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travel

Featured SliderTravel

Sleeping at Spicers Balfour

posted by Emmy O'Neill December 18, 2017 0 comments

As the new year fast approaches we usually start to turn our thoughts to our 2018 resolutions #amiright. We at BT think that spoiling oneself should be high on everyone’s list. Well, we have a great idea for you!

And this time you can avoid the bumper-to-bumper M1 to the Gold Coast or the even-longer Sunshine Coast, but rather pack your suitcases and head to New Farm. Yes, New Farm!

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Brisbane Marriott
Featured SliderLifestyleTravel

Staycation at Marriott

posted by Emmy O'Neill March 3, 2017 0 comments

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of a little #staycation with hubby at the Brisbane Marriott to escape the chaos of everyday #mumlife. Truth be told we were incredibly excited (aka couldn’t freaking wait) to drop off the tribe and head into the city for a little #datenight sans babes.

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Spotlight On: Sundays In Paris
LifestyleTravel

Spotlight On: Yasmin from Sundays In Paris

posted by Jacquelyn Cox August 18, 2016 0 comments

Planning a Paris getaway? Or just want to take a moment out of your day to dream about the city of love (like us…)? We’re kind of smitten with the Instagram-worthy travel book “Sundays In Paris”. Not only is it chic and stunning to look at but it is giving us a case of the serious travel bug! We caught up with travel guide “Sundays In Paris” creator Yasmin to find out about her love for Paris, her love for Brisbane and what’s next!

Spotlight On: Sundays In Paris

Can you tell our readers a little about yourself and your background…

I grew up in Adelaide and moved to QLD to study Arts/Law at Bond University in 2010. I found myself in Paris in 2013 after studying French in Lyon as part of my Arts degree. After starting in Sundays in Paris, I moved to Brisbane where I actually work full time as a Solicitor in Banking and Finance (which I think most people don’t know!).

 

What inspired you to start putting together the Sundays In Paris City Guide?

I’m always on the hunt for good coffee and food when I move to new cities or travel. Being Australian I love going out for coffee and brunch on the weekend, we have such a great weekend culture here so when I moved to Lyon and found everything shut I struggled! When I moved to Paris 6 months later I was very excited about Sundays in Paris (being a bigger city lots more was open). I soon found myself talking endlessly about places to try for coffee and brunch on Sunday when my friend RJ suggested I start a website.

I was working freelance jobs at the time so I was always working from my laptop in cafes and began documenting each place on Instagram, one thing led to another and in May of this year I was lucky enough to publish it all into a book ‘ Sundays in Paris City Guide’.

Since I started the city guide in 2014, it really has developed into a community project involving people from all over the world who share the same love for Paris that I do. The project has turned Instagram followers into some of my closest friends and has allowed me to collaborative with some amazing and creative people. I’m endlessly grateful for the experience which sometimes feels like a dream!

 

Spotlight On: Sundays In Paris

 

What are your ultimate top 3 things to do/places to go/meals to eat in Paris?

  1. Coffee – the speciality coffee scene has really developed in recent years so there is now a long list of places to get a great cup of coffee but top of my list is Boot Cafe for its uniqueness. An old cobblers shop turned cafe, it’s so charming. The Hood has recently opened and is one of my favourite new spots.
  1. Food – the options are really endless when it comes to where to eat in Paris (even now on Sunday!). Ober Mama is a great place for a casual dinner, it’s definitely up there with the better options for Italian in Paris. Buvette is my go-to place for Brunch because of the croque monsieur.
  1. Wander – the best thing to do in Paris is wander. The first few months I lived in Paris I would walk endlessly around the city – make sure to visit Place des Voyages, walk along the Canal Saint Martin  (pit stop at Ten Belles for coffee) and Palais Royal for a beautiful backdrop and coffee at Café Kitsune.

 

How would you spend a typical Sunday in Paris?

The markets at Bastille are my first point of call in themorning. I then would normally meet friends for coffee (Fondation Café, Fragments and Boot Café are regular features). Then onto brunch, a Sunday ritual for me, I have my staple places like Holybelly, Bespoke and Buvette but I’m always on the look out for new places opening up in the city. Recent additions include the likes of Hardware Societe up in Montmatre.

