Thursday, 26 July 2018

You had me at Veuve and Truffles

Last Thursday night the Hyatt Canberra held its annual Truffle dinner in partnership with Veuve Clicquot and Macenmist Truffles.

Guests were welcomed into the atrium where cocktails were served and a Veuve Clicquot cart was the perfect centrepiece showcasing a preview of the exquisite collection of Champagne waiting to be served.

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak

Their gala room was transformed into a glamourous setting decorated with candles, bouquets of baby’s breath, ivy leaves and exclusive Veuve Clicquot glass wear. 

Chef Nitin Kumar welcomed everyone and introduced the menu for the evening which was a delicious 6 course degustation featuring Macenmist truffles, perfectly paired with Veuve Clicquot’s finest offerings. The menu included signature dish, Truffle Coconut featuring delectable flavours of seafood, coconut and a touch of tropical.

We were treated to a fine dining experience in an elegant setting yet the room was filled with laughter and shared enthusiasm for the show stopping dishes on our plates.

During the evening we got to sit down with Chef Nitin Kumar to find out a little about what happens behind the scenes and the perfect pairing of Veuve Clicquot and Macenmist Truffles.

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak
Chef Nitin Kumar

SP: Tell us a little about the inspiration behind the themed Truffle dinner held at the Hyatt Hotel in partnership with Veuve Clicquot.  

NK: When designing the entire evening our goal was to create a one-off experience, something that people want to talk about. This year we wanted to create an elegant dinner setting that captures the colours of the evening with the bold orange of Veuve Clicquot mixed with the energy of a show kitchen set in the middle of our ballroom.

All of the Truffles used for the dinner were sourced locally from the Macenmist Truffle Farm, at the height of the season – there is no better time to experience truffles. The six courses were creatively designed around the matched Veuve Clicquot vintage and non–vintage champagnes and designed to open people’s minds to the possibilities of Truffle pairing with both locally sourced produce and premium champagne.

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak

SP: This is the 5th consecutive year you created the themed Truffle dinner for the Hyatt Canberra Hotel. Tell us about the work that goes on behind the scenes to theming a 6 course degustation. 

NK: We involve the whole food & beverage team in produce selection, menu creation, designing the cocktail served tonight, the table setting and the overall feel for the room that you are sitting in tonight. Details matter, and to us the way our guests will feel from the time they enter the room to ending the night enjoying a hot chocolate is always the number one question when finalising each stage – will our guests enjoy this.

It is important that these dishes present something unique to the guest experience and that everyone feels the connection with producer, preparation methods and pairing of champagne. 

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak

SP: The dinner was in partnership with Veuve Clicquot, the prestigious brand of which you are an ambassador of. Tell us why Veuve Clicquot aligns so well with the Hyatt Canberra lifestyle?

NK: Veuve Clicquot is an iconic Champagne Brand, which like Hyatt Canberra, is not only steeped in history, but has also achieved tremendous success through innovation led by the legendary Madam Clicquot.

Never afraid to play with conventions, creativity is at the core of everything the Champagne House does. This aligns perfectly with the innovative and creative menu we designed for this year’s Truffle Dinner.

SP: Tell us a little more about Macenmist black truffles & wine, who supplied the delicious Truffles on the evening of the event and most importantly where can we find their products?

In 1997 Co-Owners Richard and Barbara bought and moved onto the property referred to as “Macenmist”. The next ten years saw the initial establishment developed into a vineyard followed by a truffle plantation. In 2008 the name Macenmist was changed to Macenmist Black Truffles & Wines and the first plants inoculated with perigord black truffle were planted. 

In 2015 Macenmist Black Truffles & Wines commenced supplying to the Hyatt Canberra with fresh
black truffle and since that time the partnership has continued to flourish.

This year we continue to develop recipes featuring truffles sourced from Macenmist Black Truffles & Wines. All truffle produce can be sourced “on-farm” and limited products can also be purchased via

SP: What was your favourite dish served as part of the degustation and why?

NK:Every year the team amaze me and I love that we all work together and challenge each other to create dishes that a special to this event and designed for fun as much as the flavours. While I am happy with the whole menu I have to say this year’s favourite for me is the Truffle Coconut. The idea of this dish provided a unique opportunity to explore different flavour combinations, allowing us to be extremely creative and playful. 

