Game, set, match!

What a way to end Australia Day week than with Indigenous Australian Ash Barty winning the Australian Open in Melbourne. Not to detract from those who were given Australia Day Awards including our other tennis great Dylan Alcott who has done so much for people with a disability, it made me very proud to see Ash Barty photographed alongside two other Indigenous sporting champions Cathy Freeman and Evonne Goolagong. I think it’s inspired both young and old to take up the racquet and I’d love to make time for tennis lessons in the future.

Fairfield Boathouse – above and below

It’s been a nice distraction from the scorching heat wave in Melbourne over the past few weeks as I’ve tried not to melt being back at work. While I’ve had time to plan and try to get ahead – I think February will be a busy month. We’ve done our best to avoid catching Omicron as a family, including sadly forgoing seeing Warrandyte locals The Teskey Brothers with Orchestra Victoria at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl last weekend. I’m not sure how long that will last given my children return to school this week and all bets are off despite families being given RATs for twice-weekly testing.

Fairfield Boathouse cafe

If you are isolating at home, you may be interested in the $59.95 Northside Fruit & Veg boxes with free delivery on Wednesday and Friday. I was also interested to read about the opening of the Grappa Bar at Pietro Gallus Estate in Warrandyte – our very own Montalto of the northeast – as well as new floating bar and eatery Yarra Botanicals with its focus on Victorian-only produce.

Alemais images (above and below): David Jones

I also love that you can hire electric GoBoats for picnics on the Yarra although last weekend I went for a walk and iced coffee outdoors with a friend at Fairfield Boat House & Tea Gardens, which was busy but offers old school row boats for hire. Do watch out for snakes if you visit or walk, run or ride anywhere near the river, especially if you have furry friends.

I’ve recently discovered Australian fashion label Alemais, which has some beautiful summer-inspired dresses and shirts should you have the budget that would look fabulous at a garden party. Speaking of beautiful, Queen Anne house Thenford Hill at 9 Studley Road Ivanhoe has just come onto the market and is a showstopper – I love all the period features.

9 Studley Road Ivanhoe images (above and below):

We’re lucky to have homes like these in our municipality that add to the character, feature and amenity of our neighbourhood. I was quite devastated to be informed that Art Deco house Bukit Raja in St Hubert Road East Ivanhoe has been knocked down as I’d submitted it for heritage consideration to Banyule council. That, along with the demolition of Federation-era homes along Lower Heidelberg Road near Ivanhoe Grammar bought by a developer, has also made me quite sad. While you can’t stop progress and higher density is needed in Melbourne, I think there should be consideration for period buildings like these that can never be replaced.


Fifteenth star

Omicron seems to be everywhere at the moment – in the media, on our minds and for some unfortunate people, in our bodies as well. People in my inner circle who I’ve luckily not seen the past month have started succumbing to the dreaded virus and some of them don’t even know how or where they picked it up. They’re all double or triple vaxxed and most have had mild symptoms – there are some PCR testing sites now handing our rapid antigen tests so at least they’ve been able to confirm they actually have COVID.

Chanel exhibition at the
National Gallery of Victoria

I am hoping the current variant is peaking or near its peak as I feel very greatly for those working at the frontline – our healthcare workers, the police, childcare workers, as well as retail, hospitality, transportation and supply chain staff who have to carry out essential work but not been spared by COVID either directly contracting it or being a close contact and having to isolate.

Chanel brooch image via Artedeco

I’ve been directed to work from home not only this month but next as well so feel like I should be applying the same caution to my personal life and social activity. It means that I chose not to attend the Chanel exhibition at the NGV this past weekend despite having purchased tickets a while ago and I may cancel plans for next weekend just until things are less fraught. I feel this is a very small sacrifice to make compared with the challenges currently facing those working in our hospitals.

