Byron Bay

byron bay clarkes beach

Beaches and Walks to check out:
– Watego’s Beach
– Little Watego’s Beach
– Lighthouse walk from Wategos
– The Pass Beach
– Rainforest boardwalk behind The Byron At Byron
– Tea Tree Lake

Where to eat
The Roadhouse for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The food is incredible here!
Topshop for a great burger and fresh juice.
Town Cafe Restaurant in nearby Bangalow for an amazing degustation menu.
Harvest Cafe in Newrybar about 15 minutes drive from Byron Bay – a lot of the vegetables are grown in their own garden.
Milk and Honey in Mullimbimby for fantastic pizza

Where to shop
Spell Designs for gorgeous boho playsuits, skirts, dresses and jewellery.
Island Luxe Tribe for jeans, leather jackets & pants and gorgeous knits plus home furnishings.
Hope & May for raw and bohemian inspired fashion and interiors.

byron bay clarkes beach

byron bay clarkes beach

byron bay clarkes beach

byron bay clarkes beach

byron bay clarkes beach

byron bay clarkes beach

byron bay clarkes beach




Shopping in Italy



One of the hippest and trendiest stores to visit in Florence is the LUISAVIAROMA Main Store located at Via Roma, 19/21r and is open Mondayto Saturday 10:00am-7:30pm and Sunday 11:00am-7:00pm. There is also a LUISAVIAROMA Contemporary Store located at Via Silvio Pellico, 9 which is open from Monday to Saturday 10:30am – 7:30pm and closed Sunday. LUISAVIAROMA has a strong online presence, so if you can’t get to Florence you can still enjoy the beautifully curated selection of clothing, shoes and accessories online.

Old Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella located on Via della Scala 16 in Florence is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, founded in the 1200s by Dominican friars. Most people would just walk past this gorgeous museum/working pharmacy due to its unpretentious facade on the street – you have to push past the unassuming glass doors to enter the most incredibly beautiful pharmacy. The decor is anything but ordinary and the smell is incredible. There is an incredible selection of scented soaps, facial, body and hand creams, oils, perfumes, baths salts, digestif liquors and the most famous product – their Rose Tonic.

Outlet Shopping in Florence

The two outlet malls we visited in Florence were The Mall and the Space Factory Outlet.

The Mall is about 30 minutes by car from Florence and is located at Europa 8, 50066 Leccio Reggello (FI) Italia and open from 10am to 7pm daily. The quality and range of merchandise was fantastic and we got some incredible discounts at stores like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Lanvin, Stella McCartney, Tom Ford, Burberry, Dior, Tod’s, Valentino and Saint Laurent. I got lucky and found a beautiful Balenciaga tailored jacket for AU$200 and bought loads of things for my children at Stella McCartney. Landry picked up a suit and some shirts at Valentino and also found a pair of high-top sneakers at Lanvin.

For those who don’t have a car, you can reach The Mall by train from Santa Maria Novella to Rignano sull’Arno (35 minutes), then grab a taxi (additional 5 minutes) or you can get there by public bus. Take the Florence SITA bus from Via Santa Caterina da Siena 17, near the train station. Buses leave at 8:30, 9, 11, 12:35 Mon-Sat. and 3pm Mon-Sun.

The Space Factory Outlet is about 45-50 minutes by car from Florence and is located at Via Levanella Becorpi, S.S 69, 52025 Montevarchi and is open Monday-Friday 10:30am-7:30pm, Saturday 9:30am-7:30pm and Sunday 10:30am-6:30pm. We arrived at about 10am to be greeted by a huge queue of people who had clearly done their research and got in early. Before joining the queue, make sure to grab a ticket from the machines located at the entrance as you will need this ticket when making purchases within Space.

Once you’ve decided on something to purchase, the many sales representatives will then ask for your number and take the item away for you to pick up at the cash register. Once you’re done, just head over to the cash register and present your number so that the representative can retrieve all the items you selected. Don’t forget to bring your passport – if you buy enough you can also claim Duty Free!

Space is cavernous and there is an enormous selection of clothes, accessories (jewellery, belts, sunglasses), bags and shoes for men and women from Prada, Prada Sport, Miu Miu and Church. There is a specific area for each brand and not all of it is on ‘sale’. It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria of buying discount Prada, so take your time as there is a huge selection to choose from. There are some items that are produced just for the outlet while others are a higher quality so make sure you’re happy with the quality you’re buying. I ended up getting a beautiful pair of Miu Miu silver glitter Mary-Jane heels at about 70% off!

To get there from Florence: By car (50 mins), take the A1 motorway toward Rome and take the exit marked Valdarno; take the 1A to Via Poggilupi/SP11, then a right to Strada Lungo l’Arno/SP59 and then a left to Strada d/Arno/SR69. Turn left onto Via Levanella Becorpi. By train (35 or 55 mins + 5 mins taxi), take the train from Santa Maria Novella or Campo di Marte to Montevarchi, then grab a taxi.


