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Kauai from the Skies – a Hawaii Helicopter Tour

The sweet icing on our Hawaiian honeymoon adventure was flying above the waterfalls, canyons and jagged cliffs of Kauai. Putting aside my slightly claustrophobic tendencies to strap into a wee little flying craft and soar over this luscious, ‘Garden Isle’ was proof that some of the best things in life come from taking your fear by the short and curlies.

Despite said apprehension, I had originally wanted to take a helicopter trip with the doors off (for best photos of o’course!), but as is often my fly-by-seat (soz about that) way, they were all booked out when. So we reserved first class tickets (means you sit up front with the pilot) at Sunshine Helicopters instead. Leaving it a little late had its benefits though, as Kauai is the green isle for a reason – it rains here a lot and flights were cancelled on our first couple of days on the island. Despite a mild bit of spitting on the windscreen at one point, we had clear skies and low wind, allowing us to reach even the highest point of Kauai, where we skimmed over the wild mountain peaks with views out to the coast.

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This is Jurassic Park country (like, they actually filmed it here), and one of the first tree-topped plains that we hovered over was where the main T-Rex chase scene was shot. But the real exhilaration came for me as we began to glide closer and closer to the mountains, drifting up and over the crests of these grand beauties. We began to turn past waterfalls that spilled into blue pools below. Waterfalls, lush vegetation, a goddamn rainbow – are you kidding me?! I was elated.

Before long our young pilot Matt, who spoke with a Hawaiian surfer accent (like if someone was doing sign language along to him, it would probs be one shaka after another) was navigating us through the valleys of Waimea Canyon with its sloping ochre rock dusted in contrasting greenery. We had stood before the canyon at the tourist lookout the day before, but from the air you got a better sense of the vastness of this 10 mile (16 kms) long, 3,000 feel high gorge.

Helicopter tour Hawaii Kauai Sunshine napali coast waimeaHelicopter tour Hawaii Kauai Sunshine napali coast waimeaHelicopter Kauai Sunshine Hawaii mountain topHelicopter tour Hawaii Kauai Sunshine napali coast bestHelicopter tour Hawaii Kauai Sunshine napali coast waimeaHelicopter Kauai Sunshine Hawaii Na pali Coast 2Helicopter Kauai Sunshine Hawaii Na pali Coast cliffs 2Helicopter tour Hawaii Kauai Sunshine napali coast waimeaHelicopter tour Hawaii Kauai Sunshine napali coast I can pretty accurately pin my desire to go to Hawaii on the images I have seen of the Nepali Coast on Kauai. My heart attaches to mountains. They are a vivid, towering reminder that the world is immense and beautiful and so much bigger than the little world of my day-to-day concerns. I feel giddy and overwhelmed by them in the best possible way. So the coast-side green-clad jagged peaks of Kauai felt like a bit of a pilgrimage I’ve been wanting to take for some time. Next time I plan to walk them, but to fly into the their very valleys was an unspeakable excitement for this nature geek.

Helicopter tour Hawaii Kauai Sunshine napali coast jagged cliffs Taking a turn out to the ocean, excitement gathered in the helicopter as two whales playfully started slapping and twisting and waving at us! The pilot said they weren’t usually around that early, “but, we’ll take it!” So, here we were, gliding past the Napali Coast – one of the world’s most incredible mountain vistas to one side, straight ocean off to the other – in which whales were dancing about below us. When people say that taking a helicopter here is a ‘must-do thing’, or whatever, LISTEN!

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The final feature to the tour was ascending to the pinnacle of Kauai. As we flew higher and higher we came to a lofty mountain face. The nose of the helicopter pointed towards it and we rose up steadily. Up here it was sprinkling. But Matt was confident and he rose up to the tip of the pike and we flew over, into an elevated wonderland that felt like a secret oasis. It was breathtaking. As we made towards home base, we couldn’t stop grinning. Bashful, kid-in-a-candy-store grins.

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The deets: Our one hour tour with Sunshine Helicopters cost us around US$200 each. We also splurged and spent $60 on a video of the trip, because once our feet were on land, we knew that may well have been one of the most amazing experiences of our lives. Sunshine were great – the whole experience was easy and the staff were friendly Kauai locals who knew the island intimately. Nah, this is not an affiliate post, just my two cents.

Have you been on a helicopter or small plane trip somewhere in the world? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below, as I really want to do more!

