So this last weekend, I had the good fortune to visit the new 5-star Primus Hotel at 339 Pitt Street, Sydney City. Located close to Chinatown, the Primus building used to house the government offices of the Sydney Water Board, and the imposing facade remains much as it was. You can't tell too much from street side.
But step inside and she has transformed.
Retaining a glorious scale throughout the hotel foyer, the high ceilings and pared-back interiors let the Art Deco lines, architecture and materials shine through. What a beauty. Red and pink-mushroom velvet upholstery compliments the imposing columns of red marble. They are enormous and I don't know whether it would actually be possible to still source such magnificent marble in the present day.
The open-plan Wilmot restaurant under Executive Chef, Ryan Hong, looked superb but not fussy - who can be bothered with fuss anymore? And the foyer bar was inviting with the elegant but relaxed and personal feel of an old-school gentleman's club. They'll be starting High Tea in April apparently too.
The thing is, there weren't many people there and I don't think Sydney really knows about it...yet. News of the Primus has just hit the pages of the Qantas InFlight Magazine, so maybe that's about to change.
However, in my opinion, the best part about this hotel lies up on the 7th floor. The stunning pool, bar and outdoor lounge have way-usurped the Ivy for poolside glamour in Sydney.
Heaven is on the 7th floor of the Primus. Get there.
After January slips through my fingers, suddenly it's February.
And that means it's time to let my mind wander around the beguiling subject of designing new hats for the year ahead and beyond. What will I do? What will I make in 2016?
It's a different state of mind - it's not sensible or business-like (that comes later). But once I start to think of hat designs, then so many possibilities and variations come to mind. They always do. There are never any shortage of ideas.
People often suggest to me that I look at the work of other milliner's or look at what else is in the store, but I find that a risky thing to do. Once you've seen it, it can influence you way too much and you loose the originality of your own style and designs. I prefer to set my mind to "DREAM" and see what happens.
I love this time and could happily live in a dreamy design world everyday.
Stay shady. Stay watching.