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The right way to spend a weekend in Victoria’s Yarra Valley – Luxurious Journey Journal

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The right way to spend a weekend in Victoria’s Yarra Valley – Luxurious Journey Journal



Off to Re’em

Having helped bundle up the balloon, we head to Re’em at Helen and Joey Estate vineyard. The vineyard, established 15 years in the past, has not too long ago added 16 trendy boutique lodge rooms and a high-end restaurant.

The three-level, dark grey modernist building sits discreetly within the panorama.  Rooms are suite-sized, colors are low key, a delicate backdrop to the sweeping views – all rooms have balconies or patios – overlooking a decorative lake and vineyards.

Bogs are beneficiant, with freestanding tubs and even a holder on your wine glass for whenever you’re soaking (important, I feel you’ll agree).  All the luxurious stipulations are available: fluffy bathrobes, monogrammed slippers, pure toiletries, Nespresso machine.

The design aesthetic is restrained, however lush indoor vegetation, a ground-floor pond with koi fish (a logo of luck and abundance), and commissioned artworks guarantee a pleasant really feel.

After breakfast and a post-flight glass of glowing wine we discover the property’s vineyards, a patchwork of autumn hues because the totally different grape varieties change color.

“We’ve got 5 several types of pinot noir grape,’ says Enterprise Supervisor Stephen Powell “but in addition merlot, chardonnay, pinot gris, a small quantity of cabernet sauvignon and even a row and a half of malbec. We’re all about providing a selection.”

We spot some kangaroos grazing between the vines. “There’s a wedge-tailed eagle nest right here and we get loads of gliders and micro bats and also you’ll see falcons too,” says Stephen.  “We’ve put aside 22 acres of forest block for revegetation, mass planting and restoring behavior for native animals.” It’s a part of a sustainable method to the property’s future.

 

Wine tasting and artisanal produce

A personal room with cascading gentle fittings and a glimpse of wine barrels is the setting for a wine tasting, full with antipasto platters loaded with native artisanal produce, which we rapidly devour.

The vary of wines is numerous, from a crisp NV Demi-Sec Glowing Rosé, a lightweight Sauvignon Blanc that’s extra European in flavour, “extra natural, extra freshly minimize grass than tropical” and the 2020 Wayward Baby Hannahanna, a low-intervention mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. After which there’s a “funky” orange wine.

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How do you get the restaurant invoice shortly in Europe? Rick Steves has a tip

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How do you get the restaurant invoice shortly in Europe? Rick Steves has a tip


Probably the most thrilling components of just about any journey expertise is attending to benefit from the native eating expertise wherever you go. You may try the iconic fugu — aka pufferfish — in Japan, or learn the ins and outs of your eating utensils in Thailand, or sink your tooth into some must-have Italian bites on a local food tour. All over the place you go has its personal set of tasty delights and cultural norms which can be properly well worth the expertise.

Nevertheless, these new norms and must-do’s do not at all times come simply. And other than the “Europeans do not imagine in water” debate that has not too long ago taken the net world by storm (with some folks saying it is onerous to search out water in Europe), there’s yet one more quirk on the subject of eating throughout Europe that leaves U.S. vacationers feeling a bit confused: the truth that the invoice does not come till you explicitly ask for it, particularly in locations like Spain, France, and Italy.

So, what does journey skilled and TV host Rick Steves love to do when he desires to get his invoice as shortly as attainable? In keeping with his blog, he’ll await the waiter to come back over to the desk after dessert. When the waiter asks if anybody desires any espresso, he makes use of that as — in his personal phrases — “the proper opening to ask for the invoice.”

In Europe, you might want to ask for the invoice to get it

Steves is not being extreme on the subject of asking for the invoice whereas visiting Europe. The truth is, he is fairly spot-on together with his advice. How so? Effectively, whereas in the USA, most waiters will “anticipate” you asking for the invoice and produce it over earlier than you’ve got had an opportunity to request it, Europeans take into account it extremely impolite to spring the try on somebody earlier than they’ve truly requested for it.

