Month: July 2016

Hanoi Eat and Drinks Diary Part One

Hanoi Eat and Drinks Diary Part One

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Hanoi. Such a beautiful city.

Exploding with life and culture and chaos, all encompassed in beautiful French Architecture, traditional simple Vietnamese lifestyle and the freshest of fresh cuisine.

The first and most important decision when travelling is the hotel choice. This can be a make or break for your chosen time in any given city.

Without a doubt, the best hotel in Hanoi is The Sofitel Metropole. Hands down.

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The Hotel Metropole Hanoi is an award-winning French colonial-style hotel lying in the heart of Hanoi, near Hoan Kiem Lake and the magnificent Opera House.

Boasting a classical white façade, green shutters, original wrought iron detail, wood paneling and a lush courtyard lawn, the hotel is one of the region’s few remaining hotels of its era.

Located steps from the Opera House in Hanoï’s French Quarter, this legendary property brings guests into intimate contact with the opulence of another era.

Surround yourself in heritage as you stroll stately corridors and explore a dramatic past. Behind its classical white façade green shutters original wrought iron details and stately wood paneling reside over a century of stories.

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Some of the most famous people in the world have chosen to stay here. The hotel has seen a myriad of prominent visitors throughout its reign, including famous actors such as Charlie Chaplin, who one of the property’s suites is named after. Chaplin celebrated the most special of moments at the hotel, notably, his honeymoon in 1936.

Other frequent guests include revered world dignitaries and famed celebrities. It was at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi that the first motion picture showing occurred within the region, and it is the locale where Somerset Maugham wrote The Gentleman in the Palour, and where Graham Greene wrote The Quiet American.

Can you believe this….what a discovery…forty years after the bombs stopped falling on Hanoi, and less than one year after a chance discovery of an air raid shelter in its back garden, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has opened the excavated bunker as the anchor attraction in a new Path of History tour.

You can go deep underground and explore the air raid shelter built during the war.  It has been said that the guests were ushered underground during the raids and then after wards ally led back to the dining room or bar to continue socialising…How surreal.

 

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Watch my FB live video as I tour the grounds of the Sofitel.

Next stop..the full tourist day.

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If you are prepared to battle the chaotic traffic, the heat and the crowded streets, then start walking to see the amazing Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum the large memorial in Hanoi. It is located in the center of Ba Dinh Square, which is the place where Vietminh leader Ho Chi Minh, Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam from 1951 until his death in 1969, read the Declaration of Independence on 2 September 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

The structure is 21.6 meters (70.9 feet) high and 41.2 meters (135.2 feet) wide. Flanking the mausoleum are two platforms with seven steps for parade viewing. The plaza in front of the mausoleum is divided into 240 green squares separated by pathways. The gardens surrounding the mausoleum have nearly 250 different species of plants and flowers, all from different regions of Vietnam.

The embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh is preserved in the cooled, central hall of the mausoleum, which is protected by a military honor guard. The body lies in a glass case with dim lights. The mausoleum is closed occasionally while work is done to restore and preserve the body but is normally open daily from 09:00 to 11:00 to the public. Lines of visitors, including visiting foreign dignitaries, pay their respects at the mausoleum every day.

After a quick look, and a moment of silence , we hailed a taxi, negotiated a fair price ($12) and arranged for the driver to take us and see more iconic monuments before taking us back to the hotel.

The high level of humidity, the midday sun, cranky kids plus my white shorts and the now streaky spray tan streaming down my legs…was the dominating factor in this decision.  Luckily for us our driver was super knowledgeable on all historical events and monuments in Hanoi. Big bonus. Plus aircon. Double bonus.

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‘Binhs Taxi Luxury Tour’ then headed over to the beautiful Hanoi Opera House.

One of the few places in Hanoi to catch a symphony, this century-old French colonial building is a major city landmark. While the interior could use some sprucing up, this imposing Opera House is still on the list of top things to see in Hanoi, given its architectural beauty, historical significance and repertoire of internationally celebrated musicians.

