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The Resident, George Dimaris

By Kyrenia Blanshard

This month, our Resident George Dimaris is known to many as ‘The Walker’ – often found pounding the pavements on the Lower North Shore with his Shoodle, Madison. George also co-owns Kingsway Compounding Pharmacy in Brookvale (which is Australia’s only ISO accredited Compounding Pharmacy), but lives in Cremorne and is also a very keen gardener. George is married to Suzanna and they have a 15-year-old son, Nicholas.

He shares his local favourites with us, why he loves living in Cremorne and lets us in on some of the best and possibly unknown walks in the Lower North Shore.

You currently reside in Cremorne, what do you love about the area?
Cremorne is the ideal suburb for us – it is close to the city and anywhere else we want to go, yet still retains a villagey feel. It is close to many good schools and is surrounded by parks and waterways. We live in Brightmore Street which is a few streets away from the Orpheum and we have a walkway next to our house that leads to Primrose Park. We are blessed with great neighbours and there is a real sense of community- everyone helps and looks after each other.

I am a keen gardener and I have met many locals who walk by and just stop to say hello. I also love the fact that we are so close to the harbour, Balmoral Beach, Middle Head, great restaurants and cafes, and the Orpheum Cinema. What else could we ask for?

Anything you don’t love?
Sometimes the traffic on Military Road can be a drag, but the positives far outweigh this. Hopefully, the tunnel to the Northern Beaches will alleviate some of the congestion. Fingers crossed.

Can you share with us your favourite spots for coffee on the Lower North Shore? If you have more than one, please don’t hold back!

I am an early riser, so I start each morning with a macchiato from Maggio’s Bakery in Cammeray, and I often have a sneaky pastry – I’m not a cereal guy – never have been.

We have lived in Cremorne for more than 8 years and before that, we were in Cammeray for 10 years. We know the Maggio brothers really well and it’s great to start the day with a coffee and a chat.

Against the Grind in Neutral Bay – great coffee and amazing food. John and the AGT team have created a slice of the east on the north shore – great coffee and fabulous paninis.

Archie Bear at the Mosman Rowers also does great coffee and food. In fact, we became members of The Rowers a couple of years ago to help support our local community. We always end up there when we do the Cremorne to Mosman Bay walk and it’s a great spot for a casual bite.

San Antonio Bakery at Kirribilli. The coffee, bread and pastries are excellent, and we always have a laugh with Tony. He is quite a character.

Frenchy’s Café at George’s Heights is another one of our favourites. It is surrounded by picturesque harbourside walking tracks and also has great coffee and the best chicken baguettes on the north shore.

And for a feed?

Our favourite Japanese is Toshiya in Cremorne – we love their sashimi tacos and the staff are super friendly.

Enoteca in Neutral Bay is our new go-to Italian restaurant (especially now that Il Perugino has closed down). Their crab pasta is amazing and it’s a taste of Italy at our doorstep.

Bather’s Pavilion – we always have a great meal at Bather’s. And the view is phenomenal.

Mathew’s Peacock Gardens – the best Chinese food in Sydney in my opinion with faultless service. An oldie but a goodie.

Pizza from Fratelli’s – the boys from Fratelli’s make a consistently good pizza in Cremorne.

Thai Kanteen – superb Thai food and excellent, attentive service in Mosman.

Sydney has many great restaurants and living in Cremorne gives us quick access to many of these places – even over the bridge to the city and the east.

WOW! We think you should probably be working for Broadsheet or Time Out.

Any local hidden gems you’d be kind enough to share with us?
Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay is one of my favourite spots to just sit, relax and reflect. It is well known on the lower North Shore but many of my friends who don’t live here are quite unaware of it.
Wendy has created a legacy that people will enjoy for many generations.

Another hidden gem is the markets on Wednesday morning at the Barracks at George’s Heights. It’s a great place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

What’s your favourite room in your place?
When we bought our Californian bungalow, we turned a small sitting room off the entrance into a cosy library nook with custom bookshelves, a restored gas fireplace, leather armchair, Persian rug and crystal chandelier. I love to sit here and relax by the fire with a good book and soak up the old-world charm of the room with its ornate decorative ceilings from the original 1930s part of the house.

Describe your ideal weekend…
My ideal weekend starts with a coffee at Maggio’s, a walk from Neutral Bay to Mosman Bay via Cremorne Point with my family and our dog, lunch at Mosman Rowers followed by a siesta. Then pottering around the garden in the afternoon followed by a movie at the Orpheum Cinema. Then a beer or a glass of wine and some share plates at Barrel in Cremorne.

Finally, you’re known to some as ‘The Walker’, what is it about the Lower North Shore walks that gets you up and out the door – can you share any secret/not-well-known walks with us?
We are very blessed to be so close to the harbour and the coast. The way I relax and unwind is to walk and to be close to nature, especially near water.

There are so many walks to choose from:

  • Cremorne to Mosman Bay (my personal favourite) – it has Aboriginal caves, harbour vistas, the Robertson Lighthouse, Maccallum Pool, a rainforest and bushwalk tracks. It’s the perfect walk to show off our beautiful city to overseas visitors.
  • Neutral Bay wharf to Lavender Bay via Kirribilli. Again a spotlight on the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
  • Middle Head from Frenchy’s Café to either Balmoral or Clifton Gardens – stunning walks showcasing our harbour with views across to the eastern suburbs and the city.
  • Balmoral Beach and surrounds.
  • The Spit to Manly Walk.
  • Balls Head Bushland Reserve at Waverton.

As people can probably see from my Instagram account I don’t limit myself to the North Shore. I love walking all over Sydney. About 25 years ago, I bought a book called Walking Sydney by Jeff Toghill that opened my eyes to many fabulous walks all around Sydney.

When we are travelling either interstate or overseas, the best way to see a city is to walk the streets and just explore and discover.

Thank you George! 

If you would like to follow George, virtually, on his walks around the Lower North Shore, he’s on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/dimarisgeorge/

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