Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Re-charging in the Blue Mountains

I escaped my business Yellow Front Door for a couple of days and spent it hiking in the Blue Mountains with my family. My 8 and 10 year olds surprised me with their mental and physical tenacity...and with only a few chocolate bribes.

The first hike was Solitary Kiosk Loop - 12km and 1447m elevation gain! Took 6 hours and was very tranquil (until we got to the hordes at Echo Point). Stunning scenery.


The second hike was gentler - Wentworth Falls Overcliff-Undercliff Track. This was a lovely easy path with amazing views, though a few edges so not for those scared of heights!


Wentworth falls


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Sculpture by the Sea 2017

It's another stunning year at the Sculpture by the Sea from Bondi to Tamarama. Marks Park is one of my favourite areas of the sculpture walk - there's a great concentration of sculptures, amazing views, plus an indoor room with all the small sculptures. And coffee at the pop up cafe!

Here are a few of my faves this year...

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Bali Baby

I've just returned from a holiday in Bali and feel incredibly inspired to beautify my home and garden with lush plants, flowers, and fresh cushions inside and out. 
We stayed at a divine villa called Kemah Tinggi which is set in a peaceful location amongst rice paddies. Everything was so beautiful, relaxing and tranquil, from the gorgeous tropical plants to the thoughtful lighting, open air living room, four poster beds and outdoor shower.

For indoor and outdoor cushion inspiration visit http://www.yellowfrontdoor.com.au/cushionsonline/

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Two Hotspots in Auckland for Design Hunters and Foodies

Auckland has so many stylish eateries serving up delicious food - I'm lucky enough to try them out when I go home to visit family twice a year. 
A wild and rugged beach on the west coast of Auckland, Piha is a must-do, partly for the stunning drive out there on winding roads through the bush. 
When there, enjoy a long walk along the beach, hike through the bush while taking in stunning views over the famous Lion Rock, and finish off with a delicious meal at the rustic and cool Piha Cafe
Love the wall art
A delightful township on the north shore of Auckland, Takapuna boasts a great shopping/cafe precinct and a wonderful long beach. We had an beautiful lunch at the sunny Honey Cafe

Gorgeous bright cushions
Kate Unsworth

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Vivid Sydney 2016

I loved Vivid Sydney just as much this year as previous years. 
What an extravaganza, not only the large moving lighting installations on the Opera House, MCA and Town Hall, but also the quirky small pieces dotted around the Rocks and Botanic Gardens. 
Even the ferries are lit up (which, by the way, is the best way to get there). 
There's also a great little street food market, plus numerous eaten/watering holes for a pit stop.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Biennale of Sydney on Cockatoo Island

If you haven't already, get yourself across to Cockatoo Island this weekend. 
It's part of the Sydney Biennale - thought-provoking artwork installations in the most interesting and historic setting. 
And one of the great things about it is the ferry ride there.
Don't forget a drink and spot of lunch with incredible views at the Yering Station Wine Bar.
Finishes June 5th 2016.
  Plaster casts of women in India - a fascinating story

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Billabong Retreat - what a treat!

I was lucky enough to go to the charming and soulful Billabong Retreat in April 2016, looking for a little R&R and short break from Yellow Front Door
Billabong Retreat is just 60 minutes from Sydney CBD but feels a world away. It's all about peace and tranquility, with the focus on yoga and meditation. It also offers lovely bush views and bush walks (around a billabong of course), a magnesium-rich swimming pool, thoughtful vegetarian home-cooked food, a wellness centre, wonderful roaring fire on the deck, and dedicated staff. You can be as social or as solitary as you like amongst the birdsong and cicadas.
My husband and I stayed in a treehouse cabin - a simple but comfortable room with it's own balcony. I loved the sign on the bathroom suggesting you keep showers to three minutes as they have limited water and gas. This frugality is what makes Billabong so special. There's no ostentation, wastefulness or over-stated luxury. It's all about reconnecting with yourself and nature.  

Four classes are offered daily - at 7.30am, 9.30am, 3.30pm, 7.30pm. These switch between yoga and meditation, or are a bit of a mixture. The yoga classes are fairly straight-forward, beginner-level, while the meditation sessions actually teach you"how" to meditate, rather than just doing guided meditations.
Like a day spa, this offers remedial massage, and the best facial I have ever had. 
There's also a relaxing lounge and a large deck with roaring wood fire.

The natural looking outdoor swimming pool contains magnesium which is great for relaxing muscles and inducing sleep.
A lot of love goes into the simple, organic and locally-sourced vegetarian meals. They are tasty and offer a range of vegetables plus whole grains and lovely sauces like the green tahini sauce. Example meals are chia seed porridge with nuts and seeds for breakfast, a brown rice and asian vegetarian bowl for lunch, and Indian or Mexican for dinner. Dessert might be a cacao and quinoa pudding. There is no alcohol, though I did notice instant coffee along with the huge array of herbal teas.  
The price for two people, for three nights in a treehouse cabin was very reasonable - $1650 including accommodation, food and all activities/classes. There are also deluxe rooms which offer a sitting area and a bath on the balcony. 
If you're looking to re-charge your batteries and don't want to go far, look no further than Billabong Retreat.