Australia on a plate
It might be the greatest three-course meal in Australian history but the public won’t get a taste. Three of Australia’s top chefs, Neil Perry, Peter Gilmore and Ben Shewry, have been charged with creating our finest menu for a gala dinner in November to showcase Australian dining. The ‘‘Invite the World to Dinner’’ event, at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania, will bring in 80 guests from around the world, including influential food and wine writers, critics, chefs and celebrities, from Australia’s key tourism markets. The event is part of Tourism Australia’s new global campaign ‘‘Restaurant Australia’’ – the latest part of the ‘‘There’s nothing like Australia’’ campaign launched in 2010. The three chefs have outstanding credentials, with Perry’s Rockpool, in Sydney, and Quay, where Gilmore is executive chef, receiving three hats in the 2014 Good Food Awards. Shewry’s Attica, in the Melbourne suburb of Ripponlea, was named restaurant of the year at the Melbourne awards. ‘‘This dinner is saying to the world here is Australian cuisine, we have amazing produce, diverse cultural influences and through our cooking we bring a certain spirit of openness, adventure and freedom,’’ said Gilmore.
- Craig Platt
World at your feet
Click your heels and find yourself wherever in the world you want to be, with the cutest women's shoes from Venezuelan brand Hot Chocolate. Imprinted with an old-school map of the world, they have a rubber sole for comfortable strolling and the soft polyester upper makes them easy to clean. Flip the buckle and they're an ideal inflight shoe, but if you're not travelling anywhere soon, just look down, map out your route and daydream. Bon voyage shoes, $75. 0499 116 659, see pimposaustralia.com.
Taming travel with tots
A new travel website devised by mother-of-two, Ingrid Huitema, is dedicated to journeys with babies. The site takes the grunt out of travelling with young children and give parents time to reconnect. "Taking a few hours each day to eat lunch uninterrupted, walk on the beach or try a surf lesson usually doesn't happen on holidays with babies," says Huitema. "We want to change all of that." Packages in baby-friendly Bali comprise villas tailored for children, with pick-up at Denpasar airport, car seats and nannies. A five-night stay in Seminyak starts at $1895, with four days' nanny service. 0408 112 728, see babyandtoddlertravel.com.au.
You're the bellwether, the pack leader, the one who swims against the masses, and you're demanding a hotel room decorated with street art. You're the epitome of the new traveller. "Curation is the future of online travel," says Mat Lewis, of new boutique accommodation booker View Retreats. Travellers are seeking architectural statements for eye-popping travel snaps. "Our most-viewed property is the Wollemi Wilderness Treehouse in the Blue Mountains, followed by Campbell Point House on Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula and Alkira Resort House and Rainforest Retreat in the Daintree." Romantic cocoons are the top request. See viewretreats.com.
Fabric of life
Weave through India's exotic Rajasthan, with Christina Sumner, OAM, former principal curator at Sydney's The Powerhouse Museum and Indian textiles aficionado. You will watch silk and cotton weaving in women's charities, learn about ancient tribal dyeing techniques and block-printing, and visit renowned ateliers during this new 15-day textiles tour. Other highlights include the 1st-century Buddhist caves of Ajanta, sufi concerts, village visits and the photogenic Rajasthani cities of Jaipur and Jaisalmer. Accommodation includes Jodhpur's Ajit Bhawan Palace and Samode Haveli in Jaipur. The Threads of Rajasthan tour numbers are capped at 12, departing on February 7, 2015. Costs from $11,500 a person, twin share, including flights ex-Sydney, meals and guides. Phone 1300 130 218, see classicsafaricompany.com.au.
Choose zingy tangerine or strawberry and you can bet your bottom dollar you won't miss your luggage on the carousel amid a sea of boring black. Online retailer Kogan's new budget-friendly three-piece luggage sets are lightweight with a hard-side shell, and sit sturdily on four multi-directional spinner wheels. The set has two suitcases, 100-litre (4.2 kilogram) and 65-litre (3.5 kilogram), and a 40-litre (2.6 kilogram) cabin bag, with TSA-approved locks and a one-year warranty. Colour challenged? Available also in charcoal. Kogan Hardside Spinner luggage set, $159, three pieces. Phone 1300 304 292, see kogan.com.au.