TRAVEL GUIDE | PARIS, FRANCE 🇫🇷

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” – Ernest Hemingway.

Oh Paris! This is my second tryst with this captivating city and I look forward to the next. With only two nights in the city of love to end our European summer holiday, we avoided the typical landmarks and tourist traps, exploring the city on foot heading instead to dining hotspots. I hope you enjoy this travel guide. Just comment below with any questions!   

Grand Hotel Amour Travel Guide Paris

STAY | GRAND HOTEL AMOUR
📍
  18 rue de la Fidélité 

Grand Amour Hotel is located on rue de la Fidélité in the 10e, an upcoming neighbourhood fast becoming the place to be. You'll spot the tell-tale blue, red and white frontage and by night, the hotel's bar Petite Amour bursts with bodies across the road. Co-owned by Thierry Cos and designed by graffiti artist cum nightlife kingpin André Saraiva (Le Bain and Cafe Henrie in NYC, The Friend in LA, Le Baron in London).

Don't be offended by the erotic photographs, mainly of the designer himself, and the sex hyped details (yes that means vagina patterned carpet and a well endowed wooden carving of Mickey mouse in the lobby). You'll find 42 unique rooms (and one apartment) inspired by travels from across the globe and a hip pink washed restaurant.

We stayed in the Apartment which was perfect for three at 340,00 € per night (approx AUD $532 per night). The boutique hotel experience is so much more personalised. I love the attention to detail, being greeted by postcards and welcome notes on the bed and the Hermes bath products. You truly are treated as an individual and not just a room number. It may be a little pricier but is certainly worth it... treat yo'self! Read my blog for all the pics.

Grand Hotel Amour Travel Guide Paris
Grand Hotel Amour Travel Guide Paris
Paris Travel Guide

BAKED DELIGHTS | COLIN REGIS
📍 43 Rue Montmarte

When my sister’s Parisien friend shared a little insider info… ‘the best boulangerie-patisserie in Paris, in my humble opinion’, naturally it was our first stop. Order up and find a park bench to share your baked goods. Recommend arriving early as stocks were running low in the afternoon. Read my blog. 

Regis Colin
Stohrer Paris

BAKED DELIGHTS | STOHRER
📍 
51 Rue Montorgueil

Paris' oldest patisserie opened in 1730 by pastry chef Nicolas Stohrer, the pastry chef for Louis XV of France and his wife, the daughter of the king of Poland. Centuries on, Stohrer remains one of Paris' most distinguished. We stocked up on an eclair, strawberry tart, cannelle and mille feuille and enjoyed back at le apartment.  Read my blog. 

Stohrer Paris
Le Fermette Paris

CHEESE DREAMS | LA FERMETTE
📍 86 Rue Montorgueil

Cheese heaven! The best thing about staying in an AirBnb (or in our case Le Apartmentt at Grand Hotel Amour) is finding local produce and creating the ultimate grazing platter. The owners of this fromagerie were incredibly friendly, the gatekeepers of cheese heaven. Buy your weight in cheese and meats then head down the road for plump raspberries and fresh apricots. Read my blog.

La Fermette
901210fbe2567bf4343e2c2ff6d6e772--french-chic-random-quotes.jpg
La Bovida Paris France Travel Guide

SHOP | LA BOVIDA MAGASIN LES HALLES
📍 36 Rue Montmartre

Gourmands, home cooks and chefs alike will fall in love with La Bovida. A two storey kitchen supply store brimming with every culinary utensil, tool and gadget you may never need. Definitely worth a visit, although very very pricey.

Mata Mata Paris France

☕️☕️ | MATAMATA COFFEE
📍 58 Rue d'Argout

Paris is good at many things and coffee certainly is not one of them. Luckily though, Matamata is serious about coffee. 

Mata Mata Paris France
Grand Hotel Amour

EATS | GRAND HOTEL AMOUR
📍 
18 rue de la Fidélité 

The Restaurant at Grand Hotel Amour is straight outta a scene from a Wes Anderson movie, event Refinery29 UK thinks so. Enjoy breakfast, a lazy lunch or glass of wine at dinner. The restaurant rolls easily from morning into night. Such a chic spot in Paris' favourite 'love hotel'. 

