Leigh and I are so excited to announce that our baby, Strangertalk, won Blog of the Year and Best Travel Blog in the 2017 Saveur Blog Awards. We were up against some big-name blogs, so our barely one-year-old website did us proud! You can see the full list of winners here: www.saveur.com/blog-awards-2017-winners
This is a project Leigh and I have been working on throughout our travels, an online photographic journal that tells the stories of the people we meet and the incredible places we stumble upon. It's about talking to strangers, finding the local haunts and the real heart of each city we visit. Updated weekly, this is Strangertalk.
Snowy peaks, glassy lakes, never-ending velvety hills and the most beautiful, clear skies, New Zealand is a must-visit destination. I spent 10 days road-tripping from one end of the South Island to the other with my mum in tow, and it was truly a breathtaking experience. Queenstown, while a buzzing tourist metropolis seemingly run by backpackers, was nothing short of beautiful. The views of Lake Wakatipu are stunning and there are so many adventures to be had. We cruised through the dramatic fiords of Milford Sound, watched the autumn leaves fall at Arrowtown and snacked on freshly caught whitebait. Over at Lake Wanaka we climbed exhausting peaks then relaxed at the most stunning winery with a plate of cheese overlooking the shorelines. Mt Cook national park provided amazing views of natural glaciers where we even dipped our toes after a long and sunny hike. Finishing up in Christchurch, where the devastation of the 2011 earthquakes can still be felt five years on, we admired the city's resilience and enjoyed the innovative new offerings before heading home for a well-deserved rest.
Easter weekend was a chance for a short stint of gypsy life, so Leigh and I hit the road with our swag in tow and headed north to the Coffs Coast. We'd road-tripped this way before but hadn't dedicated much time to this incredible coast, so thought we'd return and give it some proper attention. We camped under the trees at Smoky Cape, waved at a few roos on Hat Head, hiked through Dorrigo rainforest (while munching some amazing Dorrigo-made garlic jerky), got drenched in a random storm in Bellingen and dried out on a cliff top at Port Macquarie (chip sandwiches for dinner as we watched the sun dip into the water). It was an amazing few days and a good chance to just roam.
I've just returned from my second sojourn to Japan in a year, and I already wish I was back there slurping ramen and drinking matcha lattes from Family Mart. I've never been more enamoured with a country, the beautiful, omnipresent culture and, of course, the always impeccable food. This trip, after a karaoke-filled New Years in Tokyo, we explored Fukuoka for the best traditional eats and a bit of island living.