McIver’s Ladies Baths


Having just returned from the South Coast for a Hen’s Day for one of my best friends it seems a good a time as ever to commit to writing the Number One Beach of the 2017 12 Beaches of Christmas campaign.

Introducing McIver’s Ladies Baths, Coogee.

Ladies only ( and children)

Because as Beyonce so eloquently puts its ‘ Who run’s the World? GIRLS’

Our own private ocean bath.

Just because.

As my Hen’s retreat reminded me – it is ‘ my girls’ who shape my world. We have stood by each other through the good, the bad, the ugly. We don’t always agree, we challenge, we support, most importantly we inspire.

And McIver’s Ladies Baths, Coogee celebrates this in salt water form.

Having lived in Sydney for some 14 years and counting it is a crime against womankind not to have swum there before last weekend. So on the second hottest day on record in the city, I decided to right this wrong.

It was a pure oceanic delight.

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I hope ‘ My Girls’ will join me at McIver’s Ladies Baths in the Christmas campaigns to come. Leave behind the magnificent men in their lives and join me for an salt water swim that celebrates the female form.

Beyonce ( and myself) make this request of you.

Right here, right now.

Happy Summer 2017 – 2018 fellow readers….till we meet again on sand and shore xx



Newcastle Ocean Baths

Over the Christmas – New Year period, when visiting friends who I had not seen in forever, as I entered the family home, I was greeted to a recital :

‘ The Bogey Hole, Bilgola Beach, Merewether Beach’

‘ Stop’ I uttered , my face going red.

But on and on it went…..

‘ Bar Beach, Newcastle, Bronte Beach Revisited’ , my face turning a deeper shade of crimson as the roll of call of the 12 Beaches of Christmas 2017 continued.

‘ I can’t believe you read my blog, I am so embarrassed’

‘ I love your writing, you’re a wordsmith’ my friends husband offered.

And so I dedicate this post to you, Catch up with a Mate Fan.

Newcastle Ocean Baths with its stunning Art Deco pavilion.

Newcastle Ocean Baths

Newcastle Ocean Baths

I’m keeping this post simple, admit that since the admission of a readership of at least one person, words escape me.

Newcastle Ocean Baths, a 2.5 hour car journey North of Sydney or a 3 hours on the train ride. Highly recommended. A journey that will instill a love of coastal living for any inner city resident. Newcastle awash with swimming options, as my fan of one would recite…..’ The Bogey Hole, Merewether Ocean Baths, Bar Beach’

Newcastle Ocean Baths

Newcastle Ocean Baths


Little Manly Beach

It was a pinch yourself is this real moment!!

A visit to ‘ Little Manly’ beach, a summer lunchtime spread, ocean side from an apartment that truly had water views. Coming back to the inner city late last night, I found myself glancing out my window, longing for THAT view….

Little Manly Beach View

The day had it all… guests, cousins, kids and new friendly faces.

Food glorious food, wine, champagne, cheese and pavlova.

Ocean swimming at its best, there are not many people who can say that from their back yard they can jump into the sea….

It was a pinch yourself is this real moment!!

From the apartment backyard, we noted the beach was awash with people, sun-baking, swimming, snorkelling.

But we did not have to contend with the crowds….we submerged ourselves into the delight that is Little Manly Beach by jumping off the backyard wall, or navigating the rock platform to the waters edge.

I had never head of Little Manly till yesterday. It is secret. Locals like it that way.

Those in the know, are truly in the know.

And when the ice- cream boat, that I first encountered on a trip to La Perouse ( 12 Beaches of Christmas Campaign 2014) I almost hyperventilated.

It confirmed what I already knew – this was indeed the most wondrous of days.

Little Manly Beach, the Ice Cream boat, international guests, cousins, kids and new friendly faces. Food Glorious food, wine, champagne, cheese and pavlova.

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It was a pinch yourself is this real moment!!

I’ve the marks on my arm as evidence to attest it was indeed very very real.

Bills, Bills, Bills

Today marks an important cafe milestone.

I completed the Bills Restaurant Sydney Trifecta : Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Bondi Beach.

Once a month for 3 consecutive months – November, December and January.

Same meal each time : Ricotta Hot Cakes with Honey Comb Butter.

Same company on each visit peppered with ever-changing conversation.

How lucky am I?

Ricotta Hot Cakes with Honey Comb Butter

Ricotta Hot Cakes with Honey Comb Butter


Sure, I’ve eaten at Bills many times since moving from Wollongong to the ‘ Big Smoke’ in 2004. But never the Trifecta in such short span of time!! Same company, same meal.

The stuff of dreams!! Iconically Sydney.

I’ve always loved the food, the coffee, the home away from home atmosphere, the down to earth service and the sense of familiarity that accompanies each visit.

The cafe menu scarcely changing since I started visiting some 14 years ago.

And in a city of constant change, hustle, bustle, endless food and beverage fads ( Cronut anyone?? ), Bills and the Ricotta HotCakes with Honeycomb Butter remain a constant.

Heavenly. Iconically Sydney.

Boldly declaring at todays sitting ‘ No more Hot Cakes in 2018’, my dining buddy kindly reminded me it is but the 3rd day of the New Year.

With 11 long months to go, I’ve got time for yet another serve ( or three )of Ricotta Hot Cakes with Honey Comb butter.




Claireville Beach

A hidden gem – One of the many that make up Sydney’s Northern Beaches.  Lesser known  than show stoppers Avalon, Palm and Whale Beach. But once on your radar, it will remain a firm summer favourite. And for good reason….

IMG_3854I arrived there at dusk, the sun was fading and the crowds had dissipated.


And whilst I did not swim, I soaked up the scenery, let is wash over me. I watched the sun go down and I marvelled at the natural beauty surrounding me.

The salty sea air, a few deep purifying breathes and I turned towards the car park, heading back for a meal at a friends Northern Beaches Weekender.

This visit took place in April 2017. It was my first visit to Claireville Beach.

These photo memories sustained me through a long cold Sydney Winter and a mild Spring.

Summer is now in full force…..and Claireville Beach is waiting for you!!


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