Grand Hotel Amour Brunch Paris Travel Guide
Hotel Grand Amour Paris Travel Guide
Le Comptoir de La Gastronomie Paris

EATS | LE COMPTOIR DE LA GASTRONOMIE
📍 34 rue Montmartre

You can’t go wrong with Les Classiques at Le Comptoir de La Gastronomie. Try the house made duck foie gras (any which way.. the carpaccio version was popular amongst diners) terrine with toast and chutney, Foie gras ravioli with truffle sauce, Shepherd’s Pie with duck and mushroom sauce and an obligatory serve of bourgogne snails. Read my blog here

Le Comptoir de La Gastronomie Paris
Le Dauphin Paris

EATS | LE DAUPHIN
📍 
31 Avenue Parmentier,

A hip bar serving Spanish-style tapas. You’ll love the marble everything and floor to ceiling mirrors. Very chic, very disco and right next door to Le Cave and Le Chateaubriand. This little strip is a must-do. Read my blog here.

Le Dauphin Paris
Le Chateaubriand Paris

EATS | LE CHATEAUBRIAND
📍 
 129 Avenue Parmentier

This stylish bistro run by self-taught Basque chef Iñaki Aizpitarte, came highly recommended by my friend, gourmand and all round good guy Max Veenhuyzen. His list of the world’s best eating haunts and cultural must eats is coveted and FK I'm lucky to have such generosity on tap. Sir… I salute you.

Le Chateaubriand was incredible!  70 Euros for the 7 course menu, 135 with matching wines.

Le Chateaubriand Paris
Maison Sauvage Paris France Travel Guide

DRINK | MAISON SAUVAGE
📍 
5 Rue de Buci

Find a spot streetside, order cocktails and watch the world go by. 

Au Petit Fer a Cheval Paris

EATS | AU PETIT FER A CHEVAL
📍 
30 Rue Vieille du Temple

Holiday dilemma #496… should your last meal be traditional cuisine of the destination? For us, the answer was yes. So we found a stylishly shabby old bistro, Au Petit fer a Cheval in Le Marais, that has likely not changed the menu since 1963. Soup du jour, Steak tartare, Duck confit and Beef bourguignon satisfied that calling for traditional French fare. Read my blog.

Au Petit Fer a Cheval.jpg

WISH LIST | FOR NEXT TIME
Experimental Cocktail Club
Le Cave
Clown Bar
Le Bon Marché
Le Hibou
Le Mary Celeste

TRAVEL GUIDE | TAORMINA, SICILY ITALY 🇮🇹

High on Monte Tauro on the east coast of Sicily sits the resort town of Taormina. With sweeping views of the Ionian Sea, Mount Etna as its backdrop and an ancient Teatro Greco ‘Greek theatre’, this seaside location is the perfect escape for a taste of Sicilian dolce vita.

We packed a lot into our three nights in Taormina thanks to travel tips and recommendations from friends. I hope this list keeps you satiated.

 Views of Mount Etna

Views of Mount Etna

Villa Hotel Belvedere Taormina Travel Guide

STAY | HOTEL VILLA BELVEDERE
📍 via Bagnoli Croci, 79

Hotel Villa Belvedere has all the charms of a traditional Sicilian private villa with its terracotta floors and parlour rooms. Nestled on the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naxos and Mount Etna and only a short walk to the town. We loved our three night stay here. Read my review here.

Villa Hotel Belvedere Taormina Travel Guide

SEE | PIAZZA IX APRILE
📍 Corso Umberto

The main square of Taormina is Piazza 9 Aprile, the heartbeat of the town. Named after an important date, 9 April 1860, when mass in the Taormina cathedral was interrupted to announce that Garibaldi had landed at Marsala to begin his conquest of Sicily. Avoid the overpriced cafés that line the square, find a bench and enjoy some people watching whilst taking in the views. 

Taormina Travel Guide

SEE | TEATRO GRECO

The ancient Greek amphitheatre hosts almost all cultural events in Taormina. What a spot for a film festival?! HEAVEN.

