, while a custom scent from @maisonbalzac candles creates an aura of modern sophistication. The reception desk features art deco style panelling and is adorned by a couple of industrial custom made lamps by modern craftsman Paul Firbank, also known as @theragandbonemanuk. Based in the East end of London, Paul sorts and sifts through scrap yards and thrift markets for the remains of outmoded metal parts and vintage engineered machinery that represent fragments of British industrial history, before using traditional metalwork techniques to transform the discarded scraps into eye-catching bespoke pieces of lighting and furniture. Paul’s lamps adorn each of the hotel’s guest rooms and his pieces also feature throughout the hotels restaurants, including a chandelier in @automata_syd and the wall lights in @silvereye_restaurant
We're ending day one of our takeover with this image of our home for the weekend - a gorgeous Chippendale Loft. Taking their name from William Chippendale, who the suburb is named after, the spacious and contemporary split level rooms feature vintage furniture, white marble bathrooms, and a super kingsize bed. Heaven!
Good morning! It's day two of our staycation at The Old Clare and we're going for a stroll around the building before heading to breakfast. Vintage chairs feature heavily throughout The Old Clare, but it's the barbers chair that has become the signature element of properties in the Unlisted Collection stable. This striking barbers chair sits proudly in the link lobby
We've visited @kensingtonstreetsocial several times since it opened earlier this year, but this was our first time sampling the restaurant as hotel guests! After a thoroughly delicious breakfast we explored the modern industrial space which comprises a light and airy main dining space and this more intimate mezzanine level.
One of our favourite buildings is the extraordinary Frank Gehry-designed Dr Chau Chak Wing "paper bag" building in nearby Ultimo. Based on the idea of a tree house, the 12-storey UTS business school building consists of 320,000 custom designed bricks that have been strategically aligned to give the structure its fluid, organic shape. While you’re in the area we also recommend exploring the nearby Goods Line, a 500m pedestrian and cycle network connecting Railway Square to Darling Harbour that features grassy lawns, dining tables, ping pong tables, study pods and a children’s play area.
Chippendale is packed with history and one of its most distinctive heritage structures is Mortuary station on Regent Street which was opened in 1869 for the sole purpose of transporting the dead and their mourners to Rookwood Cemetery. The distinctive church-like building was designed by James Barnet (who also designed Sydney GPO) using elements of Venetian 13th century Gothic style architecture along with elaborate carvings of angels, cherubs and gargoyles. The defunct station is usually closed to the public but it has recently reopened for a limited time as a venue for the Biennale Of Sydney, hosting an exhibition called Embassy of Transition that somewhat appropriately examines the cycles of life and death.
As we head towards a new week we’re super excited about the launch of @humming_puppy yoga studio which opens tomorrow! Located on the border of Chippendale and Redfern, Humming Puppy Sydney follows the success of the first studio which opened in Melbourne’s Prahran last year. We were immediately drawn to the range of classes set within a stylish spa-like environment, but as beginners we were also encouraged by the ease of use - mats, blocks and straps are all provided and there’s even the ability to book your mat position online, eliminating any jostling for position and disruption of chakras on arrival! A unique aspect of Humming Puppy is the eponymous hum - a dual frequency vibration at 40 hertz (the gamma-wave frequency of the brain) and 7.83 hertz which is believed to be the resonance of the earth. As photographers who spend a lot of time on our feet with heavy gear we can’t wait to relax, stretch, meditate and recalibrate!
And so ends our staycation at The Old Clare. We’ve had a wonderful time in this beautiful design hotel and we would like to thank all the staff who made our stay so enjoyable! The last image from our Instagram takeover is The Old Clare bar, the public area of the former Carlton United Brewery which holds fond memories for many Sydney locals. Once the preferred watering hole of students, musos and ABC journos, the bar has been transformed into a sleek, modern space with Danish-style chairs and cocktails with names like “A-salt and batter-Y”, but it still incorporates respectful nods to its brewery past with tiled walls, an artfully stained carpet, and plenty of Reschs. And on that note we would like to raise a glass to thank you for joining us on our staycation!