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Kauai Helicopter

 

Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel, Norway

Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel – one of my faves of all the hotels over all the years – features 15 cute, white rooms, an on-site restaurant serving up appetising Nordic cuisine, and a welcoming owner who really is living out his picket-fenced dream – and inviting you to be a part of it.

Do people still harbour the ‘white, picket-fence house’ dream from the 1950s or whenever? Pretty sure for my friends (in Sydney at least), it has been downsized to the ‘owning real estate at all’ dream. Either way, if you’re not there yet, you should consider finding a homely, white hotel in which to live out these fantasies – even if for a little while. Like, perhaps one that hangs over the water in the fjords of Western Norway, that has a bright, window-encased sitting room with little book stacks on the sills.

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Charming Communal Spaces

I couldn’t stop gushing at the front sitting room, with it’s large windows that keep the fjord in view, cosy chairs and scattered stacks of books – this is, after all, book town! Of an evening, prior to dinner, the owner gathers the hotel guests together and chats about the hotel, as well as Fjaerland and some of the history of the area. It makes for an intimate and friendly stay. It is he and his wife who curated the lovely, old-world interiors. The first thing they did upon purchasing the building was paint the interior and exterior white, based on the dream of owning a white hotel. Another feature is artworks depicting the surrounding nature and old maps.

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Nordic Cuisine at the In-House Restaurant

The outstanding restaurant on-site leaves you with little reason to leave the hotel looking for a meal. The Nordic cuisine (which at the time had an Australian head chef) utilises fresh and local ingredients. The owner, Bård Huseby, actually works on a research project at University to do with food sustainability in Norway, so he is passionate about sourcing the best ingredients and it shows in the food dished up here. They also catered to our vegetarian tastes. We devoured the seasonal root vegetables, burnt broccoli, smoked cheese and honey dish as well as the sublime brown butter ice-cream with apple and hazelnuts! And if you do have more carnivore-leaning tastes, there was also wild deer on the menu. We also couldn’t resist the wine list comprising of drops from Bordeaux in France. It’s a good idea to book ahead, even if you are not staying with them (and especially if you have specific food requirements), as they tend to fill up nightly.

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You’ll notice the white balcony of the Fjordstue from the ferry as you dock in Fjærland. It makes you eager to perch above the water and watch the nature rising upward, preferably with a drink in hand (we recommend the home brew!). It feels strange to say that this is a small town, given the scale of the enormous mountains that surround you, and the almost incomprehensibly huge Jostedalsbreen Glacier nearby. And while you can get active and hike or kayak or visit the glacier (more about that in this previous Fjærland post), it is also a nice spot to   s l o w  d o w n   and just wander the bookstores or curl up by the window and daydream.

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Scandi Minimalist Rooms

I booked one night, then later thought ‘who the hell am I kidding? It’s a book town in the mountains!‘ and booked a second. For that reason, we got to try two different rooms in the hotel, both of which were clean, bright, cosy and super cool – in that Scandi-meets-Japanese minimalist way. The white walls and wooden paneling was fresh, but the signature touches were the textures that brought in the comfy element – a knitted cushion or faux fur throw for the chair, or light, linen curtains framing the window. Simple and stylish.

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Fordstue Fjaerland Norway fjordstove best hotels fjords

Hotel owner Bård Huseby

A stay here really is the stuff of dreams. I’d happily wake up to jam-covered waffles and a fjord view any day of the year. It kind of brought back a longing for a picket-fence place of my own. Nah, I’ll just come back and visit this one as often as I can.

A few things to note – there is a gorgeous, library-themed room that appeals to the literary nerd who also loves interiors (me!), but it was booked out when I was heading there – next time it’s totally mine! Also, the hotel is open every day from May to September, and only by request during the colder months – don’t forget it’s right near a huge glacier, so the area is covered in snow outside of the spring and summer period.

Want more? Check out Fjærland: Norway’s book town deep in the fjords

Have you stayed in a dreamy hotel? Let me know about it in the comments below!

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Wild Spin of the Web {4}

In our little lap of the web galaxy this week, we discover Ottolenghi’s tips on the best pastries in Paris, see what a year in Portugal looks like, find out how to do festivals in style, take a tour of Copenhagen, get off-grid inspo for a NSW adventure, and see what is certainly the world’s coolest new library!