The construction of the Teatro Greco dates back to the third century BC and is an awe-inspiring historical sight. Plus you'll love the stunning backdrop of the Calabrian coast, the Ionian coast of Sicily and Mount Etna. 

Taormina
 Chiesa Santa Caterina D'Alessandria

Chiesa Santa Caterina D'Alessandria

SEE | VILLA COMUNALE
📍 Via Bagnoli Croce

Wander through the stunning public gardens to escape the hustle. Created by English aristocrat and conservationist Lady Florence Trevelyan in the late 19th century. Take a book and enjoy this lush paradise overlooking the sea. 

 The Odeon, a modest Roman-era theatre of the AD 2nd century.

The Odeon, a modest Roman-era theatre of the AD 2nd century.

SWEETS | GELATOMANIA
📍Corso Umberto, 7

Look, I’m no gelato expert but I’m about two years into my Chicho Gelato addiction. That weekly hit of the good stuff has certainly refined my palate. Of all the gelato I tried in Taormina, Gelatomania was by far the best. Nearby town Bronte grows the best pistachios in the world, so make sure you get a scoop!

Taormina Travel Guide

SWEETS | PASTICCERIA MINOTAURO
📍 via di Giovanni 15

A local pointed out this little pastry shop. The glossy fruits will dazzle you if you’re a marzipan fiend. Otherwise go for the stuffed cannoli and keep going back until you are dead certain you’ve found your fave flavour.

SWEETS | BAM BAR
📍 via Giovanni di Giovanni, 45

An absolute must. This bright and lively granita bar is a favourite with locals and tourists. Endless granita flavours with in-season heroes. Order the Granita con Brioche… eat like the Sicilians by tearing off the brioche and dipping it past the cream into the granita below to get the full experience. YUM!

EATS | TISCHI TOSCHI
📍 via Francesco Paladini, 3

Cutest name, best little spot! My friend Alicia raved about this hidden gem. Tucked away from the main tourist drag, Tischi Toschi is a family-run trattoria with a focus on slow food. The limited menu changes with the seasons and you’ll find an interesting take on regional specialities. Dive into the wine list and let them steer you towards the local Sicilian winemakers. You have to order the baked goat cheese. Out of this world… salty, stringy, hot and loaded with garlic and herbs.

Tischi Toschi Taormina travel guide
Tischi Toschi Taormina

EATS | TIRAMISÚ TRATTORIA
📍via Cappucini, 1

Another gem from my friend with the good tastebuds. Tiramisu is located nearby Porta Catania and has an intimate and cosy vibe.

Staff were hilarious… this guy thinks he is a dead ringer for Vin Diesel. Go for the jokes, Risotto alla Marinara and Linguine Polpa di Ricci (sea urchin) and stay for its namesake, the tiramisu.

Tiramisu Trattoria Taormina

EATS | PIZZERIA VILLA ZUCCARO
📍 5 Piazza Carmine

This open-air pizzeria was absolutely heaving. Love the bustling vibe and watching pizza pans fly by. Beautiful big pies cooked the Neapolitan way. I have a soft spot (yep that jiggly bit around my waist) for cheese, so the quattro formaggi was my pick. Loved the prosciutto and pistachio number too. Wash it down with an Aperol Spritz. Mangia mangia!

WINE | AL GRAPPOLO D'UVA
📍  via Bagnoli Croci, 6

You'll find charming enotecas dotted through the town. We stopped in for prosecco at Al Grappolo D'Uva before dinner. Highly recommend having an early dinner and then settling in for the evening, letting the staff talk you through the local and natural wines.  

EAT | SUPERNORMAL (Melbourne, VIC)

If you asked where could you go back time and time again. I'd answer with 'Supernormal'. Here's my playlist of smash hits that I've enjoyed over the last two years heading back and forth to Melbourne.  