Completed in 1911 after 10 years of work, in its heyday this popular Hanoi attraction served as a center for high-end entertainment, theater and classical music. Frequented by French colonial officials and their wives and largely unvisited by the Vietnamese, the Hanoi Opera House was a monument of European culture. For most of the French era, artists who performed at the Opera House were almost exclusively European, but in the 1940s Vietnamese could rent what they called ‘the Western theatre’ to hold special performances and concerts, especially to raise money for charitable causes such as victims of floods.

Just outside the Opera House is a very modern and cool coffee house. The perfect spot to sit and enjoy the iced traditional Vietnamese Coffee. As mentioned in previous posts, this was fast becoming new new obsession.

Next.. Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple.

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Hanoi tourists and locals alike head to Hoan Kiem Lake when seeking a place to get away from the noise of the city. Peaceful and quiet, the lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda sitting in the centre on a small island.

The temple attracts many visitors and was built in commemoration of the 13th century military leader Tran Hung Dao who was renowned for his bravery in the battle against the Yuan Dynasty. Stunning, eerie and very commanding of respect. Beautiful temple.

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We jumped out here to take a walk around the lake. You will see all sorts of local customs. From the stunning Red Bridge, food stalls, and the locals enjoying lunch or practising Thai Chi.

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Before much of city wakes up and the constant hum of motorbikes kicks in, there is a peaceful “spiritual” side to Hanoi that many visitors miss. As the fruit sellers set up their wares and the children head to school in their crisp white uniforms, Tai Chi occurs daily in most of Hanoi Park’s. Its beautiful to watch. And a much needed little time out in this hustling city.

And then…..massage time. An absolute joy to have a full body massage to ease the stress of the very touristy day and unwind. Then it’s back to hotel for a cocktail by the pool and a swim and prepare for dinner.

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The City View Cafe, is an Asian bar and casual dining restaurant. It is the perfect place to sit outdoors and look down to the crazy city below. Its intoxicating. The view across the Lake is stunning and simply looking down and watching the cars, bike, buses and people all jostling to get somewhere is an amazing sight from above.

Great food, better cocktails and the ambience is priceless.

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A full exciting and wonderful day in Hanoi.

And that is how Hanoi Day one went down…… Sx

We are off to Hawaii. Come with us.

We are off to Hawaii. Come with us.

 

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The Wanderlust Luxury Travel  – Hawaii 2017 – is now taking bookings.

Wanderlust Luxury Travel is a bespoke luxury travel group, created specifically for the solo woman traveller.

If you’re keen to travel but not keen to go alone…and equally don’t want to be just a number on a crowded tour bus..then this is perfect for you!
Wanderlust Luxury Travel is a 5 star personalised tour company for women only, travelling to amazing destinations worldwide.
Think; shopping, fine dining, fashion, interior design and architecture, roof top bars plus health and fitness.

Its a total balance tour for girls who want to do it all.
Small groups limited to 8-10 women.
And your host? None other than yours truly!

Jump in quickly so you don’t miss this special promotional price.

See Below and email all enquires to info@whitechalkdesign.com.au

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Wanderlust Luxury Travel Hawaii 2017

Tour Details

Tour Price: $5500 per person Twin Share. Single person supplement $1500
Partial ocean View Balcony Room
(city view option is offered at a reduced price. )

Tour Style: Luxury Boutique 5 Star Fully Escorted
Tour Dates: March 2017 FINAL DATE TO BE CONFIRMED (7 night / 8 days )

Price Includes:

 

7 Nights’ luxury accomodation at the iconic 5 star Moana Surfrider located right on Waikiki Beach. Partial Ocean View. Free Wifi. Breakfast daily.

Moana Surfrider Historical Tour
Aqua Aerobics Daily
Hula Lessons, Lei Making, Ukulele Lessons.

Arrival and Departure group transport
The Wanderlust Luxury Travel Welcome Pack (includes a day spa voucher and discount shopping vouchers )

Breakfast Daily

Pre-dinner welcome cocktail

Welcome dinner at Moana Surfrider including wine

Surf Lesson on Waikiki Beach

The North Shore Hawaiian Food Tour (full day)

Fully guided tours of Iolani Palace and the stunning architecture at The Shangri-La retreat formerly owned by heiress Doris Duke.

