Sometimes it can be tough living so far away from home and my family, but having lived in London for quite some years now I think I’ve become acclimatised to being away from Australia. There are however, some Australian bits and pieces that I just couldn’t live without and because of their fabulousness I felt the need to share.
Lucas Papaw Ointment
This little multi-purpose gem has been a long standing obsession of mine, mainly because it makes the BEST lip balm ever. It’s a natural remedy made in Queensland from 100% papaya and its uses are endless (seriously- this is what the packaging says: burns, chafing, cuts, cracked skin, splinters, wounds, rashes, insect bites and nappy rash). I really couldn’t overstate its brilliance here if I tried. I pretty much have a tube of papaw to hand at all times- handbag, bedside table, work desk, bathroom cabinet- and I wouldn’t go on holiday without it. It’s readily available in all chemists and supermarkets in Australia but you can also buy it through amazon and websites like http://www.pawpawshop.co.uk/ in the UK. Get yourself a tube asap- you know what they say, if its good enough for Miranda Kerr…
Bill Granger’s cookbooks are my food bibles and go-to reference when I need a bit of inspiration in the kitchen. Bill is a self taught Sydney chef (originally from Melbourne- like all the best people are!) who has a series of casual restaurants in Australia. Excitingly, he has also recently opened a restaurant in London- Granger & Co which I am dying to try (blog post about that coming soon!).
Bill has published lots of recipe books over the years (I have a grand total of 4 of them- all fantastic) and his recipes are simple, tasty and always impressive looking, particularly if you’re cooking for friends. My favourite of the books I have is Bill’s Basics which has so many great staple recipes which I can’t help but come back to time and time again
Melbourne coffee is the best. There I’ve said it- its a fact. The cafe culture in Melbourne is world class, and I love going to cute cafes when I’m at home and reading a magazine over a flat white which is a small, strong and smooth white coffee.
Happily, the flat white phenomenon has recently spread to London and there are now a few places where you can get a great coffee here. My favourites are Lantana on Charlotte Place and Flat White on Berwick St- both of them are Australian so you can have a little taste of the cafe culture from down under right in the heart of London.
Junior Masterchef Australia
While trawling the dregs of the Sky channels a few months ago I stumbled across a little program called Junior Masterchef Australia. We all know about Masterchef UK, and even Junior Masterchef UK- but the Australian version is in a league of its own. The children to be perfectly blunt are a little bit freaky- they are REALLY into cooking. Weirdly into it for 11 year olds. These little kids make amazing looking food like vanilla infused scallops and duck larb and are even cooking with Tetsuya. These Australian chefling prodigies make for very compelling viewing- did I mention they’re only 11?!
Whenever I take a trip home to Australia I’m usually on the look out for some new swimmers (or swimming costume to non Australians). Australia has some brilliant swimwear brands- I think the best, but I am probably biased. I think Australian swimmers are generally better quality and the patterns and designs are a little bit more exciting. My favourite brands are Seafolly (I even have the pair in the picture- I’ll have to keep up the pilates if I want to look as good as that girl though!) and Tigerlily. I also got a great one-piece at Country Road last time I was home. Swimmers from these places are probably slightly more pricey than in the UK, but if you look after them properly (never put them in the washing machine people- only rinse under cold water!) they’ll last for ages.
I hope this has made you want to visit Australia, writing it has made me a little bit homesick! Enjoy x