fluffy towes

Carmen Jenner is a travel, food, and lifestyle writer, wanna-be photographer and the founder of Fluffy Towel. She specialises in travel memoirs, destination pieces, hotel reviews, guidebook contributor, travel advice, restaurant reviews, family travel, and copywriting.


where in the
world is carmen?

Perth, Australia

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Six romantically remote WA destinations to woo your honey

filed13 Feb 2018 from

There’s nothing quite like being whisked away to luxury digs where the signature dish is your lover and dessert is, um, well I’m sure you can conjure up some scenarios. Crown Towers, Como The Treasury and Margaret River’s Cape Lodge are obvious choices, but why not go for gold and head to a remote pocket of our huge state where no-one will mind your cries of glory.

Lucky Bay, Esperance

Esperance Chalet Village, Esperance

Esperance’s isolation already appeals to those craving an uninhibited frolic on its pristine world-class beaches. This cluster of rustic chalets holds no airs and its recent refurbishment has taken care of all those creature comforts; promising countless opportunities to take care of each other. With plush bedding, contemporary décor, flat screen TVs, well-equipped kitchens and reverse cycle air-conditioning, you’re well placed to explore with your partner-in-crime the ridiculously beautiful scenery, plus several secret enclaves within a lusty moan. With salty limbs entwined, choose between the spacious two-bedroom abodes or cosy A-Frame chalets nestled alongside Bandy River.


Hardly roughing it at Mile End

Mile End Glamping, Yelverton

While bathed in moonbeams, snuggle up in a domed cocoon within 144 acres of seclusion. The very definition of glamping, there most certainly won’t be any sleeping on the ground for glamorous romantics. The private bathroom features a rain shower, but if that seems too predictable, the hot tub on the deck provides alternative soaking options. The four-poster bed facing the paddock is a reminder that another world exists beyond your heavenly utopia. At some point, your appetite may beckon and if you hadn’t planned ahead with supplies, order a hamper or summon your personal chef to whip up a treat while the in-house masseuse works their magic.  Its unlikely gourmands are likely to be ill-prepared on the food front with likes of The Larder, Berry Farm, Margaret River Venison Farm, Providore, Gabriel Chocolate, Yallingup Woodfired Bread and the Margaret River Dairy Company close enough to temporarily lure you away.


Karijini National Park

Karijini Eco Retreat, Karijini National Park

For an authentically Australian outback experience, get back to nature at Karijini Eco Retreat. Set within Karijini National Park and owned by the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, you can spread your love of the environment with safari tents made from recycled materials and with limited power, you’re guaranteed to smoulder within the romantic glow. There is a range of sleeping options, but the deluxe eco-tents with private en-suites, quality bedding, stylish décor and decks make for a star-studded experience. The onsite Australian-inspired restaurant offers outback flavours including barbeque nights, gourmet dishes such as lamb shank and red desert-dusted salmon, or hot takeaway meals savoured on your deck; undoubtedly chaperoned by red kangaroos shyly observing in the distance. Located 1400km north of Perth and 80km north-east of Tom Price, the isolation is glorious especially with the juxtaposition of lush streams, waterfalls, pools and ferns against the burnt ochres and faded scrub greens sure to woo your honey. Not to mention those plunging gorges millions of years old guaranteed to evoke at least one “Hey gorgeous” pun.


Passion at Silkwood Estate

Silkwood, Pemberton

Revel in your lover’s reflection in the luminous lake overlooked from the balcony of your architecturally designed chalet. Given its discreet location, and with only the forest playing witness to your shenanigans, forbidden love is indulged at Silkwood. Featuring king sized beds, double spa baths and gas fireplaces; the open plan design promises further vantage points to adore your sweetheart. The onsite restaurant boasting seasonal meaty, seafood and garden delights, may take the pressure off feeling obliged to use the fully equipped kitchen unless you’ve got lucky using the supplied fishing gear and stocked lake. Organised foodies will have already mapped the Great Southern’s offerings such as black truffles, yabbies, lamb, berries, fruit and nuts. No need to plan ahead for wine as Silkwood cellar is within staggering distance.


Peppermint Lane Lodge

Peppermint Lane Lodge

The adults-only and discrete cottages mightn’t be the place for children, but they’re certainly a wonderful spot to make a baby. A retreat in every sense of the word, there are few distractions from the real world: only luxurious linens, bespoke handcrafted furnishings, private decks, block out blinds, kangaroos bouncing by, rare red-tailed cockatoos and Daisy, the property’s beautiful Border-Collie cross Kelpie. Situated in the Ferguson Valley, where the hills seem to slip into the Indian Ocean, many zoom past the turn-off on the highway about an hour north of Margaret River. Let them, leaving more wine, food, art, adventure, wildlife, romance and a few thousand gnomes at the nearby Gnomesville, for you and your lover to relish.


Private Properties’ Salty Kiss

Private Properties

Glamourous beachside mansions and wilderness escapes in unforgettable locations…could Private Properties be any more romantic? Many offer multiple living rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms in different configurations as well as tennis courts and pools for exertions beyond the boudoir. They range from sleek contemporary designs to pre-loved wooden bungalows, many with coastal, vineyard and bush views, and others in incredible garden settings. Massages, romantic dining experiences, housekeeping, itineraries, yoga and possibly even the odd kangaroo are available upon request.



Wagin: An outback gem

filed06 Mar 2015 from

paddock art

Almost exactly halfway between Perth and Albany, the dusty outback town of Wagin toils away beneath a vast expanse of nothingness except for clouds swirling on a background of blue.

Wagin Little GemAs the outback scrub gives away to hills of faded gold, the Southern Wheatbelt region is dotted with cattle languidly grazing in paddocks while lorikeets and galas nibble on roadside picnics of seeds. The quintessential outback town of Wagin is at the crossroads of the Great Southern region; with Albany …

Permanent Impressions: Independent Publisher Book Awards Winner

filed01 May 2014 from

I’m very proud to report Permanent Impressions: A salute to contemporary heroines won Bronze in the Best Regional Non-fiction category for the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards, also known as the IPPYs. It was an absolute honour to work on such an amazing project with the incredibly talented artist Jana Vosedil and dynamic Carina Hoang of Carina Hoang Communications, who incidentally won Silver for her Boat People book in 2012. Permanent Impressions pays homage to 50 of Western Australia’s …

Finding Perth

filed29 Oct 2013 from

I’ve landed a great gig writing for Findery where I get to “find” cool stuff in my hometown Perth, Western Australia.I’ve seen dead animals at the Natural History Museum in Guildford, got my girls out with a Breastique Art workshop, braved a storm in a campervan in Denmark, discovered some great coffee at Love Thy Neighbour, unearthed why honeymooners once flocked to Ngilgi cave in Yallingup and even did some of my research in the horizontal position at Hidden Valley …

Truffle Time

filed29 Jul 2013 from

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

I went on a truffle hunt last week 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 the …

The Mexican Suitcase

filed19 Jun 2013 from

zocalo fish eye

How fortuitous for a suitcase containing thousands of lost negatives from the Spanish Civil War to be found by a film-maker. In fact, the story of the journey of the suitcase is interesting on its own, but not nearly as fascinating as its contents.

As war survivors share their horrific tales, The Mexican Suitcase incorporates many of the retrieved photos into the documentary with disturbing images of ravaged corpses, boy soldiers with rifles, women performing hard labour and sad-eyed children.…

The Artist and the Model

filed19 Jun 2013 from


Set in the Pyrenees in occupied France during 1943, The Artist and the Model depicts a time where men dressed elegantly, creative types didn’t rely on technology to produce art and models had bodies that embraced their womanliness, body hair and all. So when model Merce, (Aida Folch) reveals the wisps of her armpit, it’s almost as shocking as the complete nudity she displays for much of the movie.

After escaping from a concentration camp Merce is picked up off …

Rooftop Comedy

filed19 Jun 2013 from


As patrons perched on top of the Conservatory Rooftop Bar bathed in red light while giggling about the ridiculousness of life, it was easy to forget about the crisp night air. With a New York meets Miami vibe, the light changed to blue and then green to match the palms and turf flooring.

MC Dan Willis swifty carried the show and was surprisingly gentle on the “white collar crowd” considering he was no doubt more liberal with his previous performance …

Apache CLIP Award

filed19 Jun 2013 from

Svetlalana Baily_CLIP 2012 Winner

If photos of pretty landscapes are your thing then you won’t mind that the Apache CLIP Award is over. On the other hand, if you’re swayed by the grittiness of reality you’ll be watching this space, particularly the exhibition space of the Perth Centre for Photography (PCP) for its next exciting instalment.

CLIP stands for Contemporary Landscapes in Photography and the criteria of the competition was to create original and stimulating pieces to challenge traditional landscapes. The Apache CLIP Award …

Craft Beer Festival 2012

filed24 Feb 2012 from

Thirst quenching honey-hued bitterness satiates WA’s south west.

I must confess I’m not a beer lover. There I said it. I may be a failure at the Australian tradition of a downing a coldie, but after a tasting at Eagle Bay Brewery, I didn’t mind it. In fact, I even finished my sample of the German style Kolsch. Drank as a lager and likened to the crowd pleasing Little Creatures Pilsner, my Kolsch (note how I’ve already become a …

Buskers of Fremantle: The Freo All-Stars

filed28 Dec 2010 from


Fedora tipped over blue

Seductive plucking of tune

Street-side superstar

Freo presents Ivan Zar

Travel Photography Workshop 068b_edited-2

In amongst the throng of bohemians languishing along Fremantle’s capuccino strip, I’m immediately drawn to the man sporting a suit and fedora in mid-night blue. Oozing 1960’s glamour evocative of the Cuban time warp, I learn his name is Ivan Zar. A master of blues, the haromonica, and his unique metallic slide guitar, his style is gutsy yet unassuming. Influenced by …

Oprah’s wild west

filed09 Dec 2010 from


Okay, so Oprah’s not gay or coming to Perth…but she did change her plans on a whim to visit Uluru care of singer and friend Paul Simon. Oprah and her entourage’s itineraries are shrouded in secrecy so you never know the world’s most isolated of cities, Perth may still feature in the limelight. So far Oprah hss hammed it up on Hamilton Island and has cuddled a koala, but here’s a few of Fluffy Towel’s weekend suggestions if she does …

Great Gourmet Weekends In Australia

filed25 Nov 2010 from

Okay, here’s a bit of shameless self-promotion. Great Gourmet Weekends in Australia has just been released by Explore Australia and its jammed packed with delicious options around the country. I was lucky enough to “research” and write the Western Australian content. Each state has in-depth coverage and is available in stores across the country and there’s giveaways too. Available to purchase online at Great Gourmet Weekends in Australia

Andy & Michelle 4

Here’s a little tease for your tastebuds,

Meet the Osbornes of Darlington

The hills are alive: getting back to nature

filed18 Nov 2010 from

“Beep, beep, beep,” drones the forklift. It reverses up and down the salvage yard next door, just a few metres from our lounge room. A grunting semi-trailer pulls up with a delivery of wood to be unloaded throughout the entire afternoon. Soon, the rubbish truck will arrive to empty the enormous bins with its noisy hydraulic lifts. A plane thunders above and if I run outside I can wave to the passengers. A train “toots”. On the other side of …

Broome Vroom

filed11 Nov 2010 from

Broome Vroom was a finalist in The Purple Passport travel writing competition. If you liked my story please vote http://diary.thepurplepassport.com/global/other-global-cities/cast-your-vote

“My name is Roger and I’ll be your guide today. Welcome to the Mango Tango Tour,” drawls our driver as he caresses his white Harley-Davidson trike, our mode of transport. We climb aboard the curvaceous blonde and hit the highway to sip wine at a mango plantation.

This is our second trip to Broome and I can see why so …

What Race?

filed01 Nov 2010 from


I had lasted 11 hours in my silly shoes, but there was no way I could wear them for the twenty-minute hike back to the car. As my sandals dangled from my hands, the cool tarmac had taken a velvety texture beneath my bleeding feet.

The brisk air itched my sunburnt shoulders and ached every muscle as my hangover kicked in. However, I was healthier than many of the other punters we passed along the way. Some were in vomiting …

Holy Cow! Five Reasons to Not Bustle Past Cowaramup

filed28 Oct 2010 from

Holy Cow!

If you’re moo-ving around the Margaret River region three hours south of Perth, you may notice some life-size cow sculptures left-over from the CowParade Margaret River, an international event held in over 50 cities. The competition saw local artists hussling up the bovine creatures in all kinds of attire and positions. It seems only appropriate to start your cow hunt in the charming dairy town of Cowaramup, situated on the Bussell Highway and just 10 minutes north of …

Breasts Out West

filed30 Aug 2010 from

Art imitates art

Jiggly giggles abound on this crisp winter’s day and with only the sun to kiss our skin, we smear body paint over our torsos. This is not the scene for some titillating fantasy, although the guy “working” on his roof next door may dream otherwise. We’ve gathered here today to celebrate the female form and to raise awareness for breast cancer by creating art with our breasts.

Breastique Art is the brain child of Shiona Herbert, “I …

Top 50 Restaurant Guide Western Australia

filed24 Aug 2010 from

The Top 50 Restaurant Guide Western Australia 2011 is due for release in November 2010. This guide is STILL the first and best independent restaurant guide for WA, and I’m proud to say I was a key contributor and restaurant reviewer to the guide.  To thank our valued supporters, the 2010 edition is available for free download at the Gourmet Godfather