In any case, meals are sometimes meant to be loved slowly, with dessert, espresso, and good dialog following swimsuit after the principle dishes. Handing over somebody’s invoice earlier than they’ve even had an opportunity to place down their fork is mainly seen as a fairly abrasive indication that you really want them to go away ASAP.

To ask for the invoice, we suggest studying methods to say “examine, please!” within the native language — it is an added contact that always comes throughout such as you’re making an attempt to be as respectful as attainable. Nevertheless, in the event you’re too nervous to attempt to say it because the locals do, a easy scribble-in-the-air gesture is often a universally-understood signal that you just’re able to pay. Do that, and most waiters will shortly get the message. Simply do not signal throughout the restaurant — wait till the waiter is at your desk. Alternatively, setting your card down on the desk is one other method to let your waiter know you are good to go.

Must you be tipping alongside together with your invoice in Europe?

As soon as your invoice comes, there’s additionally the query of whether or not or not you are required — or anticipated — to tip whereas eating out throughout Europe. The reply to that’s … it relies upon. For instance, the tipping culture in Italy usually suggests that you just should not really feel pressured to go away a tip behind besides once you truly need to go away a tip. In contrast to the U.S., servers in Italy — and in most of Europe — do not rely closely on tricks to make a residing wage. As a substitute, ideas are seen as extra of an added appreciation (a “good to have”) that lets them know they did a superb job and also you loved their service.

The identical goes for tipping in destinations like Berlin, London, and past. Right here, ideas are undoubtedly welcome, and a few institutions even add an automated gratuity to the ultimate invoice or embody gratuity as a part of the menu costs. At smaller institutions or pubs the place this is not the case, rounding as much as the closest complete quantity can also be an appropriate means of claiming thanks to the workers.

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First-timer’s information to Pondicherry – Lonely Planet

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First-timer’s information to Pondicherry – Lonely Planet


Scoop up an 18th-century French city and plop it down in the midst of coastal Tamil Nadu, India, and voilà: you’ve Puducherry.

Extra acquainted as Pondicherry, this breezy metropolis was beneath French colonial rule from the late seventeenth century till 1954. Though indisputably Tamil, Pondicherry nonetheless holds onto numerous traces of its Gallic previous, from pastel-hued heritage resorts and church buildings to an abundance of croissant-slinging cafes, significantly in White City, its French Quarter.

Whereas Pondicherry’s abundance of French meals and structure are amongst its largest attracts, it’s additionally an previous favourite amongst spiritually inclined guests, a lot of whom are extra fascinated about visiting temples and ashrams than they’re in gobbling down coq au vin and crêpes Suzette.

No matter Pondicherry experiences you search out, right here’s all that you must know to plan an ideal journey to this singular metropolis.

Heritage buildings in the White Town of Pondicherry, India
Pondicherry nonetheless holds onto numerous traces of its Gallic previous © Jean-Yves Barralis / Shutterstock

When ought to I’m going to Pondicherry?

Though Pondicherry is engaging year-round, one of the best time to go to Pondicherry is between January and March, when temperatures are at their coolest and there’s little likelihood of rain. Issues begin to warmth up in April, with temperatures rising by June earlier than slowly dropping once more in July, when the southwest monsoon begins. The rains typically proceed by the tip of the yr, with the northeast monsoon arriving within the Pondicherry space in October.

How a lot time ought to I spend in Pondicherry?

It depends upon what you need to do. With three full days in Pondicherry, you’ll have sufficient time to see the primary sights at a relaxed tempo and spend a day in close by Auroville. With 4 or 5 days, you’ll be able to tack on a day journey or two. Over per week or extra, you’ll have time to loosen up and get a really feel for the rhythm of life within the metropolis, with time left over to attend a yoga retreat at a close-by yoga heart. 

An aerial view of busy streets at dusk in the new town of Pondicherry, India
Exploring the busy streets of Pondicherry on two wheels is an actual deal with © Frédéric Soltan / Corbis through Getty Photos

Is it simple to get to and round Pondicherry?

