Monthly Archives: March 2011

Melbourne – Langham Hotel

We’re in Melbourne for our friend Louise’s wedding.
We’re staying at the Langham Hotel famed for its discreet service and luxurious rooms. I’ve scored a discounted media room rate so I can share my experiences with Saucy readers.
The Langham is smack bang in the middle of Melbourne’s vibrant arts and dining precinct on the Southbank Promenade on the Yarra River.

It has a 5 star rating with room rates starting at around $295.
We’re staying in a spacious Club River Room King which comes with complimentary internet and access to the Langham Club on Level 24.
Our room has views stretching over the Yarra, Federation Square and the city centre
The king bed has very comfortable pillows (I’ve been known to travel overseas with my own pillow so a good one is essential! ) The featherey quilt is soft and enveloping.
Hotel carpets are usually non descript and not worth commenting about but I love this fun, organic, feminine print.
The bathrooms are a real winner – sold marble, spacious with a deep bath, large shower and wide vanity counter.
There’s also an impressive spa complex in the hotel on Level 9 – the Chuan Spa – if you need additional pampering.
The Langham takes its dining venues seriously – there’s the fine dining Melba Restaurant, and the ARIA bar and lounge which serves light meals including the signature afternoon tea or Langham Tiffin.
For club members the Langham Hotel Club offers complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and pre-dinner drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

 Breakfasts trully cater for everyone….. fresh fruit, yoghurts and cereals…

cold meats and cheeses….
honey straight from the comb…
and of course a hot selection including roast tomatoes and mushrooms.
smokey bacon rashers and pork chipolatas
… it hits the spot
So if you want a little luxury during a weekend getaway, the Langham is certainly an ideal base to explore Melbourne from.

Edible Balcony – Ms Butterfly drops in

It’s a hot Sydney afternoon as I sit at my desk looking out onto my balcony and across to the hazy parklands of The Domain.
Like most people around the world I am streaming the latest news on the containment of the radioactive leaks at the Fukushima reactors in Japan.
It’s all too frightening to comprehend.
This morning a psychologist was on the radio warning of the dangers of post traumatic stress disorders among those following the tragedy.
He said after the Queensland floods, Cyclone Yasi, the Christchurch earthquake and now the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan, most of us simply don’t have the coping mechanisms to process the 24-hour images we’re being bombarded with.

And then…. like a sign from above… a beautiful butterfly flutters into sight!

This is the first time I’ve ever seen a butterfly like this on my 13th floor balcony garden.

It’s easily the size of the palm of my hand … velvety black and white with vivid red and blue spots.
She seems to like the Dwarf Meyer lemon tree.
I’m immediately bouyed by her playful presence and pretty markings. 

Can anyone identify my little friend?

Edible Balcony – autumn update

Well, a rare appearance from moi surrounded by my herbs and vegies. I’m thrilled by my late season crop of tomatoes – cherry in the foreground and grape and sweet bite against the back wall. All sweet and delicious and no whitefly problems. Will definitely be growing these varieties next year.The butter lettuce has been thriving. No bug attack yet. At my feet is the candy-striped beetroot that should be ready to harvest from next week. Behind me are the dwarf lemon tree, the rhubarb, herbs, silverbeet, and the cavolo nero (tuscan cabbage) on the vertical wall.
Time to start thinking about what to put in for winter.
Maybe some carrots where the tomatoes are now and some asian greens when the lettuces are finished?