Chanel tuxedo bow necklace via Artedeco

A friend of mine did attend the Chanel show last week and while I’m not sure I’d ever buy something from Chanel even if I had the money, I do love some of the vintage Chanel pieces sold by Artedeco in Daylesford (and online). This costume brooch and necklace (above) have both caught my eye.

When I am ready to venture out again, I’d like to pay a visit to Casa Nata in Thornbury (because who doesn’t love a Portugese tart?) and retro-style Thornbury Espresso Bar (check out their Insta page!). I was also fascinated to discover the Regal Ballroom (the heritage-listed Northcote Theatre) where I had my wedding reception is being re-born as a live music venue seating 1500 people with an Italian Trattoria and rooftop bar. It reminds me I’m yet to visit the Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury Picture House or ninteenforty rooftop bar at the Rivoli Theatre in Hawthorn.

I think I’m a bit nostalgic about old picture theatres in general and have a similar love of vintage trains and train travel – my ultimate train trip would be the Art Deco Orient-Express from Venice to Istanbul but I was also reading about the new La Dolce Vita line in Italy which has more of a 60s/70s vibe and fit out. Locally, I know there’s been a long waiting list to travel on both The Ghan and Indian Pacific trains in Australia. Oh…to travel again somewhere exotic…

Adrift in Melbourne

Happy New Year. I hope you managed to see your friends and family in real life over the festive period. Like many of us, it’s a privilege I won’t ever take for granted after being in lockdown for so long here in Melbourne. We were lucky to have two Christmas celebrations with family on both sides and a more subdued New Year’s Eve out on our deck with the gypsy friends we travelled to Greece with two years ago.

Art Deco building – Hobart

Part of my original travel plans pre-COVID had been to visit the Big Apple, which has been on my bucket list since I was in my twenties working as PR for global environmental beauty company Aveda (whose head office was in Minnesota but PR done out of New York). Instead, I’ve had to (more than) make do with a three-day getaway to the Little Apple with Mr Rosanna exploring the only state we’ve never visited – Tasmania.

Hadley’s Orient Hotel – atrium

I was incredibly lucky to pick up the last pack of five rapid antigen tests (RATS) at Chemist Warehouse in Heidelberg on New Year’s Day. They were rationing packs to one per customer and were kind enough to sell me the last pack of five after realising I needed a kit for Mr R as well. What I didn’t buy was a pack of N95 masks so if you can find some locally, I would do this next time to feel a bit safer while flying.

Miss Haidee shop window – Salamanca Arts Centre

We flew in to Hobart last Thursday morning and were given RAT kits on arrival by the Tasmanian government in case we developed symptoms while there, which thankfully didn’t happen. Given we only had hand held luggage, we exited quickly and cabbed straight to the RACV Hobart Hotel where Mr R had upgraded us to level 8. It was great to have a spacious self-contained apartment in a central location walking distance to everything. It’s surrounded by some very stylish hotels including the heritage-listed Hadley’s Orient Hotel, The Tasman and Henry Jones Art Hotel.

Mr Rosanna on the streets of Hobart

We had a good time just getting our bearings walking to the Salamanca Arts Centre admiring the magnificent CBD buildings along the way, ranging from Victorian to Art Deco and beyond. The weather was dreary when we arrived and as much as I’d packed warmer clothes, it was cold enough for people to be wearing puffer jackets and vests and goretex! Note to self for next time. Hobart has a beautiful feel to it – less globalised and commercialised and less developed but in a good way. I think it must attract a certain type of person who values nature and the outdoors.

Me at Charcoal Restaurant

The arts centre was a fascinating place to explore – there are a number of different levels full of interesting shops and artist studios. There are many art galleries, ceramic and glass artists and jewellers and we walked away with two handmade tea cups as souvenirs. We dined in at Charcoal Restaurant at RACV Hobart on our first night, which was very good and in fact, we ate well the entire time we were in Tasmania – the local produce, coffee and food were all excellent and the food scene rivals Melbourne. The CBD in particular has a huge number of cafes and I think coffee culture is just as abundant down south.