Fully escorted tour through the famous Waikele outlet shopping malls and Ala Moana Shopping Centre plus the furniture / homewares district (includes discount booklet)

Half day snorkelling and picnic brunch at stunning Hanauma Bay

A traditional sunset Luau Dinner

Waikiki  Beach Sunrise / Sunset Yoga Daily

Skybar Cocktail Night VIP status
Sunset Champagne Catamaran Cruise from Waikiki Beach

Brunch & Morning walk up to the Diamond Head State Monument and Lighthouse Saturday farmers market (if available)

Stand UP Paddle Board lesson and Scuba Diving (additional cost)

Life Coach / Wellness Session available  (additional cost)

 

Itinerary Details

Day One

Upon arrival into Honolulu International Airport, you will be met by your transfer at the airport after baggage and customs/immigration clearance.
Serena will be at the hotel to meet you and ensure that check-in is smooth!
The day is yours to settle in, refresh with your spa voucher and acclimatise to the beautiful Hawaiian pace.

This evening a drink in the bar before our welcome dinner at The Moana Surfrider. Meals Included : Dinner (wine included)

Day Two

Shopping Day – Today we head to the amazing Waikele Outlet Shopping Mall for bargains on all designer clothing & footwear.
Saks 5th Ave, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Guess, Nine West plus many, many more designer labels. You’ll need strong arms to carry out all of your amazing purchases…

The afternoon is yours to relax on the beach or by the pool. Dinner and drinks tonight at Dukes on the beach (optional)

Meals Included : Breakfast

Day Three

After breakfast we will be collected for our Hawaii Food Tour. This is a full day tour to the North Shore and is a showcase of scenic wonders, amazing food (garlic shrimp, genuine Hawaiian food, roadside grinds, decadent and rich pastries, & more!), You’ll even have time for a personal shopping break in a historic coffee and chocolate plantation!

This a full day so drinks and dinner once we return to the hotel is optional.                      Meals Included : Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day Four

Sunrise Beach Yoga followed by breakfast.

For those who are keen for a rest day, today is perfect to soak up the sunshine, swim or book in for massage, learn to surf or try stand up paddle boarding. If you’re feeling more energetic hit the stores right across the street from our hotel. Sephora, H&M, Kate Spade, plus Luxury Row; Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci…

Tonight we set sail and watch the beautiful sunset over Waikiki Beach for our Sunset Holokai Catamaran Cruise.
Get soaking wet on the nets or kick back and relax on the comfortable main deck. All drinks included on this 1.5 hour tour.

Dinner at a local nearby Taqueria is optional.

Meals Included : Breakfast, Sunset Drinks.

Day Five

After breakfast we head out and take our guided tour to the Shangri-La Museum and the Iolani Palace.

One of Hawai‘i’s most architecturally significant houses, Shangri La was a retreat and sanctuary for a woman, Doris Duke, who greatly valued her privacy. In the late 1930s, Doris Duke built her Honolulu home, Shangri La, on five acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head.
Shangri La incorporates architectural features from the Islamic world and houses Duke’s extensive collection of Islamic art, which she assembled for nearly 60 years.
In her will, Duke set in motion plans to open Shangri La to the public as a place for the study of Islamic art and culture.

Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy, is a marvel of opulence, innovation and political intrigue. Meticulously restored to its former grandeur, this National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu tells of a time when their Majesties, King Kalakaua, who built the palace in 1882, and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, walked its celebrated halls.
We will immerse ourselves in Hawaii’s royal heritage.

Tonight we head to the Skybar as VIP guests. High above the streets of Waikiki we can sip cocktails and unwind from our full day of sightseeing.
Dinner Optional.

Meals Included : Breakfast

 

Day Six

An early start for our day at glorious Hanauma Bay. Snorkel the pristine waters at one of the most popular natural attractions in the world. You’ll spot schools of colourful fish and perhaps even dolphins and turtles. The safe inner reef is perfect for beginners, while the more challenging outer reef will thrill advanced snorkelers on Hanauma Bay.

