Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stocking Fillers

I love little gifts at Christmas, either to fill up a stocking, or as a little token for a new friend or visiting relative. Here are some that we have in store that may be appealing to you and yours…

The Wizard of Oz is one of my favourite films—this trinket box would be perfect for the film buff in your life.  $12
This thoughts and blessings box comes from close to home, made by my artist sister Frances Hansen, who also created the Keepsakes book. This is a lovely gift for a close friend. $19
Swans always appeal to me in a design sense, from paintings to statues. This candle is whimsical and charming, and so much more interesting than a classic scented candle. $39

Want to add some sparkle to someone’s life? These rhinestone baubles are just the trick. $10

These patchwork reindeer come from the craft regions of India, where they are created by artisans in traditional workshops. I like to source beautiful things in this way, as it keeps traditional craft skills alive, but also provides a source of income for families in these regions. A gift with heart. $49

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fleur Wood Avalon Pop-Up Shop

Summer is almost here (although this weather is keeping us in suspense), and we’ve just opened a pop-up shop in Avalon on Sydney’s northern beaches to celebrate the season. It’s filled with all my favourite elements, great furniture, gorgeous trinkets, and as well as selected spring/summer pieces you’ll find some more unique pieces, including one-off samples.
We're open until March 6th, so be sure to come and pay us a visit next time you're in the area.

Fleur Wood Avalon
4/42-44 Old Barrenjoey Road
Tel: 02 9918 4992

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Edward Mapplethorpe

There’s nothing like a little serendipity while travelling. When Nick, Billy and I were in New York recently, we went for lunch at 'inoteca in the Lower East Side and Billy started working his charm on the table next to us. As it happens, one of the people at the next table was Edward Mapplethorpe, brother of Robert Mapplethorpe and an acclaimed photographer in his own right. Quite aside from his abstracts and nudes, he is also renowned for his portraits of babies, particularly 1-year-olds. He is currently working on a book of these portraits. Billy must have really played his cards right, as Edward offered to take a portrait of him. We’re crossing our fingers that this photo finishes up in the book, too. But either way, I wanted to share this picture of our gorgeous boy. How adorable?

Check out Edward's website:
If you're ever in New York be sure to look him up and get a portrait taken of your kid.

Portrait of Billy Bryant by Edward Mapplethorpe

Friday, November 18, 2011

Jeff Leatham

Last week I was lucky enough to attend a dinner with Myer in Melbourne to celebrate the work of American florist Jeff Leatham. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s the creative director of flowers for the Hotel Georges V in Paris (nice work if you can get it!), and is also the go-to guy for celebrities including Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah, and he did the flowers for both Chelsea Clinton’s and Eva Longoria’s weddings (alas, the latter didn’t go the distance). He’s known as the rock ’n roll florist and even has his own TV show.  

I can say that his work is unbelievably beautiful, bringing a real modernity to the game, along with the use of truly lush, deep colours. It was such a sublime evening, with the table glittering with over $90,000 worth of Waterford crystal and a delicious menu that included lobster and and duck. Jeff proved to be a charming host, as he regaled us with tales from the life of a celebrity florist, with all of us believing we were at a glittering soirée in Paris by the end of the night.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Billy

It was Billy's 1st Birthday on Saturday and the girls in the office threw him a wonderful surprise party.  They decorated the office with balloons and bought him a delicious carrot cake from Bourke Street Bakery, not to mention the most gorgeous bike for him to cruise around the studio. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fleur Wood on the Fields Competition

A big thank you to everyone who entered our Spring Races competition.  We have been inundated with fantastic photographs of you sporting Fleur Wood on the Fields and it was very hard to pick a winner.  I was lucky enough to be judging Fashions on the Fields on Oaks Day in Melbourne and there were some great outfits but I have to say our competition entries were just as good, in fact the winner was a runner-up
in the Best Dressed Classic Racewear category at Randwick. 
Congratulations to Rachel Fenwick, the lucky winner of $1000 Fleur Wood gift voucher!

Our Winner - Rachel Fenwick

Thursday, November 10, 2011


So how come nobody has ever told me about Daylesford? The beautiful spa town. The foodie haven. The best kept secret in rural Victoria. Just a ninety minute drive from Melbourne, Daylesford was a complete revelation. There are few places in the whole of Australia that offer more pampering or better food.  A big thank you to Tourism Victoria for introducing me to such a great find and for organising our fantastic trip.

