SHOP TO IT
Sharon Fowler presents a swag of festive gifts for the passionate traveller
WHITE FLIGHT Antarctica Flights is offering a one-day New Year’s Eve flight for travellers wishing to see the first daylight of 2008. The chartered Qantas 747 flight will take in the white continent’s icebergs, coastal cliffs, glaciers and spectacular mountain ranges. Champagne, catering and a jazz band on board add to the once-in-a-lifetime excitement of this Midnight Sun flight from Sydney and Melbourne. From $899 economy to $5199 first class. 1800 650 738; www.antarcticaflights.com.au. GAME FOR ANYTHING Here’s something to augment jigsaws and Scrabble at a beachhouse holiday: the Backpacker game takes players to a range of destinations and beaches, includes trekking and wildlife spotting, and there’s no chance of tummy bugs, batty fellow travellers or missed airline connections. There are abundant scenarios so no two games are the same: just like travel itself. $24.95. www.cowtrees.com.au. JUST THE SHOT Travel accessories company Ciao Bella Travel offers a Single Shots range of facial and hair products in small squeeze-pack containers that are perfect for travellers. The range is designed by a herbalist and includes almond and jojoba facial cleanser, rose hydrating facial moisturiser, orange and banksia shampoo and lime and hibiscus conditioner. Its Hair + Face Single Shot set is packaged in a cute reusable tin, and contains shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, toner, moisturiser and a face mask. $25.95, with refill shots from $1; www.ciaobellatravel.com.au. LOUNGING ABOUT The Mesh Water Lounger from outdoor specialist Coleman’s pool float range features a comfortable mesh centre and drink holder, and comes in a cute hibiscus pattern. It’s made from 12-gauge PVC and features the Coleman Airtight system, which guarantees leak-free inflation. There’s also a snap ‘n’ stay feature for attaching it to other Coleman water recreation productions. $34.95; www.colemanaustralia.com.au. THE RIGHT NOTE Since 1988, Corban & Blair has been creating unique designer stationery with a handmade touch. The Outback A5 leather journal features stitching details and a leather tie, and contains a 70-page spiral bound notebook suitable for sketching or writing. It’s available in red, brown or black and is refillable. $75 for A5; A4 also available. www.corbanblair.com.au. COMING UP ROSES With its roots in Provence, L’Occitane produces a gorgeous range of natural body and skincare products and fragrances made from flowers, fruits and spices. Its Eau des 4 Reines (Fragrance of the four Queens) concentrates the intense aromas of Grasse, Turkish, Bulgarian and Moroccan roses to create a sultry perfume with fresh notes of mandarin, tea leaves and blackberry. $89.95 a 50ml bottle. (02) 8912 3000; www.loccitane.com.au. VOUCHER FOR THAT Peppers gift vouchers can be redeemed at any of the group’s collection of indulgent retreats, resorts, hotels and lodges throughout regional Australia and New Zealand. Peppers properties are located in rainforests, stately homes and vineyards, on tropical islands, pristine beaches, golf courses, rustic cattle stations and perched atop mountain ranges. Peppers gift vouchers can be redeemed for accommodation, dining, a round of golf or pampering spa treatments. The vouchers are delivered within three days of ordering as charge cards or can be sent electronically. From $50. (02) 8062 5000; www.peppers.com.au. PRINTS CHARMING Signature Prints specialises in textiles, wallpaper and art prints based on the flamboyant designs of Florence Broadhurst. There is also a range of wallets and luggage, including laptop bags, weekenders and carry-on bags in distinctive Broadhurst prints. From $44 to $520. (02) 8338 8400; www.signatureprints.com.au. WISH UPON A SPA Fremantle-based Sodashi produces in natural skincare products, available in many of the world’s finest spas. Its Body Essentials kit is ideal for travellers; the silk drawstring bag contains enlivening salt therapy exfoliant, body treatment moisturiser and mint soother treatment for tired, aching feet. Christmas special: $50.40.
