Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare & Company

To fully appreciate the backstory of the fabled Shakespeare & Company bookstore, we must rewind to 1919, when a young female entrepreneur, bookseller and publisher named Sylvia Beach opened a bookshop in St. Germain-des-Prés.

View Post

The Jane Austen Centre

The Jane Austen Centre

Jane Austen lived in Bath for five years and set two novels in the pretty Georgian city, Northanger Abbey & Persuasion. Bath was an important chapter in her life and shaped her life irrevocably, almost ruining her writing career. It was noisy, chaotic, and stifled her capacity to write. Here, she also came to terms with the true quandary of being an unwed woman in Regency England without means to support herself.

View Post

John Sandoe Books

John Sandoe Books

Tucked away just off the King's Road in Chelsea is a wonderful little bookshop, John Sandoe Books. The three-story shop remains in the same building where Sandoe first set up shop, now spanning three side by side stores acquired over fifty years.

View Post

Leakey’s Bookshop

Leakey’s Bookshop

Inverness is the most northerly city in Britain and the capital of the Scottish Highlands. Here, nestled on the banks of the Ness, you'll find the iconic Leakey's Bookshop, a former Gaelic church filled floor to ceiling with stacks of books.

View Post

Jane Austen’s House Museum

Jane Austen’s House Museum

Chawton Cottage in Hampshire, now the Jane Austen House Museum, may be the most prominent Jane Austen site in the world, yet the symbolic value of this house goes beyond bricks and mortar. This modest cottage changed the course of history.

View Post

Rijksmuseum Library

Rijksmuseum Library

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum is home to over 8,000 priceless artworks, including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals and Steen... but did you know about the secret library? There is a magnificent art history library that is easy to overlook.

View Post

Spring in The Netherlands

Spring in The Netherlands

The Netherlands became part of my life when I fell in love with a Dutchman. One of the loveliest perks of having a European boyfriend is that you gain a second home and family on the other side of the world.

View Post

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

The steps of the classical forecourt were dotted with people waiting for the doors to open. Most hurried inside to find a quiet corner and others just marvelled at the beauty and grandeur of the architecture.

View Post

Word on the Water, London Book Barge

Word on the Water, London Book Barge

A once-wandering 1920's barge has taken up residence on London's Granary Square, yet this is no ordinary passenger barge, it's a floating bookshop called Word on the Water - a treasure trove of books.

View Post

Armchair Books, Edinburgh

Armchair Books, Edinburgh

It's really no surprise that Edinburgh is teeming with top-notch literary haunts - from exceptional libraries, quirky independent bookshops, and illustrious literary history, the Scottish capital is a wonderland for bibliophiles.

View Post

State Library of South Australia, Adelaide

State Library of South Australia, Adelaide

Who knew Adelaide was hiding such a stunning library? I accidentally stumbled upon it while perusing a "Most Beautiful Libraries" article and the State Library of South Australia was there on the list!

View Post

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Review

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Review

Eleanor Oliphant is the literary heroine we never knew we needed, a peculiar thirty-year-old woman who rarely strays from the routine of her lacklustre job, scheduled weekly chats with Mummy, and an enduring love of vodka and Tesco pizza.

View Post

My Reading List

My Reading List

When I see a beautiful edition of a novel that I want to add to my collection, I can't help myself. The problem is that I am prone to buying doubles, triples, and even quadruples of my favourite books. Help me, I have six copies of Pride and Prejudice!

View Post

Daisy Jones & The Six Review

Daisy Jones & The Six Review

Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome Daisy Jones and the Six to the stage! Taylor Jenkins Reid recounts the meteoric rise and fall of a fictional 70's rock band. Sex, drugs, and... complicated relationships, explosive arguments, legendary parties, and spectacular meltdowns. It only took a chapter before I was hooked, it's such an effortless read and the narrative unfolds so authentically that I had to confirm whether or not the band was real or fictional.

View Post

A Literary Love Letter

A Literary Love Letter

There are rich and meaningful stories to tell in every aspect of daily life. I am endlessly fascinated by the human psyche, reading provides a socially acceptable outlet to try out all sorts of lives and experiences. As children, we are taught that magic only exists in fairy tales, but reading of all sorts transports us to the past and the future, mythical worlds, far away galaxies, exotic lands, the apocalypse and beyond. So who can really say that books are not magic?

