Review of Capella Lodge – Lord Howe Island

Review of Capella Lodge – Lord Howe Island

Capella is the perfect example of relaxed luxury – spacious but cosy, private but social, simple but sophisticated, friendly but professional and absolutely perfect without being pretentious. Lord Howe has become one of my favourite places on earth, helped by the fact I got to stay in one of Australia’s leading luxury hotels, and there are many reasons why I will visit time and time again, here are just a few:

The food
With views overlooking the towering Mount Gower dropping into the beautiful blue sea, the restaurant itself is enough to make you enjoy your meal before you have even tasted it. Thankfully, the food just makes the experience a whole lot better. Guests are spoilt to a colourful, healthy breakfast buffet with the option of a hot dish from the changing daily menu.

Lunch can be served in the restaurant or in your suite, but it is best enjoyed at your favourite part of the island. There are picnic locations scattered all around the island, you can just let the friendly staff know where you want your lunch served and when, and they will do the rest. One of the highlights of my trip was finishing off a hike and snorkel on a secluded beach with a Capella hamper filled with garlic prawns, eye fillet with paris de butter and salad teamed with a crisp glass of Pikes Reisling… did I mention this place is heaven?

Dinner is just as enjoyable, there are daily cocktails and canapés which provide the perfect opportunity to meet other guests and exchange tips on activities so you can fill up the itinerary for the following day. Be sure not to fill up though because the dinner menu includes three courses and a changing menu. There wasn’t a bad meal served, but the highlight was always the seafood caught fresh from the lagoon only moments away.

The suites:
Whether you’re staying in the huge Lidgbird Pavilion spanning two levels with or a Capella Suite, you will feel like you’re living like a King. All rooms are beautifully furnished with postcard worthy views of the mountains, ocean and rolling hills. All suites have an outdoor area to enjoy the sunshine and plenty of room inside to make yourself comfortable.

The facilities:
The front deck which is home to arguable the best pool in Australia is the perfect place to do absolutely nothing which is a mandatory activity while on holiday. Or, you can enjoy the steaming hot tub under a canopy of tropical trees, perfect for unwinding after a day of snorkeling, hiking and riding. For some pampering you can also enjoy a range of beauty treatments, just make sure you book ahead. For when (if) you actually want to leave Capella to explore the island, you can cycle using your very own bike, or take one of their golf buggies for a spin.

The Service
Year round Capella is managed by the Grants, an incredibly hospitable couple who make you feel right at home. They are supported by a team of friendly staff who will help you with whatever you need – choice of wine, tea recommendation, picnic packing or photo taking.

Add Capella to your bucket list – so far it has been one of the best places I have ever stayed and the perfect place to enjoy Lord Howe Island. If I haven’t convinced you yet, perhaps this video below will….

The run down:

  • Price – very expensive but everything is included
  • Food – exceptional
  • Perfect for – honeymoon, special occasion

Oink oink,
Truffle Pig.

Getting there: Qantas fly direct daily from Brisbane and Sydney

For more information visit the Baillie Lodges website here.

Best Bars in Bondi Beach

Best Bars in Bondi Beach

Bondi's Best Bars

Ranging from quaint wine bars, buzzing cocktail bars to rowdy sports bars and late night or early morning venues, here is a list of the best bars in Bondi Beach.


Porch and Parlour:
This place is quintessential Bondi – rustic interiors, men with beards and girls in bikinis all enjoying kale smoothies from dawn to dusk. They are predominately a wine bar despite being a popular breakfast haunt, and make one of the most generous cheese and meat boards I have ever feasted on, and best of all their delicious food and wine can be enjoyed looking at the ocean. The staff are knowledgeable about their wine, and will sit down and talk you through the options, and life if they are in the mood. So if you like your own space or don’t like talking to strangers… keep walking.
Porch and Parlour –  – 110 Ramsgate Ave, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
Porch and Parlour on Urbanspoon

The Shop:
Not to dissimilar to Porch and Parlour, The Shop is a tiny little hole in the wall that is a long-time favourite among the Bondi socialites and is the perfect place to see and be seen. Their wine list is complimented by their evening menu which is short but sweet and consists of four of my favourite meals – a gourmet burger, grilled haloumi, meat balls and a killer antipasto plate.
The Shop Wine Bar – 78 Curlewis St, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
Shop and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Chapter One Coffee and Wine Room
Right at the end of my street, it is hard to go past this place. With sun drenched seats outside looking at the ocean and cosy seats on the inside, Chapter One is a perfect meeting place year round. The menu and wine list are both short and simple, but well considered as the owners are clearly very passionate about both as all wine are handmade and ethically produced. A glass of red  accompanied by soft cheese with honey… you will never want to leave.
Chapter One Coffee and Wine Room on Urbanspoon
Chapter One –  – Shop 3, 34 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, NSW