We will arrange delicious picnic hampers for lunch and provide all of your snorkelling equipment.

After the bay, we will head back to the hotel to relax by the beach or pool, or you can head to Ala Moana Shopping centre to top up your shopping. It is the largest out door mall in the Northern Hemisphere. So prepare to shop!

Dinner Tonight is a traditional Polynesian Luau at a nearby beachside location. Watch the sunset over Waikiki Beach and shake your hips to the rhythmic sounds of the the traditional island drums.

Meals Included : Breakfast/ Brunch / Dinner

Day Seven

After breakfast we will head to the Diamond Head State Monument. A short hike to the top of the mountain and you can see all the way across to downtown Honolulu and the beautiful stretch of Waikiki Beach. Stunning views and a great way to start the day.
For those who wish to go to the Farmers Market we can visit on our way back to the hotel.

Once back to the hotel, the remainder of the day is all yours to enjoy. More shopping, more reading, more swimming, more anything……

A farewell drink tonight at The Mai Tai bar on the beach followed by a light dinner (optional) and then it is back to the hotel to pack and confirm departure details for the next days’s checkout.

Meals Included : Breakfast

** Please note if you would like to book a session with our life coach whilst in Hawaii this is to be billed separately and booked prior to departure.

We require the minimum number of 6 guests to proceed with the tour.

Not included in tour

Airfares; Items of a personal nature; phone calls; passport; laundry; tips except for meals/beauty services included in the itinerary (beverage tips separate); personal transport; vaccinations; excess baggage; travel insurance. Meals not specifically mentioned in the itinerary; beverages unless specifically described. Optional excursions or activities that may be offered but not included in the tour price.

Thank you and we look forward to you joining us on this amazing tour… Sx

 

And Drinks Diary – Ho Chi Minh City – Part Two

And Drinks Diary – Ho Chi Minh City – Part Two

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There are 2 things that simply are a ‘must-do’ when in Ho Chi Minh.

#1:  A Saigon Street Food Tour.

#2: Cu Chi Tunnels.

Lets start with #1.

Upon arrival I was searching as to which street food tour to do. They are all pretty similar, and most are very generic. I wanted a less touristy version of the street food tour, and lucky for me me, my brother messaged and suggested Saigon Street Eats. I googled. I booked. ( http://saigonstreeteats.com)

Saigon street Eats is run by an Australian and Vietnamese couple living in Vietnam. It is an off the track tour, which takes you to the back streets of Saigon for a more authentic sample of Vietnam. So once you book, you can opt to be picked up by motor scooter, and taken to and from the destination…or ‘chicken out’ and take a taxi…we opted to go balls to wall and go by bike. In the rain. In Vietnam.  (the holiday brain took over and all sense was out the window)

We arrived in an area not frequented by tourists, met our guide Binh..(more about him later!) and 2 other couples from various parts of the world. No other tourists were to be seen. Anywhere. It was awesome.

The tour starts with Binh ( who lived in Melbourne for 6 years, is fluent in English, very knowledgeable about the history of Vietnam and its food cultures, which vary across the country and a great host!)  He explained what to look out for when choosing to eat from the street stalls. It’s never risk free, but these are the strict tips. The stall must have stainless steel tables, strong, bright lighting, the food must be visible and the chef should be cooking within sight. You are less likely to fall ill if you stick to these basic points. Hopefully.

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And the food!  Amazing and so much of it…. Tasty, fresh and such a variety from the 4 stalls we ate at.  Crispy pancakes packed with the fresh herbs, seafood like you’ve never seen, desserts with such traditional history behind the style, wrapping and how to eat it…plus the best of all …the tasty Banh Mi – the obligatory baguette of Vietnam.  Oh, and lots of beer…and a baby duck egg, but that story stays on the tour!.

It was a wonderful night, a must do…but book prior to leaving home…just in case.. They also have a walking Pho morning tour which is all about the traditional breakfast soup. Do one. Do both!

