|melbourne adventures|

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//

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//The Larwill Hotel//

Larwill Luxe; comfy king bed
Larwill Luxe; comfy king bed
small details (clockwise top left): pinboard with little details about the area, artwork on the walls, bathroom, view from the room, wall detail
small details (clockwise top left): pinboard with little details about the area, artwork on the walls, bathroom, view from the room, wall detail

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.

street art outside Sosta Italian Restaurant
street art outside Sosta Italian Restaurant

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.

selfie
mandatory (partial) selfie!

//Crown Metropol hotel//

View from our Crown Metropol hotel room
View from our Crown Metropol hotel room

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…..

clockwise top left: Crown Metropol foyer, our king deluxe room & the view
clockwise top left: Crown Metropol foyer, our king deluxe room & the view
the bed, amenities & view
the bed, amenities & view

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.

Crown Metropol foyer art
Crown Metropol foyer art

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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.

Gradi @ Crown
Gradi @ Crown

//Chandon winery//

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!

Chandon winery & vineyards
Chandon winery & vineyards

We did a self-guided tour, a tasting and then ate in the restaurant.

The production & cellar
The production & cellar
Jay & I eating amazing food & drinking sparkling
Jay & I eating amazing food & drinking sparkling

//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!

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//Out & About//

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I want to do it all again!!!

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his + hers | christmas gifts under $100

it’s almost shameful to admit, but i’m not a christmas person at all! maybe it’s because my mum is so overly christmassy (think flashing Santa earrings, lots of decorations, planning/shopping/cooking for days & a gigantic tree) and i don’t have kids to decorate for or maybe it’s just not my thing.
anyway, now that i’ve admitted my dirty secret, i’d like to back peddle and state that this year my husband has strong-armed me into getting a tree! and a wreath for the front door! and some baubles for the tree! (it’s sad that I don’t even have baubles!) we’re doing all that today, which is sunday, with a hangover from an impromptu epic 12 hour drinking session in the hot sun yesterday, so we’ll just have to see how much christmas spirit i can rustle up!

however, i have been thinking about gifts and found some gorgeous pieces that won’t break the budget and will still impress. these are mostly all from aussie websites but they do ship internationally.

//his//

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clockwise from top left:

//hers//

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clockwise from the top left:

my week in pictures

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my new fave tshirt; treś jolie is very happy

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Jay & I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary earlier this week and he bought me these beautiful flowers

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there’s just something about giant chess pieces! these are at Jay’s work

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Harley being the crazy hyper dog that he is!

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the new addition to my wall art collection; I call him El Toro and he is made of resin (not a real steer skull)!

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salad in a jar is a beautiful thing! you layer it with all your fave green healthy goodies and put the dressing on the bottom, then come lunchtime you tip it into a bowl and it’s fresh, crunchy & tasty! In other healthy food related news, I’m onto my last day of Whole30, which is super exciting because it means that (1) I actually stuck to the entire program (2) I learnt some great things about my relationship to food and the kinds of food I want to be eating and (3) I can’t wait to have a glass of bubbles tomorrow!!!!

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this is a photo I took when we were holidaying in Fiji, but I’m wanderlusting over a tropical holiday and getting all excited about our planned trip to Hawaii next year. It may be a full year away til that trip, but you can never tire looking at tropical beaches & turquoise waters….

hope you’re week was awesome 💋

friday finds

live-1 Isn’t this beautiful?! Just reminds us how amazingly short and precious LIFE is. Live.Love.Create.Leave it better than you found it.Make it count.

0c4f6347afc034d9aba7ecb63e8e7cc0 Scorched desert sand beneath your soles. Run through the shadows of the night. Surrender yourself until the sun’s first light. You’re breathless with beauty. The Olgas Central Australia. Whatever will be will be.

