Bene at Three Beans Kareela 10/10 stars


Have just had the most delicious eggs benedict ever. So delicious I think it’s time I share my local treasure hidden amongst the Sutherland shire Sydney. The area is quite relaxed and cool. Walking into three beans is like walking from a tiki tour in the hottest sun of the shire into the ritz. Beautiful marble tables with old clawed feet on a black and white geometric tiled floor. The chairs are all wooden cane with large sitting lounge that has a beautiful maroon leather head rest. The walls are dark grey blue. The lighting is all industrial contemporary adding a nice blend of past and present that makes this cafe feel like a trendy home amongst the laid back shire lifestyle.  

         

The eggs bene with spinach and hollandaise at Three Beans Kareela is a bit more than amazing. The flavours melt in your mouth with the slightest and purest tang of vinegar which tells me the eggs have been cooked right. Whilst never overpowering the gooey perfectly poached eggs. The hollandaise is of perfect consistency however tastes like it’s made in house which is a very difficult dressing to perfect. That being said the lovely and gorgeous young barista makes a very delicious chai latte as well. 10/10 stars. Everything was on point. Even admiringly the printed napkins Three beans- “organically grown made with soul”.

   

Advertisements

Why quality is so hard to find


As you may or may not of noticed we are consumers in a driven market aimed at fools. So often we all purchase items that are heavily marked up under the impression that the purchased item will be of greater longer lasting quality. 

This is not so. Not unless the item is made by hand with quality workmanship or custom made for some end. 

No longer are things made to last. They are made to fail and the price you pay for the item has no handhold on how long it will last. Please remember this as you wander through the iles of your local large electrical store next time. 


What it means to be a third generation dressmaker


sewing is not just a craft to me. It is my life. Something taught from my mother from when I was deep within her womb. The sound of an industrial machine humming to the beat of my mothers foot. Falling asleep to the hum every night while my mother worked to support our family from home as her grandmother did her father. Dressmaking was not meant to be an easy job and can take quite a toll on each and every one of us. The smell of new fabric on the bolt. Knowing where to place that flower, bow or lace come second nature. Drawing a pattern and cutting the fabric so the flow of the garment falls amazingly. It’s just what I do.  It’s something deeply instilled in my person. Not many girls can say they have grown up playing hide and seek amongst rolls of fabric or playing cut out the doll costume when they were 4. Or even that their first injury was from sticking their finger into the turn wheel of an industrial machine while it was sewing.
 I do not sew just because I can sew and I have been taught from a young age how to guide a needle through fabric. I sew because sewing brings great joy to my life. The joy of creation and design. The ability to design from a line to a piece of fabric is something that is a dying art. I have more than ten boxes of fabric that I have hoarded over my lifetime and it makes me feel alive just looking and feeling the fabric. The endless possibilities and innovation I visualise as I run my finger across the fabric. Such beauty to be made. Not just to follow the trends set by other designers but to innovate new trends through my own creation. You can put ten designers in a room and get them to draw patterns of the same design and every one will be different. I don’t care if people copy me or my designs because no matter how hard they try it will never be the same. It will never have the same quality or finishing. I care only for creation and the joy of placing a needle through thread. 


My first Lomi Lomi


I have been working really hard lately sewing and designing from my studio. I also work two day jobs so I’ve been lacking energy for quite some time. I decided to book in for my first Lomi Lomi massage!

Ok so if your a little self conscious like all women the idea of laying naked while another woman massages your whole body can be a little scary at first. 

I came to the appointment willing to try something new as the Lomi Lomi is regarded as an energising massage. That is exactly what I needed today;)

Lauren began by consulting with me on what the massage involves. She doesn’t rub your breasts or anything and it’s normal to feel tingling or other sensations while having the massage. Also lauren wanted to know what I was comfortable with. Did I want a hard massage or a more gentle relaxation softer massage. 

Knowing myself I wanted the softer relaxation massage. So I was asked to drape down to nothing. I was totally naked apart from a modesty sheet.

I then lay there as Lauren drew all the bad energy from my body breathing in universal energy and enlisting that positive energy back into my body.

