The last of our travels through Europe! Highlights: ultimate hangs, stays and lobster eating with my sister Cydney and her boyfriend Tom (best humans possible); so, so many great galleries – especially Raven Row and White Cube; Five Guys Burgers and Fries (srsly...do it); admiring all the ladies sneakers in Pam Pam; mushroom sandwiches and tasty coffees at Broadway Market; and our night out (and all the beverages) with some new friends we met in Santorini. I must admit we were tired, running out of money and looking forward to coming home, but London was a really fun sendoff! Images taken by myself and Marcus Hollands
Paris was our absolute favourite, a little cliche I know. It sort of felt like Melbourne, but better. The design, in all senses, exceed any and all of my expectations. We stayed in Le Marais and found it incredibly inspiring and convenient; wondering the streets mostly by foot and bicycle. Our favourite eats; Cafe Charlot – for burgers, fries and artichoke the size of your face, Liberté Patisserie Boulangerie – the best granola we've ever had (I try to recreate it almost weekly), Monsieur Bleu – for a swish meal and delicious Joseph Dirand interiors, all the baguettes, all the croissants and all the nutella crepes (and I mean all of them). We were so amazed by the usual; Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, Eiffel Tower, The Louvre and of course seeing some of Anish Kapoor's work at Versailles, but somewhere that really took us by surprise was Fondation Louis Vuitton. The building is beyond dreamy and the collection was just too good. There was so, so much more but this post is already getting long. By far the hardest place to leave, and the first place we want to return. Au revoir, for now ♡
Images taken by myself and Marcus Hollands
Oh Venice! Highlights: the colours and textures, secret nooks and passages, never-ending daylight, outdoor dining on every footpath, Fondazione Prada round two, a daily serving of gelato, Coca-Cola with ice and lemon, and of course the Venice Biennale. Lows – enduring long bus and ferry rides jam-packed with tourists, the inescapable heat, and the joy of going to Lido Beach followed by the great disappointment of the lukewarm, murky water. We had such a mixed experience, terrible luck salvaged by incredible luck in just a few short days – a story I won't even trouble you with. I'm looking forward to going back one day...but definitely in Winter. Images by myself and Marcus Hollands.
Milan! The city I never expected to love. So much charm, and the locals are genuinely fabulous. In just two short days, I was captured by: the people and their attire, Ponkj Espresso Bar — for the espresso, pistachio croissants and excellently loud Italian music, Fondazione Prada + Cafe Luce for exceeding all expectations, marble street signs and so, so many Aperol Spritz. Above images taken by myself and Marcus Hollands.
I can't believe it's been over a year since I have posted! But what a year it's been. In short, I got married, I went on an epic five week European honeymoon, and I moved to Sydney! Now here I am, finally with a moment to share film from our incredible adventure. Starting in Santorini, the most glorious place I have ever seen. Highlights: Delightful breakfast brought to our terrace, sunrise and sunset gradients like you wouldn't believe, the whitest of whites and the bluest of blues, beautiful Greek humans, sailing, swimming, sun-dried octopus, and cigars and cocktails with new friends. The above images were taken by myself and Marcus Hollands.
It was our second last day, and so we drove back from Lake Tekapo to Queenstown. Feeling like humans again, we managed to explore and appreciate Arrowtown for the lovely place that it is.
Back in Queenstown, we supposed it would be wrong to leave without having Fergburger (I have never seen a burger so large in all my life.) So we sat outside under a heater while it politely snowed on us. The very last shot was from our beloved Frankton Motorcamp on the lake, the morning we left. I think it perfectly captures how we felt leaving.
This is my official goodbye to New Zealand, who has stolen a piece of my heart and scattered it across the South Island. Thanks for reading x
The next morning we went to 47Frocks, a super cool boutique where I discovered a new favourite NZ brand, kowtow. Another happy accident was finding Federal Diner down a sneaky lane. Two piccolos and an Antipodes sparkling water later, we continued on the road to Mount Cook.
After a few hours drive, we found a quaint little spot for lunch nestled between a caravan park and Lake Ruataniwha. The water and trees were such an amazing colour, and I was completely in love with the 'kindly sponsored by' waterslide and it's perfect reflection. I was also pretty darn stoked with my avocado, prosciutto, cherry tomato and goats brie baguette.
The day became moodier and moodier and by the time we were driving through Aoraki, the mountains were swimming in fog. It even snowed a little bit, which was actually lovely and made it much more glorious than I could have imagined. It was growing darker and colder, so we headed to Lake Tekapo to warm up in the hot pools.
Alas, I have encountered another few moments of time to finish my New Zealand memoir ;)
Big thanks to Elize for all her wonderful recommendations — a favourite being Peak Espresso. Such a good little spot, and the greatest coffee. I took a quick snap to remember the spot, but Elize captured it so very nicely so please have a drool at hers.
Continuing the engagement celebrations (because a mountain top champagne party followed by an extremely swanky dinner is most definitely not enough), the next day we went to Amisfield Winery for lunch. We sat outside in the glorious sunshine, and had the 'trust the chef' banquet. My oh my. Between courses, we bathed in the sunlight and took a few too many photos of each other. I hope you enjoy my casual 'oh this? this is just my brand new engagement ring' pose. Yes, we did switch chairs for this shot.
We managed to stuff ourselves right to the brim, and after a short drive to Arrowtown we couldn't muster the energy to do anything but nap under a tree. In no mood to explore the town, we decided we would continue on, and stop in on the way back when we felt a little less like grizzly bears — in all the ways imaginable. We made it to Wanaka a little before sunset, stopping briefly at the lake then heading to our campsite.
This day — Tuesday, 30 September 2014 — was by far the best. The morning started off with a lovely drive to Glenorchy. Marcus and I drove all around, stopping to make friends with a pretty white horse, trek through forests, dance in fields, and devour some wonderful sunshine. It was such a pleasant day, but we were mostly excited to get back to Queenstown and have a mountain-top picnic to celebrate three years of being together.
We got the skyline gondola up Bob's Peak, where we were hoping to find a nice spot to plant ourselves. A little disappointed with how many tourists were around, we set out on an impromptu hike through the Ben Lomond Reserve which led us up to a landing for paragliding. The views were just breathtaking (literally though — we had no water), and then we spotted a small beaten track which takes you up further.
We eventually stopped hiking, and found an epic spot to set up our picnic. Somewhere between the photo of me holding a bottle of champagne, and the photo of my ring clad finger, my best friend and love of my life asked me to marry him!
A boozy trek back down the mountain followed our sky-high celebration, all the way to Botswana Butchery to continue feasting, drinking and celebrating a thousand more years together!
We continued on from Lake Gunn to Milford Sound early in the morning, jumped on a boat and went for a cruise through the fiord, out to the Tasman Sea and back. I've heard it mostly rains out there, so we were very lucky to have such a beautiful, sunny and still day. The little town (and lots of other spots in the South Island) really remind me of Twin Peaks. Little country houses with mountains towering over them from every angle.
On our way out, we stopped to make lunch and realised we were at the base of the Routeburn track — although not the one we planned! We were supposed to do it in Glenorchy but didn't realise you could start in Fiordland National Park. The view at the peak was just amazing, a big field surrounded by delightful snow caps. I have to mention how much I love the shot of Marcus aka. Ace Ventura!
After our hike, it was time to head back to Queenstown. For some reason, the drive was so much more glorious than we remember it being on the way! Every couple of minutes we had to stop and just pinch ourselves. The mountains, the animals, the lushness, the sunset — it was all too much.