Friday, December 11, 2009

suburb No 14: Haberfield

Haberfield. Been there a few times before but like Marrickville, only to visit friends. My entire 
experience of the main street was limited to finding a bottle shop to buy some wine for said 
friends. Hopeless really. But even with eyes half shut it was impossible not to notice there was 
something different about the suburb - namely the gardens were big and the houses uniformly 
attractive and mainly Federation. So it didn't come as a surprise when I learnt this week that 
Haberfield was designed as a 'model' garden suburb.

The history in 20 words or less:

• Darug tribe first in, to be replaced by the British - two of whom made their mark on the place - 

David Ramsay and Richard Stanton
• The Ramsay family built a great old building, Yasmar, and St Davids Church (see pics below) 
• Stanton arrived early 1900s to name the suburb after some rellies and transform the place into 

a garden suburb
• The entire suburb is heritage listed, hence the uniform appearance
• The Italians moved in a little later and never left.

Random impressions: quiet, nice churches, very green and flower-colourful. Yasmar is kind of 

spooky now that it's all shuttered up. And there's a small but lethal cluster of restaurants, cake 
shops and delis on Ramsay Street - I am now much wiser about the suburb but considerably 
fatter too...

Part 1: Flowers are everywhere

flowers in the stairs :: 1

flowers on the floor

flowers in the stairs :: 2

flowers in the tiles and dresses

flowers in the tiles and dresses, close-up

flowers in the garden ladies

Part 2: This goes with that




wrap around glass

love love love

how do you like your garden path?

Part 3: Italia

Italy is shaped like a boot

proud colours

the greengrocer's dad

having a chinwag

Part 4: The food


the famous cheesecake

star :: 1

a place to meet

creamy goodness

hand made

before and after

star :: 2

Part 5: A church or three

a variety of churches

flowers even grow out of stone (St Davids Uniting Church)

inside out (Haberfield Baptist Church)

St Joan : 1 (Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church)

St Joan : 2 (Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church)

from the garden (Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church)

open the window please (St Oswalds Church)

Part 6: Yasmar (Ramsay spelt backwards)

Yasmar :: 1

Yasmar :: 2

Yasmar :: 3

Part 7: Ciao garden suburb 

a 'model' home

flowers, in the ground and in the hands

The 'model suburb' of Haberfield was designed to be beautiful and it is - what it lacks in diversity 

it makes up for with uniformity in its homes and gardens. Even the food is aesthetically pleasing 
with pretty pastel coloured gelatos and myriad shaped pastries. So pleasing I ate half the suburb 
before I rolled down to my car and left. Stuffed but happy to be one more suburb slightly wiser 

about my own city. 

You might like to visit...

Pasticceria Papa, 145 Ramsay Street

Dolcissimo, 98 Ramsay Street

Yasmar, 185 Parramatta Road 

See you next week.


  1. I was baptised at St Joan of Arc. I've only ever driven past it so your seeing your photos was a delight. Napoli in Bocca on Dalhousie St is one of my favourite pizza places in Sydney, just be prepared to wait.

  2. far out brussel sprout
    Thanks for the pizza recommendation - but glad I didn't know before or I may have been tempted to eat even more...

  3. thanks for featuring a lovely inner west suburb!

  4. Great, great photos! I was given this link by a freind of mine, were both amateur photographers but are always learning. What you capture in your photos are the pure essence of an area, their brilliant! Very inspiring work. Also love your play on words/images.
    I've since passed this website on to many more budding photographer friends of mine.

    Can I ask you what lens you mainly use or are you using a mix? It looks like a 50mm but I'm only a newbie so forgive my presumptions.

    Also, do you only spend one day at each suburb? and how do you go about asking for peoples photos? Im always a little weary of that, wow, too many questions.

    Love the work!

  5. Nat - glad you like it.

    Jason - questions are good! I use a 16-35mm Canon L series lens, nice and wide, excellent quality. I just recently bought a 85 mm Canon L series lens to start taking portraits of people but I haven't used it for 52 Suburbs yet. I may visit a suburb three times and spend two to four hours each time. Asking people for their photo gets much easier the more you do it. I introduce myself, briefly explain I'm doing a photoblog on different Sydney suburbs and could I please take their picture. Most people don't mind, many seem to enjoy it. Hope that helps and good luck with the photography.

  6. wow again!!

    nice question jason, i love to know what lens is used and when.

  7. great photos once again. I've only been through/past Haberfield. didn't realize there were all these yummy things to try. will have to check it out

  8. I live in Ashfield, which is next to Haberfield....There is a bottle shop on Ramsay rd, just opposite Paesanella cheese shop. The wine selection there is very good. Each friday arvo on my way home from work, I call into Paesanella, grab some cheese, maybe some ham and some olives, pop across the road to the bottle shop and 5 minutes later, Im home.....savouring the delights of Haberfield once again!

    I love your blog and your photos!

  9. thanks for doing Haberfield! I'm a Perth girl who has been living in Sydney for a little over 2 years and I currently live in Haberfield. The food is soooo good - good thing the Bay Run is also just down the road.
    I love your blog - it inspires to get out and see as much of Sydney as I can.

  10. Hi Louise,
    our mutual friend Aqua sent me the link to your blog which I loved - you have a very good "eye" -
    and certainly captured Haberfield in a very creative way. The tiled risers on the stairs are a favourite thing of mine to look at around here
    as well, and you made some interesting juxtapositions. Colefax Chocolates is another
    joy to behold in Haberfield for your next visit - it's in the main street near the C'wealth Bank
    Thanks for sharing the fun, Rosemary

  11. i love haberfield too, but you missed the amazing Hawthorne Canal and the dog park with the famous Bones cafe at the end! if you have time, please check it out it's a wonderful place full of dog lovers and millions of wonderful dogs, big and small.

    Keep up the good work on the blog and cant wait for the book! it's going to be fabulous!

  12. Thanks Louise, Love the site, just started checking it out today after hearing a bit of you of ABC 702.
    I was born in Haberfield and lived there until I was 10. As a kid I used to love checking out the cemetery at the back of St David's Church. The Ramsey's have an old family grave there.
    I used to go to Haberfield Demonstration Primary School and Yasmar was on one side and the old Cobb & Co stables on the other.

  13. What a wonderful part of the world. I lived in Haberfield for a little over 3 years and dearly miss the place. The food is gourmet brilliance! The best bread you will ever eat can be found at the little italian bakery on Ramsay st just up from the IGA supermarket. I recall getting the bus home in the wee hours of the morning, not a soul on the street but with the wonderful smell of freshly baked bread eminating onto the streets. Those were the days. How I wish I could go back to them

  14. Hi Louise I was just wondering how you were able to take photos of the beautiful Yasmar house, I've been doing some searching but it is covered in bush and is being used as a juvenile justice centre how ever did you get those photographs?

  15. Hi Anon
    Well, maybe all the rain has accelerated the bush growth but when I went you could clearly see the buildings etc. Then main building was empty and locked up when I went so I assume it is no longer being used as a juvenile justice centre?

    An intriguing place.


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