The oil was warm and made of her own special combination of soothing oils. At first I was a little stiff unable to relax however by the end of the two hour massage I was so relaxed and energised that I left feeling amazing. The Lomi Lomi was definitely something new to me and it really helped that Lauren from Hartfelt massage was so professional in the consultation. 

The massage was so amazing that I felt I should write a blog about it and support local business as I am sure there are hundreds of women out there that could use some energy! 

The best part is that it wasn’t overly expensive and totally affordable. It was like getting a full day spa treatment without having to pay as much! I loved it so much I’m thinking of buying a session for one of my friends as a birthday gift! Anyhow I’m off to the beach so enjoy your public holiday gorgeous people;) 

For enquiries contact Lauren. She is located in Sydney at Gymea and is by far one of the best in her industry! 

Please like and share her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Hartfeltmassage


Why sizing is so confusingĀ 


So you are wandering through stores trying on what you think is the right size. By the end of the day you think your going crazy because your size is different no matter where you go. 

Well I’m here to tell you that no your not crazy. Every company has its own sizing charts. They have complicated ways of deciding on the correct grade for their label to fit the target market they are aiming at.

That’s not even the difficult part. The standard sizing chart for Australian clothing have only just begun to be addressed as sizing for clothing was set up in the 1950’s when children, women & men were as you know much smaller. Less hormone pumped chickens and flavourings and colourings etc.
So what size you think you are on average in the shops is actually 1-2 sizes smaller than what you actually are according to standards. This being said now that I know I’m actually a 16 instead of a 12 I’m not horrified because these standards were made more than 60 years ago. Most high fashion labels including Parisian fashion houses and what not still are guided by these old standards as they sell to petite women. Which unluckily I am not. Somehow managed to get all my fathers genes with a dash of my mothers face.

I hope I have clarified sizing just slightly. It’s the tip of the iceberg.

If you like what I have written feel free to saunter through the remainder of my blogs or jump onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to support my label Secret culture.

#facebook #Instagram #Twitter #Wordpress #secretculture 

Follow facebook: secret culture global fashion label 

https://www.facebook.com/DesignTeamSecretCulture
Follow Instagram: #secretculture
Follow Twitter: Ashleigh Renee Patel 

Follow blogs on WordPress: http://www.secretculture.wordpress.com
Buy the latest collection at:

http://www.secretcultureshop.com
Also: Secret culture is looking for small high end boutiques to sell street wear in. Please share xx 

  


Flavours of Cirque cafe Newcastle


Walking into Cirque cafe Newcastle the decor is simple and quite minimalist.

Clean cut dark brown tables and white walls with one wall black for chalk drawings of circus flags. The day’s specials are chalked upon the wall confit duck, Parmesan and rocket penne.

I’m thinking to myself this is something I’ve seen before. Amongst the throng of boring same same cafe restaurants in Newcastle I am crying out for something fresh.

The name of the cafe Cirque promises me something new. I am here for the food and the food only. The minimalist look sets the atmosphere for the bustling conversations of entrepreneurs, lawyers and rich house wives. The prices of food are quite realistic and reasonable for what has been offered.

This is the third day I have visited Cirque. Let me say I only ordered a coffee just once the first day I visited, a cappuccino and it was burnt. That being said I do not know whether to blame the barista or the tools the barista has been given. I suspect that the coffee machine itself is overheating the coffee while its inside the machine or the waitress is pressing down the coffee with too much pressure and the water isn’t fully soaking through in time. So ok I wasn’t incredibly impressed with the coffee however the service provided was very good.

Coffee in Newcastle at any cafe is usually burnt and it is rare to find a good barista. Something that is so lacking and is undeniably ignored upon the cafe restaurant scene in Newcastle nowadays.

Cirque does offer a list of other non caffeinated drinks such as detoxifying juices and iced chocolates which are a better representation of Cirque.