(08) 9336 6837; www.sodashi.com. LUXE LODGINGS Sofitel Wentworth Sydney, a recent finalist in The Australian’s 2007 Travel & Tourism Awards luxury accommodation category, is offering festive season vouchers that cover an overnight stay in a superior room for two with full buffet breakfast and parking. Spa treatments or dinner in the revamped Garden Court restaurant can be added. Weekend rates from $269 a night. 1800 676 960; www.sofitelsydney.com.au. IN THE BAG STM is an Australian-owned company specialising in luggage for laptops, iPods, cameras and other digital equipment. Its Evolution Backpack features a concealed laptop section, removable iPod pouch, multi-pocket organiser, phone pouch, comfortable harness and front elastic cradle. Akin to a wetsuit for a laptop, STM’s Glove protects an Apple notebook from bumps, dust and scratches; made from neoprene with YKK zippers, there are three sizes to fit all notebooks in the Apple range. Evolution, $149.95; Glove, $49.95; (02) 8338 0222; www.stmbags.com.au. GIVEAWAY Courtesy of STM, we have three sets of one Evolution Backpack and one Glove to give away to readers. Write your name and address on the back of an envelope and tell us in 25 words or less why you would like to win. Send to: STM Bags Giveaway, PO Box 215, Eastern Suburbs MC, NSW 2004. TRUNKS FOR TOTS British company Trunki has put the fun into travelling with its award-winning ride-on, pullalong suitcase. The child’s case is made from durable plastic and features horn-shaped grips, comfortable saddle, integrated wheels, secure and sturdy catches, and stabilisers to prevent overexcited tots from toppling off. It also has a towing handle, identification tag and shoulder strap. There are three in the Trunki range: Trixie (pink), Terrance (blue) and the recently released Towgo ( green; with some additional features). $64.95 (or $69.95 for Towgo); www.trunki.co.uk. BIRDS OF PASSAGE Easily one of the year’s best coffee-table tomes, Women Travelers: A Century of Trailblazing Adventures by Christel Mouchard (Flammarion, $75) covers illustrious vagabonds such as Isabella Bird and Gertrude Bell, but there are lesserknown free spirits here, too, such as the impish documentarymaker Osa Johnson, who journeyed far from her native Kansas to film the wilds of Africa. That’s Johnson on the cover posing atop a zebra, an early 20th century pin-up girl for safari chic. GET ORGANISED Local company Uchi has a range of cute and functional travel accessories and toiletries bags that are perfect for travellers of all ages. Its Chunky Stripe travel wallet holds passport, tickets and papers and is made from PVC-coated printed canvas. Available in a range of patterns or plain colours. $33. (02) 9319 3222; www.uchi.com.au. TOP TRAVEL TALES The year’s three best journey narratives make ideal presents for travellers of all persuasions, from armchair to active. Paprika Paradise, a family memoir and most enjoyable travel romp by The Australian’s James Jeffrey (Hachette Australia, $35) is set in Hungary. Chasing Bohemia by Carmen Michael (Scribe, $32.95) is a fast-paced life-changer that evolves over 12 months in Rio de Janeiro. The Scent Trail by Celia Lyttelton (Random House, $49.95) is an intriguing “olfactory odyssey” that explores the relationship between fragrance, memory and place. READY, SET, GO Since 1987, Aesop has been offering alternative skin and wellbeing products derived from quality botanical ingredients. Its Dada-inspired Intelligent Interference gift sets contain Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque, Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner, Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum and Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Eye Serum. The sets also come with a pocket Penguin book for emergency holiday reading. Kits for men and bodycare sets also available. $155 (other sets from $49.90); www.aesop.net.au. LADIES WHO MULCH The latest book from The Australian’s gardening expert Holly Kerr-Forsyth is a superbly pretty and info-packed publication. The Constant Gardener: A Botanical Bible (The Miegunyah Press, $75) holds all the green-thumb secrets, from perfect pruning to designing a potager, dealing with root rot and, more appealingly, a worldwide guide to roses, from Leaping Salmon to the pale yellow Mermaid. www.mup.com.au. CASE STUDIES Sydney designer Catherine Manuell produces a range of handbags, luggage, travel accessories and scarfs notable for vibrant patterns and colours. Manuell’s most recent range has been created in collaboration with celebrated Aboriginal artists Amy ( Jirwullurr) Johnson, Evelyn Pultara and Maureen (Murrarngulu) Thompson to evoke the spirit and colour of the Australian landscape. From $12 to $420. (03) 9499 9844; www.catherinemanuelldesign.com. GIVEAWAY Courtesy of Catherine Manuell we have, as pictured, one Airport Trolley Set ($420), consisting of Personal Shell Case and Wheelie CarryOn Bag in Evelyn Pultara’s Bush Yams fabric to give away. Write your name and address on the back of an envelope and tell us in 25 words or less why you would like to win this gorgeous set. Send to: Catherine Manuell Giveaway, PO Box 215, Eastern Suburbs MC, NSW 2004. IT’S IN THE POST In our era of instant electronic communications, picture postcards could well be going the way of the dodo. Which makes this beautiful book even more of a display find. Paul Theroux has penned the foreword to Exotic Postcards: The Lure of Distant Lands by Alan Beukers (Thames & Hudson, $75). He writes that “travel provides proof of the exotic, which represents a kind of happiness and hope”. And there are plenty of exotic images herein, from veiled women in the Sudan and “Arab turban lady in Zanzibar” to Masai warriors with lion-mane head-dresses. The vintage postcards are reproduced in sepia tones that add to the book’s appeal. ESCAPE ARTIST Venture into the kitchen to create your fabulous piece de resistance and leave all the trimmings to Phillippa. Phillippa’s Christmas products include recipes from home (Country Women’s Association, for example) and abroad: from roasted nuts to sienna cake, gingerbread angels, cranberry, herb and nut stuffing for the goose and brandy sauce for the pudding (and that, too), mince pies, shortbread, granola for the morning after and more. From $5.50 to $35. Hampers also available. www.phillippas.com.au. SWEET REWARDS Koko Black, already a star among chocolate lovers in Melbourne and Canberra, has a delectable festive range that includes Santas ($25-$250) and sturdy, standing hand-moulded trees in dark and milk chocolate adorned with white chocolate candles ($27.50, $44). The Koko Black chocolate star ($38.50), is filled with 10 Belgian chocolates and proceeds from its sale go to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. If you are not able to visit a store, email firstname.lastname@example.org for shipping details. www.kokoblack.com. CIN CIN Toast the season and the classic Italian aperitivo Cinzano vermouth, which is celebrating its 250th anniversary. One-litre Cinzano – Rosso, Bianco or Extra Dry – comes with a birthday gift of a limited-edition art glass (Collezione Cinzano) featuring artwork specially commissioned in Italy. $13.99, only at Liquorland stores nationally, during December.