Up The Faraway Tree

When I think back to what my dreams were made of as a little girl I remember fairies and princesses, pink wands and fairy floss. I remember having a wild imagination and loving Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and wondering what I would see if I fell down a rabbit hole. I remember loving Enid Blyton’s story books, namely the series about The Faraway Tree. I must have read and re-read the stories at least 30 times and never stopped dreaming about what could be… I remember thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up and I remember doing all of those primary school games and calculations to find out who I was going to marry. Like a lot of little girls, I dreamt of the white wedding and wondered when I would meet my Prince Charming?

7 days out from my wedding day and I am thinking back to when I used to go past this store whilst walking home after school and get a quick glimpse of all of the pretty dresses hanging on the rail inside. This store is Helen Rodrigues, in Neutral Bay, Sydney and my own experience in this store was everything I dreamt of as a little girl. The dresses here are whimsical and princess-like, full skirted and slim-line with bows and lace, ribbons and sequins. I tried on a dress like Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s (slim and silky) and a dress similar to Kristy Hinze’s (full skirted with lots of detail). Helen has been in this business for over 10 years and with her calm demeanor and exceptional care, I discovered a dress that caters to my dreams today and matches the unique and old-school romance that I share with my man. At Helen Rodrigues, I got to go up the faraway tree and find myself in a place where dreams are allowed to soar and girls can be the little girls they used to be twirling around in front of the mirror.

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Published in: on April 2, 2010 at 11:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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When in Paris, people watch from here

Observations of local Parisiens generally amount to descriptions such as stylish, elegant, effortless, artistic, dog-lovers…the list does go on and there are many places to people watch throughout Paris to reach these common conclusions. Watch the romantics in Les Jardin des Tuilleries, watch the thoughtful and pensive as they mull around Rodin’s The Thinker, watch the sun lovers bask on the banks of the Seine, watch the modern day gypsy-like artisans at Montmartre. I discovered one more place to people watch on my last trip to the city of lights and the people I watched here were the locals scurrying or strolling past self-absorbed and oblivious to their own beauty. At the end of the Pont Louis Phillippe bridge – Marais side is a chic French bistro called Chez Julien. It was on recommendation that I came to this place. What I didn’t know at the time was how much I would fall in love with one destination on such a short stay.

Chez Julien is located directly opposite the bridge and its tables spill outside where diners can be watched and in turn watch their surrounds. The waiters who come to serve me sparkling water look like they have just stepped of a Paris catwalk and blend right into this picturesque scene. The tan shoulder bags that they wear across their bodies are not just fashion accessories but a means to hold euros that they collect off satisfied patrons. The food is mouth-watering. The chicken dish I order is filled with terrific yet simple flavours and it epitomises French cooking in one go by showcasing that it does not take a raft of ingredients to make a spectacular meal. I sit here for the rest of the afternoon and digest every detail. The next day, I come back with two hours to spare before flying out, feeling like a local who frequents this bistro daily yet laughing at myself because I am a tourist who should be experiencing something new while I am only here for three days.

When in Paris, people watch from here and eat nothing but copious amounts of divine French goodness.

1 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris, France‎ – 01 42 78 31 64‎

Published in: on April 2, 2010 at 6:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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