Tag Archives: Places to visit

Mamma Mia! Here we go again…

“Who doesn’t want a world where everyone bursts into song and dance?!”

What goes well with a rainy and cold day?! Warm socks, comfie pullover, turmeric tea, music and hair in a bun! That’s my comforting routine when it is cold outside and all I want to do is either writing, drawing, reading or watching TV and no that does not make me a nerdy!!! So for those who are in the mood for a “lift me up” movie session, may I suggest something a bit different like a musical ūüôā

I just love musicals! Probably because it combines 2 arts I really enjoy: Music and Dance to tell a story in an emotional way!

I saw a few on TV: West Side Story, Grease, My Fair Lady… but of course it is not the same as seeing a real performance on stage with the orchestra, the dancers, the crowd, the magic in the air! So it all really started a year before I moved to Australia. At that time, I was living in London. I would not compare London to Broadway but when it comes to musicals, I must say this is the place to be, at least in Europe! So I had the luck and pleasure to see on stage: The phantom of the opera, Les mis√©rables and Mamma Mia and I absolutely adored each genres and that’s how it all started!

Dressed like my mum when she was a hippie dancing on Abba’s songs

I must confess I have a sweet spot for Mamma Mia, probably because somehow it makes me think of my mother’s youth: the music (Abba group), the clothes (flares jeans, high boots, belly out and colourful tops) and the hippie style. So I could not resist going to the movies and watch the film ! What I liked about it: ¬†It‚Äôs the story of a passionate, strong and independent young woman who after graduating, starts to travel first to Paris and then follows her heart¬†and her desires freely despite the obstacles, and successfully realises her life plan in Greece! It is a story about different sorts of love ‚̧ , friendship, starting over and discovering your true self. ¬†It ¬†is ¬†a ¬†recurrent theme ¬†that ¬†many ¬†foreigners ¬†can ¬†relate ¬†to ¬†when ¬†starting ¬†a ¬†new ¬†life ¬†abroad!

On the jetty at Semaphore beach when we went crabbing: definitely something very new for all of us!!!

One ¬†of ¬†my ¬†favorite ¬†moment and song in the movie is ¬†“I ¬†have ¬†a ¬†dream” when she finds this old house in Greece and she can see the potential it holds and decides to purchase it and renovate it to transform it successfuly in a hotel. I like those moments in life when you feel passionate about a project of yours and nothing can stop you, you have a vision, you know it has the potential to work, you just go with your heart and you put all your efforts into it, when you know you know!

In love with this picture from Greece I found in a Op shop shortly after I watched Mamma Mia ūüôā

I also like the fact that this musical takes place in Greece, I have never been in this country but it is definitely on my list. I m particularly keen on the¬†Greek islands and their glorious beauty of deep blue waters and white and blue houses. I want to get lost into the beauty of Santorini ant its whitewashed houses perched on the cliff of the volcano. I want to wander around and visit its historical sites, gazing at Athen’s necropolis and its stunning landscapes and architecture. And as the enthusisatic foodie I am, I want to taste a flavorful Moussaka (eggplant, minced lamb, tomatoes and B√©chamel), enjoy a Greek salad with some delicious feta and some¬†scrumptious skewered meat served in a pita bread with tzatziki: that is exactly what I intend to do!

In the meantime, if I can’t go to Greece, Greece will come to me… luckily I know a nice Greek caf√© in Adelaide with withe walls and a blue door, just like in Mamma Mia, and maybe my next blog mission will be to find a Greek restaurant as well, because on a cold and rainy day, a delicious Moussaka would be the perfect comforting Autumn dish ūüėČ

Fringe don’t go!

‚ÄúI like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.‚ÄĚ

Love those Fringe magical nights…

Sometimes you wish you could stop the time so you can enjoy a little bit more : The Fringe festival is one of my favourite moment of the year! There are so many things to do and see and not enough time to do it all, it feels like I have not slept in a month but it was all worth it! Adelaide is so vibrant, so lively and on top of that I have a sweet spot for outdoor events especially with this beautiful weather !