Spotlight On: Sundays In Paris

Now back to our beautiful sunshine state, what are your favourite things about living in Brisbane (restaurants, shops, neighbourhoods, cafes, things to do etc)? 

I love the laidback lifestyle that comes with living in QLD. I live in Teneriffe so being close to the water and the woolstores are my favourite part about living in the neighbourhood as well as the endless list of great cafes and restaurants in close proximity.  I love being able to wake up on the weekend and visit the Powerhouse markets before jumping in the car and heading to the Sunshine beach or Mermaid beach down on the Gold Coast.

 

What’s next for you? 

More books, I hope! I’m looking to write a new city guide perhaps for New York or London so watch this space.

 

Fall in love with Paris on their Instagram here or buy your own travel guide on their website here.

Santorini, Greece | Brisbane Threads
Lifestyle

6 Holidays Team BT Are Currently Planning

posted by Team BT June 30, 2015 1 Comment

Have you noticed that a lot of people on your newsfeed are on glamorous, adventurous holidays at the moment in picture-perfect locations in Australia and around the world?! Is it making your travel bug itch with desire? Are you having FOMO (fear of missing out)? Are you desperately pinning travel inspo pictures on Pinterest? WE ARE!

We love planning holidays, researching activities and accommodation, exploring new places, devouring authentic food and discovering hidden gems. It’s the joy of travel that will never get old, no matter how many airports we sit in, flights we miss and mini disasters that happen in a foreign land. If we could travel all day, every day, without a care in the world, we would in a heartbeat.

For now though, we must live vicariously through others, so we asked our wonderful contributors if they had any upcoming travel plans. To my surprise, the majority of them do have holidays on the horizon (it just goes to show what an adventurous bunch we really are!). Here’s 6 holidays #TeamBT are currently planning for the second half of the year.

Europe

BT contirbutor Chloe is in the very early stages of planning a trip to Europe to explore the region on a solo mission. It will be her first time in Europe, so she’s looking at doing a group tour to get her bearings, meet new people and make her time abroad as care-free as possible (who doesn’t love someone else organising the logistics of travel!).  She’s heading to the northern hemisphere in January if all goes according to plan, so her winter knits will definitely get a second life outside of Australia’s winter season.

Austria | Brisbane Threads

Canada

Come January, Madi is going to Canada as an exchange student, to study and live at a local university in Vancouver. She went to Canada earlier this year and fell in love with the snow, the beautiful landscapes and the fun-loving people and enrolled in her university’s exchange program upon her return. To say she is excited is an understatement!

Canada | Brisbane Threads

Mexico

Teagan, who is our Brisbane Editor and social media guru, is headed to Mexico in September for two weeks to explore Mexico City, eat tacos in the street, ride bikes around Tulum, catch up on some reading, drink tequila cocktails and hone her photography skills in paradise. The busy bee hasn’t planned a single thing yet (um Teagan, September is 2 months away!), so if you have some wisdom and recommendations to share, I’m positive she would love to hear it!

Mexico | Brisbane Threads

Melbourne

Michaela is staying on home soil for her upcoming holiday and is heading south to Melbourne for two weeks on a food, fashion and lifestyle tour around the city and its surrounds. Her foodie hit list consists of (so far) rooftop cocktails at The Lui Bar, an American style feast at The Gem Bar and Dining Room, a chocolate fix at Cacao Lab in Melbourne’s CBD and a serving of Italian from Smokehouse Sorrento. She also plans on visiting Collingwood, Phillip Island and the Great Ocean Road she is in Victoria.

Melbourne | Brisbane Threads

Bali

BT contributor Aimee is going to Bali and Lombok for a stint in October to climb mountains and enjoy the Indonesian sun. What’s the plan, you might ask? It involves lugging her yoga mat to high altitudes to feel the zen in the fresh air, clear her mind and feel exhausted, yet rewarded. She’ll be climbing Mt Rinjani (3726 metres), Mt Angung (3031 metres), Mt Batur (1717 metres), Mt Batukaru (2275 metres) and more. If you’re planning a trip to Bali in the coming months, check out our post on the popular island here.