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak
Truffle Coconut

SP: It is so wonderful to see a themed dinner of this kind held in Canberra. Are you hoping to be able to offer more of these events at the Hyatt Hotel?

NK:Each year Hyatt Hotel partners with many community events, Embassies and groups to present some truly great events. Besides the Truffle festival we also work with the Latin American Embassies to present a culinary showcase including an evening which showcases a menu that features a least three dishes from every Latin American Embassy represented in Canberra. These sorts of events are focused on Authenticity of food and provide our team an opportunity to work with community groups to learn how to prepare their dishes in traditional methods. Again, the entire evening is planned to suit one theme and ensure all attendees walk away having had a lot of fun with some new experiences along the way. 

The best thing about working with a team like mine, they are always willing to challenge themselves and show to the Canberra community we are not always just about restaurant and event cooking. There is a genuine passion for the community, our cooking and honouring our region and cultural diversity that Canberra offers.  

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I had the ultimate girls night enjoying a stylish table setting, great company, the perfect ambiance and of course delicious dishes perfectly paired with Veuve champagne. What more could a girl want?

The Fashion Vault, Canberra Blog, Hyatt Canberra, Sofia Polak

When I was invited to attend I knew the perfect place to find my outfit would be Momento Dezigns in Manuka and as soon as I walked in to the store I spotted this Mossman long sleeve dress with asymmetrical hemline perfect for the occasion. 

Thank you Hyatt Canberra and Momento Dezigns  for a simply fabulous evening.

Words by Sofia Polak @sofiapolakstyle

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

A corporate storm

This is for the corporate women! Yes, I’m talking to you boss babe. As a unique individual you should embrace your own ideas, out of the box thinking, and your inner voice. So I feel like that shouldn’t be lost in translation when it comes to the way you dress. However we can sometimes find ourselves caught up in the corporate storm. 

There is nothing wrong with wearing the traditional black, grey, or navy. However I’ve found that clients I’ve worked with that are in the corporate industry, also want to express themselves with what they wear. 

Here are my quick tips to make sure you always look your best, effortlessly!  

White shirts are key because not only are they elegant but they can also bring an outfit to life when pairing with the right shoes or bag. 

However, if your comfort zone is black, grey, or navy! I haven’t forgotten about you the best way to explore showing your individuality can be displayed through your shoes, choice of handbag, earrings, and even makeup. 

For a traditional corporate look, a bold lip goes a long way, paired with a patterned or bold coloured heel your look is automatically elevated. 

Love Sarafina xox 

|| Outfit Breakdown||
Styled by Sarafina Manyang
Shirt: TK Maxx
Pants: Portmans

Styled by Sofia Polak
Shirt, pants and bag: Cue 

Words by Sarafina Manyang @creationsofsarafina

Photography by @wearefoundau

This post a collaboration with Canberra Outlet. If you would like to collaborate with us contact 


Tuesday, 24 July 2018

You've got $100 left before pay day

You've got $100 left before pay day so why not treat yourself to a little last minute buy. Check out our picks from the Canberra Outlet Centre! 



Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Fierce Vs Tame: One pair of pants two ways

We always say that fashion is about experimenting and expressing yourself. This post is about experimenting with your clothes and styling them in a different way. 

I chose a pair of black pants, as you can see here they are pretty simple (from Cotton On).

I love the oversized denim jacket, wearing it with a skinny strap tank (TAME) or off to one shoulder with nothing underneath (FIERCE). Roll up the cuffs of your jacket and try button them unevenly.  Its so cool, all the Tommy Hilfiger girls are doing it?!

Layering with hats is my fave right now! You can get so bored with the same, hair out scenario but when you add a cap, fedora or floppy. I know you mean style business!

You would have all seen the corset trend right?! These have been seen layered on t-shirts, tops and shirts. If you're thinking of layering your white top up like I have, choose a crop (from Cue) or corset that is simple and goes with a few tops/shirts in your wardrobe. That way you get use of it. I love this because its interesting and easy to do.

