It’s time to clock off and ease into holiday mode. Here, six creatives reveal their summer-break essentials.
‘ON OUR BEACH HOLIDAYS EVERYONE IS HAPPY. THERE’S NO FIGHTING OVER WHO WANTS TO DO WHAT, OR WHERE WE EAT. EVERYONE JUST DOES EXACTLY AS THEY PLEASE.’ Rachel Castle
This Sydney-based artist and designer is a selfdescribed ‘fun enthusiast’ who unites her love of colour and ’80s pop culture in paintings, embroideries, screenprints and homewares. Her joyful designs and summer-on-a-canvas palette have won her fans across the globe.
Every summer we have a quintessential Aussie summer holiday and spend a fortnight at Mollymook Beach [pictured above] on the NSW South Coast.
We love it because a lot of our friends go at the same time, so it’s one big happy holiday for everyone. Our children have all grown up together on these holidays. We decide what to eat for dinner while we sit on the beach with a drink at 6pm. It’s the only time of the year that I really do feel free.
Our dining options are varied. One night we’ll eat at Rick Stein at Bannisters, the next it’s Mollymook Golf Club, and the next it’ll be fish and chips on the beach as the sun sets.
My ideal summer’s day involves reading in bed until midday. I know that’s the best time of the day to be outside, but I just need to be horizontal, poring over the books I’ve dreamt of reading all year. I love reading prizewinning novels and take a suitcase full of them on holiday. My summer playlist will include all my faves: Fleetwood Mac, The Cure, The Smiths, The Bee Gees, Crowded House and newer stuff like Rufus, The War on Drugs and London Grammar. I’m giving my family a record player for Christmas and am excited about buying albums. I’m totally getting Rumours, Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album, as my first one.
My favourite summer meal would have to be Champagne and oysters, first, second and for all time.
After our time away, my daughter and I always go to the Australian Open [tennis] in Melbourne at the end of January. castleandthings.com.au
Walkley-winning journalist, author, presenter of ABC TV shows Kitchen Cabinet and Tomorrow Tonight, and co-host of podcast Chat 10
Looks 3, Annabel has produced a new cookbook with her best friend, Wendy Sharpe. Special Guest is a collection of dishes that put the guest experience first. (See page 139 for some of the recipes.) This summer we’re going to Singapore to see my brother-in-law and his family, who moved there last year.
My ideal summer day would begin and end on a shady lounge somewhere,
with a book. Periodically, people would bring me delicious things to eat and frosty, frosty drinks.
I know I’m relaxed when I fall asleep with a finger marking my page.
To wind down, I cook. A free day spent batch-cooking or making jam with the kids buzzing around is the most happy and relaxing prospect I can conjure.
My holiday playlist will be whatever’s playing on Double J and Classic FM – I don’t like making decisions on holidays. A favourite summer meal is brioche buns filled with nasturtiums and the crab and green-apple remoulade from our new book [pictured previous page]. And a favourite sunset drink is a South Australian riesling, if you’d be so kind. I mightn’t even wait for sunset…
A summer cultural event on my mustsee list is the Sydney Festival [January 9-27]. Closely followed by the Adelaide Festival and Fringe [March 1-17].
My big plans for 2019? I’m writing a book about politics. For kids.
Special Guest ($39.99, Murdoch Books), co-authored by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe, is out now.
Sydney-based photographer Leila is renowned for her classical portraiture of birds, including budgerigars, cockatoos and birds of prey. She has exhibited internationally, her work attracting high-profile collectors including actress Brooke Shields.
Every summer, my family and friends f rent a different house at Bawl Bawley Point, on the South C Coast of NSW. We love it there because of its laidback old-school beachside feel; it’s no fuss. The residents are lovely, the beaches are great for kids, the waves are good and I enjoy going on walks and checking out the birds.
My ideal summer’s day starts by being with family and friends. We’ll have breakfast together, then hit the beach and come home for lunch. The afternoon is either the beach again, jumping off the Bawley Point gantry [above], reading a book, going for a walk or simply catching up on sleep.
I know I’m relaxed when I feel sleepy in the afternoon! That beautiful combination of sun and adventure.
I’m looking forward to reading Australian Geographic, Australian Birdlife magazine and novels. My summer playlist will be a little bit country and a little bit rock’n’roll: Gillian Welch, Neil Young, Townes Van Zandt, The Faces, Jonathan Richman, NWA, The Scientists. I used to work in record shops, so I like all the genres.
My favourite summer food is salad.
Lots of crunchy, fresh but filling salads. I’m not a big drinker, but I do love Grey Goose vodka with ice and fresh lime.
My favourite scent of summer is jasmine [top left]. And I have a favourite sound, too: cicadas! I love their names, like ‘green grocer’ [bottom left] and ‘black prince’.
