Wednesday, March 31, 2010

RESTAURANT UPDATE (ITALY): Dying to know the two local restaurants in Chianti? Villa S.Andrea put us on the trail of the following two local haunts - was the bigger adventure finding them or dining at them? Not sure as you certainly wind your way around the beautiful hills in this area of Tuscany and at night you can be lost for hours trust me! The first is the only seafood restaurant in the area, La Trattoria del Pesce,, which is within a very modest roadside building. We try to order in the local language (without any real knowledge) or a combination of waving of hands - without success here so our gorgeous young waiter ended up presenting us with a huge poster picturing all the local produce (like the ones in biology classes) from which we could make a selection. Large generations of local families arrived around 9.30pm with toddlers in tow so the noise level was high, the atmosphere buzzing and fun. The second restaurant, La Fattoria, sits high on a hill with a rustic courtyard. Once again our Italian wasn't great but the resulting choice of amazing Tuscan beef and lamb (la miglirore carne del nostro chef)- served without anything but the meat on a wooden chopping board arrangement - was divine. A bottle of local Chianti and it was heaven on a stick. (

Monday, March 29, 2010

TRAVEL TALE: A VINEYARD TO DIE FOR - Driving around Italy ... like being in a pillball machine ... but it does take you off the beaten track. A half hour out of Florence is a fantastic vineyard called Villa S.Andrea ( in the Chianti Classico region. Picture a huge old stone farmhouse on 1300 acres, olive groves, ancient cellars and quiet hills. We stayed in the huge B&B apartment in the main farmhouse (the bathroom bigger than our entire room in Venice) and took Marika's advice on two fantastic restaurants where the 'locals' go. We booked for 7.30pm, oops, so when we arrived on both nights the staff were still finishing their own dinner - antipasti, huge bowls of pasta and salads and wine set up under the trees outside. They waved us in, gave us wine then went back to their dinner but who cares - we soon learnt we were the early ones. More on these restaurants and getting lost at the Paradise Hotel another time!
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Be true to yourself. Plant your own garden, decorate your own soul.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

GIRLFRIENDS ...One of the peg frames I sell at Noosa Marina market has these 4 photos in it and I've dedicated it to the world of 'girlfriends'.Having relocated to another state in Australia I miss my 'southern coffee pals' and have dedicated this frame and these images to them. 'Cos girlfriends : Make time for a coffee and a chat - Offer you shelter and protection when you need it - Look beyond the surface to see the beauty underneath - Are all individual, like gifts from the sea. Thinking of you gals.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ADRIFT : Sometimes it's just nice to be adrift in your own little space, with your own thoughts, familiar surroundings ... and a glass of wine nearby. Going nowhere, talking to noone. Adrift in Noosaville, Queensland.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wondering about the little fellow under 'Followers' with the 'come hither' look? I photographed him, a mime artist, at Montmartre. This is the area (for those who haven't been lucky enough to visit) where a lot of artists are, at the back of Paris. Full of cobblestoned steep streets and lots of atmosphere if you wander away from the main tourist streets.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Travel is a marvellous adventure, whether it's to a foreign land, another state or just to walk down the other side of the street. Keep your eyes open so you don't miss a thing, or a second of your adventure. The photo of the boat moored outside a fantastic old building (accompanies the Sail Away with Me poem below)was taken at the back of the island of Murano, Venice. We walked out of one of those pressure-sales glass factories and there it was on the other side of the canal. I've since had the image printed to canvas and it was bought by a fellow from my market stall who said it was a very expensive Benetol First yacht. And yes, we were sucked in at the glass factory when we bought a gorgeous multi-coloured bowl!


If we leave now we'll catch the wind
To take us to the tomorrow of our dreams.
Of pleasure, adventure, courage and love
Upon a sea of peace.

We will ride the waves under the Milky Way
And float upon the moon.
We'll pull into the cove of promise
And anchor within each others arms.
Sail away with me ...
(Julie Holland)