Sure. Pondicherry has a comparatively new airport, although since flights are restricted, many guests decide to fly into Chennai, 145km (90 miles) away, then proceed onward by bus or personal taxi (depend a minimal of three hours’ drive). Trains depart for Puducherry from Chennai Egmore; the journey takes roughly 4 hours.

Getting round Pondicherry is equally simple. The town is generally flat, with well-maintained roads and pavements that make getting round on foot a breeze, particularly in case you base your self in or close to White City. Auto rickshaws are simple to hail off the road (simply negotiate upfront), and there are many taxi firms for locations additional afield. If you happen to’d choose a bit extra independence, bicycles and scooters are additionally broadly accessible to hire from outfits equivalent to JP Two Wheeler

Matrimandir, an edifice of spiritual significance for practitioners of yoga, situated at the center of Auroville, Pondicherry, India
The golden Matrimandir in close by Auroville attracts pilgrims from all over the world © Francesco Dazzi / Shutterstock

High issues to do in Pondicherry

Expertise Pondicherry’s religious aspect

Pondicherry is residence to quite a few religious websites, probably the most well-known of which is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, based by Bengali thinker Sri Aurobindo and his French collaborator Mirra Alfassa (broadly referred to as “the Mom”). The ashram is a significant hub for religious life within the metropolis; curious guests can discover it and study ashram actions by taking a tour, or dropping by for a night meditation session. It’s simply across the nook from the Manakula Vinayagar Temple, a centuries-old temple to Ganesh whose colourful interiors are adorned with intricate friezes displaying mythological scenes.

Go gallery hopping

Pondicherry is a good place for artwork lovers, with galleries along with museums and outlets promoting native creations. Should-sees embrace the Puducherry Museum, with its centuries’ price of artwork and artifacts, and the adjoining Puducherry Modern Artwork Gallery, a government-run area that launched in 2022 to show more-modern expressions of creativity. A ten-minute stroll north, Tasmai, a Centre for Art & Culture showcases the works of latest artists from Pondicherry and surrounding areas.

Go to Auroville and its golden Matrimandir

Simply north of city, Auroville is a “common township” the place residents from all over the world reside collectively in an experimental group. Based by the Mom in 1968, it has continued to develop through the years into the big, spread-out city that it’s as we speak. The important thing attraction right here is the Matrimandir, a golf-ball-shaped golden dome on the heart of the group. You may make a reservation to go to the inside or drop in to see it from a viewing platform close to the guests heart, which doubles as a small purchasing complicated promoting every little thing from musical devices to incense, all made by Aurovillians.

People walk by the Gandhi Memorial on at the promenade beach front, Pondicherry, India
Pondicherry’s promenade alongside the Bay of Bengal comes alive each night with households and different locals © Hari Mahidhar / Shutterstock

My favourite factor to do in Pondicherry

If you happen to love exploring cities on foot, Pondicherry will really feel excellent. I significantly love strolling alongside Goubert Ave (Seaside Highway) at sundown, when massive crowds of households, {couples} and roving cotton-candy distributors head out on one large night stroll alongside the seafront. The vibe is super-festive. 

place to start out is at Our Lady of the Angels (Notre Dame des Anges), a large church with an enormous arched ceiling adorned with pale-blue, jasperware-style tiling. From right here, you’ll be able to minimize throughout the Joan of Arc Park to Seaside Rd and proceed north – the street continues for a couple of kilometer earlier than merging with St Louis St.

How a lot cash do I want for Pondicherry?

It’s simple to have a good time in Pondicherry on a decent price range – however the metropolis additionally has loads of higher-end locations to dine and spend the evening. Price range vacationers will discover a vary of guesthouses and homestays to select from, in addition to informal eating places serving modestly priced dosas and different Tamil and South Indian favorites. If you happen to’ve obtained more money to spend, you’ll discover plenty of deluxe eating places and resorts, many housed in heritage buildings.