We took the 20-minute ferry trip along the Derwent River to MONA (you can book online for both the ferry and entry to MONA itself) the next day which was a real experience! From the military-style ferry with its pink penises on the bow and sheep statues at the stern, which some passengers sat on – it makes for a highly entertaining, irreverent and slightly confronting day out and entry is timed. Nothing is off limits so be prepared to be a little shocked at some of the new art. I’ve played it safe and taken photos of a lot of the old art including pieces from Picasso and Egyptian artefacts.

Ceramic by Picasso

Wear your walking shoes and give yourself three hours there to see everything. Mr R and I had a lunchtime break and saw Mr Walsh himself (the gambler millionaire owner) while we grabbed a delicious bite to eat outdoors at the Moorilla Wine Bar. Our trip to MONA was made all the more memorable as the heavens opened up while we were waiting in the queue outside for the return ferry ride. While we had rain jackets on, they weren’t able to cope with the deluge of water that came down so Mr R and I looked like drowned rats by the time we embarked for the ride home. Be prepared if you visit in future!

We got takeaway from nearby Malaysian cafe Sawak for dinner and there are some fantastic-looking restaurants within walking distance including Dier Makr across the road from the RACV hotel and Peppina a few blocks away. Mr R and I were lucky to get a last minute booking on our last night at The Brooke Street Stock Market Restaurant + Bar (located on the ground floor of a heritage apartment building) sharing the $75 pp feed me menu, which was excellent – starting with oysters and moving on to wallaby (yes, it’s a thing down there), fish and lamb dishes plus dessert. Food is also served on handmade crockery from Ridgeline Pottery – topping off the lovely (literal) feel of the place.

MONA inside

The quintessential Hobart experience is visiting the Salamanca Market which was crowded even if outdoors. Mr R bought a small bottle of award-winning Spring Bay single malt whiskey for his dad and we enjoyed trying on hats and admiring the work of artisans – there were many woodwork, leather goods, ceramics, jewellery and food stalls too although we ended up walking up Kelly’s Steps straight into inner city suburbia entering the very quaint and picturesque Battery Point. We were hungry and it was drizzling – we were lucky to get a table at Ozus Coffee, which served some of the best coffee I’ve ever had, and we shared the Spanish and Greek-style brunch options. The bakery across the road had been recommended but had a queue out the front. The Japanese restaurant there also looks very enticing and we enjoyed browsing at Annick’s Antiques and later down the road at Kookaburra Antiques. We then walked back to the CBD where we discovered open air lounge In The Hanging Garden in the old Tattersall’s building encompassing an entire city block – full of hanging plants, a choice of Korean and Mexican food and live music on offer in the downstairs beer garden.

Battery Point bakery

On our last day on Sunday, we walked to the Farm Gate Market which was busy with locals buying their amazing looking fresh and colourful weekly produce and popped our head in at Stonewall Antiques, which had many beautiful wares for sale and was well worth the visit. Sunday was glorious weather-wise and we walked to the other side of the wharf we’d not explored going in to have a look at the Henry Jones Design store and our last lunch spent in front of the water out in the sun at Waterline Lounge + Bar on the Brooke Street Pier. It was a very relaxing and fitting way to end our quick getaway down south. Tasmania is very close and fast by plane and we’d definitely go back with the kids for a longer adventure at some future point.

Farm Gate Market stall

Needless to say we did a lot of walking while we were away and walking is good for you! I thought you might find these articles on walking, interesting. This one on the remarkable science of walking’s feel good effects by Jono Lineen and this other article by Liza Weisstuch which talks about the Dutch concept of uitwaaien (outdoor activity in the wind). While I have been adrift in Hobart, Robyn Annear has also written a book detailing seven different walks you can do in Melbourne with Adrift in Melbourne. It’s now my second week back at work and reality has definitely hit…lucky you if you’re still on holiday.

Enjoying the sun at Waterline Lounge