For those interested in luxury shopping, go and check out the quadrilatero della moda or the ‘quadrilateral of fashion’ a high-class shopping district in the centre of Milan where most of the luxurious stores in the world have a boutique. Streets to visit are Via Monte Napoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Sant’Andrea, Via Manzoni and Corso Venezia.

For those looking for something a little more unique to Milan, check out:

10 Corso Como is a must visit for those who love fashion. Located at 10 Corso Como, it is opened Friday to Tuesday 10.30am to 7pm and Wednesday and Thursday from 1pm to 7:30pm. This luxury boutique is run by gallerist Carla Sozzani, sister to Franca Sozzani the current editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia. A three level boutique, it has a wonderful cafe in an outdoor garden setting and an incredible range of clothes, accessories, shoes, books, art, make-up and home furnishings. Alaia was well represented.

TAD, is a small scale luxury department store and one of the hippest in the fashion district of Milan. Located on Via Statuto 12 M2 Moscova it is opened from Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am-1pm and 3pm-7pm.

Brandy Melville is Italian company that is now very popular in Europe and the US. There is only one size in wide array of fitted off-shoulder tees, to soft angora sweaters and stylish dresses, skirts and tops, shorts and trousers, plus bags and accessories. The prices are super reasonable and great for stylish people on a budget! I visited the boutique in Milan at Via Statuto, 16 which is open from 10:30am to 7:30pm daily.

Madina Milano is a cult Italian make up brand. Pat McGrath one of the most well known make up artists in the fashion industry is a huge fan of their stick concealer. The prices are very reasonable and a good place to visit for small gifts.

Shopping in New Delhi and Jaipur


Visiting India for the first time, I found shopping in New Delhi and Jaipur to be initially quite overwhelming, especially with the heat, noise, different smells and the volume of people generally in the streets. You can easily get lost in the many markets in both cities and the quality varied. After a few days acclimatizing to the surrounds I discovered a few hidden gems that I’ve listed below!

New Delhi

I visited the Khan Market, which is a good place to start when you’re not used to the hustle and bustle of the New Delhi markets. It’s located in South New Delhi, near the India Gate and was just round the corner from the Taj Mahal Hotel where we were staying. With the ex-pat market in mind, Khan Market is open daily, except for Sundays and offers a range of beautiful clothes and home ware boutiques (with fixed prices), bookshops, restaurants and Ayurvedic food and cosmetics. Some of my favourite boutiques there were Anokhi (boho style that would look great in the South of France, Palm Beach or in Bondi), which featured women and children’s clothes as well as soft furnishing like blankets for the home – all export quality and beautifully made. Fab India was also a great find – a little less bohemian than Anokhi there were some great kurtas, light weight pants and skirts for men, women and children. For jewellery there was Amrapali, an incredible chic boutique with the most exquisite pieces with prices to match!


If you’re feeling adventurous check out Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi for fabrics, jewellery, handicrafts and street food. The lanes of Chandni Chowk are divided into bazaars with different specialties.

Connaught Place is also worth a visit for saris, silver jewellery, pashmina and Kashmiri shawls.

We also visited Hauz Khas Village a tiny surburb in New Delhi which is often compared to NYC’s SoHo or Greenwich village. There are some beautiful clothing and jewellery boutiques to be found as well as some beautiful antique and interior design stores if you’re looking to find something for your home! There were some gorgeous restaurants and cafes there as well.


I loved shopping in Jaipur which is well known for its textiles, colourful stone jewellery, pottery and brass work and came back home loaded with some great finds! Some of my favourite discoveries, that I intend to visit again on our next trip back to India include:

Hot Pink India was established by Marie-Hélène de Taillac, a well known French jewellery designer in partnership with the family that runs Gem Palace. There are two locations – the original shop is located in the beautiful grounds of Narain Niwas Palace, Narain Singh Road and is open daily from 10 am – 7:30 pm. The second location is located within the Amer Fort and is a beautiful, cool oasis from the intense heat. Both locations carry a wide selection of clothes, bags, accessories and scarves from local designers from Jaipur like Manish Aurora and Rajesh Singh. We bought some beautiful white cotton shirts for Landry and I picked up an intricately woven belt, block print scarf and dip tied handbag.

Gem Palace is an institution with two locations in Jaipur. The main store is located on MI Road with a smaller boutique to be found within the Rambagh Palace. The quality of workmanship and the variety of stones, metals and styles is undisputed. Starting prices are surprisingly quite reasonable i.e. less than $50 for a simple pair of silver earrings. If you can’t find something you like, you can pick your own stone and design, which is what I did! I left with the most incredible green amethyst solitaire, large quartz drop earrings and two necklaces made from gold/peridot and gold/quartz. The service is impeccable and definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for something a bit special.


Amrapali has 3 locations in Jaipur – along MI Road, in the Rambagh Palace as well as in the Palace Atelier of the Museum City Palace. The pieces are exquisite.

Nayika was super hard to find and our driver had a hard time locating it on MI Road. If you are up for discovering a hidden gem, this little boutique is located at the back of a driveway in a small courtyard behind Tholia’s Khuber, which sells antique silver jewellery. Open from Monday to Saturday, 10:30 am – 7:30 pm you’ll find a beautiful range of unexpectedly chic quilted silk jackets, tops and skirts. You won’t be disappointed.

