the new Louis Vuitton les parfum :: Mille Feux 

Scent is such a powerful sense. It can transport you to another time and place or transform your mood subtly or instantly. 

For this reason, I love fragrances. Or rather I have quite an obsession with perfumes and scented candles. However, they have to be quality fragrances, or your senses know the difference. 

I splashed out on one of the new Louis Vuitton perfumes this week. Les parfarm


It’s a beautiful indulgence; softly sinks into the skin and lingers for hours.

The LV description is as ethereal as the scent it’s self;

An incandescent fusion of raspberry and leather creates an ode to lightA golden ray, a starlit sky, the aurora borealis: light contributes to the magic of travel. To capture its incandescence, Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud sought a color to weave into this theme. On a visit to one of Louis Vuitton’s leather ateliers, he saw a craftsman transforming raspberry-colored leather into a luxurious handbag. The skin as bright as ripe fruit gave him an idea: to associate the scent of leather with that of the berry. He shaped the composition with osmanthus, a white flower with an animal and apricot scent, iris and saffron. Mille Feux is like an emotional bombshell. Fireworks.” (LV website)

Here for purchase.
[photo from my Instagram @thisismelly]

the new Louis Vuitton les parfum :: Mille Feux 

Scent is such a powerful sense. It can transport you to another time and place or transform your mood subtly or instantly. 

For this reason, I love fragrances. Or rather I have quite an obsession with perfumes and scented candles. However, they have to be quality fragrances, or your senses know the difference. 

I splashed out on one of the new Louis Vuitton perfumes this week. Les parfarm


It’s a beautiful indulgence; softly sinks into the skin and lingers for hours.

The LV description is as ethereal as the scent it’s self;

An incandescent fusion of raspberry and leather creates an ode to lightA golden ray, a starlit sky, the aurora borealis: light contributes to the magic of travel. To capture its incandescence, Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud sought a color to weave into this theme. On a visit to one of Louis Vuitton’s leather ateliers, he saw a craftsman transforming raspberry-colored leather into a luxurious handbag. The skin as bright as ripe fruit gave him an idea: to associate the scent of leather with that of the berry. He shaped the composition with osmanthus, a white flower with an animal and apricot scent, iris and saffron. Mille Feux is like an emotional bombshell. Fireworks.” (LV website)

Here for purchase.

Fine dining in Sydney | Bennelong Restaurant

Bennelong restaurant interior inside the Sydney Opera House

Bennelong restaurant interior inside the Sydney Opera House

Showcasing the most beautiful view of the Sydney city skyline across Circular Quay, Bennelong is an impressive restaurant.

A visit to the Opera House always feels special, whether you are attending the ballet, symphony, music / comedy / drama performance, or simply going for a photo wander, the Opera House has the most grandeur feeling about it. It’s beautiful, artistic and a quintessential Australian landmark.

Bennelong is the perfect establishment to showcase fine dining in such a fine location.

From the moment you enter the glass door with that oyster shaped logo, you know your in for a special dining experience.

Bennelong entrance

Bennelong entrance

The Maître d’ is friendly and efficient. Our coats are taken and we are seated smoothly and quickly. We have the most amazing seats; right on the peninsula of the glass sail, looking back over the city skyline and Circular Quay.

Everything about Bennelong is smooth, calm, efficient, friendly but unobtrusive. Our waiters are knowledgeable regarding the wine list and menu, without having to ‘get someone else’ or ‘check with the kitchen’; a small touch that I love about fine dining that adds to the customer experience.

View from our dining table

View from our dining table

Surprisingly there are a good choice of wines for under $100 a bottle. We started an aperitif of a glass of Charles Heidsieck, then moved on to a bottle of French Bernard Fouquet from the ‘Future Champions’ list, which is a chenin blanc (similar to pinot gris?) with ripe melon and floral notes; light and perfect with our seafood meal choices.

My handsome husband

My handsome husband

The menu is succinct and all looks so tasty that its a tough choice! The food is light, Modern Australian; not pretentious, just beautiful plates with quality ingredients and imaginative pairings that work so well.

Dinner

Dinner

Everything we ate was deliciously amazing; Prawn raviolo & Tasmanian squid for entrees, Wild caught fish & Suckling pig for mains, and Crème caramel & mille-feuille and cheese plate for dessert. My only regret is the cheese, as it was a bit dry from lack of accompaniments (could do with quince or pear paste or a bunch of grapes).

Prawn raviolo organic radishes, fermented chili & prawn jus

Prawn raviolo
organic radishes, fermented chili & prawn jus

Today’s wild caught fish roasted palm heart, parnsip, bone broth

Today’s wild caught fish
roasted palm heart, parnsip, bone broth

It was my husband’s birthday and before they served dessert, they served a birthday cupcake with a single candle; soft, buttery vanilla cake with butter icing. Such a lovely touch.

Birthday Boy!

Birthday Boy!

