Wowsers…check out the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro…how amazing is this space!
They say the world is your oyster, but for many it’s now a refuge from Melbourne’s bitter cold snap…it appears every second person we’ve chatted to is heading abroad to escape winter so we thought we’d show you just what the world has on offer.
…and for those of you who are staying put and wrapping yourself in a blanket at home, we’ve found some beautiful ‘souvenirs’ that you can buy yourself from the comfort of your sofa…you’re welcome!
It’s tennis time at Wimbledon where you can soak up the buzzing atmosphere at one of the biggest sporting events of the year, enjoy strawberries and cream, and super polite queuing as you wait for the masters in white to play.
Standing in Line is a humorous memoir, based on a variety of experiences in The Queue, one of sport’s most fascinating traditions. Told through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy becoming a 39-year-old man, it is a love letter both to Wimbledon and to the wonder of British summertime. Watching the Championships is a national pastime, and this book is full of the ups and downs out on court, as well as the memorable pop-cultural moments off it. It is set against the desperate wait for a British Gentlemen’s champion, viewed against the global reality show Wimbledon has become – transcending sport and class, yet still embracing tradition. Illustrated with drawings from renowned artist and author Zebedee Helm, the book observes both the changing world around us and the behaviour of the half-million fans who cram themselves into this leafy corner of London for two weeks every year. Standing in Line is a joyful, gently nostalgic read for anyone who has found themselves gazing for hours on end at coverage of Wimbledon.
This critically acclaimed play has won 22 major theatre awards in the United Kingdom and is the most-awarded production in the history of Britain’s prestigious Olivier Awards, winning a record-breaking nine awards including Best New Play and Best Director. Written by Olivier and BAFTA Award winner Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage, bringing together some of the most exciting talent working in the theatre today.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
And if you fancied reading up on the life of Harry prior we know just the thing!
When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
Okay, so technically this isn’t going to help you escape winter…but rather remind you over and over that it is coming. From 1 June to 2 September, Paris Expo Porte de Versailles will be transformed into Westeros! Enter the world of the Seven Kingdoms with this reconstruction of the sets of the series, including the Kingsroad, The Wall, the House of Black and White, and the Iron Throne Room, you’ll also be able to see Daenerys’s robes, Jon Snow’s fur coat, and plenty of multimedia content.
For the ultimate souvenir you can buy the beautifully bound boxed set here, or even this little treasure…
When you play the Game of Thrones Monopoly, you win or you die…Wait! It’s not as serious as death but you will have to pay up, as the number 1 property board game meets the hit TV series Game of Thrones! Game of Thrones fans, brace yourselves, Winter is coming and so is the Game of Thrones Monopoly Collector’s Edition! Mr. Monopoly definitely took a wrong turn at Old Kent Road and ended up in Westeros. Get your friends and family together and join him in the world of Game of Thrones to see who will rule the Seven Kingdoms and sit on the Iron Throne.
…but if you wanted something a little more ‘french’ we recommend this beauty…
Since its creation in 1772, Veuve Clicquot has never ceased to create and innovate and has never compromised quality. These high standards were set by Madame Clicquot herself when she took the reins of the company in 1805. Almost 250 years later, Veuve Clicquot has become not only one of the most sought-after champagnes in the world, but also an attitude. Readers will discover the thrilling atmosphere of the brand’s international celebrations, whether in New York at the Polo Classic or in Japan during sakura season. Partnerships with prestigious names like chef Joel Robuchon and designers Pablo Reinoso and Andree Putman have led to limited editions, exclusive design pieces, and unique lifestyle and gastronomical experiences. As they say at Veuve Clicquot, “Let life surprise you”!
Full disclosure…this one made us stop in our tracks purely because of it’s name…and you can go anytime. This is the first day spa in Helsinki and it has a wonderful reputation for premium treatments luxurious atmosphere in the heart of the city. Enjoy massages, facial treatments, manicures, pedicures and many other special treatments including a light impulse treatment that firms up your skin and balances your skin colour…what more could you want in an escape from winter? In between treatments you can relax in the stylish lounge and afterwards cross the road to Bier Bier, a bar with an amazing selection of craft beers and wines! What!! Since when has a day spa recommended the bar across the road!! #bestofbothworlds
And who can go past the ultimate Finnish souvenir…a little something from Marimekko!
