Browsing Tag


Posted on March 10, 2015

Top 5 Beach Restaurants in Sydney

Australia/ Featured/ Travel

Boat House Sydney Vichy Gingham dress

Sydney is a gourmet’s delight, thanks to its fresh produce and seafood plucked straight from the ocean. There is no finer cuisine while imbibing the breathtaking ocean views, and enjoying the mesmerising sound of the waves and holiday atmosphere.

Here are my Top 5 beach-side restaurants in Sydney:

Hugos Manly Sydney Australia beach restaurant 5. Hugos

Hugos is a waterfront restaurant located at Manly’s wharf, treating patrons with its unfettered view of the harbour beach and incoming ferries. Known for the best pizza in Australia (!!!!), Hugos never disappoints. My favourites are the fig & gorgonzola pizza and the watermelon cocktail.

Table for two at the Pantry, overlooking Manly beach

Table for two at the Pantry, overlooking Manly beach

4. The Pantry

You cannot get closer to the ocean than sitting at a table at the Pantry, overlooking Manly beach. The distressed beachy interior design adds to the rustic fisherman flair. Must-eats are the creamy oysters and the grilled lemon sole with almond crust. To die for!

My recommendation at the Pantry: Grilled Whole Lemon Sole Almondine w/ almonds & brown butter

My recommendation at the Pantry: Grilled Whole Lemon Sole Almondine w/ almonds & brown butter

3. The Dunes Kiosk, Palm Beach

Palm beach is about an hour away from Sydney’s centre, a real holiday getaway. It’s no surprise that Aussie celebrities and millionaires choose this picture-perfect peninsula as their base. “Palmy” is classy but not snooty, and cute beach-side cafe “The Dunes” represents that relaxed flair beautifully. Right near the ocean (no views, but you can smell and hear the sea), the cafe charms with the unique blue and white striped “Strandkörbe”. These German beach wicker chairs usually reside at the Baltic Sea, yet look just as fitting down at the other end of the world.

Foodwise, try their battered fish or – if you’re calorie conscious – their healthy delicious salds.

The Dunes Kiosk Sydney Australia Palm Beach

Sitting comfortably in my “Strandkorb” at Dunes


2. Barrenjoey House, Palm Beach

A landmark at Palmy with beautiful views to the riverside of the peninsula, this is an absolute gem. The lovely beachy decor calls for a bucket of cold prawns (highly recommended) or grilled flathead on chips.

Barrenjoey House, Palm Beach, Sydney, Australia

Shabby Beach Chic at Barrenjoey


1. The Boathouse, Palm Beach

My all-time favourite restaurant is The Boathouse, a magical place, residing on stilts, literally above the water. I wish I could copy and paste the decor of the restaurant into my own flat – romantic shabby Hampton chic at its best! Watch the waterplanes land right in front of you whilst tucking into a steak sandwhich.  Whilst the food is decent, I prefer the cuisine at Barrenjoey House. However, for location and flair alone, the boathouse is unbeatable.

The Boat House Palm Beach Sydney Australia

Mr Romantique chilling at the pier of the boathouse

The Boat House Palm Beach Sydney Australia

Posted on January 2, 2015

Fashion Sisters: Happy New Year from Snowy Berlin and Sunny Sydney

Australia/ Berlin/ Rebel Alexa/ Romantique

Sisters Fashion streetstyle Berlin and Sydney


Wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year 2015!

Rebel and I have been spending Christmas and New Year’s Eve on two separate ends of the world: Rebel in wintery Berlin, Germany whilst I’m enjoying the summer in the Southern Hemisphere in Sydney, Australia.

Our outifts for New Year’s day could not be more different:

Rebel in chilly Berlin

Just after Christmas, Berlin turned into a magical winterwonderland with temperatures of -3 degrees Celsius. To cover up stylishly, Rebel is wearing an egg-shaped wintercoat (great to layer up under neath) and essential winter ankle boots with a rubber sole for the slushy snow. She  bought these beauties in the sale  at my favourite shoe online store shoescribe. Amazing bargain!

  • Grey, oversized egg-shape coat by Max & Co
  • Black Skinny Jeans by Zara
  • winterboots by Jil Sander Navy
  • Cross-body bag bought at TK Maxx
Rebel streetstyle Berlin Max and co eggshape coat jil sander navy ankle boots

Winter Streetstyle Berlin


Romantique in sunny Sydney:

I’m lucky to spend three weeks every year in Australia to break up the grim European winter for an injection of vitamin D. For a perfect summer day at Newport beach, I’m wearing the essential Fedora hat (to shield against the aggresive Aussie sun),  obligatory gingham blouse for the Southern French Brigitte Bardot flair, matching gingham flip flops and short pants. The cherry necklace adds a bit of fun too!

