Thursday, September 14, 2017
Monday, September 11, 2017
This is the third time I’ve visited Mayfield Garden. I always have seen it as a place that provides acres, 160 acres to be exact of botanical profusion that promotes an equal amount of introspection. Mayfield Garden is one of the largest privately owned cool climate gardens in the Southern Hemisphere situated in Oberon in Central West, NSW, about a 2 hour 45 minutes drive from Sydney. Mayfield Garden was inspired by the great gardens of Europe. The garden is owned by the Hawkins family and is open 363 days of the year.
Monday, September 4, 2017
I think I have decided that some stage in my life when I decide to retire from the hustle and bustle of city life, I would happily live in Berry in the South Coast of New South Wales, about an hour and half drive from Sydney (coming from the south of the Harbour Bridge). There is something comforting about going to the country and being on a farm, in open green pastures. It might have something to do with the fact it reminds me of travelling to a farm regularly when I was about 6- 7 years old during school holidays to visit my dad who did a stint in a restaurant in regional NSW (in a small town called Tamworth) or if you believe in star signs, it might have something to do with my birth date coming under an Earth sign. There’s also something mythical about being a farm too: sun setting and rising on rolling green pastures, animals, cows, goats, pigs and chickens, greeting you as you bring them their next feed, being bowled over by wombats as you walk in the evening trying to do some night photography, or the brightness and expansiveness for the stars in the sky during night fall. A further drive down from Mt Hay Retreat towards the village, you'll also see an alpaca farm where the alpacas will happily come and greet you too.
Sunday, September 3, 2017
I'm starting a series on camp food recipes as we transition into warmer climate in Australia and we plan to get ready for the great outdoors. I do like being outdoors, in the country or regions in natural landscape, away from the cities for a long weekend break. I remember when I did a 4 day hike along the Bay of Fires in Tasmania a few years ago, it was tough with 10 kilograms on my back walking on sand 6 hours a day and I thought I wished I had packed less. Any food you bring out camping should have the criteria of being light weight, can be stored so it's still fresh when you set up camp, is easy to prepare, easy to cook, delicious, nutritious and no fuss cleaning up.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Dress wise, the explosion of floral prints in Australian retail stores is a sure sign the warmer weather is coming. I don’t mind the corporatised garden party look, meaning the floral prints I wear need to be suitable as corporate office attire without looking like I’m off to a Sunday garden party. The various shades of blue would also make this suitable for office attire too.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
We normally associate drunken prawns with Asian food where the prawn or shrimps are cooked in Chinese or rice wine. I westernised this version for my pasta recipe and cooked my fresh green prawns in dry white wine which I got from Dan Murphy's. I wasn’t sure which dry white cooking wine to get so I asked the guy at Dan Murphy's and he asked me what I was cooking and I told him prawn pasta. He suggested I try the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc which provides racy acidity, fruitiness of lemon, grapefruit and passionfruit which would be particularly delicious in seafood dishes.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Saturday, July 22, 2017
It was a privilege to be a part of the Sydney Market Fresh Awards 2017 as a finalist for the best blogger story on a florist. I wrote a story about my local florist, Jackie’s Floral Gallery which made it into the finals. I didn't win this year’s awards but big congratulations to We Are Scout for taking out this year’s award and to my fellow finalist for their engaging stories. You can read all the stories on the Fresh Awards website. It was an awesome night at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney with delicious food and drinks catered for by Simon Fox and his team at Graze MCA and Culinary Edge. Although I didn’t take home the prize, I felt honoured to be recognised for my achievement in making it to the finals and to have my blog profile up on the big screen for an audience to see, which seems to validate what I do as a writer and a blogger.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Saturday, May 20, 2017
A well-executed city staycation can be just as relaxing as a week-long holiday. You are not far from home and the point of a staycation is that you feel you have got away to take a break. Staying in a luxury suite close to home is a good way to do that and that’s what I did, although the practical side of me ensured my staycation was also aligned to a day of a friend’s wedding I attended in the city. I’ve attended many weddings in the city and they are always late nights and by the time you get home and get ready for bed it’s always around AM and you waste the following morning sleeping in. Not to mention if you are planning to drink at a wedding, you have to factor in how you are going to get home, particularly if you live a bit further out from the city.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
When the NSW Tourism Minister Adam Marshall said to me a couple of weeks ago at the Mercedes Benz Australia Fashion Week 2017 launch party that regional NSW has a lot to offer and there is so much to see, I believe him. Too often we think of going on holidays as hopping on a plane and flying to another capital city or overseas, but what if we hopped in a car or a guided minivan tour and headed out to the Central West NSW which is about 3 hours drive, to explore what is on offer, for a long weekend getaway from Sydney, for some country fresh air, to be seduced by the pastoral beauty, lush green fields, to learn of the region’s history, the local produce, to taste the food and the wine?
