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miami

HOLIDAY HOTSPOTS

Even though it’s slightly chilly here in the Southern Hemisphere, that doesn’t mean we can’t look overseas to the balmy temperatures of our Northern friends. Wherever you’re planning to go on holiday this year, there are some destinations that have been just plain cool for decades. Even if your budget doesn’t stretch to some far-flung paradise, you can always dream…

St Tropez

More than just the name of a tan, St Tropez in the south of France has been a go-to destination since the 1920s.

Need to know:

  • 1924 Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald rent a house just up the road from St Tropez in Juan-les-Pins and describes the French Riviera as a “playground with a fairy blue sea”. People, understandably, start to flock there and it establishes itself as a tourist destination.
  • 1957 Brigitte Bardot appears in the film “And God Created Woman” set in St Tropez – often seen nude, or ‘bikini optional’ as we like to think of it. The film popularised a number of nudist beaches around St Tropez.
  • 1964, fashion designer Rudi Gernreich introduced a topless swimsuit called the monokini. Funnily enough, it didn’t catch on.

Things to do: Drop by the harbour and watch the beautiful people on their yachts pretending not to be watched.

 What to pack: A stylish fedora and a sparkly clutch for those glamorous parties. 

st tropez

 

Miami

With white sand beaches, pastel coloured Art Deco inspired buildings and an amazing club scene, Miami is the perfect mix of city and sea.

Need to know:

  • The Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami has hosted everyone from the Rat Pack (including Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin) to Liz Taylor back in the day. You’re more likely to spot the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and his entourage there now.
  • Miami’s Little Havana is the world’s largest Cuban neighborhood outside of Cuba. Great mojitos are guaranteed.
  • Celebrity residents of its Millionaires Row include J-Lo, Lenny Kravitz and Sylvester Stallone

Things to do: Hang out in South Beach and then party.

What to pack: An eye catching outfit for night, and a bright scarf to shield you from the sun in style.

Miami

Oahu, Hawaii

The original tropical paradise. If you’ve ever enjoyed a Mai Tai, worn fresh flowers in your hair or wished you could surf, Hawaii might just be your spirit destination.

Need to know:

  • Trader Vics Hawaiian tiki themed bars and restaurants first opened in the US in 1934. You can still enjoy a wide range of cocktails there including the fabulously named Pinky Gonzalez and Samoan Fog Cutter.
  • 1973 Elvis Presley records ‘Aloha from Hawaii’ in Honolulu. He wears a white rhinestone studded jumpsuit, launching the careers of a million Elvis impersonators.
  • Hollywood loves Hawaii – Point Break, Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean to name but a few were filmed on the islands.

Things to do: Sun yourself on Waikiki beach before sampling an exotic cocktail or two..or three..

What to pack: Comfortable yet chic sneakers for exploring, and a fabulous tote to hold everything from sunscreen to your favourite beach-time read.

Hawaii

WINTER COMFORT FOOD

Food & Nutrition Sciences student Ashlyn, author of Nourish By Ashlyn, gives us a delicious recipe for a guilt-free sweet treat this winter.

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Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls

I’m just gonna dive right in and say that if you love peanut butter and/or magical marriages of sweet and salty, then you absolutely must try this recipe because it is, quite frankly, simplicity at its culinary best. But before you think I’m tooting my own horn, please note that I am not taking full credit for this creation – this recipe is a replication of Ace’s Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls, which I’d been spending far too much money on at the F.O.G store in Richmond before I decided to try to make them myself.

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Ingredients (makes approx. 9 balls) 

1 cup natural peanut butter

4tbs coconut nectar/syrup

4 tbs coconut flour

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

3 tbs activated buckinis

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, then mix with your hands, ensuring all the ingredients are incorporated evenly. Massage until the “dough” comes together.
  2. Divide into 9 even portions, then roll into smooth balls. I rolled mine in a mixture of ground cinnamon, coconut sugar and a pinch of salt which added to the yumminess and finished them off really nicely, but this is totally optional. Place on a tray and refrigerate for an hour, or until set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

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pizzaissexy

WHERE TO GET THE BEST PIZZA

We  all love a good slice of yummy pizza here at French Connection; whether it’s to gorge on after a night out or to have all to yourself for an indulgent night-in dinner, you just can’t go wrong with a wood-fired cooked pizza. Pizza is forever, bold statement we know, but no matter what time of day it is, we all have room in our tummies for a truly scrumptious slice. And whether you’re an original margarita or American hot kind guy or gal, use our handy guide to stuff your face at some of the best pizza places in Australia. 

MELBOURNE
A25 Pizzeria

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Whether you’re in for a quick bite, or sitting down to a multi-slice feast over a few drinks, pizza is one thing that we absolutely refuse to compromise on. The crust has to be perfectly crispy, the dough light but not soggy, and the toppings pimped to perfection! Which is why we’re so head-over-heels with the slices we’ve found at A25 Pizzeria, the South Yarra Italian restaurant that’s drawing from old-school techniques and the latest food trends to serve up pizza and pasta with a modern twist.

BRISBANE
Tinderbox Kitchen

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James Street’s Tinderbox Kitchen, tucked off the main strip in the laneway, is a stylish space with a casual vibe, ideal for a catch up with friends for or a craft beer or vino from the eclectic wine list. The Italian menu is perfect for grazing and has a focus on local produce.

The beautiful wood fired pizza oven is the heart and soul of the Tinderbox Kitchen dining experience, turning out deliciously thin pizzas made from scratch with fresh seasonal produce, and divine share plates.

SYDNEY
Da Mario

Damario

Having carved out a reputation for dishing up some of the best pizza in Sydney’s inner west, Pizza Mario has opened a second venue, Da Mario, in a refurbished warehouse on Morely Avenue.

Linger over lunches of rose or bianche pizzas including the margherita ‘extra’ with buffalo mozzarella, or marinara con tonno with preserved tuna, speck e fontina with smoked prosciutto, or Gorgonzola con radicchio, all emerging from the central wood-fired oven. True to tradition, the toppings are minimal to allow the ingredients to shine. Bases are thin with puffy edges and cheeses are molten-fresh from the oven. Of course you can get calzone or specials of risotto too – but their reputation is built on the Pizza Napoletana.

ADELAIDE
EST PIZZERIA

EST

Experimenting with more exotic flavours, this boutique pizzeria offers toppings that will please the meatlovers as well as the vegetarians. The prawn pizza with provolone cheese, black truffle and rocket is a hit. Other options include the margherita with bocconcini cheese, pancetta, potato and cottechino sausage. Gluten free bases also available.

PERTH
Theo & Co

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Theo Kalogeracos is behind new kid on the block Theo & Co and he is already injecting his big personality into the big on flavour pizzas. If you love crusty, cheesy and topped-up pizzas and you’re not afraid to try something new (read: crazy), then get yourself to Theo & Co Pizzeria stat. While vegetarians and vegans are catered for, meat lovers will be in seventh heaven chowing down on the lasagna, lamb or pork belly pizzas. Pizza and pork belly combined? We’re there.