with my one and only, at the one and only....

well we wrapped a pretty manic two weeks of wedding festivities, which some dubbed a wedding festival, we took the chance to take a mini-moon up north to the gorgeous one and only hayman. while we only have a long weekend, it just just the perfect amount of time for us to take a few seconds out and reflect on the wedding that was. (p.s. it was kurt's birthday so what better way to celebrate...?)

i had read a few reviews on the one and only and after chatting to family and friends, decided this would be the spot to take a few days break and i can honestly say, it was amazing. the staff were phenomenal and un-faultable. the food was good, as expected and the facilities great. as you will be able to see from the below, it was a little wet, but that made the lazy sleep-ins even better.

here are a few snaps from our weekend away - i hope you enjoy. nb. there will be an "official" honeymoon later in 2017, we are still deliberating on locations but are thinking of making it a honeymoon/30th birthday celebration, so if you have any suggestions, let us know. 

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2017...

this year got off to a whirl-wind of a start with a trip to singapore - london - dubai straight up, on jan and the momentum honestly has not stopped. work is pretty manic right now, we are in the early stages of getting two business off the ground, we are about to start another renovation and on top of all that, we are getting married in 20 days.

this is the reason its taken me so god damn long to update this blog. one of my new years resolutions was to certainly keep on top of this more however some times, its a bit difficult to be honest.

i will turn 30 this year which is something i am acutely aware of and for some reason, i felt compelled to try and do my best to visit a country i have never been before every year, from now on. i am actually really excited to see which country that will be in 2017. perhaps africa. somewhere in south america or maybe even somewhere closer to home. who knows?

i am going to upload a few travel snaps from the past months adventures, to keep you abreast of where i have been before doing another quick wedding update. i hope you enjoy! 

singapore

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london

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bangkok

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a whip around hipster-ville....

yes yes i know that this little blogging bride to be has been very slack of late in the updates. i have a legitimate reason, i promise. i have been travelling for work, so whilst i won’t be able to update you at the moment with the wedding progress, i will update you with a few little snaps from my latest trip to london!

i returned from london at the end of last week in what was a manic twelve day trip to dubai and london. i love my job, i really do, however the travel element was not really factored into our larger plans of organizing a wedding and full scale renovation when we opted to plan a wedding in six months, so these latest travel stints have certainly thrown a spanner in the works.

this being said, i am following my trusty wedding planning guide and seem to still be ticking things off the list (i have also enlisted the services of a wedding stylist/on the day coordinator who is keeping me a little in check as well).

so whilst i technically had five full days in london, three of those were full up with work work so this guide is really an overview of my weekend, the spots we visited and maybe some you may like to check out when your next in good old london-town.

this trip i spent a lot of time in the north part of london; camden, soho, clerkenwall and stoke newington – so i was certainly hanging out with the hipsters, i was in a new neck of the woods.

saturday am

brunch at all press espresso followed by some delectable snacks and vintage shopping at broadway markets (i encourage you to go down some of the cute side alleys as this is where we found some beautiful hand crafted homewares and one of a kind jewelry).

saturday pm

make your way to morty and bobs for the best bloody mary i’ve ever had (it was also my first) and a bite to eat (gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches anyone).

if you are up for a bit of shopping and the thought of oxford circus freaks the living shit out of you, head to kings road off sloane square for some retail therapy.

once you’ve headed home to spruce up, head on out to bistrotheque for dinner (this place is a bit hard to find, but once you do, its uber amazing) before heading into shoreditch for some drinks at one of the many bars or clubs.

sunday am

head to clerkenwall for breakfast at granger and co (australian owned but man they do great coffee) or modern pantry.

from here colombia street flower markets are a beautiful way to spend a lazy sunday before heading into soho for a bite to eat. i found the bus the easiest way to get aroud these parts, its also quite pretty and fab people watching.

sunday pm

soho has many many great restaurants however we opted to dine at mele e pere, a fusion restaurant which serves up a fantastic french/italian menu. the pumpkin gnocchi with black truffle shavings was certainly my pick!

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news flash - i might actually like bangkok...

ok coop-ettes i am about to make a big change on stance here. my own stance that is.. i might actually like bangkok. after a few previous disasters here including bombings, a political crisis and many food-borne illnesses… i have not always had a fondness for bangkok.

a few weeks ago however i spent three evenings (for work – but i have tried to make the most of my down time) and i do believe this thriving metropolis may have something to offer after all...

after landing at around 2pm on an overcast saturday afternoon i was content with spending an afternoon lounging by the pool however that was not to be (read. rainy season) so it was a relaxing bath (much needed after my travels in singapore and malaysia), a movie and room service. for those of you who follow my blog, this is not something that i usually do, however i really enjoyed every selfish minute of it.

sunday was my day. i had always planned on making the most of my one day off so it was a private driver, chatuchak markets, nahm for dinner and off to maggie choo’s for a night cap. i felt that i really had planned the perfect day, which captured the essence of bangkok… from the markets and haggling to a very well-reviewed spot for dinner (read foodies from all around the world) before a well-deserved nightcap at a downtown favourite.

big shout-out to the gorg folk at a pair and a spare for there weekend itinerary ideas!

not once this trip did i venture out in a tuk-tuk or hit a street stall for some tom-yum but i must admit, this being my first time to travel to these places solo, i really needed to feel confident and safe in my surroundings. needless to say, the oriental residence was the perfect base (#workperks).

p.s. sorry about the shit quality of pictures on this post, there were taken on iphone.

