hello + holidays

see-you-very-soon

Hello friends!

I trust that your Christmases and New Years were full of joy, and love, and LOTS of good eating.

Just a quick note today (written from my Dad’s apartment in Sydney) to let you know that I’ll be taking a break from posting here over January. 2013 was a massively exciting and successful year, and I’m looking forward to sharing even more exciting recipes and ideas in 2014.

For the next two weeks we’ll be in Sydney, staying in my Dad’s place and treating it as a little health/writing retreat (hello, sauna and steam room!) while I try to write the chapter that is due by the end of this month.

I’ll still be posting on Instagram – so I’d love for you to pop over and say hi there (be prepared for lots of gorgeous shots of Sydney!).

With big love and big intentions for 2014,

Harriet x

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melbourne

Exhibition building
Exhibition gardens
Shoes outside the State Library
Street art in Chinatown
Street art in Fitzroy
Chinatwon
Pellegrini's
Self Preservation
Manchester Unity Building
Old Melbourne Gaol
Queen Victoria Markets
Pumpkin Borek
Colonnades
Camelias at Melbourne Uni
Vegie Bar Interior
Chocolate and vanilla fudge
Untitled
Adam at Heide
Heide kitchen gardens
War Memorial
Untitled
Melbourne cemetery

Melbourne is a great city for travellers. Often called the most European of Australia’s capital cities, everything in the CBD is accessible by foot. We loved this. But we’re crazy walkers (on average I’d say we did 8-10 km a day). The food and cafe culture is the best I’ve seen in a long time, and it was so refreshing! Needless to say, we did a lot of eating, a lot of coffee drinking, and a lot of absorbing the beautiful sites of Melbourne.

It was great to re-visit Melbourne as an adult (I was last there 8 years ago, and Adam had never been), and see so many wonderful things. We stayed 5 days, and there was much that we didn’t do or see (like St Kilda, the Bay, or the Dandenongs), but I’d say that 5 days was a great period of time, and we achieved a lot! Here’s a breakdown of our favourites.

EAT

Mamasita, Level 1, 11 Collins St, Melbourne. We ate here our first night on the recommendation of Reana, and it did not disappoint! Heaps of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. Tasty, tasty, Mexican. You have to get the corn.

Vegie Bar, 380 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. So good we ate their twice. The first time, I got the ‘Mostly Greens’ stir fry with tempeh (I counted 9 different green vegetables!!) and Adam got the most enormous burrito with all the trimmings I’ve ever seen. The second time, I got the vermicelli noodles (amazing) and Adam got the mee goreng (also amazing!). Finding this place was like finding people that spoke my language. Prices were reasonable and servings were gigantic. Did I mention their dessert cabinet? Yep, the chocolate vanilla fudge ticked all my requirements. Cannot recommend enough.

The Hardware Société, 120 Hardware St, Melbourne. We stopped in here for breakfast, and it was sensational. Adam got the most amazing looking mushrooms stuffed with goat’s cheese and roasted leeks, while I opted for the muesli. Good coffee.

Shakahari, 201-203 Faraday St, Carlton. Classic vegetarian food – curries, and lots of hearty fare. The dumplings in coconut broth were great.

Le Miel et La Lune, 330 Cardigan St, Carlton. Awesome menu – lots of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. Really good chai lattes. Super cute interior.

Brunetti, 380 Lygon St, Carlton. A Melbourne institution, and pretty much Adam’s idea of heaven. Pastries, cakes, biscuits as far as the eye can see. Adam sampled both the cherry danish and the custard filled cornetto, and raptured over each one.

Pellegrini’s, 66 Bourke St, Melbourne. Another Melbourne icon. There’s no fixed menu, just ask for what you like (lots of different pastas, lots of different sauces). And don’t forget to get a watermelon granita (I’m going to try and recreate this soon). Excellent, simple Italian – I remember eating there as a kid, sitting in the kitchen with my parents.

