Thursday, 14 January 2016

The sweet spot - Newcastle NSW Australia


You would not be blamed for thinking I have become some sort of travel and food writer however after another sneaky weekend away I am once again inspired to share!  As I said to the lovely Amanda, the owner of Estabar “why take a photograph just to be tucked away in a dusty album or hard drive?”.

For me Newcastle is the sweet spot!  The salty air, beaches, architecture, street art, food and atmosphere hits me in all the right places.  I know this all sounds incredibly familiar as it was only recently posted about our last trip at the end of 2015, however Newcastle it’s like a good book that I just can’t put down!  I love exploring the streets with my family and I find it all so inspirational.  I love sharing food and conversation with my family in all of the amazing eateries.  I love the ever-changing complexity of the city scape and just when you think you have your bearings something new will pop up the next time you visit.

Our first stop had to be Estabar in the historic precinct.  Angus and I stumbled onto this gem a few years ago after visiting the main Newcastle beach so when planning our stay it was an essential stop.  The coffee and food here is simply stunning.  I am not sure if it is the coffee, decor, ocean view, friendly staff, perfect food portions or the local quality ingredients on offer but I leave completely satisfied every time.  I loved all of the textures especially the white tiles and the brown glassware.  After requesting permission at the front counter to take some photos for my blog the lovely owner Amanda came over to our table and introduced herself.  Amanda and I had a great chat and Estabar is now one of my Instagram followers!

Our next stop was the Grain Store for a craft beer and some dinner (another new years resolution out the window).  This converted warehouse has an art deco / industrial vibe and was just perfect for the kiddies.  We enjoyed a classic modern pub dinner on the smoky dark tan leather lounges.  Angus enjoyed his beer and the girls enjoyed their real vanilla-bean ice-cream! How times have changed since I was a kid!  After dinner a long evening walk was in order!  Nobby’s beach is beautiful at sunset and the walk around the ocean baths never disappoints!

The next morning after feeding the girls rice bubbles in the hotel, Angus and I saved our appetites for Papa’s Bagel Bar.  Wow.  Now if the previous days culinary feasts was not amazing enough our second day started with a bang! The tastiest hand rolled bagel I have ever eaten.  I am seriously regretting not trying the sweet bagels!  The atmosphere and decor was so on point that I could hardly contain myself.  I especially loved the recycled timber, the blackened oak, the matte black coffee cups, original ceramics and the monochromatic artwork.  I literally considered grabbing the artwork hanging above the coffee machine and doing a runner up Hunter street.  Level heads prevailed and I decided to stay and chat with the friendly owner Johno while I sipped my coffee, tried to read my magazine and keep the kiddies quiet. 

After to swimming in our hotel pool and window shopping on Darby Street we took a little drive into the suburbs to find my next coffee hit!   Ground Up Espresso was placed on my hit list after coming across this suburban gem on Instagram.  The colorful ceramic tiles on the outside of the cafe ‘popped’ in the suburban landscape and in this case you can judge a book by its cover as my coffee and chicken salad was a fairy-tale ending! 
 

So again thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the photos.  Could I be as bold to sum up our family trip as ‘Cool people doing cool things’?  If you are interested in finding more great things to see and do in Newcastle check out HUNTERhunter it is a great website on whats great and new!

Big love

Felicity xx


p.s I will get back to the party planning again soon I promise! 

Newcastle Beach

 Estabar Newcastle Beach - It's all in the details








The Grain Store - Art deco meets industrial 









Nobby's Beach


 Papa's Bagel Bar - quintessential Newcastle 


Darby Street 





 Ground Up Espresso - the fairy-tale ending!





Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Surf and Turf

When I created this blog last year I only ever intended to share the girls parties and subsequent preparations, however our recent family holiday was so beautiful I just had to share it with you. 

A few years ago I stumbled across an amazing television called The River Cottage Australia. It is a program about an Australian farmer and his adventures on the idyllic south coast of New South Wales. After watching this lovely program I decided that we had to check out the area in person. After arriving at our beautiful farm in Narooma the scenery was just stunning and the sound of bell birds filled the air. The entire family took a huge sigh.  Clark Bay Farm was gorgeous and the girls just adored the alpacas (Grumpy, Blondie and Earl Grey) and native wildlife that visited us at dusk from the surrounding bush.

We spent our days alternating between surfing, hanging out on the beaches and inlets and munching our way through the stunning country townships. I absolutely adored the little country village Tilba. I loved the old buildings, shops, farms and the friendly ladies that served us the most perfect tea and scones.  The girls loved the old fashioned lolly shop and of course we had to leave with some samples! 

Thank you Narooma and the south coast, I feel refreshed, clean, well fed, inspired and reconnected with my family and ready to tackle another year whatever it may bring….

I have put together a collection of some of my photographs.


Big love

Felicity xx