Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa is owned by Emirates, which means you already know you are in for something special, something luxurious and something expensive!
Driving up the long winding driveway, you eventually reach the hidden valley at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, named Wolgan Valley. Dotted along one side of the valley is Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, one of the most mesmerisingly relaxing and luxurious experiences of my life.
When we arrived at the grand foyer to check-in, the service is second to none. The staff are just so helpful, kind and welcoming. After sorting out the usual bits when checking into a resort, we were led to the room.
WOW. Wow wow wow. The resort is impressive enough as it is just to look at from the outside, but when we arrived to our Heritage Suite (one of 3 levels), we were blown away the second the front door swung open. The huge 201 square metre freestanding suite, constructed from wood and stone materials and designed in Federation-style. Each of the suites have a private aspect, with stunning views of the valley beyond.
The standout feature for me is the private pool, which has it’s own deck surrounded by a garden of native plants and shrubs, and a spacious verandah just off it. The pool can be completely made indoors, or outdoors by folding back the glass bi-fold doors that surround the pool. You can even control the temperature of the 4 x 7m pool. There is a huge courtyard garden to soak up the peace and serenity of the surrounding environment.
My suite is just stunning. Simply stunning. A double-sided fireplace, in the lounge room/main bedroom which romantically warms up the whole place. Both bedrooms with king-sized beds, both with en-suites and a his and hers vanity area. For the ladies, the walk-in dressing room is super impressive. The decor is perfection – it’s warm, calming and exudes class and sophistication.
Parked outside the front door are our very own mountain bikes, to ride around the resort or down any of the stunning tracks surrounding the property. To feel part of the nature that surrounds, there’s also binoculars available in the suite.
All of these wonderful luxuries are with the usual ones like LCD TV, DVD player and sound system, air-conditioning, 24-hour room service, and laundry/dry-cleaning service.
Meals are included, The Country Kitchen is where I ducked off between meals for light meals and snacks. Located downstairs, it’s more casual and informal which I enjoyed. I also went here a couple of times for lunch instead of the main dining room. Wolgan Dining Room is the place to eat for breakfast and dinner. The dinner menu changes per season, I was there for the Winter menu and make particular mention about the Cowra lamb rump with roasted vegetables. Absolutely beautiful. Breakfast is the perfect spread of fresh fruits, pastries and other favourites. The wine list? The best I’ve seen in a long long time.
There was so much to do, you can enjoy the huge communal pool, but it was abit too cold for that, it’s still beautiful to look at. You can hang out at the bar, use the spa and fitness facilities, take there horses on your own private tour through the countryside, nature walks, mountain biking or simply nothing.
Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa focus on attention to detail. Everything is taken care of, nothing is left for you to think about. Everything is of the best quality. Nothing is missed, even down to paying the bill when you check out – presented with a Mont Blanc gold plated pen in a pouch to sign your credit card bill.
This environmentally friendly, architecturally designed resort is honestly one of the finest experiences I’ve had in a very long time.
For around $1300 per person, per night, it’s well worth every cent.
I have been to a few birthdays and a wedding recently, all which had the most amazing cakes. They were all ornamental and detailed edible creations, obviously made by people of skill and artistic flair.
Each of these cakes had one thing in common. They were all from Planet Cake in Balmain.
Planet Cake is definately Australia’s best in cakes. Their cakes are moist, delicious and seem to leave all the people who eat it asking one question – “Where is this cake from?”
When I had my amazingly decorated slice of chocolate cake, at first I was a little sad that the spectacular creation was being savaged by the knife of the bride and groom, but when I saw the interior, I didn’t care! The icing is fresh and sweetened to perfection. There is nothing I can fault on the cake. The looks and the taste!
Hearing the name Planet Cake so much from all the people I know who have used them, I decided to investigate the company for myself and I was pleasantly suprised.
We all read magazines, and when we see a hot celebrity wearing a gorgeous pair of jeans or shoes, we automatically know it’s going to be great – especially if they are wearing it. Well it is much the same for Planet Cake. Nothing C or D list about the cakes they have made for celebrities. Planet Cake celebrity cakes include the likes of Rihanna, Celine Dion, Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban, Cate Blanchett, Megan Gale, Anthony Del Col (Celebrity Wedding Planner) and also provided cakes for Master Chef and Grazia. The list goes on and on… So if there is anything to go by, hopefully the celebrity clientele will be something to sell it to you!