The Corner House
The Corner House is made up of several different areas, you might be tempted to linger out the front in the beautiful  restaurant, but make your way upstairs as that is where the magic happens. Here you can get amazing gourmet pizzas, off-beat beers and creative cocktails. The veranda is perfect for any time of the year, heaters during winter and a nice breeze during summer. A little stroll from the beach, this is one of Bondi’s best kept secrets.
The Corner House on Urbanspoon
The Corner House – 281 Bondi Road, Bondi, NSW 2026

This iconic building is home to Icebergs Dining Room, but you don’t need to have the full fine dining experience to enjoy what they have to offer. The front bar is in prime positioning with a veranda overlooking the famed Bondi icebergs lap pool and serves some of the beach’s best cocktails which can be enjoyed with a side of sea breeze. If you’re hungry, the school prawns flash fried prawns with aioli are a must! Full review can be read here.
Icebergs Dining Room and Bar on Urbanspoon
Icebergs Dining Room and Bar - 1 Notts Ave Bondi Beach, NSW 2026

Bondi Hardware
Located on the thriving thoroughfare of Hall Street, hardware is always busy no matter what night of the week. Unassuming in from the outside, Hardware has indoor or outdoor dining or a bar on the side filled with hanging plants and an extensive cocktail menu. The highlight being the vanilla infused expresso martinis, which will be sure to keep you going all night. A full review of the venue and menu can we read here.
Bondi Hardware on Urbanspoon
Bondi Hardware  – 39 Hall St Bondi Beach, NSW 2026

Mr Moustache
New to the block, his little Mexican joint is fast becoming one of the most popular places in Bondi. Serving margaritas by the jug full and incredibly fun staff, it seems near impossible to have a bad time here. Don’t forget to try the drowned pulled pork roll – it is so spicy you will definitely need to down a few icy cocktails afterwards. A full review of the menu here.
Mr Moustache on Urbanspoon
Mr Moustache  – 69-71 Hall St, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026


North Bondi RSL
Bondi do RSL’s a little differently, they aren’t just where you get a bargain steak (although they do have those too), they are a great place to have an awesome afternoon and night out. The RSL, affectionately known as the “rissole” among locals has unrivalled beach views as it is perched on the north hill next to the beach. If you like live music, cheap drinks and meat trays, you will love it here. For any major sporting event, you can’t go past their big screen.
Blue Wave Bistro on Urbanspoon
North Bondi RSL – 120 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi, NSW

Entering this place sets the tone, the foam entrance lets you know how howdy crowds can get and how bouncers literally need to be thrown out. Split between two levels you can get two totally different experiences at Ravisis. Down stairs is perfect for people watching, live music and sports while upstairs is the place you want to be for a view and a cocktail. Ravisis lacks charm that the smaller bars in Bondi have, but I am yet to have a bad time there. 118-120 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi NSW 2026

The Stuffed Beaver
If you love North American sports and want heart-stopping deep fried food while you watch it, The Stuffed Beaver should be your first port of call. Resembling a typical north American dive bar, this is not a place you want to go to enjoy some drinks in the sunshine, but one of my favourite places to go if I want a cheerful crowd and live sport. Full review can be read here.
The Stuffed Beaver Dining Parlour on Urbanspoon
The Stuffed Beaver Dining Parlour - 271 Bondi Road, Bondi, NSW

Hotel Bondi:
If these walls could talk, they would probably cry. Bondi Hotel’s main advantage is it is the only place in Bondi open past 4am. The drinks are as cheap as the interior, but when it is that time of night/morning, who really cares?
Hotel Bondi – 178 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach NSW 2026

Beach Road Hotel:
Notorious for being the place where many holiday flings have been conceived, there is always a crowd at the “beachie”. Downstairs has one of the only beer gardens in the area, perfect for sunny summer day and upstairs as a great line up or live music every week and a dance floor full of hipsters and backpackers competing for the attention of all the bronzed swedish babes.
Beach Road Hotel on Urbanspoon
Beach Road Hotel  - 71 Beach Rd, Sydney, NSW 2026

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

The Best Mexican Food in Sydney ….

The Best Mexican Food in Sydney ….


If you follow me on Instagram or read my blog you would know I am a sucker of a good Mexican fiesta. As part of my job and an Enthusiastic Eater, I have happily done some in depth market research in finding the best Mexican restaurants in Sydney. So here is my list, which will grow over time as my appetite and belly will also do, I am sure.


Jamie’s Italian has a new neighbour in the city, and they are equally as in high demand. Mejico’s take on Mexican food is modern and the guacamole (prepared right in front of you) isn’t served with your typical tortilla, but a bowl of fried zucchini chips. The tacos are a delicious, you can mix and match, making it easy to try them all. My favourite would have to be the grilled chicken taco topped with chorizo, cucumber and cumin salsa. The highlight for me was suprisingly not the food but the cocktails. Magaritas are the cure all for any bad party or a long day, and Mexico are serving yo all different varieties like the chargrilled pineapple and sage margarita. If you want to enjoy some tequila and a feast, find a free Friday night in the diary and book ahead.

