Wish You Were Here
A blog about travel and other inspirations
Category Archives for Travel Guide
I was in Sydney last week for a wedding and I have to say, what a nice place. If they could move the entire continent a bit further west and north I would move there tomorrow. Good weather, better food and great shopping. What is there not to like? The whole drinking thing is a little bit strange. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, in Australia one cannot drink at the beach, or on parks, or on the street. This means no beach clubs, and some very strange drinking laws due to the “Responsible Drinking Act.” But whatever, I can live with that. I think. Below are some of tips for Sydney..
Harbour Rocks – Trendy hotel in The Rocks with great views of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House
The Westin – Solid business hotel with great location.
The Flying Fish – The best meal I had in Sydney. Fresh Oysters and pacific fish cooked in fusion recipes. View of the water was a bonus
Otto – Excellent Italian restaurant on the water in Woolloomooloo
Rockpool – High end degustation menu. Great if you want something fancy to celebrate an occasion.
Bills – Best scrambled eggs I have ever had.
The Grounds of Alexandria – I was very excited about visiting the Grounds before I got there. It did not disappoint A great breakfast joint. Get there before 10:00 to avoid the queues.
Sydney Fish Market - I am not sure why this is not mentioned in all the guides. We arrived at 11.30 and had a picnic lunch on the grass by the water of freshly shucked oysters and sashimi. Heaven.
Things To Do
NSW Gallery - Situated in the Botanic Garden this is probably the most important museum in Sydney. If you have any interest in informing yourself about Australian artists this is a great place to start. There is also a great cafe in the Museum.
MCA - Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney Harbour
Maritime Museum – They have an exact replica of Captain Cook’s boat the HMB Endeavour AND an real submarine you can visit. OF COURSE we went into the Torpedo Submarine. I had my own little Hunt For The Red October moment.
The place to go in Sydney to shop is Paddington on the corner of Oxford Street and Glenmore Road. If you can’t make it out to Paddington then the Strand Arcade in town is your next best bet. Stand out Australian brands are:
Josh Goot - Structural with great prints.
Sass & Bide – The place to go if you are looking for cool and sexy party dresses
Ellery – Great for separates. Very well cut.
Zimmerman – Australian favorite for swimwear but they have some great clothes as well.
Camilla – The Kaftan queen
Cameo the Label – Trendy with affordable prices.
Alice McCall – Cute dresses with cute prints
My husband very kindly took me to to Bangkok for Easter weekend for what was supposed to be a mini-moon. It turned out to be more of a sourcing-moon. I could not help myself and before he knew it my poor husband was trekking through the Chatuchak Market in 39 degree heat carrying my wares while I stomped up and down the aisles haggling my way into my version of heaven. He is a saint, I know. I found some amazing things for both Callixto and myself and I have to say that Bangkok is fast becoming my favorite destination in Asia. Below are some of my new finds in Bangkok.
The Muse Hotel – Very well located just off the Sukhumvit, and behind the the Four Seasons. The rooms are large, and very nicely decorated. If you can’t stay there at least drop by for a sundowner at their Speakeasy Bar.
Eat Me Art Restaurant – Great fusion fares, with a trendy crowd and a nice minimal decor with lots of wood.
Issaya – By far my favorite restaurant in Bangkok. The Thai food there is among the best I have ever had, and the old colonial house is incredibly charming. Added bonus is that they grow their own veggies.
Nahm – Probably the best known Thai Cuisine restaurant. Its very nice and the food is delicious but you have to be able to take your spice. This is not for the faint hearted.
The Iron Fairies – Quirky little bar with strange and whimsical decor, this joint has become quite popular with the locals.
Blue Velvet - Dungeon chic is the look of this place. Kind of cool in a weird way.
Bed Supper Club – Good solid nightclub. Enough said.
Siam Center Mall – This is the place you want to come to if you want to see some Thai Designers. Stand out stores include; Milin, Seneda Theory, Soda, Fly Now, and Greyhound.
Soi 1-3 – Opposite Siam Center mall, these Sois have cute little boutiques. Stand out stores are; Pronto (Japanese denim), Dancing Riot (cute little rompers), Issue (ethnic chic), VAC (sneaker-head heaven).
Chatuchak Weekend Market – You cannot leave Bangkok without experiencing this market at least once in your life. Probably the biggest market in the world, this place is amazing. You can get anything from clothes to ceramics to a live pet. Don’t get lost and avoid the snake section by strategically mapping sections that do interest you: clothing and accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26); handicrafts (sections 8-11); ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25); furniture and home decoration (sections 1, 3, 4, 7).
For further shopping tips please check out my Shopping Guide on Fathom Away.
I went to Phuket for Chinese New Year for a very relaxing couple of days, and I thought I would share some of my new discoveries.
