Friday, October 2, 2015

The Burrows at Berry

We recently had lunch at The Burrows at Berry on the NSW South Coast. We'd attempted to go there a few times previously but it had always been full.The decor is quite industrial/vintage/up-cycled, with some lovely mid century lounge chairs upholstered in a check fabric. I particularly like the grey wainscoting, industrial lighting and found objects such as old books:

The food was amazing: a mezze plate with homemade dips and flatbread, polenta donuts and salmon:

I just love this charcoal spindle back settee:

And this shelf looks like it's straight from a French farmhouse scullery:

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Boathouse Then and Now

I recently found some pics on the internet of our new house, which we call The Boathouse to distinguish it from the Boatshed, at the time the previous owners bought it in 2009. I don't think it had been updated since the 80s. Fortunately the people we bought it from had gently coaxed it into the twenty-first century with a whole lot of white paint, new flooring, and new French doors and windows along the water side. This is the living area looking out to the water, as it was in 2009:

This is the same room now, looking back from the water:

Here is the waterside end of the room in 2009:

This is the other end of the same alcove as it is now:

Here is the main bedroom then:

And now:

The kitchen is largely the same as it was. I painted the cupboards and tile border in white, and we put up a plate rack we had in our previous house. Hopefully a new kitchen is not too far away:

This is the waterside veranda as it was:

And as it is now:

This has been achieved with a lot of time but very little money. The furniture and decorative items are all pre-loved, largely from op shops or Ikea, with a couple of splurges like the Blacklist wall flag, and Pony Rider and Ourlieu cushions. I made a lot of the curtains and cushion covers, and painted a whole lot of furniture that needed updating.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hotel Palisade

On our last trip to Sydney, we stopped in at Hotel Palisade at The Rocks. It's been recently restored with lovely interiors by Sibella Court:

Some favourites on the menu were the Cauliflower Mac n Cheese, and the Soup and Toastie:

This review on the AGFG website terms it the most beautiful pub in Sydney, and with touches like this I wouldn't disagree:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Op Shop Hang

Recently we've heard via Vogue Living about the 'Halcyon Hang' at the beautiful Halcyon House at Cabarita on the NSW North Coast:

Images via Vogue Living

Also, the salon hang at Kate Spade's SoHo store is widely envied:

I've been having a go myself, using a selection of artworks found at op shops, combined with postcards I've framed. This group consists of water-themed artworks, such as a palm tree made from sea urchin spines, a John Derian anchor, a card from Navy in Manhattan, and covers from Penguin books, The Compleat Angler and Brighton Rock:

In a bedroom, I've hung a selection of paintings and prints of ships and boats:

In the image below are four random prints which seem to fit together well:

And, finally, a group of prints and paintings linked by the colour blue:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

10 Tastes of 2014

It's the time of year when lists are made. Last week there were Christmas gift lists, and soon it will be New Year's resolutions. We were fortunate enough to have a few trips away during 2014, during which we tried to cram in some food experiences we knew we couldn't get at home. So here, in no particular order, are 10 amazing things I've eaten this year:

1. Cronuts from Dominique Ansel Bakery. The cronut is a croissant-doughnut hybrid, which was launched on May 10, 2013. Each month has a different flavour. Ours was Morello Cherry with Toasted Almond Cream.  Since coming back to Australia, I've tried cronuts here, but they haven't come up to the standard of the original.

2. Ramen Burger from Smorgasburg in Brooklyn. Described as 'A fresh USDA Prime ground beef chuck patty sandwiched between two craftily formed buns made from freshly cut ramen noodles. Accompanied by a special shoyu glaze, concocted by Keizo Shimamoto himself, and choice market fresh vegetables.' The taste and texture of the succulent beef patty and noodle 'bun' was a truly memorable experience.

3. Rice Pudding from Mishkin's Deli, London. It had rhubarb in the base and was the ultimate comfort food. The presentation in the white enamel dish set it off.

4. The brisket bun with horseradish, pickled red onion, cucumber from Momofuko Noodle Bar, New York. 

5. A bit of everything from the menu at Ottolenghi in Upper St, Islington, London.

6. Something cooked by Rick Stein at a cooking demonstration at his restaurant at Bannister's, Mollymook. I think it was sashimi but who cares? It was Rick Stein!

7. Brunch at the Top of the Standard which is on the 18th floor of the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, New York. The food is great, as were these Eggs Benedict with scallops, but the view is even better.

8. The lobster roll at The Breslin restaurant at the Ace Hotel, New York.

9. Thanksgiving here at the boat shed. The candied yams were particularly amazing.

10. While technically still 2013, our New Year's Eve dinner at Kaspar's Seafood Bar and Grill at The Savoy in London was a high point. The menu began with this seafood feast.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Not Too Shabby and Extremely Chic

No matter how many other lovely design concepts and images I'm exposed to, I still love Shabby Chic. There's something about the way Rachel Ashwell takes things to a certain level of distressed, mismatched, crumpled, rumpled dishevelment, and just when you think it's about to go beyond what's aesthetically acceptable, she pulls it back to somewhere beautiful. Take her Texas ranch, The Prairie, for example. There's a lot of rusty corrugated iron, uneven stone flooring, log cabin walls, wagon wheels and deer antlers, not to mention purple velvet upholstery and way more florals than there should be this side of the Laura Ashley eighties. But after staying there for three nights, I can attest to some kind of alchemy at work there which gives it an ethereal beauty so that you never want to leave.

Take the aforementioned violet velvet three-piece setting. Here it is:

Once it's placed against a plain slip-covered chair, lamp and wall in various shades of white, it fills up the white space. In turn, the white is lifted and beautifully complemented by it.

Here is some rusty old iron at the entrance to the Ranger's Lounge:

The iron has developed its own patina with wonderful rich colours of oxblood and silver, and it offsets the ornateness of the white wrought iron chairs.

Again, here is the balance between distressed and opulent, with the gold and turquoise chair pared back by the peeling paint on the plain and simple cupboards:

In the Ladies' room, floral wallpaper is juxtaposed with corrugated iron on the walls, and it all makes complete sense:

While I'll probably never return there, I know that I can close my eyes anytime and remember the deep pleasure of lolling in one of these generous squishy sofas surrounded by sheer luxury and loveliness:

We stayed in Liliput Lodge, which has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, dining and living rooms. Here are the bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor:

And a couple of the upstairs rooms:

The Prairie is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been and I would thoroughly recommend a stay there. At once faded and opulent, gritty and glamorous, it weaves a spell which makes it difficult to leave. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quite a Transformation

I can't believe that it's been two years since I last blogged anything. So much has happened since then. Such as … I bought a house. Here are some pics of it in its original state, and after we finished working on it:

The Exterior:

The Bedroom:

The Living Room:

The Kitchen:

The Rear View:

There's also a detached bedroom which used to look like this:

But this is how it looks now:

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