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Date with Kate

Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Roxy Jacenko

18th February, 2018

Roxy Jacenko is the epitome of a woman who knows how to juggle a millions things and make it look effortless. Not only is she at the helm of three successful businesses – Sweaty Better PR, The Ministry of Talent and Pixie’s Bows, she’s also an ambassador for several brands including ENJO, Toni & Guy and Stan Australia, and has released her own self tanner, Roxy Tan and a range of healthy salads with Sydney institution Chargrill Charlie’s. Oh and she’s also a busy wife and mum of two. Here I chat with Roxy about the key to her success, her secrets to looking amazing and the one thing she wishes she could tell her younger self…

What is a day in the life of you?

Every day is different. It’s filled with site visits, client meetings, new business pitches, thousands of emails and ambassador requirements.

You look amazing! What does your exercise regime look like? 

I am happy with where I am at now in terms of weight and tone. I was up and down for about a year and got to a point where I was OBSESSED which is never a good thing.

I think it’s about finding a balance between eating well and training. I love resistance training and TRX – cardio and I are NOT a match!

How do you stay motivated to keep fit and look so amazing? 

I train with Ben Lucas at [Sydney’s] Flow Athletic once a week and then the other two days a week with Ryan Cairns. Fitness isn’t an option for me, after [having] breast cancer it’s an essential part of life.

Roxy starring in the campaign for RoxyTan, her collaboration with brand Skinny Tan

What were your new year’s resolutions for 2018? Have you stuck to them?

I don’t do NY resolutions. Never have!

How do you juggle such a busy career and motherhood? 

I have an amazing support network who help me with Pixie and Hunter daily. My mum lives above me and is also wonderful in terms in helping me with special projects within the business. Oli is a great dad and allows me to be able to manage work more efficiently.

What is your favourite thing about being a mum to Pixie and Hunter?

They make a bad day good when you open the door to their smiling faces!

Roxy Jacenko with husband Oli and children Pixie and Hunter

Roxy with her husband Oli and children Pixie an Hunter

How did you come up with the flavour combination for the range of salads you’ve released with Chargrill Charlie’s?

Initially I did research on ingredients, I wanted to provide nutrient rich salads that were not only visually pleasing but good for you AND filling!

I worked closely with the team at Chargrill Charlie’s to refine these key ingredients and come up with the finished (three) salads. The Clean and Lean range actually took a good four months to develop and each was seriously critiqued on taste, nutritional value and visual appeal!

Roxy Jacenko's range of Chargrill Charlie's salads

Roxy’s range of salads with Chargrill Charlie’s

What is your indulgent food that you must have?

Killer Python DAILY!

What are you most proud of in your life so far?

My children, Pixie and Hunter and my businesses, Sweaty Betty PR, The Ministry of Talent and Pixie’s Bows all of which I have built from scratch.

Career-wise, what is the key to your success?

Hard work, risk taking, breaking the rules and always looking for what’s next.

What do you find most challenging about a life in the spotlight?

I don’t really look at it like that. I am grateful for the opportunities that I have afforded from all that has happened in my life. It’s not challenging, it’s just life!

Roxy speaking at a Roxy's Tips and Tricks event

Roxy says life in the spotlight is “just life”

Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self? 

Save more and fast cars depreciate FAST!

Where do you see Sweaty Betty in five years time? 

Who knows, with the way my life goes, what happens tomorrow could be a surprise.

What is your favourite way to spend a weekend? 

At home with my kids and Oli.

Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Lee Watson

17th December, 2017

Lee Furlong is a busy woman—juggling family life with her two kids, Will, 4 and Matilda, 2 and cricketer husband Shane Watson, along with Let’s Activate, the children’s sports program she founded with Shane. Amongst all this she has somehow managed to find time to write a children’s book. Titled Nothing Happens Outside on Tuesday, the book focuses on the importance of physical activity and spending time with family enjoying the great outdoors. Here Lee chats to me about writing a book, how she encourages her kids to stay active and what’s in store for 2018.

Tell me all about your new book, Nothing Happens Outside on Tuesday.

Golden Circle approached me not long after I launched [children’s sports program] Let’s Activate. At the start of the year they mentioned they wanted to create a colourful children’s book but with a really strong message about the importance of physical activity and creating beautiful family moments outside. Right away I knew that there was also some synergy between Golden Circle and Let’s Activate.

What’s involved when you put together a children’s book? 

Well, it’s quite a long process. Usually it would take a good six months to put a colourful children’s book together like this, but we’ve had really tight deadlines. So, myself and the book’s illustrator Heath McKenzie, who is definitely the best in the business at this sort of thing, just had lots of chats here and there. It was just spending a lot of time together, going back and forth. We got along so well right from the start, so it was really nice.

What makes you so passionate about children being active?

I can only speak from personal experience that my kids Will and Matilda are such happy children when they’re outside doing things and being active. That’s the main reason we started Let’s Activate. We wanted to create a programme specialising in all different sports and trying to give parents other options of what they can do, not only at our clinics, but while they’re at home. There’s a whole bunch of activities online on our website that give parents tips along the way of how they can be fit and healthy. It’s fine to have a balance of screen time and TVs and getting out there. I don’t think you’re ever too young to start sport.

What were you like as a child? 

Yes! I didn’t stop. [I have] all these childhood memories of playing with my brother in the backyard. We had a trampoline, a Slip and Slide— that was always good fun with the detergent— and running amok in the backyard. I always played sports, tennis and swimming. I think the only instruction I had was when Mum and Dad were like “Come inside. It’s dinnertime.”

How do you limit screen time with your kids?

Yeah, it’s a constant challenge. They can watch their favourite show each day, and it’s a great time to unwind. I think they’re happiest when they are out in the fresh air and the outdoors. What I find really easy is just going to a park or going to the beach and letting them discover nature and doing what they want and interacting with other children. For me, time goes so quickly. We always have a really fun time. When I’m stuck at home on a rainy day, that’s a tedious time. You’re sort of clock-watching, waiting for it all to roll by. For us, it’s all about discovering. For me, it’s rewarding seeing the world through their eyes. 

What is happening with Let’s Activate? 

Well we’ve just launched sports-themed birthday parties. Kids pretty much being active from the start to the end. We’re absolutely loving what we’re doing, and we’re finding kids are spending less time sitting around the lolly table.

How do you juggle this all? 

I have dedicated time. Family time and work time. It’s not up until recently that I realised don’t mix the two together. When I’m with the kids trying to send emails, it never works.

