• Travel

    Unique Accommodation in Australia: My top 5 AirBnbs for 2019

    2019 was another busy year of travel for Will and I, which meant seeking out some of the most unique accommodation in Australia. As you’ll know if you’ve read my 2018 AirBnB round up, we absolutely love AirBnB and use it frequently when exploring Australia and abroad. There’s so much unique accommodation in Australia to choose from. Airbnb is our go-to for finding reasonably priced, creative options where we have a bit more flexibility than a hotel. My favourite options for 2019 have ranged from romantic accommodation in the Blue Mountains and Kangaroo Valley, Jervis Bay holiday rentals to accommodation in Mudgee. I can’t wait to see what unique accommodation…

  • Wine tasting in Mudgee
    Food & Drink

    My favourite boutique wineries in Australia

    Before moving to Australia, my go-to wines were usually Italian or Spanish. Usually Australian wines had a higher price tag on any wine menu! However, with an abundance of boutique wineries in Australia, and many wineries near Sydney, it’s pretty much all Will and I drink these days. There’s an abundance of wine regions and cellar doors all over Australia, with many wines showcasing and winning coverted awards at international wine competitions. With so many quality, boutique wineries near Sydney, and further afield, we’ve been able to taste lots of delicious wines. Wine tasting is also a perfect activity to do over a weekend, without having to take any leave…

  • Hiker in New Zealand
    Travel

    Hiking the Te Araroa Trail – a trail runner’s guide

    A year ago today, Anna Ridewood, a 32 year old Rural Surveyor from Somerset, started an adventure of a lifetime; to complete the entirety of the Te Araroa trail, a trail that runs the length of New Zealand. “How long is New Zealand?” I asked Anna slightly naively, “and how long did it take you?”  Anna, who has always been an outdoorsy type (significantly more than yours truly), completed the Te Araroa trail which measures a mind-boggling 3000 kilometres in 118 days. Not only did she complete this momentous challenge, she ran the majority of it. Anna had initially intended to run the entirety of the Te Araroa trail and…

  • Travel

    Top 10 Beaches to add to your Western Australia itinerary

    Will and I have been daydreaming about a trip to WA, and planning the ultimate Western Australia itinerary. As we’re obsessed with visiting stunning Australian beaches, mainly in New South Wales, it’s turning into coastal road trip; a West Coast Australia tour of as many beaches as we can fit in! I’ve reached out to some fellow bloggers to get inspiration and recommendations. With their help, I’ve pulled together this list of the top 10 beaches to add to your Western Australia itinerary. Happy planning! If you’re planning your Western Australia itinerary, pick up a copy of Lonely Planet’s West Coast Australia guide book below; 1. Turquoise Bay No prizes…

  • Street vendor at Phuket Old Town Night Market
    Food & Drink

    Phuket Food Tour – 5 Foodie Experiences in Phuket

    Will and I recently got back from 9 days in Thailand, which was basically a self-guided Phuket food tour, scuba diving, beaching and sightseeing aside! Will organised the entire trip as a surprise for my 30th birthday, and despite being an absolute control freak when it comes to planning our trips and adventures, I have to say that he couldn’t have done a better job. There are plenty of things to do in Phuket, including some of the ultimate foodie experiences in Phuket that Will knew I would love, including a visit to Phuket town night market, stuffing ourselves at the best Indian restaurant in Phuket, a Blue Elephant cookery…

  • Travel

    Top 10 best beaches in Victoria

    In 2016 my work sent me to Melbourne, Victoria, for a 2 month project. It was the first time I’d ever visited Australia, and I immediately fell in love with Melbourne and its quirky culture. What blew me away the most however, were the breathtaking, beautiful beaches and coastal towns outside of the city. I didn’t have a car so was only able to explore a little of the Great Ocean Road and the Mornington Peninsula. Will and I have plans for a coastal road trip from Sydney to Melbourne and even onto Adelaide to explore more of this stunning coastline. In the meanwhile, I’ve teamed up with some fellow…

  • Travel

    Luxury Northern Territory Road Trip – 2 Week Itinerary

    In April 2019, Will and I embarked on a luxury Northern Territory Road Trip, one of our most memorable adventures to date. We explored Darwin to Uluru and onwards to Kings Canyon. 16 days, 2,700 kilometres (1,677 miles), limited phone reception and what felt like limitless time, a massive luxury in itself! ‘There’s time enough for everything in the Never-Never’ Jeannie Aeneas-Gunn, We of the Never-Never Why you should go on a luxury Northern Territory Road Trip I had many preconceptions of the NT before visiting, believing a Northern Territory road trip would be tough-going; too hot, too long, too basic. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Check out my…