It wasn’t just that, they also have cake decorating classes The Planet Cake Decorating School, the largest school of it’s type in Australia. They provide courses for Basic, Novelty & Specialty decorating, which a full outline of the course on the website for you to look at. With formal qualifications, you can take it further if you wish.
There is an online store for cakes which you don’t want to customise, but if it’s for a big occasion like a wedding, there’s no doubt the bride will want something unique and something to make every single person green with envy when they see it. Whatever it is you imagine, Planet Cake will most likely be able to create it. These guys are so skilled, it would be more appropriate to call them artists rather then decorators.
I could go on and on about their cakes, but it would be better if you just tried them for yourself. What I suggest is purchasing one for your next event, birthday, funeral, christening, wedding etc. I assure you will be so impressed, you will thank me!
Have a look at the celebrity cakes below… Like nothing you could ever imagine!
Planet Cake – 106 Beattie Street. Balmain – (02) 9810 3843
Geoff Field invited me to the Austereo studios at World Tower to do the interview you’ll read below. I was really excited to meet him, because I had heard his voice pretty much every working day for the past 8 or so years, when I first started listening to Kyle and Jackie O.
I went to the 16th floor and rang the door bell to the studio. Out came the very enthusiastic and very kind Geoff Field, greeting me and welcoming me into the 2Day FM family. He introduced me to the Groupie Receptionist Sonja who was also pleasant and welcoming. A tour around the amazing office, introducing me to all the staff. He showed me the Kyle and Jackie O and also the Hamish & Andy studios. Then it was to his little studio, where Geoff showed me how he does his job. I was so intrigued and excited to see how it all works and comes together – and he was so happy to show it to me.
The 2Day FM office and studio is so impressive, Geoff told me the story about Rihanna when she was here. She said that of all the radio stations she has been to around the world, 2Day FM by far had the best studios!
After we grabbed a couple of cold drinks, we headed up to the roof top to start the interview. It was a beautiful sunny day. A relaxed Geoff, immaculately dressed, with his distinct Porsche sunglasses on, we sat in the sun and caught up on everything GEOFF FIELD…
What are you doing at the moment – projects, work and other bit and pieces?
I’m working on Hamish & Andy which I’m enjoying so much! I also do a segment once a week on Kerri-Anne; I do a lot of charity work too which I love! I work with Miracle Babies, which is for babies which are born premature, to raise money for them. I also do things like City to Surf, dinners, The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and people living with HIV, the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and also Breast Cancer! So that keeps me very busy. I’m also doing a Youth Off The Street with Ellie Mobbs who works here at 2Day FM. It all keeps me very busy!
There has been many rumors about you leaving the Kyle and Jackie O show – please clear it up for us!!
I’ve just recently moved off Kyle and Jackie O over to Hamish & Andy which I’m enjoying very much. Six years of breakfast and getting up at 3am was tiring.
I had some great experiences on the show, I got married to my partner Jason, live radio and live TV, I’ve been thrown out of an airplane at 4000 feet, I’ve read the news in a pool of sharks, I’ve been hung off the side of Center Point Tower, I’ve been dropped in the desert and had to find my own way back so working breakfast was great – but it’s time for a change. I enjoy my sleep-in’s and I love working with Hamish and Andy they are great!
Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?
My favorite place to relax in Sydney is DEFINITELY the Boy Charlton Pool. In Summer I just love going there and doing nothing all day, reading a book. I’m not really into beaches because I was spoilt as a child living on the South Coast, so in Summer Jason and I drive down to the South Coast a lot and go the beaches down there. I’m picky, so I love it because I don’t have to step over people like I do in Bondi Beach.
I also like to relax in Kirribilli, a Chinese Yum Cha Restaurant that is nice, and I also like to go to Doyle’s at Watson’s Bay. Oh – I also love Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair – Jason and I go there a lot for a walk and just sit in the sunshine and watch the world go by.
In terms of fashion, and home décor, is there anyone that influences you?
For the home, I don’t want to plug anyone, but have you heard of Kings Furniture? They design specifically for your house. Jason and I are about to move into a new house in Potts Point and I was told about Kings Furniture and I thought it was interesting because I could have the furniture made to my specific needs and the fact they are cleverly designed with built-in magazine racks and you can flip things around and turn it into a bed if you’ve got visitors.
Fashion wise, I’m an admirer of Peter Morrissey and Alex Perry, I know both of them through the show, I love some of the dresses Alex designs and I love some of the menswear Peter designs.