View Post

Bright Autumn Festival

Bright Autumn Festival

Bright by name, bright by nature. The picturesque town of Bright is an autumnal paradise set afire with colour every April. The mild sunny days and cosy evenings are perfectly complemented by a smoky woodfire, roasted local chestnuts, and good company. A rainy weather forecast meant that the town was relatively quiet, making our weekend trip all the more tranquil.

View Post

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Review

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Review

In this modern age, receiving anything by post is a rare occurrence, so you can imagine how overjoyed I was to find an invitation to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society movie premiere in my letterbox. As I ripped open the envelope I was immediately intrigued by the peculiar title and curious to find out what a potato peel pie has to do with a literary society, and what the heck is a potato peel pie? Despite the funny title, this was a gorgeous film with a huge heart. 

View Post

Be Persuaded Regency Exhibition

Be Persuaded Regency Exhibition

To mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, the Dressing Australia - Museum of Costume is presenting a rare and wonderful exhibition bringing the era of Jane Austen to life, with a showcase of original items of the time. Be Persuaded features fashion, accessories and ephemera from the 18th century, rarely on display outside of major museums.

View Post

Melbourne Flower and Garden Show

Melbourne Flower and Garden Show

I spent my entire childhood pottering around my grandmother's garden, talking to the flowers and addressing them by their names as if they were all pretty ladies, knees covered in dirt while making daisy chains in the grass and plucking petals from roses.

View Post

Summer Picnic at Werribee Mansion

Summer Picnic at Werribee Mansion

Perfect blue skies are the perfect reason to dust off the picnic basket, fill it with delicious treats and whisk my Mum away on a girls day out. Werribee Park Mansion was our secret destination, a Victorian Italianate grand residence surrounded by lavish gardens. Australia is a modern nation, so mansions are especially rare.

View Post

Triennial at the National Gallery of Victoria

Triennial at the National Gallery of Victoria

Triennial was superb and wildly different to my usual tastes. I loved the eclectic nature of the exhibits, which felt like a wild adventure as we zigzagged through countless galleries seeking out the weird and wonderful.

View Post

A Room of One’s Own Review

A Room of One’s Own Review

Every woman should read it, period. I read A Room of One's Own for a feminist literature class at university. It was my first foray into feminist literary criticism and it turned out to be the perfect timing in my life and I absolutely devoured it.

View Post

Perth in a Flash

Perth in a Flash

Perth is a three-hour cross country flight from Melbourne. My schedule only allowed for a very quick visit, so I flew in late Friday night, had one day in Perth, before flying home on Sunday morning. So, when I say Perth in a Flash, I'm being honest!

View Post

The House of Dior: 70 Years of Haute Couture

The House of Dior: 70 Years of Haute Couture

To celebrate seventy years of The House of Dior, the National Gallery of Victoria hosted an exclusive exhibition of Dior Haute Couture from 1947 to 2017. The exhibition was laid out like a timeline, beginning with the classic silhouettes and simple designs of the 1940's all the way through to the experimental designs of the modern era.

View Post

Mother’s Day High Tea at The Windsor

Mother’s Day High Tea at The Windsor

The Windsor Hotel is the home of Melbourne's grandest afternoon high tea. Mum and I plan an outing there at least once a year, often we are celebrating a special occasion, other times we just celebrate life, and this time, Mother's Day!

View Post

Monet’s Home & Waterlily Garden

Monet’s Home & Waterlily Garden

Giverny in Normandy, France has been on my travel wish list for decades, the garden and home of Impressionist artist, Claude Monet, who lived in this village along the banks of the River Seine for over 40 years.

View Post

The Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles

There was no better way to conclude my time in Paris than spending the last day exploring the grounds of the most beautiful palace in France, Château de Versailles, and the former home of Marie Antoinette.

View Post

Christmas at The Windsor Hotel

Christmas at The Windsor Hotel

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is a little different to the wintery images most people associate with the festive period. We enjoy sunshine instead of snow, chilled beer instead of mulled wine, and fresh seafood instead of turkey with all the trimmings.

