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Le Fou (The Crazy)

1 Oct

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I’ve recently become a little obsessed with watching short videos to punctuate my writing work. I love The Nowness, a website full of contemporary short films, and today I loved this one. Le Four (The Crazy) tells the story of Senegalese child gangs through krump dance. Yep, you read that right. Random, but fascinating. The dancer is Dexter and it was directed by Christopher Michael Tew.

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Gazebo Sydney Unveils New Look

6 Feb

Cucumber cured kingfish - smoked oyster dressing, apple, lime copy
It’s a fact that getting around Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs you’re going to see a facelift or two. Some bad, some good. A few trout pouts and surprised expressions, a few very discreet nips and tucks. Gazebo Sydney, in Elizabeth Bay, has just booked herself in for a little facelift and the results are in – she looks fab!

I went for dinner last week with a few other foodies to try out the new menu by Head Chef Jason Dean (ex Gastro Park) and take in the new look. After a bit of a hiatus from these sort of dinner (thanks to my little man!), it was great to get out. I’d been waiting for the right invite, and as soon as this one dropped, I was keen to try. I’d been for lunch a while ago so it was going to be fun to see the development.

We started with a Negroni. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan, due to a disastrous relationship with gin shots (seriously, who does gin shots? Not a great idea!), so I had a couple of sips to be social then another foodie took it off my hands. The Four Pillars gin, I’m told, was good. I loved the De Illuis Semillon that replaced it much better though! This Hunter Valley winery shows such heart, and they’ve struck a winner with this Semillon. It’s not a hugely popular grape, like a Sauv Blanc or Chardonnay, but if you aren’t a regular Semillon drink, then one from the Hunter Valley should be your starting point.

First up we had what our table described as a deconstructed green curry. Generous sized prawns, coconut snow, green chilli (which looked like a scarily large blob of wasabi) and daikon. Delicious. This was shared with the cucumber cured kingfish served with a smoked oyster dressing, apple matchsticks and lime. 

prawns

Next up we had a really interesting pairing of duck and honeycomb. I love honeycomb and have tried to make it at home with mixed results. Sometimes it’s been foul (burnt sugar!) and sometimes delicious. But with duck? I wasn’t too sure about it but always keen to try a new combination. It definitely worked, and especially well with the lovely red wine it was paired with – a Gamay – Nugues Beaujolais Villages Rouge 2012. Gamay, again, is underrated and if you haven’t tried it yet, do. It’s earthy with a really subtle sweetness to it. The glazed pork with carrot puree (little man would’ve loved the puree!), coriander and sweet & sour turnips was soft without being too fatty. I think I’m the only person who doesn’t like fatty pork belly!

duck

pork

Desserts came in two stages – pineapple with coconut and tarragon followed by cookie dough parfait with raspberry and yoghurt caramel. The pineapple was like a pina colada and the parfait was a satisfying end to the meal, even if the cookie dough chunks were a bit small for this cookie dough fan. 

Gazebo 2014-16 copy

Gazebo 2014-02 copy

Gazebo Sydney is open Monday-Friday 4pm-12am, and weekends 12pm-12am.

Where I’d rather be…

27 Feb
Katikies Hotel Greece

The pool at the Katikies Hotel, Santorini, Greece

Can you imagine lying here today by the pool at the chic Katikies Hotel in Oia, Santorini, perhaps a bloody mary and a piece of homemade spanakopita. I can. It’s where I’d rather be.

Photo File: Missoni Hotel, Edinburgh

5 Jan
Missoni hotel

Missoni, Missoni everywhere. Gorgeous fabrics all over the room.

I’ve always loved Missoni, the Italian fashion label founded in 1953 by Ottavia and Rosita Missoni. Their colourful, woven knitwear and fabrics, now walk the runways and adorn luxurious homes around the world. And a whole hotel in Edinburgh. I had a spare night in Edinburgh recently so it was perfect timing for a night of luxury at Hotel Missoni.

Check in was a treat with staff wearing funky Missoni kilts – the guys looking particularly hunky in their long socks. It was quick and seamless, the check in that is, and I was up exploring the room in record time. There are Missoni fabrics and prints everywhere in the room, which you’d think was quite busy, but it all worked to create a calming and sophisticated space. The wooden floorboards were a nice touch, you don’t normally see those in a hotel room, and as an asthmatic, I love them.

San Pellegrino

Complimentary San Pellegrino and local Scottish sparkling is a lovely touch.

Missoni coffee

Beautifully printed Missoni coffee cups and wallpaper

San Pellegrino mineral waters and Scottish sparkling water are complimentary, as is the coffee – complete with espresso machine. The coffee cups are so gorgeous, I wish they were complimentary too, but you can buy them in the lobby. The bathroom does a lot with a smallish space – the walk in shower is great, with the added pleasure of Missoni gowns. The slippers are heaven and I’m still using these at home.

