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MCA director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor Q&A – insider travel tips

Posted by Sophie Davies on September 19th, 2011

Venice

Fancy travelling the world to check out the latest hot art shows and galleries? When not busy directing Sydney’s popular Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Smith tastemaker Elizabeth Ann Macgregor gives her passport a good workout, keeping up with art happenings from Dubai to Venice. Last week she answered our Q&A – this week, she lets us take a peek into her global travel address book.

Tell us about your corner of Sydney – where do you love to spend time?
I’m a Darlinghurst person – I do love to live in the middle of the city. I can walk to work, picking up the best coffee in town from Artisan Focacceria. There are so many groovy new bars to try out for cocktails and food from all around the world, such as Vietnamese Phamish, great pizza at Lucio’s or Buon Ricordo for that special Italian dinner, both in adjacent neighbourhood Paddington.

Charlotte Street Hotel, LondonAny other secrets from your international address book?
In the UK, I love the Charlotte Street Hotel in London (left) and always have a reunion with old friends nearby at Sardo in Grafton Way. Tate Modern is my gallery of choice although a visit to Camden Arts Centre is always worthwhile, and it has a lovely café overlooking the garden.

What about in your home country Scotland?
Edinburgh has wonderful old bars – the Café Royal has been a favourite since my student days. On the art front, visit the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, The Fruitmarket Gallery and Stills for the latest in photography. Leith, the old port area, is worth the trip to eat at The Kitchin, where chef Tom Kitchin’s seasonal menu takes you ‘from nature to plate.’

So which other cities get your vote?
New York has so much choice and things change so fast! Temple Bar for cocktails is an institution, though, and its location on Lafayette Street makes it handy after a spin around the New Museum on Bowery.

The Bowery boutique hotel, New YorkIf you ever need to place to stay nearby you’d love The Bowery (right). But NY aside, where else is penned into your annual art calendar?
Venice (top) is also a must every two years for the art Biennale, which runs until 27 November in 2011. Eat seafood in the courtyard at Corte Sconta or pasta at Trattoria alla Rivetta near San Zaccaria church. Bellinis at the Cipriani allow you to savour the stunning views even if you can’t afford to stay there.

Any spots that have surprised you?
I recently went to Dubai for Art Dubai, the Middle East’s leading modern art fair, and the Sharjah Biennial and had a great time.

ELIZABETH ANN’S TRAVEL ADDRESS BOOK

SYDNEY:
Artisan Focacceria 1/230 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst (+61 (0)2 9326 9227)
Buon Ricordo 108 Boundary Street, Paddington (+61 (0)2 9360 6729)
Lucio’s 47 Windsor Street, Paddington (+61 (0)2 9380 5996)
Phamish 248 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst (+61 (0)2 9357 2688)

LONDON:
Camden Art Centre Arkwright Road, NW3 (+44 (0)20 7472 5500)
Sardo 45 Grafton Way, Fitzrovia, W1 (+44 (0)20 7387 2521)
Tate Modern Bankside, SE1 (+44 (0)20 7887 8888)

EDINBURGH:
Café Royal 19 West Register Street, EH2 (+44 (0)131 556 1884)
The Fruitmarket Gallery 45 Market Street, EH1 (+44 (0)131 225 2383)
The Kitchin 78 Commercial Quay, Leith, EH6 (+44 (0)131 555 1755)
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 75 Belford Road, EH4 (+44 (0)131 624 6200)
Stills, Scotland’s Centre for Photography 23 Cockburn Street, EH1 (+44 (0)131 622 6200)

NEW YORK:
New Museum 235 Bowery, NY (+1 212 219 1222)
Temple Bar 332 Lafayette Street, NY (+1 212 925 4242)

VENICE:
Ristorante Corte Sconta Calle del Pestrin 3886 (+39 041 522 7024)
Trattoria alla Rivetta Castello 4625 (+39 041 528 7302)

Picture of Venice courtesy of Peter le Gras.

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