351535_in_pp Aurélie Bidermann Gold-dipped Lace Cuff.
When mere opulence just isn’t enough.

pizza Cauliflower pizza base is all the rage!
It’s not only delicious but it’s completely grain free!
Recipe [hereworldsquare-instagram1 Snailovation has hit Sydney!
These beautifully languid slimy creatures have been supersized and placed in random places around the city. The one above is at World Square. For more Art & About visit their site [hereimage4xxl The Kimono Maxi from ASOS says don’t move too fast, you want your love to last. Mellow out to the soundtrack of the sunset and dance under the brightest star. This classic maxi will take you to places you have never been, but will love for eternity. Give in to your wanderlust. C19 Bursts of spicy, tomatoey, vodka-infused oysters.
Meet the Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter.
I am making this for our wedding anniversary next week.
What’s not to love?!

the dirty grimy eccentric artistic underbelly of sydney

Convict gaol, Royal Navy shipbuilding & dockyard and reformatory girls school turned World-Heritage listed cultural arts centre. Cockatoo Island was off limits to the public for over a 100 years but what we lost in time we now make up for in awesomeness!
Spectacular harbour views, repurposed industrial buildings, street-food, holiday-feel makeshift bars, accommodation from camping to ‘glamping’ and holiday houses, a harbour swimming beach and tennis courts, there is so much to see and do and it’s only a 10 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay.

On Saturday, Jay & I spent a fabulous day exploring the island in the middle of Sydney harbour and playing with the exhibits as part of the emerging artists Underbelly Arts festival.

IMG_20130804_164448IMG_20130804_164544festival cheerleaders!IMG_20130804_164511IMG_20130804_164625IMG_20130804_164744IMG_20130804_164837IMG_20130803_174432IMG_20130803_144522interactive participation was a key part of the exhibits and in one of them Jay got to blindfold me while his hands were bound and we had to work together to ‘save a survivor’ from a zombie apocalypse! IMG_20130804_162550IMG_20130804_162951IMG_20130804_162918IMG_20130804_162800I had a turn at operated real-life ‘Rock em Sock em’ robots!
(that’s the artist on the left and the human-robots in the red & green)IMG_20130804_162518installations made from lollies!IMG_20130804_162450IMG_20130804_162625IMG_20130804_162658industrial revolution!IMG_20130804_163117IMG_20130804_163255tunnels that run through the centre of the IslandIMG_20130804_163037IMG_20130804_163811IMG_20130804_163336glampingIMG_20130804_163613IMG_20130803_143553IMG_20130803_143936IMG_20130803_161958gorgeous wattleIMG_20130803_143303IMG_20130803_162804IMG_20130804_163728Fergie said it best; g-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s! Hot chips & sparkling wine!IMG_20130804_163432IMG_20130804_164041perfect sunset on the ferry ride homeIMG_20130803_172547IMG_20130804_164252IMG_20130803_172916Sydney icons; Harbour Bridge & Opera HouseIMG_20130803_165021

this week | in instagram

IMG_20130224_153624 making Skinny Cow icecream into a pretty treat! IMG_20130224_154113 (1) circa 2010 @ South Coast Bawley Beach; Harley’s first trip away IMG_20130225_210054Jay, my hot Monday night date;
late dinner after seeing an FBiRadio presents ‘The Imposter’ movie IMG_20130226_221222Amber!!! Had to take this picture of Amber Valletta for Coach at the QVB on George St to send to my friend Tam. Amber & Shalom were our supermodel heros in the 90s!  20130226220559155 Feb dinner club with E & Neen at Mexico Surry HillsIMG_20130226_213321 thanks for the pretty paper stars (that I won’t be shredding) Aunty Sheela!!! IMG_20130228_070833 sunrise over beautiful Sydney during my morning jog IMG_20130228_071608 running stairs with Harley IMG_20130302_083244 little monster – Harley IMG_20130301_070652my favourite boat ‘Poppy’. I want. I will also be using this boat to escape the zombie apocalypse (hope the owners don’t live close)! 
IMG_20130227_072741 early morning boxing IMG_20130301_130116 my husband’s cool ensemble IMG_20130301_082421 this week’s Friday Flowers! Australian Natives. IMG_20130301_090040 hello friend. made by Tino @ Mano Espresso IMG_20130302_154251 a well deserved Dirty Grey Goose Martini on Friday night at Darling HarbourIMG_20130302_072608 get ready for colour & debauchery Sydney!!! Mardi Gras!!! IMG_20130302_104549 Saturday Pyrmont Grower’s Market in the rain IMG_20130302_162137 my skincare routine for the last 6 years…it’s the only skin I’ve got so I’m going to take damn good care of it! IMG_20130302_162815 my makeup ritual IMG_20130302_130653 50 shades of grey Sydney style… weekend of wet weather IMG_20130302_152750I finally hung my recently purchased artwork in our bedroom.
The three paintings are by a Swiss artist named Cristina B.
[contact via @CristinaBStudio on twitter]IMG_20130302_203534 Saturday night simple pasta for my date home alone with the couch
& Xbox Live movies!!! I will not admit to eating half a packet of skittles!!! IMG_20130303_160735 “I was going to be good Mummy but there were too many other options”!!! Harley the cavoodle
IMG_20130303_154731Sunday brunch at FFF Glebe.
Mango smoothie & pumpkin, walnut, chicken salad.

