All posts tagged: Australia

Some Cafe, Collector

When I was a teenager, we used to leave Sydney on road trips to the snow at 2am and drive through the night – a convoy of little snowboarding ragamuffins. One time we broke down just outside of Collector, a tiny town not far from the ACT border. We waited for hours for the one service station/general store to open at 8am. It was a long morning in what felt like the tiniest country town on earth. So when researching a weekend trip to Canberra, I was surprised to hear that exact general store had been bought by a young couple and turned into a destination foodie spot, simply called Some Cafe. On arrival, the almost-full parking lot out front made it obvious the secret is out, especially as it was only Friday. I’m guessing it wasn’t all locals – as there are barely 400 of them in this small country township, just tucked off the Federal Highway. Turns out the busy carpark was a non-issue, given the large front verandah and multiple rooms to …

Chinese New Year Lunar Markets, Sydney

Hello Year of the Rooster! Sydney has brought the festival vibe this Chinese New Year with giant zodiac lanterns, Asian artworks splashed across town and the cutest rooster macaroon you ever did see. The Sydney Morning Herald Lunar Markets have their final weekend this weekend (get down there if you haven’t already!) at Pyrmont Bay Park. Hanging lanterns, origami workshops, stilt walkers and DJs abound. This is Sydney though, so all we really care about is highly instagrammable food made by the stars of the local culinary scene (which is quite ridiculous behaviour that I wholeheartedly endorse).   THE FOOD: Absolutely everything we put in our mouths here was darn delicious. But let’s break it down in order of tastebud joy. Despite being Japanese food mad, I only discovered YAKISOBA when my cousin cooked it for me two weeks ago, and the kewpie-covered delight that you can get at the Lunar Markets has cemented it as THE SHIZNIT. Thankfully there was a line for this dish or I would have thought the world had gone …

Weekend Spin in Port Stephens

Port Stephens, a few hours north of Sydney in the Hunter region, is a coastal hideaway of headlands, ocean bays and big open skies ideal for an escape from a frenzied city life. Eager to glimpse the natural wonder of Zenith Beach, which I had somehow missed on a few visits to the area over ten years ago, we packed the tent and beach umbrella into the car, and set off for a weekend to wind down and rejuvenate after a busy few months. We set up camp at the Halifax Holiday Park, tucked behind the Nelson Bay lighthouse on a peninsula between Little Beach and the north end of Shoal Bay, where we took a quick walk on the beach in the afternoon light. We then took a stroll down Little Beach looking for somewhere to eat and happened upon the lovely white Little Beach Boathouse. A short wait in the bar downstairs meant that we enjoyed a refreshing drink watching the pastel sun set over the calm water. Once seated in the upstairs …

The Atlantic, Byron Bay

Verandas with cushioned swinging cane chairs, a custom built bocce court of sand and a camp chair-lined fire pit in the yard. There’s an air stream camper you can hire by the wood-lined lap pool. The white walls, stylish minimal furnishings and green spaces make it a genuine place of rest. It is quiet. Oh, and it’s right in the heart of Byron Bay, a mere minute’s walk from the beach. I think this is my favourite hotel in Australia. The Albatross rooms had recently opened at The Atlantic when I first caught an online glimpse of the hotel. With a tropical aquatic seafaring-style theme complete with Moroccan tiled private courtyards and outdoor shower, my heart was aflutter which I think had an immediate reaction down to my keyboard finger because I booked right away. While lazing on our private courtyard in a swing chair (or was it on the daybed?!), reading the perfectly curated little leaflet guide to their recommended places in the area (such as Folk Byron Bay), I knew I had arrived …

The Farm at Byron Bay

Farm animals, flowers in bloom, fresh BBQ cafe fare and live music on the lawn – what’s not to love about The Farm at Byron Bay? Owned by the same team as Sydney beach-side institution Three Blue Ducks in Bronte, this vibrant and rustic barn venture is a much-welcomed addition to Australia’s favourite coastal town. Located on the turnoff to Ewingsdale road, a few minutes outside of central Byron, this modest property is a burst of rural delight, where you get to saunter through somebody else’s farm – even have a picnic in the grounds – and not feel like you’re being an intrusive creep. The vibe is relaxed, it’s rustic and unpretentious, but it’s also full of life and you can sense the care that is taken in the upkeep of the grounds and the creatures living within them. After taking a wander around the property to say hello to the blissfully filthy pigs, laying in their muddy earthen bath, or the nearby chickens pecking at scattered feed, you enter the main barn house …