Back to Australia’s best feature (maybe?) the beaches… there are tons of amazing near Sydney and I only saw a handful.

This is Bondi, which I didn’t love but there are lots of nice bars and cafes and restaurants nearby it’s probably very much the place to be seen.

There are so many sea pools in Australia, I think mostly because the sea isn’t always safe to swim in for multiple reasons, from stories about jellyfish, sharks and waves I can understand the need to stay out.

The walk from Bondi to Coogee is definitely something you should do if you visit Sydney, the walk is easy you cannot get lost and you see lots of beaches…

The waves were pretty strong in the AM, there were several people knocked into the pool by this big one…

The path takes you through this graveyard.

I don’t know what this beach is called but there were tons of BBQ’s and pavilions and children’s play parks around it and it was nice and sheltered and mini. A really nice beach.

The other thing I loved about the walk is looking at all the amazing beach houses.

There was a big sailing club at one cove, so many boats.

Then Coogee which I think was my favourite beach in Sydney, and everyone elses. It was very busy.

Another outdoor pool…

The amazing Chish and Fips

 

The amin attraction is Sydney, my good friend Johnny Fash lives here… which is why we kept coming back to this beach… this is the view from his apartment block roof. Jealous much?

The amazing curry he cooked for us…

 
Hmmm this post was a dangerous one to write, all I can think of now is getting back on a plane so I can lie on that beach again!

Byron Bay – Part Two

June 14, 2012

 The second half of our week in Byron was even more amazing than the first…

We saw beautiful sand sculptures at night…

Had some great picnics by the beach, I was obsessed with this juice…

This halloumi sandwich was form the corner shop… insane. It was so good. Not only is the coffee amazing in Australia so is the food options… no soggy supermarket sandwiches to be seen.

We enjoyed the garden at our B&B – Baystay

And ate tons of amazing fresh fruit for breakfast most days…

As well as some naughty tasty treat to balance this out. Loved the breakfasts at Baystay so much.

We ate more gelato… not every night but… okay every night, well you would too if you had to walk past this every night.

 
Saw even more amazing cars. This is actually my dream car, white E Type Jaguar with red leather seats and amazing wheels (I met one once when I was about 13 and ever since I have loved them) 

Wished we lived in beautiful neighbourhoods like this one…

In a cute house with an arch like this…

 
Or a lovely cladded house like this one…

Spotted houses for sale… and dreamt…

And ones with Ozzie Christmas decorations…

On Christmas Eve we ate a beautiful simple dinner or prawns and asparagus from the BBQ hosted by the B&B… Baystay (seriously cannot recommend this place enough!)

Also the owners Son proposed to his girlfriend on Christmas Day so we were able to celebrate with them a little the next day as well. Such a lovely thing to hear about on our honeymoon. He took her on an early morning walk to the beach and his Mum had hidden a bottle of Champagne behind some rocks for them.

With an amazing idea for a simple salad; cucumber and mango with coriander.

We woke up on Christmas Day in our little pad to the most amazing sunshine and opened our presents and cards.

My husband had wrapped mine so beautifully. I loved the travel stamped paper.

We opened the bubbles the B&B gave us and made Mimosas

And ate our breakfast in bed, croissants and lots of fruit, yogurt and granola purchased the day before.

Then we headed to the beach for a mini picnic

I will remember this Christmas Day forever.

We really missed our family and friends but I cannot tell you how special it was to be just the two of us on our honeymoon on our first Christmas together and I know it is going to make this year at home all the more special.

Then we BBQ’d at our B&B eating probably the healthiest Christmas dinner we will ever eat; BBQ prawns, wholemeal pittas, salad and halloumi.

We did manage to find some mince pies too!

Then we decided to go back to the lighthouse again…

The views are immense.

And be up here on such a gorgeous day was worth it.

 
I love this photograph, it completely epitomizes Australian beaches to me; huge, spotless and pretty untouched.

We got back to central Byron at dusk

 

It was a beautiful evening but the wind was picking up which meant everyone was at the beach.

Because the waves were huge! There were only a couple of surfers brave enough and they were getting pulled out by speedboats. My photographs didn’t pick them up but this was so cool to watch, they were very talented guys.

And on Christmas Day night we went to the Italian on the Pacific, which I really wanted to write a full post about but my photos are very dark. We drank beautifully made cocktails, ate amazing tuna tartare and I had the most tender beef fillet and we shared their famous tiramisu.

I highly recommend you visit for a special dinner if you go to Byron Bay. We then had a moonlit walk back to Baystay before leaving the next day to go to Sydney.

I was so very sad to leave, I would love to spend some more time here.

 

Such an amazing first Christmas as a married couple, just the two of us in a sunny amazing town.

I love Byron… here are my recommendations;

Byron Bay – Part One

My favourite cafe – The Top Shop

O – Sushi

Bayleaf

The Owl and the Pussycat

Treehouse

St Elmo

Byron Bay was the next stop after Brisbane. We spent Christmas week here and it was insanely good. I absolutely fell in love with the place and can totally see why so many people get stuck here.

My husband had been before, the last time he was in Oz he was backpacking with a group of mates so he saw a very different town, form a sleepy surfers paradise to a more of a busy place. The fact that is so amazing has brought a lot of money here.

The centre is the cutest, almost like a wild west town.

The beach was ridiculous, I have hundreds of photographs.

We went for at least one walk on the beach every day, sometimes two sometimes three.

Sunset on our first night.

A perfect day with deep blue skies and fluffy clouds.