How was your week???

signature2 - melly xox

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer @ the MCA

I think the purpose of art is to make you feel…to make you think; of your surroundings, of places you’ve never visited, things you’ve never imagined, other people’s experiences, a different perspective, it raises emotions, can make your heart skip a beat and your soul sigh. It connects you. To your surroundings, the physical and metaphysical, and to others.

With no expectations, we visited the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art to see the exhibition Recorders.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is a Mexican-Canadian electro-artist. He uses technology like motion sensors, microphones, facial recognition, cameras & heart-rate monitors to create art that is 100% crowd-sourced. His Recorders exhibition is at the MCA til March 2012.

The exhibit is interactive and joyful! I had so much fun!

Lozano-Hemmer in the Pulse Room

picture via LA Times

Usually galleries and exhibitions don’t allow the public to photograph the work but at Recorders the Artist wanted to keep with the theme of public participation and encourages photography. My pictures aren’t so good….they were taken on my phone, but hopefully they’ll give you an idea of what’s what!

On entry you are met with a contraption that resembles an airport xray scanner. It only works if you put objects on the belt; the camera records the object (eg: items from your handbag, wallet or whatever you put onto it) and then projects them onto the belt while adding in other items from memory. It’s a visual collage. 

The Year’s Midnight

Jay as part of the The Year's Midnight
me as The Year's Midnight

The title of this piece is a line of John Donne’s poem “A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy’s Day, Being the Shortest Day“. The work broadcasts the image of the viewer directly in front of it and tracks the whites of the eyes to project out white plumes of smoke. It’s tripy!

Pulse Room

Image from MCA website

This room is amazing. It’s dark, cavernous and filled with hundreds of light bulbs 2m off the ground. There is a hand-held pulse sensor in the back of the room that you hold. It then pushes out the pulse to the light bulbs that flashes the exact rhythm of their heart rate.

my heart rate

The Seimoscope 2 exhibit 

the wall
the Seimoscope of Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali

The seimoscope (yep, that’s how you spell it) uses the latent energy of the people around it to power the drawing of Abu Hamid Muhammad. 

The Pulse Index

Jay's fingerprint
My finger print (middle)
Pulse Index wall
Pulse Index wall
Pulse Index wall

This was one of my favourite works. Using biometrics a little wall-mounted fingerprint sensor takes your pulse (which is broadcasts onto a screen) before displaying your fingerprint as digital wall art on LCD screens. At the time there were over 10,000 people’s fingerprints stored in the work.

Microphones

Microphones

This was my other favourite exhibition! Created with 17 vintage microphones which both record and play-back thousands of soundbites from people. To activate it you must speak into a mic, then it will speak back to you from a random recording. We heard people laughing, saying things in various languages (German, Spanish, French, Russian), little kids reciting nursery rhymes, people singing, etc. I immortalised myself by saying “what does the colour blue taste like?” and Jay will be forever captured by his little sound gem “this microphone smells like cabbage”. Too funny!

Close-Up

Jay & I on the Close-Up LCD
Jay & I times infinity

The huge LCD TV screen tracks, records and projects you in real time. It remembers past recordings and also melds those images into the hundreds of little video tiles. 

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I definitely recommend you checking out the exhibition if you get a chance. And if you miss it in Sydney, keep an eye out in your major city as the exhibition travels the world.

Voice Array
me (right white top) People on People