Seven Highlights of a Weekend in Hobart

Heritage architecture makes for an amazing weekend retreat - Grant Heino - Blogger - Hobart, Tasmania

Looking out over the heritage rooftops of Battery Point on a beautiful drizzly morning in Hobart. A fantastic way to kick off a long weekend.

 

This past weekend I traveled to Hobart, Tasmania to celebrate my best mate’s birthday and to enjoy everything that this beautiful city has to offer. We were in Hobart for three nights, four days, and I though rather than giving you a blow-by-blow of the whole weekend, I’d focus instead on seven of my highlights from the trip.

One – AIRBNB
I booked us into a gorgeous AIRBNB property in Battery Point for the weekend, and it could not have been a better choice. The beautiful building is over 170 year old and impeccably designed and modernised. I love staying in hotels when travelling, but when you’re with a group there’s something so much nicer about having your own home-away-from-home. The location was perfect, with plenty of little restaurants and boutiques in the street we stayed in, and a very easy 10 minute walk into the heart of Salamanca Place for the Saturday morning markets. I really couldn’t have wished for a better experience of the city.

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Sage Dining Rooms Taste & Test Event

Taste & Test dinner score card - Grant Heino, author Ink & Leathers Blog - Sage Dining Rooms, Canberra Australia

Being given the reins to a restaurant is as fun and as thrilling as it sounds. I can’t believe that it took me so long to get myself to a Sage Dining Rooms Taste & Test event!

 

Sage Dining Rooms Taste & Test events are legendary in the Canberra food scene, and most people have dined at Sage at some point in their lives. A gorgeous courtyard restaurant tucked away in the Gormon House arts precinct, Sage has been in Canberra for as long as I have and continues to wow patrons with their delectable meals and impeccable service. I have dined at Sage Dining Rooms many times while I have lived in Canberra, and I have loved every meal. It is strange then, that I have never gotten myself organised to attend one of the Taste & Test events that the restaurant holds to gauge public opinion of potential dishes for the next season’s menu.

Honestly, I don’t have a valid excuse. I’ve just never got my act together in time to go. The Taste & Test events are held over a very short period of time and have a cult following, so places sell out fast. This year I was determined to get along to the event, and so with some foresight and planning I booked into the Taste & Test event for the upcoming Autumn/Winter menu not once, but twice.

On Thursday last I picked my friend up and we headed to an early dinner with big appetites and high hopes. The excitement at getting five mystery courses is enough to whet the appetite alone, but then being given free-reign to let your inner critic run rampant all over one of Canberra’s best-loved dining venues was something else. We’re all armchair critics at heart. Who among us doesn’t love to drape themselves across their lounge in their rattiest pair of track pants screaming admonishments at starlets as they walk the red carpet? Or to belittle the technical skills and prowess of Australians aspiring to their culinary dreams in a cooking competition?

If you don’t, you’re dead inside.

Before you proceed – a word of warning. If you are going to attend the Sage Dining Rooms Taste & Test event this year STOP READING RIGHT NOW! Seriously, the surprise is a hugely important part of the evening, so bookmark this post for later and wait until after you have dined. Trust me, you will thank me for this advice later. (more…)

Daily Style – Fashion and Architecture

Canberra menswear and style blogger Grant Heino of Ink and Leathers blog at New Acton

 

Fashion and architecture tend to go hand in hand in my opinion. The more I think about fashion and style, the more I come to recognise how we are all constantly drawing inspiration from the architecture of the built world that surrounds us, such as finding new ways to pair old wardrobe favourites like a white t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans.

Perhaps one of the most iconic fashion combinations of all time, it has almost become an algorithm of how to dress yourself that is recognised in a way that transcends culture. Blue jeans + white t-shirt + (accessories / season) = dressed. It really is that simple, that mathematical. I have just about made this the formula for what I put on my back on a daily basis, and yet some how it still takes me over an hour to get ready most mornings. Usually including an embarrassing amount of time staring forlornly at my wardrobe wondering what i should wear.   (more…)

Valentine’s Day at Hyatt Canberra

Cytrus Belvedere vodka, Monin rose syrup, muddled cucumber, Aperol and pink grapefruit juice – The Rosie is the perfect tipple to toast to love this Valentine’s Day only, at Hyatt Hotel Canberra

 

Valentine’s Day is one of those occasions in Australia that rolls around with little to no fanfare until a week or two before the event, making it easy to forget to plan for. Unlike Christmas and Easter, Valentine’s Day is largely ignored by Australians, leading to a lot of last-minute bookings at restaurants and rushed purchases of un-inventive (although begrudgingly beautiful) red roses.