A dramatic sky. This beach had them all in that week.

I cannot get over how clean the Australian’s keep their beaches, we could seriously learn from them, not just in the way of litter (but they are spotless) but it’s not like anywhere else there are not shops or stalls or sun loungers or anything… just big stretches of beautiful pale sand, amazing clear water and huge waves.

And again lots of the cutest houses. There were some amazing ones in Byron.

We had a good week of eating here, the weather was great and we ate a lot of gelato.

As well as gourmet meals with beautiful Australian wine at St Elmo

 
Huge fresh mussels in a beachside fish and chip restaurant that used to be the ‘Bathers Pavillion’. Cute as.

Not so pretty desserts that tasted so much better than they looked, this chocolate pudding was so rich it finished me off that night.

The odd slice, also so good. Proper pizza.

It was too hot for Pies and the sun and the size of these pies scared me off but they looked great and the owner was lovely chasing after me with my phone I left on the bench outside one day.

In fact everyone in Australia was super friendly and lovely everywhere we went.

Drinks in so many amazing bars with the windows wide open and the breeze cooling us down after a hard day swimming (my husband) and sun bathing (me)

And our B&B; Baystay was the cutest, as were the family. They made or bought beautiful breakfasts every day as we ate them on the balcony upstairs.

 
We were even lucky enough to get to the farmers market, a Sarah Wilson must do.

Held in a space behind an old railway station you have to cross the tracks to get here.

You can find so much good stuff here, amazing the usual vegetables and fruit they had meat, seafood and deli goods.

To try to cancel out all of the good stuff we’d been eating we brought some vegan falafel and hummous.

And a chocolate beetroot and coconut cake. All delicious and so virtuous.

Another thing I really remember was the amount of amazing and crazy cars we saw… these are the top of the iceberg.

 
One must do was a walk to the lighthouse which we did several times… the first time we thought we were so unlucky as a storm brewed up whilst we were walking… but we got to see the rain come down from afar which is always awe inducing.

 
I love it when you can actually see the weather, Australia’s huge skies were made for this.

You can reward yourself at the top with great coffee and cakes, before you walk back the other side through the bush. It’s a great workout and our B&B owners did this everyday at 6am!


And what is with these scary birds? I saw them everywhere and they are not afraid of you at all. This one didn’t move for anything.


This was the path from our B&B to the beach, it was a mini-bush path and scared the hell out of me, so noisy with bugs you could just imagine all the Australian bugs and snakes and spiders in there.

But it’s so worth it, because then you arrive here.

I could have gotten used to that life, the beach is where everyone goes, to exercise, to chill, to meet up with friends, to get some sunshine, to cool off in the sea. It’s an amazing thing to have on your doorstep.

 I think I said amazing about 20 times in this post.  So much more to come.

Brisbane – Australia

May 17, 2012

 Our first day in Australia was spent recovering from our flight and chilling with our friends (who we were staying with in Brisbane) but on our second day we drove up to the gold coast and I saw the Australia I know from Home and Away.

I mean I literally felt like I was in Home and Away.

Australia’s beaches are so big and so so clean.

I really liked Brisbane, as you do when you are away comparing it to Home, to Bristol I felt there were similarities as well as differences. Really loved it here.

We ate amazing breakfasts at home and out.

Drank amazing coffee. Serious, Ozzies are so crazy for coffee, but only for good coffee. I don’t think I had an average cup the whole time we were there.

 
Ditto with the food, it seemed to be so good everywhere. Very little junk food really, or if it was junk food, e.g. pizza, pies and burgers they were still amazing. No one stands are crappy food in Australia it seems.

Ate at a restaurant dedicated to gyoza. A. Maze. Ing. I want one.

And ate the best sushi I ever had. Until LA maybe.

I loved Australia’s houses, again just like TV; Neighbours and Home and Away. The classic Queenlanders.


Cute details everywhere. I hope people didn’t mind me snapping.

 
Went to the beautiful Modern Art museum on Brisbane’s Southbank, which looks and feels so similar to London! Highly recommend this if you are. Just don’t go super hungover like we did. We didn’t last long.

We stayed with friends here for a week and it really was lovely, it was so nice to be in a home after 6 weeks away and be able to make food and drinks when we wanted, and eat snacks rather than meals. So lovely to see our friends who live here now, and we also hung out at their parents amazing house right the corner, swimming in the pool and hanging out on the deck looking out over the city.

 
More amazing food, the Ozzies are good at salads. Really good. I will share this recipe over on Full as an Egg – made by my friend Carla.


 Also the most amazing farmers market, it was HUGE. So much produce, the fruit was insane. And so many food stalls too. I was majorly jealous.

 

 
You could even get your eyebrows threaded!

 

We also drank a lot this week, what is it about catching up with old friends who you never see that makes you drink, A LOT. Many amazing cocktail bars in Brisbane.

A beautiful city.

On our last night before we drove down to Byron Bay we had this amazing sky…

And this amazing amazing amazing meal from Alex, Carla’s husband, I will also be making and sharing this on Full as an Egg soon.

 

It might not be a holiday destination but the Gold Coast is nearby (not my thing but lots of beaches and hotels) it has an airport and Byron Bay which is so lovely (post to come soon) is just under two hours away. Brisbane has amazing food, so many cute places to eat and drink again see Full as an Egg in the coming weeks and great shopping. There’s even a Chanel. Oh Yes.

My recommendations;
Sake
Sling
Salt
Super Butcher
Harajuka Gyoza