15 October 2017

Suitcase. Marvelling At Marblehead, Massachusetts

It's quite funny how I came to be in Marblehead; a town which few outside of Massachusetts have actually heard of. It pretty much happened because of a finger-map scenario. You know, where you take a map and point to a random place. After being in Boston I knew I would have a few days before I needed to be down in New York and after looking at the state map Marblehead stuck out at me. After a little research, and discovering it was a historical fishing town with ample colonial homes, I was sold!

12 October 2017

Suitcase. 3 Days In Boston

With the end of September came the end of my European adventures, it was time to hop across the Atlantic to the US of A. First stop? Charming Boston. Of course I had heard many speak of the English influence in the New England region and I was keen to see it for myself.

8 October 2017

Style It. A Period Of Transition

My last days in London marked the first days of autumn. And where better to head on an autumnal day than Richmond Upon Thames? An undeniable favourite of mine that I’ve told you about before, you truly can’t beat this spot along the river bank.

5 October 2017

One Day. Belgravia Wanderings

I'm fairly certain that everyone who's ever lived in London would agree with me when I say that a home in Belgravia is life goals. Possibly London's most elegant suburb, each street oozes sophistication and style.

3 October 2017

One Day. Picnicing In Regent's Park

Returning to London after the European sun, there was a noticeable autumnal snap in the air; the kind that calls for you to abandon your skirts and dresses in favour of something a little cosier. Whilst the air was crisp, the sun was bright, so I figured, what better day for a picnic?...

1 October 2017

Suitcase. Bologna & Modena, Italy

By the time we'd wrapped up in Sicily, I'm fairly certain the 4 of us had eaten enough to feed a family of 10... But oh what trouble I was in because where was I off to next? Bologna and Modena - only Italy's food capitals. But my, it certainly was heavenly...

28 September 2017

Suitcase. Sunseeking In Sicily - Part 2

We quickly discovered that the more we explored Sicily, the more we fell in love. Whilst completely enamoured with our little town of Castellammare del Golfo, each new place we visited, also stole our hearts.

24 September 2017

Suitcase. Sunseeking In Sicily - Part 1

From fields of lavender to unlimited gelato. After Provence I made my way over to sunny Sicily in the south; you know, the rock that is kicked by Italy's famous boot! Having travelled solo for a week, it was time for a trip with friends, I met 3 of my best on this wonderful island and so the adventures began...

21 September 2017

Suitcase. Provence: Fontaine De Vaucluse, L'Isle Sur La Sorgue & Eygalieres

With quiet sadness, I woke to my last day in stunning Provence. I honestly think you could easily pack up your life and spend 3-6 months living here. I know I could. It really is a region that celebrates all of life's little pleasures; good food, great wine, rendezvous with friends, expansive rolling hills... I would say Provence is good for the soul.

17 September 2017

Suitcase. Provence: St Saturnin Les Apt, Roussillon & Goult

Day three arrived and I headed east to St Saturnin Les Apt to check out their local market. This old town is brimming with personality; like a wise grandparent who, despite their age, still oozes style.

14 September 2017

Suitcase. Provence: Bonnieux, Lacoste, Oppede & Menerbes

Should you find yourself in Provence, then you simply must get a car. There is so much ground to cover, so many towns to visit, you'd be remiss not to take full advantage. The great thing about the region is that each of the towns are relatively close to each other but they all boast their own personality.

13 September 2017

Suitcase. Provence: Le Mas Des Etoiles, Gordes

It is rare that you can travel to a country on the other side of the world and yet still feel as though you are being welcomed by family. Well. It happened to me in Provence.

Rewind to last week and my adventure began in Avignon. After collecting my hire car I hit the winding country roads, heading for a spot on the outskirts of Gordes - Le Mas Des Etoiles. My home for the week.

31 August 2017

Suitcase. Upton House & Garden, Warwickshire

Should you find yourself in Warwickshire anytime soon, then I have a place to share!... It's full of history, offers a delightful tearoom and did I mention how beautiful it is?...

27 August 2017

One Day. A London Love Affair

I paused on the first sentence of this blog post for a long time before I started writing it. Why? Because it's about London, and like all things you really, truly care about, it's always hard to express your feelings with mere words. My love affair with this city is no different.

24 August 2017

Suitcase. A Whitstable Weekend

Let's be honest. We're pretty spoilt for beaches in Australia but that didn't mean I didn't snap up the opportunity to head to the British seaside whilst I'm here. Having already done the southern coast around Brighton, this time a trip out to the east was in order. Where? Whistable of course!

