Thursday, November 20, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE 55TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE OF VOGUE AUSTRALIA FEATURING COVER STAR GEMMA WARD

Styled by Christine Centenera and photographed by Emma Summerton, Gemma Ward graces the 55th anniversary issue of Vogue Australia for the fourth oldest Vogue in the world after the US, UK and France. Its taken a few days for me to get my hands on this beauty, but I look forward to my Friday morning coffee tomorrow, where I'll dive deep into what looks like another fantastic issue from Edwina McCann and the Vogue Australia team. Great way to end the Vogue Australia year. Check out some behind the scenes action below. 


For more information on Vogue Australia click through the website here

WINTOUR&GUINNESS VISITS INDUSTRY BEANS IN MELBOURNE'S FITZROY FOR A BRUNCH OF BLACK PUDDING AND EGGS.

Every so often there is a café that takes your breath away, that makes you question everything you thought you knew about food, coffee and cafe design. Now, you may think that I am over aggregating slightly but it’s the complete honest truth when it comes to Industry Beans in Fitzroy. Apart from one other trip there a few months back, my latest outing left me so inspired that I immediately knew that Industry Beans was up there with the top cafes in Melbourne, hands down. The warehouse space was transformed by two brothers into something quite magical, that offers everything from a lively cafe, a roastery, to an upstairs cupping lab and expert coffee training facilities.

We made our way to the cafe around lunchtime on a Saturday and as expected there was a group of eager brunch lovers hanging around waiting for tables. In hindsight compared to the waiting times of lets say, The Kettle Black, Tall Timber or The Stable Of Como - a quick wait of ten minutes was pretty darn impressive. The cafe is constantly busy, staff whizzing around, diners buzzing on coffee and its with good reason. We sat on the communal table in between two groups of people, which was super as we got to see a tonne of items from the cafes new Spring menu. As the plates dropped, one by one, the dishes that arrived to my neighbours got better and better. This place is brunch, fine dining style. 

Whenever there is black pudding mentioned on a menu, I am instantly hooked. It never hits the highs of my good old Clonakilty from back home in Ireland but I always go in, ever hopeful. The Spring 14 menu is fantastic, starting off with a selection of tapas dishes and finishing with a selection of all day menu items that cater for all types. I opted for poached eggs on sourdough, kasundi sauce and a side of the black pudding. The black pudding came with roasted apple, fennel and a beetroot relish. It was delicious. Not too fatty, the roasted apple was sensational against the puddings deep rich flavour. You guys did pretty good, Industry Beans. As I said, delicious. 

Everything about my eggs were perfect. I like my eggs done well, which means no runny yolks or translucent egg whites at all. Along with the sourdough and the kasundi sauce - it was just executed perfectly. Sometimes, the simplist things in life done perfectly are the best. I already have trip number three planned for next weekend and when I get there, I plan on trying a little bit more from this amazing establishment. 

Industry Beans
3/62 Rose Street
Fitzroy, VIC 3065

Thursday, November 13, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE DECEMBER ISSUE OF HARPER'S BAZAAR AUSTRALIA FEATURING KYLIE & DANNII MINOGUE


I don't think there are two siblings anywhere in Australia that are as stylish or as loved as Dannii and Kylie Minogue are. You all know their stories, their past loves etc. but its their latest magazine covers that's gaining them a lot of attention. Good attention, great even. You see those people at Harper's BAZAAR Australia, they really know what they're doing and it shows in every piece of the new issue and this stunning cover. It somehow screams summer and Christmas to me, all at the same time and that's exactly what I want when it comes to a December issue. I want the warmth I wouldn't get back home during my usual northern hemisphere Christmas and that Australian sun that blinds you throughout December. 