 Fried rice dough balls with sticky, sweet, sour, spicy sauce and white sesame

Fried rice dough balls with sticky, sweet, sour, spicy sauce and white sesame

 A big glass of orange wine

A big glass of orange wine

 Tuna, avocado, wakame and pickled cucumber

Tuna, avocado, wakame and pickled cucumber

Supernormal Melbourne
 Beef tartare, clam mayonnaise, mustard leaf, shallots

Beef tartare, clam mayonnaise, mustard leaf, shallots

 Cobia sashimi, pickled fennel, chilli and yuzu.

Cobia sashimi, pickled fennel, chilli and yuzu.

supernormal
 Duck bao with twice cooked duck leg, vinegar & plum sauce

Duck bao with twice cooked duck leg, vinegar & plum sauce

Supernormal Melbourne
 Prawn & chicken dumplings, chilli & vinegar sauce

Prawn & chicken dumplings, chilli & vinegar sauce

 Pan fried pot sticker dumplings 

Pan fried pot sticker dumplings 

Supernormal Melbourne
 Ramen is not a regular menu feature. When it's on... run! 

Ramen is not a regular menu feature. When it's on... run! 

Supernormal Melbourne
Supernormal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

TRAVEL GUIDE | PORTLAND, OREGON USA 🇺🇸

'Portland is where young people go to retire.' Portlandia

For a girl that loves local produce, artisanal purveyors, design driven products and those community feels (did I mention food carts?), Portland was everything I could ever ask for! We spent four nights in Portland based at Ace Hotel over the New Year's break. It was absolutely freezing but we found warmth and comfort in the city's friendly hospitality and incredible offerings. 

Ace Hotel Portland

STAY | ACE HOTEL
📍
1022 SW Stark Street

For me, Ace Hotel is Portland. It's located on the edge of the Pearl District and smack bang in the middle of it all. The lobby is a hive of social activity with people tapping away on Macbooks whilst sipping on Stumptown coffee. We kept going back to Clyde Common (it's just off the lobby), and it's right nearby the Alder Street food cart pod and so many great eateries. 

Loved the personalised touches like the locally crafted cookies with a hand written welcome note on the bed and a list of where's best to celebrate NYE.  The rooms had an industrial feel, a little no frills but super comfy with big fluffy pillows and a hard (enough) bed. Attention to detail was 10/10... honour bar full of the best local brews and wines, Malin & Goetz products (like you actually want to use these!) in the shower and impeccable service.  Check out my blog post here.

Portland Travel Guide

☕️☕️ | STUMPTOWN COFFEE
📍various locations

Need coffee in Portland? Stumptown Coffee is the answer. You'll find plenty of locations around the city but my favourite is right next door to the Ace Hotel. Grab a coffee, sink into the green canvas lounge and watch the world pass you by.

Clyde Common
Clyde Common

EAT | CLYDE COMMON
📍
1014 SW Stark St

Clyde Common is also right off Ace's lobby, but that's as hotel restaurant as this place gets. Start your day with a hot breakfast, a hit list of staples right through to more decadent offerings to slam down with a coffee. Stop in for a quick snack, biscuits with housemade jam or pull up a spot at the bar and graze on snacks.  

Tasty & Alder
Tasty & Alder

EAT | TASTY & ALDER
📍
580 SW 12th Ave

Tasty & Alder is a trailblazer in Portland's brunch scene, they've even published a cookbook 'Hello My Name is Tasty' that pays homeage to the hits. Much like Clyde Common, we kept going back to this bright and cheery corner eatery. Morning, noon, night.. it doesn't matter just make sure you are hungry.

Pepe Le Moko

DRINK | PEPE LE MOKO
📍407 SW Tenth Ave

Right underneath Clyde Common is Ace Hotel's basement bar Pepe Le Moko. An intimate spot for a cocktail or two and late night nibbles. I loved our spot at the bar watching the mixers do their thing. 


FOOD CART POD | ALDER STREET
📍
Southwest Alder & Washington Streets

Alder Pod boasts biggest downtown collection of Portland’s food carts. Located between Southwest Alder and Washington Streets, from southwest 9th to southwest 10th Avenues. Hot favourite includes Nong's Khao Man Gai and Mac & Trees. 