#2 Cu Chi Tunnels

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If you are only in Ho Chi Minh for a short stopover, choose your Vietnam War History tours carefully.  I would suggest either the War Remnants Museum or the Cu Chi Tunnels. I have previously visited the war museum and it is extremely confronting and very sad.

The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City documents the costs of the war. It’s aimed squarely at foreign visitors–you won’t find many locals here. The tone isn’t one of victory, but one of victim. The museum amounts to an extensive catalog of the appalling legacy of war. If you are travelling with children I would prefer the tunnel tour, it is not as confronting for small people.

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I chose to book the tunnel tour that starts on the Saigon River. You are collected from your hotel and driven to the docks. Then jump aboard a ‘luxurious’ jet boat and zip along the Saigon River to the Cu Chi Tunnels.

We opted for the early departure (730am) rather than the midday option..due to the heat it is better to go early. The river trip is peaceful and you can get a glimpse into traditional river life..fishing boats, water hyacinths and beautiful old shanty’s lining the banks of the saigon waterway.

Once at Cu Chi  its go time.

Descend underground with a guide into a vast network built by resourceful guerrilla fighters during the Vietnam War to provide supply routes, food and weapon caches, living quarters and hospitals. The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Củ Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country.

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If you have a fear of confined spaces, which I do..it is pretty terrifying. The tunnels are tiny, dark and drop deep underground. The heat makes it a challenge as well. Needless to say I went about 10 mtrs in..and then just as quickly backed out! Literally. The kids were fine. I waited at the opening to greet them. Win Win.

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After the tour, you have the option to shoot guns. At targets. It is a strange thing to want to do, but in this controlled environment, and after a full 2 hours of talking war and bombs  and guns..it seems normal. Its not.

But I will say, shooting a round of bullets out of an AK47 is something that is both exhilarating and morally wrong. And I will never do it again.

After your tour, you can feast on fried spring rolls, chicken and beef dishes, and soup as you enjoy an authentic, traditional Vietnamese lunch by the river. If you’ve selected the later tour, you’ll enjoy a provided dinner.
After your meal, depart Cu Chi and return by speedboat to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival at the central pier, you will be driven back to your hotel.

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It was a great day out and we were back to the hotel by mid afternoon. A refreshing swim, another round of massages, plus a nighttime walk through Ho Chi Minh Square, which seems never to not have a zillion people milling around at all times …then it was time to head back to the hotel , and pack for our departure the next morning.

Thank you Saigon…you were an incredible host.

Next stop Hanoi……

 

…Sx

(The Cu Chi Tunnel tour that we booked was through http://www.viator.com/?SSAID=1210009&aid=148628)

 

Eat and Drinks Diary – Ho Chi Minh City- Part One

Eat and Drinks Diary – Ho Chi Minh City- Part One

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One of my favourite cities.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  Formally known as Saigon..

It is famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War, stunning French architecture, traffic mayhem , cheap guesthouses and 5 Star hotels, street food and high end roof top bars, crowded markets and luxury designer stores.

It is a crazy and intoxicating clash of commerce and culture. And it will grab you by the throat and drag you along for the ride. This is why it is one of my favourite cities…

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So, we left a chilly Melbourne winter and flew via Singapore with Jetstar to Ho Ch Minh. Its an easy trip. We arrived at 9pm local time and after a seamless exit through customs and visa approval, we hopped straight into the pre booked a car that was waiting kerbside. I always suggest this as my preferred option upon arrival. It can be a bit daunting landing in a foreign country at night and its just easier to spend a little more and get to the hotel. (**check with your hotel prior to travel, as most will offer courtesy shuttle, so you can pre book it before you leave home.)

I had booked the Hotel Liberty Central Riverside. It is as it sounds, on the Saigon river, located in District One, which is the best district for nightlife and shopping. 600 mtrs to the Ben Thanh Market, 20 minute walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon and only 15 minutes to The Saigon Opera House. It has a fitness centre and roof top bar with a pool..so all my preferences were ticked!

Life balance!