Bali | Brisbane Threads

London

Abby is also heading over to the northern hemisphere to sightsee around London before crossing over to Europe to continue the adventure. Abby and her partner are huge history buffs, so they’re excited to be visiting the Colosseum, Vatican City, Anne Frank’s House, Globe Theatre and more, as well as wine tasting in Munich, relaxing on the beaches of Cote d’Azur and experiencing the nightlife of Amsterdam.

London | Brisbane Threads

So, that’s what #TeamBT are up to at the moment (of course, when they aren’t exploring Brisbane and writing the fab content that you see here). We are one extremely lucky bunch to be able to explore our city, our country and international lands, so give us a hola if you have any tips for the ladies who are off on an adventure in the coming months. 

Here’s our top tips for planning a holiday:

– Money – As much as we hate to admit it, money makes the world go round and you have to have some spare through every stage of the process – from planning, booking flights and researching accommodation to buying essentials before you leave, eating out (a lot) while you are away, shopping (crucial) and sightseeing. It is always wise to have a little more than you need incase of any emergencies that return funds immediately. To save you worrying about money and conversion rates while you are away, perhaps consider a personal loan from Heritage Bank before you go. Check out the groovy calculator they’ve created below to get an estimation on how much you can borrow, the interest rate and how long you have to repay the loan. Trust us, you don’t want to be worried about money while you are eating Nutella crepes under the Eiffel Tower… no way!

– Luggage – If you’re one of those gals who could take 3 bags of ‘essentials’ for a weekend away, stop right now! You need to pack light when you hit the road baby, there ain’t nothing chic about lugging a giant suitcase up a flight of stairs. Stick to the basics and make sure everything works together so you can mix and match either piece with a couple of others. Always have denim, grey and white tees, a good jacket, a splash of leopard, a hat, scarves and comfortable shoes. The rest can wait until you get home.

– Do Your Research – There’s nothing worse than arriving in a destination and not knowing what there is to see, do and eat in the area. Do your research and the city and it’s surrounding towns, and look at what’s close to your hotel. That way, you can hit the group running and push through the jet lag once you have dropped your bags at the hotel.

– Be Spontaneous – If we can give you one piece of advice, it would be to be spontaneous when you are travelling. That doesn’t mean you don’t have plans, but rather that you can accept change and be flexible if a good opportunity comes up. Say you meet a group of friendly backpackers in the park – have dinner and drinks with them. You meet a brilliant local who wants to show you around their hometown – why the heck not! Playful banter with a charming young man – you go girl! Be spontaneous on your travels and the most unexpected experiences will find you.

So, did we teach you a thing or two about how we travel? 

Would you like to see more travel content on Brisbane Threads? Let us know and we’ll work on bringing you more from our adventures abroad, as well as the best of Brisbane. 

This post was written in collaboration with Heritage Bank

tech travel essentials
FashionTravel

Travel Essentials – Part 1 (Tech & Gadgets)

posted by Alice Duffield March 25, 2015 2 Comments

I recently made a move to the other side of the world. Here I am in chilly England and still living temporarily until I can get myself settled. Moving is hard, travel is challenging and tiring but I must admit, 2015 is a great time to do it. We have so many luxuries to ease the stress of travel. I’ve collated a list of travel essentials that have made my life just that much easier. Let’s talk tech and gadgets first!

tech travel essentials

I-pad keyboard – I am currently on the plane as I write this. Having an i-pad on your flights and in your general travelling time is such an awesome way to entertain yourself. You know what’s even better? HAVING A KEYBOARD TO GO WITH IT? You know what’s even better than that? Having a gorgeous aqua one! Seriously this logitech keyboard is the coolest product to have on your travels. It has wireless, bluetooth, the whole shebang. If you can’t easily carry your laptop around or just don’t want the extra weight for that weekend away, slip your keypad into your handbag with the i-pad and still have convenient typing at your fingertips.. Yeah you like that one, don’t you.

Locks – This might seem obvious but don’t forget these babies. I used these ones– they are TSA approved, easy to use and stinkin’ cute. In my opinion, the risk you take not keeping your luggage secure is a bit stupid! Get some fun colourful ones and make it easier to spot your suitcase at the carousel too!

