Friday, 28 August 2015

Southern Highlands NSW & Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa

Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa

The moment I stepped into this secluded property, I knew we were in for something special.

It truly felt as if I has stepped into a page of the Pride & Prejudice book or the Secret Garden. Enchanting, magical, whimsical and haunting all at the same time. 

Hubby and I booked ourselves a midweek overnight stay in one of their garden view suites with the dining package just at the start of winter (early June) to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary.


We enjoyed a peaceful high tea at the Orangery, played an hour of tennis at their private courts, walked the estate and adventured through their labyrinth of gardens, dreaming, enjoying the quiet moments and pretending we had this grand mansion all to ourselves. No crowds, just peace and quiet with only the sounds of birds singing.

High Tea at the Orangerie

Tennis Courts
Enjoying a game of tennis

We then finished off the night with a spectacular 3 course meals at their Hordens Restaurant whilst sipping away on full bodied Shiraz before making our way slowly back to our room admiring the interior, ambiance, character and the decor of this mansion. Our room welcomed us with warmth from our own  fireplace. 

We woke up the next morning with a view of gorgeous community of Rosella's right in front of our back door, grazing surrounding the water fountain, ignoring our prying eyes and amusement It was absolutely a breath taking view, I could wake up to that every morning. 

Our back door and view to the  fountains

View from our room

The fountains outside our Garden view room

As we stepped out to the gardens to greet the colorful winged beauties, the crisp fresh air filled our lungs and our rejuvenated bodies. We enjoyed the slight warmth from the morning sun rays as we got our little dose of vitamin D.

French Style Pool House

We enjoyed a full buffet breakfast, freshly made lattes, the lovely morning smiles of the restaurant staff sharing little warm conversations with them of what brought us here and what brought them there.

Everyone seemed so friendly and helpful in this part of NSW, probably one of the reasons I have fallen head over heels with the Southern Highlands...and who wouldn't?

The Gardens
The Gardens
The Gardens
The Gardens

I was so sad to part with this place, I thought to myself I must find another reason..any reason to come back again. If we do stay again and I'm sure we will, I promised to spoil myself to one of their spa treatments.

I also made Hubby promise that we will come back again during late spring to see the spectacular garden blooming with their rich deep shades of greens...It'll be another sight and experience to see.

The Spa

The Spa

French Style Pool House

Southern Highlands NSW

Once we had checked out of the Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa, we decided to do a full day of visiting the local wineries, enjoying the scenic road trip that led us to each one.

First we stopped of at Bendooley Estate joined with Berkelouw book cafe. The cafe and bookstore was beautiful, warm and cosy.  I couldn't help but pick up a book and sit in front of their crackling fireplace whilst enjoying my latte. I also purchased a book for the road, we now have made it a tradition that every time we visit we ought to buy a book or two for our home library.

They had amazing wines, we walked away with a few bottles of Shiraz and actually picked up more on our second visit to the Southern Highlands.

Then we stopped by Mount Ashby Estate and enjoyed a light lunch at their French Cafe "La
Palette Cafe".

We were also greeted by their long haired furry host, a gentle and old Golden Retriever. We enjoyed the charcuterie plate and drank their very own wine produce surrounded by the coziness and warmth of their fireplace. We felt as if we were eating somewhere in the country side of France. It was a delicious experience. 

I purchased a couple of imported and handmade items from their little store, a bottle of their own Pinot Gris, a jar of beetroot and rosemary chutney by Maggie Beresford and also a canned duck confit by La Belle Chaurienne imported from France. We enjoyed them at home.

They also had a separate boutique store just right beside the restaurant selling imported French and European collectibles and restored furniture's. The shed-turned-store filled with so many beautiful things that I wished I could afford to take home. As some of you know my love for french and vintage stuff so it was hard and sad not being able to walk away with one thing.

More wineries we visited and continue to visit are the following- beautiful vineyard landscape and restaurant. friendly staff, great food and we bought a few bottles of their Oldbury Reserve Shiraz.

Since our early June trip to the Southern Highlands, we've already done 2 midweek visits to avoid the crowd and for a quick getaway. We continue to visit the wineries above to pick up a few bottles to add to our home cellar and enjoy brunches at some their cafes as our weekend dates.

Plan a trip to Southern Highlands, NSW and you might love it as much as I do.

Love and Peace,


Thursday, 20 August 2015

My Kitchen Toys

My Kitchen Toys I cannot live without....

They add brightness to my day, my meals and my taste buds.

DeLonghi Vintage Icona Kettle & Toaster in Blue

Kitchen Aid Azure Blue
KSM156 Platinum Stand Mixer with Frosted Bowl

Molecular Gastromy Kit

Monday, 13 July 2015

Sugar Nests, Candied Flowers & Rosewater-Pistachio Panna Cotta

Ahhhh….today is a lazing day. It’s mid-afternoon, I'm still in my pj's (just one of the greatest perks of running your own business from home) and laying on the sofa blogging away.  It’s very rare that you’d find me in this state, Hubby teases that I may have mild ADD as I can’t seem to sit for more than 10 minutes without feeling agitated or bored even when I'm sick. I admit that I'm always on-the-go, I guess I just want to be as productive as much possible cause life is short right??... but a good book or movie can easily pin me down.

