While my driver’s licence (yes it’s spelled that way here) and one of my passports says Australia, all I have to do is open my mouth and people here say, “What part of the states are you from? So when I see familiar things from my past I can’t help but get excited. I love living here and it’s definitely *home* but there ARE times I get homesick.
The only thing I could like better than the news that the Williams-Sonoma family of stores is coming to Sydney would be if they said they were coming to Brisbane next. I can only hope. Sydney is a several hour plane ride from the Sunshine Coast where I live but Brisbane is only an hour’s drive. I will definitely consider getting on a plane when the stores open to attend a cooking class.
Seriously, as a food blogging Yank in Oz, it doesn’t get any better than shopping at Williams-Sonoma!
As an American who shopped heaps at Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn when I lived in the states, I am really pleased to see them make a step in the right direction -> to Australia. There are heaps of things Americans do right and these stores do it right.
Some people fight over property, retirement funds, children etc., but when my ex-husband and I split up, the only thing we fought over was my favourite bread pan. I can hear myself yelling at my attorney, “Tell him to go to Williams-Sonoma and buy himself one.” His lawyer told my lawyer to tell me the same thing.
As it turned out, I had possession so it was mine to keep. I still have it and I use it a couple of times a week because it’s the perfect size – long and deep. There’s something to be said for buying quality items for your kitchen. I carefully packed my bread pan for its journey to Australia and it arrived in perfect condition. I don’t know if they still sell a pan in this size but I promise you, if anything happened to my pan I’d scour the world to find another.
So, early in 2013, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm will open their doors to business at the newly constructed Exchange Building at Bondi Junction in Sydney. It’s only 6 kilometers from the CBD and it’s adjacent to the Bondi Junction Rail/Bus Interchange.
If you’ve only visited Williams-Sonoma online (which is a pretty terrific experience in my opinion), going into the store is a food lover’s delight. There are nifty ingredients, clever gadgets and amazing appliances – all top quality. Yes, it costs more to get the best but the best lasts and becomes a treasured friend.
What has REALLY caught my eye is the new Williams-Sonoma cooking school and professional demonstration kitchen that will offer classes and demos by their culinary staff as well as guest chefs. Once it opens I think they should invite their favourite food bloggers for a sample cooking class. It would be great to read the blogs after something like that.
I remember the first Pottery Barn I visited. I was taking a houseful of teenage boys (only one was mine) to the beach for a week and when we stopped at Pottery Barn I had to make the kids squeeze in so I could get all my packages in the car. I wasn’t popular but I LOVED that store.
I have been in Australia too long to have any experience with Pottery Barn Kids (first opened 1999) or West Elm (first opened 2002) so I’m really looking forward to my first visit. I don’t need furnishing for kids but the West Elm store has caught my eye after checking out their website.
Maybe when the stores open, I could fly down and meet all my Sydney food blog friends and we could tour the stores together. Any Americans who wish to fly over will be more than welcome to join in.
This is NOT a sponsored post but when I heard the news I did write to them and ask if they had any promo photos I could use in this post. They kindly said yes. 🙂
Baker Street says
Oh I am so jealous! I am so waiting for them to come to India!!
My step-son is working in India for a month now. I can’t wait for him to get home and tell us about all his experiences! He might not be as thrilled as I am that Williams-Sonoma is coming to Australia. 🙂
Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook says
So cool! Very happy for you, hope you get there. I could get lost in Wiilliams-Sonoma for hours!
I will definitely get there! 🙂
Marina@Picnic at Marina says
How cool Maureen! WS is coming to Sydney, and I am going to WS like in 30 minutes! Now I don’t feel that bad about driving one hour though when you have to fly to the closest one. I know you will enjoy it with a special heart (I am far away from home and each time I see an European store, my heart is melting…). I am happy for you, happy shopping, dear friend! 🙂
I knew you’d understand. It’s more than just a familiar face though because I could go to McDonald’s if I just needed an American fix. Williams-Sonoma is quality through and through and that’s the type of reputation I like to see from the United States. Know what I mean?
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
I know you will be very happy to have one closer than a two hour plane ride away. I’m sure they will be expanding. I have one 15 miles away…yea.
You’re teasing me, aren’t you? It’s 1000 kilometer drive to that store from here and I’m considering it so I’ll have plenty of room to bring back my wares. 🙂
That’s so awesome! Williams sonoma is one of my favorite stores. Although it is quite dangerous for my credit card.
I hadn’t thought about being poor after shopping. I’m living on the excitement of shopping at this point. I’ll save up.
I envy you the chance to go shopping for kitchen ware, etc and the cooking classes. We don’t have anything similar and even though I hate clothes and shoe shopping, I love my local kitchen supply place. I currently have a $10 gift certificate to spend there and the possibilities … well, I’m all excited. 🙂
Food bloggers could live at the kitchenware shops. I’m going to a weekly cooking demonstration at my favourite one up here today. I always try to get there early so I can browse first and then have a chat and coffee.. 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Yay, I’m so happy for you!! Williams-Sonoma is a shopping mecca for me 🙂
I’ll be happier when they get closer but if Australians love the stores like we do, then maybe they’ll consider moving north too 🙂
Oh you are gonna love those stores!!!! Though williams ssanoma is pricey, it’s totally worth it coz the quality is outstanding!!!
Oh I know what you mean! but… I’ve never bought anything at Williams-Sonoma or Pottery Barn that I didn’t fall in love with and I think that says it all. Their buyers do a great job.
I ADORE this store!!!! It’s like my home away from home 😉
LOL it will still be too far at 1000 kilometers from my house but I WILL get there 🙂
I love this store so much 🙂 Just looking at their catalog makes me happy!
