“you can’t buy happiness but
you can buy tea and that’s kind
of the same thing”
“you can’t buy happiness but
you can buy tea and that’s kind
of the same thing”
CITY LIMITS I moved to Sydney when I was 20. I dropped out of university to followed my heart. My parents were upset, but I had always been an independent kid. It paid off though, I worked my way up the corporate ladder and I married that guy; my high-school sweetheart.
MY VALENTINE I’m not really into Valentine’s Day. It’s too commercial to have meaning. Usually my husband will send me roses the day before just to let me know he loves me but he refuses to buy-in on being told to demonstrate his love. We started a tradition a few years ago of seeing a scary movie on V-Day; the bloodier the better. I still remember the year we saw My Bloody Valentine in 3D. It was a total trip! This year we’re going on a double date with close friends The Williamsons to see 50 Shades. It’s not scary but it’ll still be fun! COCKTAIL OF CHOICE I switch back & forth between a good stiff Vodka Martini (shaken not stirred, Grey Goose or Belvedere) the dirtier the better, or a traditional Old Fashioned made with rye whiskey. I’m not a huge fan of fruity or sweet cocktails. When I’m not drinking cocktails I’m drinking champagne. Bubbles baby, bubbles.
BELOVED ACCESSORIES Everyone knows I’m into handbags (especially Louis Vuitton) and I’m currently obsessed with my Comme des Garcons black clutch and black Alexander Wang Rockie.
DATE-NIGHT STYLE I like to wear a sexy LBD; form-fitting and cleavage with a little edge usually a leather jacket or bronze hardware. LABEL LOVE Im a fan of high-end street with a designer detail; Witchery & Country Road with an Equipment (French label) shirt, mostly monochromatic with black, white & grey, and the odd Leona Edmiston for a feminine hit. THE OBSESSION candles & fresh flowers are my true obsession. I buy a fresh bunch each week and there is always a good quality scented candle burning. Instagram heaven!
ON JEWELLERY I love the edgy geometric bohemian look; lots of bronze and layered. Think multiple thin knuckle rings, dangly earrings with hardlines and shapes and layer bangles. I also have a silver Tiffany’s charm bracelet which I’ve been adding to for year; it’s a timeless classic. BEAUTY PREP I’ve used SKII skincare for 10 years; it keeps my skin hydrated and feeling fresh and translucent. I use Napoleon Perdis primer, Revlon foundation, an assortment of eyecolour & mascara, Benefit bronzer and NARS lip colour in Roman Holiday. Every now and then I’ll rock a red lip for dramatic effect. SIGNATURE SCENT I adore fragrances; I have many which are in rotation depending my mood, but my signature fallback is always CK Escape (which I’ve worn since I was 15) and Coco Mademoiselle.
GETTING PHYSICAL I go through phases of intense exercise then barely nothing, but this year I’ve sworn to try a balanced approach of daily exercise focusing on fun; long walks with my dog, kettlebell sessions with my husband & trying new classes with friends. ENERGY BOOST I swear by green smoothies. They really are simple to whip up (thanks to my power Vitamix) and I go for the all green approach; kale, spinach, cucumber, apple, celery, mint & coconut water.
WEEKEND WANDERLUST I love day trips out of Sydney to secluded beaches or remote bushland. There’s nothing I love more than waking early, packing the car with a picnic, playlists and heading out with my husband and hound.
Melbourne city is one of my favourites. It feels a little eastern European; with it’s cobbled stone streets, artistic laneways overflowing with cafes and Parisian-esque chairs & tables on the sidewalk facing the street so you can people watch, the wide, sleepy Yarra river that runs through the south city and not to mention the plethora of Italian eateries to round out the European feel. Mum flew down to look after Harley so Jay & I could enjoy 4 fabulous nights down there last week.
Here are the highlights from our adventure:
//Northern Victoria countryside//
The Larwill is part of the Art Series Hotel group, which are all named after artists and are all furnished with their artworks. The Larwill is a brand-spanking-new hotel; only completed in October 2014, so it is beautifully presented. It’s fairly low-rise with 4 floors. It’s right next to the Melbourne Children’s hospital. The entry and foyer is contemporary and minimalistic with a waiting area that had a communal table and Scandinavian furniture with pops of yellow and complete with a fully loaded book shelf.
We were upgraded to a corner suite on the Eastern side which looks directly over the city. The room was beautiful; spacious and with great little details including the hotel’s resident artworks. The mini-bar had great little Australian treats (wines, cookies, chips, nuts, etc) that were ridiculously expensive, but the bathroom products are luxurious and I thought the quirky little messages were really sweet touches.
The only but significant complaint is that when I booked the hotel, even though I was aware that it was just out of the CBD (located in Parkville), I didn’t realise how inconvenient it would be; there is no direct tram into the CBD, you have to switch at least twice, and there are no cafes or shops within a 10 minute walking distance. Because the hotel was so new, they hadn’t completed it with no restaurant, bar, cafe facilities. On our first night, after being told it was a short 10 minute stroll away, we walked 20 minutes in 41ºC heat to a recommended restaurant. It was a lovely eatery, but we arrived red-faced, sweltering & sweaty! The surrounding area is pretty dead, so we ended up driving to go out & about during out 2 night stay.
If you’re considering staying here, just make sure you know how to get to any other places you plan on visiting, as it might be easier to stay somewhere more central in the CBD or Southbank.
//Crown Metropol hotel//
This is a seriously superb hotel. The valet greets you on arrival, arranges a bellhop for your baggage and takes your car for undercover parking. Check-in was no drama and the room…..
The room was super spacious and had all the little bits & pieces you expect from a 5-star hotel; quality tea & coffee, OK priced mini-bar extras, 24/7 room service, amazing views, swimming pool, day-spa, restaurant and bars, plus direct air-bridge to Crown Casino precinct with a huge variety of restaurants, bars and shopping (Witchery had a great sale!). There is always something happening; downstairs has this buzz of excitement with all the restaurants and gaming, but head up to the top floors and the pool is filled with families and kids having fun and the spa is relaxing and tranquil. The Level 28 bar is sophisticated and laid-back; perfect for a pre-date cocktail (or two) overlooking the incredible city skyline.
We had cocktails on the rooftop bar before eating at well known Gradi for dinner. Gradi’s owner & exec chef is Johnny Di Francesco who is the first Australian ever trained in Naples to the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana rules. The pizza was amazing and the cured meats are all cut fresh to order.
We visited Moët & Chandon house in Epernay in France, did the limestone cellar tour, tasting and learnt about the history, and have had a romantic respect for them ever since. Domaine Chandon was the first vineyard they set up outside of France and was established in the early 80’s. I’ve wanted to visit there for ages!
We did a self-guided tour, a tasting and then ate in the restaurant.
//Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibition @ National Gallery of Victoria//
What a visionary & legendary fashion designer who takes risks and pushes fashion, social & political boundaries with his designs. This exhibition was brilliant!
//Out & About//
I want to do it all again!!!