After a very hectic couple of weeks of travelling to New York and Melbourne for the races, I was very happy to have a relaxing few days with my husband, Nick and our son, Billy, in what can only be described as absolute heaven.

First dinner was at our cottage, Lakeleigh, which as the name suggests, overlooks the lovely lake. It’s a real picture postcard residence, with a lovely warm glow.  Our chef, who came courtesy of Tourism Victoria, was Christian Reuther of Ego Cakes and Catering.  He’s one of Victoria’s top chefs, and has just opened up a terrific café in Daylesford with the snappy name of Culinaria. His slow-roasted pork was to die for.


Daylesford became a foodie haven after the chef Alla Wolf- Tasker opened up The Lake House in the mid-eighties.  It put the town on the global culinary map. Dinner in the two-hatted restaurant overlooking the lake is an absolute must.

The Lake House

The Wolf-Tasker’s latest venture, the Wombat Hill café in the beautiful Wombat Hill botanic gardens, is another treat. They call it their ‘house in the gardens.’ The décor is beautiful and so is the food. Alla’s daughter, Larissa, has done an exquisite job.
Make sure to try the local spring water, as well.

Lunch at Lavandula, a beautiful Swiss Italian farm surrounded by stunning lavender fields, as the name suggests, is another must-do.  It is also a great place for kids.

No trip to Daylesford is complete without a spa treatment.  I was lucky enough to squeeze in two, in between my busy schedule of meals and more meals.  Both of the main spa retreats in town have been recently renovated, and are both very stylish. At Peppers I got an amazing relaxing and revitalising mud wrap.
 At Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa, I got a fantastic massage and minerals spa.
On our last night we had dinner at Kazuki’s, a fabulous new restaurant in the old Raglan hotel. It was set up by chef Kazuki Tsuya, who used to work at the Lake House, and is a Japanese inspired modern bistro. The night we were there it was full of chefs, which is always a good sign.  Nick and I both agreed it was the best meal we’ve had this year, worth travelling to Daylesford, alone.

Peppers Mineral Spa

So for a weekend break or a longer holiday, Daylesford is one of the most restful and relaxing locations I have come across in Australia, only risk is that you might come back a couple of kilos heavier.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hat tricks

Spring racing has hit the racetrack—and for many of us it's more about the fashion than the fillies. A fabulous hat is the finishing touch to every race-day outfit. I particularly love vintage styles, as seen in fashion photography from the 1950s and Old Hollywood films. A small hat can be easy to wear, and won't overwhelm a beautiful dress. Marlene Dietrich wore hats particularly well, such as chic hats with veils that covered the eyes and even sailor styles. At the opposite end of the style spectrum, huge-brimmed hats are spectacular (and are also good for keeping the sun off). Take a lead from the '50s, when sweeping skirts were balanced by hats that curved gently from crown to brim. And whether you go small or large, floral trimmings are especially beautiful—you'll be perfectly placed in the trackside gardens.
Check out our favourite milliners:
Neil Grigg:
Sandie Bizys:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pie in the sky

Banoffee Pie is one of the great dessert indulgences. Not one for the dairy intolerant, but if you like all things banana, caramel and cream, you'll love it. This recipe comes from Café Sopra (another one of my favourite places to eat out), it's truly delicious and is as easy as it looks. I made it for the first time recently to take to a friends house for lunch and it got the big thumbs-up from everyone. It's worth a go—just beware, you may become addicted...


Café Sopra's Banoffee Pie

2 x 400g cans of sweetened condensed milk
180g unsalted butter, chopped
375g digestive biscuits, halved
60ml thickened cream
Scraped seeds of 2 vanilla beans
75g icing sugar, sifted
4 bananas
30g dark chocolate, finely grated

Serves 12
Start this recipe a day ahead.

Place the cans of condensed milk in a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 hours adding water if necessary to ensure cans remain covered, remove cans and cool in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Meanwhile melt butter in a small saucepan, and then cool slightly. Using a food processor crush biscuits to fine crumbs, add the butter and process briefly to combine. Press crumb mixture over the base of a greased 28cm loose based tin then refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm the base.

Open cooled cans of condensed milk and spoon caramel evenly over the biscuit base and refrigerate overnight to firm.

To assemble pie - using an electric mixer whisk cream, vanilla bean seeds and sugar to stiff peaks. Cut bananas into thin slices. Remove pie from tin and loosen base and place on a plate. Spoon or pipe half the whipped cream over the caramel filling, then place the bananas in an overlapping circle working from the outside in. Top with the remaining cream and sprinkle with grated chocolate.

