Cocktails, cameras and suitcase cramming

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 1 HR1 Mrs R gets her bling

It’s only until you start to pack for an overseas trip that’ll last more than two months that you realise how much stuff you really have!

We fly to Los Angeles on Tuesday 28th and return face to face with the business end of Christmas. The stress of all the preparation seems to be having an interesting effect on Mrs Romance, who’s definitely getting funnier!

Here’s my pick of the week from my lovely wife’s little sound bites:

I will pay humour over reality anytime; that’s why I married you.

Genius! Anyway, on with our week!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 2 Aussie Dark n Stormy

I’ve been thinking about this cocktail for quite a while. It’s a Dark and Stormy but with an Aussie touch to it. I’m really quite pleased with the results.

Here’s the recipe for our Dark & Stormy – Aussie Style.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 3 kimono couple

Check us out! In all our Japanese finery. You may remember last week we were in Daylesford – a beautiful part of the world about an hour and a half from Melbourne. We were staying in Shizuka Ryokan, a traditional Japanese style hotel. These gowns were incredibly comfortable, and we were very excited about wearing them around the premises.

It wasn’t until I re-read the hotel information book that I discovered the dark blue gown was several sizes smaller than the white one Mrs R is sporting here. That would explain my chilly wrists and ankles I suppose.

Shizuka is definitely the place to stay if you’re in the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region. Watch this space for further reviews and info.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 4 Hainanese chicken lunch

We’re so excited today. We’ve picked up our new camera and this is the first shot we’ve taken with it (of course it’s a food photo!)

Mrs Romance has been using a DSLR for ages now, as you can tell by her amazing photos here and over on Hair Romance. I – on the other hand – occasionally haul out a rather antiquated point-n-shoot or otherwise muddle through with my iPhone.

I am now entering a new era of image capturation (a real word, I’m certain). The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is the most unbelievable camera. Looking forward to improving my photo skills for you guys!

My lunch, by the way, is from my favourite Hainanese chicken rice place. It’s in a grubby little Asian food court under Woolworth’s on Pitt Street, right near Town Hall in Sydney. That globular brownish red mass in the foreground is the hot sambal chilli (you have to ask for it), and it makes me sweat every time I have it. I love it!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 5 Centenial Park today

Mrs Romance has gone walkabout! I have no idea why, but she’s found herself here in Centennial Park. This is one of my favourite city parks – I think it’s because it’s got these beautiful lakes scattered around it, or it could be because I used to live just up the road from here too.

A little extra inside info: we came here to sit and write our marriage vows together… quite a few years ago now! I think that was one of the very few times I’ve genuinely enjoyed going for a picnic!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 6 Halloween cocktails

How good’s this?! It’s the first in our two-part Halloween cocktail series! We’ve made two different vodka cocktails using Crystal Head vodka – the obvious choice for any bone-chilling libation.

The two cocktails – the Detached Retina (pictured) and A Sight for Sore Eyes – are part of the For Your Eyes Only vodka martinis. The garnishes are both from Martha Stewart, the crafty ol’ brainbox!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 6a AB1 killer creatures in Aus

This week’s addition from my alter-ego @AngryBastard is more Cynicism toward Signage – a Pinterest board waiting to happen, I think! I discovered this on a bush walk in the Daylesford region last week. The hellhound in the top sign is scary enough, but it’s the one below that’s really captured my attention.

What could it mean? ‘Killer Spaghetti on the Loose’? ‘Doodles Kill’? ‘Giant Dune Worms on the Prowl’? Answers on the back of a self-addressed postcard, please.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 7 Champaigne with Foxy

Mrs Romance is enjoying a glass of bubbly tonight with our lovely friend Andrea from Their view over the rim of their flutes isn’t too bad, is it? Especially considering today is World Champagne Day! Au sante’!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 8 appropriate graffiti

Mrs Romance loves street photography, so it was virtually impossible for her walk past this! And fair enough – this scene’s got everything: trees, bike – double bike in fact – trees, street and that perfectly graffiti’d Stop sign. Excellent. Well-spotted, Mrs R!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 9 planning our trip

Today we are B U S Y! We’re putting final elements together for our up-coming trip to the States. Thankfully we’ve got our faithful coffee machine handy to stop us getting sleepy-cranky with each other!

