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Amanda Reboul discovered the joy of champagne on the day of her 18th birthday when she was offered a bottle of Bollinger.
She immediately understood what Dom Perignon meant when he exclaimed ‘Come quickly, I’m tasting the stars!’ when realising the wine he made actually had bubbles in it.
Amanda went on to marry a French man with family connections in the Champagne region.
She lived for over 10 years in France and developed a common interest in wines and champagnes with her husband. Her understanding of wine making was enhanced by regular visits to winemakers in the Loire Valley, Burgundy, the Rhone Valley, Languedoc-Roussillon and Champagne – her particular passion.
During Amanda’s time in France, she became inducted as a ‘Chavalier-Sabreur’ (sabering knight) with the Confrerie du Sabre d’Or, an association founded to promote the enjoyment of drinking champagne with the Art of Sabrage.
Back in Australia since 2006, she and her husband developed ‘The Truffle Man’ a gourmet food & wine business that imports specialist foods and small producer wines and champagnes from France.
Amanda has been sharing her passion for champagne through privately run master classes, key note speeches and corporate functions since then.
In August 2014, she was chosen as a finalist in the Professional Division of the prestigious Vin de Champagne Awards in Australia recognising her knowledge of champagne to be one of the best in the country. She has since gone on to achieve her Champagne Master level studies and her WSET Level 3, firmly establishing her expertise in the wine industry.
Amanda has been leading bespoke tours for her VIP clients to the Champagne region since 2014.
Julie Smerdon has been sharing yoga, meditation and inspiration for over 2 decades. Privileged to have studied under master teachers in both yoga and meditation, Julie offers these practices as a means to inspire people to cultivate a richer experience of life. With her trademark warmth, humour, and enthusiasm Julie presents these concepts in a masterful style that blends strong technique with perceptive insights that ignite the soul.
Having earned certifications in multiple disciplines, Julie’s extensive knowledge of biomechanics and therapeutics led to her work with Cricket Australia. Julie has been featured in Australian Yoga Journal, Australian Yoga Life, and Style Magazine
Rani Veerassamy’s official food journey began upon arrival in Australia in 2007. Unofficially, it started much earlier as she was born into a large South Indian family where food was of utmost importance, with food and recipes focused on simplicity and tradition. Her family has a long history of being known for their culinary talent, using recipes and techniques that have been handed down through generations.
She is the founder of a social enterprise in Brisbane called Rani’s Cuisine, a profit with purpose food-based business with a mission to employ refugees who have limited English and literacy skills. Rani’s Cuisine has been officially operating since September 2013 and has developed a secure and diverse client base in Australia. It is also an active member of the Queensland Social Enterprise Council.
Rani was awarded the Slow Food Snail of Approval in August 2020. The award was based on the work done to promote and share the intangible heritage, richness, and diversity of Indian cuisine, which can be seen both in India and the Indian diaspora around the globe. She is now the leader/president of Slow Food Brisbane, the local branch of an international organisation known as Slow Food. She is also a culinary instructor at The Golden Pig Restaurant and Cooking School in Brisbane, teaching classes in traditional Indian cuisine since 2016.. She has been recognised for her profound knowledge of spices and Indian cuisine, often referred to in Brisbane as the “godmother of spices.”
Rani’s food journey has not been easy as she has had to overcome serious health issues and built her brand, Rani’s Cuisine, through sheer determination. Her ability to excite, inspire and educate people through storytelling has greatly helped along the way, as has the universal language of food. She combines her love of good ingredients, support for small farmers, both in Australia and the spice farms of Kerala with infectious passion for preserving culinary traditions. Her cookbook is expected to be released in 2023.
Dianne Kelly is an Australian artist who excels in creating vivid impressionist artworks using watercolour, acrylics, pastels, ink, and mixed media. Her richly imagined visual art, inspired by nature and travel, often captures the dynamic play of light and colour living scene. Watercolour landscapes, animals and flowers all brought to life with contrast, harmonious colours and bold compositions.
With an artistic career spanning more than 40 years, Dianne applies keen attention to detail and the strengths of her medium to create rich, crystal-clear vibrant colours, delicate, translucent washes and vivid scenes that burst with energy. She brings an extensive mastery of colour theory, innate sense of rhythm, and compositional elements to each painting.
Her distinctive personal style emanates joy and curiosity. She freely experiments with watercolour, acrylics, pastels, mixed media, inks, water-based oils and gouache.
In her early career, Dianne trained in commercial and fine art. Her artistic journey has taken many turns over the years, from working in advertising and design to creating original artworks and teaching others how to embrace their inner artist. Di’s fascination with texture, pattern and fashion have led her to create her own fashion label, fabrics and wallpapers.
Her artworks are included in numerous private art collections throughout Australia and the world. Several of her paintings have been published as limited edition prints. She has also produced several ranges of gift cards featuring watercolour images from her overseas travels.
Dubbed “Queen of Culinary Bling” and the "Foodie Godmother" by her students, Mel’s clever cooking approach focuses on simple versatile recipes with time spent on excellent presentation.
The enthusiastic, entertaining, award winning African-Australian chef and cooking school owner, says with a little know how anyone can plate up spectacular spreads similar to what you’d expect to see in five star restaurants. Mel is brilliant at making everyday dishes dazzling. She promises that she can teach you will live happily ever after in your kitchen. She ardently believes that even boring mince and chicken breasts can be absolutely sexy.
Chef Mel believes in using the freshest local ingredients and having a repertoire of reliable recipes that you can rehash and refresh by using different sides and accompaniments. Just as you would wear the same little black dress time and again and dress it up with new earrings, new handbag and new shoes...it's all about culinary bling and accessories! If you shop clever, you can cook clever too.
It doesn't have to be expensive but you too can achieve a round of applause if you know some valuable 'cheffy' tricks. Armed with a sassy sense of humour Mel is willing to share everything she knows about her passion...which is cooking!
Full bio here - https://chefmel.me/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Chef-Mel-Happy-Chef-5.pdf