This party at sunset was pretty magic, almost unreal ‚̧ We danced until the sun disappeared behind the horizon.

Did you know that¬†Adelaide Fringe¬†is the world’s second-largest annual ¬†arts festival?!¬†For 31 days and nights during February and March, it features more than 5,000 artists from around Australia and the world. Over 1100 events are staged in pop-up venues in parks, warehouses, lane ways, theatres, hotels, bars, pubs, art galleries and cafes. Aren’t we lucky to have it all here?! ¬†There is a little bit for every tastes from comedy, to circus, cabaret, musical, drama etc….name it, the Fringe has it all, just pick and go with the flow! And if you are pretty smart about it, you can enjoy many shows for half price and maybe even for free if you have some good connections ūüėČ

That’s what is called a “forced” smile… I was a bit scared but at the end I enjoyed it ūüėČ

I personally declare that this year was the best ūüėÄ Maybe because I really embraced it… I would not say I went everyday but almost. There were actually really good shows to enjoy and so many beautiful nights to just hang out with friends, chatting in the park, trying all sorts of foods and cocktails. And this year, I even ventured myself in one of those crazy fun fairs games, you know the scary ones where people scream like crazy !¬†I particularly enjoyed the stand up comedies and I saw a few ones like “The walk of Shame” (pretty hilarious with a bunch of girlfriends so we could relate to some of the girls stories), “The fourth floor” (I was with my mexican friends there and there were some reference to Mexico during the show so that made the whole experience pretty memorable), “Confessions of an aerobic instructor” (I went there with a colleague of mine and it was funny since our job is related to the fitness industry), “Anastasia” (it is a musical and the artist writes her own songs/music and it’s reallyyyyy good), “Ebony” (African circus). Something I really encourage you to try next year is to go to the Fringe with no plans and end up in one of those 6 dollars shows that last like 30 minutes, they are good fun and I like the idea of the spontaneous last minute “let’s try this show”, they are good fun too!

Some hilights this year during the Fringe were, for me (in chronological order):

Massaoke…. I know I know, to quote a friend, to really enjoy it you have to be wasted, cuz it s like a gigantic karaoke where everybody is drunk singing and dancing basically. I only had a few drinks¬†but I promise I enjoyed it a LOT. Music was good and it was exactly what I needed to start the Fringe season. Actually I think it was the first Saturday night ¬†of the Fringe and I came back home at like 2am after sharing a gigantic pizza with my girlfriends… late food cravings moments are my fav and the perfect way to end a fun night ! I like the idea that I can have access to food at anytime of the day!

Red Hot Chili peppers concert as part of the Clipsal, pretty awesome! It was in the park and it was of of those magical summer nights. We sang, we danced and it was like the time had stopped and we were just free and wild kids. ‚ÄúCalifornication‚ÄĚ was the biggest sing-along of the night, and it was incredible to hear ten‚Äôs of thousands of voices singing out into the warm Adelaide evening. But my favourite moment and song was “Give it away” and I was happily, crazily dancing, jumping on this one, ¬†I definitely gave it all ‚̧

St Patrick’s day which marked the very last day of the Fringe. My friends took me to a quite charming street party with a live band and good vibes all around with people all dressed in green and happily drinking beers. I met a really nice French couple there and we chatted and had some cocktails while sharing our experience about life in Australia as foreigners. Funnily all my friends left around 8pm because it was on a Sunday (and there is work on Monday) but again it was such a beautiful night that after a few seconds of hesitation (should I stay or should I go) I ended up staying by myself until 11pm!!! Actually I had a really good time, the band was pretty good and for the last part of the night they invited people on the stage to sing and they would perform whatever we wanted to hear. ¬†I met some really nice and fun people : my point being that, even if it feels comfortable to hang out with your usual crowd, sometimes it can be also good fun to step out your comfort zone, drop the shy attitude and mix with new people!