Cut into slices with a hot dry knife and serve immediately.
By: Café Sopra

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


This is currently one of my favourite albums, featuring one of the original members of Cuba’s Buena Vista Social Club with incredible musicians from Mali. It’s such an upbeat album with amazing rhythms and it exudes a really infectious joy. With summer nearly here, I’m really looking forward to this becoming the soundtrack to some sunset cocktail parties on the back deck with friends. I know it will put a smile on their faces, too.

Track – Para Los Pinares Se Va Monotro:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Woven wonders

Here’s a beautiful (and exclusive) addition to our stores for summer—mochila bags from South America. These colourful hand-woven bags are made by the women of the Wayuu group that lives on the border of Venezuela and Colombia, on the La Guajira Peninsula. Weaving is something that the Wayuu have done for centuries, passed down from generation to generation, and is something in which they take great pride. Traditionally they would be worn two at a time, across the body, to carry heavy items. I love that no two bags are alike, each being unique to the woman that created it. But also, the colours and patterns are so vibrant and uplifting, these will be the perfect beach bag this summer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

We Love Coffee Cartman

I have to share with you my favourite place to grab my morning coffee - Central coffee cart, or ‘Cartman’ as we like to call him, is located just outside Central Station and right by my studio. Cartman does the  best coffee and homemade cakes in Surry Hills, so it’s not at all surprising that he has a loyal following from all of the Fleur Wood girls in my office.  Next time you’re in the area be sure to stop by and grab a coffee and a piece of delicious apple and date cake…yum!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Slice of Heaven

I have to confess a weakness for a good chocolate cake. There is nothing as satisfying or sinfully delicious as a slice of rich, dark baked chocolate goodness. This particular recipe is from the River Café in London, and it’s one of my favourite desserts to bake—and is also my friends’ favourite. It’s rather aptly named the Chocolate Nemesis Cake, which pretty much says it all—it’s certainly the nemesis of any waistline. I made it last weekend for a dinner party and everyone loved it, so I thought I’d share it with you, too. It doesn’t really need any embellishment, but a dollop of cream and some fresh berries never hurt. Oh, and when you’re making it, always leave that little bit extra for licking the bowl…

Chocolate Nemesis Cake Recipe
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 8

• 340g Dark Chocolate - broken into small pieces.
• 5 whole Eggs.
• 290g Caster Sugar.
• 225g Unsalted Butter - softened

1. Preheat oven to 160 C
2. Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper. (Don't use a springform tin)
3. Beat the eggs with a third of the sugar until the volume quadruples - this will take at least 10 mins with a hand held mixer or about 4 mns with a freestanding.
4. Heat the remaining sugar in a small pan with 125ml water until the sugar has completely dissolved to a syrup.
5. Place the chocolate and butter in the hot syrup and stir to combine.
6. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
7. Add the warm syrup to the eggs and continue to beat more gently until completely combined - about 20 seconds and no more!
8. Pour into the cake tin and put that into a bigger cake tin or roasting pan.
9. Fill the second tin with water so it acts like a bain-marie.
10. Bake in the oven for 30 mins or til set.
11. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out.

Recipe by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

London Girl

As I’m always on the lookout for inspiring images and ideas, one of my favourite magazines in which to find them is London’s Lula. I love its photography and gentle, whimsical sensibilities—coupled with a little dose of indie attitude. The girls always have a naivety that’s underpinned by sense of smarts, and sometimes something a little bit grittier. These photographs should give you some idea of what I mean, and show you why I adore this magazine. But she’s a rare bird, Lula, with only two issues a year. This one is hot off the press, so hurry out and get a copy while you can.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wanderlust & Glam Ephemera

I wanted to share with you a sneak peek of my summer collection—Wanderlust & Glam Ephemera—which is now dropping in store. I was really inspired by the photography of David Hamilton—particularly his images of beautiful young girls shot in a soft-focus femininity—as well as the notion of the modern-day nomad, globe-trotting creatures soaking up different cultures, food art and music. Overall, I think this is a very romantic collection, with just a touch of hippie chic. There is some soft tailoring in cotton-linen blends, pretty chiffon party dresses and great printed maxi dresses. The colours are subtle—creamy whites, latte and burnt peach—and the prints are faded. I hope these pieces bring a little free-spirited romance into your summer, too.