Tara Guest House is in the edgy South Sydney district of Enmore, known mostly for its old pubs and theaters. Owners Brom and Julian—an interiors architect and a fashion designer—live in a bedroom upstairs. They lovingly decorated each space with art and antiques from their personal collections and spared no expense on such luxuries as Egyptian bed linen (“straight from Egypt”) to ensure travelers are as comfortable in the house as they are. The front of the building reveals its 1880s terrace-house character, and the inside tastefully marries heritage floors and crown molding with modern furniture, statement light fixtures, kilim rugs, and surprising décor. A porcelain cat-woman presents herself outside the kitchen; a felted red horse is a magnet for kids upstairs; and a Norman Lindsay painting that Julian bought when he was 16 hangs in the Front Room. Tara is a true B&B that takes its morning meal seriously. Brom and Julian cook up a feast that guests enjoy around a communal table, often late into the afternoon.
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Enmore is a colorful South Sydney district that borders and blurs into funky Newtown, known for thrift stores, antiques shops, rare books and vinyl, specialty ethnic food, street art, and live music. One of Sydney’s most famous theaters, the Enmore, is right around the corner from the B&B, and the Sydney Comedy Festival fills venues all over the area in April and May. The number of exciting places to eat and drink is skyrocketing. There’s now an award-winning gelato shop, Cow Moon, the standout Young Henrys Brewery, excellent cafes like Brewtown, and trendy bars galore.
Need to Know
Rooms: 4 rooms; from $185. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: A generous breakfast banquet is included in the price of the stay. It’s an extravaganza of locally baked breads and pastries, organic fruits, yogurt, fresh-squeezed juices, and hot specialties that range from eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise sauce to vegetarian idlis that taste like they were transported straight from South India. Spa and gym details: Tara’s doesn’t have a gym, but nearby there are parks, the Marrickville Tennis Club, an indoor climbing gym, and a pool facility. Fitness centers, yoga studios, and day spas can also be found throughout the neighborhood.
Who's it best for: Treasure hunters and arts lovers looking to rummage around the nearby markets before catching some live music. Our favorite rooms: Originally two maid quarters, the upstairs Back Room is now a bright, high-ceilinged accommodation appointed with a low-lying bed, modern seating, a kilim rug, and a telescope in the corner that faces Botany Bay. Local secrets: Brom provides guests with a hand-annotated map of her favorite Sydney experiences and has many local secrets to add—such as the Nicholson Museum on the University of Sydney campus, which showcases one archaeologist’s trove of antiquities.