International power adapter with USB slots – Be prepared and grab some of these before you leave the country! There’s nothing worse than arriving overseas and your phone or laptop has died before you can email your Mum and say you’re safe! I like this one because it has USB slots in it. I can charge a few things at the same time as blowdrying my hair this way. Poifect!

USB – Grab a USB and fill it with photocopies of passports, birth certificates, drivers license and anything else you might need. It’s not an uncommon story to be mugged or lose important documents overseas and it’s best not to risk it.

Now let’s talk FASHUN. I know you’ve all been waiting for it! As I walked onto my private jet they were all ‘Ms Duffield, who are you wearing?!’ and I was all ‘I can’t tell you before I tell my BT fans I’m afraid’. So you get it here first. The essentials to a comfortable journey.

The perils of living in Australia is that to get most places we have a good few hours of in-air misery. I did four countries in 30 hours to get to the UK and boy was I glad for strechy pants and a baggy top to cover that plane-food bloat! I did, warm knit sweats, a plain top and a warm knit to slip over the top.

The plane always gets cold but make sure you have a big tote to throw your warmies in if you’re arriving to a warmer climate. Another thing to do is ensure your bag has a zip! Always good to keep your things secure, as you’ll be carrying your passport around for the first while of your journey. Here’s some inspiration for your next travel outfit.

travel essentials

travel essentials

These items are a mix from Gorman, Witchery, Country Road, Uniqlo, Rollasole and Sportscraft. Here are my simplified do’s and dont’s for travel.

Do:

  • Carry a big tote bag that is secure (even better if you can get one with a long shoulder strap)
  • Throw in a comfy pair of ballet flats (i use rollasole because they’re totally flexible and can be thrown in anywhere)
  • Wear a wireless bra – so worth it
  • ONLY wear clothing with give and stretch. You’ll thank me when you’re 13 hours in and ready to throw yourself out the window.

Don’t:

  • Forget a jumper
  • Wear jeans
  • Wear shoes with laces or buckles
  • Forget warm socks.

Coming up next on BT we have our next edition of Travel Essentials focusing on BEAUTY! Your fave I know. Enjoy, my travelling munchkins.

BT on the RoadCultureFoodTravel

Hotel Review : NEXT Hotel Brisbane

posted by Chloe Clark February 15, 2015 0 comments

When invited to spend a night at NEXT Hotel Brisbane and dine at Lennons Restaurant & Bar I jumped at the chance to sus out this new Brisbane hot spot. What I didn’t expect was the NEXT level service and style that the swish new Hotel has created.

Next Hotel Brisbane

With the motto “Designed to make your time count”, NEXT Hotel does just that and more with their re-engineered space, technology and service designed for the time-crunched modern business traveller, but also equally impressive for tourists or those on a mini-break in their own city.

Let me break down just some of the stand out things about NEXT Hotel.

Space

“Enjoy our amenities before check-in and even after check-out” are not words you hear from many Hotels. Designed to work for you, and for you to work, the spaces on offer at NEXT Hotel for guests to enjoy include the Club Lounge, The Pantry, Gym & Pool, Shower pods, and my personal favourite, Sleep Pods. All available for you to use if you are waiting to check in or have some time to kill before your flight after check out, accompanied by complimentary wi-fi, naturally.

sleep pods NEXT hotel

And while we’re talking about spaces, it doesn’t get fresher than Lennons Restaurant & Bar where you can watch the chefs prepare your order on the spot whether it’s a breakfast meeting, power lunch or social dinner.

Next hotel Brisbane

Technology

What if I told you, you could download a NEXT Hotel app to gain absolute power over your stay? Well that is exactly what you can do, and by power I mean you can control the gadgets in your room including lights, music, and air conditioning. Use it to book room service, check in, check out and wait for it… use it as your room key! Yep, just open the app, hold it up to your door, and you’re in! If you don’t have a smart phone, you can do all of the above on the Samsung Galaxy S4 waiting in your room that is yours for the stay. You can take it out with you for the day, and use it to have room service waiting for you or have the room chilled to your desired temperature.

