The three reasons why you need to visit the Winter Garden


Is it just me, or is Adelaide starting to get some of its mojo back? For the past few years, the coolness that characterises Mad March has seemed to continue a little longer into the year, and I reckon this year it’s still hangin’ around as we speak. The Adelaide Cabaret Festival‘s Winter Garden is just one of the many funky little spots for Adelaide’s quirky/funky/artsy/b-grade celebrity folk to hang at the moment. I was there last night to see The Boswell Project perform, and really loved the atmosphere of the place. Think The Garden of Unearthly Delights, but all grown up. Here are the top three reasons why I think every Adelaide local (or visitor) needs to give it a try:

1. The food and wine

The Winter Garden has a small amount of quality foodie stalls, with Beyond India my top pick, and Jack Ruby a close second. Finally, an event organiser has recognised that not everyone wants to get sloshed before/after a show (although at the Coopers Bar, you can do that too) and Abbots and Kinney‘s coffee and bite-sized baked goods are a welcome inclusion to the garden.

2. The music

Last night I heard gypsy violins as I was going into my show, and a funky Cat Empire-style brass and drum band on my way out. You can plonk yourself down in the Winter Garden and have a really diverse night of listening and leave it at that, or you can use it to try before you buy tickets to some of the best musos of the Cabaret Festival (and beyond).

3. The people watching

Oh, the people watching. Drag queens, retirees, bright young things decked out in vintage and local (especially Advertiser) journos abound. There might be more hiding inside Dulcie’s Shop of Real Opportunity (in support of the Hutt St Centre), which is parked between the stage and the food stalls and is definitely worth a look for a hidden gem or twenty. My Mum insists she saw Boy George heading towards the Winter Garden last night, but I was unable to track him down so cannot categorically confirm or deny his presence.


So there you have it! Come on Adelaide, don’t be put-off by the cold and drizzle and keep Adelaide’s coolness on a roll! Get your fine selves along to the Winter Garden and have a grand ol’ time.






Book Nook: The Wishlist

With the proliferation of digital content and e-readers and immersive media, there’s something special about holding a hard-copy book in your hands; the feel, the smell, the specialness of it all. My shelves are currently overflowing with all sorts of titles – some for study, some for leisure, some for inspiration, some I’m not even sure why I bought them. I’m hanging out for Madre to finish her Ph.D. at the end of the year so she can clean collection out a bit and maybe I’ll be able to find some spots for my ever-expanding collection on the many, many bookshelves that fill our home. I thought I’d make a little list of some of the titles that I’m currently longing for, firstly to remind myself to actually buy them, and also to (hopefully) provide a bit of inspiration for you to expand your own collection*. Here goes…

Frankie Spaces, Volume 2


Unfortunately I missed out on getting my mitts on a copy of the first volume of Frankie’s Spaces book, so I’m desperate to get stuck into this one. I just love getting a peek into people’s homes, especially those of creative types. Those of you who know me will know how homewares-obsessed I am, which is just plain silly for someone who is unlikely to be able to move out of home for at least another five or so years. But then again, at least I know that when I move out I will know exactly how I want to decorate my own little space, with the help of this here compendium and my mother’s many, many homey mags.

My Heart Wanders – Pia Jane Bijkerk


“What would happen if one day you decided to follow your heart? Where would it take you?” That’s the question Pia poses in her divine travel memoir/photo diary, My Heart Wanders. Now, I am not in the slightest bit a spontaneous person. I hate feelings of insecurity – in my surroundings, in my future, in myself, in those around me. Yet I often find myself drawn to all things whimsical and risk-taking and ‘follow your dreams’-y. Perhaps I do have a less sensible, logic-loving side to myself, and perhaps I should be paying more attention to it… If that’s so, this book will be my perfect source of inspiration. Click here for further glimpses inside this gorgeous little number.

What Katie Ate – Katie Quinn Davies


I have a penchant for buying recipe books for their perceived usefulness, and then never actually using them. Katie Quinn Davies’ food photography is all kinds of lovely, so I’m hoping this book’s aesthetic appeal might actually convince me to cook up a storm more often (although I’m sure my family would be happier, and safer, if I didn’t). If a book can get the thumbs-up from both Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop website and Martha Stewart, it’s gotta be pretty decent, right?

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls – David Sedaris


I first stumbled across this curiously-titled collection of essays at a local gem of a book store/cafe/book club hub, The Mockingbird Lounge. I wasn’t game to snap it up then, but I sure am now. I’ve never read any of Sedaris’ work, but if there ever was a sign that I’ll like a particularly quirky book it’s this: The Sydney Morning Herald wasn’t a big fan. It’s had good responses on Goodreads though, and I think the look of the cover will complement the other picks in this list (yes I am that shallow).

The Fictional Woman – Tara Moss


Tara Moss‘ appearance on Q&A a couple of weeks ago proved to me once and for all that the woman is nothing if not well-informed. She knows her stuff, and makes a point of doing so. She showed up most of the other panel members on this front, which impressed me mightily. I’m interested to see whether she conveys her messages as eloquently in print and to see if I have as many “YESSS, ME TOOO!” moments reading this memoir/social commentary as I did listening to her on the tele.

Anything John Green

With the new movie, The Fault in Our Stars, proving uber popular amongst my fellow not quite teen/not quite adults, I figure I’d do well to give some of John Green’s stuff a go. I usually find adolescent fiction characters a bit too self-indulgent and melancholy, but perhaps that’s what adolescence is like… I’m undecided, but maybe Green will help me make up my mind.

*This has nothing to do with the fact that my 20th birthday is fast approaching. Nothing, whatsoever.