The latest issue is currently on newsstands and having spent every morning so far this week hiding away at my local cafe eating it up, I can tell you its another stunning issue. Go grab your copy now for the weekend. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

BILLS, BOURKE STREET BAKERY, GELATO MESSINA, A TRIP TO BONDI AND A SUPER WINTOUR&GUINNESS WEEKEND IN SYDNEY

There is nothing quite like an upcoming trip that gets you excited about life. I hadn’t been out of Melbourne since July so I was so excited when a group of friends and I decided to take a trip to Sydney over Melbourne Cup weekend. Like the AFL Grand Final weekend, Melbourne Cup draws mass crowds from all over Australia, and even the world. There is a huge buzz and to be honest, I find the whole thing exhausting. So a trip to Sydney was just what I needed.

A few weeks leading up to the trip I had asked around, predominately my Sydney-sider pals on where I needed to visit in terms of all the coffee and food hot spots. One friend in particular, Rachel drew up the perfect list of places to visit. I think the girl could have a future career as a blogger.

We had a midday flight, which was perfect as it gave me time to zip around town picking up each of the boys before grabbing some breakfast at the Galleon Cafe in St. Kilda. I ordered the French toast with cinnamon, vanilla ricotta and a side of sweet potato hash brown. It was delicious, however it just needed something else to elevate the flavors It became a little same same after a few bites. Having tried the French toast in Truman’s (Albert Park) a while back – I have very high expectations when it comes to French toast these days.
Our flight was relatively painless, there was a little bit of a delay with our take off and after checking into our hotel in Surry Hills – I decided to go for a wander through Oxford Street into the heart of Darlinghurst. I absolutely adore the area and with the trees in full bloom and the hustle and bustle of the locals, any proud Melburnian could be won over.

With the weather switching from one extreme to the other, we decided to check out The Beresford Hotel for an afternoon drink. I ordered the Secret Garden jug to begin and it was on another level. This was a floral infusion of St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lychee's, apple & lemon juice with rosé and lemonade. And afterwards we followed this with a jug of traditional Pimms Cup. I immediately fell in love with this spot. It was the perfect city beer garden with ample seating, a great atmosphere and a superb drinks menu.
After a night out on the town, I jumped out of the bed at 8am on the Sunday for a stroll around Surry Hills. For me, I could happily pack my bags and move there in an instant. It’s the most beautiful suburb, close to the city and full of independent boutiques and cafes. Whenever I come to Sydney, the first cafe I visit is Bills. I always like to visit the original spot in Darlinghurst, but since the Surry Hills branch was right on my doorstep I popped in. Grabbing the papers, I ordered a latte, an orange juice and some chocolate and banana bread with ricotta. The food at Bills never disappoints and it was the perfect breakfast (if not a little naughty).