And now what’s next? Well…. once the Fringe and MAD MARCH is over,

it is said that Adelaide becomes quite dull and boring because the weather gets colder and there is not much to do. I guess it depends on how you keep yourself busy. ¬†For me cold weather means maybe more cooking, more writing, more reading and more time spent in caf√©s doing the latter… but it also means that far far away in another part of the world, in a country who’s got my heart ‚̧ , it is spring time and soon summer to be and with it the sweet promise and hope that I’ll be enjoying it too ūüėČ

“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes it own magic!”

Bikeway To Hell

Sometimes I have crazy ideas and luckily for me I have always awesome¬†friends to follow me in my euphoric projects. So it is no surprise that when I decided to go to Henley Beach by bike to celebrate my birthday, my friend Nasim (from Iran) was part of it! For those who have been following me and paying attention, last year, for my birthday I got a beautiful green bike that became my fav.¬†transportation mode to go to work, school, activities, market etc… So it makes sense that this year I wanted to take it to the next level and go on a bike trip from Adelaide¬†CBD to ¬†the beautiful Henley beach.

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Adelaide’s parks are full of surprises. Look at this party setting with permanent balloons floating all around! Happy birthday to me I guess!

The river Torrens Linear trail is known to be pretty easy, flat and scenic. Imagine yourself biking along the river, in the parks, with the beautiful and majestic trees swaying in the breeze, the enchanting colourful birds singing along the way (have you ever heard a Cockatoo?! not very melodious lol) and the nature surrounding you like a comforting cup of tea on a Sunday morning. I really believe, this is worth giving it a try and we are so lucky to have many bike trails here in Adelaide. It is a good way to discover a city and its surroundings. Besides it is very easy to rent a City Bike in Adelaide for free, so no excuse!

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Nasim, in a very sporty attitude, ready to hit the road, no stop signs, no limit, nobody to slow her down on her bikeway to hell ūüėČ

Nasim and I met first at San Churro for breakfast. I guess we both ¬†needed a good dose of sugar to boost our bodies before hitting the road. At the beginning, everything was really nice and we really enjoyed it. Nasim was even considering buying a new bike to do that more often. I mean it is an healthy and fun way to exercice. We stopped many times to take funny pictures, to gaze at the landscapes, to relax… But what I did not consider is that even if this trail is said to be easy, it is quite long and you need at least a bit of practice. So basically I think it took us about 3 hours (maybe more) from the CBD to reach Henley Beach. When we arrived there, I think Nasim was about to collapse.

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I think at this stage, Nasim had enough… this pic was taken sometimes between her collapsing and then having lunch.

We rested a bit, walked on the beach (well deserved), took some more pictures and ended up in a restaurant with a view on the seaside. It was good to relax and chat about this little adventure. Despite the fact that we were both exhausted, there is no doubt that this bike trail is wonderful and the feeling you have when you arrive closed to the beach: awesome! All these little houses facing the beach, the white sand, the blue sky, this is the dream picture ‚̧

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Adelaide and its surroundings are so beautiful. Sometimes I can’t believe I live here!

As we started to make our way back, it appeared that Nasim had no more juice. Her body hurt, she was not feeling well and soon riding her bike became a nightmare. We tried many things, we switched¬†our bikes, I encouraged her… but when the body shuts down, there is nothing that can be really done. And sadly for Nasim, this was over. I was getting a bit worried because it was in the late afternoon and the sun was slowly vanishing on the horizon and I started to worry picturing us, walking in ¬†the dark woods next to our bikes, the gloomy shadows of the trees, the scary sounds ¬†of the nocturnal birds and the silence of the night surrounding us¬†like a dark trap. BOO!

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The power of the mind is funny sometimes, what was magic a few hours before became suddenly scary. I started to feel bad because this was my whole idea, what on earth was wrong with me, we are talking about maybe 23 km and it is not like that we are used to ride our bikes that much. Nasim suddenly quit cold turkey and called her husband to pick her up in the middle of nowhere. There was not enough room in the car for 2 bikes and I felt I had enough energy to go on and reach my home before the night comes. So it was me all alone against the clock haha!

