Some moments from a recent staycation at The Little National Hotel in Canberra. We were treated to a welcome dessert platter and mini moet on arrival, the comfiest bed (almost took one home), tickets to the Versailles exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia (amazing, go!) and breakfast at the very stylish french restaurant, Buvette. We even squeezed in an afternoon pizza on the lawn at The Commons street food festival, a spot of work in the hotel library, a play in the NGA sculpture garden and a late night dance party at Bar Rochford. A killer 24 hours. Love this little hotel. Love this city. Come stay.
Photos from a very special week spent on the Swedish island of Gotland back in June.
I found myself there teaching photography alongside / spending time with dear friends at one of Beth Kirby's famed Local Milk Retreats. An absolute honour on its own, let alone the sweet and raw feeling of celebrating a Swedish midsummer here - in utter heaven. Think picnics and horse riding on the beach, wild flower midsummer crowns, cobble stone wanders around the medieval town of Visby, stopping for lunches full of fish and fresh pressed cider, morning yoga, afternoon fika, dinners in the forest and inside tall, white greenhouses, farm tours of endless asparagus and strawberries, flickering candles in windowsills, grey fleeced Gotlandic sheep, a group of incredibly talented women, and evening sleeps and day time relaxation at the breathtaking restored 1700's farmhouse, Hotel Stelor. Possibly the best summer ever.
One million thank you's to two of the most generous people I know - Beth, who held such grace and energy being 7 months pregnant at the time and Matt who successfully got me into drinking both coffee and beer - for an unforgettable and soul nourishing time spent together in one of my favourite places on this earth.
Interested in joining in on a retreat?
Beth has multiple beauties a year, here.
I'll be teaching alongside an all star lineup at a workshop/retreat in Burgundy, France this August. Information and tickets, here.
Some moments from a winter staycation at Hotel Hotel.
As a current Canberra local, I love that this place is a frequent hang for me. Whenever I'm home, I spend as many moments possible soaking up all the Mologolo Group glory - sipping G&T's at Monster, staring down walls at Nishi Gallery, taking Taj the dog for brekkie at Močan & Green Grout and generally humming around the New Acton precinct.
But never had I slept over at Hotel Hotel.
We spent a night in The Meandering Room. Of course come the time, we didn't want to leave. Take me back to that massive swim on your tummy bath, to those soft lit moody corners, to the linen robes and delicious sheets, to that Sean McConnell room service menu and to cruising around the lake on the hotels Goodspeed bicycles.
Thanks for the stay Hotel Hotel. What a gem of a place in this totally underrated city that I'm lucky to call home.
Some shots from last Saturday's Derby Day lunch at the Melbourne Cup Carnival in the James Boag Birdcage marquee.
Twelve lucky guests were treated to a tasting menu created by James Viles of Biota, who harnessed nonpareil Tasmanian ingredients direct from the farms, producers and beaches James and lucky few of us visited last month (see previous post). The menu - we knew it would be good - was actually insane.
As we sat and ate, we had front row seats to all the kitchen action. James and his side kick Chef Riley Aitken plated up in front of us, explaining the dishes and sharing stories of our time sourcing each ingredient in Tasmania. Clay encased baked beetroot was smashed open on the bench, a cloud of dry ice solidified meringue for our dessert, fresh dried wakame was torn from hanging bunches above the table to scatter and season our food, and then, you should have seen the beehive inspired dessert cart. In our finest black and whites and with Boags beers and choice wines in hand, we all raved about the butter, couldn't get enough of the oysters and beef, and the genius flavour combination of beer and parsnip ice-cream sat sweet in our mouths for not nearly long enough...
Stone Baked Molasses ad Dark Rye with Tasmanian Butter
Raw Ikijime Spiked Fish accompanied iwht a dressing of Smoked Fish Bones and Fish Roe
Tongola Goat's Cheese with Leeks cooked in Brown Butter and Fried Saltbush
Southern Calamari with Wild Sea Lettuce, Toasted Grain Broth and Samphire
Robbins Island Wagyu cooked over coals and dressed with Shima Wasabi
James Boag's Premium Beer and Parsnip Ice-cream
'The Bee Hive' a dish of Raw Tasmanian Honey, Almond Creme and Wild Spring Flowers
Ps - The carnival action and bird cage shenanigans that followed was highly entertaining - I had to share a few shots. I honestly could have people watched for days.
Thanks so much to the Boags crew for a delicious day out.
James Boag are offering the chance to win an opportunity to let Chef James Viles bring you the taste of Tasmania through a curated menu inspired by the Harnessed Culinary experience at Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The total prize is an $800 voucher to experience a special tasting menu with paired wines along with one nights stay at James' restaurant Biota in Bowral, NSW. (The food, location and entire experience will blow your mind.)
The competition commences at 00.01 EDT on 08/11/2016 and closes at 23.59 EDT on 24/11/2016
To enter and for the full terms of conditions, click through here: www.jamesBoag.com.au/harnessedbiota
Best of luck!