Seriously, this restaurant is wonderful and you really can’t go past it for an amazing dining experience, especially if you’re dining for a special occasion.

table candle and card

table candle and card

The Williams post-dinner

The Williams post-dinner

Bennelong | Sydney Opera House, Sydney NSW Australia

weeknight dinner :: steamed fish parcels

a quick week night dinner using veggies from my weekend market bag

steamed snapper parcel


start with your choice of fish (I’ve used Australian wild snapper), a lemon, fresh herbs (I’ve used parsley,  coriander & fresh turmeric), olive oil, salt & pepper

lemon & herb bed


place a bed of sliced lemon and herbs on a sheet of foil, lay fish fillet on top, scatter salt, pepper and grated turmeric and drizzle olive oil.

fresh tumeric; peel & grate


fold foil into a pretty parcel and cook in a preheated oven (180 degrees Celsius) for 15-20 minutes.

cooked fish parcel


serve with your choice of veggies or salad. i served tonight’s dinner with a selection of veggies sautéed in sesame oil (green beans, mushrooms, asparagus, red onion, radicchio & topped with orange segments)

sauteed veggies


Bon appetite!

//all photos my own//

market fresh

i prefer buying my fruit and veg from local organic suppliers rather than from the big supermarkets. you know it’s fresher and free from chemicals and you get to know the farmers, learn more about where your food comes from and how it’s grown. it’s also important to financially support the ‘little guy’ over the supermarket chains!

in Sydney, i get my fruit n veg from one of two locations; the weekly Sunday organic farmer’s markets at Frenches Forest or The Locals Market.

at the farmer’s market you can walk around and chose your own produce; chat to the farmer’s and select what looks good on the day.

produce from Frenches Forest Organic Market


there’s usually other delicious goodies like artesian breads, hand-pickled veg and small batch honey, all direct from the creators.

The Locals Market is the brainchild of a local Sydney woman Talia, whose love for good fresh produce led her to create and grow a kind of co-op; she and her team get up early on Saturdays and scour the Sydney Growers Markets for the best local produce and divide it all up into bags which we, the local consumer, can collect from a few different pick-up locations. 

the produce changes weekly depending what’s in season. She emails out a list of what’s available that week, you please your order and collect on Saturday morning. Easy!

The Locals Market also has a blog with great recipes and ideas to turn all that good produce into good fare.

this week’s The Locals Market bag & Harley checking it out




all of this for $45!

checkout your city council websites for nearby markets and give your support to your local farmers. you’ll get great produce and feel good too! 

//all photos my own//

my monday photo

happy monday kids!

too stay mondayitis, i always try and focus on the positives; like this gorgeous skyline of the new buildings in development at barangaroo in sydney…


i took this from my morning walk along pyrmont foreshore.

have a great week!

//my own photo//

:: QT Hotel Canberra ::

Over the weekend we took a trip to our nation’s capital; Canberra. We went with our good friends Syaz & Brendon and ate good food, drank a lot, laughed til our bellies hurt, visited art galleries and museums, and stayed at the QT Hotel.

The QT Canberra is a beautiful hotel with a stylish interior.

Apparently it used to be a Rydges hotel, but has obviously gone under a big fancy refurb.

QT-canberra-sign

30220254

[pics above stolen from the internet, the rest are my own]

The onsite restaurant, Capitol Bar and Restaurant, is excellent (similar to it’s sister QT hotel & Gowings restaurant in Sydney). Stand-out wait staff (the floor manager Jason was super friendly) are professional while still having fun, and the food is great; steak, seafood and French-inspired classics, with a good wine list.

IMG_1027 (1)

Lucky’s Bar is a hidden gem. Literally hidden! You have to enter through the Barber shop, which gives it that extra hint of exclusiveness. We sat here, drinking for 3 hours before dinner and had many cocktails; their dirty vodka martini is the bomb, as is the old fashioned! The bar staff are friendly and there is laid back live music to groove to.

The hotel has cute bikes with baskets for hire, although they were all out the two times we tried to hire them.

IMG_1003 (1)IMG_1028

The room is gorgeous with enough room to for comfortability, great views (above) and some thoughtful touches like the fluffy bath robe, Nespresso coffee machine, free WiFi and on demand movies.

IMG_0987 (1)IMG_1030

IMG_1031 (1)IMG_0977 (1)

There were only 3 negatives; the shower spills over onto the bathroom floor making it a bit tricky to navigate when slippery, the bed isn’t the most comfy and the noise in the hall, even on level 8, from the wedding reception being held in the hotel, was really loud.

Parking is acceptable at $12 flat rate per night.

The hotel is super centrally located within short drive to the museums and galleries, and an easy stroll to The Cupping Room cafe and other bars and restaurants if you don’t want to drink/eat onsite.

Would definitely stay here again!

I wrote this review on TripAdvisor, which you can find here:
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUserReviews-g255057-d256307-r373895623-QT_Canberra-Canberra_Greater_Canberra_Australian_Capital_Territory.html#