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Last smile before scratching my belly on the tree (natural scrubbing… yes you bet!)

As I was riding back to the CBD, I could not help feeling grateful to Nasim for joining me in this crazy but funny bike trip. I felt really happy about the whole day. All in all it was one of the best birthday activities I have ever had ūüôā I liked it despite of its unexpected events: ¬†Nasim thought at some point she had broken her bike, a lady advised us to be careful with the Magpie attacks, a guy asked me for the time and I thought he wanted to steal my bag, I scratched my belly climbing in a tree for a scenic picture… and all those km that obviously we were not trained enough for.

It is all those little moments that make also good memories and you know what now looking back at it, Nasim and I really enjoyed this beautiful day together because we laughed, we had fun and we experienced with delight¬†our¬†very own bikeway to hell. Life does not have to be perfect to be fun,¬†it is its imperfections that make us smile and stick to our minds forever… Life goes beyond the beautiful pictures and selfies that we post daily on social medias… it is living the present moment, experiencing feelings, the good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, the laugh and the tears. It may not be always perfect but it is the REAL deal and it is up to you to make it count! I am sure if we had to do it all again, Nasim would jump on her bike in a matter of second to join me ūüėČ

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect” ‚̧

I see your true colours Carrick Hill

Winter in Australia is very different than winter in France. I really enjoy walking in the parks and I am always surprised to see so many lively colours during this “cold” season. In Europe, we say that during winter nature needs its beauty sleep before going to the spring ball¬†but it seems than in Australia the whole year is a never ending¬†party with an explosion of green, yellow and red!

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Come on, it is winter time in South Australia!

In Australia, winter starts on 21 June and I can’t recommend you enough to pay a visit to Carrick Hill to celebrate it! The park and gardens are so beautiful with a large diversity of trees and flowers. The view is fantastic and it is so poetic to walk in this romantic atmosphere¬†surrounded by the sweet music of the Aussie birds. Australian birds look so exotic to me: some are white with a yellow head, some are green and red and one is black and white but produces the most amazing sound I have ever heard!

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Typical South Australian Red hot poker: so colourful flowers

 

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Jessica and myself lying on the grass at Carrick Hill gardens

I spent a wonderful day end of June at Carrick Hill with my two lovely friends: Nasim (from Iran) and Jessica (from Mexico). We sat on the grass during hours enjoying the view, chatting, dreaming about our future, making plans… We took many pictures also and there is even a video of me dancing under an arch of trees (crazy girl). We also enjoyed an afternoon tea outdoor, we like to do that sometimes! Generally we order 3 different cakes and then share and then discuss about the flavours, texture and colours and decide which one deserve the 1st rank in our heart!

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Nasim and myself under the arch of trees

There is also a beautiful mansion to visit and interesting stories to hear about. I highly recommend to take part to the guided tour (if you are lucky, Naomi will show you around, she is an absolutely charming tour guide). It was the previous home of an eccentric couple: Sir Edward and Lady Ursula Hayward! They were important art collectors and have decorated their home with pieces from all other the world (but mostly from UK and France). They were famous for their eccentric lifestyle and used to host big parties with controversial artists, good food, wine, music, amazing conversations and dancing! Their home was always filled with laughter but above all with love because they were soul mates sharing the same passion for life and art! A true romantic love story ‚̧

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Carrick Hill

46 Carrick Hill Drive

Springfield SA 5062

Ph: (08) 8433 1700

ADMISSION PRICES:

$12.00 Adults
$8.00 Concession
$28.00 Family
(Free Admission to Gardens & Grounds except for Special Events)

Enchanted Nantu Wama

I really enjoy walking in the parks around Adelaide: there is always something nice to discover! A couple of days ago as I was walking in the North Adelaide Nantu Wama park, I suddenly noticed a hut made of wood. I could not resist getting closer and visit this secret little place! I am always fascinated by children imagination and creativity. It was nicely built and there was a whole little world inside: a door, a window, a bench and even a pot with “food”!

