The culinary resurrection of a historic Manly gem

Manly Pavilion has a chequered history but Miramare Group’s brave restoration has brought new life to the iconic structure.

By Freya Purnell 29/08/2017

Superstitious restaurateurs might have given Manly Pavilion a wide berth – not only had some recent dining ventures in the location failed, but the bottom level of this heritage-listed building had been left vacant since the 1960s, and had long since fallen prey to vandals and squatters.

The brave souls at Miramare Group were not to be deterred, and their efforts have resulted in the rebirth of a historic gem.

Manly Pavilion’s home was originally built in the 1930s by the Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company as a dressing room for bathers on Manly’s harbour-facing beach, with tearooms upstairs. The building has recently been completely redeveloped and restored, with the design by Squillace Architects complementing the building’s Mediterranean style with contemporary accents of polished concrete, terrazzo, copper and stone.

Downstairs is a ballroom and elegant function space, with Art Deco-inspired detailing, and artful highlighting of the building’s relationship to the natural environment. As the tide rises around the over-water pavilion, clever lighting highlights the organic curvature of the sandstone cliff face, creating a dramatic backdrop for evening events.

Upstairs, it’s all about Italian hospitality combined with spectacular views across Sydney Harbour towards South Head.

Newly appointed chef Andrea Corsi (above) brings not only his Tuscan heritage but classical French training, under the guidance of Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxford in the UK, as well as the influence of mentors Massimo Bianchi (ex-Uccello) and Giovanni Pilu, with whom he worked for many years at Cala Luna, Pilu at Freshwater and Cavallino.

With a Mediterranean-inspired menu heavy on seafood, in keeping with its seaside setting, the restaurant successfully navigates the line between sophistication and stuffiness, making it as perfect for a sundown cocktail (perhaps the delicious Jasmine Sour…) as for Sunday brunch with the family. A truly stylish downtime delight.


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