fluffy towes
Carmen

Carmen Jenner is a copywriter, journalist, travel writer, communications consultant and the founder of travel blog Fluffy Towel. She specialises in many industries including tourism, hospitality, aged care, health, real estate, property, business, charities and not-for-profits. Carmen is also the editor of Menu Magazine, catering to the Western Australian hospitality industry and hungry foodies.

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Perth, Australia

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Christmas Gift Idea – Australia’s Extra.Ordinary. West book

filed30 Nov 2019 from

Dreading traipsing through the shops hunting for Christmas presents? How about gifting Australia’s Extra.Ordinary. West – a purely Western Australian produced coffee table travel book about Western Australia that you can order right now by clicking here.

Australia’s Extra.Ordinary. West heads south from Perth to the Ferguson Valley, Bunbury and the Margaret River Region in Australia’s Southwest to the Great Southern, Esperance in the Golden Outback before heading north to Broome, Karijini and Christmas Island in Australia’s Northwest.

Born and bred in Perth, I have fond memories of outings in my hometown as a child. Of trips to the zoo where the jail-like enclosures for the big cats would make us sad until we moved onto the swaying elephants and monkeys who amused us with their antics.

I remember a bookshop on windy St George’s Terrace lined with double-height timber bookshelves and a spiral staircase leading up to a balcony spanning its circumference. Other Perth-ites also have vague memories of this treasure trove but what became of it remains a mystery.

Carmen and her sister Kelly rocking the ’70s (no animals were harmed in the making of this book or post)

We’d always stop into London Court for afternoon tea, a familiar spot for my mum, a Ten Pound Pom who came out from the UK in the early ‘70’s on the MS Achille Lauro. Reigning from Naples the ship and suffered from several catastrophes before catching on fire and sinking in 1994. Interestingly, mum caused her own Italian scandal at the age of 17 by becoming pregnant with me to my traditional Italian dad.

He was notorious for his long road trips to nowhere, or so we thought as driving journeys are a big thing now. Clearly, way ahead of his time, it’s just a pity the cars weren’t designed with air-conditioning back then.

I recall trips on the bus to the city with my mum and nana because that was considered a big day out. My sister and I would always get dressed up for the occasion often in matching dresses made from fabric my mum had bought from Boans. We were often mistaken for twins, rather prophetic considering my mum later had twin girls. This caused much angst to my 13-year-old self as I already had three sisters at the time.

Crazy gatherings at my nonna’s house were all part of the course where us kids would slide up and down the hallway in socks while the men played cards. There’d be endless platters of pasta, cutlets, meatballs and potato dumplings my nonna would fill with anchovies. I still have her meatballs in my freezer; frozen in time since her passing in early 2018.

Sundays in Fremantle were a regular occurrence with gelato from Benny’s on the cappuccino strip, and in my opinion, no ice-cream ever tasted so good until I went to Italy.

While co-producing this book I couldn’t help but notice the parallels of my transition into adulthood as Perth also grew up. The state’s resource-rich spoilings have plateaued, and Perth was struggling for a while until grace prevailed and she settled into her well-heeled persona.

We’re bound in together in isolated geography and memory. With a relentless curiosity for cultures and lifestyles beyond my home, Perth too continues to absorb its multicultural community. Now a cosmopolitan city with all the lashing our eastern counterparts, I discovered many charming throwbacks to simpler times while on this book’s journey.

Our expansive coastline still offers relative peace within its stunning vistas. Much of the state outside of its populated precincts remains virtually untouched except now its more accessible with developed trails. Like most attractions, the zoo is state-of-the-art, and outdoor pursuits are still at the forefront; only now laced with an emerging cultural scene, (hopefully) exciting enough to keep our creative talent local.

The food, bar and hotel options have blessedly shown the biggest growth with produce-driven menus, locally crafted beverages and high thread count designed for the ethnic influx, as well as for our sophisticated tastes.

I hope you find Australia’s Extra.Ordinary. West as enlightening as I did during the planning, production and post-production stages. Please click here to order your own copy.

 

Gnarabup Beach, Margaret River

8 discoveries on Western Australia’s Public Silo Trail

filed15 Nov 2019 from

 

Newdegate on the Public Silo Trail

Western Australia’s Public Silo Trail is a 1000km self-drive journey linking six towns in the Wheatbelt all the way through to Albany in the Great Southern region.

While the silos themselves are worth the drive to admire the artworks created by world-class local and international artists, the journey reveals an abundance of culture, tasty cuisine and luxurious accommodation. The road might be long and dusty, but the welcome is always warm and intriguing.

1. Public Silo Trail

The juxtaposition …

Truffle hunting in Manjimup

filed12 Apr 2016 from

On the 28th July in 2003 the first ever (well, the first documented one) truffle was found in Western Australia’s Manjimup. Thirteen years on, the Truffle & Wine Co. is so successful they now export to the US, Germany and France.

I went on a truffle hunt three years ago and I can still smell that earthy aroma. And as you can see below hunting for truffles is a very simple process…once you’ve selected the right plot of land, inoculated …

ANZAC centenary Western Australia’s Great Southern Drive

filed22 Apr 2015 from

The approach into Western Australia’s Great Southern region is a mix of weathered scrub bordered by the rugged peaks of the Stirling Ranges hovering in the distance. This idyllic scene has been a fixture on the landscape for over one million years, but is a world away from how our ANZAC troops left the region to fight for Australia’s future.

The 25th April 2015 marks the ANZAC centenary and the 1st November 2014 marks 100 years since the first …