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The magic cauldron

I must say it was a pleasant surprise and¬†it reminded me of this artist I am crazy about at the moment. Her name is Johanna Basford and she became in a short time very popular with her colouring books for adults! You have probably heard about “Secret Garden” or “Enchanted Forest”… or maybe not?! Well they have been sold out in NO time and it is very difficult to find them in stores especially abroad (the artist is based in UK).

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Johanna Basford’s hut from “Secret Garden”

I must confess¬†I have never heard about this artist¬†when I was living in London! Actually I had to come here to¬†Australia to discover her amazing work! One day, my Spanish teacher, Ana (from Colombia) offered me a postcard with a beautiful garden scene drawn by Johanna Basford and I really felt in love with the design! I like the poesy she puts in her drawings and all the tiny details that make all the difference. It makes me dream and I wish I could create a little universe full of wonderful creatures and splendid landscapes ūüėČ

So have a look at Johanna Basford’s lovely books and maybe next time you are walking in your garden or in the forest, you will start to see the world differently! A simple hut made of wood would become a secret and poetic hideaway in the trees ‚̧

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Nantu Wama park’s secret hut!

 

A generous arts and antiques buff!

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home” – Twyla Tharp

What if I told you that I know a place here in North Adelaide to travel the world, escape the routine and embrace history, would you believe me?!

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The Pratts called this type of pottery their “Etruscan” ware.

The David Roche Foundation is an impressive arts collection gallery featuring two centuries of European designs. His founder, David Roche, was passionate about antiques and fine arts. He devoted his whole life traveling the world and acquiring¬†unique objects. When it came to arts he¬†had absolutely no limits and he adored everything: furnitures, paintings, sculptures, porcelains… His home was filled with treasures from the past to be cherished and kept secret! But David Roche had a¬†dream: he wanted¬†¬†to leave a legacy to Australian people! His foundation is his last gift so visitors can enjoy his legendary collection and learn more about history through unique and original pieces.

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Patinated bronze statue of the Madonna: Mother of Mercy

I really recommend to visit this art gallery. It is fascinating to gaze at all these original¬†objects and hear about their origins. It is like traveling to the past: it is a beautiful journey from the early rococo of France to Faberge in Russia. Furthermore David Roche is quite an intriguing character and it is interesting to hear about his life.¬†The gallery is run by an amazing Lady called Ann, she is absolutely fabulous and I could honestly listen to her for hours presenting each item of the collection: so fascinating! Besides she speaks English beautifully (crystal clear)¬†so for foreigners like me, it is a really good practice!¬†¬†In my opinion, she speaks the “Queen’s English” and it is absolutely divine! I think she really adds something to the whole experience!

As for me, thanks to Ann explanations, my favourite piece was actually¬†a Napoleon¬†dessert service depicting views of Paris. It was made with delicate and finest porcelain and it looked really precious. The emperor offered this set to his beloved sister Pauline! And if you paid a closer look to the dessert plates, you could see on one of them the “Jardin des plantes” and 2¬†kangaroos¬†as part of this beautiful scenery! Actually the French¬†emperor¬†was fascinated by Australia: in the 1800s it was considered as the most exotic, exiting and unexplored place of the world! No wonder that at that ¬†time an expedition was¬†orchestrated¬†by Napoleon himself! He appointed the French explorer Nicolas Baudin and instructed¬†him to bring back to France typical Australian plants and animals! It is nearly a miracle that the kangaroos survived the 6 months journey on the ship (when I can hardly cope with the 21 hours trip by plane from Adelaide to Paris) and could be seen in the famous Parisian botanical garden. So as you can easily imagine I really enjoyed gazing at this beautiful Napoleon dessert service, it is more than an object, it is all the (hi)story it represent and what Australia means to France and French people ‚̧

IMG_1191So next time, you happen to visit the fancy Melbourne street on North Adelaide, pop by the lovely¬†cafe E for Ethel for a nice lunch or a latte and then head to The David Roche foundation and don’t ¬†leave the gallery before having found a favourite piece to remember so you can tell me all about it in the comment section ūüėČ I’m really looking forward to hear from you!

