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There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.


Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Eyes to the Sky: Canada's Northern Lights

It’s often called Mother Nature’s light show; a natural phenomenon that lights up the night sky with spectacular colours.

The Northern Lights can be seen from Newfoundland to Nunavut, and from the heart of Yukon to the farthest northern reaches of Québec.


Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, seems magical, like something conjured up by playful fairies waving sparkling wands in the night. The scientific explanation for the unforgettable light show, however, is electrons and protons colliding with gases as far up as 500 kilometres above the Earth's surface creating flashes of colourful light that span the spectrum from green to blue to purple and yellow. Billions of flashes can occur in rapid succession, and so it seems the lights are dancing across the sky.


Best seen in the far northern hemisphere, Aurora-spotting is a great excuse to plan a trip to Canada since northern parts of the vast country have the highest probability of seeing the lights. Experienced tour operators in Yukon's Whitehorse and Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories even boast a 90 per cent light-peeping success rate.


Prime Aurora season coincides with the winter months - experts say the best time to visit is from late-September to late-March - and the cooler weather opens the door to unforgettable experiences. Rug up and enjoy the lights in the great outdoors: fly-fishing under the starry sky in far northern Québec is certainly worth writing home about. Or let the Aurora light your way on a cross-country ski adventure in Yukon. You need darkness to see the lights, and here, miles from the nearest big city, you'll find it.


The Northern Lights can shine so bright, they have lit the way for dog-sledders and snowmobilers in remote northern regions of Canada for generations. For many indigenous Inuit, the connection to the Aurora is spiritual and profound. They believe that if you listen carefully, the lights sing to you, a song as old as time. Listen with them in silence in Nunavut and you'll walk away with a new appreciation for the mysteries of nature.


If you crave creature comforts with your adventure, cosy up in a charming lodge in the Northwest Territories and light-peep through the windows, or stare up at the sky, whiskey in hand, from the warmth of an outdoor hot tub.


While the temptation will be great to snap a million pictures, the fast-moving and often quite subtle Northern Lights demand your full attention. But if you're serious about taking photos, professional photographers recommend an SLR camera, good-quality film and a slow shutter speed. A tripod is a good idea.


Mother Nature being an unpredictable dame, it's not easy to know in advance when the lights will be at their best and brightest. Give yourself at least a few days on the ground in northern Canada and keep an eye on and for up-to-the-minute tracking of the lights' progress.


Accommodation options range from Yukon wilderness cabins near Whitehorse, such as Sundog Retreat, to upscale lodges such as Inn on the Lake, which has featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine. The cabins at Tagish Wilderness Lodge in Yukon are accessible only by boat, floatplane, skiplane or dog-sled, and at luxury Yellowknife eco-lodge, Blachford Lake Lodge, a true wilderness immersion experience awaits.



Presented by Destination Canada.

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