  • Pink gingham blouse by preppy specialist Gant
  • Navy blue hot pants with ruffle detail by Moschino Cheap & Chic
  • Cherry Necklace by N2 Les Nereides
  • Gingham flip flops by Havaianas

Sydney Streetstyle beach gingham blouse Gant

Sydney Streetstyle beach gingham blouse Gant

Beauty Note: My lipstick is “Annabella” by Nars.


Rebel Street style Jil Sander Navy ankle Boots


cherry neckalce 3





Posted on December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas from Sydney

Australia/ Dresses/ Romantique/ Travel


Sydney beaCH Stefanel sundress

Thanks to Mr Romantique being a Sydney sider, we spend almost every year on the other side of the world for Christmas, swapping Gluehwein with cocktails and turkey with seafood on the barbie.

I used to associate Christmas with bitterly cold winter days, watching the Nutcracker ballet in the opera and eating calorific comfort food from the Christmas markets. Over the last few years,  Australia’s Christmas has grown on me:  Seafood on the barbie, a swim in the ocean on Christmas day and dashing through the beach instead of in the snow – what’s not to like?

Today is our second day in Oz: The best way to counteract the jet lag is to go out and spend some time outdoors, getting the blood in the legs pumping . To combat the heat in humid Sydney, I’m wearing a light silk sundress from Stefanel and my new pair of gingham havaianas, how cute are they?

Where are you celebrating Christmas this year, in the bitterly cold Northern Hemisphere or in the Southern part of the world?

Australia Sydney Palm Beach the Dunes Cafe

Baltic Sea feel: German beach baskets at my favourite restaurant: The Dunes Cafe at stunning Palm Beach.


aussie life guard at Sydney's northerrn beaches

Aussie LIfe guard at Sydney’s Palm Beach

Mr Romanatique promoting the Aussie Christmas ;-)

Mr Romanatique promoting the Aussie Christmas

Gingham Vichy Havaianas Flip flips Mona vale beach Australia

Gingham Havis at Mona Vale, one of Sydney’s Northerrn Beaches



Posted on January 7, 2014

Return to the Boat House at Palm Beach

Australia/ Decor/ Romantique/ Travel

Boat House Sydney

A year on from my last trip to the lovely restaurant Boat House at Sydney’s Palm Beach, I revisited my favourite must-see destination. The boat house is a  beautifully decorated, relaxing restaurant built on a wooden pier, looking like out of an interior design coffee table book for “Romantic, rustic sea-side Chic”. Palm Beach, situated at Sydney’s north shore, is home to one of Sydney’s most expensive properties. It’s easy to see why: A beautiful drive through thick Sydney rainforest bushland  leads to the most unspoilt sandy beaches typical of Sydney’s North.

A lunch at the boat house is always a special, inspiring treat. Sit back, relax and enjoy the photos of my slice of heaven.

Boat House Palm Beach resized

The owner of the boat house combined their knowledge of interior design and food to create the boat house

The owner of the boat house combined their knowledge of interior design and food to create the boat house

Fresh flowers and fruit – a feast for the eyes!

Romantique on pier of boat house

I am wearing a blue gingham shift dress by Gant. Crossbody bag by Moschino. Metallic sandals by AGL.

Boat House Palm Beach

Fancy a sea plane flight to take in the Northern beaches? Sea planes start from the pier at the boat house.

Fancy a sea plane flight to take in the Northern beaches? Sea planes start from the pier at the boat house.

boat house from pier

Posted on January 3, 2014

Re-wear the wedding dress!

Australia/ Romantique

Rosebloom wedding dress J Crew and Marc Jacobs shoes

Rather than trashing the wedding dress, I decided to milking it for what it’s worth! For the holidays in Australia, I packed my J Crew wedding dress to show it off to the family for a little garden party! So I swapped Berlin’s Roccoco Ermelerhaus  with the lush green bushland of the Sydney suburbs for afternoon tea.

Every bride thinks her wedding dress is the most beautiful gown in the world and I’m no different. I gladly take every excuse to show off my knee length “Rosebloom” dress by J Crew. It traveled beautifully, I simply flat packed it in my suitcase for the 24 hour flight and it looked as good as new when I unpacked it. Yet another good argument against huge, high-maintenance meringue dresses you can’t even go to the toilet with! Mine is understated enough that I think I will get away with wearing it out to dinner for every anniversary!

Pointy gingham kitten heels from Marc Jacobs

Pointy gingham kitten heels from Marc Jacobs

  J crew wedding dress Rosebloom in Sydney


Posted on December 29, 2013

Stormy day in Sydney

Australia/ Romantique/ Travel

Bondi Beach Romantique

After a tumultuous departure from London for Sydney and a seven hour delay in  Dubai, I’m happy to be in Sydney at last. The picturesque beaches and bright blue skies more than make up for the 33-hour-flight!

