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Where Would I Rather Be? The Cullen Hotel – Prahran – Melbourne

November 12th, 2010

Where would I rather be?

The Cullen Hotel in Melbourne of course.

Oh hang on… I am at The Cullen Hotel in Prahran, Melbourne right now enjoying the complete fabulousness of this place!

I once would only stay at a 5 star hotel right in the heart of Melbourne every time I’d visit, till I finally thought I’d try something a little different outside of the city, in the heart of the trendy, slightly bohemian yet up-market Prahran.

I’d drive past The Cullen as it was being built only a couple of years ago, wondering what the monstrosity across the road from the Prahran markets would be. What was being built was an artistic, luxurious, warm, welcoming and eccentrically designed hotel which was featured in the 2010 Condé Nast Traveller US Hot List.

The entire hotel is inspired by the artwork of Adam Cullen. Bright, colourful and peculiar is what you could describe the artwork and the imagination of this talented man. Adam Cullen combines irreverent humour with an astute sensitivity to society.

From the moment I walk through the glass doors, past the two life sized Adam Cullen mosaic cows in the foyer, I realise I am somewhere a little different. A little quirky. A little fearless. Perfectly me.

There is an immediate presence of homely calm. The casual, but very professional staff are just so welcoming. They are young, vibrant, experienced and will do anything to make your stay pleasurable. Each time I have been, I couldn’t have asked for a bunch of nicer people to look after me – it’s really helped make a home away from home for me, especially as I travel so much.

Check-in is easy and quick which is important to me as I normally arrive and just want to get in, drop my bags, have a shower and relax.

The foyer, the void from the top and all the corridors on each floor are covered in fabulous wallpapers and the original artworks of Adam Cullen. The artworks continue on through to the luxury guest suites.

When you open the door to your room, you automatically smile. It’s a bright, happy and pleasant space. It’s clever, sophisticated and designed in the most amazing way to take advantage of space and light and make you feel completely fabulous.

The bathroom is a standout feature for me. Obscured decals with Adam Cullen’s famous Ned Kelly  cover the giant glass walls to the bathroom, creating a sense of discreet and legalised voyeurism with just vague silhouettes showing through. The stunning glossy black mirrored floor tiles, use of mirrors and the large open shower (or bath/spa depending on the room you get) make your time spent in the bathroom pleasurable. Excellent Art Series products are plentiful for your skin, hair, etc.

Luxurious spotless, black carpet lines the floor, crisp white walls and plenty of colourful Adam Cullen paintings line the walls, along with a wall mounted LCD with Foxtel and floor to ceiling mirrors. A fully served kitchenette and dining table complete with Kartell chairs, side tables and lamps. A small library in each room provides hours of colourful reading with books on the art of Adam Cullen, architecture and design.

An iPod docking station is also in every room which is great for me, as I need music everywhere I go, and also have an iPhone and can charge and listen to my favourite songs up loud!

The hotel has everything you need – valet parking, hair salon, gymnasium, Nintendo Wii hire, internet and downstairs there is the famous HuTong Dumpling Bar which is a hot spot for Melbourne locals to dine. If you haven’t already hired a car, hire one of The Cullen’s Smart Cars! Or if you feeling like keeping fit and getting some fresh air, hire a Swedish Kronan bicycle.

The beds are super sumptuous and provide an amazing sleep, while being cocooned in the luxurious Art Series Signature linen.

I love everything about this hotel. The service is impeccable. The class in second to none. The design is divine. The price is right and the location is perfect. If there was somewhere you were going to stay in Melbourne, this would have to be it.

This is where I’d rather be… And I am.

Be sure to check out the website: The Cullen

164 Commercial Road, Prahran - P: +61 3 9098 1555 – E: info@artserieshotels.com.au

CARTOON FANGTASIA HOTTIE – Eric Northman

August 23rd, 2010

CARTOON FANGTASIA HOTTIE

The scarily sexy Sheriff of Vampire District Area 5 in Louisiana who was in life a Swedish Viking warrior, is now over 1,000 years old, and currently runs the vampire bar FANGTASIA in the hit HBO TV Series TRUEBLOOD (season 3 currently showing on FOXTEL’s SHOWCASE channel)  - played by actor Alexander Skarsgard… ERIC NORTHMAN!

FUN FACT: Alexander Skarsgard appears as LADY GAGA’s villainous boyfriend victim in the music video for PAPARAZZI.

www.BrettWillisCartoons.com

The Most Charming Newsreader Of All – Ricardo Goncalves

July 26th, 2010

Well dressed, witty humour, charasmatic and quick in his responses, it’s no wonder Ricardo Goncalves is a popular guy.