Where do you see yourself and Let’s Activate in five years time?

Hopefully, in every school. As long as the kids are happy, and they’re learning all sorts of skills from a young age. We start at 20 months. It’s amazing how many children that we see from 20 months to six years, that may have very little experience throwing a ball, catching, kicking, all sorts of things.

What are your go-tos for being a stylish mum?

Day-to-day, it’s just jeans and a t-shirt and runners for me. If I’m with the kids it’s a black t-shirt and jeans, because usually I’m covered in dirt and the kids’ breakfast by the afternoon. I wear a lot of black. That’s really relaxed sort of style. And a lot of active wear.

What are your plans for Christmas? 

So many years we spent Christmas with the [cricket] training team in Melvin, getting ready for the Boxing Day test, and that was the big focus. As much as everyone wanted to relax and enjoy Christmas, but the players were always thinking about the next day. Will and Matilda are four and two and it’s all about the kids. We spend the morning at the beach having a little swim and having a nice little barbecue with our families.

Do you think either of your kids will follow in Shane’s footsteps?

They love playing sports. They absolutely do. Will hasn’t picked up a cricket bat. We haven’t encouraged that, besides what he does in Let’s Activate. We cover all sports, and he loves it there. He plays a fair bit of softball. Matilda and Will and Shane and I will play soccer in the backyard, all sorts of things. Look, whatever they want to get into that’d be awesome. They both definitely love their sport. That’s as far as it goes at the moment.

What’s been the biggest highlight of this year?

The biggest highlight is writing this book with Heath McKenzie. And being asked to do it by Golden Circle. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, in particular, a children’s book. I know how special [reading] time is of a nighttime.

Do you have plans to write any more books?

Not at the moment, but I would love to do it in the coming years. Let’s Activate has kept me extremely busy, and being a mum, and trying to be there as much as I can, and enjoy this awesome time. Because in just over a year’s time, Will’s going to be at school. Followed by Matilda, so they’re the moments that I cherish because I’ll never be able to get them back.

What are your plans for 2018?

We’re spending a couple of months in Italy. Usually when we travel, it’s for work [this time] it’s going to be for fun. And really trying to nail that school space with Let’s Activate. And just having as many awesome family moments as we can, and spending as much time together.


We went to: Machiavelli 

We drank: Aperol Spritz

We ate: Catch of the day marinated in lemon, olive oil and chilli dressing served with micro herbs and crostini; Mixed salad green served with seasonal vegetables and Balsamic vinaigrette 


What I Wore

Date with Kate: Tiarnie Coupland

9th December, 2017

Australian actress and model Tiarnie Coupland was discovered at only eight years of age and since then has forged a career as an actress appearing in numerous TV series, short films and commercials. Her big break came when she scored a lead role playing Maddy Kent in the ABC and CBBC children’s TV program The Worst Year of my Life, Again! She starred in season three of the Nine Network series Love Child and was nominated for a Logie for best new talent for that very role. She is also a model and was recently named the new face of jewellery brand, Jan Logan. Here she chats to me about juggling acting and modelling, her biggest pinch-me moment and what she plans to get up to over Christmas.

What is a day in the life of you?
It really depends whether I have an acting or modelling job. So, at the moment I’m working on a series; reading scripts, developing the character and being on set.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on an amazing ABC series, Jack Irish, which I’m very excited about!

Your career began at eight years of age. How did you get your start?
It all started with a TV commercial for the Sunday Telegraph, it was my first audition ever and I got the job! We [in the commercial] had to follow these ‘footsteps’ which led us to a newsagency and the Sunday Telegraph paper.

What does it mean to you to be the face of jewellery brand Jan Logan?
I’m so blessed to be the face of the AMAVI collection. It’s such an incredible honour to be able to stand beside the past faces of Jan Logan. They have all gone on to become some of Australian leading ladies in film and television internationally and locally.

How involved are you with the Jan Logan brand?
They are like family now. I see the whole team at Jan Logan at least once or twice a week at the moment. As an ambassador, I am so grateful that they lend me jewellery for events I attend. I’m very lucky to be able to wear such classic looking jewellery with a modern twist.

Who do you look up to in the industry?
I look up people like Emma Watson and Angelia Jolie. They are both very strong and independent women, who have amazing careers and look like they have a great time hanging out with family and friends.
Did you ever dream that you’d be nominated for a Logie at just 20 years of age? 
Not at all! It was such a surreal moment. One that I thought would never happen to me at such a young age.

What has been your biggest pinch-me moment?
Probably being at the Logies and just before the night started. There were a lot of butterflies in the stomach that night. It was almost as if I was frozen in time and everything slowed down.
What are you most proud of in your career?
My proudest moment was knowing that all the hard work I put into Love Child series 3 was recognised within the industry and the viewers of the show. For them to have voted for me as best new talent at this year’s Logies?! I couldn’t be more thankful to them.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope that I’m living my best life! That I’m happy and that my career is going smoothly.
What has been your favourite role to date?
Oh that’s a tough one, they have all been so different to each other. No two roles I’ve played are the same.

What would be your acting dream role?
Oh gosh that’s a hard one. I think any young actress’ dream role would be a breakout character in a blockbuster movie. I think when the time comes and I’m reading the script, the role will click with me.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I’ve received is from my parents growing up. They always told my sister and I to have “enthusiasm, focus and persistence”.
What was it like to work on Love Child?
Absolutely amazing. It was my first role on an adult drama and my character had a lot more depth and emotional vulnerability. I had three women who were motherly figures on set; Ella Scott Lynch, Jessica Marais and Mandy McElhinney–they helped out with some of those scenes where I had to be at my most vulnerable.
What do you like to do to relax?
I like to put on some calming piano music and chill in my room whilst working, or relaxing with mask or eye gels on.
Where is your favourite travel destination?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled a bit when I was younger. I would love to revisit Europe now that I’m older.
What are your plans for Christmas?
Plans at the moment would be to rest up and relax over the Christmas break. Maybe do a couple of day trips up and down the coast of NSW.



Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Elyse Taylor

26th November, 2017

Elyse and I catching up in the Lexus Design Pavilion at Melbourne Cup

Australian model Elyse Taylor was discovered at the age of 18 and went on to walk for Victoria’s Secret, Dolce & Gabbana and Tommy Hilfiger and has been on the cover of Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. The 30-year old, born in Sydney and now based in the New York, is now the face of Nude by Nature. Here Taylor chats to me about motherhood and modelling and shares how she maintains her healthy glow.

