Morzine 10

Morzine – Ski Trip

We’re not even halfway through the ski season, and if the Winter Olympics have inspired you at all, it’s time to book a ski trip! Having just returned from an all-levels-of-epic ski trip, I can highly recommend Morzine in the French Alps as your next ski-extravaganza destination.

Morzine’s short transfer time (just over one hour’s drive from Geneva airport), its raucous apres scene and seemingly endless ski runs are just three reasons to pack your skis and head to this fire cracker of a resort. And if that’s not enough, here are my top tips for eating, drinking and generally being as merry as one person can possibly be on a pair of skis (and that’s pretty damn merry in my book). Continue reading “Morzine – Ski Trip”

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Melbourne Brunch – Five of the Best

Melbournians are spoilt for choice when it comes to brunching. You can’t throw a stone in most inner-city suburbs without hitting a cafe serving up the most delectable brunching fare. And there is now so much more to brunch than just smashed avocado. International influences are now taking brunch to all levels of awesome across Melbourne.

So while everyone will have their own recommendations for the best brunch in Melbourne, here are 5 of the best, as sampled and savoured by yours truly… Continue reading “Melbourne Brunch – Five of the Best”

London Coffee 1

London Coffee

When I first moved to London ten years ago, London’s coffee scene did nothing to impress this self-confessed coffee snob from the coffee-mecca of Melbourne. There were a handful specialty coffee haunts scattered across London such as Flat White in Soho, but you had to be in the know to track down your quality caffeine fix.

Back then, if you happened to discover the rare and precious gem of a quality coffee purveyor, you’d find it jam packed wall to wall with antipodeans such as myself. We’d flock there to get the kind of caffeine buzz that only the best baristas, using the best roasted beans, can brew up.

Nowadays, thanks in part to the antipodean influence as well as the invention of the hipster, London’s coffee scene is thriving. I’m in a constant state of caffeine-induced jittery paranoia, which is the tell-tale sign that I’m getting decent coffee on a regular basis. It’s a small price to pay. Continue reading “London Coffee”

Barcelona 10

Twenty-Four Hours in Barcelona

What is it that keeps me coming back to Barcelona? The glorious weather? Si. The off-the-wall architecture? Absolutamente. The laid-back vibe?  Si por supuesto. The world-class cuisine? Claro que si!

On my latest visit, I pulled together all of my Barcelona favourites – old and new – for your ease of reference, to help you plan a (minimum) twenty-four hour Barcelona extravaganza…

Continue reading “Twenty-Four Hours in Barcelona”

Tokyo Top 3 Story 11

Tokyo – My Top 3 Things to Do

Anyone who has been to Tokyo knows how addictive it is. It’s not a city you fall in love with in the way that you fall in love with Paris or Rome. Rather, Tokyo is a place that gets under your skin. And once it’s there, you’ll find yourself obsessed with it.

Tokyo has definitely got to me, and my fascination with it only grows with each visit. And while I love to explore new neighbourhoods, museums and restaurants each time, there are three things I always do each time I return to this amazing city… Continue reading “Tokyo – My Top 3 Things to Do”

Rome 3

Twenty-Four Hours in Rome

Rome. 24 hours is never enough time to get under the skin of this fantastically chaotic, seriously sexy, carb-laden city. Therefore, to ensure I get to the very best bits, I enlist the services of my Roman friend – let’s call him ‘Signor Roma’ – who, in his own words, “knows half of Rome. The other half of Rome knows me.”

With his finger firmly on the pulse of the dolce vita I’m in good hands; we jump on his Vespa and zip along the cobbled backstreets taking in shopping, sightseeing and of course, eating and drinking stops along the way. Continue reading “Twenty-Four Hours in Rome”

Bar Luce 3

Milano – Bar Luce

I have always been a total movie-nerd. When we were young, my sisters and I would watch our favourite movies over and over again, to the point where we knew the dialogue by heart and would act out the scenes in our living room. To this day, our conversations are littered with obscure movie quotes from “classics” like Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (“You don’t wanna get mixed up with a guy like me. I’m a loner, Dotty, a rebel“) to Dumb and Dumber (“What is the soup du jour?“, “It’s the soup of the day.”, “Mmmm, that’s sounds good. I’ll have that.“)

Before you judge too harshly, I am pleased to say that my taste in cinema has improved since then. Also, I no longer act out the scenes in my living room (unless my sisters and wine are in any way involved).

Through my love of film, I discovered Wes Anderson with his early movie, Rushmore, and I’ve been hooked on everything there is about his wonderfully quirky and colourful work ever since. The poignant stories, complex characters, dialogue that fizzes and pops its way along (“I love you two, but I’m gonna mace you in the face!“), but most of all his meticulously designed and beautiful sets – I love them all. So when I heard that Wes Anderson designed the interior of the bar at the Fondazione Prada in Milan, Bar Luce, I knew I’d be there with bells on, the biggest, bell-laden movie-nerd in all the land. Continue reading “Milano – Bar Luce”

Rays of Light 7

Rays of Light

So you might have noticed its been a little quiet here on secondsister.com for the last few months. It started with me breaking both of my wrists last September which severely slowed me down for a few weeks (and which you can read about here and here). Then in the lead up to Christmas I lost my darling mum to her long battle with cancer.

While it is still too soon and painful to write about such a huge loss and the amazing friends and family who stepped up and helped us through it, what I would like to share is the little rays of light that shone through in difficult times. Continue reading “Rays of Light”

Paris City Guide – For the Repeat Offender

It doesn’t take long for every visitor to Paris to fall in love with the city. Usually it’s a matter of only minutes. The gorgeous tree lined boulevards, elegant cafe terraces and spectacular architecture, they’re irresistible.
So this Paris city guide is written for the repeat offender: the visitor who has been to Paris many times and fallen in love already, taken a picture of the Mona Lisa, climbed the Eiffel Tower (only to be disappointed because you can’t see the Eiffel Tower in the view from the top) and crawled all over the charming streets of Montmartre. This city guide is for someone who returns to Paris simply to have a little mooch around, soak up the atmosphere, sit in a cafe and write ones memoir (Hemingway-style) and feel just a tiny bit cool and Parisian.

Continue reading “Paris City Guide – For the Repeat Offender”

Melbourne Laneways

Melbourne, I Love You

Typical conversation in my adopted home of London:

Me: Hello. How are you?

Londoner: Hello, what part of Australia are you from?

Me: Melbourne.

Londoner: Really? I was in Australia once. I flew to Sydney, and then travelled all the way up the East Coast as far as Cairns. Beautiful country. I never went to Melbourne though….

I wish I had a dollar for every time I have had that conversation. I’d be getting around in a rather fancy pair of Gucci shoes by now, let me tell you.

Melbourne seems to miss a lot of the tourism that Sydney gets and that, my friends, is a crime! Melbourne is one seriously cool and sexy city.

Melbourne is known for its culture, live music, art, fashion, restaurants and (most importantly) coffee. There is too much to this vibrant city for me to cover in just one post, so lets just start with a wander around the City centre and through the Melbourne laneways labyrinth… Continue reading “Melbourne, I Love You”