So here it is: July. And the second half of 2016. How ridiculous. Can you believe the Olympics starts in a month? How can this be happening?
And politically, things have really got strange. the UK doing its level best to get away from the EU, the US doing its best to give itself over to Donald Trump, Australia doing its best to give itself over to… well, who knows?
At least here at Romance HQ things are calm and steady. Mostly. We’ve been having some very cold days here in Sydney, which has made our trip to Thailand a couple of weeks back seem like another lifetime ago.
But with the cold days have come some beautiful skies and even better some good excuses for drinks and heart-warming food!
Here’s our latest IG Edition. Hope you enjoy!
Not quite making it into last week’s edition, I went out for a few drinks and dinner with my mate on Sunday night. Didn’t feel quite up to adding this photo by the time I’d got home, but here it is now.
The cocktails and ambience of Corner Bar in Rozelle are excellent. Definitely worth a visit. A lovely little nook, this place should be on your list of favourites if you like the Sydney small bar scene.
What a way to finish off a Monday! Beautiful sunset with some very weird clouds. We’ve never seen the sky go so pink like this before. Wonder what it’s embarrassed about?!
Tonight we’re at the book launch for our friend and colleague Lorraine Murphy. This special lady has built an amazing – or should I say Remarkable – business up out of a crazy idea she had only a few years ago and now represents some of the most influential bloggers in the country.
Her book Remarkability is all about her journey thus far and is a great read. I’ve got as far as the first chapter before Mrs R whisked it from my hands. She’s almost finished it though (after less than a week!), so I’m sure I’ll get another look in. Just as well I enjoy second-hand books!
Make sure you pick up your own copy of this book asap though. Mrs R assures me it’s fascinating, well-written and an inspiring insight into the lady who started The Remarkables Group.
It’s so cold today, we’re dreaming hard about our time here. The Aleenta Phuket is an incredible place to relax and take in the best the Thailand has to offer. Watch this space for our full write-up and vid of this place.
In the meantime, we’ve already written about our favourite Bangkok hotel and bar here: the Centara Grand, so make sure you check that out.
Plus we’ve been thinking about how to get away from this winter without having saved anything, so make sure you read our top winter escapes that won’t break the bank and also our tips on saving money while you’re travelling.
There’s also a chance for you to win $2000 to spend on flights to get your travel boot on. The details are at the bottom of the two posts I’ve just mentioned. Good luck!
This evening’s sky is absolute bliss. In some ways the winter skies here in Sydney are even prettier than in the summer… if only it were a bit bloody warmer!
Still dreaming of our time in Thailand, we’re thinking about one of our most favourite meals today on the site. And oddly enough it wasn’t a Thai dinner. It was, in fact, Spanish!
Dinner on the 54th floor of the Centara Grand Hotel in the heart of Bangkok at Uno Mas was absolutely sensational. The food here is prepared with such care and attention, and the ingredients are all so painstakingly sourced by Head Chef Joan Tanya Dot, who was born in Spain. His churros by the way: unsurpassed!
The food is incredible, the service is personable and professional and the views down over one of the world’s most exciting and mysterious cities is superb. Check out our review of Uno Mas here.
Yet another beautiful evening here in Sydney. The bright skies just haven’t stopped all week! It certainly makes it easier to be as cold as we are. The electric blankets we bought even before we unpacked after our Thailand trip have been getting a solid workout!
Today we’ve met up with our lovely friends from Melbourne. They’re up to see family – and us of course! We’ve decided to try Kepos Street Kitchen in Waterloo. It’s an Israeli eatery with a menu full of delicious things. I’ve gone for Dad’s Favourite Brekky, which is excellent. It’s got homemade falafel, hummus, labne cheese, soft-boiled egg, schiacciata bread, and a delicious tomato and mint salad.
Mrs Romance has got the shakshuka, which I’m raiding while she takes the shot, and our friends are having the toasted granola, poached pear and vanilla labne, and the Moroccan lamb and pine nut cigars with poached eggs and goat cheese!
Absolutely delicious I must say. If you’re in the Inner West of Sydney, you should probably make this place a priority. Be warned though, the back room we’re in is a bit noisy.
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.
Burano in Venice is our favourite place to visit. It’s a little island north of the rest of the city, but being so far away from the usual tourist crowds makes this spot even better! It’s also incredibly colourful because years ago, there were no street numbers, so each house was painted a different colour to tell it apart from its neighbour’s.
This garden overlooking the Tuscan countryside is absolutely sublime. It’s part of an old castle called Castello di Modanella that’s between Lucignano and San Gimignano, and it’s where our friends got married a few years ago. What a spectacular setting for a wedding!
The Cook Islands has a special place in our hearts. It’s here we got engaged – plus it’s a bloody paradise! Look at that water. This is one of the many pristine beaches of Aitutaki an atol about an hour north of the main island of Rarotonga. We can’t wait to go back!
As we flew in to Aitutaki Airport we got a glimpse of where we were to be staying. On the right is the island that would be pretty much our own called Akitua and the left is one the largest island of the atol group. You get across the little strait between the two via a tiny ferry you can just see in the bottom right corner.
Or you can swim!
The Jardin du Luxembourg and this – the Palais du Luxembourg – is a beautiful part of Paris. Only a few blocks back from the Seine, these amazing gardens are free for all to use it though few tourists know of it. Perfect for a picnic or just a stroll, this is one of our favourite secrets in the city of romance.
This garden is in the 6th Arrondissement on the South Bank.
This little red house in the heart of Burano in Venice was one of our favourites. This is such a beautiful part of Venice, which is really saying something. The thing I like most about this photo – apart from the house of course – is the reflection in the door of the woman wondering what the bloody hell we’re taking a picture of. Love it!
Tanna Island at the southern end of the Vanuatu archipelago has one of the most accessible active volcanos in the world. And that’s what most people know about it. But the snorkelling around this island’s shores is amazing. This is Blue Hole 2 – or that’s what the locals call it. It’s a huge gap in the rock that’s protected from the open ocean by reef almost all the way round.
It means it’s completely safe from sharks and other big predators, has no currents and isn’t as affected by tides as the beach. You basically just walk up to this spot, mask up and jump in. And you’re welcomed by a whole other world. It’s absolutely magical.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s IG Edition. Now, tell us, which was your favourite pic from the week? Tell us in the comments below – and don’t forget to enter the competition for $2000 of flights. Entrees close on 18th July. Details are here.