Back with some Bali Love…

I have been missing in action for about 4 months!! Sorry! And I have no excuses, other than being busy with my day job in the events world and working on ideas for a new little ‘venture’ with my best friend…more of that in another post. So I’m back and looking forward to sharing some beautiful stories and style I have encountered of late.

I’ve just returned from a little getaway in Bali….a beautiful island of creativity, spirituality and incredible luxury. Days are spent in heavenly resorts, waking to yoga practice followed by banana pancakes and ginger tea. Frangipani trees line our paths and the calming sound of flowing water trickling down sandstone walls fill our ears. The peace and tranquility is contrasted by the chaotic bustle of shopping and wandering the streets of Seminyak. Concept stores showcase fashion labels and on-trend homewares. The creative scene is very strong and local brands boast innovation paired with an eclectic style. There is a strong feeling of ying and yang here.
20130421-120316.jpg
image wake me to see the sunrise

Under a dusky sky, people head to the beach for a sundowner cocktail. Perfectly mixed lychee martinis are served as the sky turns purple and the sun slips below the Indian ocean. There are many stunning spots to enjoy this nightly ritual but my favorites are The Rock Bar and Ku De Ta. Perch high up over the ocean, drink in the perfumed air and anticipate where you might head for dinner.

20130421-114143.jpg
Image The Rock Bar

Sardine and Metis, in the middle of Seminyak with a backdrop of candlelit rice paddies are incredible. The atmosphere and menus are very special. Stay late and renew your energies the next day with a Bali favourite, coconut water. Sold on every corner, a coconut with a straw is the best way to detox from the evening’s cocktails. Organic healthy choices are plentiful in Bali so be clean by day and dirty at night!

The Balinese have perfected the art of luxury resorts and one of my favorites is The Purist at Ubud, an ultimate hideaway. Villas are layered in carved timber, soft sandstone and granite. This tactile mix is heavenly for the senses and makes for stunning surroundings. They perfected the Balinese tradition of an outside bathroom. Being able to bathe and shower under blue skies and starry nights is one of life’s pleasures. Incorporate one into your dream beach shack now!

20130421-114837.jpg
Images Wake me to see the sunrise & Pinterest

Bali is not all luxury and style. To the locals, their home is a blessed island of ceremony and tradition, where daily rituals dictate the rhythm of life. Embrace these simple pleasures and fill your home with rose-scented incense, find a quiet corner and enjoy a little pot of herbal tea…..to bring back memories of Bali long after you return.

20130421-121042.jpg
Image Pinterest

Escape to Byron Bay

I feel like it’s been a while since my last post…. this time of year is just so busy, especially in the events industry! So it’s about time I shared some style and stories that have captured my interest of late. My favorite place on earth and where I met my boy Sim, is the beautiful beach town of Byron Bay. Living in Brisbane, we’re so lucky to be less than two hours from this little hippy haven. We spent last weekend there with friends and soaked up all our favorite spots to surf, wander, shop, eat, drink and play. I couldn’t possibly tell you everything about Byron in one post….it’s a subject I’m sure I’ll return to over and over again…but for now here are some highlights.

20121212-222729.jpg
Images Spell Designs & Pinterest

For those who don’t know Byron, it’s the Eastern-most point of Australia…the first place to see the rising of the sun and dawning of a new day. It’s stunningly beautiful with long white beaches, dolphins sharing waves with surfers, and is surrounded by mountain tops as far as the eye can see. At dusk, drums greet the setting of the sun as the distant peaks turn burnt orange and purple. Apart from the natural beauty, there is an energy and soul about this little beach town that attracts surfers, travelers, hippies, dreamers and anyone looking for a little piece of the good life.

I’ve been regularly visiting for the last 9 years and it’s changed a lot in that time…boutique hotels, buzzing coffee shops, little retail spaces and cocktail bars have popped up – thankfully all without ruining the unique Byron charm. A newly opened store that you must visit is Ahoy Trader, a lifestyle, art and fashion hole-in-the-wall owned by incredibly talented artist Jai Vasicek. It’s a collection of eclectic, cool, global pieces including Jai’s incredible art works that he produces both on canvas and tiles. His unique tiles fill the walls, made up of iconic images and photographs. I have bought three tiles now and wish I could fill a space with one of his huge murals…Jai has just unveiled a gorgeous new creation in recently opened Miss Marguarita…you have to dream hey! The latest collections in store are called Neon Safari and Luscious Jungle with cushions, paintings and accessories all embracing the look… I’m in heaven.