I knew there would be people who understood my excitement 🙂
I’m excited for you because Williams-Sonoma is a weekly trip for me. I love that place!
I’m so jealous now 🙂
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
I hadn’t heard of Williams Sonoma but I have heard of Pottery Barn and everything I’ve heard is good. What a nice step for Australia and a great link to home for you – I can definitely appreciate missing things back in the US, even if Australia is officially home for now 🙂
More than half of my really good kitchen cook ware is from W-S. When ever I am at the mall always go to see if they have anything new. Seldom leave without something.
Love to get their catalogs too.
I am easoly entertained. LOL
So glad you will have one semi-near by. 🙂 Don’t let a little ‘ole plane trip stand betweern you and W-S.
I LOVE Wills Sonoma. I have been saving money to buy their Copper core chef’s pan, my ultimate dream pan.
I am not that big a fan of Pottery Barn though.
Congrats for having one come to Australia.
I’m happy for you! Williams-Sonoma has some great stuff. Although I’ve come to prefer Sur la Table – not as big as Williams-Sonoma but have some things that are unique to it. And my favorite source for kitchen stuff is restaurant supply stores – but all their wares are utilitarian (which overall is good) but not particularly fancy looking. I’ll be looking forward to reading about your first trip to the new Williams-Sonoma. And how much you spent! 😉
Another one for me to drool over? I’m not familiar with this one but if you say it’s a food lover’s delight, I’m in!
Hotly Spiced says
Thanks for the heads-up. Great to know that the store is opening in Sydney soon and not too far from where I live. Maureen, if you come to Sydney let’s visit the store together. I’ll start saving up for one of those pots that requires a team of attorneys to decide who gets to keep it! xx
LOL — it was the fact that it was beautifully seasoned and bread just jumps out of the pan, plus the size is perfect. 🙂 If I hadn’t gotten “custody” of the pan I would have survived — sort of.
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I was on the phone to my sister when I read this and stopped mid sentence. How exciting!!!
Those are the three shops I drool over in all the American blogs I follow. Oh how I’d love them all to come to Brisbane. Maybe we should start a petition?
I can only pray that the people in Sydney embrace this shop so they’ll expand. I’d carry a sign in the street if it would help. 🙂
Choc Chip Uru says
Oh my gosh I have heard so many amazing things about this is so exciting 😀
Can’t wait to go shopping!!!
Choc Chip Uru
Aren’t you supposed to be studying, my sweet friend? 🙂 Honestly, we’ll all still love you and visit you even if you take time off for school. NOR will we forget you. If we ARE able to arrange a shopping tour at Williams-Sonoma, you’ll be invited.
What fantastically interesting things one can learn on a busy Friday afternoon, not THAT far from Sydney 🙂 !
Food lovers and kitchenware shops – a match made in heaven for sure. Thanks so much for stopping by.
I’d be happy to fly down for the opening, Maureen! 😉
Williams-Sonoma is one of my most favorite stores! They are so dependable for quality products, and they do have some great sales! I love getting their catalogs and enjoy the recipes. (Let me know if you ever want any!)
I’m envisioning a huge party 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I was so excited about this too! Although the first thing is to look at an apothecary table at Pottery Barn 😛
Jen @ Savory Simple says
Very cool! Love that store.
We have a Pottery Barn outlet store but no WS. The closest one is an hour away. Well worth the drive. And that bread pan must be pretty fantastic!
So excited for you. I love Williams Sonoma and Pottery barn too. I just feel happy walking through their store. A weekly trip is a must for me and right now they are having their fantastic summer sale.
I really wish they would open one in India soon. My friends would love that.
A Canadian Foodie says
We have ours opening in Edmonton in September! A dual celebration! But ours is in a mall. I have been driving to Calgary (300 k away) when I need my Williams Sonoma fix) I have been to their flagship store in San Fransisco and it is a 1/2 day to a day of pure pleasure.
Valerie, you’re making me jealous now but I know what you mean. I would drive 300km just for a browse. 🙂
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
Congratulations! You will LOVE shopping in the store. So many things, so little time 🙂
I am SO looking forward to my first visit. The cooking classes with clever chefs especially.
I love W-S–the closest one to me is in Seattle, though. The good news is that they mail nearly everything to Alaska, and not going into the store probably saves me a lot of money!
I know exactly what you mean about mailing but catalogs and online to me are “shopping” and it’s not the same experience as walking into a Williams-Sonoma store for a food lover 🙂 It’s always like “coming home”. LOL
Oh, the talk is big about this! I’ve already had two phone calls from interstate friends to tell me the news! 🙂
Norma Chang says
Could not agree more about buying quality items for the kitchen. Not only will they last a long time, but the are better to cook with and gives better results.
I believe you and I qualify for being wise, Norma, the others should listen to us. 🙂
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Hi Maureen! I hope you are having a great weekend so far. 🙂 PB and WS are my favorite stores!!! When I came to the US, I immediately fell in love with these stores. PB Kids are so addicting and dangerous place for me to visit. I’m so happy for you and people in Sydney! Enjoy shopping everyone! LOL.
I went to my first WS shop (well, I was in one in Tampa, Fla about 20 years ago) last March in NYC and heaven! It was heaven! Lucky you… but I would be there all the time. And look for my friend Abby Dodge’s cookbooks! She writes them for WS!!
Libby @ theveryveryhungrycaterpillar.com says
This sounds like my kind of store! It’s a shame that they won’t be opening a store in Melbourne (yet, anyway) but on the other hand, I can certainly see it being right at home in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane 🙂