LITTLE BLACK BOOK
SYDNEY-born florist Simone Gooch has gathered inspiration from working in central Australia, London and Europe. Her business, opening this month in Crown Street, Sydney, is named Fjura, which means flower in Maltese. More: fjura.com. Desperate to get back to: New York City, a favourite since I was 19, particularly the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens in spring. Top shopping secret: Astier de Villatte at 173 rue Saint-Honore, Paris, for incredible homewares, candles and flatwear. Must visit: Kew Gardens, London. Don’t miss the North Gallery. Stand-out bar experience: DEALS OF THE WEEK Sea and tell: The Queensland Gold Coast’s Sea World Resort has a school-holiday bumper deal from $918 a family (two adults and two children up to 13 years) for a two-night stay, including entry to the popular Sea World Water Park.Valid June 25-July 10 and September 17-October 2. More: 138 833; sunloverholidays.com.au/deals. Aurora, Piazza Torquanto, Florence; it’s a small, relaxed outdoor bar in the working-class quarter of San Frediano. Inviting food destination: Sushi Yachiyo in Darlinghurst, Sydney. Sojourn by the sea: Book a minimum five-night stay in a one-bedroom executive beachfront suite at Seahaven Resort on Noosa’s Hastings Street; from $175 a person a night, including champagne on arrival and $100 dinner voucher for Lindoni’s Ristorante Italiano. Valid to June 30. More: 1800 072 013; seahavennoosa.com.au. Inspirational travel narrative: The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton. Most memorable splurge: A premium economy ticket to Europe with JAL. A whole other world. Best experience afloat: Exploring the island of Dugi Otok in Croatia aboard a little motorboat hired from a local restaurant. Distinctive hotel: Hampstead Guesthouse in London’s Hampstead. Run by Annemarie van der Meer and Jim Cowell, this home is beautiful and their aesthetic is inspiring. Best-spent travel dollars: A GPS: a godsend when driving abroad. Among the vines: Take a twonight break in July at Victoria’s historic five-star Chateau Yering in the Yarra Valley, about 60km from Melbourne airport; from $1290 a room, including tickets to the Archibald Prize Touring Exhibition, dinner in-house at Eleonore’s, breakfasts and room upgrade. More: 1300 551 669; needtoescape.com.