Of sand and sea

My first resort relationship was in Bermuda, I was nine and it was the Christmas of 1975. A smashing year I might add, and my ears were full of 3XY hits, in particular Carlton by Skyhooks (still my fave and if you ever care to join me on the highway, I will blare it out for you). Another cracker, Bony Moronie, was also on high rotation. Now this was not the kind of relationship you might be thinking of – crikey I was only 9 – this love triangle consisted, obviously, of three parts.

  1. Bermuda was the furthest place I had ever been
  2. I saw my first avocado growing on a tree
  3. I fell in love with a grand hotel

Now that grand hotel was the Hamilton Princess and it was the most exotic thing I had ever seen. Room upon room, floor upon floor, a games room, restaurants, elevators and swimming pools galore. Oh my, was I smitten? Much to my delight, according to the brochure, they had another nine or so resorts just like it from Acapulco to Cancun, where ever that was. Clearly this was the life for me. Yet back then I wasn’t thinking about the lying around on a LI-LO kinda life, I was thinking how can I really live this life?

Great pics found on their website.

As my father’s desire to travel the world broadened – deeply steeped in the fact that he was an orphaned Ten Pound Pom who migrated to Australia with nothing but a thirst for life and a deadset mission to never spend a Christmas day alone eating a tin of sardines – his quest took him to Swaziland, Spain and to his beloved Fiji. We spent many a very happy family holiday there accompanying him on the golf course, hooning around in the buggy in between glass bottom boat trips and barefoot horseback riding on the beach, which is still my favourite pursuit in life. A reminder to listen to your inner child and play, ride or swim with abandon. At night we would sing along to Tiny Bubbles as we were serenaded by the staff.

Years later, as I paved the pavement of Smith Street in the 1990s, declaring I was chained to bluestone of Gowings Grace Darling, it was truly an incredible era, yet I did feel trapped at times. While my mates were all partying in our 20s, I was on deck with my brother Chris steering the old girl to success for eight great years, sometimes for up to 15 hours a day over December.

About three quarters into The Grace Years I went to Bali for my maiden voyage. After a foolishly long journey that took us via Darwin so as to use frequent flyer points, we woke up at the Kupu Kupu Barong in Ubud. As butterflies literally danced around us as we ate breakfast and tuberose scented every corner, I knew once again that this was the lifestyle for me.

Image source

As the 90s drew to a close and I recognised that wellbeing would become wellness and soar to the $4.2 trillion global industry it is today, I set about repositioning my hospitality bones into a body of wellness as you may have read, yet people thought I was a bit mad, ‘why would you switch from restaurants to nutrition’ and more incredulously, ‘what has nutrition got to do with food?’. I wanted to create a life in food without the hard slog of restaurant service, and I deeply desired to share my love of cooking and to deliver spa worthy cuisine worldwide. I set the intention and let it manifest.

In November this year Gowings Food Health Wealth will celebrate our 20th birthday. From the Maldives to Mexico, Berlin to Bundaberg, Sri Lanka to South Yarra, Canada to Cabarita, our unique spa and wellness destination programs have been hand crafted to service the niche in the global marketplace for a spa cuisine and wellness specialist in the booming arena of luxury lifestyle retreats, health spas and elegant beach resorts. So it’s with much joy that I share with you the most recent updates and forthcoming events.


Well Fed, Club Med

As you may be aware, I am here in Bali, just about to fly out in fact on that damn red eye. I have been here for two and half weeks teaching, training and systemising the new Wellness Gastronomy philosophy for Club Med Asia Pacific across a 10 Day Chef’s Seminar. It’s been a fantastic journey and throughout the year I will visit other Club Med Villages including the Maldives and southeast Asia to train and check on the progress of our work. I have met amazing chefs, made great news friends and I am proud to say that I was recruited and am the only filly on the field. Here’s our great gang below.

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Want a life like this?

So many people comment on my posts and blogs saying that they want my job, or ask ‘how can I do what you do?’ Well of course you can and if you do not already know, I offer a popular practitioner mentoring program for health professionals. This can be exclusive tailored to suit your needs and budget and you do not need to be a health professional, there’s a program for everyone, so please do not hesitate to get in touch




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