20121212-223247.jpg
Images Ahoy Trader

Around the corner is Hope & May….a soothing pale space home to great fashion labels, animal prints, leather hides, skulls, shells, beads and beautiful bits. I could browse the long wooden table all day long. Escape the sun and enjoy the raw bohemian vibe.

20121212-223402.jpg
Image Hope & May

A little out of town is the completely gorgeous, spirited, gypsey-inspired venture by two local sisters named Spell Designs. This Byron brand started at the local markets and grew from boho jewellery into an iconic label bursting with adventure. I love love everything they do and just bought my first kimono last month…..ah I dream of road tripping in the sunshine down the coast wearing frayed denim, my kimono and a tasseled bag. Make the trip to see this little store ….a gorgeous mix of leather, feathers and turquoise with a white tipi nestled in the corner.

20121212-223745.jpg

20121212-223752.jpg
Images Spell Designs

Of course you have to stay overnight to appreciate the soul-soaring sunrise I mentioned earlier….If so, rest your head at the very stylish Atlantic Byron Bay, a tropical haven smack bang in the middle of town. Their beach house, a vintage inspired luxury surf shack is very special. More on beautiful coastal interiors in another post.

20121212-224024.jpg
Images Atlantic Byron Bay

All this activity calls for caffeine…my favourite coffee spots are Targa, Bayleaf and Top Shop…sit back, admire the eclectic crowd, enjoy locally-grown organic coffee and watch the world go by in this heavenly corner of the world. X

20121213-193102.jpg
Image Top Shop

Sunseeker

20121118-094754.jpg
Spell & the Gypsy Collective

Down in the southern hemisphere, summer is just around the corner and I’m already dreaming of long lazy days at the beach. We are planning our summer road trip where we’ll discover boho beach towns and idyllic surf spots…..our days spent barefoot in the sand dunes, salt spray through my hair and dusky evenings watching the sun set. We’ll eat fresh seafood for lunch and read and swim and snooze….heaven!
20121118-113936.jpg
pinterest

Summer days call for a new bikini and I’m loving the new resort and swimwear collections by Zimmermann, Isola and Seafolly. The focus is on print with tropical frongs, bold brights, animal skins, pastels, and florals being sources of inspiration.

20121118-095506.jpg

20121118-095526.jpg
Zimmermann & Isola 2012 collections

There is also a nod to the styles of summers gone by with vintage pieces, high waists and nautical stripes. Beautiful images of Brigitte Bardot and Grace Kelly at the Cote d’Azur spring to mind.

20121118-095800.jpg
Pinterest

Australian interiors magazine, Belle has devoted its Holiday issue to all things summer and chic. It features an array of stunning beach homes and waterfront retreats from Mykonos to Rhode Island, that just ooze laid back glamour and coastal aesthetics. All the homes share an effortless ability to blend into their natural landscapes, to not detract from the views and surrounding beauty, but add to them. They comprise of nature’s elements… of timber, stone and water. It is hard to choose a favorite but mine has to be the spectacular home at Sydney’s Whale Beach. It is light filled with a neutral palette of concrete, wood, marble and glass, all used cleverly to create softness and tranquility.

20121118-100133.jpg
Belle magazine Australia

I must admit to having a fascination with beach homes and especially beach shacks filled with weathered timber, rustic floorboards and outdoor bathrooms. I recently stumbled across the architects Crossan, Clarke & Carnachan. Their portfolio of beach homes is a stunning collection of timber dwellings large and small overlooking the ocean. Check out their award winning Huts on Sleds – an innovative yet simple design of beach hut that can be easily moved to different spots on the sand. What luxury!

20121118-100321.jpg
Crossan, Clarke & Carnachan Architects

More summer style to come but in the mean time find a hammock, mix yourself a long glass of something chilled, and day dream of sunny days ahead.

20121118-100531.jpg
Pinterest

More Ibiza musings….

I couldn’t finish my little piece on Ibiza without mentioning La Paloma This beautiful, quirky, magical little restaurant is one of the best on the island. On the evening we visited, the sunset was more stunning than usual as we drove north to San Lorenzo. Across dusty roads we drove, following the sun as it dipped below the mountains.

