Gentleman prefers brunette

Tonight will be one of those rites of passage; a once only, a night to look back on probably with a really nasty hangover trying to decipher where did I go, what did I eat, did I really do that dance on that street?

Tonight is my hens and I am three weeks away from declaring my undying love to Alisdair and passionately shouting I do! The girls threw me the dress code gauntlet two weeks ago of hunting down a “1950s Glamourpuss dress in RED”…..pretty please.

Hmmm, I thought. I immediately hit up Grandma Takes A Trip, C’s Flash Back, Zoo Emporium… the usual vintage offenders on Crown Street, Surry Hills I often go to  in order to rustle up some inspiration. If I had been asked to wear Electrifying 80s in fluoroscopic pinks and limes I would have been in Dynasty and Dallas heaven with too many shoulder pads to even comprehend. But waisted, hourglass Marilyn Monroe dresses were no-where to be seen. Enter Coco Repose, a somewhat hidden gem on the corner of Nichols and Fitzroy Streets in Surry Hills.

Coco Repose is one of those serendipity places which takes you back in time when ladies got dolled up for no reason and wouldn’t leave the house without gloves and pearls on. Ladies had their hair set and sprayed and fascinators were not just worn to Derby Day. Marilyn’s dress was blowing up over a grate, there were cats on hot tin roofs and Grace and Cary were thrilling audiences in Hitchcocks’s To Catch a Thief. Females looked like little women and Men admired them for doing just that. Coco Repose was the best destination to find the perfect hens outfit! Amanda styled and pearled me up to a tee. I tried on dresses in cherry, tomato, sunset orange, romantic lace and sexy satin. Hats were tried that were closed, opened, round, felt and flowery. Questions were posed just on the subject of gloves – to go virginal white or daring black; short or long?

Final purchase: a cherry red satin wiggle dress, a cherry red felt fascinator with bobbles, short black gloves, black suspender and sexy seamed stay-ups and velvet pointy black stilettos. Marilyn, eat your heart out as my gentleman prefers brunettes.

Go and Ugg Boot – the puzzle explained


Most females love them, collect them, have them in many colours. My male has an obsession with brown ones, loafers in particular. Some like flats, some just wear heels, others wear boots year round. Christian Louboutin paints his soles red, Jesus has sandals named after him, Imelda is known for her masses, Big even proposed to Carrie with one (a damn beautiful one). All in all and I’ve known this for a long time but SHOES are a big deal. They mean something for so many people and at the very least protect our tootsies. And the best thing about shoes is that even if you’re having a fat day and you can’t even squeeze into your favourite jeans, most probably you can pull your best shoes from the wardrobe, put them on and it will make your day!

Well, what does my shoe collection look like now that I’ve spent the last paragraph leading up to this? Well at my 21st, shoes rated a mention in my speeches and at that count I believe my best friend counted out 60+ shoes. The collection has grown and shrunk and grown over the years and I now have a still relatively big but vast collection of shoes in many colours, fabrics and styles. I would probably call myself a chameleon of shoes as I’m not just a stiletto-girl or a thong-girl and ugg boots only come out in winter and in the comfort of home and never up to the corner store. Whenever I go away I like to buy at least one pair of shoes from a city or place to remind me of where I’ve been.

To wear a pair of shoes is an experience for me as is eating at a restaurant or cafe. Which is why I am going to pair the two together. Huh, I hear you ask???

Recently whilst dining at The Local, my girlfriend announced at the dinner table that if she was ever on Death Row and she had the requirement for a “last meal” then this would be it. Big statement, HUGE. Think about it; what would yours be? I’m still sitting on this one. 

So, if you haven’t yet been, you need to get yourself off to The Local Taphouse, Flinders Street Darlinghurst quick smart. Why? Because I want you to try a paddle of exotic beers that go really well with the mussels and chilli frites. Or if you’re a burger type, you won’t want to go past the lamb burger – trust me! There’s beer and cheese nights and the what-should-be-a-religion Host-a-Roast which is the simple equation of inviting maximum 12 friends and starting the ultimate decision making. Step 1. will it be lamb, beef, pork or chicken? A choice of vegies? Potatoes how do you like them? Gravy or is it sauce as an accompaniment? And are you a berry or apple crumble type? Apple crumble won the majority vote for this crew. Take all of these components and put them in a private dining room where you are surrounded by empty bird cages that adorn the ceiling, dark polished floors and intriguing black and white photographic wallpaper and you have Host-a-Roast. God, I hope they repeat it this winter!

So to sum this up… to me the experience of going to the Local is an ugg boot. Basically I’m not into stars or hats to rate or recommend to you where you should go, I will leave that up to the Good Food Guide or the Michelin Guide.

SHOES is my game. Therefore to me an ugg boot is comfy, warm, toasty, a stayer that will continue to live up to expectations year in year out. It’s Aussie but has character and I can’t wait to put them on this winter. In saying that, The Local doesn’t have to be just a place to go for winter, it’s definitely an all-year rounder but when it’s an especially cool Sydney night and you want somewhere warm that will serve up a hearty meal that’s mouth-watering head to The Local.

As you read on, I will use other shoes to describe restaurants and my experiences as I go on so it gives you an idea of how good it really is or where it may fall down and need a band-aid. I’m sure there will be a few stilettos (a great night out with the girls and terrific atmosphere), lots of thongs (excellent outdoor area, a fail-safe for summer) and a couple of wedges (a fabulous place that’s comfortable too). From time to time there may even be a Jesus sandal. Not my favourite look but may best describe somewhere I go.

I’ll leave that interpretation to you.