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Photo Credit: Dane Tucker

LISTEN/STAY – The music festival season is almost back, but why not think about experiencing it with a little more comfort, a little more flair and a little more smarts? This awesome post Don’t camp ugly this festival season from Homecamp is exactly what you need as an antidote to those inevitable port-a-loos. To the advice about not packing an umbrella or a raincoat I would only say this: at Roskilde in Denmark it rained A LOT, but I was able to pick up the cutest Scandi raincoat and umbrella ever, so know that not taking them usually doesn’t mean you can’t get one if needed. Festival stalls are always full of industrial folk who will see a need and sell to it.

NB: I was lucky enough to interview the lovely Stephanie Francis from Homecamp on my Wanderlust show last week about her new book Homecamp: Stories and Inspiration for the Modern Adventurer – which I truly think is the perfect Xmas pressie for that travel nut in your life.

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Photo Credit: Victoria Smith for sfgirlbybay

VISIT – One of my all-time favourite blogs is sfgirlbybay by the lovely Victoria Smith. Her stylish eye keeps me inspired to no end, so be sure to keep it on your must-read list. I was delighted to see the run-down of her recent trip to Copenhagen, especially as she stayed in my fave hotel there SP34 (check out my post on that here). She shares her fave Copenhagen neighbourhoods, shops, cafes and bars, so what are you waiting for? Check it out here.

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Photo Credit: Gotta Keep Movin’

TRAVEL/READ – Portugal is so high on my travel list and I can’t wait to get my hands on this My Year in Portugal guide by Emma Higgins of Gotta Keep Movin’ as featured here on Fathom. Emma basically spends a year living in a new place, gets an insider’s view into the destination and then documents it in this adorable print guide.

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Photo Credit: Alex Cratey Systermans

TASTE – I adore the chef Yotam Ottolenghi and am lucky enough to have visited two of his restaurants in London. Recently he wrote a piece for Travel + Leisure on spending two days trying out the best pastries in Paris and it’s a delight to experience the tastes of this most romantic of cities through his eyes. Warning: it may make you salivate.

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Photo Credit: Unyoked

STAY – Something about the summer approaching makes me want to get into the car, head for the great outdoors and bunker down in nature for a few days. Often. So these suggestions in Concrete Playground of Five remote cabins outside of Sydney where you can go off-grid got me more than a little excited for summer adventures!

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Photo credit: Ossip van Duivenbode

TRAVEL/READ – Anyone who has been following this blog will know that I am well and truly prepared to travel for bookstores and libraries (like this recent post on the book town in the Norwegian fjords), so my heart was all aflutter at seeing this new wonder of the literary world, Tianjin Binhai Library, located a few hours out of Beijing in China. Those shelves that carry upward into the ceiling are truly mind-bending! This Popsugar article has the lowdown and pics.

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Photo credit: Ossip van Duivenbode

Seen any cool travel bits and pieces online lately? Let me know in the comments below!

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Fjærland – Norway’s Book Town Deep in the Fjords

Often the most magical places are a little tricky to reach. But if you make that extra connection, wind a little deeper into lesser-known terrain, the rewards can be significant: the feeling of discovery, a comforting dose of tranquility, and in the case of Fjærland, more books and pine trees that people – and the people are mighty nice.

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Fjærland is a village in the Norwegian fjords, and this particular fjord is called the Sognefjord. It can be reached by two ferries from Bergen (or a long bus from Oslo, which was our onward journey – there is a big, modern info centre down at Bergen Harbour which will point you there and sell tickets). This charming town is a drawcard for two reasons – one is that it is the gateway to the vast Jostedalsbreen glacier – the largest glacier in continental Europe that spans a staggering 487 square kilometers! The arm that people come to see is called Bøyabreen. The other, which had my heart aflutter and was my main purpose for the visit, is that it is Norway’s official book town! Being a literature lover from way back (I worked in book stores for years and started my career in book publishing), the thought of books colliding with nature, fjords, a little village, well, there’s not much more to say really.

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STAY: Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel

This is one of my favourite hotels I’ve ever stayed in. In Norway. In the World. Period.

I was lured there (pictured below – the above is Hotel Mundal – also gorgeous) when I was searching for hotels to stay at in Scandinavia and stumbled on this book room and I almost died. I mean, my own bedroom has a mountain of books in it, but this was different. It was in the fjords of Norway! It was such a divine experience that it deserves its own post, which is coming soon so hang in there! In the meantime, you can check it out (and I know you’ll consider booking!) on their suitably beautiful website.

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Legit Book town

So, a book town – what does that even meeeaan!? Essentially, this very brilliant initiative was thought up by the founder of Wales’ Hay on Wye annual book festival, Richard Booth. I’ve never met him, but he sounds pretty rad. More than twenty such towns exist in the world, in far flung locales (OK, there’s quite a few in Europe) like Spain, Malaysia, the Netherlands, South Korea and even one in Clunes, Vicitoria, here in Aus. These villages have a high concentration of second-hand or antiquarian bookstores, and by becoming a little reading nook within the country, they help attracted tourism to otherwise quiet destinations.

In the case of Fjærland, this translates to 10 second-hand bookstores in a town that has just under 300 inhabitants. Most of them stand silent and unattended, so you creep through on the floorboards, browsing spines of titles from local folk tales to mass-market fiction, to bizarre, outdated craft books that border on the creepy.  It’s glorious! Many operate on an honesty system, including a bookstore in an old, slanting bus stop complete with moss dripping from the roof, and a garage-conversion in a local’s driveway.

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The first bookstore you are likely to discover is the Kaffistova Book-cafe, which is right where the ferry drops you off as you enter town. It also served a homely selection of soups and cakes, cheese toasties and coffee and the service is friendly like you would expect from a small little village.

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Another place to grab a bite and have a mooch is Hotel Mundal, which was build in 1891 and is run by the original family that founded it. I adored the fading maps and old photographs of Fjærland and it’s people from times past. The hotel has 35 rooms and the restaurant serves dinner here at 6:30pm each evening. We arrived here famished after a hike and made a bee-line for Kafe Mikkel, that serves sandwiches and tea.  Each were delicious to our rumbling tummies!

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Bøyabreen Glacier

Eager to meet the mouth of Europe’s largest glacier, we caught one of the two daily glacier bus services. For 132 NOK (or around AUD $21), it weaves you up to the Glacier Museum, and then on to Bøyabreen, an arm (Ok, not mouth) of the mighty Jostedalsbreen glacier. The Museum is an unexpectedly modern structure, which shows a (kinda hilarious) film of the glacier, and has lots of interactive exhibits that explain some of the science behind it. A guide then takes you on to a couple of different outposts to see the real thing.

It’s immense. At a distance, especially in photos, it appears small, but these towering chunks of ice are nothing short of massive. The part that is most mindbending is that it continues on for 487 square kilometres. For dayssss, basically.

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Norway Fjord Fjaerland Scandinavia Book Town Glacier

Hiking

Bard (pronounced bored), the wonderful owner of our hotel, recommended an ‘easy’ hike nearby, which he does most mornings. I can even see him in my mind, running up there effortlessly. So, we set off with a small bottle of water each and no food quite late in the day, and started to climb a fjord mountain – like idiots.

Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful and #noregrets. Weaving up into valleys among wildflowers, past an old hikers hut, with some epic fjord views at the peak – as well as a tin containing a well-wishing note and a cigar that delighted Phil – but we were annoyed at ourselves, because the golden rule of hiking is to go prepared. It took us a lot longer than we expected and we hadn’t even really eaten lunch. We also had to ration water as it was a lot steeper in parts than anticipated, and the weather was moving its clouds through the fjords, which was not only blocking some of the views, but it made us a bit nervous given our aforementioned lack of planning. We only saw two girls the whole time, who were descending past the hut, because they too came up in a state of ill-considered spontaneity. So, be smart when you hike folks, and know that Bard is fitter than you! Ha, OK, maybe not you, but us. I would love to return and do more hikes in the area though.

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We spent two nights in Fjærland, this quiet realm of kayaks and antiquarian novels, sleeping in a white, picket fence hotel on the shore.

Next time I take the book room.

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Take a listen to my Scandinavia special of Wanderlust on Bondi Beach Radio, featuring an interview with Bard from the Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel!

 

Love is the Ultimate Outlaw – Our Kiama Wedding

One month ago I got hitched to my long haired lover from Liverpool. The big day was a goddamn joyful explosion of love, colour, wine and tunes on a property on the edge of Kiama on the South Coast. As anyone who has been married would know, there are a mind-boggling amount of decisions that go into tying the knot. I will never underestimate that the single best one is obviously saying ‘YES’ in the first place (love you millions babe!). I’m also over the moon that Australia said YES to marriage equality this week! Everyone deserves the right to marry whoever they wish!