On arrival to the tiny village of San Lorenzo, we found La Paloma tucked into a cosy little corner and followed the lanterns that lit the path to this beautiful place. The restaurant was overflowing with people…young and old bohemians. There was a magic in the air as old rickety wooden tables filled every nook and cranny of the terrace, patio, garden and inside too, all laced with fairy lights. We squeezed into a small table under the stars and soaked up the laughter and energy surrounding us. La Paloma was started by a family wanting to provide simple seasonal food. The menu changes daily and is scribbled up on a board…it’s whatever they have found at the market, in the garden, or dreamt up in the kitchen. They serve fresh local dishes inspired by their surroundings. The vibe is hippy, alternative and rustic. There are whimsical paintings on the wall of flowers and birds, mismatched crockery and cutlery laid on brightly painted tables. That night we dined on eggplant, fish, garlic and olive oil spaghetti with Rose. Above us the moon shone brightly lighting the night sky and we know we’re in Ibizan heaven.

20120929-151607.jpg

20120929-151634.jpg

<;

1 La Paloma
2 La Paloma

White Isle Gourmet

Following on from my musings on all things Ibizan style, I thought I would tell you about some beautiful restaurants I experienced on my last trip to the white isle. To me, Ibiza is a gastronomic destination and most of my holiday is spent researching the best places to eat and drink, talking to the locals and fashion types in the know, and reading reviews. It was a heady haze of long lunches of Iberian ham, melon, mussels, and mojitos eaten lazily under the shade. In the evening, we’d book a table after sunset and as the sun dipped below the horizon, we’d wind our way across the tiny isle in search of a gourmet treat to remember.

One of our favorites is Can Domingo, a rustic yet elegant restaurant owned by 3 Italian friends wanting to create their perfect eatery. And they did! On the road from Ibiza town to San Jose you will see the glow of orange lamps nestled against the hillside. A swinging sign is the only clue to the little finca housing this heavenly restaurant at the end of the long driveway. Tables are scattered across a patio looking out across the fields and lit by lanterns in the trees. A stone bar curves out across the terrace and the setting is romantic, atmospheric, with a nod to the stylish vibe Ibiza is so famous for. The owners greet everyone like old friends and bring an old blackboard to the table to tell us about the menu. They describe every dish with passion and knowledge, giving us an insight into the unusual ingredients and telling us the stories behind these beautiful old recipes. It is gourmet heaven and an indulgent experience to savour. Dinner is carpaccio, gnocchi, lamb in lavender and honey, and a recipe created by monks 600 years ago. We match this with special wines and drink in this incredible dining spot…how is it not full every night!? It was by far our most romantic evening and we skipped out of Can Domingo smiling, dreaming of our next visit and feeling very lucky to have stumbled across this rustic little finca on the hill.

Tomorrow I will tell you about another favourite dining spot….

20120924-204523.jpg

20120924-204500.jpg

1 Can Domingo terrace
2 Can Domingo sign

Ibiza Style

Ibiza is a sun-drenched party island well known for its bohemian luxe style. It is the eclectic mix of rustic, boho and contemporary chic that makes it just so cool. From the hip boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants serving organic locally sourced food, to beach clubs with stunning views and mojitos to die for, Ibiza is a heavenly hedonistic island with a vibe quite unlike anywhere else.

Ibiza’s stunning hotels and restaurants are sanctuaries of style, often hidden down narrow rocky tracks winding through dry paddocks. There’s nothing like enjoying a perfectly mixed cocktail to the sounds of chilled tunes, surrounded by white washed walls, rustic timber and smooth carved stone furniture. With the sun dipping below the horizon, Ibiza’s sky glows hot orange and you find yourself at a cool little eatery tucked away in the hillside but buzzing with the fashionistas and hippies that make their yearly pilgrimage to this heavenly place.

Here are a few of my favorite spots and design to lust after long after your holiday ends.

20120923-152130.jpg

20120923-153418.jpg

20120923-153428.jpg

20120923-153903.jpg

20120923-192331.jpg

20120923-200237.jpg

20120923-200302.jpg

20120923-204625.jpg
1 white-ibiza.com
2 The Giri Residence
3 The Giri Cafe
4 El Churringuito Es Cavallet
5 Amante Beach Club
6 white-ibiza.com
7 The Giri Residence
8 The Giri Residence