The others made their way into the heart of Surry Hills, eager to grab some breakfast – so we ducked into Four Ate Five on Crown Street. I just grabbed a coffee, but the boy’s food looked amazing. I would highly recommend it.
After brunch we made our way to Circular Quay to catch a ferry to Manly. Manly is an incredible part of Sydney and judging by the vast crowds of people eager to get a spot on the boat – it’s a place loved by many. The boat makes its way from Circular Quay, passing the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House and its just a breathtakingly beautiful trip. The houses, the boats, that skyline as you sail off – its everything I moved to Australia for. We relaxed by the beach for a while, before walking along the Pavilion towards Shelly Beach Park. The summer sunshine really puts everyone in a great mood, its infectious and lying by the beach reading the latest issue of ELLE Australia, I knew that life is pretty darn good.
Last time I was in Sydney, I was with a group of work friends and we decided to try out Jamie's Italian on Pitt Street. It was a great night and the food was surprisingly good. This time around, we dined on three cheese-fried gnocchi, lamb shoulder and various pasta dishes; all of which were delicious. We ended the night making our way towards the Opera house stopping for a scoop of gelato, eager to see the Opera House and bridge all lit up.
Monday morning, and whilst all the trendy folks of Surry Hills were making their way to work, Kevin and I took a walk around the area looking at all the amazing houses and tree lined streets before grabbing a coffee. We had walked down Bourke Street, which led us directly to Bourke Street Bakery. Being one of my favourite spots in Sydney – I made sure that we grabbed a sneaky croissant and chocolate tart along with our coffees.
That afternoon we made our way via train and bus to Bondi Beach. I had planned to do the Bondi to Bronte walk the last time I was in Sydney but the weather ended up being so bad that we had to scrap that plan. Starting from Icebergs, we slowly made our way along the walk, held up by the masses of school children and tourists, all of whom were there to check out the Sculptures By The Sea exhibit. 
Sculptures by the Sea returned to the Bondi to Tamarama Beach walk a few weeks back and the coastal walk was transformed into a 2km long temporary sculpture park featuring over 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world. The coastal walk begins at the bottom of Notts Avenue, which runs off Campbell Parade, Bondi and the walk can also be accessed by stairs at various points along the exhibition route at Hunter Park, Gaerloch Avenue and Pacific Avenue. The exhibition finishes at Tamarama Park, however we kept walking until we got to Bronte. After stopping at the Bronte Baths for some photos, we ended up at Three Blue Ducks on Macpherson Street for some drinks. 
After a quick pit stop at the Botanic Gardens, we made our way to World Square on Georges Street for some dumplings at Din Tai Fung. My friend Darkus, recommended the place and we certainly made our way through a lot of food that evening. The food was delicious however I was instantly curious about Burger Project, Neil Perry's latest project which sits next door.
No trip to Sydney is complete without a stop at Gelato Messina. I parked my backside down at the Surrys Hills branch and ordered myself three scoops of what can only be described as the best ice cream I've ever tried. My flavors of choice that evening were PBH Sandwich and Apple Pie. PBH Sandwich was one of the daily specials and was made up of peanut butter and honey gelato with vanilla soaked brioche and banana jam. It was incredible - but didnt come close to the Apple Pie. The apple pie reminded me of being a kid, when after your Sunday dinner you would get a slice of apple pie and ice cream. Total bliss.
The next morning, our final in Sydney – we caught up with my friend Maureen. Maureen was about to embark on a four month trip around the world and having not seen her for a while we knew we had to organise a breakfast. Our plan was to visit The Grounds Of Alexandria but with all the madness, we ended up meeting at Reuben Hills. Kevin had noticed this place during one of his walks during the trip and one peek in the door and I was obsessed. The interior is incredible and Broadsheet perfectly summed it up when they called this place the coffee equivalent of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Spanning the length between two parallel streets and occupying two floors filled with mystifying smells and extraordinary apparatuses, the scale and exuberance of the space provokes a level of fascination normally reserved for theme parks and nightclubs. I ordered an extra hot latte along with the banana and coffee bread. The banana bread was delicious and there was a gentle punch of coffee, which set it apart from the usual banana bread you get. Catching up with Maureen was great but as per usual, there is never enough time when it comes to catch ups and we had to run back to check out of our hotel. Grabbing one last coffee at The Paramount Coffee Project (with a sneaky cinnamon cronut) we made our way toward the airport sad to see Sydney go.

It truly is one of the most incredible cities I’ve ever been too and one I hope to get back to very soon. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE NOVEMBER ISSUE OF OCEAN DRIVE MAGAZINE FEATURING COVER STAR ELLE MACPHERSON



Elle Macpherson, I know everyone has asked you what your secrets are for looking eternally youthful and yes, we have all rushed to the shops to buy The Secret Elixir, but by heck, the latest issue of Ocean Drive Magazine is on another level. Since moving to Miami earlier this year and the recent announcement of her separation from Bendon - I thought that we would be seeing a lot less of The Body but thankfully she has worked with Ocean Drive on the below editorial shoot and accompanying interview. Its a fantastic issue and can be read online here

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS CELEBRATES WITH A TRIP TO THE GO GO BAR AT CHIN CHIN AND DINNER AT LUCY LIU'S



I had heard so much great feedback on Lucy Liu’s, the newest Asian fusion restaurant to open in Melbourne - that I knew that I had to keep a trip there for a special occasion. With an anniversary approaching, I booked a spot there for last Saturday with Kevin. Walking down a George Parade from Collins Street to Flinders Lane, I couldn't get over the monstrous queue that was waiting outside Chin Chin. Kevin was quick to remind me that it WAS a Saturday night and THAT sort of situation is not at all that uncommon at Chin Chin. Deservedly so, the food is spectacular and yes the waiting for a table adds to the excitement but I was so happy to find out when I researched Lucy Liu’s that it took reservations. A simple call and a few minutes later, I was happy in the knowledge that I was guaranteed a table for dinner.