Another was the choice of my bangin’ bridesmaids that were there through all the other steps and I couldn’t have made this wedding such a hit without my beloved bombshells.  Also, how hot do they look in these jewel-toned dresses?!

Putting the spunky artist groom Phillip Marsden in charge of all things stationary and signage will be making couples jealous AF for years to come (unfortunately not pictured – will post when we get some of those photos). I won’t go on too much, as at the bottom of this post I have a full list of vendors and info on the dress and all that business, but I do need to give big ups to Bush Bank for providing the gorgeous setting, Jasmine Christie for being the flower magician of my dreams, Ben Ager for putting all celebrants that ever pronounced a couple wed to shame, and the kick-arse camera-wielding maestros Ellen and Phu of Folk + Follow, whose artful images speak for themselves below.

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Australia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil bush bank Grace Loves Lace Emanuela

Australia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil bush bankAustralia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil bush bankAustralia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil bush bank

Australia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil bush bank Jasmine Christie

Australia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil bush bank

“Love is the ultimate outlaw.

It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”

– Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker

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KateandPhil-15Australia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil bush bank Jasmine ChristieAustralia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil bush bank

Australia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil bush bankAustralia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil bush bankKateandPhil-21Australia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil bush bank

WEDDING TUNES

{Walking down the Aisle} ‘Ontario’ by Bonobo

{Signing the marriage certificates} ‘Heart of Gold’ by Neil Young and ‘True Love Will Find You in the End’ by Beck (Daniel Johnston cover)

{Walking back up the aisle} ‘Do You Realize??’ by Flaming Lips followed by ‘Picture Perfect’ by Nelly Furtado

{Bridal party entering reception} ‘Let’s Stick Together’ by Bryan Ferry

{First Dance} ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ by Father John Misty

{DJ} MK-1 from Bondi Beach Radio and L Fresh The Lion

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OUR KICK-ARSE VENDORS

{Venue} Bush Bank, Kiama

{Florist} Jasmine Christie

{Photography} Folk + Follow

{Celebrant} Ben Ager

{Illustrations on invites, signage, menus + more} spunky artist groom Phillip Marsden

{Bride Wears} Grace Loves Lace ‘Emanuela’ Gown

{Styling} Katie Mayor, Jasmine Christie and Grace & Stone Collections

{Cake} Flour and Petal Cake Designs

{Bride Wears – Night} Stevie May ‘Ruby May’ dress

{Groom Party Wears} Politix

{Bridal Party Hair} Jess from Seabreeze Hair, Kiama

{Makeup} Lei Tai from Future Mrs

{Rings} Grew & Co, Sydney

{Earrings} Zoe & Morgan ‘Boom’ earrings, New Zealand

{Bridesmaid Dresses} Free People, Alice McCall, Talulah and Missguided

{Bridesmaid Kimonos} Free People

{Bride Shoes} Forever Soles ‘Sense of Wonder’ Wedge

{DJ} MK-1 from Bondi Beach Radio and L Fresh The Lion

But on to that happily ever after…

Australia best weddings folk + follow kiama Kate and Phil

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Tigerlillys, Nusa Lembongan, Bali

Floating in a pool-side, suspended swing chair, surrounded by lush greenery and thatched-roof cabanas – a menu of tasty food at the ready – is a pretty good recipe for a relaxed holiday stay. When checking in to Tigerlillys, on the southeastern Balinese island of Nusa Lembongan, you are handed a watermelon juice, and then welcomed in to this little island oasis. It’s tempting to pull up a cabana chair, order a fresh coconut, and not leave the premises.

Tigerlilys Nusa Lembongan room 3

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In addition to being a pretty hip lodging, Tigerlillys is also a restaurant and bar, and probs one of the best ones around. Craving some tasty Indonesian and Asian cuisine? You’re in luck, friend. We especially dug the Vegetarian San Choy Bau with tempe (chicken one also available), the yummy juices like the dairy free ‘Green Machine’, with spinach, avocado, cucumber, papaya and banana topped with chia seeds, and I find it a real challenge to order beyond a banana pancake for brekky when I’m in Bali – they are sooo good, with the slices cooked into the pancake, rather than on top. GIMME!

Tigerlillys definitely provides the kind of menu you could happily peruse every few hours while kicking back by the pool all day. Cup of tea? Sure. Cheeky pizza? (Unfortunately for your healthy eating plan) too easy. Time for a Bintang or a watermelon mint martini? Why do you temp us so?

Tigerlilys Nusa Lembongan settling in pool_Tigerlilys Nusa Lembongan restaurant space chair

The rustic, boho decor (think vintage furniture and bright, mirrored throw pillows) gives the restaurant a relaxed vibe as well. When you feel like changing it up, a stroll down to the fab The Deck is also worth your while. You know, if you want to swap your pool view for an ocean one.

Tigerlilys Nusa Lembongan restaurant area

The room had a comfy, wooden frame bed with a batik bedspread and is surrounded by a mosquito net. A daybed sits by the window, a cosy little reading nook to while away a lazy afternoon, peering out at lush vegetation of palm and frangipani trees. We had an upstairs room with an external staircase, the semi-outdoor bathroom below.

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Tigerlilys Nusa Lembongan best islands bali indonesia palm trees

Our one complaint was that when booking a Nusa Penida tour through the reception, the operator who came to explain it to us, failed to mention that the snorkeling section of the tour he sold us cost extra. It wasn’t until we returned from the tour that they hit us up for a higher price that we had agreed upon, and the reception staff didn’t back us up when we complained, so we begrudgingly still had to pay it. It put a bit of a dampner on what was an overall good stay.

Also check out the post Bali Island Paradise: Nusa Lembongan for what to get up to on the island.

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Surf Jack Hotel, Waikiki best hotels honolulu hawaii

Wild Spin of the Web {3}

A sneak peek into one of the fab hotels I’ve booked into for my upcoming honeymoon, some natural spas to get you planning your next relaxation break, a charming author’s guest cabin, and a retreat in Tasmania to truly get away from it all (but in rustic style), welcome to the next installment of Wild Spin of the Web.

STAY: Surf Jack, Waikiki – I’m endlessly on the lookout for unique, boutique hotels to add some style and comfort to my trips, and this was especially the case when planning my upcoming honeymoon to Hawaii. Sure, Hawaii seems like a cliched choice, but I’ve been itching to get there to experience the natural beauty of Kaua’i, otherwise known as the Garden Isle. But flying in and out of Oahu means a few days in Honolulu, so I was on the lookout for somewhere exciting to stay that doesn’t break the budget (the wedding has already done that, people!). Enter Surf Jack, complete with a pool that is blazoned with Wish You Were Here (also a fave Pink Floyd song!), stylish rooms, cute cafe and restaurant downstairs…you get the picture. I can’t wait!

Surf Jack Hotel, Waikiki best hotels honolulu hawaii

Photo credit: Surf Jack, Waikiki

VISIT: Natural Hot Springs  – I think all this wedding planning is making me feel the need for a good rest, and what better way to wind down than having a soak in some mineral-rich natural hot springs? This article in Australian Traveller 11 natural hot springs of uncommon beauty show some of the most divine examples across Australia, and for some international and instagram-worthy examples, check out 8 hot springs that are equal parts dreamy and rejuvenating in Well + Good.

Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria Source: Australian Traveller Magazine

Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. Source: Australian Traveller Magazine

STAY: Author’s Cosy Guesthouse – I dream of having a rustic, chic cabin in which to write, and U.S. author Edward Karlow has made his guest cabin in Minneapolis, Minnesota just that. Check it out on Design Sponge, and the great news is, you can also book it on Airbnb!

Author cabin Minnesota Airbnb

Photo credit: Design Sponge

GUIDE: Daylesford, Victoria – Anyone who has been following the blog (you can sign up to the e-newsletter here) will know that I recently had a spectacular winter weekend away in Daylesford, Victoria. And I felt like I visited most of the key spots, but after stumbling on this article in The Design Files which has the tips of author and landscape designer Paul Bangay of what to explore in this beautiful region – spa country actually, there’s a theme here this week – and it’s given me loads of inspo for my next visit there.

Daylesford, Victoria

Lake House, Daylesford. Photo credit: Caitlin Mills for The Design Files

STAY: Captain’s Rest, Tasmania – I’ve clearly been exploring a lot of design websites lately, but they can be a great source of travel inspiration as well! And my heart went aflutter when I stumbled on this idyllic, off-the-beaten-track accommodation option on Design to Inspire, which made me feel calm just by looking at this rustic little abode by the water. In the worlds of Liz Lemon from 30 Rock “I want to go to there”. Bookings can be made here, but me first please!

CaptainsRest

Photo credit: Captain’s Rest

I hope this post has given you some ideas about where to next seek some chill time. Where is your favourite place to chill out?