Is there a feature in your new place that you love most, or was something that made you want to buy it?
YES!!! I don’t want to brag, but it’s a fully renovated marble bathroom, that I can’t wait for! The bathroom I have now is a kind of 1960’s retro and I’m kind of over it! It’s going to be like staying at a nice hotel, so I’m very excited about it. Also looking forward to the kitchen. The kitchen we have now is a tiny little kitchen. If Jason is in there, and I’m in the kitchen, there is no room to even swing a cat or do anything. The new kitchen is really big – I don’t cook but still, it’s nice to be in the kitchen with Jason without feeling like I’m crowding in on his space.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Oh my God! My greatest extravagance is… Oh and I don’t want to sound vain… But it’s when I’m lucky enough… Every few years we fly over to Europe first class on Malaysian Airways. It’s not something I can do every year but I just love the experience of being up that end of the plane! It doesn’t happen every year let me tell you!
Another indulgence is a restaurant that we go to, which has had a lot of publicity recently because Pink went there, but I’ve been going there for 10 years, it’s called Beppi’s down in east Sydney. The same family has run it for 15 years or something. It’s just going there, and having a great Italian meal with a beautiful bottle of champagne. That is an extravagance.
Damn Pink went there and let the secret out and now to go there you have to book months ahead! But that’s alright.
What is something your mother and father always told you?
To respect people no matter who they are. To treat people how you would like to be treated. I think it’s simple and it works for me. Easy.
How did you get into radio?
I slept with boss.
EDIT!!! I’m joking!!!
How did I get into radio? Well I’d like to say I worked my guts out, went to University and did all the courses, but if you’d like to know the truth, my dad was best friends with the General Manager of the radio station in Nowra where I come from. So I got work experience there and I used to hang around like a bad smell. Seriously, they must have hated me because I would be there all the time. School holidays, weekends, whatever. Anyway I was basically offered a job, probably because they were so sick of me bugging them, so I went into radio, literally the day after I left school and I have never been out of a job in radio since. So I’m pretty happy with that.
What advice would you give someone going into this industry?
Persevere. Never give up. It’s that sort of industry where people often say “Call me back”, or “there’s nothing going at the moment”, so what you do is you keep on keeping on, you just bug them because it’s such a hard industry to get into.
There’s so many people wanting it and so few jobs and I have an example of a particular person who is now hosting their own radio show, they used to, like me I suppose, turn up for work experience and one day the announcer was sick and they put him on air. He now also has a great career. That’s the way to do it – Never give up!
What do you think are the difference between Australian and European, American or Asian fashions?
I think Australia is great. Australian fashion is great because we cherry pick the best from whether it’s Italy, France, Europe, America or Britain, I’m no fashion expert but I certainly see enough fashion coming and going through this radio station. I’ve seen everyone from Lady Gaga to some of the great designers like Patricia Field for the Sex and the City girls, so I kind of watch from my studio.
I’m always fascinated, even at 6 in the morning, seeing people like Megan Gale or Jennifer Hawkins coming in, even at that hour of the morning they look wonderful. They are always wearing something that just looks great. That’s my thoughts on Australian fashion – we can look at the rest of the world, take the best of it and do our own stuff – and we do our own stuff so well.
What’s one thing you can’t leave home without?
I can’t leave home without my mobile phone! I can’t leave home without my sunglasses. That’s it. Predictable but easy.
If you were Clover Moore, what would be something you’d inject money into fixing?
First of all I think there is too much reliance on cars in this city, like to get to one end of George Street, not even in peak hour, is a nightmare, so I think a lot of people are going to hate me for this, but I think we should make it easier for cyclists. My partner Jason cycles to work everyday and I know people say, “Bloody cyclists they hold the traffic up!” but not if we build cycle lanes. We need a more efficient public transport system in the city itself, the light rail, Clover has been talking about light rail for years, come on Clover!! We can do it!! That’s the first thing I would do – fix up the transport.
Three pet hates?
1. People that don’t respect other people.
2. People that maliciously gossip. There’s a difference between having a gossip, but there’s nothing worse then saying something horrible about someone or an untruth.
3. Weak Governments. I’ll give you an example. I had so much faith in Kevin Rudd, the day after he was elected, I can remember being on a charity walk with Tania Plibersek and some of the other people from the Labor Government and I was so hopeful that we were going to have things change in this country like climate change, all the other things, and look what’s happened. He only just said that climate Change was the greatest challenge of the 21st Century, and now he has abandoned it. We need strong leadership and we need people with principles.
