COFFEE @ Dolce Terra, Manly 2095.
Dolce Terra is a lovely fresh corner cafe that is bright and cheerful and overlooks the heritage listed St Mary’s Catholic Church (c.1890), just five minutes walk from Manly Beach, Manly Ferry Wharf and The Corso.
With indoor, outdoor and bar seating available, Dolce Terra is well zoned and the relaxed styling is very attractive. The rustic timber credenza, loaded with greenery, fruit and knick-knacks is a definite feature within the space as are the pendant light fittings and copper pipe display shelves that are currently very popular. The small round tables and timber chairs have a very European feel, whilst the floral headbands the staff wear contribute to the exotic and fun Mediterranean atmosphere.
The menu includes fresh salads and juices and my toast with tomato and avocado had a very tasty Mediterranean twist to it. The coffee was very nice but for me the coffee cups were the real star; I just love the black inside of the coffee cup!
NOW & THEN around Manly
Henry Gilbert Smith, a businessman, envisaged Manly as a seaside resort when he purchased land in the 1850s and began laying out a township. In 1854 Smith started a ferry service to bring people from Sydney to Manly and he formalised a track, worn by local Aboriginal people, which connected the ocean beach to the harbour beach and named it The Corso.
In 1903 Manly Council amended the bathing by-laws to permit daytime swimming, however neck to knee swimming consumes had to be worn. In 1903, 17 people drowned on Manly Beach and in the following year one of the earliest surf clubs in the world was established to safeguard beach goers. The introduction of surfboard riding in 1915 promoted significant growth of Australia’s beach culture.
By the 1920s, The Corso was the main commercial precinct in Manly and the area became a very popular seaside holiday resort throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1940s, the phrase “Seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care” was coined to promote Manly as a tourist destination.
The construction of roads and the opening of the Spit Bridge in the 1920s stimulated tourism and population growth in Manly. Residential flat buildings were constructed in large numbers and along with the extension of the Government bus service; Manly continued to grow throughout the early part of 1900s. The mid-1900s saw a decline of visitors to Manly as private cars and backyard swimming pools meant that people tended to stay at home or visit surf beaches.
In the 1970s, public works including turning part of The Corso into a pedestrian street contributed to the area’s gentrification.
The Corso, incorporating all buildings fronting the commercial strip, is a NSW state heritage listed item. Numerous individual buildings fronting The Corso and the Morton Bay Figs, planted down the centre of The Corso in the 1850s, are locally listed heritage items as is the Manly Ferry Wharf.
A photographic record of my visit to Manly, NSW
The following images showcase contemporary alterations and additions to heritage listed buildings and/or buildings located within heritage conservation areas in the suburb of Manly.
Dictionary of Sydney, Manly Council website, Office of Environment & Heritage – State Heritage Inventory.
Historical images courtesy of Flickr Commons.