 Service

Wi-fi and expensive mini bar items; two things that often get you with extra costs when booking a hotel room. Not a problem when staying at NEXT Hotel as wi-fi is complimentary and so are 4 mini bar items, daily!

So you might have caught on by now that everything at NEXT Hotels revolves around you and your schedule, making it the perfect place to stay for a business trip, or simply for a staycation in your own city!

Info & Booking

NEXT Hotel Brisbane

72 Queen Street, Brisbane

Queensland 4000, Australia

+61 7 3222 3222

[email protected]

 

 

CultureLifestyle

24 Hours at the Brisbane Marriott

posted by Teagan West December 3, 2014 2 Comments

marriott-brisbanethreads

Last weekend I jumped at an invitation to spend 24 hours at the Brisbane Marriott to bask in the hotel’s delightful services, devour food and relax in a luxurious room overlooking the Brisbane River.

I was uber impressed with the service and welcoming nature of all of the staff I encountered, and the facilities were nothing but the best. And don’t get me started on the Motion Bar & Grill! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, complete with all of its embellishments. So much so that I got home on Sunday afternoon and, despite my looming to-do list, continued to relax and recharge because the last 24 hours at the Marriott had left me in a state of total bliss.

Here’s what I got up to…

6pm – The car was handed over to the concierge upon arrival and parked in a secure offsite location for the duration of our stay. Practical and convenient as everything we wanted/needed was either in the hotel itself, or within walking distance. A smooth check in sent us up to our room on the 23rd floor within minutes. Our #staycation had officially begun!

marriott-view-brisbanethreads

6.30pm – After gawking at the view and booking dinner we ducked out to hunt for pre-dinner snacks and stumbled upon some cheese, crackers and salami. Perfect!They went down a treat as we got ready for dinner at the Marriott’s hotel restaurant, Motion Bar & Grill Restaurant.

marriott-cheese-brisbanethreads

8.45pm – A late dinner reservation in the Motion Bar & Grill welcomed much contemplation when it came to picking just one thing off the short, but concise dinner menu. I wish I could eat seafood, because the neighbouring tables Seafood Tower of scallops, bugs, prawns, smoked salmon, mussels, oysters, crab legs, calamari and dipping sauces looked divine. Instead I opted for the safe, but equally tasty Lemon/Thyme Chicken Breast with carrot, parsnip puree, green pea and pan juices. My partner chose the sirloin with mushroom sauce and said it was the most glorious steak he had ever had (a big call coming from a carnivore!).

marriott-chicken-brisbanethreads

10pm – Finally, it was time to hit the hay in the heavenly king-size bed complete with 6 perfect pillows. I slept long and hard into the next morning without a single stir.

8.30am – Sunday morning was spent lazing around in bed and catching up on some work online thanks to the speediest hotel wifi connection I think I’ve ever encountered. Reading my backlog of magazines and oogling at the river view were morning essentials I happily ticked off my to-do list before packing.

marriott-brisbanethreads-flatlay

10.30am – I had to coax myself into getting out of bed with the promise of a walk along the river and a fresh juice stop. Checking out was easy-peasy and our luggage was safely stored with the concierge team until our afternoon departure (another very convenient service the Marriott offers). After a short, balmy stroll down the river walk I found myself at the Eagle Street Pier before climbing onto a stool at Riverbar & Kitchen with a refreshing tropical juice cylinder in tow.

marriott-river-brisbanethreads

Midday – We headed back to the Marriott for the experience I was most looking forward to – High Tea! I LOVE a good high tea spread and the offerings at the Motion Bar & Grill resembled a perfect tier of sweet and savory goodness. Down went a selection of sandwiches with fillings such as free-range egg and lettuce, cucumber and dill cream, smoked turkey with cranberry, shaved ham and English mustard and smoked salmon with caper mayo before a selection of desserts from the pastry kitchen. The freshly baked plain and sultana scones were to-die-for, especially when paired with strawberry jam and a blissful white chocolate/vanilla/cream combo. A glass of French champagne rounded off the unbeatable High Tea spread.

marriott-hightea-brisbanethreads

marriott-scones-brisbanethreads

1pm – Feeling full and satisfied we headed back to the concierge to collect our luggage and car. Within minutes, our car rounded the corner and appeared at the sliding glass doors with our bags already packed inside. Talk about good service!

marriott-building-brisbanethreads

Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to a treatment at the in-house day spa, however judging by the rest of the experience and quality of all other Marriott services, I can almost guarantee the awesomeness of the Dome Spa Retreat. There’s always next time!