Where do you see yourself in a few years from now?
Hopefully still employed!! I’m enjoying what I’m doing at the moment because I have had a change from Kyle and Jackie O and I’m not doing Hamish & Andy which I love. I loved being on Kyle and Jackie O.
In a few years time, I’d love to be doing my own show, I’m not sure which station, or what the future holds, but in radio, you kind of live from one ratings to the other, thankfully I have been at 2Day FM for 12 years, and hopefully I’ll be here for a little while longer. But in the future I would like to do my own show because I am very opinionated on a lot of issues, so I suppose I would like to give it a go, but not just yet – I’m enjoying being a news reader.
Let’s talk about home life – who cooks more, who cooks less, who cleans, what’s the arrangement?
One word. JASON!
No we actually do have a good at home arrangement, because Jason cooks, he won’t let me near the kitchen. He’s tasted my cooking before and I… Well this is embarrassing, but when we first started living together, I said I would cook one night. I can’t believe I did this, but I went to Coles or Woolies, and I grabbed some mince meat product, which Jason keeps reminding me about, called Dinner Winner. I mixed it up and it was glug. Since that moment Jason said I was banned from the kitchen!
I do the cleaning, and the washing, so it kind of balances it out. We are like a husband and wife, but I’m not sure who the husband is or who the wife is!
Your time with Kyle and Jackie O, they have obviously had you do some crazy stuff. Has there ever been a time that you refused to do something?
It’s all my fault, because when I first started working with them on air, “I’m up for anything! Whatever you guys throw at me I’ll do it!” So I had myself to blame.
My theory was, if it doesn’t kill me, I’ll do it!
But seriously, for the most part of it, it was all in good fun, as I said earlier, I wouldn’t have sky dived if it wasn’t for them. There are times when you think “Oh my god!!!” but at the end of the day, I’ve done about 95% of the things they’ve said – I can’t even remember the things I said no to. Most of the time I did it.
I can remember one morning I had a crocodile and a massive lizard unleashed on me in the studio while I was reading the news, and also on April fools day, the entire news bulletin was sabotaged, with noises and incorrect grabs, including Ray Martin walking in and taking over the news! It was all good fun.
What is one of your greatest learnt?
It’s probably Karma, I think how you treat people eventually comes back on you, I think if you treat people well, life is pretty good. That’s my lesson learnt. Oh and the obvious one – don’t say yes to doing anything!!!
Have you ever been in a position where you have been abused, insulted or harassed for being gay?
I’ve been so lucky, I must be one of the luckiest people in the world because I haven’t. I know that there are a lot of people that really struggle with their sexuality, the work place and their family, but someone up there has blessed me because my family is fantastic. Even my 18 year old nephews, when they come down at Christmas, they are excited to see Jason and I, calling us both Uncle Geoffrey and Uncle Jason, they have only ever known us as their uncles. I think working in the entertainment industry has also made it a lot easier for me, because I know that is I were working on a building site or something, or some other industries, I’d be more inclined to keep my sexuality to myself.
I’m very aware of the fact people do have massive problems and all I can say to them is be honest – because honesty always wins in the end, and don’t hide, because if you keep it a secret, it’s just going to bubble up inside you. No one cares these days; people respect people for who they are.
When I buy cards for people, whether it be for their Birthday or a thankyou, I always look for a really nice unique one, that is either handmade, really rare or just unique.
Well I have found this super cool range of cards for me to buy from now on.
T-MOD have these wonderfully cool scratchie cards, which feature old world mechanical illustrations of hot air balloons, cuckcoo clocks, surreal landscapes of ballerinas and unicycles.
The range includes ‘thankyou’, ‘happy birthday’ and ‘thinking of you’ cards with various varieties available.
So the cool bit is there is a metal heart charm attached to it, which you pick off and use it to scratch off the silver and reveal the graphic or message beneath. The cards are made in Australia and available in galleries, boutique fashion, book and homeware stores.
Have a look at the website to see the handful of awesome stores that stock these clever cards!
It’s plump smelling, bringing a tropical feel of Sauvignon Blanc, a rich, crunchy texture of a Pinot Gris combined with the zesty lime of Riesling – perfect for an afternoon with friends in Autumn on a sunny Sunday, savouring the last moments of Summer 09/10.
Well priced at $28 from most bottle shops, I really enjoyed this wine.
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