Jumping through the line outside Chin Chin, we made our way down the lane beside the building to Go Go Bar. Located underneath Chin Chin, the bar is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner cocktail. The atmosphere was electric, the music pulsating and the crowd a mix of trendy young socials and an older crowd trying to keep up with the youngsters.

Starting the evening off with a few gin and tonics, we looked around and just took in everything that the Go Go bar has to offer. It really has that something special that nowhere else does.


The time seemed to fly by and suddenly we had to rush off to grab our table at Lucy Liu's. The restaurant has taken over the space that was PM24, a French inspired venue that was part of George Calombaris’ restaurant group I believe. You can enter through the Russell Street entrance, however there is a secret entrance on Oliver Lane that not everyone is aware of. You see there is no signage along the lane apart from a vibrant red light that pours out of the entrance. Its only when you’ve slipped your way into the hall that you notice the giant neon red Lucy Liu sign and voila you’re in.

The interior of the restaurant is one of the most impressive I’ve seen since visiting Gazi and its terracotta pot roof for the first time. Concrete, wood and steel are three of the most used materials within the space and altogether create something magical. We were placed smack bang in the middle of the room, so we could see everything going on. Quiet, reserved and stiff, are the characteristics of a restaurant that I detest most and this spot was none of those. It was casual dining at its best.

Our female server was excellent at going through the menu with us and offered us some great advice about how many of small, medium and large plates we should grab for the two of us. Of course our eyes were bigger than our bellies and we ordered more than she suggested.

We started off with the duck dumplings with hoi sin sauce and coriander. These were absolutely delicious and a lot more refined than the likes you would get in, lets say, the likes of China Red. We followed this with the chicken spare ribs with Kewpie mayonnaise. Having had the same sort of dish in Gingerboy a few years back, no chicken ribs have ever trumped those. Unfortunately, the ribs just didn’t wow us like we thought they would. It was when the table next to us received their sticky beef and crispy pork steamed buns that we called the waitress over and asked for one of each. Kevin’s sticky bun went down a treat and my crispy pork bun the same.


At this point we could have walked out content, however we had ordered the crispy pork hock to share. Deliciously crispy on the outside, one crack of the exterior and inside a giant mound of soft pork meat was found, waiting to be paired with the accompanying pancakes, apple slaw, spring onions and hoi sin sauce. It was a messy affair and definitely not suitable for a first date, but incredibly delicious. A standout dish and one that could easily be comparable to the likes of Cumulus Inc.’s lamb shoulder or Supernormal's Peanut Butter Parfait.

We left without dessert, simply because we couldn’t fathom the idea of trying to fit it in. We’d done a good job and it was time to go. Walking through Flinders Lane, on our way home I looked into each of the restaurants we passed. Coda looked utterly cosy, Supernormal was packed to the brim and it made me appreciate how many wonderful spots we have here in Melbourne. It’s an amazing city, one that I love and when food is your passion – you could almost say you’re already in heaven. 

Lucy Liu
23 Oliver Lane, Melbourne,
VIC 3000

Sunday, October 26, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS ATTENDS THE RACHEL ZOE BUSINESS CHICKS LUNCH IN MELBOURNE



Thursday was one of those days that you would be happy to relive over and over again. It had been a day that alot of people were looking forward to and as such the excitement that everyone was feeling was so electric, that it could have lit up the entire city. You see, Rachel Zoe, the uber successful fashion stylist, author, entrepreneur, author, wife and mother (to name but a few of the very stylish hats she wears) was in Australia this week to travel along the eastern seaboard as a guest of Business Chicks to speak about all things fashion, business and family to hundreds of men and women in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. 