A Presenter/Reporter for SBS World News Australia and also coming from Sky News, Ricardo is an educated man, growing up on the South Coast of Sydney. He is a heavily researched reporter who knows his job inside out and takes pride in himself and the work he does.

I met Ricardo at a mutual friend’s dinner party, where he instantly charms both the men and women in the room. He is warm and approachable. He listens to people as much as you listen to him and as any educated communicator does, he asks questions about you and want’s to know what you have to say.

A very funny guy, who has substance, presence and charm, I’d like you to get to know more about him. This is Ricardo Goncalves…

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

Right now I’m enjoying working as a presenter and reporter for SBS World News Australia after a long stint with Sky News Australia and Nine News Melbourne. It’s been a dramatic learning curve taking on the big global issues after years of business journalism.

I’m also very keen on the public speaking/MC circuit.

Who or what influences you most in Fashion and home décor?

When it comes to fashion, I’m known for being quite conservative, love my blacks, although I’m most comfortable in my Adidas gear. Let’s just say I’m very thankful for the wardrobe department at SBS. When it comes to the apartment, I’m very much a minimalist. I love clean lines and surfaces.

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?

When it comes to dressing up, I’m a big fan of Farage, and a mate of mine, Donny Galella, does some great evening wear which I like also. Again though, show me something with the Adidas logo, and I’ll wear it.

Do you have one feature in your home you love most?

Does FOXTEL IQ2 count?

Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?

I’m very much a vodka, lime and soda kind of guy, but when the sun is out and the heat is on, then it’s a Hahn Super Dry. There’s also nothing better than that sound a can of Coke Zero makes when you open it.

What is your greatest extravagance?

iPhone. It’s one of those things you buy that you don’t really really need, but really really want.

Greatest lesson learnt?

Never write anything you don’t understand. As a junior reporter working for David Koch almost 10 years ago, I wrote a couple of financial terms in an article I thought I should include, because they sounded right, even though I didn’t know what they meant. Kochie then called me to ask me to explain to him what those terms were. I didn’t know. He then told me what he thought of that. From then on, I never wrote something I didn’t understand 100%

What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?

Persist and persevere. My UAI wasn’t high enough to get into a well regarded Journalism degree, so I wrote dozens of letters to well known journos asking for their advice. Again, dozens actually wrote back and a couple suggested I do a business degree because there was a demand for business journalists. They were right. Also, getting work experience and learning on the road is in my opinion the best way to do it. When I was 17, I called WIN TV Wollongong once a fortnight asking for work experience. After six months, they eventually let me come in. I worked one day a week there, for free, putting stories to air, for two years before getting paid. Finally, don’t expect to start at the top. Get a good grounding about what journalism actually is and practise the craft of telling a story. I first started by holding a flecky board for another journo’s piece-to-cam. Don’t know what a flecky board is? Then you haven’t started at the bottom….

How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?

I am a news junkie, so I’m constantly flicking between the news programmes to compare their stories and presentation even at home. However, I’m keen on the gym and my shift work means I have my mornings free to have a bit of a life. I’m also very lucky to have weekends off, so I’ve always got time for myself, family and friends.

My Mother/Father always told me…

It’s not ok to spend your money frivolously, but it’s ok to spend money on good food.

Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?

I’ve got a couple of favourite breaky spots in Surry Hills and Potts Point that serve amazing coffee, brilliant breakfast and enough room on the table to have all of that, plus the newspaper spread out to read.

How often do you eat out and cook at home?

I haven’t located the stove at home yet….

Signature dish?

Does cereal count?

The one thing I can’t leave home without is…

My white gold neckchain and crucifix. It’s a gift from mum.

What frustrates you most about Sydney?

Peak hour traffic.

If you were Clover Moore, what would be the first thing you’d inject money into fixing?

Pushing the State Government for better transport infrastructure.

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

North Bondi. Great place to chill and swim after doing the Bronte to Bondi walk..

Three pet hates?

1. Dog hair

2. People that stand at the end of an escalator

3. Selfish drivers

Where would be your ultimate holiday destination?

Anywhere on a beach in the Mediterranean or on the island of Madeira.

What is one quality you have, that you hope your children will get and carry through life?

Getting the balance of work, family and friends right.

When was the last time you cried? If you wish to divulge, why?

Watching Toy Story 3. The bond of a good friendship. Amazing.

What is a fashion trend you hope will never resurface?

Flouro colours. Enough said.

What car do you drive, best thing about the car and why you bought it?

A black Honda Civic Sport. Added a spoiler and blue lights to the interior of the car. Why did I buy it? I needed something a bit meatier than the green Suzuki Swift I had for years after being a poor University student.