What is a day in the life of you?
Depends where I am. If I’m at home it’s spent with my daughter, my dog, drop off and pick ups from school, gym, cooking and repeat. If I’m away for work, then gym and work and FaceTime my daughter and I’m usually at an airport.

What have you been working on at the moment?
I was lucky enough to have been invited back for Derby Day and Melbourne Cup with Lexus and I’ve actually been designing my own swimwear range with the Sydney-based brand, Bondi Born which is really exciting.

What is your favourite beauty fix?
Love a good hydrating facial especially the triad facial at Dr Colbert in New York.

What is the secret to glowing skin?
I really believe it’s your diet and staying hydrated. But as for putting products on my face, I always like to use natural products like the Nude by Nature highlighting sticks to give you that extra kick!

What is your favourite travel destination?
A beach. Any beach. I’m a water baby.

How do you stay fit?
I work out 5 times a week. I love it for my mind, my body and for work.

Do you like to cook? What is your specialty?
I do like to cook but recently I’ve become nervous about cooking for grown ups because I’ve been really only cooking for Lila (my daughter) for the past 3 years. I used to make an amazing seafood pasta. And I do whip up a pretty great breakfast.

How do you juggle motherhood and your modelling career?
Like every single mother, you just do it. You try and find balance where you can and if you can’t, you try not to beat yourself up about it and do your absolute best.

What is your favourite activity with Lila?
Cuddling! I’m not sure it’s hers but we also love to bake together.

What are you most proud of in your life so far?
My daughter, always.

What has been your career highlight?
Victoria’s Secret and my Vogue covers.

Living in New York, what do you miss about Sydney?
I miss the beaches and the outdoor lifestyle.

What’s up next for you?
For me, I’ll be shooting and launching the Bondi Born swimwear range and Nude by Nature is releasing their new amazing lip colors.

What’s the secret to a good photo?
I love photos where you are able to capture special moments! But if you’re trying to take a good photo of yourself, try taking 800 hopefully you will get one that you like.

What makes you smile the most?
My daughter.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to make it in the modelling industry?
To be strong and treat it as a business. It’s extremely competitive and a lot of hard work.

How is New York different to Australia for modelling work?
There is definitely more consistent work and a larger range in types of jobs in New York. But I really do love both places and enjoy my time in both. One is not necessarily better than the other, they are just different.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Life is tough but so are you.

What do you always carry in your handbag?
Paw paw everywhere and always.

Do you have rules for how you use social media?
I use it for work purposes only.

We went to: Lexus Design Pavilion

We ate: Baker Bleu bread, Gary’s Quality Meats, Holy Goat Cheese, Bruce Colllis scallops, Kinkawooka prawns, Australia’s Oyster Coast, Nossa Spanner Crabs and Strawberry mascarpone cake
We drank: Coldstream Hills Chardonnay, Yarra Valley

Photography: Regina Karon

Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Tammin Sursok

12th November, 2017

Tammin with husband, Sean McEwen and daughter, Phoenix

Tammin Sursok became a household name from her time playing Dani Sutherland on Home and Away and since then has appeared as Colleen Carlton on The Young and the Restless and Jenna marshall on Pretty Little Liars. Away from acting she has launched her own kids’ clothing line, Stella.Phoenix, founded a production with her husband, producer Sean McEwen and is a mum to daughter, Phoenix. Did I mention she has also found the time to start her own parenting blog Bottle and Heels? Here Tammin takes time from her extremely busy schedule to chat to me about motherhood, living in Los Angeles and how she handles working with her husband…

What is a day in the life of you?

Everyday is always different. As an actor, working with our production company, writing, and designing, whatever is the most time sensitive is what I focus on. I try to keep routine when it comes to my daughter though. We are up at 6am, we eat breakfast together, and one of us takes her to school. It’s the same with our night time routine. In a very unstructured business, I try to give her the most structure in her life.

What are you working on at the moment?

My hubby and I started a production company, Charlie Baby Productions, in 2015 and our projects are slowly but surely getting off the ground. It is extremely surreal to actually see your vision come to life. My business partner Kellie and I are also designing our next collection for Stella.Phoenix. We are actively building my blog, Bottle and Heels and my new show, In Bed with Tammin, on YouTube, where I get to talk real talk with celebrities in bed with a glass of wine.

Tammin’s kids’ clothing line Stella.Phoenix

You have been working on the film Whaling with your husband. What is the secret to working well together?

Believe me it doesn’t always go smoothly. But I’m glad in our relationship we argue over shot lists and not anything more serious. We absolutely love working together and I think we both bring our strengths to the table. But it definitely takes work in learning how to communicate properly. Time management is also important and making sure that your boundaries when you’re on set are clearly defined.

How involved are you with the designs for Stella.Phoenix?

My business partner and I are co-creators of the company. We speak almost daily and we do everything together from nuts to bolts. It has been such an incredible experience and I’ve learned so much within the last year in regards to children’s wear.

Where do you get your inspiration?

For me, travel is a huge way of finding inspiration. Looking out into the water and seeing the rich blues and the different colours of my surroundings. The shapes and textures from being overseas really helps draw inspiration for each collection.

How has life changed after becoming a mum?

Everything’s changed. I’ve really had to work on my time management and communication skills because sometimes you’re just so tired to even do anything. But the biggest thing for me that has changed is I feel like I’m living my life all over again. I see the world through new eyes and I never thought I could possibly feel the love that I have with my daughter.

Tammin with daughter, Phoenix

Where do you find the time to write your blog, Bottle and Heels?

My husband and I are very good with divvying up our time with Phoenix. He understands that on the weekends I need some time to write and I will give him another block of time somewhere in the weekend for him to do his work. But Phoenix now goes to preschool so a lot gets done during the day.

What do mums get out of reading your blog?

I think they get a sense of community and they feel like they have a network of mothers and women who offer support and guidance and a good laugh. The reason I started Bottle and Heels is I didn’t have any mothers that I could talk to after my daughter was born so I felt quite alone. I wanted to create a safe space where women could tell the truth and not be judged because of it.

What do you love the most about being a mum?

I love that I have this little buddy and we get to walk through this life together. She truly is my best friend, as corny as it sounds. Life is just so much more fun…and messy.

What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of motherhood?