When it comes to fashion, Sydney rocks the style of a very relaxed beach city: During the day, men tend to wear the flip flops, shorts and a washed-out Fresh Jive T-shirt. Women can be seen in tiny sun dresses, wide-brimmed straw hats and sandals. I’m glad Mr Romantique moved away from the generic Sydneysider look and now nails the casual but cool look: Knee length shorts, navy blue polo short and Ray Ban Aviators.  For a stormy day, I’m wearing a red, printed T-shirt from Gianfranco Ferre, a comfy denim skirt from Esprit and my two indispensable Sydney accessories: South African Havaianas for comfort and Ray Ban wayfarers.

Mr Romantique is wearing: Shorts from Tokyo Laundry, polo shirt from Calvin Klein.

Mr Romantique is wearing: Shorts from Tokyo Laundry, polo shirt from Calvin Klein.

View of Bondi Beach from the famous Restaurant and outdoor pool Bondi Iceberg

View of Bondi Beach from the famous Restaurant and outdoor pool Bondi Iceberg

sydney stormy day bondi

Street style Sydney: Printed Shirt from GF Ferre, wayfarers from Ray Ban. South African themed flip flops from Havaianas.

Bondi's Iceberg Outdoor Pool set in the middle of the ocean

Bondi’s Iceberg Outdoor Pool set in the middle of the ocean






Posted on December 16, 2012

A slice of heaven – The boat house in Sydney

Australia/ Decor/ Romantique/ Travel

Some places on this earth are so beautiful, they don’t need fancy Instagraming to look cool or  atmospheric. The restaurant “The Boat House” in Sydney, located at Palm Beach, on the Northern Beach peninsula, is one of those places.

The  romantic chic interior has a  tasteful and contemporary feel,  decorated with fresh flowers and colourful, rustic furniture.  Just grab a sandwich from the bar and enjoy the stunning sea views from the wharf.

Enjoy the dreamy pictures of the Boat House!

The boat house  created a playful take on festive decorations in a warm climate – these Danish gingerbread houses dangling from a ceiling mounted ladder look too cute! Best Danish – Australian combo since Mary and Frederik!

The boat house decorated for a wedding – mind you, this stunning setting doesn’t need a lot of decorating!

Fresh flowers, colourful chairs and white wooden rustic tables – the perfect beach cottage décor.

Mr Romantique chilling on the wharf – he’s wearing shirt “Chester” in Raspberry from Reiss, shorts from H&M, South African Havaianas flip flips (or thongs, as they say in the Aussie part of the world).

I’m wearing a white broderie anglaise dress from Max & Co, straw hat from Seafolly Australia.

Posted on January 25, 2012

Quality of Life Index: 7 German speaking cities top the poll

Berlin/ Current Affairs/ Romantique

Each year The Quality of Living Index by consultancy Mercer provides us with an insight on which city in the world is most livable based on 39 criteria.

A whopping 7 cities in German speaking countries (Austria, Switzerland & Germany) topped the Top 10 in 2011.

Having lived in Berlin for most of my life and in the UK for the last 7 years, I can see why the “Germanic” countries provide such a good standard of living.

So here’s the countdown countries number 11 up to 1:

Number 11, Sydney, Australia: A temperate climate (mild winters and warm summers), stunning scenery in and around Sydney, high life expectancy and a low crime rate (thanks to the nanny state) catapult Sydney right to the front.

Number 9: Copenhagen, Denmark beats European cities such as Barcelona, London and Stockholm coming in at number 9. Good work/life balance and the high standards of social welfare such as free education and health care reflects the high rating.

Geneva, Switzerland,  number 8: With a population of only 185,958, Geneva is an international diplomacy hub and it’s citizen enjoy excellent health care and education.

Frankfurt, Germany, number 7: Frankfurt is the “London” of Germany, it’s financial hub and also the home of continental Europe’s biggest airport. It boasts an excellent education system:

Germany has top class state schools and universities which is provided for free. Private schooling is not common in Germany which contributes to an equal society. The exemplary dual education system (combination of apprenticeship and vocational training) enables people to learn 356 occupations (such as oven builder or doctor’s assistant) regulated by national standards. If you study at University, one semester abroad is funded by the government, even pocket money is included in this deal!

Vancouver, Canada, number 6: Canadian cities dominate the top of the ranking for the area North America. Vancouver is a coastal city which has excellent standards of education and health care for North American standards.

Duesseldorf, Germany, number 5: Duesseldorf offers more than 100 temporary art galleries, it is known for it’s fashion and trade fares and like the rest of Germany, benefits from an excellent public service and transportation network: An extended speed train network and tube systems are mostly owned by the government who has the money to spend on modernisation rather than private companies who are solely profit driven.

