Existence

NOTES BY A PEACEFUL AESTHETE

Whenever I visit a city I try not to talk to much. The more you talk, the more you miss out on noticing things. Just things. I hear you ask: What kinds of things could possibly be more important than establishing verbal connections with other human beings around you? Mmmm, I don't know...Art? See, actually, I do know. It's Art.

I've come to appreciate that - in my opinion -  two of the best ways to have a truly soulful  encounter with any city is through its hotels and its art galleries. Both are havens of aesthetic stimulation; exuding something I can only identify as 'silent beauty'. I rather enjoy exploring a hotel without saying a single word to anyone; meandering through carpeted corridors, past numbered doors, eventually finding a plush armchair in some hidden corner into which I'll sink for a good hour. And I'll just sit and be present in the space. As I sit, I'll muse upon the colours, textures and sensations infiltrating my consciousness. If I were busy talking to someone, I probably would've missed the fact that the shade of grey on the walls leans more towards graphite than pewter. Right? Important stuff for the peaceful aesthete...

Same goes for art galleries. One of the first things I'll do in any city is seek out a handful of its galleries. Then I'll visit them alone, naturally. And I'll stroll through arched doorways, past gilded frames, over lacquered floors, feeling equal parts lost and enthralled in the maze of sensory stimulation. Inside the art gallery, inside the hotel, I'm not an object of the past. I'm not an object of the future. I'm just an object that is; complete in that very moment. 

My recent visit to (sunnybeauté) Sydney served up the sensory gratification in hand-bagfulls. With its tonally chic decor and abundance of luminous, airy spaces, Larmont Sydney is the ideal location for any design connoisseur to put their feet up after a spot of gallery-hopping. With the best vantage point in Potts Point, the Larmont is serene, unobtrusive, with the kind of clean, minimal design elements that soothe both the eye and the mind. I came to the conclusion rather swiftly that the Larmont's Signature Suite is genuinely a writer's paradise (well, anyone's paradise, really), with wall-to-wall windows and a sprawling lounge upon which you can sit for hours in complete silence, watching the sun glint off Sydney Harbour. Written productivity increases 10 fold. 

Should you decide to venture out, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is situated in ideal proximity. I walked there, and found that the gravitational pull of the heavenly building was so profound that I didn't even need a map to get there. My penchant for any manifestation of Classicism lead me into the gilded depths of the John Schaeffer Galleries; where you'll wander, and stop, and stare, glassy-eyed, into the strokes of a Modigliani or a Rubens (provided you're not too busy talking to someone). Even if you don't consider yourself much of an aesthete, I highly recommend visiting the Gallery, and simply sitting in the dappled light of the ornate entrance. Just sit and watch. Just notice things. The pillars. The marble. The urns spilling floral offerings. Art doesn't always need to be on a canvas. 

Evidently, although my time is Sydney was brief, my little hotel-gallery ritual was truly fulfilled. Gracious thanks to the delightful staff at Larmont Sydney for making my stay peaceful and utterly restorative. And to the Art Gallery of New South Wales; I shall return sooner than you think.

Images shot by Alexia Petsinis and Vienna Marie Fornolles  / Outfit: Jacket - Gucci, Pants - P.S. The Label

Discover more about Larmont Sydney HERE / See what's showing at the Art Gallery of New South Wales HERE

NOTES BY A COLLINS CAT

COLLINS CAT

(A short)

The letter C is my favourite alphabetical entity.

It possesses such  chic curvature, don't you think?

C for Cat (that's me). C for Cartier (that's to die for). C for Collins (that's where it's at, folks).

Sometimes I step out onto the street when the air is pale gold. But it's not just a street; Maggie said it's called 'Town'.

So, in effect, I'm just a Cat that goes to Town.

And Cats naturally dwell in a hood that looks good on them. I think I've found mine, in earnest.

Until next time (or tomorrow).

I recently had the pleasure of spending a sumptuous day (and night) with my friends at Collins Street Precinct, who curated a bespoke experience for me featuring key retailers on one of Melbourne's most iconic streets. You don't need to have lived in Melbourne your whole life to know that Collins Street is the epitome of refined elegance, style and (naturally), luxury; an ideal commingling of heritage charms and contemporary dynamism that renders a little magic for folks of all ages.  

Highlights of my experience included a personal tour of the scintillating Cartier boutique (located at 90 Collins Street), followed by a private styling session with the Womenswear team at luxury department store at Harrolds  (101 Collins Street) - Tom Ford fluffy stilettos, I can't shake you from my thoughts.

Stepping into the velvet haven that is the Gray Reid Gallery (156 Collins Street) felt like stumbling upon a treasure trove of rare artisanal masterpieces. Alister and Gareth at the Gallery are exemplary individuals; welcoming, charming, and ultimately some of the most talented craftsmen in Melbourne. I was intrigued to learn of the processes involved in designing bespoke jewellery items such as earrings and cocktail rings inspired by Art Deco pieces from the 1920's; just one of the Gallery's many services offered to clients. If you happen to be strolling past this magical heritage building, do have a peak inside and prepare to be charmed. While you're there, head downstairs to the utterly delightful Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller and lose yourself in a world of antique books, rare archival documents and art for an hour (or three). Once I discovered the Art History section, I'm afraid it was not going to be a quick visit. 

Thank you kindly to Sofitel Melbourne (25 Collins Street) for hosting me overnight in your marvellous establishment. There's nothing sweeter than being greeted by a smile and a 'Bonjour Madame' from every member of staff; who made the experience truly memorable. (There's also nothing sweeter than coming back to my room with a bottle of Taittinger and macarons waiting for me. Thrills. )

Au revoir; may we meet again soon!