Trader Bar pop-up dance festival

The crew from the ultra trendy Trader Bar are on the move.

The heaving weekend hotspot will pack up their cocktail shakers, load up their lemons and move outside under the stars for one night only on Saturday 2 June.

And it’s going to be big.

Surrounded by the lush, tropical setting of the Darwin Botanic Gardens, the Trader Bar are taking their normal Saturday night antics to another level collaborating with WHY NOT DANCE, an all-new, all-day dance festival.

“Darwin has never seen anything like this before,” says Trader Bar co-owner, Pippa Ainsworth.

“It’s going to be fresh and different and a brand new experience.”

Also behind the popular Hangover Cruise events in previous years, Pippa and Co. are upping their game with WHY NOT DANCE with 10 times the DJs.

The national and international acts are regulars on the festival circuit and Melbourne and Sydney club scene (more on the line up here) leading Pippa to liken the festival to the outdoor day clubs you find dotted about Europe in the summer.

Fortunately, the Darwin Botanic Gardens are a lot closer to home.

As well as “sexy beats”, the festival will also feature tantalising food options from food truck favs La French, Ruby G’s Canteen and Bakery, Hansel & Gretel and beef brisket sliders from Pony & Sid.

Expect to see the familiar Trader Bar chic, tropical aesthetic on show, with the pop-up bar and stage to be handmade using recycled timber from fallen trees in Cyclone Marcus, the Category 2 storm that tore through Darwin in March.

As for the forecast for this cocktail party?

The only damage might just be on the dance floor.

 

More Info:

WHY NOT Dance Event

Saturday 2 June, Darwin Botanic Gardens

www.whynotdanceevent.com

Or check out Facebook here.

All set for Fashions on the Field

In Part Two of our Darwin Cup preview, we get down to the nitty gritty about the Dos and Don’ts if you’re planning on entering this year’s Fashions on the Field (FOTF).

With a mini competition for the kids at Family Day tomorrow (check out our inspo featuring our beautiful nieces above) Fashions on the Field gets down to serious business on Ladies’ Day with the ultimate winner to be crowned on Darwin Cup Day.

With a Darwin filly winning the coveted FOTF title on Melbourne Cup Day not once, but twice, the local competition is of high standard and you can expect the fashion race to be just as fierce as the Darwin Cup itself!

So, if you’re planning on entering this year, here are some hot tips from style guru and head FOTF judge, Georgie Murphy, which may just help get you first past the post.

DS: Hi Georgie, welcome back and looking forward to judging a few of the FOTF race days with you again this year! Let’s start with the top. Hat or fascinator?

GM: I like a hat, but I think the shift from fascinator to headbands and crowns is great one!

DS: Me too, amen to that!

DS: Moving on to the rest of the outfit now, which can be overwhelming at times… What bag? What shoes? What colour nails? Eeeeep! To break it down for us, what are five quick tips for anyone planning on entering FOTF?

GM: Ok here goes:

  1. Let your personality shine through in your outfit (and smile!).
  2. Consider current fashion trends but remember you’re at the races.
  3. Embrace the carnival of colour theming (see previous post for more on that here).
  4. Think of your outfit from top-to-toe, headwear, accessories, shoes, nails, make-up and hair style included – it’s the overall picture that counts!
  5. Have a try on your full outfit in advance of race day and visit a seamstress (unless of course, you’re handy with a sewing machine yourself!) for any last minute tailoring – it might be a hem, cuffs or collar that needs quick attention that could make all the difference.

DS: And I’m going to add to that and say take your time on the catwalk! Remember, it’s not a sprint and the more time we have to take in your whole outfit, the better it is for us to judge.

DS: What about any big No Nos?

GM: You need headwear. That’s a non-negotiable.

Short skirts, low cut tops and lycra are also something that won’t score well. Leave them in your wardrobe for the dance floor later on in the day.

For everything else, it’s about how it’s worn and how the complete outfit looks. For example, a smattering of sequins or embellishment could make a FOTF outfit a winner. A gown that is top to toe in glitter won’t do as well.

DS: So that’s the ladies covered, now what about the men?

GM: For the guys, think about fit – doesn’t matter whether you’re donning the suit or a pair of shorts and a casual collared shirt, it’s a good idea to make sure it flatters you. Remember you’ll be in our outfit all day, so make sure it’s suitable and comfortable.

Consider summery fabrics like cotton and linen for your top half, and have fun with prints, colours and textures for your shorts or trousers.

Don’t forget accessories, like a cool belt, perhaps some new shoes or a pocket square for a pop of colour. Don’t be a slave to exactly match your tie, pocket square and your belt, it just get’s a bit much.

Men entering Fashions on the Field would typically wear a hat, but it’s not a definite must do. Hats are a great to complete an outfit for the track, whether you’re hitting the FOTF catwalk or not.

The good things about men’s hats for the track is they are typically a little more practical than the millinery women wear, and provide some shelter from the Darwin sun. Look for light weight material wide brimmed numbers like a panama.

DS: Great advice as always Miss Murphy! Looking forward to seeing some handsome men line up for FOTF on Cup Day!

 

Find out more about the 2017 Darwin Turf Club children’s, men’s and women’s Fashion on the Field competitions here.

 

Blue dress –Just Looking Boutique

Girls headbands – Monsoon Millinery

Blue earrings, pink flower headband – Pink Hill

Giddy up for the Carnival of Colour

We’re thrilled to be teaming up with the Darwin Turf Club this year to promote the Darwin Cup Carnival!

This year’s theme is ‘Carnival of Colour’ which is a great fit for the Top End’s vibrant lifestyle.

The month-long Carnival includes a host of on and off-track social events as well as eight race meets culminating in the Darwin Cup on the first Monday in August, a public holiday in Darwin.

For those un-initiated to the Darwin Cup Carnival, it’s far more laidback than its southern counterparts. While Flemington has its famous roses, the Darwin Cup Carnival is more renowned for its dirt track which turns into a dance floor after the Darwin Cup.

In other words, the emphasis is on fun.

But, while the mood may be relaxed, the fashion stakes are just as high as you’ll find in Melbourne or Sydney.

So, the question is what to wear?

To help you out, we’ve put together a few race looks for inspiration and got some hot tips from Darwin Turf Club Head Fashions on the Field Judge (and our style crush) Georgie Murphy.

DS: Hi Georgie, let’s start off with what are your top three race wear trends for the Carnival?

GM: In no particular order, three of my faves are the midi length skirt, mixing textures and the use of accessories to complete a look.

The midi-length skirt is flattering, can be worn a variety ways (my personal favourite is the pencil skirt) and to me, the midi length is the epitome of race day elegance.

Using a variety of textures in one outfit, be it lace and leather or even heavier fabrics like a wool or felt with lighter fabrics like linen, allow racegoers to create a unique take on any look. It also means Territorians can embrace autumn and winter fashion trends despite our warm climate!

Accessories are no longer just an afterthought to an outfit. That’s been shown across catwalks, to street style and of course trackside.  They’re available at all different price points and can allow you to add a new edge to clothes you already own.

DS: Yes! We loooooove big earrings at the moment!

DS: What about your tips for embracing the carnival of colour theme?

GM: This year’s carnival of colour will allow racegoers to embrace their favourite colours and maybe even try a new colour palette too. Rather than going top-to-toe in one colour, mix different shades, into your look.

Bypass old rules like “blue and green should never be seen” and instead, experiment with colours that might clash or loud prints and patterns.

With eight race days across Darwin Cup Carnival allow each day at the track to have its own personality – some are more casual, others more chic. Keep this in mind as you decided what to wear!

DS: Thanks Georgie, see you at the track!

Buy tickets here.

**Thanks to the beautiful Mavericks for being such a handsome model on this shoot 🙂

 

Red dress, shoes & gloves – Love thy Label

Red Hat – Maria Koko Designs

Earrings – Christie Nicolaides

 

Orange dress – Pink Hill

Multi-colour fascinator – Monsoon Millinery

Blue shoes & blue bracelet – Stomp Shoes Darwin

Blue bag, yellow bracelet & gold earrings – Pink Hill

 

Eat Local Dinner @ Wharf One

When you say the word “hump” a few things might spring to mind…but we bet a mouth-watering serve of beef isn’t one of them.

But, that’s exactly what was served up at Wharf One’s ‘Eat Local Dinner’ prepared by former MasterChef contestant, Lynton Tapp as part of the inaugural Territory Taste Festival last week.

The special four-course dinner with matching wines featured produce sourced locally (think fresh seafood like prawns, ah-mazing barramundi, mackerel, kangaroo, citrus flavours and damper) with Lynton basically serving up his idea of the Northern Territory on a plate.

And, having grown up on a remote cattle farm, the Territory chef made the bold choice of plating up Brahman Hump.

For the non-Territorians out there, Brahman cattle is often considered the poor cousin to the Angus steak you normally carve up at your fav restaurant but you might not know that this tasty cow is actually our main cattle exported overseas.

The Brahman is easily identified by it’s stand-out “hump” over the withers at the back of their necks. Apparently, it helps the animal survive in hot, arid conditions ie. the Northern Territory.

Now, we’re not going to lie.. there were a few raised eyebrows on our table after it was revealed the Brahman Hump was on the menu and yes, a few verses of the Black Eyed Peas were sung at various points during the night…

But, it was absolutely delicious! Everyone was genuinely surprised at how tender the meat was comparing it to pulled pork. The Hump was served with blackened cucumber and fermented chilli and was hands-down our fav dish of the night.

But enough about the food … what about the wine?!

As part of the dinner, the winemakers up from down south for the Territory Taste Festival talked about each wine presented, which as you can imagine involved a fair few LOL’s (these guys do drink for a living after all). Our fav drops were the Salome Tempranillo Rosé and the Woodstock Chardonnay.

Quote of the night went to the winemaker who said he “feels naked without a Chardonnay in his hand”…

All we can say to that is… Welcome to the Northern Territory. We’ve got no beef with that here.

 

Restaurant: Wharf One Food & Wine

Chef: Lynton Tapp

More information about the Territory Taste Festival here.

Territory Taste Festival

Good food, great wine, a mojito (or two) a beer garden and sunshine were the ingredients for a perfect weekend at the inaugural Territory Taste Festival at the Darwin Convention Centre.

The size of the Festival blew us away.. it was huge! And it was just as well as the place was packed with organisers saying the Fest attracted a crowd of 10,000 over the weekend.

It was a pretty hot so thank god most of the event was held indoors in the air conditioning. There were all kinds of food on offer from scones and jam to paella to loaded fries complete with jalapenos (mmmm loooooooooooooove jalapenos).

We were also fortunate to taste some incredible barramundi cooked up by legendary Australian Chef, Matt Moran, on the big screen at one of the Festival’s many live cooking demonstrations. Needless to say it was delish.

But, the highlight for us was the wine bar hosted by Liquor Down Under.

It was literally standing room only as Darwinites and visitors gathered around wine barrels to taste test drops hailing from wineries in Margaret River, the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. In true Darwin-style, strangers became friends and things got pretty chatty pretty fast.

A couple of the winemakers on hand remarked at their surprise at how popular the stand was as they were told Territorians were “beer drinkers”.

Well, if the Territory Taste Festival was anything to go by, the beer drinkers might have to move over.

These days it seems you’re more likely to find an Espresso Martini and a glass of red in our beer gardens.

Cheers to that.

#DFest15

For the month of August, the city of Darwin comes alive with the running of the Darwin Festival – or what we locals call D Fest.

For 18 days, the Festival takes over town with Civic Park in the City turned into a daily night time picnic under the stars while the Lighthouse, the Botanical Gardens Amphitheater and other venues host a jam-packed program of music, theatre, visual art, dance and cabaret events. There’s also a host of free events too.

The easy highlight of this years program was a sold-out Saturday night show by SAFIA at the Lighthouse. For one of the hottest acts going around at the mo, shout out to the D Fest organisers for securing the guys who are selling out shows around the country.

Local DJ’s Sietta followed the set with beats that kept the crowd going well into the night/morning and Remi even took to the stage for an impromptu duet a night after his own show. AND he was also spied grooving his way across the d floor and getting down with the locals. What a legend!

We’ll miss our Festival Park catch ups, cocktails and palm tree swizzle sticks.. thanks for the memories #DFest15.

 

 

Darwin Cup

It’s a safe bet the Darwin Cup is always a great day out. And 2015 didn’t disappoint.

The day after ‘The Hangover Cruise’… it was a slow start… (see The Hangover Cruise post and pics to understand why…) But.. Darwin Cup weekend was always going to be a marathon not a sprint. And just like the thoroughbreds set to line up in the Cup, we called on all the endurance we could, to get past the post.

Once again, we were kindly hosted in the CUB marquee (aka major sponsors Carlton United Breweries) and the photo above was taken on a new feature of the marquee this year – the Sky Deck. What a view!

This year, outfit-wise I went with a skirt-top-combo as I think there is less chance of someone wearing the same outfit! Flashback 2013… arghhhhhhhhhh!

Fashion aside, as with all good Darwin Cups the day ended dancing with friends on the lawn as the sun set… the Cup long run and won.

‘Til next year.

Crown: Gina Marie Millinery

Sunglasses: Dior

Top: Binaca Spender

Skirt: Bianca Spender

Clutch: Mimco

The Hangover Cruise

The appropriately named, The Hangover Cruise was held on the Sunday of the Darwin Cup long weekend.

This meant that most cruise-goers were a) hungover from the Darwin Cup Gala Ball the night before, b) hungover from regular Saturday night festivities c) preparing to be hungover for the Darwin Cup the following day (which is a public holiday for the main race day of the year in Darwin) or d) just hanging out for some fun in the sun.

A new event on the Darwin social calendar this year, The Hangover Cruise was pure genius by the super-talented @PippatheTrader (aka Pippa who owns The Trader cafe in Winnellie).

The style set were mostly decked out in classic white and nautical theme with more than a few reflector sunnies.

Beats were provided by DJ Christian K and was a mix of classic chill and a decent dose of ol’ skool hip hop with an impromptu performance on the bongo drums from local lads, Jed and Julian. If you didn’t get your groove on the boat did it for you.

End result: everyone was swaying one way or another.

Additional pics: Instagram/@Pippathetrader

Skirt: Aje

Sunglasses: Dior

Davis Cup in Darwin

The Davis Cup in Darwin…. whaaaaaaaaat????!!! When we heard the semi final between Australia and Kazakhstan was to be held in Darwin we bought tix straight away (before you say “ok eager beaver” we are a little starved for top level sport up here alright so we have to take what we can get and… IT’S THE DAVIS CUP!!!)

A specially constructed grandstand and grass court was installed at Marrara, which took months to build and made the place almost unrecognisable – Mar-rara is that yoooou?? The weather was postcard-perfect and oh what a weekend it was.

The Kokk and Kyrgios lost both matches on the first day (Kyrgios smashed not one, not two, but THREE racquets) so things weren’t looking great. But we won the doubles on the Saturday and then the Aussies pulled an old switch-a-roo on the Kzaks and put the big serving Sam Groth in the crucial do-or-die 4th match.

The atmosphere was crazy amazing. Everyone was absolutely going off and Groth aced on grass to send the fifth rubber into a decider and guess who walks out? The legend Lleyton Hewitt to save the day.

And he did.

It was vintage Hewitt in his farewell year and it was a privilege to witness the first time in 76 years Australia has come back from 0-2 down to win a Davis Cup tie.

C’mon!

Dance like you wanna dance

The Dry Season doesn’t just bring good weather to Darwin.. it also signals music festival time!

While we don’t have the regular kick-ass acts, gigs, shows and fests like down south we do have two music festivals pretty much back-to-back in the Dry – Bass in the Grass at the end of May and XXXX Gold Summer Session on the Queens Birthday long weekend in June.

Both music festivals featured some pretty good acts this year – Flight Facilities at Bass was a personal fav and Kilter at Summer Sesh was also a pretty good get.

For the uninitiated, both fests are very Darwin – think laid-back, chilled, beautiful sunsets and weather and plenty of good vibesssss.

More info:

Bass in the Grass

Summer Session