Which one did you like better, fierce or tame? Express how you feel, if you feel it, DO IT!
Words by Janette Wojtaszak @thestatementlife

Photography by @wearefoundau

This post a collaboration with Canberra Outlet. If you would like to collaborate with us contact 

Monday, 16 July 2018

Three new looks you can try this winter

Waking up to temperatures of minus five degrees, making a sprint from your bed to the shower before you freeze to death, and trying to quickly scrape off the ice from the windscreen of your car before your fingers drop off… this is winter in Canberra. Whilst our neighbours in Sydney and Queensland complain about what I like to call an ‘Australian winter’, us toughies in Canberra have to face the real deal. But the silver lining about all of this… the fashion of course!

I was originally born on the Gold Coast and grew up mainly wearing summer fashion. When I first moved to Canberra I found it challenging to dress for the chilly weather, but soon realised all the new and exciting ways you can accessorise winter outfits to really make a statement. I collaborated with the Canberra Outlet Centre and curated some of my favourites looks for you to try this winter.


I am obsessed right now! Red is my favourite winter colour and this season, it's really in. Just when you thought grey on grey was boring, these trendy heels add some colour and make the outfit pop. When matching red statement pieces, always opt for a white or grey outfit to let the colour shine!


Let’s talk about knee-thigh boots. There is no doubt that these are the shoes of the season. Popping on a pair of these is one of the easiest ways to dress-up an outfit and give it a bit of extra edge. I am also loving this black cardigan from Forcast that will go with almost anything - a must-have for your wardrobe!


PANT-SUITS. They are the perfect ensemble for a strong, confident, independent woman who wants to be noticed. In 2018, when females are increasingly gaining more powerful roles in society, an outfit like this says, ‘we mean business and we aren’t here to mess around!’ I am all about female empowerment and love that the pant-suit gives me a chance to showcase this part of my personality. Of course, I matched it with a red-heel again because… what screams confidence more than that?!

I can’t wait to see what outfits you put together this winter! Hit me up on Instagram any time for ideas: @bethanygracelarsen

Beth xx

Words and styling by Bethany Larsen
Photography by @wearefoundau 

This post a collaboration with Canberra Outlet. If you would like to collaborate with us contact 


Friday, 13 July 2018

Zap to Zaab!

How good is street food? Like real authentic, Asian cuisine? Zaab executes the delivery,
presentation and flavours perfectly! For those wondering: Zaab has two different meanings in two
different languages. In Lao it means delicious food and in Thai it means extra spicy, sour, sweet
and salty. It’s safe to say that the food lives up to its name.
I was treated to a wonderful spread and always try different dishes every time but my absolute
standouts are:

Pad Thai
Thin rice noodles, tofu, egg. Bean sprouts, tamarind sauce (chicken, prawn or vegetarian)
Forget everything you know about Pad Thai because this is next level. The serving is large and
plentiful. The flavours compliment each other. I’ve tried the chicken and the ratio of meat to
noodles is just right.

Deep- fried whole barramundi topped with stir- fried chilli and vegetable (z)(g)
The most colourful dish I have ever seen! The stir fried vegetables add a nice subtle crunch when
paired with the fish which provides and there is the novelty aspect where you try to pull the fish off
of the bone. Definitely one for a few people!
Chicken Satay Sticks
These are finger licking good. Every area of the juicy chicken is covered in tasty satay sauce. I
wish the quantity that they came in were more. Oh well, guess I’ll just get multiple rounds.
Crying Tiger
Medium rare grilled beef, thai herbs & dressing
So my spice tolerance is low, embarrassingly low. This dish is more on the medium spice side. I
bear the spice because this dish is that good!! It is tender and is dressed in a beautiful combination
of flavours that someone with a zero tolerance of spice would devour this dish.
Also their cocktail and dessert collection is absolutely divine!! It is always a pleasure to see the
manager Becky and I am always welcomed with open arms!

Be back soon!

Words and Photography by Maryanne xx

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

You've got $100 left before pay day?!

You've got $100 left before pay day so why not treat yourself to a little last minute buy. Check out our picks from the Canberra Outlet Centre! 



Monday, 9 July 2018

Winter White

As a stylist, I look forward to every new season to explore new trends to see if I love any enough to add to my style repertoire. This season I am loving the idea of winter white and was initially inspired by my friend and local stylist Tracey Davis, who featured an all white look for the latest Canberra Outlet style campaign and also by my recent purchase of a white blazer from Witchery.