All smiles and a thumbs from this happy #staycation-er!

CultureLifestyle

Bali Travel Post: Inspo for a Summer Vacay

posted by Teagan West November 12, 2014 2 Comments

bali-brisbanethreads-1

Tourism is Bali’s major industry, so there’s no surprise the island paradise does holidaying dang well! Every corner from Kerobokan to Uluwatu, Nusa Dua to Ubud caters for the eager traveller, apprehensive at first and in love with the culture and lifestyle immediately after arrival. From to-die-for cuisine and jaw-dropping beaches to countless spa retreats and shopping havens, many are unsure where to begin their adventure, and how to stay safe despite Bali’s infamous reputation.

So here’s my to-do list after venturing to the holiday oasis for some R&R, just putting this together has reignited whimsical wanderlust to stir the travel bug at my core.

STAY

Sitting atop the cliffs of Jimbaran Bay, Ayana Resort and Spa is a beautiful option for those looking for something extra special. There’s so many incredible Bali Villas scattered around town, so whether you want something utterly private or hip and happening there’s somewhere exciting to explore. Check out the Bali Villas listed on The Luxe Nomad for some inspiration and hot deals.

bali-brisbanethreads-6

EAT

You could eat and drink in Bali three times a day for a month and still not brush the surface of delicious cuisine the beachside paradise has to offer. From western chains to unique fusion restaurants and Indonesian beach cafes your choices are endless and all a treat to your tastebuds. In terms of drinks, you don’t have to go out to the infamous Kuta nightclubs to have a drink and a good time (although you can), chilled alcoholic beverages are sold on every corner, whether you’re after a tasty cocktail or tall Bintang. Enjoy with your meal, at an atmospheric bar or on the beach with the sand between your toes – the choice is yours.

My favourite restaurants in Kuta were the Bamboo Garden Café to satisfy a midday tickle of hunger and Tubes: The Surfers Bar and Restaurant for a little taste of home and a hearty pub meal. The best spot though is on the beach at Jimbaran Bay where the freshest and most superior seafood is prepared and served from kitchen shacks on the beach to diners sitting alfresco by the water.

bali-brisbanethreads-2

SEE

For sunset spectating at its best, perch yourself at Tanah Lot, Potato Head, the cliffs above Uluwatu beach, The Rock Bar at Ayana’s Resort and Spa or La Plancha in Seminyak for the best views and atmosphere as the sky transforms into a pastel dream when the sun falls into the ocean.

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For a day trip full of inherent charm head to Ubud, the cultural and artistic hub of Bali known for its picturesque rice fields, art museums and galleries, yoga facilities, spa retreats and boutique shops. Dine at Café Lotus overlooking Pura Taman Saraswati, a magnificent water temple surrounded by an oasis of Lotus blossoms and, for a bit of monkey mischief, visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. The best way to visit Ubud is to hire a private driver for the day so you can enjoy your pit stops as a local driver navigates the crazy traffic with ease.

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If you’ve found yourself in Kuta, you should make your way to the Bali Bombings Memorial Wall on the site where Paddy’s Pub stood before it was bombed with the Sari Club on October 12, 2002. It’s a sobering experience to stand on the site that was obliterated and read the names of the 202 people, including 88 Australians, killed in the blasts.

DO

Shop – Put your bartering skills to the test and do some market shopping or check out the newly erected Beachwalk Mall and the Discovery Shopping Mall for international fashion chains and much appreciated air-conditioning. In Seminyak and Legian you’ll find a host of independent, boutique shops with whimsical. Flowy items that are perfect as beachwear of to accompany your sunset plans.

