TRAVEL + DESTINATION GUIDE
What are your favourite spots in Melbourne to eat, shop, drink and explore? Such a tough question!! Melbourne has the most restaurants and cafes per capita in the world so we’re spoiled for choice. I can’t go past my little Windsor neighbourhood, it’s such an amazing eclectic mix of eateries, shops and people. In Windsor – for dinner go to Saigon Sally, for coffee go to School of 7 Bells, and for a drink head to the Woods of Windsor.
What are your top three holiday destinations and why?
Italy – the people, the flavours, the history.
Santorini – the magic, the beauty, the vibe.
Egypt – I haven’t been yet, but I’ve always been obsessed with all things Ancient Egypt.
What have been some of your most memorable dining experiences while travelling? Eating “meat-fruit” at Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner in London, oysters at the Whistable Oyster Festival, lemon gelato in Vernazza, eating pizza whilst overlooking the square where Julius Caesar was assassinated in Rome, giant zucchini flowers in Tuscany, dining in a tiny restaurant in a cave by the sea in Santorini – but my most memorable, was a home-cooked dinner in Italy. Whilst at a cooking school just out of a little Tuscan town called Poppi, one of the teachers from the school and her husband took me out one night to a true Italian family dinner with their closest friends. As soon as we arrived – bang - there was pasta on the table, noise and laughter and clashing plates, Nonna was in the corner, and most of them spoke about as much English as I did Italian – which was very little. But somehow, whilst sharing a very steady and ample stream of home-cooked Italian food from the heart, we found a way to understand each other. That’s one of the things I love the most about food – it’s an experience, it’s a way to understand each other and where we come from. After dinner we all drank grappa and danced in the kitchen, even Nonna. It was magical!
Top 3 items to take on any travel adventure.
A device with an internet connection. Hear me out. As much as it irked me to see lots of travellers in Europe literally consumed by their phones and tablets in the most remarkable locations, I think they have their vital uses in small doses whilst travelling. Having access to maps on my phone saved me a number of times from becoming completely lost, plus it was great to have an easily accessible camera on my if I wanted to snap a moment quickly.
Face wipes. Get them in your carry-on bag. Super-good for long haul flights with a stopover in the middle. They’re a great way to freshen up and feel like you’ve had a mini-shower! Plus, they’re good for spills and cleaning your hands on the fly.
An open mind. Travelling never goes exactly as you planned. I think it’s really important to be flexible and go with the flow when travelling, because sometimes when things don’t go to plan - often you end up being guided towards a situation that’s completely surprising and perhaps even better!
What is the best advice you have ever been given? A few years ago when I was tossing up whether to move from NZ to Australia, a friend said to me – “I think you should do what scares you the most”. He was spot on, and so I did. I moved to Melbourne and I fell in love with this city, and I’ve created things here that I know I wouldn’t have back home. I think sometimes the fear we feel is like a compass pointing to growth. You can choose to stay where you are, or you can choose to step into your fear and grow – which sometimes can be scary, and in some situations I still fail at it completely - but really, it’s entirely necessary.
Favourite quote? It’s not so much of a quote – it’s more of a question: “What would you do if you know you couldn’t fail?”. I think it’s always a good one to ask yourself to check in and see if you’re really doing what you want to be doing. If you know you can’t fail, all fear is subtracted from the equation and you’re left with your raw dream or desire. It’s a powerful question!