  • Travel

    Top 10 must-visit beaches in Queensland

    Over the past 18 months living in Sydney, Will and I have taken every opportunity to explore Australia. Unsurprisingly for British expats in Australia, we love nothing more than a day at the beach. We’ve managed to visit several amazing beaches here in NSW, but unfortunately we’ve only made it to a tiny handful of beaches in Queensland, having barely visited Australia’s east coast. It’s mind-boggling how many beaches are in Australia, and how we’ve barely scratched the surface! Now it’s chilly in Sydney, I’m daydreaming about the turquoise and most importantly warm oceans and sandy beaches waiting to be explored. I really want a Queensland adventure in the sunshine!…

  • Travel

    Top 8 wild swimming spots in the Northern Territory

    If you follow me on Instagram, you may have been aware that we recently got back from an absolutely epic 16-day trip touring the Northern Territory. We road tripped from Darwin to Katherine, before flying down to Alice Springs and driving to Uluru and Kings Canyon. It was absolutely incredible, and one of the major highlights were the abundance of wild swimming spots. I’ve not really explored many of the wild swimming spots or hiking trails with waterfalls near me in New South Wales, but wild swimming seems to be a way of life in the Northern Territory, especially in the sultry Top End. Whilst we weren’t able to get…

  • Travel

    Finding our sea legs: an AirBnb in Fiji

    ‘Well,’ says my husband Will in a laboured voice. ‘I think we’re done for. We’re going to have to decide who we kill and cook first, we don’t have another choice.’ ‘Oh it’s Jess obviously,’ Elly responds instantly, wiping sweat off her brow. Pete, crammed in under the makeshift shelter by her side nods in agreement. ‘Yes she’s clearly the weakest link,’ Will agrees. All three heads turn towards me in hungry anticipation. I stare straight ahead, pushing aside the brittle palm fronds that are shading us from the sweltering midday sun so I can see the sea one last time. There, in the distance, is a boat. Relief washes…

  • Travel

    My top 5 AirBnBs in Australasia in 2018

    Since AirBnb launched in 2009, it’s exploded. Approximately 6 million people use this online platform to book accommodation and short-term rentals, browsing 800,000 properties across 34,000 cities in 90 different countries. We had used it occasionally prior to moving to Sydney, but since being in Australia it’s become one of our first stops when planning any of our getaways. We highly recommend you consider booking an AirBnb in Australia for your next adventure. There are so many unique, affordable places on offer that are so much more interesting than staying in a hotel. Staying in AirBnBs has allowed us to travel extensively, meeting great people, without breaking the bank. When…

  • Hunter Valley, Vineyards, Boutique Wineries
    Food & Drink

    My pick of the best wineries in the Hunter Valley

    Wine tasting has long been one of my favourite things to do, and since moving to Sydney we’ve been able to visit some simply outstanding vineyards. I used to be a red wine only girl (hence my obsession with Piggs Peake), but I’ve developed a newfound respect for a chilled glass of good quality white wine. It’s got to be the heat. We’ve visited vineyards in and around Hobart, the Hilltops Regions, the Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven, Mudgee and of course, we’ve been fortunate enough to visit the Hunter Valley several times. For more awesome wineries check out my favourite boutique wineries in Australia The most recent visit to the Hunter…

  • Travel

    The 10 best beaches in New South Wales

    I grew up on England’s South Coast, frequenting the beaches between Brighton to Chichester, and occasionally stretching as far as Portsmouth for trips to the Isle of Wight. School summer holidays blur into a haze of ice creams, sandcastles, learning to surf and staggering down the shingle in my baggy jeans whilst clutching an alcopop. It’s not surprising that I feel happiest when by the sea, so perhaps this is why London always lacked something for me. Whenever summer hit in the oppressive way it does in London, I avoided itchy parks and stifling beer gardens; instead you’d find me rushing through Victoria Station to catch the unreliable 6pm Southern…

  • Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House, Top 10 tips for moving to Sydney
    Travel

    Top 10 tips for moving to Sydney

    Moving to Sydney from London was one of the easiest decisions I ever made; Sydney, Australia, is arguably one of the best places to live in the world. I’ve been here with my hubby Will for just over 16 months which has flown by and we’re still absolutely loving it. However, as with any huge life change there have been ups and downs along the way so I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks on making the move a successful one. I’ve not focused on the practicalities such as getting a visa, there are tons of resources available for that. Instead, I’ve focused on what I personally…

