So August, here we go! Yet another step closer to Christmas, which is a daunting yet fun thought. Unless you hate Christmas, in which case I’m sorry for the reminder.
Since the last time we spoke, plenty’s been going on here at Romance HQ… though most of it’s been behind-the-scenes stuff that you probably wouldn’t give much of a monkey’s about. And that’s ok. We’ve been getting lots of planning done though, and we’re formalising our latest travel itinerary, which is awesome.
We’re really excited about this next one as we’ll be working with a tourism board to talk about Sabah. Now, if you haven’t heard of Sabah or aren’t absolutely sure where it is, that’s ok. It’s pretty remote – it’s in fact part of Borneo in Indonesia. However, it’s actually owned by Malaysia, which is kind of confusing.
Anyway, it’s a beautiful part of the world from what we’ve seen in our research, and we’re really excited about telling you more about it. Watch this space closely because this’ll be happening at the end of the month.
In the meantime, we’ve been bunkering down here in Sydney under what’s been another rather chilly and wet week. Lots of indoor stuff and dreaming about our time in Byron Bay last weekend. Mrs Romance also published her latest Hair Romance video in her post about using hair curling wands properly. It’s also got her latest Hair Romance TV video in it which I edited. I managed to sneak in some pretty good bloopers at the end, so make sure you watch the last minute or so!
And here is our latest IG Edition! Enjoy and we hope you have a great week ahead!
The pool at our hotel in Byron Bay is actually amazing. It’s a huge lagoon pool with bridges, loungers, hanging over-water chair hammock – it’s a dream come true especially on hot days. I can’t believe this place – Elements of Byron – has only been open since February this year.
There are lots of plans for this place in its next stage of development and if they continue the way they’ve begun, I’ve got a feeling Elements of Byron is going to be an absolute star on the Byron coastline.
Love the stairs going up to the bar at Balcony Bar and Oyster Co. Right in the heart of Byron Bay town itself, this bar and restaurant commands some of the best people-watching vantage points you can imagine! You right on the corner of two of the busiest streets.
However, there are couple of things that might distract you from your people-watching. The food and drink here is amazing.
We also really love the recent renovations that Balcony has had done. They’re on point and make this really the best spot in town to come for a meal or drinks.
Our dinner at the Balcony started the way every meal here should: with a dozen of the best Sydney rock oysters you can find. Executive Chef Sean Connolly has brought with him from his Sydney haunt The Morrison his love of top grade oysters and a range of other dishes that we thoroughly enjoyed.
Our last evening in Byron Bay. What a wonderful place to come to escape the Sydney winter. We’ve had the best time – and Elements of Byron and all the facilities and food they’ve got here (Graze and Osprey Spa, we’re looking at you!), not to mention the beautiful and private Belongil Beach on our doorstep really make the most of what this northern New South Wales community has to offer.
Our last sunrise in Byron Bay and what a way to see it. We’re at the top of the cape, which represents mainland Australia’s most easterly point. It’s an early start but so worth it.
The amazing people from Wild Goat Events, so named because of a herd of goats that used to roam this bit of coast evading capture for years, organise one of the most incredible experiences we’ve had.
Their Toast the Sun experience is absolutely amazing: luxe, romantic and totally unique. You’re met before dawn at the lighthouse gate, then greeted with a (very important) coffee and blankets. You’re then free to be the first in Australia (and pretty much the world) to see the sun come up to start the day.
After that you’re brought to the cafe in a private section where you enjoy an amazing, specially prepared breakfast. We were lucky enough to see humpback whales – a mother and calf – play in the waters of the Cape as they made their way north on their annual migration.
The mother was teaching her calf how to breach, tail slap and do pectoral waves, which is not only rare but incredibly humbling to see.
And here’s part of our breakfast. We’re in the cafe before it’s formally open, so everything is cooked just for us. It’s a very special, very romantic thing to do.
The breakfast’s hearty and warming, which is perfect for this chilly morning. The Moroccan theme to the food works well with the bohemian feel that Byron’s developed over the years… and who doesn’t love a shakshouka?!
If you’re looking for something to do in Byron that’s truly memorable, incredibly romantic and superbly executed, you’ve got to check out Wild Goat Events’ Toast the Sun experience.
Another (also very important) coffee with Wild Goat Events just after sunrise and breakfast!
Our last stop before we head home is to Halcyon House in the beautiful beach town of Cabarita, only 20km south of the Queensland border. A restored ’50s surfer motel, this decadent beach hideaway is now a top spot for romantic escapes in its 5-star hotel.
