Gertrude and Alice bookstore, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Gertrude and Alice Book Shop, Sydney NSW, Australia
Photo credit: sebr on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA


Physical address: 46 Hall St, Bondi Beach, Sydney

Phone number: +61 2 9130 5155

Business hours: Open daily 6:45am-9pm

Named for the famed Paris-based expat authors, Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas, the Gertrude & Alice bookshop in Sydney’s Bondi suburb provides a literary twist to the predominantly surf- and beach-focused shopping area. Combining a love of food and a love of the written word, Gertrude & Alice is home to literary tens of thousands of new and used books, covering walls, floors and tables, and somewhere in between there’s a café serving breakfast and lunch, and all kinds of tea and coffee. Keep an eye out for the G&A chai tea, their signature drink.

The original Gertrude and Alice were young Jewish women from California, who moved to Paris in the early 20th Century. Along with her brothers (one of whom was a friend of Alice), Gertrude started collecting the works of emerging artists, like Picasso, Matisse and Cezanne. Shortly after moving to Paris in 1907, Alice called on her friend, Michael Stein, and was then introduced to his sister. The rest, as they say, is history. Together, Gertrude and Alice lived in the Rue de Fleurus on Paris’ Left Bank where they regularly hosted salons for the bohemian artists, writers and thinkers resident in the City of Lights. Gertrude wrote; Alice edited and published. Throughout two World Wars, the pair were inseparable (WWI they drove through France delivering medical supplies, and WWII they hid from the Nazis, sheltered by friends), but it was only after Gertrude’s death in 1946 that Alice became a star in her own right. Her cookbook, containing a recipe for hashish brownies, remains in print today.

Inspired not just by the love, but by the love of words, that these two women shared, Gertrude & Alice founders, Jane Turner and Katerina Cosgrove (who has since left the store to write full time), created their own kind of salon, where books, intelligent conversation, and good food mingle naturally. Find yourself a new read, and a cosy corner with a cup of tea, and while away a couple of hours in this delightful store.

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