Saturday, 12 January 2013

Saturday morning in Australia

© MillieBrown 2013

What is more Australian than bumping into a surf lifesaving competition as you take off for your morning walk!

© Millie Brown 2013

©Millie Brown 2013

© Millie Brown 2013

Millie x

Monday, 7 January 2013

Five Things to Love about Florence with guest bloggers An Affair with Italy

© Copyright An Affair with Italy

I'm thrilled to have the stylish and gorgeous girls Julie Adams and Emma Scott founders of online magazine An Affair with Italy taking us to some of their favorite Florentine addresses. 

Julie and Emma travel the world capturing beautiful, heartfelt, inspiring and often unexpected stories about all things Italian. Having just returned from a recent trip to Italy, Julie and Emma share five reasons to fall in love with Florence.

1. The Bar at The Continentale, for the incredible view of The Ponte Vecchio.

On one of our first nights in Florence, Julie and I excitedly bounded up the stairs to the roof top bar at stunning hotel, The Continentale. We had been told the view was spectacular but actually... it was breathtaking. A drink at The Continentale roof top bar is a must do on any Florence trip. 

©Julie Adams for An Affair with Italy

©Julie Adams for An Affair with Italy
Address: Vicolo dell’Oro

2. For gift shopping we love to visit Ortigia.

I first discovered the small Italian soap and scent company Ortigia when I stumbled across the wonderfully vibrant shop on a previous trip to Florence. As a designer, I fell in love with the bold, hand-drawn illustrations of palm trees and leopards silhouetted against an array of Sicilian landscape-inspired bright colours. Initially, the visual brand drew me in, but it’s the product that keeps me coming back – beautiful scents, luxurious textures and formulas of natural indigenous Sicilian ingredients. I adore the translucent soap range, each tinted in a different colour (I’m collecting every fragrance). Ortigia is one of my first stops whenever I visit Florence.

©Julie Adams for An Affair with Italy

Address: Borgo S. Jacopo 12/R

3. For a local Florentine experience - visit Mercato di Sant’ Ambrogio in the early morning... and pop in to the famous Caffè Cibrèo for a coffee and brioche at the bar. For a truly authentic Florentine experience you can’t go past the Cibreo Cafe – incredible food and a wonderful atmosphere. You will feel like you are part of the Florentine world. And while you are there, watch the locals descend on the adjacent Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio markets for the freshest of local ingredients. 

Make sure you don’t leave without your own bundle of goodies – perhaps a punnet of juicy tomatoes or a wonderfully pungent slice of mouth-watering cheese. 

©Julie Adams for An Affair with Italy
Address: Via del Verrocchio, 5r

4. Treasure hunting at Piazza dei Ciompi

Anywhere I go I love a bit of vintage treasure hunting, so I was thrilled to discover the Florence 'mercantino' or flea market, found at Piazza dei Ciompi - a wonderful collection of shops and stalls selling antiques, art, old books and various vintage bits and pieces.  The stalls are set up in the shadow of Vasari's Loggia del Pesce, but on the last Sunday of the month vendors come from outside Florence and the make-shift shops extend out to the surrounding streets.

©Julie Adams for An Affair with Italy
Address: Piazza dei Ciompi

5. For an unforgettable stay look no further than JK Place....your home away from home.

From the moment we walked through the doors of the elegant JK Place, Florence we knew we had found somewhere very special.  Mr Ori Kafri, the genius hotelier behind the brand, truly understands service.  His philosophy: when you come to JK Place consider it your home away from home. Mr Kafri has gone to great lengths to ensure at every moment of your stay you feel a warmth and care, normally reserved for moments with family and friends.  Somehow you feel like you're the only ones in this stylish boutique hotel....with your own private service staff.

Image Thanks to JK Place, Forence
Address: Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 7

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Life is a tub of raspberries...... and cherries; Adelaide hills, Australia


© Copyright Millie Brown 2012
Mr Collins comes in from the field with some raspberries for us.

Cherries and raspberries in Australia are at their best in December and so what better way to enjoy them than FRESH, straight off the bush or tree.

We are lucky in South Australia to have such wonderful produce so close to the actual city of Adelaide. One has only to travel 30 to 45 minutes to be in the heart of the apple, cherry and raspberry districts.

The price of rasbberries in Australia can make people think twice about making their own jam with this delicious fruit. However, if you visit Les and Audrey Collins, Orchadists in Summertown in the Adelaide hills, you can purchase raspberries that have been put away for this express purpose, and are cheaper. The sole reason that they are tagged as 'jam' raspberries is that they are less elegant looking (a little more squished) but equally delicious.  Being a lover of raspberry jam this was an exciting find!

They also have the 'perfect' looking raspberries and silver berries for your plate.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2012
Sam busy picking silver berries and raspberries

You don't PYO at the Collins' orchard, Sam from Wales is doing a brilliant job of that.  

Les & Audrey Collins
Collins Road
Ph 8390 3240
(also grow apples, cherries & pears).


© Copyright Millie Brown 2012

For PYO cherries, head to Stella Creek, only another 20 minutes or so on from Summertown and 30 minutes from Adelaide.

Rows and rows of magnificent cherry trees greet you on your arrival. Head to the shed, grab your bucket (and for the busy Christmas period a hot sausage in bread at the sausage sizzle stand), before heading out to the orchard.

Not only do you get to go home with gorgeous fresh cherries but you get them at a much lesser cost than you would find at either the green grocers or the market. 

