Palm Springs hits Sydney with Caroline Beresford

Fresh off the plane from California, I’m refreshed and inspired by the otherworldliness of Palm Springs all over again. The desert surroundings, the magical midcentury finishes and perfect Pleasantville architecture… throw in some poolside Margaritas and it’s a wonder that anyone ever leaves.

Though this desert oasis might be a little far flung for a weekend getaway, you can immerse yourself in a little slice of Palm Springs heaven this month as designer Caroline Beresford brings the inspired pop-up ‘Hyde Park Palms’ to life right here in Sydney for Good Food Month from October 5-22 (tickets www.goodfoodmonth.com). We caught up with Caroline to find out all about the inspiration behind the installation as Hyde Park Palms plays host to a series of never to be repeated events (our hot tip - don’t miss the Sunday brunches!).

Kaz x

An oasis in amongst the CBD… how did you land on Palm Springs as the inspiration point for this pop up experience at Good Food Month?

Fairfax Media’s brief to Caroline Beresford Design was to create a VIP venue which will play the back drop for a list of exciting food and lifestyle based events throughout Good Food month in Sydney this October. The location was the city’s famous Hyde Park, which is in the middle of the CBD. Palm Springs is renowned for being a desert oasis, where the cool of or California flock to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. We wanted to create Sydney’s own oasis, right in the heart of the city. Somewhere where corporates, tourists and anyone interested in the food and lifestyle festival, can enter and be transported off to another time and place.

What are the key design notes which exemplify Palm Springs style?

This "Desert Modern" style was originally a high-end architectural style featuring open-design plans, wall-to-wall carpeting, swimming pools, and very large windows. The flow between outside and in is subtle and often features sunken lounge areas for a truly luxurious and layered approach to living. Architectural materiality includes groove cladding, crazy paving and textured brick work on the exterior of the generally linear lined houses. The Interior design notes exude a combination of celebrity, health and new wealth. The Hollywood and cool California set left its mark with shaggy carpets, pastel pinks, orange and yellow palettes. Parker furniture, bold geometric shapes and patterns and metallics with lots of layering is key. Just pop on your high-waisted denim flares and big sunnies and you will fit in just fine

What can diners expect to experience at Hyde Park Palms?

We want to create an experience for the diners at Hyde Park Palms that is something very exceptional, something different to a regular restaurant experience. Hyde Park Palms has been designed to emulate a Palm Springs House Party. The original mid century furniture sourced from Vampt Vintage Design (vamptvintagedesign.com) , the outdoor furniture by Made By Tait (madebytait.com.au) and artworks I have carefully curated will ensure the diners feel like they are at a Palm Springs dinner party. 

‘Pop up’ style dining continues to gain momentum, what is it about these non-traditional dining experiences that make them a must-do?

Pop Up dining experiences have a particular element of excitement and fun about them. Sometimes, the thought of a destination being temporary increases interest and hype within the general public. Quite often, Pop Up restaurants are created to host celebrity chef events, therefore, interest and demand will always be higher if high profile chefs are involved. The fact that the structure is a temporary one has led to challenges for us, however this has only pushed our creativity even further. We have sourced materials, finishes, furniture decor from many different suppliers - the outcome will be a rye lived in, layered vibe.

Modern dining is about so much more than good food - how important is it to get the setting and mood right; how do you nail the perfect ambience?

It is absolutely vital to get the setting and mood right. Diners are very design savvy, they know what they want. If you don’t get the ambience right first time round, don’t expect return guests. 

My 5 top tips for naming the perfect ambience are 1. moody, well balanced indirect lighting, 2. carefully planned dining “zones” throughout the space - to cater for couples or groups, 3. Acoustics should be carefully considered 4. carefully chosen furniture with good quality upholstery and textures and 5. Customer Service with a smile is key.

Don't miss Hyde Park Palms this October for Good Food Month. Tickets www.goodfoodmonth.com x