A little while ago I went on a trip with Helen Kaminski down to Victoria to celebrate the launch of their Pure Merino Wool collection for A/W 19. The aim of the trip was to learn about their sustainability journey and the way they’re now incorporating beautiful Australian merino wool into their hats, using an innovative new technique. I’ve long been a fan of the brand, and have worn their pieces a lot, so I was interested to see the direction they were steering this collection.
We stayed at the beautiful Jackalope Hotel in the Mornington Peninsula, which was purposely chosen for their sustainable initiatives on site. Some of their practices include collecting rainwater for use, using solar panels, and an on site waste water treatment and recycling system, not to mention the ‘farm to fork’ principle used at all their restaurants. We were even able to forage in the kitchen garden to help us discover more about the local produce and how it ties into the sustainability ethos of the property.
My favourite part of the trip was having the opportunity to visit Barunah Farm where we were able to check out sheep being sheared and learn more about how Helen Kaminski is using Australian merino wool in its collection. In their pledge to be fur free by 2023, Helen Kaminski has worked with partners to innovate a new grade of wool felt that is comparable to the lightness, softness and appearance of fur felt hats. Pure Merino wool is 100 per cent natural and renewable, plus is biodegradable in soil so it ticks a lot of sustainability boxes. Given that 80 per cent of the wool used in fashion globally comes from Australia, this is heartening to know as it’s one way to help reduce our impact on the environment.
The hats itself are gorgeous. So soft to the touch and lightweight too, making each piece a true pleasure to wear. Felt hats are a constant in my winter wardrobe, and I wear them to autumn racing events often so it’s good to know that there’s an alternative to hats made using fur, that’s comparable if not more superior. I also like the fact that it’s one way to support the Australian wool industry and a great way to help the in our important and pressing quest to act consciously and more sustainably.
I’ve been on the go non-stop this week. Earlier in the week I spent some time in the Mornington Peninsula on a three day immersive experience with Helen Kaminski. We stayed at the gorgeous Jackalope Hotel and spent some time being taken through the sustainability journey of the Helen Kaminski brand. From seeing how the wool goes from farm to being fashioned into the felt that the brand’s hats are made from to foraging on the Jackalope property, it was such an interesting few days, and one that’s certainly opened my eyes a little more to the craftsmanship that brands often put into their products and also sustainability as a whole.
And at the end of the week I was off again! This time I headed to Hamilton Island Race Week and was lucky enough to be able to take Luke with me so we had a fun weekend enjoying the festivities and catching up with friends. It was gorgeous weather up there so it was nice to be able to escape Sydney for awhile. We were hosted at the insanely beautiful Qualia resort and during our time there had some delicious meals, flew in a helicopter to check out heart reef and generally enjoyed a little R&R. After such a busy few days, I’m looking forward to easing myself into a new week—who knows what it will bring.
Last week I went on a whirlwind trip to Melbourne for the launch of Lexus’ new LC 500 coupe. It was a quick 24 hour getaway which started with me jumping on an 8am flight and then making my way down to the new Jackalope Hotel in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula. I was looking forward to staying at Jackalope as it recently took out the award for New Hotel of the Year and Regional Hotel of the Year at the Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide Awards and had heard amazing things. It didn’t disappoint—it was a luxurious, modern oasis nestled within the picturesque surrounds of Willow Creek’s 11-hectare vineyard and I felt super lucky that I was going to be calling it home for the night.
I was dying to try out the new LC 500 which is Lexus’ all-new flagship coupe so was pleased that we were treated to a drive experience which involved cruising around the Mornington Peninsula with a changeover point at Flinders Golf Course and then a lovely lunch at Rare Hare, one of the on-site restaurants at Jackalope. Being able to drive around in such a sporty car was definitely an experience (very different to driving my girls around at home!) and I was impressed that the LC 500’s sleek design in no way compromised driving comfort. It had some definite zip to it so I had a great time behind the wheel.
Later that day we sat down to a beautiful dinner at Doot Doot Doot, a fine dining restaurant at Jackalope. The interiors are incredible and the meal we had was absolutely delicious. Afterwards there were post-dinner drinks at the on-site bar, Flaggerdoot and an optional wine tasting in the Barrel Room with Willow Creek Vineyard winemaker Geraldine McFaul which was a nice way to toast the trip.
The next morning it was bright and early start once more but it was made just that little bit easier with a relaxing breakfast at Doot Doot Doot. Post-breakfast it was time to race back to Melbourne to catch my flight home. Whilst it was short and sweet the trip definitely lived up to what I had imagined and I loved being able to come along for the ride.
Hard at work shooting for the blog and for Instagram
I felt very lucky to be treated to such an amazing experience
It was nice to be on a trip with my friends Anthony Minichiello and Terry Biviano
The impressive exterior of the Jackalope Hotel
The interiors of Doot Doot Doot. The incredible lighting was a definite focal point.