MELBOURNE FOR THE LONG WEEKEND

During the long Easter weekend break Li-Zen, Vinh and I decided to visit Melbourne. Jaguar was kind enough to offer us a vehicle for our journey down south. The Jaguar F-PACE is a performance crossover for those who love driving, with unrivalled dynamics and everyday usability. 

The all-new F-PACE seats five passengers in absolute comfort. The interior is a perfect blend of premium materials and finishes, exquisite detailing, luxuries such as heated, electrically-reclining rear seats. Vinh and Li were able to sleep quite comfortably for the eight hour drive! ;) 

Another great feature was the Supercharged V6 engine as it made the long drive much more thrilling along the  scenic coastal drive of Melbourne! A special thank you to Jaguar Australia for such a great trip.

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

VISIT

Image by: Li-Zen Pan

Image by: Li-Zen Pan

Make sure to hit up St. Ali Coffee Roasters whilst in Melbourne. We dropped by for a quick breakfast. I tried the Mexican corn fritters but the coffee was the absolute highlight for me! 

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

Great Ocean Road

Image by: Vinh Pham

Image by: Vinh Pham

We took a full day to drive on the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to the Twelve Apostles! I would highly recommend making a stop at Lock Ark Gorge for an amazing view. As you get closer to the 12 Apostles you will start to see little helicopters flying around. Ample parking is available. Walking across to the viewing platforms to see some of the worlds amazing natural features, albeit natural erosion. You are truly able to appreciate the beauty of mother nature! 

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

Image by: Li-Chi Pan

Image by: Li-Zen Pan

Image by: Li-Zen Pan

Image by: Vinh Pham

Image by: Vinh Pham

STAY

St Jerome's Rooftop Hotel

From the moment you walk inside St Jerome's you feel so welcomed and at home. The staff are so friendly and helpful. Once you settle into your tent there are so many things that you can do at this rooftop hotel that there's no reason for you to leave. And why would you want to leave when you get such an amazing view of the Melbourne CBD? ;)

The free treats upon arrival, complimentary ice-cream and free cocktail are all lovely touches to the hotel. Breakfast was delivered to our tent along with complimentary warm drinks. The tents are chic, cosy and well heated. We were required to share a bathroom with 2 other tents.

Nevertheless, a very unique and novel concept in the heart of Melbourne City. Would highly recommend!

Image by: Vinh Pham

Image by: Vinh Pham

MELBOURNE BACK TO SYDNEY

Image by: Vinh Pham

Image by: Vinh Pham

Image by: Vinh Pham

Image by: Vinh Pham

GLIDER KS CAFE

I decided to drop by Glider cafe located on the food haven that is Kensington Street. I've always loved this quaint and charismatic space - it's the perfect spot to drop by for a quick coffee or to work in. With its minimal, gold accents and intricate tableware it's hard not to fall in love with this charming, little cafe.

I was lucky enough to meet Anthony upon entering the cafe- who shied away from the camera. However, I managed to sneak in some behind-the-scenes shots whilst he was making coffee and was pleasantly surprised to learn that he was the current owner of the cafe. Anthony developed several Thai-inspired dishes with his wife.
The extensive menu offers some extremely beautifully plated dishes from the Thai Milk tea French toast to the Kimchi Chicken burger. There are both savoury and sweet dishes for all. Looking forward to trying more of this menu! Thank you again for having us.

1) How did you get into the café business? What inspired you to get involved?

Working as barista for 15years, cafe always been my second home, maybe I spend more time behind  coffee machine then my bed. So, of causes I have strong passion for coffee but always inspired by customers friends family who enjoys my service.

2) How did you get kick started in the coffee business?

Collecting ideas by talking to customers. Try to understand current trend by traveling and reading. Good opportunity came and I caught it straight away. Without thinking to much.

3) What would a normal day look like for you?

I wake up early and sleep late, I don't know because it's coffee but I can function perfect with out much sleep. Nowadays I spend most of my day documenting ideas and next plan, reading books about coffee plantation.

4) Why Sydney? What draws you to the Sydney coffee & food scene?

Being multicultural city like Sydney, gives you great opportunities to enjoy different types coffee and food with in short travel distance. I always wanted Asian infused food with great cup of coffee served under same hood. I know that lot of them tried and fail. I will make that happen in Sydney.

5) The food at your cafe is incredible! Who comes up with beautiful, picture perfect (or should I say Instagram worthy) dishes? 

Aren't we all like to be unique but not too much? Lucky that I had chance to travel around the world, my normal thinking and seeing things bit different from others. I give my ideas to my chef and he makes it happen. He hates it sometimes and but most of time he loves the out come.

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6) Do you have any advice for people who are looking at starting or running their own business?

Keep in mind that your business should support your life and your life style not the other way around. Knowing but not doing and Not knowing at all is different. Let's know about it and let's do it!


