Travel

Fiji Holiday

25.10.15

IMG_6369We’ve just returned from the loveliest little family holiday to Fiji. All the stars were aligned for the 8 nights we were on the friendly island, and I can honestly say we returned truly relaxed. If we weren’t poolside, we were on mini (child friendly) tours exploring Fijian culture.

PreWe found some great tours through Adrenalin Fiji, which included a visit to a local village, where we checked out the church and nearby primary school. We also visited the abundant produce available at the growers market in the centre of town, and spent the morning covering ourselves in mud at the very refreshing Natalau Hot Pools in Sabeto. Sunday also made up her own adventures – she became obsessed by the gorgeous flowers and creatures she spotted everywhere she looked – there was certainly no shortage of frogs and geckos.

We spent a day out on South Sea Island where Sunday was in heaven searching through the sand for shell treasures and we took a quick ride on a semi-submerged submarine where ‘Finding Nemo’ was the aim.

IMG_6461 IMG_6977Our water baby would have been happy if we’d permanently set up camp pool-side (as long as she got her hair braided), but when the heat got too much – I quite liked retreating to our very comfortable self contained apartment at The Sheraton Villas…we even managed to read some books (from cover to cover). I’m not going to lie, our level of relaxation was reached with the help of the amazing kids club, and a delightful nanny that Sunday instantly warmed to.

We were able to dine quite a few times at Flying Fish (definitely my favourite restaurant) kid free because of the great ‘dinner program’ they run at the Kids club. I’d be sipping on a mocktail* checking out the view and spot a very happy Sunday a few metres away on the beach searching for crabs with her nanny and the rest of the kids. Talk about perfect.

I hope you all had a great weekend, I’m still unpacking!

Briar x

*Easily the hardest thing about the holiday was not being able to indulge with a few cocktails because of baby being on the way. There is always next time!

Canberra

02.09.15

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIn the middle of spending a week at my parents house on the south coast last week, Mark and I had a quick 2 hour road trip  to Canberra, while Sunday stayed busy back at the ranch with her Nanny and Poppy. We crammed a lot in to 36 hours.. Here’s a wrap up – as seen through my iPhone. And, it’s official…Canberra is cool!

We stayed at the fairly new and very hip Hotel Hotel – which is in the middle of the NewActon village. We had a light dinner (after a big lunch – see below) at the very close A. Baker and enjoyed a yummy breakfast at Monster kitchen and bar (I highly recommend the home made crumpets). Definitely a great area to bunker down when visiting our nation’s capital, there is just so much happening in this precinct.

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The big lunch I mentioned above was a decedent spread at the delicious Asian fusion restaurant, Akiba. We chose the ‘just feed me’ option where the kitchen selects 8 of their favourite dishes. We weren’t disappointed. Pictured above are the kimchi pancakes and the pork belly bun with slaw. Hooly dooly – these dishes are worth a trip to Canberra alone.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetCulture came to us in spades with visits to the following landmarks:
Australian War Memorial – pictured above is the beautiful domed ceiling in the tomb of the unknown soldier.
Old Parliament House
National Gallery of Australia – pictured above is my favourite painting of the day, the sweet work by Margaret Preston, ‘For a little girl’, 1929
National Portrait Gallery – just a short stroll from the National Gallery.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThere wasn’t a huge amount of time for shopping, but after a tip off from a lovely Instagram follower, I’m so glad I managed to visit Tip You’re It – a brand new kids lifestyle store in Braddon (just up from the restaurant I mention next). It was stocked to the gills with all my favourite brands, and all styled so beautifully – definitely worth stopping by (the store will be also online soon too).

4A definite highlight was the delectable meal we enjoyed right at the end of our whirlwind visit….a traditional italian feast from Italian + Sons. I want to go back!!

I hope you are all having a great week,

Briar x

 

Melbourne – Where I Ate

13.06.15

I spent a busy few days in Melbourne last week sourcing for a few projects I have on. I packed in a lot of things in a short time, and I thought I would share a wrap up of what I loved on the blog…I’m breaking the photos (iPhone quality – apologies, but my Canon was too big to take around in my bag) in to two posts. Here’s a wrap up of what I ate. And yes, it was a lot…hope these tips help for anyone visiting the chilly city soon.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetCoda was a tip off from a good Sydney-based but Melbourne born and bred friend, and it didn’t disappoint. Right in the middle of the city, it’s basement setting in an iconic laneway serves ‘French-Vietnamese’ style food, with influences from all around the world, including Italy and India. Definitely worth a visit for a special dinner and a delicious cocktail.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI know it isn’t hard to find a good coffee in Melbourne, but I have to be honest and say the one I had at Duke’s Coffee Roasters was one of the best I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot of coffees).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI treated my little sister for her birthday (who is based in Melbourne) to a lunch at Supernormal. We had a table at the long and open kitchen  bar which was great to watch the clever chefs do their thing. Super hip and super delicious Asian cuisine.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI spent a lot of time exploring Collingwood, so an iced coconut drink was just what I needed from Phamily Kitchen – a traditional menu (but contemporary in looks) vietnamese eatery with the cutest and most colourful restaurant fit out I’ve ever seen.