Lord of the Fries. These are dotted all throughout the city – and proof that just because you’re a vegetarian doesn’t mean junk food ceases to exist. Awesome vege burgers (and hots dogs) – usually I’m not keen on pretend meats, but the burger was delicious. And they do poutine (need I say more?) Lots of vegan and gluten-free options too. More than one visit was made.

COFFEE

Assembly, 60 Pelham St, Carlton. Super cute design and well thought-out coffee (and my friend Chloe works there!). No espresso though – step into the world of V60 coffee. A great experience, and very, very yummy brownies.

A Little Bird Told Me, 29 Little Latrobe St, Melbourne. This place was awesome – great coffee, great vibe. They sold delicious specialty chocolates and pastries.

SHOP

Gewürzhaus, 342 Lygon St, Carlton. Herb and spice merchants – I practically lost my mind when I found this place. Their selection of spice, herb, sugar and salt blends is ridiculous. Viennese Christmas Sugar, Greek Grill Seasoning, Salle d’Italia, Shichimi Togarishi and Masala Chai Spice were all got and coveted.

Queen Victoria Markets, Corner of Elizabeth and Victoria Streets, Melbourne. Massive markets that sell everything under the sun. The delicatessen hall was definitely my favourite (all the olives and antipasti you could desire). Really good breads, fresh produce and takeaway food. Not open Mondays or Wednesdays.

Readings, 309 Lygon St, Carlton. After you’ve gorged at Brunetti, walk across the road to Readings. One of the best bookshops I’ve been to in a long time – awesome selection.

Hill of Content, 86 Bourke St Melbourne. Another excellent bookshop! Great selection of non-fiction. Cosy and comfy.

SEE & DO

National Gallery of Victoria. Go and see the stained glass ceiling. Great travelling exhibitions and the standing collection is excellent too.

Old Melbourne Gaol, 377 Russell St, Melbourne. Easily one of the top two things we did in Melbourne. The building is equal parts creepy, haunting and other-wordly. The information and lay-out inside is excellent. Lots of fun.

Melbourne Museum, Carlton Gardens. The travelling exhibition (of artefacts from ancient Afghanistan) was great, but the museum collection blew us away. Taxidermy galore (but is a modern display) with lots of context and great displays.

Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen. In the houses and gardens that belonged to art collectors and patrons Sunday and Arthur Reed, Heide is beautiful. Have a coffee and a snack in the cafe before going for a walk through the beautiful gardens and checking out the exhibitions available. Worth the train and bus to get there.

Catch a tram. They’re dorky and a bit slow, but quintessentially Melbourne.

WALK

Down Flinders Lane, absorbing the bustling atmosphere. Lots of cafes and places to stop and eat.

Past Flinders St station, over the bridge and through the parks to the Shrine of Remembrance.

Up Russell St, past the Old Melbourne Gaol. Keep going up Lygon St to the Melbourne General Cemetery.

To the Queen Victoria Markets, then make your way through the University of Melbourne. From the university, its a very short walk to Lygon St or Brunswick St in Fitzroy.

My favourite thing about our trip to Melbourne? Exploring the city with Adam – he’s the best travel companion, and it was so special to spend some time away together before the craziness of semester began.

photos: wedding

wedding 14 july 2013

Today I thought I’d share a few photos from our wedding (you can see more here), which took place two Sundays ago. It was a very simple, relaxed (and small) wedding. We exchanged vows, then headed to one of our favourite restaurants for the most amazing lunch (check out my Instagram for some gratuitous food porn).

wedding 14 july 2013
wedding 14 july 2013 - me signing
wedding 14 july 2013 - us and our witnesses, michael & liss
wedding 14 july 2013 - dad
wedding 14 july 2013 - family
wedding 14 july 2013 - mondo
wedding 14 july 2013 - adam & me

Despite the sunshine in these photos, we woke up to a very rainy, grey day, and after a quick excursion to the park where we had intended to hold the ceremony, we decided that it was too wet. Adam’s sister, Amy, was a true champion and a last minute venue change meant we could have the ceremony on her beautiful balcony. The rain showers continued throughout the morning, but the sun managed to break through strategically for some photos. It was a beautiful day, and spending time with family and friends was a blast. A big shout out to my gorgeous friend Reana and my dad for taking such beautiful photos!

