LIT­TLE BLACK BOOK

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Australia -

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.

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