Tag Archives: Australia

Being a blogger has brought me some really awesome experiences that I never would have had otherwise, along with friends that I may have never met. Last Tuesday, the two combined and I got to try out the new Summer menu at Oz Restaurant & Bar. I’ve been to Oz before with some of the Bubbles & Bloggers crew, and was absolutely thrilled when Angelica graciously passed along her invitation to the tasting to me as she would be out of town. Oz is seriously so much fun and homegirl loves to eat and try new foods.

Before dinner,  on the outside patio, the new summer drinks were being passed around. I had the Aussie Spritz and LOVED it- prosecco, apple liquor, and hibiscus. The perfect summer drink. The last time I was in, I opted for sparkling rosé, which was wonderful, but the cocktail was so refreshing and a perfect summer sip. The other new summer cocktails are the Ripparita (Exotico tequila, Chacho Aguardiente, and a blackberry + jalapeño puree) and Grapefruit Soda Juice (freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, mint, brown sugar, soda, and rum). With dinner I had a sparkling Shiraz from Riverland, Australia and while I’m not used to sparkling reds, I loved it! Owner Michael Darby is quite proud of the wine collection at Oz, and I can see why!

Dinner was 5 courses and I apologize for the the pictures- I don’t normally photograph food and, in my opinion, I can’t do the plates justice! I was lucky enough to sit with Oz’s owners, Michael + Ashley Darby, along with 2 local area food writers. The food was fab, the drinks were flowing, and the company was fantastic. You could tell how proud Ashley + Michael are of their baby and I have decided that I need to get back there for the brunch. We also had several appearances from Chef Brad Feickert, who explained the inspiration behind each course.

Carrot Mango Cold Soup

The whole time I was eating this, I was thinking, “dang- I’m so glad I’m not allergic to carrots anymore!” While this is something I probably wouldn’t normally order myself, I’m so glad it was on the tasting menu because I would 100% order it again. The concept of cold soup is somewhat foreign to me, but this was SO delicious. It had a little bit of a kick and so much flavor.

Watermelon + Rocket

This may have been my favorite part of the meal because, as many of you know, I cannot get enough watermelon. Complimented with a very light watermelon vinaigrette, feta crumbles, peppery rocket, and house made granola, this dish has everything my mouth wants in summer. This may sound absolutely ridiculous but it was a like a party on my taste buds.

Thai Salad

I chose the Thai salad for my third course: a mix of cold rice noodles, cucumbers, pepper, mango, carrots, and peanut mind vinaigrette. One of the goals for the summer menu is was to bring in a bit of Asian fusion. This dish did that flawlessly. Ugh. As I’m writing this all the flavors are coming back to me and I want to get back to Oz ASAP and continue the tasting. Awesome thing about this dish? Despite the noodles, it’s gluten free! In fact, most of the dishes at the tasting were GF or could be altered to make them so. Having a lot of GF friends, I know where we can go for dinner!

Unfortunately, my picture of the Top Sirloin Steak just did it so very little justice that I didn’t even want to include it. It came with tempura battered asparagus and pommes darphin (think fancy hash brown). Honestly, my favorite part of this dish was the horseradish sauce, just because it added that little unexpected kick to my steak. The tempura was perfect- and I’m really picky about that after trying out so many sushi places around the city.

French Silk

Now I’m not a huge dessert person, but my mouth is actually watering remembering this amazing chocolate cloud from heaven. That is the only way to describe it. I would go to Clarendon just for this and a cocktail. Seriously.

I want to thank Oz for having us and Angelica for sharing her invite with me! I want to get back there for bottomless brunch with penny mimosas, so if anyone wants to come with let me know! You can find Oz steps away from the Clarendon metro (or a 15 min Uber ride from my place~ so convenient!)

2950 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, Virginia • Tel: 703.664.0693

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There’s no doubt about it: the world is a pretty big place. But though there are 196 countries that make up planet earth, a large chunk of earth’s land mass is actually covered by a few giants who take up a lot of space. On the one hand, this can make traveling through them rather annoying, purely because they’re so large. On the other hand, though, the diversity and sheer scale of these nations mean it’s not possible to be bored when you’re at these places. Here are five massive countries worth visiting.

LEATHER TRAVEL WALLET

The United States

Let’s start right in the United States. If you’ve never taken a road trip from east to west, north to south, then you’ve missed large chunks of what makes this country great. The diversity doesn’t lie in the culture – the cultural differences between places are more subtle than when compared to, say, Europe – but the landscapes. Start in the dizzying concrete jungle that is New York City and head to California; along the way, you’ll find rivers, woods, canyons, and much more, sometimes even in the same state!

Russia

As the largest nation on earth, there’s a lot to discover in Russia, though many people usually focus on the big cities and a few select natural areas. The vast majority of Russia is comprised of wilderness, so try not to take a wrong turn! As you might expect from a country of the size, you can do just about any outdoor activity. One underrated highlight is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the country’s most eastern town, which is a hot spot for mountain hikes and kayaking, as well as delicious food.