Missoni bath gowns

Wrap yourself in these gorgeous Missoni gowns. You can buy these from the gift shop.

Toiletries

Very generous portions of Missoni toiletries.

Missoni slippers

These comfy Missoni slippers are still on rotation at home.

I’d already had a few nights in Edinburgh, so I opted to have dinner in house in the Italian restaurant on the first floor. Great decision, even as a solo diner. Sometimes you can feel like a bit of a goose solo dining, but the staff here were fantastic – all Italian boys – and very interested in food and wine. I have some great conversations with the sommelier about the wines I try, even a few sneaky sips of some wines he wants me to try, and extra bites from the waiter. I walk away feeling like I’ve had dinner with the whole group of them.

Semi-private privacy curtain mutes the view.

Semi-private privacy curtain mutes the view.

A new building in an old, old, town.

A new building in an old, old, town.

The Royal Mile of Edinburgh, tourist lifeblood of the city and a step back in time.

The Royal Mile of Edinburgh, tourist lifeblood of the city and a step back in time.

Arthurs Seat

The walk up Arthur’s Seat is a great way to work off the haggis.

The view over Edinburgh from Athur's Seat.

The view over Edinburgh from Athur’s Seat.

In 2014 Scotland welcomes the world to join in the exciting Year of Homecoming. Visit Scotland are encouraging anyone with Scottish heritage or a passion for Scotland to head to the homeland for a visit. My night at Missoni was courtesy of Creative Holidays who can put together great stopovers – flights, accommodation and activities.

La Vie Magazine: State of the Art Interiors

13 Sep

Accor“Striking new lobbies, light-filled guestrooms, warm and welcoming colour palettes, all-new conveniences. You won’t recognise many of Accor’s recently renovated hotels if you haven’t visited recently.”

Accor Hotels have a great online magazine called La Vie, and at the moment you can see a piece I did about their renovated hotels. It’s a gallery, so take a look here. How gorgeous is the bathroom in that picture, I can imagine a very long bath with bubbles of both kinds. Bliss.

The Weekly Review: Marcus Rose from Charles Rose Jewellers

17 Jun

ringLast week I interviewed Melbourne jeweller and artist Marcus Rose for a piece in The Weekly Review about his company, Charles Rose. Their jewellery is beautiful and the story of how it all began is a great one of triumph during tough times in Europe. You can also win a diamond ring…yes please!!

Late Wednesday Link Love: Design Blogs

8 Nov

Book Headboard

Oops, this is a day late. I’ve haven’t been sleeping on the job (in the bed above from Design Every Day) but I wanted to make sure you all saw my post about Alex Nagle and the work he is doing for The Wayside Chapel.

But now it’s back to business and share my favourite design blogs. There are loads out there and for my money, they are the best designed blogs around. No surprises there.

Yellowtrace is my favourite design blog, by Sydneysider Dana Tomic. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dana a few years back and it was great to hear how Yellowtrace had developed in leaps and bounds quickly over the previous six months. A trained and practising interior designer, Dana has a knack of finding design curiosities and beautiful interiors.

The Design Files has been around for a while now and markets itself as Australia’s most popular design blog. Lucy Feagins explores the homes of creative people, which I love, features products I mostly describe as whimsical (ugh, hate that word!) and now seems to be bridging across into art as well.

Design*Sponge is a product and DIY heavy site featuring some awesome little gems, like the Gilded Terracotta Pots, my next home project!

Pinterest. If you aren’t on it, I would almost suggest not signing up as it is such a beautiful time sucker you may possibly become addicted. It’s like having beautiful things delivered to your eyes every day. Bliss.

Desire to Inspire is the work of Kim from Ottawa, Canada and Jo from Brisbane, Australia. They have never met, but found each other via Flickr. I loved their spread of writer Nikki Gemmel’s home, especially her left-handed chair! Love it!

Anna Spiro runs both her blog Absolutely Beautiful Things and Brisbane design store Black & Spiro. I particularly love her appreciation of patterned fabric.

I like interiors that aren’t perfect and Gild and Grace seems to feature spaces that I think, ooh I’d live in that room.

Tina Roth Eisenberg, runs Swiss Miss blog and design studio from New York. Quirky, political and great design.

Where do you go for design inspiration? Share your favourites in the comments below. 

And the winner of the Everplaces travel apps is “Sharking for Chips and Drinks” for sharing that Laos is the place he can’t wait to travel to. Me too! Send an email to stephaniewilliams_78@hotmail.com to claim your prize Sharking.

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