Attitudes to Architecture: colonial to cutting edge

From colonial to cutting-edge, architecture in Australia has been an amalgam of foreign influence and response to environment since the earliest days. A capsule study for the journal ArtLife, provides an overview of that trajectory and offers an insight into how we are increasingly part of a world movement and yet determinedly Australian. See the full story here ArtLife architcture margaret barca 2017



Trentham… tiny town that’s right on trend

It’s tucked away, but the little town of Trentham has serious street cred. An award-winning French country-style restaurant, a ramshackle timber pub, design-savvy holiday stays, great bookstore, peppering of little cafes and a genuine community feel. They call this ‘cool country’, and that’s right in so many ways. See my story in the December/January edition of  Australian Traveller



The Insider’s Guide to Hawai’i

Remote beaches, primeval rainforest, waterfalls that drop hundreds of metres as they tumble and sparkle into the ocean, fluted canyons, sprawling cattle ranches, secret spring-fed pools where turtles graze and locals gather to ‘talk story’. And there’s the food! Hawai’i is so much more than Waikiki (and that’s pretty amazing). See the full story here

Hawai'i travel guide holiday

Insider’s Guide to Hawai’i


You have to love Palm Springs…

Palm Springs seems crazy  – it’s hot, it’s rimmed by surreal mountains, it’s speckled with lush golf courses and palm-lined driveways, it’s endlessly evocative of its movie-star studded past, its retro architecture, restaurants and cool cocktails. And the colours are amazing. You just have to love it.

And that’s even before you consider some of the most amazing places to rent and soak up the vibe. Check out this story in Luxury Travel magazine, California Dreaming – Palm SpringsPalm Springs Luxury Travelmagazine


High on Maui…

Hawaii’s famous Maui island is everything you’ve heard about and a bit more…
It’s not just beautiful beaches and crashing waves, swimming, surfing and mai tais.

There’s a food scene here that is Californian cool – fork to fork, as they say here  but even a tad more laid-back and then
there’s horse-riding, zip lining, biking and more. See Escape (Herald Sun) on line  for the full story.

Aloha! Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.30.29 PM

Mexican Revelation…

Mexico City –­ Distrito Federal, or D.F. as it’s known – is one of the world’s megacities, a sprawling metropolis with a richly layered history and a powerful sense of its own culture. Change is in its DNA though, so it shouldn’t really be a surprise that it’s not all mariachi bands and mezcal. But it is a surprise to find pockets of the city with a contemporary edge that snap well away from stereotypes. Design hotels in leafy inner-urban areas, international galleries, a culinary scene that owes as much to LA and New York as to myriad Mexican flavours, cool bars, and hipsters peddling past on hire bikes. Who would have thought?

Unless you’re here for an extended stay, the secret is to hone in on a few key areas.

Roma, La Condesa and Polanco are the colonias or neighbourhoods you might choose to start with, but don’t discount the historic centre, El Centro – even there you’ll find surprises.

For more about  Mexico City and its boutique hotels see International Traveller magazine May/June 2015 edition.MEXICO hip hoods, design hotels

La Valise in Roma Norte – how clever is this room, (in one of just 3 suites) where you can slide your bed onto the balcony for balmy Mexican nights.

La Valise, Roma Norte, mexico DF