The truth is that it is less than 24 hours until Valentine’s day and I know across Canberra there are a number of you sitting there needing to make some sort of plans, but not knowing where you can turn at this last minute. Maybe you want a romantic evening to spend with a new beau, or maybe you and your partner want to actually do something this year rather than your standard take away and Netflix? Maybe you’re single like me, but you still want to do something to celebrate?

Thankfully, Hyatt Hotel Canberra are offering two unique ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, as well as a signature cocktail designed for the day. (more…)

fashionXhyatt – Armani Collezioni presentation


On Saturday morning I visited the Hyatt Hotel Canberra for morning tea with fellow blogger LFW Magazine. Not an uncommon activity, especially for Canberrans. As long as I have lived here (going on 13 years this year) if you mention morning tea or high tea someone will inevitably ask “At the Hyatt?”. It truly is Canberra’s favourite weekend get-away for high tea, and an institution in and of itself.

I had thought that I would simply wile away the morning sipping tea and stuffing my face with a delectable array of savoury and sweet delicacies from the buffet, but that wasn’t to be the case.

I mean, I still did that. I was delighted to find a whole host of dishes that I hadn’t tried before, including miniature chicken and leek pies, as well as old favourites like cucumber sandwiches. You can’t go to morning or afternoon tea at the Hyatt and not enjoy the amazing handiwork of the skilled chefs working behind the scenes.

However, we were in for a bit of a surprise, as there was a new fashionXhyatt event taking place.

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Viktor & Rolf – An uncomfortable morning with Fashion Artists

Viktor & Rolf jute and lace dress from the Russian Doll collection - Melbourne, Australia

 

Viktor & Rolf, the Dutch design duo behind some of the most elaborate and awe-inspiring couture pieces of our time, currently have a retrospective of their 25-year collaboration hosted at the National Gallery of Victoria. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? I mean, by now every Australian fashion blogger and their dog have commented or reported on the exhibition. Most of my go-to fashionistas had already been, seen and posted about the exhibition before I got the chance to go this weekend past, and so I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for.

What I didn’t anticipate, however, was just how much I wouldn’t enjoy the exhibition.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is no debating that the creations are breathtaking in their vision and construction. The genius of the design duo cannot be understated, and the way in which the garments are pieced together shows a real mastery of craftsmanship. I cracked a huge smile seeing the red carpet gown in person (a beautifully sculptural piece crafted from actual carpet), and I was honestly moved seeing pieces in person that I had viewed in magazines and being able to dissect them with my own eyes rather than through someone else’s lens.

However, as someone now in his thirty-first year on this planet, and as someone who is (reluctantly) being drawn into the minimalism movement, I had to stop and ask myself what the cost of these garments (and more over the cost of couture generally) actually is. (more…)

Camouflage – 3 rules in navigating the menswear jungle

I love camouflage as a pattern for textiles. Call me a rube or a redneck if you will, but I think camouflage is fascinating, and I love the way that it looks when incorporated into everyday outfits. Now, obviously, there are limitations. No one in the wold needs camouflage crocs (or any kind of croc for that matter), and head-to-toe camouflage is going to make you look pretty sketchy in most instances.

But then again, wearing head-to-toe of most patterns makes you look a little insane.

As I come to accept myself and my personal style a lot more with age, I have allowed myself to accumulate a few pieces in camouflage. I started with accessories, and have now worked myself up to actual garments. I even have a few other pieces on my list of wardrobe acquisitions (yes, I have an acquisitions plan for my wardrobe – and clearly a lot of spare time now that I am single) that I have already decided I will buy for myself in the new year.

I think that it is OK to wear camouflage outside of the military, but as I mentioned, there are rules of thumb that should be applied to ensure that you don’t wind up looking like a crazy survivalist. I thought I’d share three of my personal rules with you today, so you can think about creating your own. Realistically, these are rules for patterns generally, but camouflage is a good example to lead with.

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