If you were in a position where millions and millions of children globally admired you, what would be the one thing you would want to be a role model of?

Determination.

What is one of the most embarrassing moments you’ve had?

At Sky News presenters don’t often have time to pre-read and check scripts. One day, I read “paradigm” as “para-didg-im”. My colleagues have never let me forget that since.

Your best grooming tip?

With all the make up we use in the studio, getting it off is most important and moisturise…..well that’s what the make up girls at SBS said, so I just do what I’m told.

Keep an eye for Ricardo on SBS Evening News at 9:30pm.

For more information on Ricardo, contact romel@romelmanagement.com.au

The Blessed, Blonde And Beautiful Bessie Bardot

June 21st, 2010

Bessie Bardot, a prominent figure in Sydney and Australian media has made huge changes in her life over the past couple of years.

A television and radio presenter, best selling author, model, business consultant and public speaker, the list goes on… This woman has done it all, and will continue to do so.

She is a gorgeous blonde bombshell, who has remained an active member of the media and social circuit for many years, talks to me about life, family, work and play.

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

I’m hosting The Wedding Show on Foxtel as well as my ongoing project – filming a documentary called The Life Change Experiment. We travel the world and find the most inspirational people in each place.

Who or what influences you most in Fashion and home décor?

I used to be a personal shopper and stylist for DKNY, so I learnt long ago to stick with the shapes and looks that suit me, regardless of the new trends. It’s a little frustrating not being able to wear some of the looks but with my shape I need to balance my proportions and stick with clean lines and fresh colours.

Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?

I’m gluten free so anything that’s GF impresses me. I also love French food & Sushi.

Greatest lesson learnt?

That the only powerful way to live is in the present without feeling guilty about the past and worrying about the future. I started doing it 9 months ago with The Life Change Experiment and its honestly the happiest and stress free I’ve ever been in my life. Scientists have proven that we use a different part of our brain when we are stressed so we can’t make decisions properly anyway in that state. Letting go of it all and going with the flow definitely produces the best results.

What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?

Don’t wait for other people to make it happen for you. You need to be your own PR agent, manager etc. Make it easy for people to contact through a basic but professional looking website. Get a quirky business card, meet new people and make long lasting, mutually beneficial business contacts. Then repeat. Its an ongoing job but its so rewarding to work in your area of passion.

How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?

I put all my tasks for business and home life on the one to do list and give them equal attention because I’ve learnt that If you’re so busy that you don’t get time to have your own life, you have no life at all.

How did you get into doing what you do?

I was a checkout chick at Kmart with no ambition for anything more, then when my marriage of 6 months fell apart I woke up and realised that I had a fresh canvas and could design the life I wanted. So I started my first business, fifteen years on it’s just a matter of creating your own opportunities and noticing the ones in front of your eyes everyday.

Is there a charity/cause that is close to you and if so, why?

Make A Wish foundation is an incredible one. I’ve been part of many wishes being granted to kids with life threatening illnesses and their smiles will remain in my memory forever.

How often do you eat out and cook at home?

With a toddler who needs to eat nutritious dinners I’ve given up most of my takeaway, now I cook about five nights a week.

Signature dish?

Probably my lamb marinated in maple syrup, garlic and mint with crispy baked vege’s, garlic mushrooms & caramelised onion.

The one thing I can’t leave home without is…

I could usually rattle off a long list but after giving all my possessions away in thelifechangeexperiment.com I realised that I hardly need a thing, it’s really quite liberating. These days the only must is the baby’s nappy bag and a bottle of water for me.

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

Gotta say Shelly Beach in Manly as its where I got married 12 years ago.

Where would be your ultimate holiday destination?

Somewhere exotic or challenging. A flawless beach in Mauritius or trekking through the Amazon Jungle depending on my mood.

What is one quality you have, that you hope your children will get and carry through life?

Empathy. You can learn and achieve much by applying yourself but true compassion and empathy is the most important for their happiness and that of the people around them.

When was the last time you cried? If you wish to divulge, why?

Since becoming a mother I’m a big sook for heart tugging songs, movies, even inspirational phrases and seeing people’s eyes light up as they have a major realisation or discover their worth, it gets me every time.

What car do you drive, best thing about the car and why you bought it?

It was a Mercedes A class but I gave that away, now I drive a loaned Winnebago motorhome and I’m totally addicted to the freedom, and the fact that I never leave anything at home!

Your best grooming tip?

Go easy on the makeup, the best way to get better skin is to lay off the chemicals and let your skin breathe. I never thought it would be possible with my history of acne but I haven’t worn makeup in 6 months and my skin is a million times better.

www.bessiebardot.com