Internationally beloved Finnish design brand Marimekko’s iconic patterns grace home decor, apparel and accessories and have informed and influenced tastemakers worldwide for over half a century. Richly illustrated with photographs and prints both classic and new, this vibrant volume (launching along with covetable notebooks and postcards) offers a behind-the-scenes tour of the brand’s creative process. A colourful legacy is revealed, along with the innovative creators, from 1950s pioneers to twenty-first-century masters, who have shaped the company’s heritage and continue to make visual magic today. Rare sketchbook pages, in-depth looks at particular eras and page after page of gorgeous designs make this a book sure to enchant anyone interested in fashion, art, or the patterned and colour-drenched world of Marimekko.
Tomorrow we’re exploring what’s on in major cities around the world but today we have a great #tedtalk for you. With great humour, Roman Mars shares why city flags may be the worst designed things you’ve never noticed.
Winter has definitely arrived in Melbourne; with mornings at a record low and frost on the lawn staying home seems like the best way to survive the winter. But where’s the fun in that? All over the country cities play host to amazing events, gallery showcases and theatre extravaganzas that make it worth your while stepping out into the wintery blast.
Here are our top picks to get you out of the house this winter.
…for those of you that aren’t lucky enough to be feeling the cold here in Australia… don’t worry, next week we will be looking at what’s on in the rest of the world… and for those of you that do choose to stay indoors, we have paired these amazing events with a book version… just so you don’t miss out completely.
This Winter the National Gallery of Victoria, is working in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art, New York, presenting MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibition will be showcasing over 200 key works of the Museum’s iconic collection, including works by van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Picasso, Boccioni, Dalí and Kahlo. Click through the link here to book tickets and read more about the world of contemporary art.
This is a must-see attraction on Melbourne’s events calendar this Winter with all-new features and experiences in its very own purpose-built structure at the Paddock, Federation Square. Australia’s first Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N experience integrates science and modern technology with movie-based props. As a training agent of S.T.A.T.I.O.N you can train like an Avenger and delve into the history behind your favourite super heroes while checking out their equipment such as Captain America’s uniform and shield, Iron Man’s MK 45 suit, The Hulkbuster suit and Thor’s mighty hammer.
Find your favourite Marvel Books here.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting revision of the all-time classic. This version has been developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay and contains all of the favourite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. You’ll get to rediscover the story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat, including songs like Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Over the Rainbow, Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead, If I Only Had a Heart, We’re Off to See The Wizard and The Merry Old Land of Oz…makes you want to pop on a pair of sparkly red slippers!
Sydney, New South Wales
The Bledisloe Cup returns to Sydney this winter and there is only one Test match being played on Australian soil this year so this is your chance to see the biggest Trans-Tasman battle on the sporting calendar live. After beating the All Blacks in the final Bledisloe Cup match of 2017, the Wallabies will be looking to go one step better to regain the cup in 2018.
A Barossa winery tour with friends to warm the cockles of your heart in Winter. Sounds prefect! How about adding some of South Australia’s best French artisan breads, chocolate, macarons, crepes and croissants to go with your glass of Shiraz. Get ready to don your beret and striped jumper, Bonjour Barossa, Seppeltsfield’s French Festival, is returning on Sunday 8th July. Bonjour Barossa sees the Seppeltsfield estate reimagined into a Parisian style marketplace, bringing together food, wine and homeware vendors to the backdrop of French themed music and entertainment.
Indulge in a feast of the senses and join in the fun as The Truffle Festival celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Each year from June to August more than 250 individual events are held across the Canberra region showcasing the region’s fresh Black Winter Truffle. Taste and experience the magic of these highly-prized gems. Indulge in the special flavours and aromas of truffle dishes at local restaurants and cafes. Join a hunt and see for yourself how the talented dogs unearth truffles. Learn from the chefs and other truffle experts at a cooking class or demonstration, or pop along to a market and pick up some truffle delights for yourself. The Truffle Festival is the ultimate foodie festival, and a fabulous celebration of winter in the Canberra region.
