My name is Elise, I was born in France and my passion for travel and adventure led me to move to Australia 17 years ago with my then boyfriend, now husband, also French. Together we have a 6-year-old daughter who loves to make fun of our accent! Motherhood was the catalyst for me to start living more intentionally, to make choices that feel better aligned with what’s most important in this phase of my life. After 12 years working in corporate, I decided to change careers shortly after the birth of my daughter in order to support women’s wellbeing and personal evolution through preconception, pregnancy and motherhood. I work with women one-on-one and I also facilitate workshops and circles in a holistic health clinic in Clovelly called Bulb, where I provide a gentle space for women to feel heard, seen and valued on their adventure through motherhood. You can read an article I wrote about matrescence, this huge shift I believe we should all know about, as women, in order to better navigate our motherhood journeys. And you can find out more about my work here.
Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east?
My husband and I are originally from France. We first came to Australia in 2005 and lived in Clovelly for a few months. We loved this part of the world so much that we decided to move to Australia for good in 2006: we lived in Potts Point for 5 years, then moved just around the corner, to Elizabeth Bay, where we lived for 9 years and 18 months ago, we moved to Woollahra.
Three words that describe what it’s like to live in the eastern suburbs?
Vibrant: lots of things to do, amazing scenery, different cultures
Convenient: everything you need at your doorstep
Special: it’s a pretty unique lifestyle, with or without kids
How many children?
We thought we would have at least 3 children before my daughter came along and then…we decided to stop at one!
If you’d ask me 18 months ago, I would have said Rushcutters Bay – I’ve done the walk along the water’s edge pretty much every morning during the 14 years we spent in that area and NEVER got tired of it. Now that we live in Woollahra, Cooper Park has become my absolute favourite: an incredible bushland reserve in the middle of the city with beautiful rainforest trails. Stunning!
I love Camp Cove as a harbour beach. The water is quite shallow so it’s a nice spot for little ones. There’s great snorkelling, a kiosk with good coffee and also a lovely walk through the national park close by. It’s quite small though so it tends to be crowded on weekends.
Favourite kid friendly cafe:
Homestead in Centennial Park. There’s a fabulous kids’ playground next door and a lovely terrace so you can supervise play from a distance or you can grab take away and sit in the grass under a tree, bliss.
Favourite Coffee Spot:
The Lookout Elizabeth Bay Marina: great water views, tasty menu and delicious coffee. What more can you ask for?
Favourite date night place:
Maeda Japanese in Paddington Five Ways for a low-key date night. It’s quite understated and very reasonably priced considering the quality of the food and the freshness of the ingredients. Our daughter gets jealous when we go there without her, so it’s become our special family outing. For a “flashier” date night we love Fred’s in Paddington, Monopole which used to be in Potts Point and now moved to the CBD or Sake in the Rocks.
Where in the east have you yet to explore and would like to?
I think I’ve explored a lot of the east already… The parts I’m less familiar with: Malabar (I discovered Malabar beach last year and loved it), Maroubra, Little Bay and La Perouse. I want to go for walks there at some point to get to know the area better.
What would you like to see improve in the eastern suburbs?
I’d love to see more community gardens around – there was an awesome one in Kings Cross where my daughter and I used to volunteer. I’d love to see more community compost solutions too.
Favourite Local Shop:
Madame & Yves in Clovelly: the French in me can’t resist a good patisserie and this one is DIVINE! They make delicious bread and ice cream too. I get tempted far too often as it’s located next door to Bulb, the holistic health clinic where I work. But I refuse to feel guilty ☺
Favourite wet weather location:
At home baking or doing crafts. Sometimes we enjoy going to the movies at Westfield Bondi Junction or Palace Verona on Oxford Street.
Favourite Local family Weekend Activity?
We love going to Centennial park for a walk or a bike ride. We also love the Botanic Gardens for a walk and a picnic and some good tree climbing. If we’re not at the park, we can be found at the beach!
Work or SAHM?
A combination of both, that’s my happy place right now ☺
I love quotes and I find this one pretty powerful:
“The most precious inheritance that parents can give their children is their own happiness”, Thich Nhat Hanh.
I think it reinforces the importance of looking after our needs and taking really good care of ourselves as women and mothers. Learning how to mother ourselves first, using the same kindness towards ourselves that we would use with our kids. Having the courage to ask for help and surrounding ourselves with a great network of support to look after our physical, mental and emotional health. Knowing that when we do that, we’re not only increasing our happiness and our ability to face everyday challenges, but we’re also role modelling for our children essential self-care skills that will serve them well as they grow up and become adults themselves.