20 August 2017

Suitcase. Coppa Club + London Eye

After crashing hard and fast due to lack of sleep on my first day in town, by the next morning I was chomping at the bit to get out and explore my old stomping ground. The sense of familiarity even after being away a year is so incredibly overwhelming for me here in London. It really does feel like no time has passed at all. That I never left. That I still live here. That all is just as it was before.

That obviously means I'm home which is a comforting feeling.

18 August 2017

Suitcase. A Singapore Stopover

I’d never been to Asia…. Until now. First stop on the adventure was a convenient stopover in Singapore. Having always done 24hr long hauls all in one go, I’m not sure why I’d never stopped-over before… it turned out to be a fantastic idea.

14 August 2017

One Day. Looking Forward...

Just a quick one today. I'm writing this over the ocean, somewhere between Australia and Asia, thrilled at the prospect of a new adventure. Those beside me are busy watching movies and no doubt secretly frowning at my furiously, loud typing. But I don't mind.

10 August 2017

Must Have. Warm Weather Must Haves

For those of you who haven't seen my Instagram stories of late, you may not know that Pearls of Style is off on a round the world adventure. I can't tell you how excited I am to do some jetsetting - the idea of going travelling again just brings me such joy; a way to invite change, provoke curiosity and see the beauty in everything with fresh eyes.

Throughout August, September and October I'll be travelling around Europe and America which means I'll be escaping the tail-end of winter here in Oz and heading for summer/autumn in the north. Accordingly, a warm weather wardrobe is in order! Check out my top picks and click to shop...

6 August 2017

Eat Me. Eleonore's Chateau Yering, Yarra Valley

I hope you’re not too hungry because this post is sure to tantalise your tastebuds… Ready? OK.

Whilst in the Yarra Valley we had the pleasure of dining at Eleonore’s at Chateau Yering; well-renowned for its fine cuisine. Before we even sat down to the try the food I fell in love. The dining room is like something from a periodic movie. Long and lean with windows either side, fine china and white tablecloths, I half expected to find The Queen at the other end. Much to my disappointment, I didn’t.

3 August 2017

Suitcase. Historical Charm At Chateau Yering

Undoubtedly, my favourite part of my time spent living in Europe was the abundant historical significance. Every town, every building, every culture had an incredible story to share. In Australia, that history is harder to find. But when you do stumble across it, boy is it wonderful.

30 July 2017

One Day. Exploring Yarra Valley With BMW

Growing up in a family associated with the car business, I’ve had the opportunity to drive many vehicles in my time. Some good, some bad, some even requiring a push start, but that’s another story… One thing’s for certain [and a surprise to many people], I’m definitely a bit of a rev head. I LOVE a good set of wheels. It makes every excursion like a little adventure.

27 July 2017

Suitcase. Relaxation In Port Douglas - Niramaya

I find it hard to relax. I’ve been blessed [or some might say cursed] with one of those minds that just never stops. I’ve tried meditation and yoga… but whilst I’m supposed to be breathing deep and clearing my head, my mind always seems to trail off on its own – deep breath, ooh what’s that smell? Incense? Perhaps Sandlewood. It’s lovely. I really must buy more scented candles for home, particularly before my friends come for dinner on Saturday. Speaking of, I need to do the grocery shopping. Now, what will I make for dessert?…

23 July 2017

Suitcase. Discovering The Daintree

Growing up on the Gold Coast, I felt rather familiar with the rainforest as we would often go for walks at Springbrook or Mount Tambourine. Naturally, the Daintree was high on my list so we spent a full day exploring the tropics whilst in Port Douglas.

20 July 2017

Suitcase. Totally Tropical – A Week in Port Douglas

If you’ve been following my Instagram this past week, no doubt you would have seen that I traded in chilly, raining Melbourne for a taste of the tropics. Who can blame me? After a nasty bout of laryngitis that completely stole my voice (I was OK with not being able to speak but my inability to sing in the shower really got me down!), I was more than ready for some sunshine and humidity. Despite growing up in Queensland, the northern region of the state is virtually unknown to me. Having never visited Port Douglas before, I decided it was time to see it for myself.

We stepped off the plane to a welcome blast of 27degree heat and made a beeline for our hotel – The Sheraton Grand Mirage. With a recent renovation, this 30 year old property is spectacular.

This new blue bikini is a total steal from Zaful, but I've also popped some alternatives below.