Excellent health care is a factor that contributes greatly to quality of living:

We don’t think much about it while we’re healthy, but having competent  medical care when you’re sick is most of the crucial aspects of Life. Germany, Austria and Switzerland’s world class health and dental care is law enforced,i.e. the population is legally obliged to pay a relatively  high percentage of their salary (50% contribution from the employer and 50% contribution from the employee) towards medical insurance.

The doctor’s rate per ca pita is high, meaning that access to Medicine is easy and there are no waiting times.

Munich, Germany, number 4: Munich is the capital of Bavaria and Germany’s publishing hub. It exudes a relaxed Italian cafe culture and outdoor culture and the proximity to Italy, Austria,  Switzerland and the Alps make the city an attractive place to live.

Auckland, New Zealand, number 3: Apparently, when flying to New Zealand, stewardesses always make a point of telling you to put the clock back 10 years! Still, Auckland is coming in at an impressive number 3. It’s New Zealand’s most beautiful and biggest city, with a warm temperate climate and an excellent education system. One third of Auckland’s population holds a bachelor degree or higher and they also have over the highest disposable income in New Zealand.

Zuerich, Switzerland, number 2: Last year I visited Zuerich and had a great time. Although it’s a relatively small city (you can walk in 30 minutes from one end to the other), it has a very international feel to it and a Mediterranean flair with it’s beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and excellent Italian outdoor restaurants. And let’s not forget the chocolate and the exquisite gateaux!

Vienna is #1: Home of Mozart, it is Europe’s cultural capital with more than 100 museums, relaxed coffee house culture and 2,000 parks! Vienna also won the 2010 UN urban planning award for improving the living conditions of its residents. Under a multimillion-euro program, the city refurbished more than 5,000 buildings with nearly 250,000 apartments”

Before I went abroad, I didn’t know that things like double glazed windows, central heating systems, solid, noise proof apartment blocks or balconies are not everywhere the norm in Europe.

Central Europe’s big cities are rental cities – i.e. the population rents rather than buys flats  and big block of flats are owned by large corporations with enough budget to maintain the flats and invest in renovation if necessary (as apposed to private landlords). As a house owner, the government subsidises structural renovation and you are given tax breaks, ensuring a modernised standard for housing.

Speaking for Germany, rental prices are reasonable and you do not need to spend most of your salary for rent like in London, New York or Paris. You can get a modern 1 bedroom flat in Berlin Mitte with parquet floors and 10 minutes from the city centre for as little as 500 EUR a month!

My home town Berlin is coming in at number 17. It is the cheapest capital of Europe and while it doesn’t have the economic power of the Southern German cities due to it’s isolation during the cold war, it is now finding it’s place as Germany’s hub for the service industry such as communications, information technology, marketing, and more recently tourism.

Berlin has a fascinating history with it’s troubled past of WW2, cold war and reunification, all of which you can feel when you walk through the city . Stunning architecture ranging from Medieval to Baroque is a feast for eyes. Berlin-Mitte boasts more art galleries than coffee shops and 3 opera houses guarantee no lack of recreational activities. For which Germans have lots of time with an average of 30 annual leave days plus up to 14 public holidays!

The only British city in the TOP 50 is London coming in at number 38.

Have a look at Mercer’s index if you are curious to see where your city ranks. Ultimately, everyone needs to decide for themselves which criteria is important to them and after all:

There is no place like home!


Posted on January 6, 2012

Goodbye Sydney

Australia/ Romantique/ Travel

Two whirlwind weeks at Sydney are sadly coming to an end and it’s straight back into the rat race that is London . It’s been a great time down under  including a beautiful wedding, lots of beach down time, good fresh food and  friendly locals. If this beautiful place only wasn’t 24 bloody hours away from Europe! But I guess that is one of the advantages of Australia – if it was easy accessible, it would be totally overrun!

Check back for some breathtakingly scenic shots of the land down under once I sorted through my hundreds of pictures back in London!

Above: Cremorne Point is a beautiful picnic spot with a magnificent view over the Opera house and the Harbour bridge.

Posted on January 3, 2012

The worlds largest marine Autobahn

Romantique/ Travel

West Head is a scenic plateau overlooking the ocean, embedded in a National Reserve, just 30 minutes from Sydney.

Marine creatures, from dolphins, seals and penguins to huge whales like the humpback whale, travel from  Antarctica to warmer, tropical climates to raise their young.

For the day out, I dressed up in a summary shift dress, comfortable sunny Pretty Ballerina and a straw hat to protect myself from the strong Aussie sun.

On the way to West Head, drive through bush land

Humpback whales and Southern right whales are often seen playing in shallow coastal waters, sometimes just beyond the surfline.

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