IMG_2189The last pit stop was at one of George Colambaris’ restaurants, Gazi. Holy wow, talk about delicious. I love greek food at the best of times, and was so impressed with the Taramasalata, I’ve thought about it a few times since (tell me I’m not the only one who does that…flood flashbacks?).

Not to be forgotten, but unfortunately not pictured is the dinner I had with two of my sisters on the Friday night (Essie was also in Melbourne for work) at Pope Joan.  The meal felt like I was visiting a friends house who was a really (really) good cook – all seasonal produce, it was comfort food at it’s best – which suits me fine. Safe to say that Melbourne is still acing the whole food game!

I’ll be back soon with a summary of the great shops I managed to visit.

Briar x

Easter Weekend

07.04.15

Mudgee03Easter with the family in Mudgee was an utterly indulgent affair, and looking through the photos from our lunch, I want to do it all again. My sister made the genius decision to have the gathering catered for, and turned to her favourite caterer, Rachael McCarthey. The clever chef is also a favourite of mine, and is who I used at our Mudgee wedding 5 years ago. Rachael’s food is contemporary and hearty, and she always uses seasonal and often local produce….I only wish she was in Sydney too!

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We also managed a long lunch at The Zin House, which is a fairly new restaurant to enter the Mudgee food scene. I didn’t have my camera with me, so didn’t get to capture the lovely interiors in the modern farmhouse that has been converted in to a restaurant, but it’s really the food that you’ll want to go for. The restaurant specialises in weekend lunches – long and leisurely ones, and the owner/chef Kim Currie uses produce from the 1,000 acre organic and biodynamic Tinja farm (where the restaurant is based). I think I’ve got the perfect combination for a lovely weekend getaway: Combine a meal at this restaurant, a visit to my sister and brother in laws winery, Logan Wines and rest your weary head at The Perry Street Hotel. You can thank me later!

I hope you all had a lovely Easter,

Briar x

CHATTING TO HEIDI

05.01.15

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In all the time I’ve been blogging, I’ve never published an interview on here. I’ve decided that 2015 will be the year that you’ll find a few popping up. My aim is to share some words and pictures from creatives that inspire me, and in turn, inspire you. Party decoration master Heidi Moore-Gill from The Bespokery has been blowing me away with her creations for the past few years (just check out her website for the amazing wedding + corporate events she designs and decorates). It was certainly happy mail that arrived towards the end of last year with a beautiful hand-bound book especially made by Heidi for Sunday. As well as asking Heidi to explain how the mysterious but lovely notebook came about, I asked her a few extra questions, which she very kindly answered (and I am now positively desperate to visit the shop in San Francisco she mentions) :

Tell me about where you were/what you were doing when you made the gorgeous book for Sunday?  
I spent 4 inspiring days with Wendy Addison and a group of like minded creatives in a really special place called Porta Costa in California. We stayed in an old bordello, in the gold mining town about 40 minutes north of San Francisco.  At that time of the year, the hills are covered in golden grasses, the famous fog is gone and the sun shines the most. We met daily in the courtyard between old buildings, garlanded with marquee lights at night, and learnt to letterpress, to work with wax and flowers,  to make crowns,  to make paper theatre  &  bind books*. Molly and Kaari Meng set up an outdoor shibori dying area in the woods up on the hill, which remained alive all weekend so we could come and go and dip and dye all day and night. Marcia from Tinsel Trading in New York brought trunks of antique bullion, trims, paper, tickets, flowers, and ephemera for us to use and purchase in our work. Lisa Salazar lovingly made us the most amazing lunches and dinners,  using the local Californian produce, and we ate in Wendy’s beautiful rambling garden, drank exquisite local prosecco in her kitchen and watched her puppet theatres in awe. I met a brilliant and beautiful group of friends at the retreat, and we laughed and crafted and helped each other over the days…Aided by beautiful wines from Sonoma that we drank from paper cups in the courtyard.

(*I discovered some 50’s wrapping paper that reminded me of Briar, and that began Sunny’s book.. While I was looking  through Wendy’s antique papers I found sheet music, old cover pages and notes.  “Sunday” themed papers and pieces kept presenting themselves to me while I rummaged and to be honest, I thought that very few people would ‘get’ the beauty and thought but Briar would and I do adore their little Sunny from afar.)

What’s been a career highlight so far?
I really enjoyed doing the POP to Popism launch, at the AGNSW – it was amazing! It also felt very special being photographed for Australian Vogue and I loved being profiled on The Grace Tales. Julie Adams is a wonderful portrait photographer.  

What’s your favourite restaurant?  
There is a tiny little place perched on the edge of a limestone edge in a hill town in the Luberon, France.

What’s your favourite shop?     
Bell’Occhio in San Francisco, my friend Maybelle took me there when I was in California. The most exquisite ideas and execution, every single detail is beautifully finished and wrapped and made, down to the owners finest handwritten shop dockets.

What are you reading?  
Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please! and Monocle’s Guide to Good Business.

What are you looking forward to? 
Riding my bike for hours and getting fit again!

Photos from her time in Posta Corta below are by Rachel Stanich:

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Thanks for your time Heidi, you are the definition of a natural talent.

Briar x

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