Photography: Li-Chi Pan & Vinh Pham

ABOUT

Address
26 Kensington Street
Chippendale NSW 2008


Phone
 0401 438 883

DO Indulge with PANDORA

 

As the morning light creeps into my room and gently casts a shadow onto my white linen sheets, I glance over at my breakfast tray. A cup of warm, black coffee and generous bowl of homemade granola draped with red raspberries and fresh milk awaits me. It's the little quiet moments like these which I value so deeply. Pleasure is not a luxury, but a profound psychological need. 

We get so caught up with the chaos of our daily lives that we often forget to take a moment to appreciate the little things. Like a beautiful bouquet of fresh peonies from the flower markets or a good cup of homemade black coffee. Learn to love and embrace your flaws and imperfections and be confident with who you are, because you are perfect.    

I was lucky enough to have been invited to be a part of PANDORA Jewellery’s new campaign: #DoPANDORA. This campaign helps women express the fact that jewellery (PANDORA) isn't merely a 'fashion statement' nor an 'object of desire' but a symbol of something much bigger. PANDORA inspires a new strength and determination to be honest about who you are and what life means to you -  like PANDORA itself - sharing ideals of social and environmental responsibilities.. The DO PANDORA campaign celebrates this and brings this ethos to the forefront.  

Self love helps mould us into greater versions of ourselves. Believe in yourself a little more and take a moment to indulge once in a while -- you deserve it. 

To view the PANDORA DO campaign and the new season collection, visit www.pandora.net.

#DOPANDORA

#DOPANDORA 

JEWELLERY : PANDORA

Jewellery can be purchased here

PHOTOGRAPHY: VINH PHAM

HONG KONG TRAVEL DIARY

Just dropping in with a quick update from my latest trip to Hong Kong. Despite having visited this city before, it was a little different this time round, as I was travelling with my best friend. Travelling with your significant other is an acquired skill! Haha! ;)

Upon our arrival in Hong Kong we found ourselves stripped of our 9 to 5 jobs, social commitments, gym memberships and all of our other day to day distractions which normally would have allowed us to have time apart. I felt pretty lucky to explore all of the local Hong Kong eateries with Vinh. He'd visited not too long ago - and was excited to show me a side of Hong Kong which I had never experienced. From eating the best beef brisket at a small local joint to queuing up for the best pineapple buns and roast goose in town - I was astounded at how incredible the food scene was in Hong Kong! 

Check out my travel tips below on a quick guide during my short stay in HK!

WHERE TO STAY

ISLAND SHANGRI-LA, HONG KONG

This is a hotel that just works with its charming staff, efficient operations and luxurious rooms. The excellent location with direct access to the Pacific Place mall is a bit of an added bonus too! The nearby gardens are a real oasis and a great place to relax in what is a very busy and dynamic environment. Another highlight of this hotel is that It is really close to the Peak railway station.

A special mention to the brilliant breakfast service! I couldn't help myself to a beautiful breakfast in bed spread! I ordered a western and asian breakfast spread for Vinh and I and we were was absolutely amazed at how delicious both meals were!

Shangri-La Island also kindly arranged my transport to and from the airport to the hotel. The drivers were all so professional. I'll really miss my stay at this beautiful hotel and look forward to being back soon! 
 

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ISLAND SHANGRI-LA DETAILS:

Address: Pacific Place, Supreme Ct Rd, Central, Hong Kong

Phone: +852 2877 3838

Website: Click Here

VISIT 

EAT

PHOTOGRAPHY : LICHI PAN & VINH PHAM

500 000!

Over the moon to have reached 500, 000 followers on Instagram this week! I had to blink twice when I saw the follower count hit half a million. It seriously feels as if it were only yesterday when I decided to start up my little blog and Instagram account as a means to stay in touch with family & friends back in South Africa. Little did I think that this platform would lead me to so many incredible opportunities, lifelong friendships as well as a supportive community of like minded people from all around the world.

I decided to throw an intimate dinner celebration at Bistro Remy for reaching this new milestone. Bistro Remy is located in the incredibly chic Langham Hotel and was the perfect venue for my dinner party. The Langham always feels like home, and I can't seem to think of any other hotel which comes close to it - no matter how many stars they may boast.

Nothing is ever too much trouble for the hospitable staff and they are always so attentive and gracious. I can't fault the food nor drinks and I am so grateful that the staff took such great care of my guests. Having worked closely with Zoe, Emma & Elizabeth to bring together the entire setup I couldn't help but feel so proud that it all came together so seamlessly. On the night of the dinner party I was rather relived that the planning part was over and glad that I could finally enjoy the evening with some of my closest friends and family.

P.s a special thank you to the lovely girls at MAXCONNECTORS for managing me as well as my family for being the best cheerleading squad a gal could ever ask for! I'm truly touched by all the supportive comments and likes on the daily. 

