LITTLE BLACK BOOK
SCOTTISH-born Nikki Maxwell has lived in France, Spain, Switzerland and California, and now calls Melbourne home. In 2007 she set up Picnics in Provence, specialising in smallgroup gourmet tours. More: picnicsinprovence.com. Desperate to get back to: Cassis in western Provence; it’s a charming village with bobbing boats on its harbour and lovely bistros. Top shopping secret: Precedence, 421 Hampton St, Hampton; there’s always something different in this Melbourne lifestyle shop. Must visit: LAN Club, Twin Towers, Beijing. A Philippe DEALS OF THE WEEK Simply South Africa: Book a seven-day holiday touring South Africa for just over $100 a day during June, July and August; from $740 a person twin-share, including accommodation, breakfasts, airport transfers, transport and sightseeing. Tour Cape Town, Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch. More: 1300 195 873; benchinternational.com.au. Starck-designed restaurant with Sichuan-style menu and fabulous decor. Perfect place for indulgence: An ocean suite room in the Summer Houses of the Dar Al Masyaf Hotel, Dubai. Cruise Croatia: A Dubrovnik seven-night round-trip on board the 19-cabin five-star Magellan costs from $1172 a person, including meals on board. The itinerary includes visits to secluded coves and medieval towns such as Hvar, Split, Korcular and Dubrovnik. Next departure is June 25. More: 1300 362 599; creativecruising.com.au. Stand-out bar experience: Soggy Dollar Bar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Islands. Swim to the beach from your yacht and pay with wet money. Inviting food destination: Will Meyrick’s Sarong Restaurant at Seminyak in Bali. Inspirational travel narrative: The Olive Farm: A Memoir of Life, Love and Olive Oil in the South of France by Carol Drinkwater. Most memorable splurge: A long lunch at Alain Ducasse’s three-star Michelin restaurant Le Louis XV at Hotel de Paris, Monaco. Best experience afloat: A bareboat yacht charter around the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. Fun in the sun: Escape winter chills on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast at Grand Mercure Apartments Twin Waters near Coolum; there are special deals for seniors, longstay packages and choice of self-contained units or familysized beach-houses. More: grandmercureapartments .com.au.