Kate Bollard

Mother + wife + Publican = Natasha Smith


ChinaDiner_DoubleBay_010817_CREDITDominicLoneragan_0062Meet the woman behind some of Sydney’s hot spots, must have meals and must be seen at venues.

I’m talking about Natasha Smith, who I recently got to sit down with and talk about life and being a Publican.

Mother, wife and Publican… co-owner and owner of multiple Sydney Venues including The London Hotel Paddington, East London & the co-owner of China Diner Bondi Beach and China Diner Double Bay. How do you do it all, what’s your secret?

My secret would be that I have an incredibly supportive and strong family unit at home, as well as a great solid team at work.

China Diner – One of my favourites in the heart of Bondi, how would you best
describe the China Diner experience?

I would describe the China Diner experience as vibrant. China Diner provides patrons with a fresh approach to classic Cantonese food in a fun and relaxed environment.

The London Hotel, located a few blocks back from Oxford Street is a stylish contemporary pub. Which offers some great pub classics and specials. Where did your inspiration come from to create such a vibrant pub?

The London Hotel is the quintessential neighbourhood pub, which has been around since 1875 and offers locals a cosy and vibrant destination to socialise, savour a great bite to eat, unwind and enjoy the friendly atmosphere. The locals have a saying “Everyone Loves the London”, which I believe showcases the community spirit that we have created. Our traditional pub offers something for everyone including classic pub style dishes, great weekly specials, a classic garden bar, the public bar which caters to the young, old and in-betweens (where we regularly show sport games/events) and upstairs we have East London, which is a spice-driven contemporary Asian restaurant and bar. With so many long-standing staff, The London Hotel always offers a familiar face, committed to providing good old-fashioned customer service to ensure a great time is always had by all, which is another way we have created a vibrant pub.

The London Hotel is also home to East London, located upstairs. Where did the idea of mixing a classic pub with an Asian restaurant come from?

Based on the overwhelming success of China Diner in Bondi, my husband and I recognised the need for good quality Cantonese food in Paddington. East London is an unbeatable combination of great food, awesome cocktails and a refined yet laid-back atmosphere, which our regulars love.

Do you have a personal favourite out of all of the venues you co-own with your husband Kingsley or own?

China Diner Bondi was the first project I did with my husband Kingsley, however, The London will always be my baby as it has been in my family for over a decade.

Who has been your biggest inspiration or mentor in your career?

Without a doubt, my biggest inspiration and mentor in my career has been my dad.

Do you have a mantra you live by? If so, can you share with me what it is?

Find something great in every day and don’t look back or you’ll get a sore neck.

Favourite place in the world to travel?

Anywhere with my family.

How do you have your coffee?

Large Long Black Topped with Hot Skim Milk.

At the end of a busy week, how do you wind down and relax?

At the end of a busy week, I unwind by debriefing and hearing about my family’s week, followed by a fun night out with my husband and our close friends.

Next time you don’t know where to go to dinner, here are 4 places to head to in Sydney

The London Hotel Paddington

East London 

China Diner Bondi Beach

China Diner Double Bay

KB x

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