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http://odysseahotels.com/saigon-centre-hotel

 

Day One:

After a traditional Vietnamese breakfast which consists of Pho Bo ( beef noodle soup), lots of chilli, coriander, bamboo shoots and fresh lime…we hit the Ben Thanh Markets.

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This is the place to find local handicrafts, ‘faux’ Nikes and lots of T-shirts, sunglasses, belts , travel bags and electronics …You name it ..and it is here. It also has an amazing array of market food, fruit, vegetables, dried fruits and most important the Vietnamese herbs and greens for the traditional street foods and soups.

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Expect to spend about 2- 3 hours here and prepare to bargain. Start at half asking and creep up to no more than two thirds of the original price. The Vietnamese people thrive and expect bargaining…so don’t be shy.

Getting used to the traffic in Vietnam is probably the most difficult task to master.  The streets are full of honking trucks, taxis and motorbikes on a intensity level not known in Western Countries, with road rules that don’t exist. Bikes, cars and people seem simultaneously, collectively and individually to be heading straight at each other.

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Be warned, drivers will not slow down, or stop, so therefore you must be confident. Step out into the traffic, start walking, keep an even gait at all times  and just keep walking.

DO NOT STOP. I liken it to blood flow. It keeps going and flowing at a natural pace. The traffic will ebb around you. They anticipate your speed and adjust to suit. The honking of horns is considered a polite gesture…to let you know they are near…not as an angry one. So take a deep breath and go for it. (it will take you a day to get used to it.)

Once we had loaded up at the markets, it was time for lunch. Vietnam is all about fresh  and light food. So we headed to a local restaurant and ordered all the traditional options. More Pho soup, fresh rice paper rolls, vegetable noodles and completed the feast with my new obsession.

Vietnamese Coffee.

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Iced or hot, this is an addictive blend of ox-strong black coffee and sweetened condensed milk. Addictive. Delicious. Heart Racer. More please.

After lunch we did what any other 3 gals would do next…hit the day spa. We found a clean, modern beauty salon near the market and proceeded to spend the next four hours being completely pampered. Leg scrubs, body massages, facial steams, eyelash extensions, tummy wraps, pedicures, manicures, eyebrow wax, hand massage, foot massage, head massage..total cost $300.

It was the best few hours and totally refreshed we headed back to hotel to change for the night time activities.

… Sx

 

Expert Advice for Bathroom Renovations

Expert Advice for Bathroom Renovations

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Top Designer Tips and Renovation Advice for the Perfect Bathroom.

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When you decide to renovate your bathroom, it can be an overwhelming and daunting task.
How is it possible, that one of the smallest rooms in your house, requires almost every tradesmen necessary to build a new house from scratch!
The key to reducing the anxiety related to renovating, is to be prepared and organised before you begin any demolition or construction.
And the most important factor in achieving the organisation is to hire a professional who will assist with the key steps in keeping your project on track and on budget.

Design and Plan :
Before you obtain quotes or engage the contractor, have your plan and design ready. The size and space needs to be considered, so that the scale and proportion of the design is correct. This includes the functionality as well. Write up a wish list and then apply the ideas to the plan. A designer will assist with executing your goals and will also offer more solutions and options that you may not have considered.

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Lighting Features :
Bathrooms pack a lot of punch in one small space, so creating some key features is important.

Lighting is paramount and is required for both task and ambience.
Consider using recessed lighting under a floating vanity or recess shelving for ambience.
A stunning feature pendant over the bath for hotel like opulence.
A wall mounted LED light for makeup and shaving.

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Storage Features :

Good storage is quite possibly the most important component of your bathroom.
Recessed Mirror Shaving cabinet storage is perfect for smaller items and easily accessible.
Drawers instead of cupboards is a better form of storage due to the availability of internal dividers and partitions that be inserted and keep everything organised.
Recessed feature shelving in the shower or running along the bath wall is at the perfect solution to housing shampoo and bottles. If you apply a feature tile to the recess it also creates a key feature.

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Budget :
So how much is this all going to cost….