A cultural event I’m looking forward to is Twilight at Taronga [the summer concert series at Taronga Zoo, Sydney]. This is a big year for me. In October I’ll hold my first major Australian exhibition in five years, at Olsen Gallery in Sydney, then I travel to exhibit it in New York.
I’ll be very busy working on that show. leilajeffreys.com
‘MY HUSBAND JAMES AND SON VINCENT [ABOVE] ARE BOTH SOME KIND OF FISH SPECIES – THEY ’ VE TAUGHT ME TO LOVE THE OCEAN.’ Leila Jeffreys
CEO of Adelaide’s famed JamFactory, Brian has worked in leading design organisations for more than 20 years. JamFactory showcases contemporary Australian design and craftsmanship and is recognised as a centre for excellence. This summer I’ll be heading to Tasmania with my family, to spend some time with my parents on the northwest coast. We’ll also spend a week travelling – walking in tall, dense forests, swimming on pristine beaches and enjoying some stunning scenic drives. My most pleasurable summer days are spent at home. I’m a homebody and truly love the home I live in. It’s a Modernist house [inset, top] built in 1960, with a plunge pool and big native garden. I love working in the garden until the heat of the day forces me into the pool with the kids. Followed by a refreshing drink or two on the deck, looking out over the Adelaide Plains.
In summer I like listening to jazz and ’70s funk, but I’m increasingly guilty of indulging in ’80s Aussie pub rock!
My favourite summer food would be anything cooked on the barbecue. I also love simple outdoor eating, be it fish and chips on Brighton Beach or picnics in Belair National Park, near my home.
If we eat out, a long lunch at Coriole in McLaren Vale or Fino at Seppeltsfield [left] in the Barossa is hard to beat.
For a sunset drink, I love an Aperol spritz or any Clare Valley riesling.
My favourite scent of summer is the smell of the Australian bush.
‘MY MOST PLEASURABLE SUMMER DAYS ARE SPENT IN THE GARDEN, UNTIL THE HEAT FORCES ME INTO THE POOL .’ Brian Parkes
Plans for this year include finishing the treehouse I’ve started building with my kids. And launching some of the most ambitious exhibitions yet at JamFactory. jamfactory.com.au
Since 2006, Amy has been director of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), a centre for visual and performance art known for showcasing groundbreaking works. She also sits on the curatorial panel for Sculpture by the Sea Cottesloe. This summer I’ll be escaping to Santiago in Chile and Buenos Aires in Argentina. Buenos Aires [eg, Palermo neighbourhood, opposite centre] is my home away from home, where I enjoy glorious food, design, music, art,
‘IN BERRY WE HAVE THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS;
WE’RE SURROUNDED BY BEAUTIFUL ROLLING COUNTRYSIDE, WITH THE BEACH ON OUR DOORSTEP.’ Neale Whitaker
architecture and the ‘good airs’ or ‘fair winds’ the city is named for.
A side trip to Montevideo, Uruguay, is a must, for old-world charm and the best flea market in the world [previous page], where you can buy everything from antiques to live birds and tarantulas.
My ideal summer’s day starts with a swim, followed by a lazy breakfast, then shopping and visits to galleries and museums, and a relaxed lunch. Books on my summer reading list include Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges, Memoirs by Pablo Neruda and A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.
A favourite eatery in Buenos Aires is El Trapiche, a wonderful old-style parrilla [steakhouse] close to where we stay.
My go-to sunset drink is a gin and tonic. A favourite scent of summer is jasmine. When I return home, I’m really looking forward to the Perth Festival [February 8 to March 3]. I’ll be out every night! PICA turns 30 in 2019, so we’re planning an amazing year of celebratory events. pica.org.au
Design aficionado, TV personality, columnist and all-round style maven, Neale is a judge on Channel Nine’s renovating series The Block, and co-host of Foxtel’s Love It or List It Australia.
Over summer, I’ll be spending as much time as possible with my partner David and our dogs, Ollie and Otis, at our new home near Berry, on the South Coast of NSW. There’s nowhere I’d rather be. On holidays, our days start with a coffee in Berry [above], followed by a walk along our favourite dog-friendly stretch of beach and a dip in the ocean. Then it’s back to the house to prepare a long lunch if friends are visiting. The rest of the day is dictated by the ratio of good food and conversation to good wine!
I know I’m relaxed when I stop shaving. I leave all my smart clothes in Sydney – deliberately – and live in shorts. Music-wise, depending on our mood, we lurch from baroque to Swedish dance music, ’70s soul and disco, Brazilian bossa nova, Barbra Streisand, Troye Sivan and Charlie Puth. And that’s just one afternoon!
David’s an amazing cook. We’ll be eating lots of delicious salads made with different grains and pulses.
My favourite sunset drink is a gutsy Aussie rosé or Kiwi pinot gris.
My favourite summer scents would have to be jasmine and, strange as it might sound, Aerogard.
Looking ahead, I’ll be working on my 13th season of The Block and the third season of Love It or List It Australia.