I definitely thinking trying to have it all. I think women can, I just don’t think they can have it all at the same time. Also the guilt can be deafening. I never really felt guilty until I had Phoenix and now it happens at least once a day. Also, I think, losing parts of your identity but you definitely gain new aspects of yourself that are more colourful.

What is the secret to maintaining a career and juggling motherhood?

I think the secret is definitely time management. Having lots of lists. Open communication with your husband. Getting help when you need it. And giving yourself a break.

As an actress and singer-songwriter, which medium do you prefer the most?

Since Charlie Baby Productions was born, I honestly just love creating. I could never have a top choice but telling stories about the human experience in whatever form is what I love to do. I’ve always been a storyteller and that’s what propels me forward.

What is your favourite memory from Home and Away?

Being cast in the show was a pivotal point in my life. Everything changed from the moment I got that phone call. I will be forever indebted to that show and the opportunities it brought me, including my family.

Why did you decide to return to Pretty Little Liars playing your character Jenna Marshall?

I never left the show. I was on the show for seven years but Phoenix was born in between so I took a year off.

What was it like to play Jenna who is such a controversial character?

It was wonderful. I think being visually impaired taught me a lot about acting with my body. I learned a lot from that character.

Tammin spending time with her family

What’s on your bucket list?

Travel to places like South America, India, Japan. Build our company so we can be producing and creating more stories, especially for women. Have another child at some point. Expanding Stella.Phoenix into America and the rest of the world. And spend more time in Australia.

How do you keep your energy levels up?

I am almost militant about health. Without your health you have nothing. I’ve been eating and exercising in a healthy manner since I was 15-years-old. I’m a big advocate for superfoods. I don’t eat meat, and I don’t touch dairy. I was a huge coffee drinker for 15 years as I thought it gave me more energy, but I realised it was just frying out my adrenal glands. I haven’t had caffeine for three months and I can’t tell you how much better I feel. I sleep less but am never tired, my skin doesn’t break out, and I have tons more energy. Go figure.

What do you miss the most about Australia?

The lifestyle. The beaches, the food, my family. I feel like I can breathe when I’m there. Los Angeles is always a race and you always feel like you’re catching your breath.

Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Lorna Jane Clarkson

29th October, 2017

Catching up with Lorna Jane Clarkson at China Diner in Sydney’s Double Bay

As the woman behind one of Australia’s biggest activewear brands it seems only fitting that Lorna Jane Clarkson’s love affair with fitness apparel first began when she was an aerobics instructor in the 80s. Unable to find fashionable clothes to wear to her classes she decided to design and create her own and found herself inundated with orders for her designs from other women in the gym. The rest, as they say, is history. Today she is a fashion designer, entrepreneur and author and there are now more than 200 Lorna Jane stores across Australia and the United States, as well as stockists in Europe, the UK, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Lorna’s first cookbook, NOURISH – The Fit Woman’s Cookbook was released in 2014 and Lorna’s first ever coffee table book INSPIRED was released in 2015. The fifty-two-year-old businesswoman spoke to me about the inspiration behind her brand, who she looks up to and the most difficult part of being in the public eye.

What is a day in the life of you? 

I wake up around 5am, squeeze in a workout, have breakfast, catch up on my international emails from overnight and then head into the office by eight. No two days in the office are ever the same (which I love) and on any given day I could be writing, designing, on a campaign shoot or in marketing, strategy or creative meetings. I always try and leave by six and go for a walk with my husband and our dog Roger to catch up on each other’s day before dinner. I love to finish the day with some yoga or meditation, then I go to sleep, wake up and do it all over again!

What does healthy and fit mean to you? 

Being healthy is essentially taking care of yourself so that you can think, feel and be at your best every day. Our health is the one thing we can ALL invest in, and I honestly believe it’s the ultimate investment you will ever make. Without your health, you have nothing, which is why I’m so passionate about empowering women to embrace my Active Living Philosophy and daily practice of Move Nourish Believe – for the simple reason that it makes being fit and healthy really easy.

What is your favourite piece in the current collection? 

At the moment I’m obsessed with The Gothic Rose bra and tights!

What do you think was the key to being able to successfully expand your empire? 

Authenticity. Since day one, I’ve always done things my own way and I’ve never tried to emulate anything another brand is doing. I think our authenticity is why we have such an incredible and loyal customer base, which is what has allowed us to be able to expand internationally.

How did you get into the health and fitness space? 

My mother has always been a great role model for health, so it’s been important to me for as long as I can remember. I got really into the aerobics craze when it launched in the 80s and ended up doing my instructor training and teaching aerobics classes after work. At that time I couldn’t find any gym clothes that inspired me to want to workout—so I started making my own. When I started wearing them to the gym, the women in my classes really loved them, so I started taking orders and before I knew it I was completely swamped (and my lounge room was an absolute mess). I found a real niche and loved what I was doing, so I decided to quit my day job and start designing activewear full-time. And I can honestly say it was the scariest but absolutely BEST decision I’ve ever made!

What were the biggest challenges you faced when you started the company? 

The very first one was getting people to believe in my vision, that comes down to self belief as well. I think you need to need to come from a very powerful place with your vision because for me to say that I want active wear that inspires women and changes the way they think about their workouts, people are thinking “yeah yeah”. I could see women wearing their activewear beyond their workouts and people thought I was crazy to open a store that just sells womens activewear. But a lot of hard work and I proved them wrong!

What are you most passionate about? 

Inspiring women to live their lives at 100 per cent.

Who do you look up to? 

I admire so many people for so many different reasons. I admire strong women like Oprah, Michelle Obama and Diane von Furstenberg. My mum for being such an inspiring role model for me when I was growing up. And of course my husband Bill for being such a visionary and fearless leader!

What is the most rewarding part of having such a successful brand?

Hand over heart, the most rewarding part of my job is when our customers tell me how Lorna Jane has helped them overcome an obstacle in their life. Our ‘Inspo Tanks’ have become a big part of our brand DNA and I’m humbled every time a customer tells me wearing one has helped them push through an obstacle in their life. I’ve heard stories from fitness instructors wearing them to help motivate their members in class right through to women wearing them whilst fighting for their lives in hospital. Hearing stories like those are the reason I do what I do and it makes the more challenging and stressful times so worth it.

Did you have any struggles and setbacks in creating the Lorna Jane brand? 

Of course! I can’t even count the number of times—but it’s all part of the journey and to be completely honest I wouldn’t change a thing, because it’s the setbacks and obstacle that teach you lessons, make you stronger and help you to appreciate what you already have so much more.