But there’s a reason to all this laziness and feeling slumberous type of day. The past week has been eventful and full of lingering problems and it's taken a toll on me so here I am with the flu, blogging it off. If you can't bare to hear me whinge  and whine then skip this part and scroll down for the

Well, last week started off with Hubby and myself facing a whole heap of problems with our pool installation. The pool company just started excavating our backyard but had to stop immediately due to some unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances (won't go into details as it's something I'd rather forget) which involved a lot of money to resolve before digging can continue. Definitely something that our wallets did not prepare for.

According to the's probably one of the worst scenarios you can come across during the digging process. And then we had to urgently look for plumbers to fix our broken sewage and an electrician to sort out some exposed electrical wiring all caused from the excavations...we couldn't use our lights and any plumbing for a day, it was a pain. 

The idea of owning a new swimming pool is exciting but the dilemmas to make it happen just became too overwhelming…and yes, I did have a big girls cry ....a couple of times. The air just lingered with problems, problems and more problems. I'm glad all of that is sorted and digging continues tomorrow. Should be 3 months and and pool should be done. We're praying we don't come across anymore problems.

And then we had my two nephews and two nieces stay over for a couple of days while they’re on school holidays (best part of the week), then we hosted a dinner party at home (fun and tiring), then spent two days scrubbing and polishing the house for a photo shoot of our home renovation featured in a newspaper (super tiring but exciting)….so no wonder I feel so run down today. And flu just started kicking in and all the cold snaps we're having isn’t helping.

Anyways, I had to find some sort of release and the only place I can do that in my current state is in the kitchen and garden. As I always say and will say again, these are “my place of zen”. So I spent a little time in the garden picking off some of my edible pansies but any longer out there would make my flu much worse as it’s really cold outside. 

So I headed for the kitchen to spin some sugar nests and make candied flowers for the first time to practice for a little high tea I’m hosting for a couple of friends next week. I plan to use these gorgeous finishing touches on my French Earl Grey Creme Brulee and also on my White Choc- Rose water-Pistachio Panna Cotta, scroll down for the recipe.

I found therapy and relaxation as I worked my magic in the kitchen thanks to the presence of solace and peace. And after all that I am starting to feel better already ;P. Now time for Hubby to taste test.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

We've been featured @ Reno Addict!


Real reno: the Hamptons inspired home with a French twist


Love and Peace,


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Easy DIY Coastal Beach Style Flower Vase or Candle Holder

Easy DIY Coastal Beach Style Flower Vase or Candle Holder

Hey guys,

Wanted to share my latest DIY Craft Project- A Coastal Beach Style Flower Vase or Candle Holder...super easy and super quick. I needed to have a bit of a break from whatever it was I was doing and needed some creative breather.

DIY Coastal Beach Style Flower Vase or Candle Holder

I've been slowly trying to organize the house by getting rid or repurposing old stuff. I found a glass cylinder flower vase stained from its previous use (orchid terrarium that didn't take off) and it's been tucked away in the back of my cupboard for a while. I also found some sisal rope lying around so I thought..lets give you guys some purpose. It took me about 30 mins to put the vase together because I already had all the materials at hand.

And lately I have been adding bits of coastal/beach decor in the home to add a slight coastal feel. Maybe because it's now winter and Hubby and I havent hit the surf since the chill kicked I'm missing the beach, the sand between my toes and crashing waves a lot. Since adding some coastal decor, it's certainly created even more of a relaxed feel in our home. It's been really easy to integrate in our home decor (french/vintage/hamptons) this vase I put together fitted right in.

Maybe come summer I'll fill it up with sand and put a pillar candle in there, or fill it up with my collection of seashells.

Materials required:

Glass Vase or Ceramic Container
Sisal Rope from a Hardware store, length depends how much of the container you want to cover.
Hot Glue Gun and Sticks
Silk Flowers of your choice ( I used Hydrangeas and white roses, my fav) OR
Fill up with sand and pillar candle.

Firstly, I hot glued the end of the rope to stop it from fraying, not ideal to singe it as you might start a fire. Then I did it again but this time glued it to the bottom of glass vase, then slowly wrapping the sisal rope around and around the vase, gluing it to the glass and partly to the previous line of rope as you go.

When you get to the other end of the rope, make sure you hot glue the tip also to stop it from fraying and then glue it against the glass and bottom layer of rope. In the end, all the rope should be well glued to the glass and taught. Any moving rope can be slightly lifted to add glue to the glass and then stick the rope down against it.

I didnt cover the the vase entirely as I wanted to expose some of the glass on the top, besides the bottom of the vase was the only stained part and the upper was in perfect no flaws to hide there.

Super easy guys! Deciding where to put it was the hardest part, mine settled on the coffee table next to my resin clam shell bowl which you can purchase from my store. It comes in a silver or gold interior as well.

DIY Coastal Beach Style Flower Vase or Candle Holder

Good luck!

Love and Peace,