Canada

When we talk about traveling through Canada, we’re usually talking about the 100km close to the United States, which is where nearly all Canadians live and where the cities are. Canada is pretty sparse when it comes to population, and a lot of its appeal lies in the natural beauty of the country. If you take a road trip through Alberta and on to British Columbia, you’ll be passing some of the world’s most breathtaking mountain and lake views. Take a camera!

Australia

Australia is another country that is big in size, not so big in population. This is a mecca for adventure lovers; Australia vacations can include sampling some of the world’s best cities, exploring the world’s most beautiful underwater regions, testing yourself in rugged terrain, or simply enjoying the country’s pristine beaches (and laid back beach life). It’s Adventureland, basically, and those who take on its gigantic size will be happily rewarded.

Brazil

Like the other countries on this list, diversity abounds in Brazil. You can get lost in the excitement of Rio or Sao Paulo, take yourself away from the crowds and enjoy the country’s extensive coastline, or you can prepare yourself for a once in a lifetime trip deep into the Amazon Rainforest, the largest such forest in the world. Whether you’re a nature lover, beach bum, or city dweller, Brazil’s large size ensure that it caters for everyone.

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One of the best things about going traveling is getting to relax on stunning beaches. After all, as well as getting to soak up the sun, you get to enjoy the beautiful views of the sand and sea. And if you opt to visit one of the most stunning beaches in the world, you will also get to experience the crystal blue waters and soft sand. Also, beaches are a lot more useful than just for sunbathing! You can do a wealth of fun water-sports like diving and surfing which are memorable on your travels. And I think we all have a list of beaches that are must-do at least once during our lifetime.

Three Pom Pom Tote

Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia

Australia is known for its beautiful beaches. In fact, thousands of travelers head there every year to enjoy the stunning beaches in the country. There are some in particular though that have everyone flocking year after year. The most famous one is Bondi Beach which is situated in the capital of the country, Sydney. The beach is one of the most stunning on our list with plenty of gorgeous sand and blue waters. It’s also brimming with life all year round. You can expect activities a plenty to be happening on the beach. They have events like kite flying and surfing competitions during the summer months. And if water sports are what you are after, you will love the opportunity to surf on the beach. In fact, you will find locals who will be willing to show you how to catch some waves. And you can also hire a jet ski if you fancy getting your adrenaline pumping. If you want to enjoy a coastal walk, you can do this as well at Bondi Beach. And then you can spend the evenings at the beach where you can find plenty of food and drink places. Also, beach parties are common and last until sunrise! Remember if you want to get some space to sunbathe, you have to go early as the beach is so popular. For somewhere less touristy, you could always go to Turquoise Bay. It’s stunning with its turquoise waters and pure white sand. And you can even get closer to marine life by snorkeling at the Ningaloo Reef!

Kailua Beach Park in Oahu, Hawaii

If you think of a country with the best beaches, it’s likely that Hawaii will spring to mind. After all, thousands of people go there every year to enjoy the stunning beaches on offer. As well as the amazing hula parties and delicious food! However, one beach in particular which often gets people talking and is on my bucket list is the stunning Kailua Beach Park in Oahu. The beautiful beach boasts three miles of glorious sand and crystal-clear water. Therefore, thousands flock there to enjoy some sunbathing while on their travels. And not only is it good for topping up your tan, but it has plenty of water sports too. For example, there is a volleyball court, and people willing to teach you how to windsurf. And there are even picnic areas so you can have a break from your sunbed to enjoy some grub when it’s time for lunch. Or you could even head to one of the eateries. Former President Obama can often be spotted in the Island Snow one which is close by to the beach! And you could even consider camping on the stunning beach at night. After all, you can then get a great spot in the morning! And there are plenty of fun things to do in Oahu. Therefore, if you want a break from the beach, there is a lot more you can do in the surrounding area!

Rabbit Beach in Lampedusa, Italy

When it comes to Italy, there are many reasons why people visit there every year. The amazing landmarks such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Colosseum are definitely a draw. Also, the delicious food also gets people’s mouth watering. After all, we all love a pizza or a pasta dish. In fact, Italian is one of the world’s favorite cuisines. But it’s also the beaches which are a draw for many people. A lot of people go to places like Sicily and Sorrento for beach holidays every year. One place you might not have heard of but is a beach which you should add to the bucket list is Rabbit Beach in Sicily. The stunning beach has been even voted the best beach in the world by various surveys. For one thing, people visit for the stunning features of the beach. Not only has it got clear water and white sand, but it’s surrounded by gorgeous hillsides. The small beach is also a favorite with marine life fans. After all, you might spot a sea turtle laying an egg which will be unforgettable! And you can enjoy a spot of sunbathing if you manage to grab a spot early at the beach.

Pink Sands Beach in Harbour Island, Bahamas

The Caribbean is definitely one place a traveler would go if they were looking for fabulous beach. In fact, it’s often named to have the best beaches in the world at its many islands. In fact, thousands of travelers head to the islands like Dominican Republic, Cuba, and the Bahamas to make the most of the gorgeous beaches. Therefore, it can make it a challenge to add just the one to the list of fantastic beaches. But one beach which is unique is the Pink Sands Beach in the Harbour Islands. With the stunning pink backdrop, it’s no surprise that it’s often used for photographs and in films! The pink color comes from the crushed coral which creates a dramatic effect. Not only will you want to take photos at the beach, but you will want to relax on the stunning sand. And it’s also an ideal place to snorkel as it boasts shallow waters!

Just remember to always check the weather before visiting any of the above. After all, it will definitely rain on your experience if the weather is bad!

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Every year millions of tourists travel to Sydney to visit one of the two Australian towns that are considered a capital of Australia’s culture – If you are wondering, the other town is Melbourne. Tourists love the multicultural background of Sydney, with an amazing colonial history that has led its transformation into a global economic center, and its breathtaking sceneries. It is hard to picture a more amazing place than one with an official pool built just along the ocean. But there’s also another type of travelers that is becoming increasingly attracted to Sydney, and this is the foodie. Believe it or not, but Sydney has all it takes to become a vibrant center of culinary culture and to satisfy the budget of every traveler. If you’re one for a luxury holiday, you will certainly find the right dining places in Sydney, but if you love an authentic and affordable taste, Sydney has plenty of local jewels for the ones who knows where to look.

Tetsuya’s Sydney

The Local Luxury Choices

Every year Time Out lists the 50 best restaurants in Sydney, so that you don’t need to search for the best addresses yourself, all the hard work has been already done for you. Hubert, a French-style restaurant that loves a Belle-Epoque décor is the number one of the list. But you will find some delicious Japan-inspired explorations, Caribbean menus and even British inspirations among the top five restaurants in Sydney. A lot of Asian restaurants have made their way up to the famous list too, and it’s no wonder because the Asian culture and traditions are very strongly represented in Australia. From very affordable prices with a $45 five course menu to one hundred or more for a romantic dinner, you can rapidly find something for each budget. Some restaurants on top of the list have very reasonable prices while others are addressed to a wealthier public. The only difficulty you will meet is to make a choice: There are far too many recommended restaurants in Sydney!

The Authentic Scene

Not everyone likes a luxury dinner. If you are avid of authentic tastes and culinary comfort, you should be looking at the Asian and the Italian scenes in Sydney. For those who love great thai food Balmain, the original blue-collar suburb in Sydney, has quality Thai restaurants that perfectly understand the Asian traditions and the quality of fresh products. For the pizza cravings, pick any restaurants from Little Italy in Sydney: You will discover pizza and pasta dishes that taste like something you would eat in rural Tuscany. The real pleasure of quality comfort food, this is what Sydney can offer too.

The Healthy Food On The Go

If you’re running out of time, you can pack a few healthy snacks in your bag. However, do try to visit the Sydney market to pick fresh fruits, bread and biscuits from local artisans and farmers. You may not have time to sit down in a restaurant, but surely you’ve got time to enjoy your food. The weekend markets in Sydney are full of delicious discoveries, and if you like cooking fish, have a look at the fish market with fresh catches every day.

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Australia is one of those places that everyone needs to visit at least once in their life. For starters, it is a huge continent, and you are literally spoiled for choice with all the great places to visit. Most tourists do indeed go to see all the typical sights – Bondi Beach, the Sydney Opera House, Ayers Rock etc. While those things are all good fun and definitely worth seeing, it would be a crime not to visit some of the other amazing places that Oz has to offer. One truly striking thing about the country is its hugely broad diversity in terms of its landscape. Rolling fields almost imitate Italy’s sun kissed region of Tuscany, and some of the lesser known, less crowded beaches are pretty much one step away from paradise. Your vacation to Australia can be a great way to get back to nature, something that has been proven to help us all relax. Here are some of the top places of natural beauty that Australia has to offer.

Australia Map

Turquoise Bay, Exmouth

The West Coast of Australia is a hot spot for many travelers, as they revel in the great weather and the wild beauty that resides there. One such example of a beautiful beach is the Turquoise Bay – no prizes for guessing why it’s called that. Part of the reason why Turquoise Bay is such as must-see destination is because it has so much to offer. If you just want to relax and catch some rays, it is a pure white sandy beach – so all you’ll need are a few pairs of womens thongs to protect your feet from the ground below you.   It is also one of the best beaches for getting up close and personal with some of the marine life below the surface – the Ningaloo Reef sits just off the coastline, so bring your snorkel!

Cradle Mountain

If you fancy a little trip away from the mainland, Cradle Mountain in Tasmania is one place you just have to visit. It is part of the Tasmanian World Heritage Centre and features a whole range of flora and fauna. One minute you could be brushing past eucalyptus plants, the next you are looking out on a landscape reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. You can walk to the mountain’s summit or, if you prefer something a little more leisurely, take a stroll around the beautiful Lake Dove.

Daintree Rain forest

If you are staying on the Golden Coast, take a trip out of Brisbane to visit Daintree Rain forest. Said to be the oldest rain forest in the world, this tropical paradise allows you to get up close and personal with a whole host of different types of wildlife. If you fancy the true rain forest experience, why not stay in one of the many lodges situated right in midst of all the action? You could easily give Tarzan a run for his money! One of the most popular activities there is crocodile spotting, something that takes place under the cover of moonlit.

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!