  • Travel

    The Wedding Diaries – Destination Wedding in Greece

    One of the best, and at times most challenging things, about living in Sydney is flying visits back to Europe for weddings of close friends. The most extreme yet was 36 hours for a destination wedding in Greece. This trip was specifically to watch one of my oldest friends Alex Stambouzou (now Rayner) getting married in Crete. If you’re planning a trip to Greece, pick up your copy of Lonely Planet Greek Islands (Travel Guide) The popularity of destination weddings has risen in recent years. It’s easy to see why, you are usually choosing a location with guaranteed good weather, especially if you’re based in the UK, it’s usually cheaper,…

  • How Women Rise Book. Self Help Book, Professional Development, Professional Women, Gender Equality
    What I'm reading

    How Women Rise

    How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job I’ve recently started reading more personal and professional development books, particularly targeted at women, probably because I’m having a minor panic around turning 30 in July! I’m assessing where I am in my career and personal life and what I can work upon as I enter this next phase of my life as an actual grown-up. I was recommended ‘How Women Rise’ by a female mentor of mine at work during one of our quarterly women’s breakfasts. I work on a project team where senior women are severely under-represented, and we’ve been making…

  • Indian Food, Indian Cuisine, Indian Spices
    Food & Drink

    My top 5 Indian Restaurants in Sydney

    I love a curry so it’s no surprise that I’m on a quest to find the best Indian restaurant in Sydney. Britain is a nation of curry lovers, with Indian being one of top options for a takeaway. I’ve been curry-obsessed since my parents first took me for a chicken korma, aged 6. I have never forgotten the flavours; the first creamy, almond-infused bite, the crunch of a pappadum and the sweetness of the mango chutney. I was hooked. Whilst my first curry was undeniably bastardised for English tastes, I’ve since expanded my knowledge of various regional dishes, and I would now happily eat out at authentic Indian restaurants every…

  • This is London, Ben Judah, Book Review
    What I'm reading

    This is London

    This is London: Life and Death in the World City I picked up ‘This is London’ at Heathrow airport as I emigrated to Australia. The irony of reading about the city I was leaving behind, my home of the past 7 years, was not lost on me. Ben Judah, the author, is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has focused on his home city. He reveals the hidden London society that many of us have no awareness of. He speaks with beggars, bankers, coppers, gangsters, prostitutes, carers and witch-doctors to provide a compelling portrait of place, culture and of people. It’s a eclectic portrayal of multiculturalism in Britain in the nation’s…

  • The Floating Brothel, Sian Rees, Book Review
    What I'm reading

    The Floating Brothel

    The Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts This true historical story details, for the first time, the story of the female convicts of the Lady Julian, which set sail from England in 1789 and arrived in the Sydney Cove colony a year later. It is a lively, vivid romp of a read, expanding upon the stories of these women’s journeys in a way much more commonly seen in historical fiction. Whilst the relegation of the female convicts to objects to be bought and sold is grating, this book provides another fascinating insight into the early history of the colony and…

  • Food & Drink

    Anthony’s best Italian restaurants in Sydney

    After a weekend in Melbourne sampling the culinary delights of Lygon Street, I find myself bemoaning the lack of good Italian restaurants and Italian cuisine in Sydney over espressos with a colleague. ‘Are you serious?’ He demands, hands slamming down on the table, his reaction so energetic the coffees wobble dangerously. I nod, perplexed, and he leans towards me as if he’s about to share a huge secret. Which he is. Anthony Angelo Capuzza, a Sydneysider of Napoletano heritage, informs me that I’m grossly uneducated on the Italian food scene in Sydney. Italian is the city’s unofficial second cuisine, with many of Sydney’s best high-end eateries heavily influenced by Italy.…

  • The Secret River, Kate Grenville, Book Review
    What I'm reading

    The Secret River

    The Secret River tells the story of William Thornhill, a convict transported to Australia in 1806 for stealing and his relationship with the Darug people, the aboriginal people and traditional owners of the land surrounding the Hawkesbury River where he attempts to settle. This river was inspired by the family history of the author and is a fascinating insight into Australian history. For more book reviews on convict history in Australia, check out The Floating Brothel When I arrived in Australia, I felt overwhelmingly ill-informed regarding the history of the indigenous people, especially since the arrival of the first fleet in 1788. I’ve been attempting to learn as much as…