What is the most challenging aspect of being in the public eye? 

When people are quick to make a judgment or assumption about you based on something they’ve read or heard.

What motivates you on a day-to-day basis? 

My customers, my team and my amazing family.

How important is it for you to be a role model and embody the Active Living Philosophy and daily practice of Move Nourish Believe?

The reason I put my name on the door 28 years ago, was to make sure that I stayed 100 per cent authentic to who I was as a person. Lorna Jane the brand really is just an extension of Lorna Jane the person and Active Living is my personal philosophy that’s achieved through the daily practice of Move Nourish Believe—plus it’s the very thing I credit for getting me to where I am today.

What is your favourite meal? 

Breakfast! Hands down!

Who do you turn to for support? 

My husband Bill. While he’s the CEO of Lorna Jane, he’s first and foremost my husband and I know I can turn to him for anything.

Your husband Bill also works actively in the business. Is it hard to switch off as a couple? 

We always make sure we schedule some quality family time together every day, even if it’s just a 20-minute walk together before we have dinner so we can really connect as husband and wife. I think when you run a business it can be so easy to get carried away and think “I’ll just send one more email” or “I’ll talk to him about it when I get home”, so actively scheduling ‘no more business’ time is the way we switch off.

Why do you think the activewear industry has seen such growth over the past few years? 

Two things—I think that people are finally starting to realise the importance of good health and that wearing activewear is so much more comfortable and conducive with how we live our lives today. Activewear has become an important part of the modern woman’s wardrobe and I think more and more brands have realised this in the last few years, which is why the activewear industry has absolutely boomed.

Where do you see the Lorna Jane brand in five years? 


Do you get to relax? 

Of course. There’s no way you can be in business for 28 years and stay at the top of your game if you don’t take the time to rest and relax.

What do you do in your downtime? 

We love to go to the beach and Byron Bay is a popular spot for us to escape for the weekend. But I also make sure I schedule a little bit of down time every day, even if it’s just half an hour of yoga or reading before I go to bed.


WE WENT TO China Diner, Double Bay

WE ATE Pork & scallop san choi bao with green bean and almonds; “Asian Slaw” of shredded cabbage, snow pea, carrot and coriander with plum and yuzu dressing; Crab spring rolls with plum sauce; Massaman curry of wagyu beef shin and roasted peanut

WE DRANK Lemongrass and Coconut Sour

Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Jimmy Choo

8th October, 2017

His name is synonymous with one of the most renowned designer shoe brands in the world so it should come as no surprise that for Jimmy Choo, creating footwear runs in the blood. As the son of a shoe maker he learned the craft from his father in Malaysia, before moving to England in the 1980s to undertake formal study at the London College of Fashion. He opened his first shop in Hackney in 1986 and eventually co-founded the Jimmy Choo shoe label with British Vogue’s Tamara Mellon who had worked with Choo on the magazine.

After a successful career at the label that included being appointed official shoemaker to Princess Diana and opening stores in New York, Milan and Paris he stepped down from the brand in 2001. Today he is an Ambassador for Footwear Education at the London College of Fashion, is the recipient of an OBE for services to the British fashion industry and is preparing to launch a capsule shoe collection under his Chinese name Zhou Yang Jie. I caught up with Choo during his inaugural visit to Sydney with American Express to chat about the secret to his success, what he does for fun and if he ever finds himself visiting a Jimmy Choo store…

Where did your love of shoes come from? 

I was born in Malaysia and my father is a shoe designer. So, when I was young I saw my father making shoes. After I finished school, I would finish my homework, then help my dad learning the skill.

So many celebrities have worn your shoes over the years. Is there a person who stands out in your mind?

I have to say thanks to the late Princess Diana. Because I had been working with her for seven years, and now this year is the 20th-year anniversary of her passing and all over the world people still remember her and what she did for the legacy. She did a lot of charity events. Not many people do that.

What was it like to create shoes for the late Princess Diana?

She would call me to Kensington Palace to show me all the garments and everything that she was going to wear as she traveled all over the world. So we would look at all the garments and we would match the shoes for her. She was a very nice, very kind person.

What do you believe is the secret to your success?

When people say to me, “You are [a] successful person”, to me it’s not yet. I’m not successful yet. Because growing up my father always said, “One day you still alive, you don’t know what happened yourself”. People can seem [successful] and suddenly disappear, you know… we must, continue to learn all the time. So I’m not [successful] because I’m still learning.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I think, patience is very important. If you have no patience, you’ve lost everything. Because you need to talk to people. Communication is very important.

And what advice do you give to up-and-coming designers?

They still have to have patience. Every time [you] see something new, you mustn’t lose [your] temper and keep your mind open. Also always [ask yourself] what’s the next fashion? If you don’t sell, you must find out why it isn’t selling.

Why are you so passionate about the art of making shoes?

I love designing shoes, I love shoes. Sometimes when I go to factories, or one of my students comes [to me] with some idea [for] shoes, I would start to tear. True, true. You know, some of them are very beautiful and they take a lot of time, the detail and the design.

Although you are not involved in the company anymore. You must feel very proud that the Jimmy Choo brand you created is doing so well all these years later.

Yes I feel very proud. They’re all doing very well. I congratulate them, I wish them doing better and better.

Do you ever go into the stores?

No, I don’t do that. I don’t go in the shop. I never went into the shop. Because I think soul is soul, you wish them the best; you do what you want to do.

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

For the people, who surround me and take care of me [day to day], I like [to] say thanks to them, I like to organise a holiday for them. I think it’s very important, you know, they are working with me day and night, traveling with me, they haven’t got time for their children and family. So I like to organise so they can go on holiday together. Or I like to invite them to my house. We cook and I love music so I listen to music… Elvis is my favourite.

If you had never gone down this career path of making shoes, what would you be doing?

I would like to be a healer and heal people. You know in London, they have a healing school. You can learn how to heal people with your hands. If you feel pain. They lay a hand on you and you heal them with your energy.

What has been your biggest career highlight?

I would say I’m very grateful to my country. A nine-year-old student, they can see my history in the textbook. Money cannot buy [that]. [Influential] people pass away, and then they talk about them. But I’m still alive.  Thanks to my country and the education minister, the leader allowed my history in a textbook for all the young children to learn as part of their education.