VIEWING GALLERY

237 Melbourne Street
North Adelaide SA 5006

(08) 8267 1755
 
Entry by donation of $2 per person
Tuesday to Thursday: 10am to 3pm –¬†Friday to Monday: Closed
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Here are some informations about the antiques presented on the different article pictures:
The pair of moulded and carved terra cotta figures are allegories of Spring (with the posy of flowers) ¬†and Summer (with the buch of grapes) and are in the style of¬†Charles Percier (1764-1838) and Pierre-Fran√ßois-L√©onard Fontaine (1762-1853). They are from France, early 20th century.The silvered and parcel-gilt electrotyped copper wall plaques are referred to as “Chargers” and were made by Elkington & Co. in England in 1869, from French designs.One is ¬†“January-June” signs of the zodiac, the other is ¬†“July- December” and each has a different season portrayed in the centre.
 
The black and white earthenware Pot-pourri Vase is by Pratt & Co. of Fenton, England and was made circa 1880.¬†It is in perfect condition, and is in three sections with a domed lid, an inner lid pierced with holes and a base with two handles attached from the shoulders to the rim, decorated in black over white with painted and transfer printed classical pattern borders and figural designs and gilding.¬†The Pratts called this type of pottery their “Etruscan” ware.
 
The patinated bronze statue of the Madonna is by British sculptor, Nic Fiddian-Green who was born in 1963. ¬†¬†It is titled ‘Mother of Mercy’ and was produced in England circa 1999.¬†This sculpture was created for the new millennium as an edition of only three – the first is in the Vatican in Rome. On completion of the third and final cast, all moulds are to be destroyed by the artist.

Hot cocoa, boots, jeans and pink cheeks

“Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower” – Albert Camus

¬†This is my first Autumn in Australia and also my very first Autumn in March when my family in France is embracing spring time ūüėČ The weather has changed in Adelaide and it is getting chilly. ¬†I am glad I have a fireplace in my living room: it is so cosy!¬†I love to hear the crackling sound and the smell of the wood burning. I enjoy gazing at the joyful flames dancing on the logs, warming slowly the atmosphere. What a lovely setting to curl up comfortably on the sofa¬†under a wool blanket with your favorite book!

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Curling up in front of the fireplace

It is also the perfect time of the year to enjoy nice walks in the crispy air. Put your boots and your jeans on and have a peek at all these wonderful colours where the trees enter an enchanting parade. Don’t you think the gold, brown and red leaves are just beautiful?¬†Adelaide Hills is the place to contemplate this magical scenery… if you have the chance like me to go to Stirling, your breath will be literally taken away. This charming village only 20 minutes away from Adelaide CBD is a real gem!

Stirling village and its adorable restaurant in summer time!

It is full of cute houses, shops and gigantic trees celebrating gloriously autumn season at the moment. My Australian friend Ann took me there and it was absolutely delightful. The fresh air was so energizing, so pure… I liked the feeling on my cheeks! We enjoyed a hot beverage¬†in a fancy place called Red Cacao chocolatier¬†and I indulged myself with a cup of chili cocoa, one word: delicious! This is the perfect place for chocolate connoisseurs: they offer a wide range of exquisite high quality chockies (Aussie slang for chocolate, sorry guys I could not help it). Well this is the place to go¬†to spoil yourself!

I also do believe that it is very appropriate in this season to enjoy hot and comforting drinks! You can be creative at home like my friend Nasim (from Iran) and add fruits and Haigh’s chocolates on the side: all Adelaide flavours in a cup of tea!

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Nasim’s tea: a poetic celebration of Autumn’s colours!

Chocolates, nice walks, chatting with a good friend, reading and snuggling: this is definitely what I like about Autumn season ‚̧

Red Cacao chocolatier

Shop 3, 41 Mt Barker Rd

Stirling, Adelaide Hill

http://www.redcacao.com.au