The food at Cirque is flavoursome and fresh. The first day I ate at Cirque I had the eggs Benedict on salmon with hollandaise. The appearance was simple piled with extra hollandaise spilling down the sides. Kind of boring. The flavour was as expected an explosion of hollandaise sauce, poached egg and salmon.

IMG_4863

The linguini meatballs were ablaze with colour and had a strong Italian aroma. Very wisely littered with fresh herb flavours and meatballs that were just the right size for a mouthful. I was very impressed with the share of shaved parmesan embellishing the dish.

IMG_4862I

On the second day I had a Wagyu beef burger with a side of hand cut potato chips. The Wagyu beef patty was just like mum makes although with a good quality Wagyu mince. A delicious combination of herbs mince and onion . The spicy beetroot jam beneath the patty and combination of lettuce, tomato and toasted bun with aioli had just the right flavours to make the burger melt in your mouth. My only complaint was the height of the burger was hard to manage grabbing and fitting a full mouth full in and the burger had to almost be deconstructed to be eaten which I didn’t mind as it tasted so good. The chips were equally as tasty. I’m quite sure the aioli is also made in house with a few secret flavours that make it amazing.

IMG_4865

Today I had a simple bowl of fresh fruit and yoghurt that had been presented perfectly with a side of honey.

IMG_4869

The beetroot and goats cheese tort appeared hidden in a sea of loose leaf salad leaving me to think we are playing hide and go seek which I thought was quite playful and enjoyed. The shaved Parmesan on top seemed a little too similar to the linguini although a fitting match for the rocket salad.

IMG_4867


Addicted to Vinyl cafe great toasties and even better coffee


Located a short walk from King and hunter street in the Central Business District Newcastle, Australia is the cafe Vinyl.

Stepping into Vinyl is like transcendence of the ages. Music playing varies from New York New York to other hit tunes of the ages. Surrounded by Walls of vinyl records an old piano, suitcases, record players. Posters of the Beatles, Lennon and Bob Marley. You can not help but feel at home or inspired. Vinyl is just the atmosphere to de-stress and relax away from the corporate world.

Let’s not stop there. Food is a mix of simple yet tasty gourmet sandwiches, melts (toasties) and wraps perfect for lunch time. Enough food that you are full but you are not over eating. So very healthy for a mid day luncheon with a close friend or important meeting.

The baristas are well trained and own the business. So coffee is very important and made amazingly. Unlike the majority of cafes in Newcastle the coffee is never burnt and milk is always fresh and creamy. Made traditional style with a shake of chocolate powder.

Why not relive your childhood memories with a cold very thick thickshake, my favourite being the strawberry thickshake. Yum!

I would say that their prices are on par with other local cafes but the atmosphere and music makes it better.

Overall this would have to be my favourite cafe in the Newcastle Cbd to relax away my lunch times.

Modelling in shoot is good friend and designer Samantha Louise South

IMG_4371

IMG_4405

IMG_4370

IMG_4368

IMG_4400

IMG_4402

IMG_4403


Chanel gets naughty for fifty shades of Grey


In the futuristic approach of Chanel we have found the fabulous Rouge Allure lipstick range. The tint of choice is Passion 104 in its well protected metal casing. You simply press the end and it pops out of its lock and push it back in to protect it from unwanted damage. No man or woman could possibly walk past a woman wearing passion without having raunchy thoughts of fifty shades of grey and it has the kind of come hither appeal. Red. A non shiny more matt than tacky red. The reddest red that draws out the imagination reminding you of those kinky nights of your youth in bed with interesting men and drinking mohitos on yachts in the Mediterranean. Whether those luxurious nights were more fact or fiction this raunchy passion is coming in hot and heavy throughout 2015 winter and summer.

IMG_4380-6


Ethical design. How do you think you can get away with being unethical?


While others are outsourcing to other countries in poorly paid factories with poor lighting and poor facilities.

Mothers are sewing in these factories and have children who are going without and workers are being paid the wrong pay so you can wear your cheap and nasty looking clothing.

Not only this the poor worker is working in filth while sweat is pouring off them because they are working so hard that the term sweat shop actually is relatable. Their arms and wrists are aching because every day they sew the same thing all day long making the same movement. Later on in life they will be riddled with arthritis and their backs will be bent from bending over a poorly lit sewing machine.