Anokhi is now a household name in India for their exquisite Jaipuri garments. The Anokhi store in Jaipur, on Prithiviraj Road, is enormous and located on the 2nd floor of a very unassuming office building. It carries a wide range of clothes for women and children, table and bed linen, as well as accessories. The adjoining vegetarian café is a welcome respite from all the spicy food we’d been eating and a great place to enjoy a quick cheap meal.

Anokhi also has a museum near the Amer Fort dedicated to hand-printing and Jaipur’s rich garment-making tradition. It’s a bit difficult to find, but when you do find it, it is worth a visit. If you book early enough, you can learnt to carve your own woodblock for printing and for children, there is an opportunity to decorate their own t-shirt or scarf from a variety of woodblocks and paints.

Soma, also has quality clothes, fabrics, linen and accessories.

Rasa is definitely worth visiting – located behind the Raj Mandir Cinema, adjacent to Cafe Kala Pani, this little boutique is open weekdays 10:30am to 7:30pm and on Sundays 11am to 5pm. The store carries a wide range of beautiful contemporary wood block blankets, sheets, cushions as well as bathrobes and tops. The workmanship is exquisite and I ended up purchasing a quilted reversible blanket with silver block print blossoms, navy blue with silver block print blossom cushions and a beautiful bathrobe.


I also found the boutiques in the top hotels in each city to have a beautifully curated collection of local handicrafts of a superior quality to those found in the markets. It was sometimes worth buying from the hotel boutiques for the quality and not having to haggle for small gifts.



The Souks of the Medina

Souk Medina Marrakech

As I mentioned in earlier posts, we visited Morocco during Ramadan. The experience was still incredible but next time I would plan my trip around Ramadan which was in the middle of summer this year. Apart from contending with almost forty degree (celsius) heat, we found some of the more popular restaurants, souks and shops had closed for the month only to return in early September. Our hotel, the BAB Hotel was very quiet as was most of the Gueliz district – the new district outside of The Medina. Souk Cherifia was closed for renovation, Terrasse des Epices was not open and popular boutiques like KIS Boutique (Keep It A Secret), Lalla and Heritage Berbere were also closed.

The souks of the Medina are not for the faint hearted. It can be overwhelming with all the noise, colour, choice, number of people and the constant touts looking for your business. I happen to love markets and was up for the challenge but found it daunting the first time I visited. I would recommend, you spent the first visit just familiarising yourself with the atmosphere – take in the sites, sounds and get a feel for the prices. Stall holders are very persuasive and as soon as you open up a dialogue or catch their eye, you’ll find yourself haggling over prices before you know it. It is difficult to navigate (even with a map) and we found the most effective way to find restaurants or specific boutiques was to save the location on Google Map before we set out into the Medina, then use the GPS to get around. Some locals were super helpful and took us to the place we were looking for – others were more interested in taking us to their friends’ stall…all part of the experience and adventure! There are no official opening hours but we found most of the boutiques and stalls in The Medina opened around 11 in the morning.

Once we got a bit more comfortable with the layout of the Medina, we discovered some stalls with amazing pieces for the home. If you love Moroccan wedding blankets or handira, go visit the Soufiane Bros in the Souk des tapis – they specialise in handira and Beni Ourain rugs and have the most beautiful display in the Souk des tapis. You can’t miss them – they’re right at the end, with sparkling Moroccan wedding blankets hanging from the ceiling and piled up high to the ceiling. The most beautiful ones are on display and Mohid was very accommodating in showing us a number of handira, explaining that they work with a number of artisans and only collect the antique handira. You’ll find some cheaper handira at other stalls but if you ask, you’ll find that they’re machine made. It’s the antique handira with large wool tufts, sequins and two ties (so you can use the blanket like a cape) that you want to bring back! The rugs and blankets are made by the various tribes of The Atlas Mountains including the Ben Ourain and Azilal tribes.

Other items worth buying in the souks are leather poufs (the metallic ones are vinyl!) – ask for the export quality ones, hand hammered lamps and trays, baskets (all shapes and finishes) as well as Beni Ourain or Azilal carpets, flat kilim weave rugs and Boucherouite rugs a more recent style of rug made from the scraps of different material, designed free hand by the woman making the rug.

Some of the beautiful boutiques we discovered included: Michèle Baconnier Boutique, Tresor des Nomades by Mustapha Blaoui on 142 rue Bab Doukkala, 33 Rue Majorelle opposite Jardin Majorelle (try the Kaowa juice bar also on the same premise), Kif Kif, Bouriad Karim on Rue Fatima Zohra R’mila Dar El Bacha (beautiful selection of kaftans and boho-style clothing that he produces for the boutique Calypso) and El Abidi Nasser Eddine at #9 Souk Semmarine for beautiful Berber jewellery.

Souk Medina Marrakech

Souk Medina Marrakech

Souk Medina Marrakech

Here are a few of our purchases from the souks..




Souk Medina Marrakech