I first experienced my American Christmas when I was fifteen years old. Coming from Australia, where we celebrate with barbeques on the beach, it was like something out of this world. There was a particular fragrance that circled around the festive tunes that played in the shopping malls. Decorations weren’t spared and people literally walked the streets with beautifully wrapped boxes piled on top of the other to put under the tree, just like in the movies. We were there visiting my step-mother’s family, so we spent a lot of our time celebrating in their homes and sampling all of the seasonal specialties. And then there was the snow! Flipping through the recently released cookbook, New York Christmas by Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup, took me back to that magical Christmas I spent as a fifteen year old. Let me tell you a little bit about it, along with sharing a couple of the Christmas recipes from the book.
Oh Berlin! I had no idea how fabulous that city is. I mean, I had inklings and Guillaume always told me how cool it was but… when you arrive, you get it. Berlin is a city bursting in artistic expression, design, good food, lovely people and a place to simply enjoy life. We had four days there and here I’ll share with you some of our accommodation, food and bar highlights with a few random photos thrown in.
There are so many reasons to visit Morocco. But if you’re a lover of interior decoration, I promise you, for that alone, it’s worth a trip. Think rugs, leather poufs, silver platters, trays, tiles, ceramics, throws and more. There is no doubt that you will leave this magical city with a full suitcase bursting with ideas of how to inject a little bohemian style into your home
Since their launch a couple of years ago, Storm and India Tea Sisters have brought the glamour back to the tea scene. They caught everyone’s attention with the Tea Van, serving specialty brews from a cool polished chrome sixties van at events and markets around Auckland. More recently they have collaborated with Little Bird Organics to educate the detox and health benefits of their handcrafted organic tea. While there has been a cheeky twist, they have always taken tea very seriously and they’ve pleased everyone from the ordinary drinkers, to the connoisseurs. I’m a huge tea lover; it is a ritual for me, and reading India’s answers to my questions for NZ Month, has brought me to a new level of appreciation.
I’m dreaming of the wilderness, tall trees, open fields and that feeling of being one with nature. To feel the warmth of a mug of tea in my hands as I sit outside breathing in pure air. I might even spot some wildlife. Perhaps I’ll pick up a pen and write, open a book or perhaps the scenery and my thoughts will be enough.
On Sunday I developed a nasty head cold. I was at my worst on Monday and feeling rather sorry for myself. The autumn sun was shining outside but all I felt like doing was snuggling up on my couch and eating comfort food. That afternoon, I received a delivery from French Country Collections. The impeccably styled catalogue included suggested everything “comfort” that I was craving that day; rich moody hues, a seat by the warm fireplace and an enviable table setting. The blues are set off beautifully with the classic gold accessories. Strangely enough, this summer loving girl was looking forward to winter. You heard it here first!
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you would have seen that I recently got back from a week away in the Coromandel. We rented a house with a great big deck with one amazing view. To make the holiday even more special, one of my oldest and dear friends from Australia, Tash, her husband Dave and their two boys were able to visit us for three nights while they were here.
Some of you may recall that Guillaume and I celebrated 15 years of marriage last month. It’s pretty huge, so we thought we should do something a little monumental to mark the occasion. My parents were visiting from Sydney and we took advantage of them here to look after the kids so that we could have a few days away. We both enjoy hiking (known as tramping here). We had heard so much about the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and decided that was what we were to do.