View Post

Love and Friendship Review

Love and Friendship Review

I have found the perfect Sunday afternoon film, Love and Friendship, the comical adaptation of the novella, Lady Susan. Posters for the film were plastered all over the tube on my last trip to London and as soon as I got home to Australia I beelined for the cinema. Lady Susan is one of the few works of Jane Austen that I have never actually read, so it was a beautiful treat to enter the cinema completely unsure of what to expect. Given that Lady Susan is not a particularly well known work, I was anticipating Love and Friendship to be quite dull.

View Post

Mr Holmes Review

Mr Holmes Review

I first became acquainted with eccentric consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, when I enrolled in a Victorian Literary Culture class at university. From the very first case, A Study in Scarlet, I was immediately drawn into the murky crime-ridden streets of London, and within two years I had inhaled every single Sherlock Holmes story ever written. The Victorian era (1837 – 1901) has become synonymous with progression, innovation, and rapid social change – and the literary scene was much the same. 

View Post

The Celestine Prophecy Review

The Celestine Prophecy Review

My connection with The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield began over twenty years ago. My parents were utterly enamoured by this new-fangled spiritual book that was sitting atop the New York Times bestseller list in America. I have vivid recollections of my Dad teaching me to breathe in the energy of trees and I wholeheartedly inhaled, as if it were some kind of magic fairy dust. I knew there was more to life than what I had seen and heard in my little town.

View Post

Far from the Madding Crowd Review

Far from the Madding Crowd Review

Yesterday I saw the new film adaptation of the classic novel by Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd. Let’s be honest, the book is always better than the film, but I actually love watching my favourite books come to life on the big screen. Film adaptations of books are notoriously disappointing because when we read the novel plays like a movie in our own head, we get to cast all of the characters and give depth and detail to every word, so it’s not entirely surprising that we often walk out of the cinema feeling frustrated with the casting or unexpected changes and omissions.

View Post

Taking Care of Myself

Taking Care of Myself

Sometimes a long weekend spent in your own company is just what you need to fully recharge your batteries. Three days dedicated to taking care of myself - solitude, reading, sleeping, cooking, writing, pampering and walks. After having guests in our house all summer, I am done with people. Having a few days of downtime has been a blessing. I am a casebook introvert and being around people for long periods of time just drains my batteries.

View Post

Port Douglas

Port Douglas

Winter in Melbourne has a way of inspiring people to fly away somewhere warm. On a whim, snuggled up in bed one chilly night we booked our flights northward to tropical Port Douglas, where the water is 26 degrees.  

View Post

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens

Keukenhof is located in Lisse, the tulip capital of the Netherlands and the Disneyland for flower lovers. With more than 7 million tulips, daffodils & hyacinths in full bloom, the gardens are a sight to see.

View Post

The Turn of the Screw Review

The Turn of the Screw Review

The Turn of the Screw is perhaps the most famous ghost story ever written. To this day there are elements of this creepy tale woven into the framework of the horror genre. Gothic literature is my obsession, I love suspense, intrigue, and mystery. The Turn of the Screw features a big haunted house, an isolated woman, beautiful yet creepy children, menacing ghosts and unexplained occurrences that will leave you both perplexed and infuriated.

View Post

Highclere Castle, The Real Downton Abbey

Highclere Castle, The Real Downton Abbey

Highclere Castle has become one of England's most recognisable homes, as the real-life setting and filming location of the television series, Downton Abbey. I have seen every single episode of Downton and grew to love the characters, their fanciful plots, and the centrepiece at the heart of the show - the house itself.

View Post

Suffragette Review

Suffragette Review

Set in 1912, Suffragette unfolds the story of Maud Watts, a young wife and mother unintentionally swept up in the women’s suffrage movement. The film is largely work of fiction blended with real historical events and figures to recreate the turbulent fight for the female vote in Great Britain. Suffragette offers a snapshot of London prior to the outbreak of the First World War when the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) actively pursued the right to vote through acts of civil disobedience, militancy and insurgency. 

View Post