  • Primary room for 2: ₹800–1200
  • Room for 2 in an upscale heritage resort: ₹7,000–₹16,000
  • South Indian filter coffee: ₹25
  • Espresso drink: ₹120
  • Cocktail: ₹400–500
  • Vegetarian thali at an off-the-cuff restaurant: ₹150
  • Dinner for 2 at an upscale restaurant ₹1,600–₹2,000

What to pack for a visit to Pondicherry  

Anticipate warmth and humidity regardless of if you go to. Unfastened-fitting, light-colored garments created from pure fibers plus a wide-brimmed hat are perfect for staying cool (or at the very least attempting to). Snug sneakers are a should – particularly sandals which are simple to slide on and off in case you plan to go to temples. Don’t neglect the mosquito repellent, particularly in case you plan to be outdoors at daybreak or nightfall.

The shore temple at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
The gorgeous Seventh-century temples at Mamallapuram are beneath two hours away by automobile from Pondicherry © f9photos / Shutterstock

The most effective day journey from Pondicherry  

Maybe the preferred spot inside simple day-tripping distance of Pondicherry is the Group of Monuments at Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram), a UNESCO World Heritage site that preserves a group of intricately carved Pallava temples and edifices, most relationship to the Seventh century. In the other way, the town of Chidambaram is a good spot for a half-day journey. Its draw is the large Thillai Nataraja Temple, an exquisitely carved Chola-era complicated devoted to Nataraja (Hindu deity Shiva in his cosmic dancer kind).

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Choose refuses former felony turned drug counsellor Paora Sweeney’s bid for compensation

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Choose refuses former felony turned drug counsellor Paora Sweeney’s bid for compensation


Paora Sweeney gave proof to the Abuse in Care Royal Fee in 2022. Photograph / Equipped

A reformed felony who went from being a patched Mongrel Mob member to a professional jail drug counsellor misplaced his job after a supervisor unlawfully cancelled his entry to the jail, has now didn’t win compensation.

Paora Sweeney, who turned his life round 30 years in the past, sought $370,000 in damages for having his “specified customer” entry to Spring Hill Corrections Facility cancelled.

He mentioned he was entitled to be compensated for misplaced wages and employment alternatives.

Inside that quantity, he additionally sought $100,000 usually damages to mirror “misery, humiliation and harm”.

Sweeney then sought an extra $325,000 and a marae-based apology from the jail supervisor for “unjustified harm” to his mana, or standing, bringing his claims to almost $700,000.

Nonetheless, all elements of Sweeney’s software have been rejected by a High Court decide, who mentioned a profitable declare for harm to mana would open up a brand new reason behind motion – or tort – that had by no means earlier than been recognised by a New Zealand court docket.

Sweeney was employed by Care NZ to work as an habit counsellor in Spring Hill, one of many nation’s greatest prisons, between 2014 and 2016.

Sweeney was previously a patched Mongrel Mob member with a major felony historical past who had served a number of phrases of imprisonment himself.

Nonetheless, by the point he was appointed to work within the Waikato jail, he had lengthy turned his life round.

He had been alcohol and drug-free for about 30 years and had obtained no convictions since 1991, other than a driving offence that was the results of an accident.

“One of many qualities that made Mr Sweeney suited to the function of an habit counsellor was that he had suffered from main habit points himself when he was youthful,” Excessive Courtroom Justice Graham Lang mentioned.

Justice Lang mentioned that Sweeney’s background and the best way he resolved these points “gave him the power to narrate to prisoners” in a manner which may not be attainable for individuals with out these experiences.

Shared posts about tangi

However hassle arose for Sweeney after he shared a Fb submit in April 2016 associated to the demise of his former gang “brother”, Roy “Bulldog” Dunn, who based the Mongrel Mob’s Infamous chapter in Māngere.

Sweeney additionally shared video of Dunn’s tangi, which had been attended by group leaders together with the then Minister of Schooling Hekia Parata.