I am the biggest offender when it comes to wearing black and naturally gravitate towards darker colours, however I am discovering there is something quite glamorous about wearing white on a grey and gloomy day. 

Normally I would choose to wear white to break up a black outfit, or to dress up a pair of jeans but with a little experimenting and a little extra thought, white can bring a crisp elegance to your look and elevate your style.

For winter pick heavier fabrics like this woolen pleated skirt by Dion Lee. As soon as I saw it, I knew it needed a warm and cosy knit to give it a nice contrasting texture. 

This off-the shoulder knit in navy (also by Dion Lee) was the perfect match as the exposed shoulders and neckline adds to the elegance of the skirt and takes the look from day to night. 

This look would be perfect for an event and could easily be teamed up with an oversized coat for warmth. 

Sarafina's look is also perfect for an event and I love how she has chosen to team up her winter white this amazing muted toned skirt by Portmans. This burnt yellow the perfect complement against the white and creates an overall elegance/

Sarafina's choice of mettalic boots and matching clutch are not only on trend but have elevated her look from day to night.

How will you wear your winter white?

Words by Sofia Polak @sofiapolakstyle

Photography by @wearefoundau

This post a collaboration with Canberra Outlet. If you would like to collaborate with us contact 


Friday, 6 July 2018

Nama-Stay at Nama Poke

I am an Acai bowl queen. Following that I am a Poke Bowl queen. They’re healthy, aesthetically
pleasing, delicious and filling - what more can you want? So trying both of my loves at this
relatively new venue in Sydney was a dream come true. Nestled in the quiet corner in Erskine St in
the City is this humble restaurant. Don’t be fooled by the quaint interior because the menu is
expansive and delicious.

Shoyu Salmon Signature Bowl
Shoyu sauce, pickled carrots, red cabbage, avocado, edamame beans, seaweed salad & crispy
My favourite. This dish but the taste in tasty. I am a big fan of salmon so I had high expectations
and I was blown away! The colours and textures work so well together to create a harmonious
balance. Also quick mention of portion sizes - they will fill you up so make sure that you’re pretty
hungry beforehand!
Spicy Ahi Tuna
Creamy togarashi sauce, pickled carrots, red cabbage, edamame beans, cucumber, nori &
macadamia nuts
For those that love a bit of a kick! Those who are a fan of the milk, this dish still manageable so
you don’t have to miss out! Quite similar to the bowl before but with an extra crunch provided by
the nuts and the cucumber. And of course the obvious swap of salmon for tuna so those that prefer
tuna, this one is for you.
Sesame Tofu
Roasted sesame sauce, pickled carrots, corn, edamame beans, yellow beetroot, avocado, nori &
macadamia nuts
The tofu in this dish is the star of the show. Chunky, soft and tasty - just the way we all like it! The
sauce is quite addictive and has you trying to get every last drop of it. This one has different
ingredients to the others which makes for a beautiful mix, the addition of yellow in the form in
beetroot &; corn is a nice surprise!
The OG Acai Bowl
Acai blend, granola, strawberries, bananas, chia seeds & coconut flakes
The ratio is just right which is so hard to find! It has all of our favourites, doesn’t try anything too
fancy and out there. If you want a standard, go-to acai bowl then I have found it. Don’t mess with a
good thing if you’ve got it right?
This place is so underrated! Get in quick before the word spreads and it becomes almost
impossible to eat there!

I had a wonderful time here and I will definitely be back soon!

Words and Photography by Maryanne xx


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Street style stalker - Bird of paradise

I caught up with local Communications Manager Alex. I personally find people who work in comms generally have awesome style and Alex didn't disappoint me. Below are some fab shots I took of her and mini interview with this stylish human.

How would you describe your style? 
I don't like to think too much about my style, I try not to set parameters. I used to follow trends and friends but that didn't feel right. I now take inspiration from pinkest and Miroslva Duma and make it my own.

Why do you feel inspired by Miroslva Duma? 
I like that she doesn't have a set style. She is free flowing. I love that she is all encompassing and diverse.

Where is your favourite place to shop in Canberra? 
Zara because i can find pieces the are different, and it's fast moving fashion. It also fits my body well.

