Balmain has a long working-class history — the Australian Labor Party was founded here in 1891 — but the 2041 postcode has become one of Sydney’s most sought-after areas in recent years. Sitting on the harbour six kilometres west of the city centre, Balmain enjoys a rare blend of stylish housing, leafy public spaces and one of Sydney’s best coffee scenes.
Balmain residents are among an elite group of high earners in Sydney, and one suspects a good chunk of their income is spent on renovations. Homes across the suburb have undergone architect-designed extensions and up-market remodelling, rendering Balmain’s working class roots to the pages of history. Victorian terraces and workers’ cottages still dominate the streets, but behind many of the restored facades you’ll find contemporary, open-plan living spaces opening to landscaped courtyards and gardens.
Although often a snarl of slow-moving traffic, the Darling Street shopping strip is popular. Buzzing with restaurants, wine bars, cafés, galleries and boutiques there are also weekly markets in the grounds of St Andrews church.
The area’s massive Italian population can take credit for all those great cafés — the al fresco coffee shops sprawling along Darling Street are like a little slice of the Mediterranean, as are the many great pizza and pasta joints. As well as world-class Italian food, residents of Balmain’s traditional terraces enjoy a short commute to the city and the ferry across the harbour takes in million-dollar views along the way.
For city commuters, choose between ferry and bus transport or it’s a four kilometre drive to the CBD.
Home for sale in Balmain – 7/110 Reynolds St, Balmain
Source: Domain + The Culture Trip