A Corrections intelligence officer seen Sweeney’s posts, and knowledgeable jail director Christopher Lightbown, who then cancelled his customer entry to the jail.

Sweeney launched court docket proceedings and received, with Justice Matthew Palmer discovering in 2021 that whereas the revocation of entry didn’t breach his proper to pure justice, it was unreasonable “and subsequently illegal”.

Justice Palmer mentioned Sweeney had devoted his life to serving to others, but Corrections’ choice “tarred his current along with his previous” and “unjustifiably impugned his mana”.

Paora Sweeney worked as an addiction counsellor at Spring Hill Corrections Facility. Photo / NZME
Paora Sweeney labored as an habit counsellor at Spring Hill Corrections Facility. Photograph / NZME

Within the newest Excessive Courtroom software, earlier than Justice Lang, Sweeney sought compensation.

Care NZ’s contract with Corrections expired on March 31, 2017. Sweeney didn’t get one other comparable job till November 2020, however Justice Lang mentioned this was for a wide range of causes, none of which associated to the revocation choice.

The decide accepted that Sweeney suffered appreciable misery, humiliation and harm on account of Lightbown’s choice, however there was no proof that Corrections communicated about it past its personal workers and Sweeney’s quick supervisor at Care NZ.

“Additional, Mr Sweeney has not given or known as proof to determine that the revocation induced him to be seen in a damaging gentle by others,” Justice Lang mentioned.

“The declare subsequently pertains to the impact that the revocation has had for Mr Sweeney in his personal thoughts.”

The decide mentioned that even when the primary two claims had been profitable, he would solely have awarded $22,231 for misplaced earnings, and $15,000 for misery, humiliation and harm.

New tort proposed for harm to mana

Justice Lang mentioned the declare primarily based on unjustified harm to Sweeney’s mana confronted “vital authorized and factual obstacles”.

“Mr Sweeney is asking the court docket to verify the existence of a tortious reason behind motion which have by no means been recognised by the courts in New Zealand thus far,” he mentioned.

A tortious reason behind motion, or a tort, entails one thing which causes hurt to an individual, who can then search redress or compensation. Torts sit inside widespread regulation, moderately than beneath statutes.

Justice Lang mentioned a plaintiff in Sweeney’s place already had the power beneath current regulation to problem and acquire treatments for wrongful official actions – as Sweeney had carried out by advancing a major reason behind motion primarily based on malfeasance in public workplace.

He additionally mentioned an order requiring Lightbown to ship an apology on Sweeney’s marae was additionally “problematic”.

“Such a treatment is at present unknown to the regulation of torts and won’t be legally accessible.”

Justice Lang dismissed Sweeney’s case.

Sweeney has beforehand testified that his downward spiral started as an 11-year-old when he was thrust into state care after his dad and mom died three months aside.

That had devastating penalties – which noticed him give evidence in final 12 months’s Royal Fee of Inquiry into Abuse in Care – and led him into gang life.

He was taken in by a household whose son he had befriended on the road and whose whanāu had been Mongrel Mob members.

Sweeney finally turned one of many founding members of the Waikato Mongrel Mob.

Sweeney earlier informed Justice Palmer that he had been addicted and had offended, however had later reformed, elevating 4 kids and talking to prisoners at jails in Invercargill, Christchurch, Waikeria and Spring Hill.

Sweeney has two brothers and 4 nephews within the Mongrel Mob, however no private relationship with the gang after leaving almost 30 years in the past.

He attended the tangi of Roy Dunn, with whom he had grown up within the welfare system and foster houses, “as a result of I cherished the brother Roy and it’s simply what we do as Māori”.

Ric Stevens spent a few years working for the previous New Zealand Press Affiliation information company, together with as a political reporter at Parliament, earlier than holding senior positions at varied day by day newspapers. He joined NZME’s Open Justice workforce in 2022 and is predicated in Hawke’s Bay. His writing within the crime and justice sphere is knowledgeable by 4 years of front-line expertise as a probation officer.

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