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slow down on gili air...

we have been avoiding the gili islands like the plague these past six years as the tales we hear from fellow travellers about the infamous gili-t and the shenanigans that go on have well and truely spooked us.

that being the case, we have had a few long weekends the past few weeks and i wanted to get away. laze on beautiful turquoise beaches and well and truely relax. and well and behold, the gili islands seemed a good choice. close. cheap. relatively easy to get to. but how to avoid gili-t...?

i did some research and gili air seemed the natural choice. a spilt between the mayhem and party vibe of gili-t but with the quaintness and chilled out vibe of gili meno. so i booked us a place to stay and off we went, to gili air. 

after a few hiccups and delays with our fast boat (tossing up between flying from bali to lombok or fast boast is always a cause for concern) and we were in island paradise. where the turquoise water beckoned and the dramatic rainforest covered wild mountains of senggigi continually threatened rain just over the small body of water dividing the islands and lombok. 

we stayed at the divine slow villas on gili air and julie and her team made our long weekend just perfect. the villas were idyllic. every little detail was though of and we really couldnt have chosen a better spot. we hended up most days at a divine beach club on the south eastern corner and drank cold bintangs, swam and ate delicious organic salads (kurt opted for the burgers).

there is certainly somthing to be said for taking some time out to simply just slow down. the main method of transport on the island is either horse and cart or bicycle. we opted for the latter and ended up riding the circumference of the island while we were there. we headed back to bali a little sad as our three days left us feeling like we had had a week off. so where to next? with a visa run on the cards in the coming months, perhaps we venture further afield to somewhere new, or somewhere old. vietnam. thailand. laos. who knows...

if you are heading to gili air, i can recommend the following spots from our personal experience - accommodation: slow villas (who can also arrange private transfers from your villa or hotel in bali right to their door on gili air), food: the mexican kitchen, scallywags beach club for their evening beach bbq, mowies for food and drinks, sunset drinks: scratch beach club and mirage sunset bar, coffee: coffee and thyme, beach club: scallywags beach club.

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bali eats... dinner

well here is my last food post for a little bit, to wrap up the three part series of great bali eateries for breakfast, lunch and dinner. i hope you have enjoyed these suggestions and that they assist you on where to eat on your holiday/ weekend trip or even if your an expat looking for new spots to frequent.

dinner would absolutely have to be my favourite meal of the day, period. i love spending time choosing a cuisine, a restaurant and am usually able to pop in somewhere for drinks either before or after. by doing this, i am usually able to tick a few different spots off my list as well as have a cocktail (or two) before dinner. 

dinner

petitenget - one of my new favourite spots for b,l or dinner however dinner at this place is a real treat. the wine menu is just as extensive as the food menu, which is rare in bali. wine is a commodity (seriously a $4 bottle of wine in australia runs for around $25 here) so its a real treat. the homemade pasta will blow your mind and the great thing about petitenget is that they will often send small tasters free of charge in between courses. (pic 1 below)

la baracca - this is one of my go to spots for a cracking pizza. the simple pizzas are very similar to what you will find in europe. minimal toppings but great quality. my go-to is certainly their proscuitto pizza with rocket. i will admit, i do even go-jek this place if i'm swimming in the pool and cant be bothered leaving the villa. 

motel mexicola - a firm fav for tourists and expats alike however its certainly over rated but is a go-to if on your first trip to bali and want to get into the mix. the vibe here is great. the staff and the music are both fantastic. the mexican is good but over priced for what it is. book in advance. 

hanks pizza -  a real expat spot, this place is great on a thursday night for drinks, pizza and some good live local talent. this place is known for its mean cocktails and also gets a bit crazy later in the evening. its a great spot to get a little loose before a night out. 

watercress - the food here is always colourful, fresh, healthy, seasonal and fresh. its worth booking in here if you are staying in north seminyak or petitenget for a consistent, well priced dinner spot. 

saigon street - vietnamese that will blow your mind. this is a great spot if you are either at the w hotel or potato head for sunset cocktails. all you have to do is walk across the road and you'll think you are in a groovy little spot in ho chi minh city. everything on the menu is good. strike that. fantastic. another plus here is that they serve champagne by the glass, another rarity in bali. (pic 2 below).

the butchers club - oh em gee. i heard about this place from a few of the girls at the gym. go figure given that you would have to work out for seven hours to work off these cheese burgers, duck fat chips and blue cheese salad. this place is the bomb. a real treat but worth every bloody mouthful. 

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desert wanderings in dubai...

a quick work trip to the middle east last week saw us battle a few different obstacles. not only were we contending with a the horrible strain of the flu, working like busy bees and watching a sand storm roll in, but given that duabi only receives rain five days per year and we saw three days of it, this whirl wind trip was a bit, strike that, a lot - chaotic. we did however get a chance to head out on a luxury dinner safari with heritage tours one night to snap the below pics. enjoy. 

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