There are those of us that just don’t want to be unethical. We can see the damage it has caused to countries and the affect fast fashion has on land fill. The worst and most heart breaking affect is on the people who by their circumstances are subjected to unethical design.

We live in such a throw away society. Every time we buy something that is throw away. Something that’s cheap and in fashion that will be out of fashion next week we are contributing to this problem.

It’s not just the designer but it is also the consumer at fault here.

Meanwhile in Australia. Piece workers are doing a similar thing to compete with a market that is just so hard to compete with just so they can make a name for themselves and beat fast fashion. You see in Australia the minimum pay for piece work is $40 an hour. That being said so many designers are unwilling to pay this price because they can get it cheaper overseas. It’s a sad industry when you have to be underpaid in your own country to compete with your overseas competition. I personally have sewn piecework for labels and one in particular from Newcastle Australia who wanted to pay just $10 per garment. The garment would take me an hour to make. I could not believe the hide of this woman. So bloody cheap. Unbelievably cheap. While she gets $40 for a pair of shorts expecting me to sit there and sew all night for $10 per pair. Not only that she would be calling me to have them done overnight when I had not even had a chance to sew them. As a dressmaker and daughter of a dress maker I was quite offended by this. That’s why I felt I should speak out because she the designer who does not even design her own clothes is still doing the same thing paying pittance to other piece workers so she can get $300 for a dress. it’s disgusting. She doesn’t even make her own patterns or make any decisions in the design process. Now I hear she’s outsourcing her pattern making for $5 a patten somewhere is Russia. For someone who outwardly claims to be ethical I am so ashamed of this woman saying she is a designer and pretending to be while she profits off her unknowing customers. She just profits off actual designers and dressmakers who want so badly to use their craft that they are willing to sew for almost nothing.

My personal experience during this process was that I would be doing all nighters until 5am in the morning sewing and while the sweat was pouring off me I could not help but relate to my overseas counterparts. Who could not choose to give up their careers as piece workers.

So as you can see even if you think the company is ethical it sometimes is not. You really need to investigate to find out before you buy.


Wedding dress 101 Why you can’t have your dress taken in too tight


You just can’t have your dress too tight and I will go into this in gory detail.

Firstly the wedding dress you wear is the most important part of your wedding. If your dress is too tight you suddenly develop roles of fat which are pouring out from your underarms or the back. The waist looks like the fabric has stretched because it’s been taken in too much.

Ok so there are some ways around this and you should ask your dressmaker or designer what you can do if you need the dress to be so tight your waist looks like your wearing a corset.

But let me repeat myself there is nothing worse than a cheap looking wedding dress that has popped.

Your a size bigger than your sister or your girlfriend and you just wanted to look smaller. We all know what it’s like but please for your own sake and the sake of your wedding do not make your dress so tight you need to squeeze into it.

There is nothing worse at a wedding than the brides dress popping. It’s absolutely horrifying and the stuff of nightmares. I’ve actually seen this with my own eyes and it definitely wasn’t a dress that I made. Invisible zippers are known for popping on girls who are wearing dresses that are too tight. When I saw this happen it became a drama for half the night and the bride ended up being so rude to her sister even I was disgusted. Horrified even after bridezilla reared her ugly head. Poor uninformed size 22. I felt very sorry for her while her bridesmaids attempted to use giant safety pins to pin her together. Omg! What a scary terrible wedding. I was just a young waitress at the time but I really felt sorry for the girl. She just wanted to look smaller and it ruined her wedding.

Imagine your walking around casually and then your dress pops.

There is no going back. Once your dress has popped your wedding goes down hill. You have to change into your honey moon clothes if you have them with you. Brides worst nightmare walking around casually in her Bahama thongs, casual jeans and tshirt she wears on weekends while her size 8 bridesmaids are swanning around in gorgeous little cocktail dresses.

At least pack some back up clothes please and not the variety you find in supre or just jeans.


%d bloggers like this: