Aesop James Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

We're just back from a weekend in the Sunshine State. While most of our time was spent catching up with friends we managed to clock up another stamp in our Aesop global passport by paying a quick visit to the brand new store on trendy James Street in Fortitude Valley. It's another stunning design from March Studio, this time featuring a fibreglass tunnel that stretches almost the whole length of the store. I'm looking forward to more details being released about the concept.

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Skank, Copenhagen

One of the highlights of last year's European trip was a few days in trendy Vesterbro. While its reputation as a meat packing and red light district is fast evolving into a destination for foodies and fashion lovers, there are playful nods to the rough edges that harmoniously coexist with the rapid gentrification. Skank is one such example, a restaurant whose name makes reference to both the beef shank and a lady of the night.

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Food Trucks, Brick Lane, London

The humble food truck has truly come of age. Just a few years ago they were a rare sight that could only be found via Twitter, but now there's an estimated 4,000+ worldwide serving pretty much any cuisine you can name - yum!

But with increased competition comes the need for strong branding and these gems - MeatPorn and Mother Clucker - at The Old Truman Brewery in East London's Brick Lane have two of the most awesome and memorable names I've seen so far!

What's the best food truck name you've seen?

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The Royal Arcade, Mayfair, London

As we enjoy the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in Sydney it would be remiss of me not to pay some sort of tribute to the monarchy. So here’s a shot of The Royal Arcade. Located in the heart of the exclusive and well-heeled district of Mayfair the arcade connects Old Bond Street to Albermarle Street, and its construction way back in 1879 makes it the city’s oldest purpose built shopping arcade. Victorian architectural features are abound, including a saddled glass roof, decorated stucco arches and Ionic columns.

Finding charming, historical gems like this is what makes London so worth exploring on foot.

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Ace Hotel Shoreditch, London

The hotel lobby is evolving, particularly in design-led hotels such as the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, London where the lobby is a 24 hour communal work and social space for both guests and local businesses. With cosy nooks and a full bar it's easy to see how one could stay here much longer than intended.

But as I stood here gazing at the hip crowd tapping away on their MacBooks I wondered if this was a case of seen to be working or working to be seen.

What do you think?

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Instagram Takeover: The Old Clare x That Which We

Amy and I love living in the heart of Chippendale. At just 0.5 square kms it's one of Sydney's smallest suburbs but punches well above its weight due to its reputation as the capital's hotspot for dining and creativity, boasting the likes of Kensington Street, Spice Alley, EsterLP's Quality MeatsaMBUSH Gallery and The White Rabbit Gallery. With so much literally on our doorstep it's a fantastic place to call home but as we're away most weekends for shoots we often miss out on the buzz when Chippendale is at its busiest.

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Humming Puppy, Redfern, Sydney

This morning we were super excited for our first class at the brand new Humming Puppy yoga studio in Redfern which just opened yesterday!

Humming Puppy Sydney follows the success of co-founders Jackie Alexander and Chris Koch's first studio which opened in Melbourne’s Prahran last year. We were immediately drawn to the range of classes set within a stylish spa-like environment, but as beginners we were also encouraged by the ease of use - mats, blocks and straps are all provided and there’s even the ability to book your mat position online, eliminating any jostling for position and disruption of chakras on arrival! 
Following each class participants are invited to relax in the stylish lounge area and rehydrate with a flavoured tea or coconut water.

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Elaphite Islands, Croatia

During our stay in the beautiful medieval town of Dubrovnik we took a day trip by boat around the Elaphite Islands of Lopud, Sipan and Kolocep. One of the things that surprised us was the number of old churches on the islands, many of which were in a ruined state which gave them an elegantly distressed beauty.

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Volksbühne, Berlin

The Volksbühne ("People's Theatre") is located in the central district of Mitte. Originally designed by Oskar Kaufmann, the theatre opened in 1914 with the aim of promoting plays at prices affordable to the common worker and has since developed a reputation for both controversy and success. The theatre suffered extensive damage during WWII and was rebuilt in the early 1950s according to plans by Hans Richter.

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Casale di Cellole, Tuscany

We're reminiscing about our time spent at Casale di Cellole, a beautiful farmhouse that we found on Airbnb. Located in the heart of Chianti and surrounded by a postcard landscape of olive groves and vineyards, this lovingly renovated farmhouse comprises four spacious apartments (this one is called River) with luxury furnishings. The property also features a pool, a large garden and covered dining area, and a stone terrace with magnificent views that are best enjoyed with a glass or two of the local red.

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ArtScience Museum, Singapore

The ArtScience Museum is one of the attractions at Marina Bay Sands. The striking architectural design, reminiscent of a lotus flower, comprises a round central base with ten "finger" extensions that house the gallery spaces, and in keeping with Singapore's dedication to sustainability the museum features skylights at the tip of each finger to sustain illumination of the interior walls while rainwater is channelled down the centre of the building into a pond where it is then recycled for use in the restrooms.

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Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

The Fullerton Hotel occupies a grand neoclassical building steeped in historical importance since its opening in 1928. Many fondly remember it as the General Post Office but it was also the home of several government offices and the exclusive Singapore Club. This was also the location where the British made the decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese during World War II. In 2001 the interior of the building was transformed into the 400 room luxury Fullerton Hotel and just a few weeks ago the structure was deservedly gazetted as a national monument.

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Burnt Ends, Singapore

It might sound counterintuitive to go all the way to Singapore and end up at an Australian barbecue restaurant, but Burnt Ends became an obsession as soon as we heard about its pulled pork shoulder in a home made brioche bun with slaw and chipotle mayonnaise! Located just a couple of minutes from our hotel it made a perfect destination for our first night’s dinner but with only 17 covers getting a seat was the main challenge. Fortunately our concierge was able to secure two seats at short notice, right in front of the four tonne wood fired oven so we could watch all the theatre unfold in the open kitchen. We highly recommend a visit to Burnt Ends but despite its famous burger, just bear in mind this isn’t a street food restaurant. Burnt Ends is modern Australian fine dining (serving up Marron and fine wines from head chef Dave Pynt’s home of WA) and is currently ranked 30 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.

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Hotel Hotel, Canberra

This week we visited the nation's capital for festive merriment with our photography brethren, kindly hosted by the legends at All Grown Up Weddings. The trip gave us the perfect excuse for an overnight stay at the very chic Hotel Hotel, a place we've been aching to visit for a long time. There is so much to say about the design and sustainability values of the hotel but we'll let the photos do most of the talking. This is the view from the top of the dramatic Grand Stair which was constructed using recycled timber from a demolished house, a basketball court and off cuts from the Nishi building the hotel resides in.

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Invader, Paris

In 1988 ceramic Space Invader mosaics started to appear on walls around the city. This urban invasion was started by the mysterious artist, appropriately known as Invader, whose dual mission is to liberate art from museums and institutions and to free the aliens from the confines of their video game screens. His art movement has now spread to cities all over the world, including a Space Invader at a ski lift in Switzerland and three below sea level in the Cancun Bay in Mexico, giving travelers and art lovers something fun to keep an eye out for.

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designMiltonParis, France, Invader
Boot Café, Paris

They say the best things come in small packages and Boot Café is definitely one of them. Hidden behind the faded facade of an old cobblers in the trendy Marais district, Boot is one of the very few boutique cafes in Paris and serves up delicious coffee and cakes in a tiny but chic hole in the wall.

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