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Surf – The beaches at Kuta, Seminyak and Legian are lined with surf schools and are the perfect stomping ground for beginner and amateur surfers because of their slower breaks and paddling ease. For the keen surfers, the beaches at Uluwatu are paradise, so stop by the famous surf breaks at Dreamland, Padang Padang and Uluwatu beach in peak season for the best of the best.

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Island Hop – There are a number of companies operating day cruises to Bali’s neighbouring islands Nusa Lembongan, Lombok and Gili Trawangan. Most include scuba diving and snorkeling options and are a great way to explore off the mainland of Bali. Bali Hai Cruises is one reputable company operating in Bali that will give you a great day onboard.

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Get Pampered – There’s an endless supply of day spas in Bali, all offering different packages from beauty treatments to massage of every description. Enjoy amongst rose petals, calming music and romantic scents.

So, what’s on your Bali must-do list? I’ll no doubt be back on the Indonesian island one day and I love experiencing new places, so let me us in your hot-tips to explore the little slice of paradise that is Bali.

All images by Teagan West

 

 

FoodLifestyle

QT Hotels – photo diary

posted by Danielle Lewis August 1, 2014 0 comments

I had the most amazing (read: laziest) weekend at the Gold Coast last weekend. I went down for a friend’s birthday and we decided to stay for some much needed rest and relaxation. The fabulous QT Hotel at Surfers Paradise intrigued me the most and they had some great offers, so there were an easy choice.

From the moment we pulled into the driveway I was excited… there was so much hustle and bustle, the ground floor is home to bar Stingray and with 50 in-house tequilas , pop-art decor and a view of the ocean, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular bars on the Gold Coast.

stingray

The staff are equally as quirkily dressed as the hotel is decorated. Red lips and bright shirts were the order of the day (or evening) and we checked in with backdrop of music from the bar and the promise of a fantastic weekend.

Breakfast was served in the award winning Bazaar Restaurant – An Interactive Marketplace. The kitchen is completely open plan so you can see the chefs hard at work and chat to them about the produce and food you are about to eat. Floor to ceiling glass windows reveal cabinets of premium meats and fridges full of fresh produce.

bazaar

The weather was gorgeous so an afternoon by the pool meant, sun, bikini bodies, cocktails and a good book.

pool

A much needed early night meant an in-house movie and the most amazing room service desert I’ve ever eaten… a jar layered with chocolate pudding, peanut paste and toasted gooey marshmallows…served with honeycomb and ice-cream… seriously if that had of been the only part of the weekend, I would have died a happy lady.

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The bed was luxurious and comfy and the room was spacious and colourful, a perfect escape.

Lust after the photos I’ve included and check QT Hotel out online to book your own little getaway!       2014-07-21 10.33.15

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Lifestyle

A Brisbane Creative – Wild Rice

posted by Teagan West June 19, 2014 0 comments

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Wild Rice is the creative endeavour by Jess Saxton, a colourful soul of our city who is a journalist by trade and works her magic behind a camera.

Wild Rice is where Jess publishes everything from photo galleries, travel musings, opinion pieces, music journalism and perfectly created zines.

But first, why does she call herself Wild Rice?

Jess said the name found her after she spent years scribbling designs of front pages and looking for a name that would suit her dream-magazine.  Rice came onto her radar and seemed perfect because it is a common ground that unites so many cultures and is something small that has a huge impact. It came to symbolise everything she wanted her work to be, and so, Wild Rice was born.

“My work reflects my personality, it’s kind of a window into the way I see the world. Ideally I want my images and stories to inspire people, to be inspired by their own reality and by others. It’s all about seeing the magic and beauty in front of us and showing it in a positive way.”

Like any good journalist, Jess uses words to illustrate her story and thoughts. But unlike those in her field, her photography takes your breath away.

Wild Rice Photography captivated me from the moment I laid eyes on the showcased collection at the RAW Spectrum event in April. Wild Rice photography stood out, and I immediately wanted to know more about the creative genius behind the lense (and alas here we are!).

Jess strives to create work that is pure and honest through her main subjects – community, culture, events and people in their everyday habits.

She also does fashion shoots in collaboration with emerging locals to promote their talent.