What about online shopping?  
I love online shopping because it has allowed me to branch out and purchase brands i wouldn't have had access to before such as Romance Was Born. I love this jacket you have shot me in for the print and structure. It's simply wearable art.

Describe your fashion in three words? 
Erratic, bright and edgy.
Outfit breakdown
Shoes || Windsor Smith
Tee || Levis
Plaid jacket || Decjuba
Bag ||
Scarf || Lush


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Cold hard facts -Cryotherapy at the Wellness Empowerment Collective

Cryotherapy isn’t something I have known much about. To be honest looking at it all that comes to mind was Austin Powers (yeah baby). Walking willingly into a chamber that is cooled as low as -160c seemed a little bit crazy to me.

Thus like any of us not knowing about something I googled it. What I found was clear that over the years it has gained popularity amongst elite athletes. There is research to support that whole-body cryotherapy, an extreme-cold treatment that proponents speed in recovery, reduce injuries, increase energy and improve sleep. There is also studies to show that it can burn calories, improve our skin and make us happier.

I’ve recently started playing outdoor soccer so clearly I fall into that elite athlete category.
 Me prior to getting into the cryotherapy chamber... looking a bit apprehensive
The Wellness Empowerment Clinic at Lyneham offers a number of treatments including Cryotherapy. So I thought why not give it a go, having nothing to loose. 

When I chatted to Ebony the founder  of The Wellness Empowerment Clinic she enlightened me further on the treatment.

‘Cryotherapy increases "feel-good" neurotransmitters like norepinepherine, and decreases stress hormones such as cortisol. Our cryosauna in particular has been studied for its effect on increasing neural connectivity and decreasing effects of vascular dementia as it's the only cryosauna on the market to treat the head and neck,’ explained Ebony.

'It reduces collagenase, an enzyme that breaks down collagen. Collagen is critical to our bones, cartilage, skin and tendons, thus having more of it in the body allows for smoother skin, easier movement, and stronger bones.'

So to put it simply the benefits are:
ü  Smooth Skin (less wrinkles and cellulite)
ü  Better mood
ü  Burns 800 calories/session
ü  Decreases Inflammation and body pain

What does it involve exactly?
There was no backing out now as Ebony walked me to the chambers. I was instructed to take off all my jewellery, and don a crop, booty shorts, gloves and some kneed high socks and uggs. Ebony assured me the 2-3 minute session wouldn’t feel like I was standing starkers on a ski field.

I wasn’t exactly convinced.

Ebony kitting me out for the experience. (Totally blind too as I had to remove my glasses mental note wear contacts next time)

Walking into the chambers I thought for a moment I would feel weird about being in an enclosed space. However, there is a glass window to look out through and I got to choose my favourite jam by Beyoncé to be blasted through the internal speakers.

The machine whirred into life and the liquid nitrogen cooled the air as low as -160c. I can’t exactly describe it, it was cold, but not the kind of cold experienced during winter. I think it's called a dry cold. You do find your self watching the clock a little but it totally bearable. Noting the initial treatment is also shorter, the more you go the more they can increase the duration. 
I'm alive, we walking out of the chambers feeling like I was just in a sci-fi film

Cold hard facts

As I put my clothes back on the smile on my face started to appear. I went on to go to dinner and the theatre with my girlfriends that evening and I was on a natural high. It was actually ridiculous. I couldn’t help but feel bubbly and smiley. My friends were asking me what had I taken because I was so happy. Now I am no scientist but I am drawing a direct correlation between my treatment and my mood. My energy and happiness was of the charts and I slept so well that night. My hip pain also seemed to dull but I would say the major benefit for me was my mood and my sleep.

and the smiles started almost immediately...


Would I do it again? Yes, I think I would be looking at cryotherapy when I am going through a hard time with stress and sleep. It seemed to have the most effect on my mood something that I truly value. I think this is the kind of treatment I would book when going through periods of transition. 

The next thing I booked in at the Wellness Empowerment clinic was crystal healing (I am a bit of a gypsy soul so I wanted to try it). This post is going to be a hard one to articulate but I'd love to share my experience with our open minded readers.

Want to know more about the Wellness Empowerment Clinic

Address: 196 Mouat St Level 1, National Hockey Centre, Lyneham ACT 2620
Phone: 0410 105 569

Opening hours: 

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