WE WENT TO American Express events at Café del Mar, Cockle Bay Wharf.
WE ATE market fish.
WE DRANK Sparkling water.
Date with Kate, Fashion & Beauty

Date with Kate: Jessica Gomes

13th August, 2017

Catching up with Jessica Gomes in the David Jones food hall, Bondi Junction


Model Jessica Gomes appeared in the Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated every year from 2008 to 2015. She also appeared with Bruce Willis in the recent action comedy film Once Upon a Time in Venice and alongside Owen Wilson in the movie Bastards, set to open late this year. The David Jones ambassador has also recently launched her own beauty brand, Equal Beauty. Gomes, 32, chats to me about how she stays in shape, what she likes to indulge in, and the best advice her actor boyfriend Xavier Samuel has given her.

What are you working on at the moment? 

[I’m] back for the David Jones spring/summer launch, which is really exciting; just came back to shoot the new Jets campaign, which is amazing; working on Equal Beauty – we launched four months ago; still auditioning and doing the film side of things.

Jess’ Equal Beauty range has just launched. Photo: @iamjessicagomes


What are some of the spring/summer trends we should expect to see.

Red is a huge trend, so just like colour blocking – beautiful bright reds, florals…

Do you have a favourite fashion piece for spring/summer? 

There’s so much to choose from. I would say one of my favourite pieces would be a lace dress from Self-Portrait, or a dress from Ginger & Smart. I always think it’s nice to have a printed dress or a bright colour for your wardrobe.

What does being the face for Jets involve? 

I came on with them just recently, so we just launched the first campaign, and we just shot the second … I’ve always been shot in their swimwear, and I always wear Jets in the [David Jones] show as well, so it’s a nice affiliation … [I’m] definitely in with them for longevity, and we’re going to be doing some exciting collaborations in the future.

As a swimwear model, how do you stay fit? 

I do lots of things. Right now I’m really into yoga, and I’ve been doing a lot of yin classes … I feel the best when my mind’s feeling good, like mentally I’m feeling sharp, and clear, and great. For me, lately, I’ve been doing a lot of meditation and yoga, and doing lots of long walks; nothing too aggressive.

Jess Gomes modeling. Photo: @iamjessicagomes


What do you indulge in? 

I love food, I really do. I definitely try and keep it 80 per cent pretty lean, but I’m not too strict on myself. As I get older I’m just like, “You know what, babe? Life’s too short. You deserve whatever it is as long as it comes from a good place.” I’m very much into shopping at farmers’ markets, and eating organic as much as I can, especially in LA … I get my vitamin drips. I do my smoothies. I do my green juice everyday … I have to have my coffee, but I’ll indulge in a really good bowl of pasta, some really good food, especially when I come home … I’m definitely a little more lenient in terms of what I like to eat.

Is modelling or acting your No. 1 focus? 

Definitely modelling is still my No. 1. It’s what I do well … I think acting is more a hobby, something that I have there because I really love being creative and telling stories and working on film sets, but modelling has always been my core, and it will always will be what I do.

Tell me about your coming film Bastards. 

Bastards is a film with Owen Wilson, Glenn Close and Ed Helms. It’s about two brothers who are on the hunt for their biological father. I shot it two years ago; it just hasn’t come out yet … The studios have been waiting for a right time for it to come out, but it’s a comedy film. It’s really funny; I’ve seen it.

What’s life like in LA? 

LA’s amazing, I love it. I just feel so comfortable there. I’ve got my house there, and I’ve got all my things, and I love the lifestyle. I’ve got such a great group of friends there, and I just love it. It’s central to everything. I still duck off to New York if I need to, or it’s one flight over to Australia, or one flight to Europe. I get to dip into the film industry and then dip into the fashion industry too.

Will you ever move back to Australia? 

I feel like Australia will always be a place that I come back to. Obviously it’s where I’m from so I feel like my roots are here, but I do feel rooted, also, in LA. I feel like I’ll always do both … I definitely would move back here in the future when I have a family.

Jess and her Equal Beauty products. Photo @iamjessicagomes


What inspired you to go into the beauty business? 

I love beauty, and I’ve always been obsessed with cosmetics and beauty products, and I spent a lot of time in Asia, and in Seoul, and in South Korea. I discovered so many amazing beauty cosmetics … I thought it would be amazing to start my own brand, and be able to use the David Jones platform as well, as a way to launch it … I wanted something that I could travel with, that was the whole inspiration. I need an easy routine that I can travel with around the world, for hydration and protection, and fragrance free. I wanted it all natural but still effective, and still medicinal, still a preventative, because I was finding that other products weren’t working for me.

What were the biggest challenges of starting your own business? 

The biggest challenges would probably be being resourceful. I think becoming a business person, and becoming an entrepreneur, you realise that it’s just problem solving the whole time … Putting out fires, problem solving, making sure that you’ve got the right team. You’re constantly running into certain things and … you’ve just got to push through. But then the rewarding side of it is seeing the creativity come to life.

Who do you look up to and admire? 

I look up to my sisters because they work so hard and run a household. They’ve got three kids each, and I just see how hard they work and how dedicated they are to their family, and they do it all.

Did you ever think when you were younger that you would have the successes that you do today? 

I did not think that I would ever be in the position that I’m in now. When I first started out my career in Australia … it wasn’t really happening for me, so I had to go overseas, but David Jones has changed my life … and I’ll be forever grateful for that … I’m just proud that I’ve been able to stay grounded and still be true to who I am, and still keep my integrity with everything that I’ve been doing.

Jess in Sports Illustrated. Photo @iamjessicagomes

How’s everything going with Xavier?

Everything’s going great. He’s amazing. We’re doing really well. He’s just been in LA with me. It’s been wonderful, because he’s obviously in the film industry as well, so we’re really, really good.

Is he a big support to you?

He is, he’s very supportive. He’s been really amazing throughout everything, and just been so great, and I feel really lucky that we’re very supportive of each other’s careers, and we definitely let each other do our things.

Do you find it easier to date someone in the industry, or do you find it more challenging?

It’s important to let one another be your own person and … that you both can have your identity, and both do your own thing, but still have that support and come together, so that’s been really nice … He helps me with auditions. We read lines together.

What’s the best piece of acting advice he’s given you? 

He’s like “Don’t second guess yourself.” He’s just like: “You’ve got it” and “You can do it.”

What do you guys do when you have time off together?

We have had the best time in LA because it was the first time that both of us didn’t travel, so we had two months in LA together. We went and saw concerts [and went] on little road trips … we like discovering new restaurants in LA … We go for hikes, we just chill out [and] go see movies …

What’s next for you?