We headed to the airport straight after lunch, and enjoyed a great week in Melbourne (stay tuned for a Melbourne post, with photos and recommendations). Now that all the excitement’s over, it feels fantastic to be back at home with the kittens. Semester starts today (yikes!), and we’ve got a very busy and exciting six months ahead of us (with both of us tutoring, working on our theses, German lessons) – I can feel the productive and positive vibes already. So much potential!

And now for the gratuitous kissing photo:

wedding 14 july 2013 - kiss

photos: kitchen tea/bridal shower

A few Sundays ago, my mum threw a ‘kitchen tea’ for me – which is sort of like a bridal shower, I guess, except that you’re given gifts for the kitchen, and there aren’t any games. It was such a nice afternoon! Most of the women in my family, the women from Adam’s family, and my women-friends – it was so special to have them all in once place. Usually I’m not one for gatherings of more than 6 people (haha) but this was great. Thanks to everyone who came and all the amazing presents you gave me. And to my mum for organizing everything – she did such a marvellous job (check out the spread we had!).

kitchen_tea1 kitchen_tea2 kitchen_tea3

kitchen_tea4 kitchen_tea5 kitchen_tea6 kitchen_tea7 kitchen_tea8

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it almost feels like autumn

autumn2Well, as much as we get autumn here in Brisbane, it almost feels like it’s here. The days are getting shorter and the nights cooler. I am so SO looking forward to winter, but I don’t want to let autumn rush by too quickly. Feeling inspired by Kaylah at The Dainty Squid’s list of seasonal goals, I decided to think about the things I’d like to achieve this autumn.

autumn3 autumn1

My goals for autumn 2013:

Watch at least 4 Studio Ghibli films. I’m really excited for this goal! I’ve only seen My Neighbour Totoro, and Spirited Away, so I must watch some more! I love the stories and animation – it’s just wonderful. I’ve got Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo, and a few more on my radar.

Take more photos. I’ve really enjoyed using my camera more lately, and I’d like that to continue. I’d also like to use my camera more outside of my house – I’ve developed a bit of a phobia about taking photos in public, so I’d definitely like to conquer that.

Finish off current projects. I realised during the week that I had 5 (!) current projects, and with full-time study that’s just way too much! So I’d like to spend some time finishing off all the little things I’ve got going. Moving forward, I’m definitely going to limit myself to one project at a time.

Knit a beanie. Obviously once I’ve accomplished the last goal! This will be a good way to practice my knitting and use up some of the spare wool I have around.

Work on making my study a wonderful place to work. I’d like to migrate from the couch when I’m from home to my actual desk, which means figuring out a way to make our office a nicer place to work.

Clean up our garden. I’ve started making inroads on this goal already, but there is still a lot of weeding to do, and I think our soil needs some work. Once that’s done, I’d like to plant some vegetables and more herbs.

That’s it! I’m really looking forward to the weather cooling down, tights and jumpers coming out of the closet, and lots of soups and stews. Happy Autumn!

 

happiness is sunshine and strawberries

The past couple of weeks in Brisbane have been very grey, and very wet. Last Thursday, while I was working from home, the sun came out. It was amazing! After nearly two weeks of grey skies, wind, and rain, the sky was bright blue and the sun was brilliant.

I took the opportunity when the sun was shining to snap a few photos around the house. I snacked on strawberries while I worked, and caught Lily napping in the warm light. Happiness truly is sunshine, strawberries (and cats! Of course).

sunshine4 sunshine1 sunshine2 sunshine3

I hope you’ve had a marvellous weekend so far. X