@littleconfettilove

@littleconfettilove

@seedflora

@seedflora

@balloon.saloon

@balloon.saloon

@littleconfettilove

@littleconfettilove

@littleconfettilove

@littleconfettilove

@bv_sydney / @dulcetcakessweets / @incredibleflowercakes

@bv_sydney / @dulcetcakessweets / @incredibleflowercakes

@incredibleflowercakes

@incredibleflowercakes

@balloon.saloon

@balloon.saloon

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PHOTOGRAPHY: CHRISTINA GUO / VINH PHAM / LI CHI PAN


SUPPLIERS

A huge thank you to the suppliers of my event. I couldn't have done it without you all. I am so grateful and appreciative for your support.

SEED FLORA
Providing: Flowers for dining table and dessert table TAGS
@seedflora

INCREDIBLE FLOWER CAKES
Providing: Cakes for dessert table
TAGS
@incredibleflowercakes #incredibleflowercakes

BLACK VELVET SYDNEY
Providing: Cakes for dessert table TAGS
@bv_sydney

DULCET CAKES & SWEETS
Providing: Cakes for dessert table
@dulcetcakessweets

BALLOON SALOON
Providing: Large confetti balloons TAGS
@balloon.saloon

LITTLE CONFETTI LOVE
Providing: Place cards, menus and cake toppers TAGS
@littleconfettilove #LittleConfettiLove


Address : Bistro Remy

Address: 89-113 Kent St, Millers Point NSW 2000

Phone:(02) 9256 2222

THE LANGHAM SYDNEY

I decided to book a weekend away at the Langham and couldn't have asked for a more calming and relaxing stay. Having planned an intimate dinner party at Bistro Remy, I thought that it was only fitting that I book a night's stay so that it would be convenient after a long night out. 

Located on the quaint and quiet streets away from the hustle and bustle of the city is the Langham hotel. Being a mere 15 minute walk away from Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House as well as the Harbour Bridge, the hotel is located in a prime location. Voted one of the top 100 hotels in the World, the Langham is renowned for its impeccable service, comfort and cuisine. 

Upon checking in I was told that my room had been upgraded to the one bedroom suite. The room had sweeping views of the city skyline along with large open windows and a balcony. The room was a haven of plush and bespoke furnishings amidst white panelled walls and a high ceiling. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend away. Thank you for having me! I can't wait to be back.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Li-Chi Pan & Vinh Pham

ADDRESS: 89-113 Kent St,Millers Point, Sydney NSW 2000

Phone:  (02) 9256 2222


The New Kid on the Block

Vinh and I were invited to try Olio, a Sicilian restaurant headed by internationally acclaimed chef Lino Sauro within the Kensington Street precinct. We made our way up to the second floor of the newly restored Old Rum Store and had the pleasure of dining with Dr Stanley Quek. Dr Quek bought Kensington St in its entirety — 1830s workers’ cottages, abandoned warehouses — and appointed Chippendale gallery owner Nicky Ginsberg to be the street’s creative director.

Dr Quek is considered to be one of the most highly esteemed &influential property developers in the industry. Through his senior positions across Frasers Property Australia, Frasers Property UK & Region Development, Dr Quek has delivered a number of significant developments around the world. 

Dr Quek introduced us to Lino Sauro who has spent the last 35 years of his life cooking.  Born in Sicily and flying back and fourth between Singapore and Sydney Lino Sauro served us an incredibly tasty and authentic dinner menu. My favourite dishes from the evening included the risotto as well as all the beautifully plated seafood dishes. On the desserts front, the set menu reflects traditional Sicilian flavours with a strong focus on almonds. I'm not too sure how many more incredible chefs can Kensington snare! ;)

Bravo Lino Sauro, you didn't fail to astound us with your brilliant cooking! I will certainly be back for more. 

STARTERS

MAINS

DESSERT

Olio Kensington
Second floor, Old Rum Store, 10-12 Kensington Street ChippendaleOpen 7 Days for private functions from December 2016. Open to the public early 2017. 

http://www.olio.kensingtonstreet.com.au/

HERMÈS ON THE BEACH

The Hermès On The Beach event in Sydney’s Carriageworks this year was without a doubt one of the best events I have ever attended. The raw and rustic textures of Carriageworks was the backdrop into a private beach party. 

I remember glancing at the invite and noticed that the dress attire for the evening was stated as 'barefoot.' I was curious as to what Hermès had up their sleeves to this years grand beach event.

Dressed by Manning Cartel with a fitting Hermès bracelet to complete my outfit, the shoe concierge greeted me upon my arrival and kept my shoes safe and sound for me as I walked through a colourful graphic passageway before entering the main room greeted by whimsical art installations—floating inflatable seahorses, waiters dressed in vintage t-shirts, and a DJ situated on a diving board! The night truly left me in complete awe.

I was transported into a world of organised chaos and I can say that with complete confidence this event will be a hard one to top! What an absolutely perfect start to the year. 

Bravo Hermès. You did it, once again ;)! 

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PHOTOGRAPHY: LI-CHI PAN / VINH PHAM