The story is set in Long Island, New York, but The Great Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann shot the cinematic adaptation of the classic novel in his home country of Australia — in various locations around the city of Sydney. As a result, more than 24 months of shooting transpired. And as the world waited to see Luhrmann’s ambitious storytelling style grace their cinemas, the streets of Sydney were filled with the magic of Gatsby.
In 1925, the wealthy, charming, exuberant character of Jay Gatsby was just a figment of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s imagination in a best-selling novel. Today he’s viewed as a trendsetter, an icon of excess and style, and a somewhat smart businessman. If a real-life Gatsby were walking the streets of Sydney today, we believe these stores, bars and activities would lure him in.
Despite the extravagant parties he threw, Gatsby was a bit of a loner, but a loner with impeccable style. If left up to his own devices, we’d guess Gatsby would hide out at the Shirt Bar in the city’s business district, amidst bespoke threads and towers of 18-year-old scotch. This bar and shop duo is known for creating unique made-to-order shirts, ties, cuffs and handkerchiefs for its select clientele. And all this happens with premium alcohol in the vicinity. Here, Gatsby would find solace from all the judgmental eyes while simultaneously snagging some time to elevate his wardrobe.
Claiming “bragging” as his middle name, Gatsby wouldn’t miss a chance to showcase his power, control and wealth to Daisy Buchanan. So, for an appropriate night out with his ladylove, he’d most likely head to a secret bar in Darlinghurst, Sydney’s most trendy suburb. Eau-de-Vie is a dimly lit, intimate speakeasy space that’s unrecognizable from street level, but it instantly transports you to the time when jazz was popular and women wore pearls out on the town. Its sophisticated and impressive cocktail list (such as the Connect Four, made with Don Julio Blanco, Campari, mandarin, coconut, yuzu and topped off with a bit of lemon oils and star anise), makes it a cozy retreat for couples to imbibe.
Gatsby’s love of swimming meant taking numerous dips in his home’s private pool. Whether moving to Sydney permanently or jetting over for a quick vacation, he could venture out to one of Sydney’s private beaches for a refreshing plunge, instead. One of the most elusive beaches in the city can be found near the famous Spit Bridge. Or should Gatsby choose to take a stroll after a dip in the water, he could embark upon the Manly Scenic Walkway beach hike, which runs for 5.5 miles, one way.
But, if Gatsby wanted a break from the hiking and swimming, he could always hire a yacht for the day and head in the direction of the Spit Bridge. That strip has several small beaches that can only be accessed via boat or kayak. With Buchanan in tow — or a group of fellow nouveau riche — he could set sail for a day soaking in the sights around Sydney Harbour.
Photos Courtesy of VillaGetaways.com, Shitika Anand, Shirt Bar, Eau-de-Vie