Make cherry jam, pickle them and serve with duck, freeze them for the colder months, or munch on them fresh.

Quick easy dessert for any time of the year.....

For a quick easy dessert at any time of the year place cherries (leave the pips in) on a tray and freeze. When completely frozen, take them out and cryovac and place back in the freezer.  They will make their very own sweet and delicious juice. Serve them with icecream.

178 Plummers Road
Forest Range
Ph: 08 8389 8572

Wishing you all a very happy and safe Christmas.

Millie x

Saturday, 15 December 2012

A workshop with Carla Coulson and French pastries at Mulots

Two recent events got me thinking about how much photography has enriched my life.

Through this passion of mine I have met people I would not ordinarily have met, i have crossed thresholds that in the past I may not have thought of walking through, and it has given me windows of opportunity that years ago I would never have imagined coming my way. 

Here are two recent events that have been so enriching and inspiring.

A workshop; Carla Coulson's'Get Published' 

Last weekend I participated in Carla Coulson's 'Get Published Workshop' in Sydney.  It was an extraordinary day in many ways. 

Carla, is an Australian Paris based photographer, whose knowledge of the photographic and publishing world is immense, as is her generosity in imparting her 'know how'. We were spellbound. The depth of information that we gained from Carla herself, Sharon Misko, Creative Director  of Inside Out, and Bryce Corbett, author and deputy Editor of The Australian Woman's Weekly magazine was mind blowing. We truly were 30 very fortunate photographers, getting an in depth inside look into the world of publishing, as well as gaining an understanding of how we can go about breaking into it, and succeeding in it as writers and photographers. 

It was not only the knowledge and information that we gained that made the day so extraordinary.  There was a spirit of friendship and support that filled the room, and there is no one more supportive of young and or new photographers than Carla; a heartfelt and personal thank you from me to Carla.

As well as being a huge learning experience the workshop also presented an opportunity for 30 of us budding 'to be published' writers / photographers to meet, chat, and, hopefully in the future support and encourage each other in reaching our goals and realising our dreams.  Post workshop; Carla has even gone a step further and set up our own 'Get Published Workshop' facebook page to facilitate our networking, and I look forward to staying in touch with all the wonderful people I met that day as well as the others I did not have the opportunity to meet personally. 

Here's to many more Carla Couson workshops.

A Pastry Kitchen, Mulots

© Copyright Millie Brown 2012
André working the pastry for the croissants, pain au chocolat and pain au raison.

Another fantastic and recent meeting also came about because of my love for taking photographs and eating! 

When I am in Australia I always miss France's divine pastries. So I headed to the gorgeous authentic French patisserie Mulots in Hyde Park, Adelaide to ask the French owners André and Annette Guerinet if I could possibly spend some time with them in their kitchen.  I wanted to take photographs and get an idea of how their to die for creations are made.

They could not have been more welcoming, and happily allowed me to join them the very next morning.  I was spellbound once again.  The organisation just like the workshop, was a mixture of precision, passion and incredible expertise. 

I was like a child in a lolly shop. I spent four wonderful hours watching, shooting, and chatting and it felt like 2 minutes.


© Copyright Millie Brown 2012

Pain au Chocolat

© Copyright Millie Brown 2012

Pain au Raison

© Copyright Millie Brown 2012

© Copyright Millie Brown 2012
Left, checking their weight before flattening with the palm of the hand. Right, Gaby the new apprentice enjoying her first week in the kitchen at Mulots, lucky girl.!

Apricot Tart

 Copyright Millie Brown 20012

André's two rolling pins, (both made in France from a special type of hardwood).  The one on the left is 28 years old and came all the way from France with him all those years ago. You can even feel the groove where his hand rests. The one on the right is clearly younger and hasn't quite done the same mileage as the older one!

...lemon & raspberry tarts

© Copyright Millie Brown 2012

.....delicious and ready to eat!

© Copyright Millie Brown 2012

Mulots is a family favourite of ours, fortunately for us it is just around the corner, and there is no where else we would contemplate ordering our croissants (all 22 of them for Christmas morning).

And when it comes to a Quiche, I can assure you it would be very difficult to find better anywhere in the world.

André and Annette are masters at their craft. To watch them at work is a pleasure, and I thank them both for allowing me into their very delicious world for a morning. 

I'm happy also to report that I am not the only person lucky enough to be able to step foot in their kitchen; Mulots has half day courses available throughout the year for both the general public and professionals.  

For details and dates on the courses click here.

Ever grateful for my interesting and wonderful life.

Millie x
143a King William Road
Hyde Park
08 8272 6499

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas Giveaway; Paris print

Photo of the Palais Royal, Paris
Image size 40 cm x 40cm with a 5cm white border on Matt photographic paper
(Print size 50cm x 50cm)

I love Christmas; I love that the family gets together for a relaxed, fun day. They come from the different corners of Australia, and sometimes the world, and that is what makes it the warm and special day that it is (that, and my mother's wonderful cooking and loving attention to detail). 

For me Christmas is all about taking the time to be with loved ones, whether they be family, friends, or both.

So to celebrate my love of the festive season I am giving away one of my photographic prints of Paris. 

All you have to do to be in the running is share the competition post on my Travel Notecards facebook page. The winner will be drawn on Thursday the 13th and will be announced on the Travel Notecards facebook page.

Good luck, and to all of my lovely blog readers thank you for popping in throughout the year and I wish you all a very happy, safe and fun filled Christmas.

Millie x

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