I am heading to Asia. I’m going to Singapore, Seoul and Shanghai for Equal Beauty. We’re going to do some research there, and we’re setting up to launch over in Asia, and then I’m back [in Australia] for a Dior event with David Jones.


WE WENT TO The Restaurant at the David Jones Food Hall, Bondi Junction.

WE ATE  Oysters – Raw, Kilpatrick and Mornay;  Market prawns with parsley, garlic and extra virgin olive oil; Shredded raw vegetables with Sriracha vinaigrette and pecorino; Grain Fed Wagyu Beef.

WE DRANK Mineral water and herbal tea.

JESS WORE a Dion Lee dress

Photo Christopher Pearce

Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Kathryn Eisman

30th July, 2017

Kathryn and I enjoying lunch at Hotel Centennial

Kathryn Eisman is a two-time Emmy Award Nominated Television Journalist, host and producer. She is an International Best-Selling Author of two books,  How To Tell A Man By His Shoes and How To tell A Woman By Her Handbag. She was the Features Reporter for NBC’s No.1 rating Today In New York, then heading all Fashion and Lifestyle coverage at E! News in Los Angeles and has interviewed the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Denzel Washington and Bono. She is married to Australian entrepreneur Siimon Reynolds and they have a three-year-old daughter, Capri. The 36-year-old chats to me about career highs, motherhood and her new blog, High Heel Jungle.

What is a day in the life of you?

Some days I’ll be on location shooting a TV interview with Ariana Grande or Lisa Vanderpump, other days I’ll be in studio filming a live segment for Good Day LA, other days I’ll be working from Soho House in West Hollywood writing a feature for my new blog, High Heel Jungle. No matter how exciting my day, the best part without doubt is walking into my daughter’s room each morning, alongside my husband Siimon, and waking her up together and seeing her little face. We have breakfast together, which includes lots of music and dancing – and occasionally some eating.

Did you always want to be an author and TV reporter?

I was that girl at school studying four-unit English and three-unit history and as many essay-based subjects as possible. I have always been passionate about communicating ideas, about analysing society and seeking meaning in the “ordinary”; asking “why do we do what we do?” It could be the choice to wear a particular item of clothing and what it reveals about our subconscious values and self-identity, or digging deeper during my TV interviews to understand what motivates the people shaping popular culture and why we are fascinated with them.

What was your first big break?

I think when there was a bidding war to publish my first book, How To Tell a Man by His Shoes, at the age of 20 and it then going on to become an international bestseller.

What was your biggest pinch-me moment?

Perhaps landing the role as on-air chief features reporter for NBC in New York and getting to pitch, produce, write and report for the No. 1 morning news program in the world, interviewing everyone from politicians to pop culture royalty, like George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker, alongside industry icons like Katie Couric. Getting to cover social issues and trends from my own point of view was like being given the key to the city!

Who has been your favourite celebrity interview?

Dwayne Johnson, aka “the Rock” . He is such a presence, and not just physically. I was recently interviewing him for his role in [the film] Moana and when our time was up and they started wrapping me, he interjected and said, “Now this is interesting … let’s continue!” No one argues with the Rock! He is so honest, open and generous. It’s little wonder his is the most bankable star in Hollywood. Oh, and Jon Hamm, for obvious reasons [laughs].

Who would you still like to interview?

Elon Musk.

You have written two bestselling books. Do you have plans for any more?

Yes, I have a book I’m dying to write. I’m just looking for a window of time to write it. It might have to be between midnight and 4am!

What inspired you to launch High Heel Jungle? 

Social media has ushered in with it a culture of comparison, of peddling this false perception of living the “perfect life”. High Heel Jungle is the antidote to that. Yes, it’s beautiful to look at; yes, it celebrates success, but every article I write, every celebrity interview is rooted in truth so that my community leaves feeling empowered rather than inadequate.

What is life like in LA? 

Very happy. We feel like we have found a second home with wonderful friends, a home we love sharing as a family, and we get to do what we love in a hub of modern media and entertainment.

What has working overseas taught you? 

Work ethic and resilience. Every time I’ve landed in a new city, be it New York or LA, I’ve done it without knowing anyone or having any industry contacts, so I’ve had to keep proving myself again and again. The world doesn’t owe me anything, and knowing this has been a great gift.

What do you miss most about Australia when you are abroad?

So much. My parents and having them around me as we raise our daughter; my childhood friends; the food and beaches.

How do you balance the juggle of motherhood and success?

Like all working mums I wish I had five more hours in the day, but I’ve become so much more efficient because I don’t want to waste a moment that’s keeping me from my family. When I’m at work, I’m 100 per cent focused on work. When I’m with my daughter, I’m not cruising Instagram or thinking about my next assignment, I’m really present.

What was life like before motherhood, and how has motherhood changed your life?

Now I ask myself, “What would Capri enjoy”. You sacrifice downtime, but now everything has so much more meaning. I feel a great sense of purpose and a deeper love than I could ever imagine.

What’s the best thing about being a modern mother? 

We can make up our own rules and are no longer confined to traditional roles. Just because you are a mother doesn’t mean you cease to be a woman or a human being with dreams of your own. And the world has finally woken up to the fact that a fulfilled woman makes for a better mother!

What’s the hardest thing about being a modern mother?

Having it all isn’t easy! I often feel as though I have two full-time jobs and only the time to fulfil one of them.

What is the one thing you hope Capri grows up to know and appreciate?

Kindness and resilience. No one who ever truly succeeded did so without facing enormous odds. Knowing that just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s wrong is a great advantage. Also, it’s important to be strong, but never let any person, any job or circumstance make your heart hard.

What’s your number one fashion tip?

Dress to make yourself happy. If that means pastel dressed – like it does for me – then go for it. If it means black basics, great.

Who is your role model? 

My grandmother, Anna Reich, was the epitome of what it is to be a lady. She was a brilliant businesswoman who oversaw her portfolio well into her 90s. She was always impeccably dressed, but above all else she valued family.

Who do you turn to for help and advice? 

My mother, my husband, my best friend.

How would you describe Siimon as a Dad?

Endlessly patient, joyful and kind. He never loses his temper, he is so gentle and fun-loving.

How do you unwind and unplug from social media?

I just turn my phone off! It isn’t always easy but I force myself to physically unplug. I also try to make eye contact with Capri and Siimon more often because we have a society that’s always looking down at our phone instead of looking up into the eyes of the people we love.

What’s your favourite way to spend a day off? 

