3 fine dinners, Mrs R’s Braid Bar and the hottest chips I’ve ever eaten

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 1 title

Well it looks like the autumn is well under way finally. I don’t know about you but we’ve seen a marked change in the weather this week.

The plus side to the chill factor is it’s spurred us on to make more travel plans to warmer places. Looks like a jaunt to SE Asia is on the cards in the next 8 weeks or so, which will be very welcome.

In the meantime, Mrs Romance and I will be using the cooler weather as a good excuse to snuggle up and look into the purchase of an electric blanket! We wrote about how to max out your bed’s comfy factor a while back… think we’ll have to revisit some of these ideas!

Anyway, we hope you enjoy the latest edition of our Instagram Diary and travel recap.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 2 dinner with Handpicked at Lot 1

Tonight we’re out with the lovely ladies from Handpicked Wines. Handpicked is a truly unique Australian winery. They produce amazing wine by travelling the world and sourcing the best fruit from regions that produce the best wines.

Apart from their own vineyards here in Australia, they also have partnerships with growers across the globe, which makes their wine literally international.

Anyway, we’re catching up with the lovely Annie and Imogen for dinner at Lot 1 (sadly no longer in business) – a new bar and restaurant we haven’t been to before right in the heart of Sydney CBD.

Of course, they stock Handpicked Wine here – the Rosé and the Pinot Noir – which are both excellent.

Lot 1 is a superb dining experience with impeccable service and an excellent choice for dinner or drinks with good friends – or a romantic meal of course! I was really very impressed with this place.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 2a Braid Bar

Mrs Romance is running her latest Braid Bar today in her Hair Romance capacity. It’s a new concept we’re trying where we invite parents to bring their daughters and learn how to braid their hair.

It’s such a good idea of Mrs R’s. It’s a great opportunity to connect with your little girl and have that time before school or before you go out – or even just to practise and have fun – and she’ll end up with some really cool hair too. Double win!

Today’s workshop is in Little Lane Workshops in Brookvale – a beautiful space that’s pretty much Instagram heaven.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - Hair Romance braid bar - Zara

This is Zara, a close friend of the family and Mrs Romance’s hair model for today. She’s sporting one of the many styles Mrs Romance has taught at today’s braiding class. Clever, huh?

Mr & Mrs Romance - Italy to France - title & feature

Today we’re sharing our tips on travelling through Europe. When we were there last, Mrs Romance and I deliberated on how we’d get from Italy to the South of France without spending over budget on transport.

Car hire is surprisingly expensive when you cross borders and are only going one way, flights were ridiculous, so we decided to try rail.

Here’s what we found as we explored the Riviera by train.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 3 dinner with Lipstick at Via Napoli

We’re out to dinner tonight with our lovely mate Steph from Lipstick and Cake. We’re at Via Napoli for a good ol’ Italian feast – and that’s exactly what we’ve got!

Look at this antipasti platter! Just for a quick rundown from bottom left to top right:

  • eggplant parmigiana (melanzane parmigiana, of course)
  • scallops wrapped in crispy prosciutto in a gorgonzola sauce (my favourite)
  • a prosciutto, fig and gorgonzola plate
  • tender calamari with aoli
  • enormous zucchini fritters stuffed with ricotta
  • grilled baby octopus in a marinara sauce.

Yes, that’s just for three of us. And then we’re ordering pizza. Don’t judge – just applaud.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 4 negroni

There’s nothing quite like a knock-off negroni – and by that I mean a negroni at the end of the day, not a fake one! I’ve used the beautiful oak-aged gin from McHenry in Port Arthur, Tasmania here. Absolutely superb drop!

If you’re not sure what’s in a negroni, here’s our write-up.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Japan escape - 1 title

Today we’re sharing our experiences in Japan. We loved our time there and if you’re thinking of going, stop thinking and do it. It’s amazing.

However, one thing we found was that, although the big cities like Tokyo are mind-blowing – and they really are – getting out into the Japanese countryside lets you discover a whole new side to the country.

Here’s what we found on our Escape from Tokyo.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 5 Opera House

We’re heading into the city tonight to celebrate our good friend Pete’s birthday. It’s a dark night, but it’s made the Opera House look amazing. I love how it just glows like that.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 6 Mr Wongs

The birthday dinner is at Mr Wong’s, which is another reason why Pete is such a good mate: he has great taste! We love Mr Wong’s, and if you haven’t been here, you have to find a way to go – even if you live on the other side of the world.

The service is beyond reproach and the food is g-astronomical. Little joke there. We’re on the last of the wine after feeding our faces for about 2 hours and we’re fuller than we’ve ever felt. It’s wonderful!

A word of warning when you’re looking at coming here: reservations can only be made if there are 8 or more of you – or (and this is my favourite insider trick) if you’re staying at the Establishment Hotel. Reception will book you a table even if it’s just you on your own.

Otherwise you have to come and hope to luck. Or wait!

To be honest, I think it’s better if there’s a lot of you – it means you can try more of the incredible menu!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 9 AB hot chips!

My parting comment – before we start on the weekly travel recap – comes from my Insta-ego Angry Bastard. You may know of him.

These habanero potato chips are the hottest crisps I’ve ever eaten. They’re amazing. They gave me chilli hiccups twice! I had to take about 4 breaks before I finished the packet (f course I finished it. Never say die – especially when your vocal cords have been melted).

Try these at your peril!

This week’s travel recap

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 10 Cook Islands

This has to be the most incredible beach in the world. I can’t imagine a more beautiful one. It’s just stunning. This is from our time in Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, where Mrs Romance and I got engaged.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 11 bikes in Manhattan plus Mrs R

Why are bicycles so damn Instagrammable? This was in the West Village when Mrs Romance was in Manhattan the first time. Can you see her?!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 12 Central Park

The views around Central Park in NYC are always stunning – but from the top of Belvedere Castle, it’s even better. Love the contrast of Turtle Pond and the cityscape behind.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 13 Paris

It’s been too long since Mrs Romance and I have been in Paris… but we say that every time we leave. Can’t get enough of this wonderful city.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 14 pool at Hayman Island

Mrs Romance has been to Hayman Island. Without me. How’s that even legal? It’s one of the most exclusive spots in Australia, and with a pool like this, I can see why. Just waiting now for Mrs R to take me there!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 15 Tudor house in England

One thing I love seeing when I go back to England are the old Tudor buildings. It’s funny – when I lived there, I didn’t really take much notice. And growing up around all that incredible history, you take it for granted.

Now when I’m back there, I just walk around pointing. It’s amazing that people are still living in these 500+ year-old houses that look like they’re about to fall over.

Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed our Instagram Diary and travel recap this week. There’s certainly been plenty to talk about!

And now it’s over to you. How’s your week been? Did you over-eat at any point? Have you tried the Blair’s Death Rain Habanero Pepper Chips? Tell us in the comments!

Images by Mr and Mrs Romance via Instagram: @MrAndMrsRomance, @HairRomance, @Christina.Butcher – Mrs R’s Insta account and @AngryBastard of course!


  • Reply April 18, 2016


    I think it’s been way too long since I’ve been featured in one of these. I miss both your faces.

    • Reply April 19, 2016

      Mr Romance

      It has been too long, hasn’t it, Smags? I think it’s time we went for another drink again soon. I wonder if we’ll be able to see you before May…?

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