Unplug at the St Albans Writers Festival

A tiny, remote NSW village will host big names for the third annual St Albans Writers Festival in early September. Mad Max director George Miller, literary icon Tom Keneally and Pulitzer winner Sebastian Smee are among stars of the show. Historic St Albans (population 300) is located deep in the Hawkesbury Heartland, on the banks of theContinue reading “Unplug at the St Albans Writers Festival”

Rayner’s searing Le Cinq review goes viral

The Guardian restaurant critic Jay Rayner is getting a larger dose of notoriety than usual, thanks to his witheringly funny review of Le Cinq in Paris. He went to the the flagship Michelin 3-star restaurant of the George V Hotel expecting the gastronomic experience of a lifetime. What he got was the foodie equivalent of a sloContinue reading “Rayner’s searing Le Cinq review goes viral”

Discover Cronulla’s cool Blackwood Pantry

Chef Robert Lechowicz has left behind the Michelin-starred restaurants where he trained in Europe to headline at Blackwood Pantry in beachside Cronulla. The 28-year-old’s food is French in technique, and “fuss free” mod Oz  in its approach. The Pantry is discreetly located down a laneway. The thrill of culinary discovery in an unexpected place is neverContinue reading “Discover Cronulla’s cool Blackwood Pantry”

Provencal markets go green

Provencal markets have been going eco green as France tries to put an end to food waste. Travellers and tourists can also do their bit to help. Eat ugly vege, recycle glass jars and be a chic bag lady. France passed a law in December to reduce the estimated 7 million tonnes of food wastedContinue reading “Provencal markets go green”

Sweetest show on earth: Salon du Chocolat!

I hope your only rocky road is chocolate THE world’s largest and most stylish celebration of chocolate is set to mark two decades of innovative trends in Paris from late October. A vast space of 2,000 sq m will hold Salon du Chocolat which has has grown from one French couple’s love of our favourite sweet, to massive annual events worldwide attractingContinue reading “Sweetest show on earth: Salon du Chocolat!”

Noma Sydney sold out in four minutes!

Update: Holy smoked/pickled/cured mackerel, Batman! Nova Sydney’s 5600 seats across 10 weeks sold out in four minutes on Friday, October 30! The reservations site for Noma Sydney opened at 10am AEDT. By 10.04 am, all the $485-a-head seats were sold out. The much-awarded Noma restaurant will relocate from Copenhagen to our harbour city for 10 weeks in January 2016, to share the best ofContinue reading “Noma Sydney sold out in four minutes!”

Provençal markets take the cake

I get excited about Provençal markets the way other people get excited about Louboutin and Chanel. While they gasp over the perfect jacket or shoes with a shiny red-lacquered sole, I swoon at the sight of pumpkins, sheep cheese and cabbage plants. I’m missing out on haute couture and they’re missing nature’s bounty while our fragile planetContinue reading “Provençal markets take the cake”

300 years of Wine O’Clock in the Rhône

It’s exactly 300 years since these 40 acres on the baking hot floor of the Rhône Valley were first settled for the purpose of producing wine. In 1715 the Granier family decided this was a good spot, and planted vines. I’m in the Château Les Quatre Filles vineyard in the south of the valley. FromContinue reading “300 years of Wine O’Clock in the Rhône”

Italian Joy by Carla Coulson – giveaway

WHO: Australian Carla Coulson left her corporate job and Sydney life to start a new life in Europe as a photographer. In her first book, Italian Joy, she describes the joys and hardships of her first five years, spent living in Florence. WHAT: More than a decade after Italian Joy  was published, it has been reprinted into aContinue reading “Italian Joy by Carla Coulson – giveaway”

Taste the Cotswolds

Enterprising Cotswolds residents Becky and Robin Simpson have taken the quaint villages tour one step further. They invite travellers into their historic, thatched cottage home to eat the best of quintessential English food this region has to offer. I met the couple on Twitter, we got chatting, and I was intrigued about their venture whichContinue reading “Taste the Cotswolds”