It’s weird to think that this will be our last week in the country for a couple of weeks! That’s right, we’re packing our bags and heading for the skies. And about time, right? It’s been a while since we’ve been overseas – especially for Mrs Romance – so we’re really really excited about June!
Where are we going?
Well, we’re heading for Thailand. We’re working with an airline to showcase some of the most romantic (and exciting) spots Thailand’s south has to offer. If nothing else, it means some awesome Instagram pics I’ve got a feeling you’re going to enjoy. But it also means we’re going to be able to bring you some really great info on some of the best spots to visit and explore in this part of SE Asia.
That’s our big travel news… for now! As for the rest, well, you’ll just have to read on a bit!
It’s been a fantastic week with lots going on, and lots going on for this week too. Including my first speaking gig!
As part of Vivid Sydney 2016, I’m part of a panel talking about internetty type stuff, what’s going on in the influencer space and what people are doing to take things up to that next notch. If you’re in Sydney, you should definitely come along. The other people on the panel with me are all awesome and if you don’t learn something from this talk, you probably should be crowned Master of the Internet!
Anyway, onward to this week’s Insta Diary instalment.
As a special birthday treat for my best mate Anton and I (only 1 day separates our birthdays), the lovely Mrs Romance has taken us out for a meal. We’ve just finished an excellent dinner at Wilhelmina’s in Balmain (owned by the same guys who run the Wild Rover in Surry Hills), and now we’re having a nightcap in the Lodge, just across the road.
I’ve got to say, if you haven’t been to either of these places, you’ve got to check them out. Wilhelmina’s is awesome (food, staff, drinks, everything = superb) and the Lodge is the perfect place to wind down. Think open fire, little nook-like space with comfy chairs, low-key music, snacks and a very respectable whisky menu!
At last! The big blog news!
Mrs Romance (of course aka Hair Romance) and Carly from Smaggle.com are getting ready for this year’s first Little Blog Big session. And this time, we’re all heading west. That’s right, we’re coming to PERTH!
We’re all so excited to be hitting the west coast. Mrs Romance and I love Western Australia – and I’ve got a feeling this is going to be one of LBB’s absolute highlights!
Mrs Romance has taken me for caffeination. And it’s well needed. As part of our weekly routine, we meet to go through business stuff and to make sure we’re both on the same page.
However, we’ve both learnt that trying to do this before I coffee (I’m pretty sure it’s a verb) is a tremendous mistake.
Mrs Romance and I are out tonight to Discover Los Angeles. The DAL guys have come to Sydney with an entourage to rival the Kardashians… though this one’s actually good! We’re talking LA’s best cocktail man, LAX’s head honcho, one of the best food van guys… and one of LA’s best known artists.
In fact Collette Miller painted these wings as we watched (and drank and ate). I’m so happy I’ve gone zen!
Check out the Discover LA website for some excellent tips on what to do and where to go in the West Coast’s biggest city.
Today is a very exciting day. It’s the first ever Australian Gin Day. As you may know, we love Aussie Gin. The industry’s grown so much over recent years, the powers that be have decided to make an official day of it. Who are we to argue? Especially when there’s an excuse to have a drink!
We’re in one of Sydney’s best small bars – Stitch Bar – for a lunch with some of the best gin distillers in the country. Stitch has done an incredible job matching three different gins to a delicious 3-course menu. This is the entree of king fish with a Stone Pine gimlet. Perfect!
Beards abound. This is how you know you’re in hipster territory. This particular bearded gent is from Young Henrys Brewery and Distillery where they produce the remarkable Noble Cut. This gin is made with the very hops they use to create the beer that has made Young Henrys a household name in Australia.
Well worth checking this gin out.
We’re getting the low-down from each of the distillers and their history, and we’re getting a pretty exclusive tasting too. Very lucky.
This year’s Australian Gin Day has been absolutely excellent. Keep your eyes, ears and any other gin-based news receptacle open for more – hopefully much more – of the same thing next year!