I had been invited by my lovely friend Megan to the event, along with Martina, who is the Marketing Director of Megan's little empire and two of the funniest people you could ever meet. Jumping in our taxi to the event, there was both an equal measure of nerves and excitement for the afternoon ahead. You see, Megan had created an amazing illustration of Rachel, which was going to be given to her at the event and grabbing a sneak peak on the way there; I think it was easy to presume Rachel was going to go B-A-N-A-N-A-S once she saw it. 


We arrived a little bit early to the event, which was super for us as we were able to take some great photos of the stage and with Rachel's giant initials all lit up, the girls at Business Chicks had really done a great job in creating a fashionable setting for who many consider the worlds most fashionable woman. 

So what exactly is Business Chicks you might ask?




Business Chicks was created to bring like-minded women together – to give them a chance to swap ideas, share stories, and spark inspiration. They’re a tribe of explorers, a band of big thinkers and they believe that together, women can shine even more brightly than they do as individuals. What unites the organisation is their shared passion for ideas, their lust for creativity, their boldness, curiosity and generosity.


Being a Business Chick member means you’re part of an unstoppable force and together, you learn, grow, challenge yourself and hopefully kick ass. They have become famous for their events, which allow their members to rub shoulders with all sorts of characters from around the world, from Sir Richard Branson through to Diane von Furstenberg, Ita Buttrose, Julia Gillard, Michelle Bridges, Dr Brené Brown, Arianna Huffington, Sir Bob Geldof and Seth Godin. On top of that they have a buzzing online network, where members can connect, collaborate and pick each other’s brains – and they even publish a glossy mag, Latte, just for their members. They're quite a force and it was fantastic to finally meet Emma, the CEO of the organisation and her team who were absolutely lovely. 

Megan, Martina and I had prime table real estate at the VIP table along with Emma. Joining us at the the table just as Rachel took to the stage was Rachel's husband Roger Berman who starred alongside his wife in the Bravo show The Rachel Zoe Project. With a rapturous welcome, Rachel sparkled in a sequin jacket, a stunning pair of flared trousers and the highest heels I have ever seen. Yes, you got it, she looked MAJ.



It was absolutely crazy to have watched this woman for several years on TV, seen her in countless magazines and now she was sitting mere meter’s away from our table. The talk seemed to go by in a blip and it was clear that every single person in the venue was gripped to every singe word Rachel said. Some have asked me what was she like and I tell them that she is exactly how she is on TV. One hundred percent. She was beautiful, funny and intelligent and whilst she may live a life none of us will ever know, she was incredibly humble and down to earth. 

When Rachel rocked up onto the stage, she was instantly drawn to the framed illustration Megan has done of her. So where the hundreds of people that came to the event. Instagram was buzzing with photos of the illustration and when the moment came for Megan to walk on stage and present Rachel with the original, the look on Rachel's face was priceless. I am just so thankful that Martina was quick enough to get a photo of it. Even Roger was stuck for words and when Megan sat back down he couldn't thank her enough. It was a beautiful moment. Check out the illustration below. 



If I learned anything from Rachel that afternoon, it’s that life is very short. You have to seize every opportunity that comes your way and if like me you have a vision of the way that you want your life - go after it and never give up. Rachel spoke about being the person YOU want to be and not the person that others expect or want you to be. If you want to be successful in business you don't have to be ruthless or hard. You CAN be nice and successful. But most importantly, to go with your gut is the best advice she could give. Don't ignore it, embrace it. 



Our lunch ended with a mini debrief of the afternoon with some of the most glamorous women in Melbourne. Real Housewives of Melbourne Chyka Keebaugh and Lydia Schiavello, Sarah Jane Young of the blog She Is, Sarah Jane, Megan, Martina and I all huddled together talking about all the best bits of the afternoon. 

You can all bet we were all in love with the Zoe. 

For more information click on Rachel Zoe, Business Chicks and Megan Hess Illustration just click on the links. 

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