Depending on your material selection..marble bench top versus laminate bench top, porcelain tile versus ceramic…The price actually shouldn’t vary too much. If you consider using a floor tile at $65 p/m for 10 mtrs of tiling versus a $35 p/m tile, the cost savings is not huge with only a $300 savings. So bear in mind that the product doesn’t really alter your final budget dramatically. (**It certainly will bring down the overall spend if all items are at a budget pricing)

The best way to consider how much is a realistic spend on your renovations, is to base it on the current value of your home. Professionals will advise that a minimum of 30% of the value of your property be spent on a bathroom renovation. Therefore, if your house is valued at one million dollars, then expect to pay $30,000 + for the materials and construction of your new bathroom.

Contracting the right builder for the job is also paramount, as you are relying on their expertise to ensure good workmanship is done. Waterproofing is one of the most important factors as a leaky floor is a nightmare once the bathroom is completed..you guessed it…the whole space has to be ripped up and redone!
Allow 4 weeks from demolition to completion. All of the trades have a section to complete, in order, and most can’t go in and work until the trade before him has finished. So patience is key, and if you are living in the property during the renovation, consider staggering the bathroom fit outs, so you still having one that works.

In conclusion…Hire a professional interior designer to advise and assist with the design and plan. A well thought out, scaled plan is paramount before you begin.
Select everything. Basins, tiles, toilets, cabinets, lights..everything.
The builder can then quote accurately on every item you have selected and you will know the cost beforehand. This should prevent any budget blowouts once construction commences.
And then, light a candle, pour yourself some wine and sink into that beautiful bath tub and enjoy your new space. You’ve earned it.

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Are you following White Chalk Design on Facebook?
If not, click the link and you can watch us stream live videos from building sites, award nights and weekly renovation discussions. Ask all of your design questions, and interact with us LIVE.

Click the link to watch one of our latest live feeds.

 

Project of the Month.
Multi Residential Townhouses – Bayside.

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White Chalk Design prides itself on working closely with our local Bayside developers to help achieve a practical and desirable fit out for the discerning buyer. This month we are proud to feature this recently completed 2 town house development located close to the beach. We used natural organic materials and light colours to achieve a coastal vibe, with out being obviously beachy.

“The key to creating a harmonious living space is to use a variety products that are cohesive and appealing to the buyer. Therefore the design needs to be aimed at all tastes and a variety of requirements, however, executing a point of difference is of the utmost importance for us. We never want our developers to feel that we are all churning out cookie cutter designs, everything the same on each project. The developments must resonate with the buyer and still feel as if it has been designed exclusively for them”

Serena Elise

Principal Designer  WHITE CHALK DESIGN

Inspiration from the Milan Design Fair 2016

Inspiration from the Milan Design Fair 2016

 

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What a busy month we have had at White Chalk Design!

Our projects are varied and exciting, ranging from decorating beautiful residential properties, redesigning bars and hotels and our all time favourite… designing and building new kitchens.

It is such an progressive time in the design world, with the new trends coming through from the Milan Design Fair.

Kitchens are getting darker and more textured, with the accent being on creating a harmonious work space that is timeless, yet cohesive with your family environment.

Consider using dark oak timber cabinets, with soft grey veined marble and slim lined feature pendant lighting.
Very simple, yet completely adaptable to any home.
Take a look at what Milan delivered this year.

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Thinking of renovating your old kitchen?
White Chalk Design is offering a ‘free of charge’ initial consultation to discuss your kitchen plan. We can design, quote and install your new kitchen. Take advantage of our new ‘3D walk -through’ option to ensure you are completely comfortable with your plan before we commence construction.
This offer is valid for the month of June.
Contact us now to book your free site meeting.

 

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White Chalk Design is proud to be nominated as one of the Top 100 Interior Design companies in Australia.

 

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Project of the Month.

Contemporary Family Home. Bayside.

‘The owner of this magnificent home, built recently in Bayside, had one main design request in his brief…to successfully incorporate a live fish tank into the plan, and thus creating a magnificent feature and focal point.
We think we hit the brief perfectly. ‘

Serena Elise,
Principal Designer,
White Chalk Design.

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