Méjico on Urbanspoon

Mr Moustache
I love this place for many reasons. Firstly, I date a Mr Moustache, so I am bias. Secondly, it is about 800m from my front door. Thirdly, the staff are ridiculously helpful, friendly and fun. Fourthly, they serve Mexican at breakfast time. And lastly and most importantly, the food is epic. Designed for sharing, there is plenty to choose from like the delicious pulled duck tostads, crisply fish tacos, ceviche of scallop and guacamole with house made beet room tortilla chips. If those reasons aren’t enough for you to want to go there, the ‘drowned pork’ sandwich will be. This phenomenal phenomenon is so spicy and juicy, they provide you with rubber gloves to eat it.

Mr Moustache on Urbanspoon

Barrio Chino
The clientelle here think they are as cool as the margaritas that are sold by the jug here. The front bar looking onto Bayswater Road is always packed and a place to be seen. You will usually find me down the back getting comfortable in one of the many booths, I recommend you do the same. The Barrio Chino menu will spoil you with choice, but it s essential to order the guacamole with bacon… no you’re not misreading this… there is such a thing and it is as good as it sounds. I advise going with a group so you can try the long list of tacos – if you can’t rustle up the crowds, just stick with the tuna sashimi tostadas and the BBQ corn cob which is topped with chipotle mayo, cheese and lime.

Barrio Chino on Urbanspoon

Oink oink,
Truffle Pig.

What’s On: July …..

Sometimes it is hard to be motivated to brave the outside world in winter, so there is no better way to spend a night than rugged up and at the movies. This month I will be definitely going to see The Way Way Back – looks like a great flick, you can watch the trailer here: The Way Way Back

Sydney Pizza Festival

What is better than pizza?… not much. But what is better is when all the best pizza makers around the city band together and create a festival. Sydney Pizza Festival will be running for the whole month. You can view the schedule here – and don’t forget to grab tickets to the closing event to be held on SALT MEATS CHEESE you can buy them here.

A little bit of Iceland

I recently booked my tickets to Iceland for the end of the year. Some of my favourite music comes from that crazy little island on the other side of the world so I am going to trek over there can attend the Iceland Airwaves festival. To prep, I will be seeing Of Monsters and Men at the Enmore later in the month and I cannot wait! You can also buy tickets here!

Great Australian Road Trips …..

Great Australian Road Trips …..

Road trip

Now that winter has set in, the days are getting shorter and the beaches are becoming baron. So, what do you do to get you kicks over the weekend? Road trips! Here are some great road trips that you can from some of our capital cities. Next serious to come out shortly, all suggestions are welcome!

From Sydney:

Sydney is just a hop, skip and drive away from some of the most stunning country towns I have seen. If you jump on the Hume Highway and head South you will arrive at the Southern Highland region which is home to picturesque country towns like Bowral, Moss Vale and Kangaroo Vale. If rolling mountain scenery isn’t enough to entertain you, you can explore the quaint towns, antique stores and great pubs. My suggestions are Centennial Vineyards for fine dining and wine tasting and The Imperial Hotel for a good old-fashioned pub meal.  Or, if you feeling more adventurous, stop by the Illawarra Fly Walk and enjoy a view from above and a stroll among the tree tops. Tip, do not do this hungover, I learnt that the hard way.

Centennial Hotel on Urbanspoon
Imperial Hotel on Urbanspoon


From Adelaide:

One of the best things about Adelaide is its close proximity to the ocean and the hills – thankfully you can get both in one day. To start your road trip, head South along the coast of the St Vincent Gulf where you will come across coastal towns with cute towns filled with kitsch op shops and stunning panoramic views of the ocean off cliffs. In the afternoon you can swing East and return to Adelaide via the Adelaide Hills, home to some of the state’s best wineries to enjoy (expect the designated drive of course). My recommendation would be to stop for a long lunch surrounded by grapes at he Lane Vineyard – don’t forget to pass on designated driver duties to someone else!

Lane Vineyard on Urbanspoon


From Hobart:

Salamanca isn’t the only stunning waterfront location this beautiful southern state of hours. If you hot foot it out of Hobart and drive south, you will hit a lovely little town called Kettering where you can get on a barge over the Bruny Island. Once you arrive you can spend the day driving around the island, along its famous “Neck” and enjoy nature, but most importantly its gourmet food and wine offering. No Bruny Island trip is complete without a visit to Get Shucked oyster farm and the Bruny Island Cheese Company, the only place in Australia where you can buy unpasteurised cheese!

Bruny Island Cheese Co. on Urbanspoon

You will need a car to get around to all these amazing places. Check out:

John Hughes used cars

WAF car loans

 Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.