Boasting more than 20 hectares of ungated pools, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere – it really is a sight to behold. The beach waves lap in the background whilst the palm trees rustle from above. Each day I walked the gardens, falling particularly in love with the striking red lipstick palms.

Life has a slow pace up here, which is exactly what we desired. Other than a journey out to the reef and a day exploring the Daintree, we spent much of our time wandering the beach or poolside, devouring our books.

This series of books is a particular goodie – I honestly couldn’t put them down.

The town of Port Douglas itself is sleepy and quaint. Its main street Macrossan is dotted with boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Venture all the way to the end and you’ll find the marina, Rex Smeal Park and the charming St Mary’s By The Sea. This church was originally built in the late 1800’s and suffered several beatings thanks to tropical cyclones. Nevertheless, the locals caringly rebuilt it each time, restoring her to her former glory.

If you’re in town of a weekend, be sure to take a trip down to the docks and pick up some seafood fresh off the trawler. We enjoyed some delicious prawns, oysters and scallops. This town is seafood heaven.

A venture up the hill to the lookout is also well worth it. You’ll find a clear view down the coastline where the reef meets the rainforest.

With an abundance of food, wine, salt air and swimming, Port Douglas truly is good for the soul. Most days we woke to the calls of the Kookaburras and fell asleep to the soothing whispers of the waves. For this beach baby, it was heavenly.

Book your own stay at the Sheraton here.

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Photos by Krissie.

13 July 2017

Plate Up. Quick & Easy Chowder

"It is bloody cold."
I catch myself saying this to people a lot lately. People often think Australia doesn't really have a winter, but in Melbourne we certainly do. I was out late the other evening when the mercury hit -1. Brrrr.

Lucky I'm off to Port Douglas this week. My toes really need to thaw and, more importantly, I really need a tan. It's hard to believe it can still be 26 degrees in northern QLD at this time of year. To beat the chill back home, I've been busy whipping up all manner of hearty recipes, and this chowder has become a fast favourite.

Now I've never been to San Fran or Cape Cod - home to apparently some fantastic chowders which I can't wait to try, but I must say that I'd hazard a guess that this humble little recipe would do pretty well to compare.

What you'll need (serves 4)
Olive oil
a small bunch spring onions, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
kernels of 2 corn cobs (use a knife to gently slice them off)
1 sprig fresh thyme
750ml chicken stock
400g your preferred white fish (you can really use anything, I opted for budget-friendly basa)
150ml cream

What to do
Take a large saucepan and heat your oil on the stove. Add in the spring onions and potatoes, seasoning well. Ensure you're stirring them, otherwise they tend to stick. Cook for about 5mins. Add in your corn kernels, then your thyme and stock. Lay your fish in as a whole and pop the lid on. Leave to cook for 15-20mins or until the potato feels tender. Then add the cream and pop the lid back on, cooking for a further 5mins.

Time to serve. It really is impossibly simple, isn't it? A great one-pot dish. Use a ladle to gently break up the fish and spoon into bowls. Serve with fresh bread or toast.

See, you're warmer already aren't you?...

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Photos by Krissie.

9 July 2017

Eat Me. Tacocat, Windsor

Friday nights are my favourite night to go out. Everyone's happy, they're in celebrate-weekend mode, and possibly the best side effect of going out on a Friday eve, is that the weekend seems so much longer!

Now that a couple of my London bestie's have moved to town we've been busy hopping from hotspot to hotspot- drinks... dinner... both!... Last weekend we stumbled upon a relatively new addition to the Melbourne foodie scene in Windsor - Tacocat. Interestingly enough it's spelt the same backwards - your brain just said 'woah' didn't it?

This spot is great if you love margaritas, plus it serves up some pretty tasty little morsels as well, all with a Mexican-fusion vibe. With a menu inspired by the owner's world travels, there is everything from corn on the cob to grasshopper tacos (for those who are really game! And no, that's not me.).

We kicked things off with the ceviche tostada - super light and refreshing with melt-in-the-mouth fish. One of my favourites to order when eating this style of food...

Before digging into a selection of tacos including pork and crackling, Japanese fried chicken and soft shell crab. Told you, it's a worldly menu!

Then just when you think you can't stuff in anymore, you can try their signature dessert. A deep fried tequila shot. Don't worry, it's not as wacky as it sounds. They haven't found a way to solidify tequila and fry it, instead it's soaked sponge that's been battered and fried til golden. The accompanying lemon sorbet is the chaser. Smart.

I guess I might see you there for Friday night margaritas! Walk on in during the week but best to book on weekends.

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Photos by Krissie.