EAT | NONG'S KHAO MAN GAI

Khao Man Gai. Hainanese chicken. Chicken and rice. Whatever you want to call it, just make sure you get there early and before the fried chicken skins sell out. Nong Poonsukwattana knows chicken rice and it is easily Portland's most popular food cart. So good you'll try and recreate it at home using Munchies recipe when those cravings kick in.

Nong's Khao Man Gai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

EAT | MAC & TREES

Is there anything better than mac n cheese?! Mac & Trees has been serving up the good stuff since the summer of 2015. Choose from the specials or build your own. I've noticed they started adding vegan cheese to the menu too.  

🍩🍩 | BLUE STAR DONUTS
📍 
1237 SW Washington St

Holy smokes! The donuts at Blue Star are mind blowing. The bright hued Blueberry, Bourbon & Basil glaze is a must! Made onsite using fresh blueberries, fresh basil, sugar and a splash of Bulleit bourbon. Now that I'm home wish I'd also had a Hard Apple Cider Fritter.

There is a bit of hype around Voodoo, another donut joint, but a few different foodie sources said not to bother. 

Mother's Bistro

EAT | MOTHER'S BISTRO
📍
212 SW Stark Street

Homely, hearty food just like Mom would make. You'll find no fuss breakfast, lunch and dinner at Mother's Bistro. You won't be blown away but sometimes a little simplicity and wholesome cooking is all you need.


Portland Food Trucks Carts Pod

FOOD CART POD | CARTOPIA
📍1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd

Portland’s late night food cart pod has some of the best. Grab some eats and gather around the fire in winter or find a spot under the marquee.

🥔🥔 | POTATO CHAMPION
📍 1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd

Located in Cartopia is Potato Champion! A food cart dedicated to the humble spud. I would do anything to dive into another serve of the PB&J fries. Fries topped with satay sauce and smoky chipotle raspberry goodness. Bam!

Potato Champion Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

EAT | PBJs GRILLED
📍 1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd

Toasted sandwiches done good.
*Update Jan 2017 - looks like these guys are now closed. 


Pok Pok

EAT | POK POK
📍3345 SE Division St

No matter how early you head to Pok Pok, you'll still be last in line. But don't worry.. it's absolutely worth the wait! An ode to Northern Thailand street food by US chef Andy Ricker. Opening in 2005, it's the stuff of legends and cemented Division Streets row of restaurants. Order the famous Ike's wings and let staff talk you through the menu. 

Pok Pok Portland

EAT | WHISKEY SODA LOUNGE
📍3131 SE Division St

Scoring a table at Pok Pok straight away is unlikely, wait nearby at Whiskey Soda Lounge and order yourself some soda, drinks and try the  Plaa Meuk Ping (toasted dried cuttlefish).

Whiskey Soda Lounge

🍦🍦 | SALT & STRAW
📍3345 SE Division St

Salt & Straw is a cult artisanal ice cream shop. Focusing on local produce and seasonal flavours, the team often collaborate with like-minded purveyors. If you only limit yourself to two scoops... go for these awesome collabs Pear and Blue Cheese (w/ cheesemongers Rogue Creamery) and  Arbequina Olive Oil (w/ Red Ridge Farms' Oregon Olive Mill ).

Salt & Straw Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Portland Travel Guide

SEE | PORTLAND FARMER'S MARKET
📍 1010 SW Park Ave

Located in the the quintessentially American surrounds of Portland's State University, the Portland Farmer's Market are open all year round. I wish we had travelled during spring or summer as the markets would have been plentiful. Go to stock up the kitchen in your AirBNB and enjoy street food from the stall holders. The money bowl and tamale were two of my fave eats on the whole trip, all the pics are here. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and Portland Art Museum are close by and also worth checking out.

Portland Travel Guide
Portland Travel Guide

SEE | PITTOCK MANSION
📍 3229 NW Pittock Drive

Built by owner of The Oregonian newspaper Henry Pittock in 2914. Pittock's Mansion is bursting with history and remarkable stories. We were there during the Christmas holidays and every room was adorned with festive decorations. Make an afternoon of it and take in the breathtaking views of Portland.