We’re trying to take more family vacations. It’s hard to justify the time off, but when I think of my childhood, it’s our family trips that I remember most clearly. This year it was a month in Sydney with family and taking Capri to Capri for the first time!


WE WENT TO Hotel Centennial, Woollahra

WE ATE King trout sashimi style breakfast bowl with avocado, wombok, nori, organic brown rice & soft egg; Spinach & feta biodynamic egg white omelette served with salad & grilled sourdough.

WE DRANK Mimosa with prosecco with strawberry & basil.

KATHRYN WORE a Herve Leger dress.

photo: Fairfax Media.

Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Charles Edwards

23rd July, 2017

Charles Edwards and I enjoying lunch at Toko Sydney

English actor Charles Edwards has starred in roles from theatre to television’s Downton Abbey to the films Philomena and Batman Begins. He is in Australia playing Professor Higgins in the return season of My Fair Lady, which opens in Sydney on August 24. Edwards, 47, chatted to me about working under Julie Andrews’ direction, funny moments with Downton fans, having dinner with Michael Palin, and his dream role.

Is this the first time you have visited Australia?

I’ve visited once before, when I left school, did the backpacking and stayed in Melbourne. I think the longest time we stopped anywhere was Melbourne… [There] were about six of us crammed into a studio flat… We didn’t really see the country, we just went from place to place working. My partner’s parents have a flat in Balmain… so we have that connection with it.

What drew you to work here and do this play?

They rang up and said that Julie Andrews was directing My Fair Lady and they needed a Professor Higgins. So I said, “Great”. I mean, the opportunity to work with her and be part of it because it’s very iconic … and the fact that she is directing it, it’s a big deal.

What has it been like to work with Julie Andrews?

A lot of work has gone into it and she is the surviving DNA of the [1956] production and … my God, she knows her stuff.

Has Julie given you any special advice?

[She] remembered how Rex [Harrison] did things – not that she told us to do everything as was done then, but gave us a quite rigid structure of the recreation. We had the freedom to do our thing and that is very important to me because no one wants to go and see someone impersonate Rex Harrison or impersonate Julie Andrews, you want to see … a different performance, so that’s what we’ve achieved.

What is it like to play Professor Higgins?

It’s really fun. It’s particularly fun because he causes so much outrage in the audience and you hear them gasping. He is very, very rude and very self-centred and very selfish – precocious child, effectively … I find it tempting to play parts like that … Then [he] changes… as does Eliza, and that’s the joy of the story: that the two opposites meet and then they change each other.

What drew you to a musical?

They used to cast me in musicals at drama school, and then I did something where someone said, “Oh you can’t sing” … and it has always stuck with me… But to be part of something like this is mammoth.

How did you prepare for the role?

Well, I had some singing lessons and that was sort of it, really … It was deciding how to mould the singing and the speaking together.

You have played so many roles. What would be your most recognisable role with fans?

Without a doubt Downton Abbey, just because it’s so universally watched. And even though it’s finished, it’s still it’s the thing people still love.

Have you had any funny moments with Downton Abbey fans?

I really noticed it in the States – I was in LA for a few months doing a play. In England, people are less effusive. You can see them looking at you, but they won’t say anything. But in the States, it’s very different. They’re just so effusive and they adore it, they’re obsessed with it. So all you get is a sort of fanaticism about it because they just think it’s the best thing ever.

Out of all the characters you’ve ever played, which has been your favourite?

It’s so hard, that. I think at the moment I would say Higgins but that’s because I’m doing it at the moment. In two years’ time, I might say something else. But the things I’m most fond of: I played Michael Palin in a TV comedy film [Holy Flying Circus] about Monty Python and I loved that because he was a real person and I met him and he thought it was great, too. That was a high point, just having dinner with him. He came to see me in the play The King’s Speech purely by chance. He wanted to see the play because his father was a stammerer and he set up The Michael Palin Stammering Centre in London and it was something that was close to his heart … I was so excited.

Is there a character you would still love to play?

The one I always say is in the play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which is George, the husband. I’ve got probably another 10 years probably to do that effectively, but I do always say that part because it’s a wonderful play and it’s vicious and it’s funny and it’s tragic and all those things that I like to do. Comedy laced with darkness – I like that.

What is it like working on a stage play compared to a big Hollywood set?

Movie sets can be very intimidating because it’s so big. [With theatre] you spend six weeks – or however long it is – rehearsing; you’re gently sort of eased into it. On the films, you’ve got to turn up, do your thing and go. So if you turn up and you don’t know anybody and you’re standing on a huge set, it’s nerve-wracking … In theatre you have the opportunity, obviously, to change things over the course of the long run. Both mediums are very satisfying, but you just need to shift your priorities in each.

What was it like working with Judi Dench and Naomi Watts?

It’s really exciting … I just want to drink in what they have to offer in terms of their wisdom, experience and stories … I think in film and television, if you’re a big deal, you can often get treated slightly reverentially, and they often don’t like that because it makes them feel different from everybody else. And particularly these women are all stage-trained, and what they love is the company of other actors, and then they’ll just chat away, just as anyone does, and be indiscreet and rude and naughty because they love it, that’s what they love to do, they always love going back to the stage. And I think I probably have that in me as well.

Do you have any plans while you’re in Sydney?

It will depend on the schedule. I’m realising, having done the show now for a few months, that it takes it out of you.

Is there any time for fun?

Well, there is on a Sunday, and we do our Sunday matinee at 3 o’clock. Come 6.15, that’s the weekend, because we have Mondays off. So Sunday night there is always something planned and Monday is usually spent recovering.

What do you do in your time off?

Right now, back in England, we’re doing renos [on our] very pretty little cottage very near Goodwood, down near [the] south coast … It’s my total passion. And my dog.

What’s next after My Fair Lady?

When I get back in mid-October, I don’t know what’s next … I would be very happy to have the rest of the year free, but knowing that something is happening in January, that’s what I would be very happy with.

My Fair Lady opens at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney, on August 24; tickets from $79.90,


We went to Toko Sydney, Surry Hills

We ate Edamame soy beans, maldon sea salt; Gyuniku no tataki seared beef, pickled onions, mizuna, garlic chips; Japanese salad seasonal leaves, fennel, cucumber, avocado, light-wafu, tofu croutons

We drank NV Chandon Yarra Valley, SA and 2016 Hunky Dory Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, NZ

Charles wore Thomas Pink shirt and MJ Bale suit

Photography by Steven Siewert