“I love to work as a candid photographer, capturing moments of truth that otherwise might have been missed and outing them in the spotlight…. I’m inspired by people; I love to see how people interact with each other, themselves and their realities. Its infatuating.”

On her recent trip to Colombia she captured the vibrant culture and life of its inhabitants, from the “very straight” people around the city to the “flamboyant” ones from the coast. Check out her Instagram @wildricepics for some travel-inspiring eye-candy that makes you feel immersed in the culture, lifestyle and cuisine of the pulsating country.

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As if that’s not enough creative genius-ness, Jess makes her own unique zines, which are perfectly created ‘baby magazines’ that are published online and full of musings, stories and photography by the talented gal. Anyone can make one, but I can assure you Wild Rice Zines by Jess Saxton will reign supreme.

So far, there are 3 issues of Wild Rice Zines (view here) available to download and view, with more in the pipeline, including one soon with a Brisbane street artist!

You’ll have to keep an eye on Jess and add Wild Rice to your favourites tab – you won’t be able to get enough of this Brisbane creative once you start spectating her beautiful way of life!

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Visit http://wildrice-online.com for more work by Jess Saxton and follow her on Instagram @wildricepics

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FoodLifestyle

The Tree Houses of Montville

posted by Danielle Lewis March 25, 2013 1 Comment

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Last week I took a much needed weekend break and have been THAT relaxed, that it has taken me all week to sit down to write this article to share my experience with you!

I had never been up to the Montville/Maleny area before, but had heard THAT much about it that when it came time to choosing a location for a get-a-way I thought I’d give it a go. A little google searching resulted in a whole heap of enticing options so I sent off some enquiries and waited to hear back. My logic is if a place is helpful from that initial enquiry they will be even better to deal with and guide you during your actual stay. So when I opened up the email from Danielle (we have the same name, so knew I was already onto a winner!) I knew straight away that The Tree Houses of Montville was the pick of the bunch.

The drive up was fabulous… only a short hour and a half from Brisbane and it’s like you have crossed over into another world… one that is greener, quieter and instantly calmer. Gorgeous.

We arrived at our accommodation and were greeted by the lovely Danielle. She explained the area, gave us a list of recommended restaurants, a bag of kindling for our own log fire and a game of scrabble… I was in heaven already!

Our first afternoon was perfection… the town is a short drive away, so we wandered the main street sampling gourmet chocolates, tasting wine, a spot of shoe shopping and stocked up on candles and bath bombs for the spa!

An afternoon of scrabble and red wine later (no this won’t turn into a saucy novel!) we ventured back into town for a spot of dinner. The Montville Bar and Grill came highly recommended and we were not disappointed. A few more red wines and a succulent steak later and the courtesy van dropped us right back to our door!

Waking up on day 2 was the ultimate. Rain on the tin roof, opening your eyes to a view of the rainforest through floor to ceiling glass walls… ohhhhhh take me back!

We thought it would be rude to be so close to the Kondalilla National Park without going for a bush walk so off we went. The park is named after the spectacular Kondalilla Falls, where Skene Creek drops 90 m into a rainforest valley. Kondalilla, an Aboriginal word meaning ‘rushing waters’. There are a number of walking tracks ranging from a quick 1.7kms up to a 10km circuit if you are a little more adventurous than me! We set out on the Kondalilla Falls circuit (4.7kms) which followed a track to a gorgeous rock pool and to a lookout over the spectacular Kondalilla Falls. It was a breathtaking moment and one that felt a VERY long way from any of the daily stresses of life.

While the whole town of Montville had plenty to offer, the order of the day was relaxation so we decided to spend our last night enjoying the log fire, the deck and a sneaky cheese platter.

The Tree Houses of Montville are a must-stay. And while they have plenty of optional extras like cheese platters, massages, facials, an on site gym and swimming pool (the list goes on) you can be as involved or hidden away as you please.

And if utter relaxation wasn’t enough their treetops are also a possum reserve, housing the local possum community as well as taking in sick and injured possums… earning the property major greenie-kudos!

It is no wonder that they won Trip Advisors Traveller’s Choice Award 2012.

And I will definitely be going back!

For more accommodation information and packages visit their website here.

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