Travel Guide Portland

PORTLAND FOOD GUIDES

I spend more time reviewing food and travel guides than I do on the damn accommodation! Here are some guides and platforms I'd highly recommend you check out before you embark: 
* Food truck nerds can well.. nerd out on Portland Food Carts
* Are you a glutard? So is my soul sister Andjelka. If you are into gluten free delights, wholefoods, yoga and a slower style of living you'll love her curated guide to Portland on Life Curator
* My good friends at The City Lane are building a gastronomers guide to eats around the globe and have rustled up a nifty guide for Portland (great for beer lovers!).
* Citizens of the States swear by Yelp. You'll find it super handy when travelling for honest peer reviews. 

Portland

WISH LIST | FOR NEXT TIME
Le Pigeon
Kachka

If you've got any questions on my Portland adventure, get in touch via comment below. 

#MFWF | THE HOUSE OF FOOD & WINE

At the heart of Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is The House of Food & Wine. During the ten days 1000 £ Bend has been transformed into the festival hub. Warehouse style lavish parties take hold of the main event space and  laneway whilst the pop up bar and eatery sits proudly at the Little Lonsdale entrance. Local legend Morgan McGlone, the Kiwi chef behind Belles Hot Chicken in Sydney and Melbourne, has crafted a menu inspired by #MFWF MasterClasses of old. Don't miss out on these cleverly created dishes. 

 Venison Scotch Egg - inspired by Brett Graham (The Ledbury London), MasterClass 2012

Venison Scotch Egg - inspired by Brett Graham (The Ledbury London), MasterClass 2012

The House of Food & Wine #MFWF
 Bean Tamale, Charred Red Tomato - inspired by Enrique Olvera (Pujol, Mexico City), MasterClass 2013 

Bean Tamale, Charred Red Tomato - inspired by Enrique Olvera (Pujol, Mexico City), MasterClass 2013 

The House of Food & Wine #MFWF
 Grilled Swordfish, Parsley, Mussels - inspired by Christian Puglisi (Relæ, Cophenhagen), MasterClass 2012

Grilled Swordfish, Parsley, Mussels - inspired by Christian Puglisi (Relæ, Cophenhagen), MasterClass 2012

 Beef Short Rib - inspired by David Chang (Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York), MasterClass 2010 

Beef Short Rib - inspired by David Chang (Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York), MasterClass 2010 

The House of Food & Wine #MFWF
 Potato, Plums - inspired by Rosio Sanchez (Hija de Sanchez, Copenhagen), MasterClass 2012

Potato, Plums - inspired by Rosio Sanchez (Hija de Sanchez, Copenhagen), MasterClass 2012

EAT | CLYDE COMMON (Portland, US)

Clyde Common

There was so much to love about the Ace Hotel. A welcomed reprieve from run of the mill US hotel chains, where the dining options are lacklustre tourist traps to be avoided at all costs. Whilst Clyde Common is right off Ace's lobby, that's as hotel restaurant as this place gets.

Start your day with a hot breakfast, a hit list of staples right through to more decadent offerings to slam down with a coffee. Stop in for a quick snack, biscuits with housemade jam or pull up a spot at the bar and graze on snacks.

The communal tables are perfect to feast at lunch or dinner with a boisterous bunch. Make sure you make the most of Happy Hour from 3-6pm each day. Biscuits for brunch, burgers before basketball... we found ourselves heading back all hours of the day.  

For travellers, locals and anyone who enjoys good food with good friends. Add it to your Portland list along with Ace's basement bar Pepe de Loko.

Clyde Common
Clyde Common
Clyde Common
Clyde Common
Clyde Common
Clyde Common
Clyde Common
Clyde Common
Clyde Common
Clyde Common
Clyde Common
Clyde Common

(503) 228-3333
1014 SW Stark St. Portland, Oregon

BrunchSaturday and Sunday, 9am - 3pm 
Lunch: Monday to Friday, 11:30am - 3pm
Happy Hour: daily, 3pm - 6pm
Dinner: daily, 6pm - 11pm

Facebook | Instagram

Clyde Common Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato