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

latest post

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.



Have child, will travel

filed27 Jul 2017 from

Little Miss Manhattan



As soon as my daughter was born, I knew her arrival would alter the shape of my life for all eternity. Determined to continue travelling amid the routine, tantrums, sickness and fatigue, I figured the sooner I introduced her to the joys of travel the easier it would become. But no amount of planning can prepare you for the inevitable stance a young feisty lady can take. Little Miss Manhattan, indeed!

While there is plenty …

All loved up in Koh Samui

filed27 Feb 2017 from

Koh Samui's tumultuous weather gods holding court

Koh Samui’s tumultuous weather gods holding court

The night promises all the drama of a tropical storm as palm trees bow to the tumultuous weather gods holding court. Koh Samui’s serene skies make way for the approaching monsoon season as the rain pounds sideways into Manathai Koh Samui’s restaurant Waterline. Everyone takes cover as the wait-staff prepare the restaurant for the impending deluge. There was a time not that long ago when fine dining wasn’t a feature and Koh Samui, …

Gently Bentley

filed30 Mar 2016 from


Pulling out of the Bentley showroom in Claremont onto Stirling Highway, I’m very much aware many houses cost less than the Bentley Continental GTC V8 S we’re test driving. However, given the craftsmanship on this elegant beast, it almost seems gauche to mention to money.

Our automatic seat belt presenter embraces us as we head up into the Perth Hills for a night of indulgence. It doesn’t take long to relax into the ventilated massaging leather seats with contrast cross …

How to survive a health retreat

filed02 Nov 2013 from

Whether it’s an ashram in rural India or a 5-star facility in some far flung destination, you’ve done the research and selected the ideal health retreat. Or so you thought as you’re poked and prodded, basted in oil and prescribed foul tasting medicinal potions. Here are 10 reasons to stick it out.yoga


  1. Feeling good. No matter what happens, or how tired or confronted or hungry or sick you feel, it passes. You will feel better and be healthier than

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 …

More mooning, aka Nakation

filed07 Jun 2013 from

Photo 7 breast

If you read my post on 10 ways to moon your honey post and it left you wanting more (or is that less?) then these adrenaline pumping activities in the buff may satiate. Or if you’ve got any other suggestions, don’t be shy?


Water nymphs:

Public nudity in Asia is generally frowned upon, which makes skinny dipping so thrilling. However, law abiding naked bods should head to Australia to let it all hang out. And while you’re down there, …

10 ways to moon your honey

filed24 May 2013 from

Moon your honey 194


Up for a risqué holiday? Then you may want to check out one of these 10 retreats where the romance is high and the clothing in optional.

Afterall, what’s more enticing than your lover frolicking without a care in the world? Well, whisking your beloved off to an exotic location donning little more than a smile would probably trump it. Here are some ways to moon your honey, but you don’t necessarily need to wait until the honeymoon to …

I think I’m stripping Japanese, I really think so

filed09 Mar 2012 from

Sadly, March marks the anniversary of the great Japan earthquake and tsunami and although the devastation and heartache is insurmountable, tourists are returning to Japan. Who can blame anyone wanting to explore the land of sumo wrestling and geishas, where everything is familiar and foreign all at the same time. A culture obsessed with rules and protocol and yet consumed by perplexing, and quite frankly kinky, pasttimes.

Photo 8 bride back


Luuuurve Hotels

Cheesy Love Hotels rented by the hour in Japan were …

The launch of Fluffy Towel Travels

filed28 Sep 2011 from



I will also have a stall at the Festival of Christmas markets at the Perth Cultural Centre on 9th December. Well done to  Events and Beyond for utilising Perth’s public spaces with cultural events  http://eventsandbeyond.com.au/

My travel memoir, Fluffy Towel Travels was launched on 21st October at Quinlan’s Cafe Fremantle in a flurry of wine, …

The Not-so Amazing Race

filed23 Mar 2011 from


WELCOME to The Not So Amazing Race. The first part of the Joneses’ challenge is to gain access to an apartment for their stay in Paris. The Jones family comprises of husband and wife, Jason and Simone, and three-year-old Jessica.*

None of the Jones family will speak French on this leg of the race. The final challenge is teamwork. Will Jason and Simone make it to the end as a married couple? Their prize is a month’s use of …

Petite Paris

filed10 Mar 2011 from

THERE are few places as lively, vibrant and stimulating as Paris. I’m not entirely referring to the city either as my daughter is named after the City of Light. It seems fitting that the two should meet. But if you shudder at the thought of dragging young children around vast museums, consider these tips on how to toddle around the French capital.

1. Cafe culture: Sip hot chocolate together as you watch people and dogs. Discuss, write, draw and photograph …

Contiki Tip 34: How to use a map

filed13 Nov 2010 from

So there we all were, waiting, waiting, waiting, and waiting for our ferry to take us to Venice. A very exciting prospect indeed as I was dying to see one of the most romantic cities of all time. However, there was nothing very romantic about our situation. We were at the very dodgy port of Patra, aka the Rats of Patras, waiting to board our ferry for a two night cruise to Venice.

We were about halfway through our 34-day …

Paris at the Hilton

filed08 Nov 2010 from


The harpist serenades us as lady-boys shoo away flies with white cloths, or are they merely surrendering to the scorching heat?  Celebrating our daughter’s sixth birthday, we’re having lunch at No Problem Restaurant in a wooden structure suspended on stilts over a mangrove on Mactan Island, one of the 7,000 islands in the Philippines.

We’re sampling the traditional dish of Sutukil, a term derived from three words Sugba (SU), Tuwa (TU), Kilaw (KIL) meaning to broil, …

The art of aphrodisiacs

filed03 Nov 2010 from

Aphrodite’s Feast

A bottle of red, a torn baguette, a slab of cheese, crumbled sheets, and laughter. The act of seduction is complete. The scene is simple and the ingredients are bare. Step it up a notch with baked fish and herbs, threads of saffron, a squirt of wine and the juice of a lemon. Handmade linguine slurped in unison or a lobster torn apart and then devoured. Simpler still, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over a voluptuous avocado. Pick …

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 …

Smiles from the Teardrop Isle: Family Travel in Sri Lanka

filed31 Aug 2010 from

Art imitating colourful life in Sri Lanka

Like a jewel dropped into the ocean, Sri Lanka sparkles bright. Tamer than its Indian neighbour, the spicy isle is heaving with culture, wildlife, gems, adventure, welcoming locals, and exotic beauty every which way.

Unlike other Asian hotspots Sri Lanka is virtually untouched by tourism compliments of the 25 year war. The country breathes a collective sigh of relief as the war is finally over. The figurative doors have flung open and tourists …

Death of a Suitcase

filed28 Oct 2009 from

CJKK20080713 282a

The unthinkable has happened. Like a down-trodden wife, my beloved suitcase, has reluctantly been disgarded for a newer, shinier model.

Clad in navy blue, she was the ideal size for a quick getaway or an extended trip, and very popular among family and friends. I didn’t mind, as I saw this as an opportunity for my suitcase to getaway, even when I didn’t have the chance to myself. Although well-travelled, she didn’t look too shabby considering her lifestyle.

My old …

Reversing the Rite of Passage

filed13 Oct 2009 from

My mother used to have a sticker on her car that read, “Live long enough to be a burden to your children.” By the age of 31, she had six daughters giving herself plenty of time to fulfil this quest. Twenty three years later my parents departed from the Perth International Airport for the very first time. It was obvious they were virgin jet-setters because they didn’t turn and wave as they sailed down the hall to immigration. Everyone knows …

This Parisian Life

filed20 Sep 2009 from


French Beauty

 “One is not born a woman; rather one becomes a woman.”  – Simone De Beauvoir

The French model wears a petticoat crafted from balloons. The model behind her flaps wings styled like a bird of paradise. Men sit rigid in their seats during this Parisian couture fashion parade, admiring these heavenly beauties.

Cameras flash, flattering some of the models and insulting others, who sneer at the audience. We are engulfed in wall-to-wall …