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Australians love their food, and today was no exception. Today’s event #50BestTalks held at the Sydney Opera House was very well attended. It seems people don’t only like to eat food but they also like to talk about it too. Today we heard the views of the world’s culinary geniuses, the ‘Roger Federers in the kitchen, the brightest stars in the constellation as today’s host, political journalist, Annabel Crabb described it. Massimo Bottura, Peter Gilmore, Brett Graham & Dominique Crenn are the people every person’s eyes were focussed on for a full 90 minutes today, who shared their insights and food stories with us on how they got to where they did, how they were influenced in their careers, how they go about their creative processes, gender issues in the restaurant industry and finally an audience question and answer where the topic of sustainability appears to have dominated that segment. It was excellent panel discussion which was moderated by Annabel extremely well, and an event that got me curious and listening to every word that was said, inspired, with many funny moments where I chuckled.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
“When I was 16 years old, I remember seeing someone receive a box of fruit that was nicely packaged as a gift and thought how nice it would be to do something like that but with flowers,” Jackie from my local florist, Jackie's Floral Gallery says to me as we headed out in her van to Sydney Flower Markets. I stepped in her shoes that morning to discover what it was like to be a florist in Sydney.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Watching a cooking show can’t compete with having your fingers stuck between a spanner crab shell to scoop out the sweet meat. I was invited to the Lurpak Cooking School as part of their Game on Cooks campaign, which was held at the annual event Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux in Centennial Parklands, Sydney. The Taste of Sydney is on until Sunday and with great weather holding this weekend it is an excellent day to see and taste the best of Sydney’s food and wine offerings.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
During a stroll at a lunchtime break, the shop window of Rodeo Show caught my eye. At first I wasn’t shopping for anything in particular. I walked into their tiny store on Pitt Street in Sydney CBD just under Myer and despite its size there was an excellent range in their current collections that I knew I would be shopping for more than one occasion. On the one hand they have their Resort Refresh 17 style which is classy but not too over the top for day wear. Vacation glamour are the right words to describe it, turning up the femme factor with romantic silhouettes and flirty details in dainty prints, lace and flattering drapes.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
"I go to Barcelona at least once a year", Tomi Bjorck, much celebrated Finnish chef and restauranteur told me at the opening night launch of Blanca Bar and Dining and when he tells me that, having just been to Barcelona, I knew Blanca Bar and Dining that has just opened in Bondi was something special.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
I first was introduced to One Fine Day, a wedding fair 2 years ago when my wedding dress designer at the time suggested I check out this wedding fair which is a more refreshingly curated and creative event than the large traditional bridal expos, with a handpicked collection of sought after vendors in the wedding field. Not only is One Fine Day the perfect outlet for creative couples to gain inspiration from unique vendors in the planning of their big day, but a fun way to spend a Saturday or Sunday with your friends/family/bridal party. She was right. On a smaller scale, one of the most interesting aspects of this event are the bridal couture runways which showcases bridal designers’ latest ideas on bridal fashion. Unveiled in a romantic, nature like setting at The Cutaway in Barangaroo, all designs were eye catching with looks that yes, bowed to tradition but adding a touch of sultriness, flamboyant ruffles, intricate floral details, slender arm-sheathing sleeves, some with chaste necklines, some more provocative.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Saturday, January 14, 2017
"The owner of this building ate pizza at my Bondi restaurant and asked me to set up a pizzeria restaurant in his building in Potts Point", Jonathan Faro, the founder of Society Di Catania tells me today. And the owner of that building on 186-188 Victoria Road, Potts Point is not the only one who knows there is a good thing going. Opened for only one month, Society Di Catania focusing on Sicilian food in Potts Point owned by Italian, former pizza chef, Jonathan Faro is going to be a real hit with locals after what I tasted today.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
I love the spicy flavours in the region of North Africa and the Middle East and I’m sure I lived there in a past life. I like dishes with a balance of savoury and sweet flavours that are hearty but not heavy. I added turmeric to this dish to make the colours of the dish pop and so it is visually pleasing too if you are serving guests. It's a simple dish to make and if you are like me who likes to make a lot of dishes for people to try when they come over then this one doesn't take long at all and it's a dish to impress with its flavour combination. This dish was a hit at a New Years Day dinner at my place and was gone in minutes.