Restaurants and Bars:
- Kah Jok Si – 26 Th Takua Pa - If you only do one thing in Phuket then this is it.. Go for dinner and party there afterwards.
- Lims – Kalim Beach, Soi 7 – Best Thai Food Restaurant, hands down.
- Taste - Surin Beach - Sit under palm trees with sand in your feet to get the proper holiday feel. Food is great too. The ceviche gets special mention.
- Bliss – 202/88 Moo 2, Tumbon Cherngtalay – Snazzy beach club, spend the day and let yourself be entertained by the very charming Italian owner, Pepe.
- Blow in Seduction – 39/1 Bangla Road – If the need to party takes over and you can stomach going to Patong this is as good as its going to get.
- Paresa – 49 Moo 6, Layi-Nakalay Road – Unbelievable views with very good Thai food.
Athens in my opinion is the exact opposite of Paris. Who has not come back from Paris thinking to them themselves, what a beautiful city but how arrogant are the French? Athens is the exact oposite. Not the most visually stunning place I have been too (although the Acropolis is breath taking), but the Athenians themselves must be the nicest people on the planet. I have travelled far and wide, and have been the recipient of much undeserved help and hospitality. Never so much so than in Athens. When I say nice I mean; taxi drivers letting you hitch a ride with another passenger because you are going in the same direction; friends of friends who have never met you before taking you out and showing you a good time, till 4 o’clock in the morning on a Tuesday; suppliers and designers calling around so you can meet as many people as possible while you are there; waitresses giving you free bottles of water for no reason whatsoever; and the list goes on.. For all of you who have never been, forget what you read in the newspapers, put Athens, and Greece in general, on your next destination list and give the Greeks a hand. You will not be disappointed. And also did I mention that the night life is pretty awesome? See below a little Nightlife Guide.
Malconi’s - Patriarchou Ioakim 43 Kolonaki – Trendy Italian restaurant with a nice summer garden in the back.
Oikeio – Ploutarchou 15 Kolonaki- Quaint little Greek bistro serving traditional Greek dishes.
Cinco – Skoufa 52 Kolonaki- Cool tapas hangout and bar which is heaving every night of the week including Monday.
Osterman – Plateia Ag.Eirinis 1 - French style bistro with a hipster crowd.
Gazi - Athen’s version of the Meat Packing District. Filled with bars, restaurants, clubs etc. You will find whatever it is you are looking for here.
Pixi Club – 11 Evmolpidon Street – Minimalist decor, good electro music, good looking Athenians. What more do you need?
Delhi can be a confusing place to shop. Scattered all over the city the “Markets” are not a place you would stumble upon unless you know what you are looking for. These mini shopping areas are also not organised in a very good manner, and it is easy to miss the best shops by taking a wrong turn. Below are som tips on where to go and what to buy when in Delhi.
“N” Block Market
Address: “N” Block Market, Greater Kailash Part 1, New Delhi
N Block Market is the best place to go if you are looking for homeware or clothes made out of blockprint textiles with three of the best known shops in India lined up one after the other.
Kilol: By far my favorite of the three, Kilol’s prints are fresh and modern and the quality is excellent. Homeware and clothes are sold in separate shops. See pictures below
Anokhi: Loved by locals and foreigners alike, Anokhi has both great prints and is run in a sustainable way.
Fabindia: Will satisfy most of your homeware needs as you can buy everything from cotton dhurie rugs to bead spreads to placemats made of all sorts of textiles, not just block-printed ones.
Address: South New Delhi close to the India gate
Good Earth: An amazing homeware store not to be missed if you come Delhi. Their porcelain is particularly beautiful.
Amethyst: Great little jewellery shop selling fun and modern jewellery made out of silver and gold platted silver which won’t break the bank but still looks great. A little bit difficult to find – head to the back of the “market” and to the right.
Amrapali: Probably the best known jewellery shop in India, their Khan Market outlet stocks their cheaper range.
Silverline: As their name suggests this little shop deals mainly in silver jewellery. Rummage through the drawers to see the full selection.
Haus Khas Village
Ogaan: A very well known shop in India stocking traditional indian clothes with a bit of a twist. If you want to buy a saree this is probably the best place to start.
Country Collection: Amazing selection of furniture and artifacts, some antique, others made to look antique. Make sure to ask about the piece you are getting.
Nappa Dori: India is not known for its leather goods, but Nappa Dori is an exception. Beautifully crafted leather goods with vintage Indian photos printed on canvas. Great gifts.
All Arts: Rummage through this shop if you are a fan of old Bollywood posters. Kitch but still cool.
Adress: Aurobindi Marg, opposite INA Market
A real market with with stalls and booths selling all sorts of arts and crafts from all over India this is a great place to buy presents and other nic-nacks. See my blog entry below for more details.
Pictures of Kilol’s Homeware Products