Our itinerary (without boring you with dates or details) goes LA/San Diego – Mexico – Cuba – San Francisco – Route 1 south to LA – Las Vegas – Arizona/Grand Canyon/Monument Valley – Palm Springs – LA – Home (arriving on 25th December!).

We’re still a bit shaky on the Cuba part of our trip – though I could just spend it all at the beach drinking rum and smoking excellent cigars… Apparently there’s more to Cuba than just that though, so if you’ve got any tips for Cuba… or Mexico or the States for that matter, let us know!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Insta Diary - 10 Breakfast

Sunday. The day of rest. Well, not for our local cafe. They’ve had to get up and make us breakfast. At least they haven’t held anything back on mine. This is superb. A hash brown stack of chorizo, avocado, poached egg and smokey capsicum brilliance. And just at the back there some toasted sourdough for good measure!

It’s also about to get extremely busy for us – we’ve got to pack! GULP! nine weeks away with temperatures ranging from low 30s to single figures and only one suitcase each… it’s going to be tricky. Mrs R is adamant when it comes to packing. Even though we’ve got 3 check-in cases allowed us with our frequent flyer level, Mrs R refuses to take more than one case each.

Don’t tell her, but she’s probably right. And I’d only end up carrying everything anyway! Lol!

Wish us luck with the packing – and we semi-apologise in advance with the over-flow of photos about to hit our Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, G+ and of course, our blog. We’ll still be posting 5 days a week… as often as wifi allows. So look out for what we’ve got coming 6am AEST every day.

Do you have any city meal secret? Where did you and your partner write your wedding vows? What do you think that strange squiggly sign means? Tell us in the comments please!

Images by Mr and Mrs Romance via Instagram: @MrAndMrsRomance, @HairRomance and of course @AngryBastard!

Oh, and don’t forget, our Spirit House cookbook giveaway competition is still going – the winner will be chosen this Thursday – 30th Oct. You just need to tell us about your worst cooking nightmare story. Get your entry in asap – details and your chance to win are all here: Our Authentic Chicken Satay Recipe – and Win a Copy of Spirit House’s Cookbook.


  • Reply October 27, 2014


    Have an amazing holiday guys, I can’t wait to hear about it and follow your pics along the way!! I’m particularly interested in your highway 1 road trip from San Fran to LA as this is something I plan to do in Feb next year – don’t hold back on the details 🙂

    Of all the places you’re going, Vegas is the only place I’ve been (5 times and counting, so if you want more detailed info just e-mail me and I can send it through!). I can’t remember if you guys have been before so here are a few tips: Caesar’s forum is where it’s at! Mr R will find a lovely cigar bar called Casa Fuente, while Mrs R will be entertained for hours in the shops. Restaurants are plentiful with everything from fast food to super fine michelin star dining. Be sure to catch a show, I’d recommend Cirque du Soleil ‘O’ at the Bellagio and while you’re there don’t miss the spectacular fountain display. The poolside cafe at the Wynn resort and casino is a top spot for a brekky/brunch/hangover feed. If you’ll be there in the cooler months of Nov/Dec, take 1 good coat as you’re basically in and out of the casinos all day, and when you go out of an evening every restaurant, bar and nightclub has a coat check so you don’t need to dress with too many layers.

    Safe travels,
    Daisy xo

    • Reply October 31, 2014

      Mr Romance

      Hi Daisy! This is all awesome! Thank you! No, neither of us has been to Vegas before, so we’re pretty excited about it! That cigar bar sounds exactly what I’d enjoy – though I’m not so sure I’d enjoy the thought of Mrs R heading out to all those shops in the meantime! Thank you again for these tips – even more excited about heading out into the desert now!
      Jim x

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