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Through Orange coloured lenses.

Yan Yan Chan

[photo diary]

A girls trip away with Visit New South Wales, and Orange 360.

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How lucky I was to have spent three beautiful days, in the town of Orange, with my two lovely friends Kate and Nadia. (Technically, a “city” due to it’s population). But I’ll use town, for the ambience. Which you will see in the below. Think endless rows of tree’s adorned with scarlet leaves, crispy wine to pair, charcuterie boards with fresh fodder and running through rows of vine’s - pretending to know what the difference between each note is.. (Which, I’d like to think I know a little now, thanks to all of our amazing wine guides).

We spent the 3 days,  wining and dining with the best of the best, and quiet frankly- I didn’t have any expectations before this trip, and now I’m rethinking of when I’ll go to catch the next food and wine festival. I’ve got the perfect itinerary for you and your girlfriends. Make sure you bring your chicest, and most comfortable pants for all the extra sides and dessert.

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To stay

My favorite way to do any country trip, is to book an Airbnb or stay in a shared house with girlfriends. It’s the most authentic way to experience a town, and all it’s perks. We were lucky enough to be hosted by The White Place, a shoppable 3 bedroom home, located on Byng Street - a walk away from all the local’s cafe’s and restaurants. Oh, and you won’t have to worry about car spots either.

Breakfast

Groundstone

Byng Street Cafe

Wine and Dine

Mr Lim’s: Getting a good Asian meal, in any rural town is always skeptical, but Mr Lim’s is a fusion of both Chinese and Korean. My favorites were the prawn dumplings & duck pancakes. A great way to break up Wineries, if you’re feeling peckish for Chinese. Also, according to the locals… Sam the owner knows how to throw a good Karaoke session late on Friday nights. Although, requests are not in his favor.

Racine Restaurant: I recommend booking a wine tasting at The Rowlee Winery first. They will give you an understanding of how they take care of their grapes. Racine, will then give you a Vine to table experience with wine from Rowlee, and food inspired by France and Australia.

Charred Kitchen Bar: We ate here the first night, if you’re after something a little fancy. Every meal is plated beautifully, and don’t leave without dessert.

Wineries

Ross Hill Wines : Our first Winery visit - and we all picked up a great Chardy. Also, I am pictured galavanting through their Vineyard in the above photo. Pretty sure, I had a great time.

Heifer Station Wines : Take a bike ride through the vineyards, and set up for a picnic just by the lake, with blankets, an open fire, your favorite Heifer wine, and Llama’s who may or may not come over and give you a sniff.

Swinging Bridge Estate: Some of my favorite wines as of late, have been; what my friends and I like to call - A Pet Natty, and a good old Orange. Newer wines that are made with less preservatives, and have a cloudy coloring. To my delight, I discovered that my usual Pet Nat preference, back home in Bondi - is made here.

Rowlee: A beautiful property, where you can actually stay on. They stock some of my favorite wines, and the owners tell a great story. We sat here on our last afternoon, learning about the smells of fruits and oaks. I’d love to have a meal here next time.

Shopping

Hawkes General Store

The Sonic

the wild

Federal falls: I love including some nature time, when I’m over-indulging. We didn’t make it far, because we underestimate the cool climate - but I’d love to hike the whole way through next time.

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Shanghai nights.

Yan Yan Chan

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[ photo diary ]

Photographed by Gemma De Maria, and I.

Connecting back with a city, I visited on my 11th birthday.

Shanghai, With Michael Kors.

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What a diverse city of lights. And when I say city of lights, I mean - Blade Runner 1987 style, with a side of steam. Whether that steam comes from the heat of the city streets, or the steam that patiently streams from the rows of Bao Zi, and Xiao Long Bao’s. I can gaze out that window after dinner, for hours on end. The clash of colors, and the hoards of crowds - trying to get a glimpse and snapshot of that illuminating skyline.

The city that truly knows, how to reel in a foreigner. And, when I say foreigner - I allude to myself. Although I am lucky enough to swipe my Chinese ID through the express line, I still feel a little inadequate (my Chinese). It is a shock to the system, the first time I walk down the streets, but a sense of comfort from familiarity of noise and smell. Like muscle, it comes back to memory. The mannerisms, so innately inside of me. My harshness, that sometimes seeps out in conversation which, shocks my Australian colleagues... and then I arrive here, and remember it's not because I'm abrupt or that I need to soften up, it's because of where I come from. The Mandarin speaking - if you order food, make sure you raise your voice! The fast pace walking; if you don’t pick your feet up, there's no room on the pavement!

When West meets East, in the best possible way. A few short days, playing catch up with my speaking. What a special way, to reconnect with my other self.

Where it all happens. This is the mecca of the city, where my favourite restaurants and night life happen.

Late night, dumpling filled at Lyon Restaurant.

Late night, dumpling filled at Lyon Restaurant.

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The Bun

The contrast of color and texture, from the skyline, to the transport, to the soft and always, perfectly manicured bouquet’s of flowers. That line the pavements, in the most normal of ways. I love seeing these beautiful flowers and flourish amongst the hustle. They remind me that, even though in the busiest of surroundings, you can still remain still, and calm.

Food

Hakkasan and Lion for Dinner, and Sun With Aqua for Lunch.

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To stay

The Peninsula

Michael Kors wonderfully hosted us at The Peninsula. It’s right in the bun, and a 5 minute walk to the main street of luxury shopping, and restaurants. You won’t need to worry about taking transportation to anywhere, if you’re here for a night. Everything is walking distance. The Peninsula group are one of my favorites, they always have the best service, and are never short in recommendations on the latest eateries, and places to shop. Luxe, hip, or if you just want to go to a traditional noodle or dumpling house. I’ve experienced this service at The Peninsula in Paris, and they never fail to secure a table, especially when it’s a special occasion ;). Also the Chinese breakfast is such a delight of a novelty.

Aman Yangyun

We got a tour of the beautiful grounds that is the Aman Yangyun. Enriched with history from trees that have habited this land more than 1000 years, to original brick from the Qing Dynasty. This is a beautiful escape from the city, if you want to be surrounded by nature, and zen vibration.

HI-atus

Yan Yan Chan

CREATIVE, FOR DION LEE

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Photographed & Painted by Jess Ruby James

Collaged & edited by Yan Yan Chan

I recently went on a bit of an exercise hiatus, two weeks without, but this morning I woke up and trained twice. Once at the gym, and once on the reformer. I feel so energetic, and I think I’m BACK. Did I also tell you that I quit coffee? It’s been 10 months too. On the topic of cutting things out, and giving things a break - I’ve been doing a lot of this recently. Exchanging old ways for new ones, giving up things that make me feel less, to make me feel more.

I’ve recently been shooting and producing a lot, which is incredible, but with that - means, less time to explore other mediums… like collage and painting - old favorites and pastimes of mine, which I like to keep for special projects. Here’s a new story for DION LEE - a bit of a comeback to myself from my collage hiatus, call it a bit of an intermission.

Hey old friend, it’s been a long time coming, but how glad I am, that you decided to show up. I really do hope you’re here to stay.

HAPPY THURSDAY, IT’S ALMOST FRIDAY.