And for a breakfast, lunch or dinner spot, you won’t find a better looking restaurant than Halcyon House’s Paper Daisy. Every detail of design has been thought of, and the pool-side cafe here is just as slick.
If you want to see what else we got up to in Byron Bay, check out last week’s IG Edition, where we shared lots more shots of our amazing time up the coast.
Finally, the long-awaited very disappointing burger. Normally, I’m not one to criticise burgers that much. After all, the basic concept of the humble burger is not really that inspiring. So with that in mind, it has to be pretty bloody awful for me to be grumpy about an average one.
But the experience my friends and I had this weekend at the Sydney Cricket Ground whilst watching the Sydney Swans destroy Port Adelaide in the AFL (that’s Aussie Rules football btw), was so appalling, it almost overshadowed the superb win the Swans had.
Of course, we weren’t expecting much from stadium food anyway, but this was beyond the usual revolting standards Australian and English sports fans have had to put up with for generations. The bun was sort of slimy, the tomato had a foam-like texture and the patty itself… well we put two and two together and worked out the only way they could get away with calling it an Angus burger.
Let’s just say the seeming coincidence of the words ‘burger patty’ and ‘cow patty’ combine here. It certainly wasn’t Angus beef, let’s put it that way. In fact, jokes aside, we doubt if there was any meat in it at all. Mine tasted vaguely of carrot. And it was broken in half inside the bun. Insanity.
And this was in the members’ area! God knows what the general seating were putting up with. Anyway, I don’t what to go on about it or leave this week’s IG Edition on a gross note, so I’ll let you carry on to our Travel Update where pretty pictures and pleasant thoughts await!
Have a lovely week and we’ll speak again soon.
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.
If this shot doesn’t epitomise our memories of New York City, then I don’t know what will. The Statue of Liberty – far from becoming a cliche – is such an amazing sight and represents so much. And not just for Americans – this figure represents so much that western lifestyles should be thankful for.
Mrs Romance took this shot at sunset while we were on a sailing boat exploring the Hudson River. It’s an amazing experience and one you have to do when you’re in NYC. Here’s more on what we did, how we did it and what you need to do to do it too!
Icebergs at Bondi Beach’s southern end is one of those places that people go to every time they’re in Bondi. Locals, visitors, everyone. The view of Australia’s most famous beach with this pool in the foreground is iconic because it’s so pretty.
But there’s also a club here that serves reasonably priced drinks and food that many people don’t know about. There’s also Icebergs Restaurant upstairs, which is amazing for special occasions.
These tips are all in our 24 hours in Bondi must-see tour.
One of the prettiest suburbs of Manhattan is the West Village. It’s Mrs Romance’s absolute favourite and one of mine too, though I do have a soft spot of the East Village too. These brownstone houses are so iconic and the easy style and sophistication of the West Village makes this place incredibly desirable. That and all the film stars living here!
We stayed on this street the last time we were in New York – thanks to AirBnB – and it really doesn’t take long to feel like you live here. Such a cool part of town.
For our other tips on New York, make sure you check out our ultimate first-timer’s guide to NYC. It’s become a real encyclopedia for what to do, where to go and how to do in the the Big Apple!
There aren’t many days of the year like this in London, but when they come it makes this city seem so much happier, brighter and friendlier. I suppose it’s the same for every city, but especially so for London.
It’s such an amazing place and so understandable why people who come to the UK end up staying in London. But we do wonder how many people living and working here have seen the city at its best. Like most places (especially as far as Mrs Romance is concerned), the best way to see somewhere is from as high up as possible.
Provence in the South of France is a truly magical part of the world. Everywhere is so pretty. But the crown of this part of France is the Riviera and St Tropez. Known more for its yacht culture (there’s plenty of money here), the town itself is really worth checking out. Full of laneways and little streets.
For more shots of this beautiful little harbour town, check out our postcards from St Tropez and 5 things you must do here.
This is what I mean. St Tropez is full-on quaint. Every street has something pretty about it, and the waterfront is stunning. And if you want to get to the French Riviera from Italy, it’s not that hard! Here’s our guide to getting from Italy to France by train.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our IG Edition and this week’s Travel Recap. If you have, that’s awesome. If you haven’t, please don’t tell anyone!
Let us know what’s been going on with you this past week. We’d love to hear from you. Talk to us via the comments below!
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