This is one week that will warm you up in chilly Tassie. The 2018 Tasmanian Whisky Week takes place from Monday 13th through to Sunday 19th August, with industry events held across seven days in many Tasmanian distilleries, bars, barns, stables, restaurants and hotels. Throughout the week distilleries open their doors to host behind-the-scenes tours to meet the distillers in person, provide access to unreleased whiskies, and offer dining opportunities where distilleries (both old and new) will recount the successes, challenges and events that have shaped who they are today.
Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland
Okay, so it’s not as cold in these states as some other parts of Australia so when the temperature is all little too much perhaps you could escape the winter blues to enjoy Broome’s sunshine, or the Gold Coast’s or Darwin’s.
He’s sharp and witty and regarded as one of the world’s best writers of travel. Bill Bryson has penned numerous books that have made readers snort out loud and laugh until tears were streaming down their faces. He’s been a favourite in our household for years and we always look forward to his next release. Bill Bryson is one of those authors who sparks the reading bug where once you turn the last page in one of his books you’re instantly looking for his next.
Here are a few of our favourites…
Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain. In 2015, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed. Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn’t altogether recognise any more. Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.
Bill Bryson goes to Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to working with local communities to eradicate poverty around the world. Kenya, generally regarded as the cradle of humankind, is a land of stunning landscapes, famous game reserves, and a vibrant culture, but it also has many serious problems, including refugees, AIDS, drought and grinding poverty. It also provides plenty to worry a nervous traveller like Bill Bryson: hair-raising rides in light aircraft, tropical diseases, snakes, insects and large predators. Bryson casts his inimitable eye on a continent new to him, and the resultant diary, though short in length, contains all his trademark laugh-out-loud wit, wry observation and curious insight. All the author’s royalties from this book, as well as all profits, go to CARE International.
Turning his attention to Australia, Bill Bryson takes a truly outrageous tour Down Under, revealing hundreds of entertaining eccentricities about the world’s largest island and about himself. Leaving no Vegemite unsavored, readers accompany Bryson as he dodges jellyfish while learning to surf at Bondi Beach, discovers a fish that can climb trees, dehydrates in sweltering deserts, and tells the true story of the rejected Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House. Definitely worth a read.
Bill Bryson has the rare knack of being out of his depth wherever he goes even (perhaps especially) in the land of his birth. This became all too apparent when, after nearly two decades in England, the world’s best-loved travel writer upped sticks with Mrs Bryson and his family and returned to live in the country he had left as a youth. Of course there were things Bryson missed about Blighty but any sense of loss was countered by the joy of rediscovering some of the forgotten treasures of his childhood: the glories of a New England autumn; the pleasingly comical sight of oneself in shorts; and motel rooms where you can generally count on being awakened in the night by a piercing shriek and the sound of a female voice pleading, ‘Put the gun down, Vinnie, I’ll do anything you say.’ Whether discussing the strange appeal of breakfast pizza or the jaw-slackening direness of American TV, Bill Bryson brings his inimitable brand of bemused wit to bear on that strangest of phenomena – the American way of life.
…and finally the book that prompted our love of Mr Bryson…
This book was voted the nation’s favourite book on modern Britain in a World Book Day BBC poll. After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson took the decision to move back to the States for a while, to let his kids experience life in another country, to give his wife the chance to shop until 10 p.m. seven nights a week, and, most of all, because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another, and it was thus clear to him that his people needed him. But before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of the nation’s public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that produced Marmite, a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy, place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells, people who said ‘Mustn’t grumble’, and Gardeners’ Question Time.
…and once you’ve read all of the above treasures you may want to have a look at these…
This is an amazing story of Oula who has been driving a mobile library in the Nordic Arctic for 40 years.
Librarians often go over and above their job description and are listeners, friends and more often than not, much needed human contact.