Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness

Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness

Leakey’s Bookshop is possibly my favourite bookshop ever. Located in Inverness, the  most northerly city in the United Kingdom and capital of the Scottish Highlands, this one of a kind bookshop is literally an old Gaelic church filled with books. Hallelujah, finally a religion worth waking up early for on Sundays!

View Post

John Sandoe Books, Chelsea

John Sandoe Books, Chelsea

Tucked away on a quiet street just steps from Chelsea’s stylish Kings Road is where you’ll find wonderful independent bookshop, John Sandoe Books. The bookshop still remains in it’s original location on Blacklands Terrace, now spanning three shops that were acquired over the space of fifty years.

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 permanent residence along York Way on London’s Granary Square, just a short walk from Kings Cross and the British Library. Yet, this is no ordinary passenger barge, it’s a floating bookshop called Word on the Water – a trove of new and used books stacked amidst a funky bohemian ambience. True literature lovers surely have a floating bookshop on their bucket list? The sultry tones of jazz floated through the air as I walked towards the barge.

View Post

Shakespeare and Co Bookshop, Paris

Shakespeare and Co Bookshop, Paris

Shakespeare and Co is an independent English language bookshop that has hosted a myriad of creatives over the past seventy years as the inadvertent home of the Anglo-American literary community in Paris. A treasure trove of coloured spines, velvet chairs, and wall to wall shelves with books squeezed into every possible nook and cranny.

View Post

The Jane Austen Centre, Bath

The Jane Austen Centre, Bath

The first stop on my little Jane Austen road trip was Bath, where Jane lived between 1801 to 1806 and set two of her novels, Northanger Abbey & Persuasion. The problematic nature of being a lady in Regency England was that young women had to marry to secure their future. Jane Austen wove this predicament into all of her novels, commenting ever so gently that this was utter nonsense.

View Post

Summer Picnic at Werribee Mansion

Summer Picnic at Werribee Mansion

Perfect blue skies and glorious summer sunshine is the perfect reason to dust off the picnic basket, fill it with delicious treats and take Mum on a magical mystery girls day out. The stunning Werribee Mansion was our secret destination, an Italianate grand residence built during the Victorian period. Commissioned in 1874 by wealthy Scots who planted vast orchards yielding apples, pears, peaches, nuts and olives. Australia is a modern nation, so mansions are especially rare.

View Post

Jane Austen’s Home, Chawton Cottage

Jane Austen’s Home, Chawton Cottage

My little pilgrimage through England to see the homes of my favourite writers would be incomplete without tracing the footsteps of English literary rose, Jane Austen. Jane Austen is famous for writing romantic stories, but her words are artfully stitched together with a sharp wit. Her novels offer a subtle critique of society and the social structure in which women had to secure an advantageous marriage to guarantee their future.

View Post

Perth in a Flash

Perth in a Flash

A beautiful highlight of our summer is the flow of Dutch visitors that come in pursuit of a warm Aussie summer away from the wintery weather of the Netherlands. When my Dutchman made the decision to stay permanently in Australia, the hardest sacrifice was leaving behind the people he loves in Holland, so having family and friends come to stay is such an important part of our lives.

View Post

April in The Netherlands

April in The Netherlands

The Netherlands became a special part of my life when I fell in love with a Dutchman. I met Lucas while he was in Melbourne on a working holiday, just two months before he was supposed to move back home. Even though we chose to make our home together in Melbourne, part of having a European boyfriend is that you also gain a second home and family on the other side of the world.

View Post

Mother’s Day High Tea at The Windsor, Melbourne

Mother’s Day High Tea at The Windsor, Melbourne

The Windsor Hotel is undoubtedly the home of Melbourne’s grandest afternoon high tea. Mum and I plan a special girls outing there at least once a year, often we are celebrating a special occasion and other times the special occasion is just life. This time around it was all about my gorgeous Mum, Annie, in celebration of Mother’s Day.

View Post

Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France

Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France

Giverny in Normandy, France is home to a place that has been on my travel wish list for decades, the lovely garden and estate of Impressionist artist, Claude Monet, who lived for over 40 years in this small village along the banks of the River Seine. It was in Giverny that Monet found inspiration and produced some of his most impressive paintings, including the waterlilies series modelled on his garden.

View Post

The Palace of Versailles, France

The Palace of Versailles, France

On my last day in France, I figured there was no better way to end my Parisian spree than wandering all 800 hectares of the most beautiful palace in France, Château de Versailles. My morning began on a stressful note. I set 0ff to the St Michel railway station bright and early to catch the RER C line to Versailles, but upon arrival at the station I was met with locked doors.

View Post

Tropical Port Douglas

Tropical Port Douglas

Winter in Melbourne has a way of inspiring a desire to fly away somewhere warm. We live by the sea on the southern coast of Australia where the water is freezing in the winter, so on a whim snuggled up in bed one chilly night we booked some flights northward to tropical Port Douglas where the water is 26 degrees.   

View Post

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens

Located in Lisse, the tulip capital of the Netherlands, is Keukenhof – the most beautiful spring garden in the world. 79 acres of gardens filled with 7 million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Keukenhof (translation kitchen garden) is the loveliest place to get lost amongst the flowers.

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 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. Highclere Castle is an elaborate Jacobethan style castle set upon 1,000 acres in Hampshire, England. George and Fiona Herbert are the current Lord and Lady, known more formally as the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.

View Post