Today’s a busy day booze-wise. Not only is it Australian Gin Day, but it’s also World Whisky Day! To mark the occasion, our lovely friends Brian and Genise Hollingworth – owners of Black Gate Distillery – are releasing their latest (and hopefully greatest) whisky today.
We really love the Hollingworths and have stayed with them at their lovely home in Mendooran, NSW – about 45 minutes north of Dubbo. The whisky (and rum for that matter) that these guys are producing is absolutely magnificent. For more details, check out their website but also their distributor’s Nip of Courage.
And if you want to know what we got up to while we were visiting these lovely, talented people, check out our write-up of Black Gate Distillery here.
The release of Brian and Genise’s latest whisky sensations is in a very cool back room of The Oak Barrel on the Surry Hills border. This bottle shop is certainly the best in Sydney for its wealth amazing booze. The beer section out the back is mind-boggling, the wine section is spectacular and the choice of spirits they have here sends a chill down my spine!
Being in this room with a very select group of whisky enthusiasts, hosted by the always-generous Scott Fitzsimons, is making us feel a bit like we’re poking our heads round the door of a meeting of the five families… but we’re made to feel incredibly welcome.
And to be able to taste this incredible dram is a real pleasure too… though we did get a sneak peak of it straight from the barrel when we were in Mendooran last. Just don’t tell anyone!
Today, we’re relaxing – or trying to – and spending the day with some good friends. We’ve hopped on a ferry to spend lunch with our mates north of the Harbour, which is almost hidden in smoke this morning. It’s an eerie sight, but not a bad one, I must say. A fitting end to a red hot week!
We hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have! And now for…
This week’s travel recap
Each week we go back in time over some of our favourite travel destinations using never-before-seen photos of our travels. Here’s where we’ve been looking back on this week.
The waters around the island of Zakynthos are absolutely stunning. This boat trip we took around to the famous shipwreck beach was certainly a highlight of our trip – though our friends getting married here obviously took the trophy!
Here’s more on our time in Zakythos – or Zante as people also call it. Also, we’ve got some great tips for attending a destination wedding. We’ve been to a few in recent years, so help yourself to our top tricks.
If there’s one country in Europe we can’t get enough of, it’s Italy. Of course we haven’t been everywhere, but how can you not fall in love with these little streets and alleys?
It’s all part of our theory to making the most of your trip to Italy: get yourself off the main drag and explore the backstreets. This is where the real Italy hides! Here’s more on our tips of getting the best out of your trip to Italy.
This is what we’ll be looking at this time next week! Jealous? Sorry about that (#sorrynotsorry). We’re really looking forward to a bit of time off – but not too much, don’t worry. We’re also very excited about bringing you some spectacular tips on Thailand; where to go, what to do and how to do it all. And what to eat of course!
As far as South East Asia goes, we really don’t know that much. However, we do know that Japan is awesome! Some of the things we did and saw while we were there quite a while back still blow our minds. We can’t wait to get back there.
Love this shot Mrs Romance took of these stacked up sake barrels! How is everything in Japan so bloody photogenic?
Example No.2 of Japan’s innate ability to look good in front of the camera! This is the Black Castle about an hour out of Tokyo. It’s incredibly tranquil here – especially with those mountains in the background.
It’s also quite close to a wasabi farm you can visit and explore at your leisure. Both well worth checking out and both completely different to anything else you’ll have seen in Japan.
Mrs Romance’s trip to Adelaide a little while back was made all the more special with where she laid her head: Mount Lofty House in the Adelaide Hills is just picture perfect… well, I mean just look at this perfect picture – it says it all!
The flower markets in Paris are so beautiful – but tricky to get good shots. Mrs Romance did such a good job here that Elle Magazine asked if they could use her shots in a write-up they were planning! Very cool. Hats off to you, Mrs R – you pro photographer, you!
If you want to see the other shots Mrs R got of this beautiful spot in one of the world’s most picturesque cities, check out our walk through the Paris flower markets.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Instagram Diary and travel recap. Let us know what you think of it here in the comments!