Pure Linen Sheets

Simply Linen Classic bed 800 pxLinen is a fabric made from the fibres of the flax plant. It has been grown for thousands of years and is one of the world’s oldest fabrics. Its durability makes it perfectly suited for bed and bath fabrics, table coverings and napkins, curtains, garments and other household materials. It is highly absorbent and far more durable than other fabrics.

Linen is a versatile fabric for home and business use. It is an important piece in the hospitality industry. Hotels are remembered for the quality, cleanliness and comfort their rooms provide their customers – from beds and linen sheets to towels and robes. I know you would agree with me when I say that one of the best parts in staying at a nice hotel is the bed. We usually look forward to getting into those clean, crisp, perfectly-made sheets that are so comfortably relaxing – pure bliss!

In restaurants, the napkins, tablecloths and banquet linens are also as important as the service and quality of food they offer.

A very vibrant company, Simply Linen is a business that offers a wide array of products of pure linens online in Australia.

Simply Linen’s collection boasts of elegance. It is chic, yet highly functional. Their collection include soft white pure linen bed and table linen, pure linen flat sheets, fitted sheets, pillowslips and duvet covers. They also have pure linen tablecloths, napkins, placemats and table runners. You can choose from their classic collection which features hand drawn threadwork finishing, or the easy care contempo collection which has a no fuss tailored finish.

In addition to bed and table linen they also offer hand worked monogramming for a personal touch and a refined selection of gift items, including the scented cinnamon sticks that will surely infuse your homes with a delightful scent.

Peta Drake is the Executive Director of Simply Linen. Her love for textiles which she inherited from her grandmother inspired her to open her pure linen line.

Simply Linen is available only online and as Peta puts it, “The beauty of the online shop is that customers need not leave the comfort of home to enjoy our collections (no more arduous car journeys!), they simply make their selections from the online shop and it arrives at their doorstop within a few days.”

How great would it be to create that five star luxury feel in your own home just by using pure linens! Aside from luxury and comfort, it is an investment as it can last up to many many years. Grab yours and feel the difference!

To find out more and order online click on pure linen sheets

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Hearing Aids in The Hunter

hearing aids hearing loss hearing problems hunter valley australia

By Oscar Clarke

Occasionally the government does some good things, very occasionally. But when they do something good, I like to know about it and I like people to know about it. That’s why when the government invests in education, especially when it targets my generation, I am getting a little older after all, I feel it should be talked about.

The government has invested money in creating research programs called CRC’s which are tasked with developing programs centred on expanding our knowledge around critical lifestyle factors.

In Australia, one in six people has some degree of hearing loss, which is expected to rise to one in four by 2050.

I’ve been following the development of the Hearing CRC which is called Hearnet, they’re responsible for developing awareness around issues related to hearing loss and also the development of new technology with hearing aids.

We have an older demographic in the Hunter region, we attract it, it’s beautiful and relaxing here. But amongst all the fun, for people like us it’s more important than ever to engage our health in a proactive way to ensure we can continue having fun for many years to come.

It can be quite hard to get good information on healthcare in our area as we’re a little out of the way, however the Hearing CRC has been a great resource for me in learning about hearing problems, but mostly in determining early warning signs and prevention.

Also thanks to the National Broadband Network, we’re able to tune in to this kind of information really quickly out here. Sure the new internet had its problems initially in terms of roll out, but it’s probably going to end up being a good thing when we can get our hands on all this data in a much faster way.

I’m going to include a link to some of their information below, because whether it’s for yourself or for your own research for a family member, it’s important to have a look into, even  if it’s just a cursory glance, so you can understand more adequately the needs of your loved ones and your own personal needs when it comes to hearing health.

So just click on hearing aids for more information on how to help yourself or a loved one.

Need to see an audiologist locally in the Hunter Valley? Here’s some where you can get one-on-one support:

Ph (02) 4929 1989. Raworth Cottage Medical Practice, Raworth Street, Singleton NSW 2330, Australia.
HEARINGLife is one of the world’s leading networks of hearing care professionals, making a huge difference to the lives of people with hearing difficulties. For over 70 years, they’ve  provided hearing care services to Australians. They stand by their commitment to the  highest levels of professionalism, ethics, honesty and integrity.

Connect Hearing
Ph (02) 4014 1701 Shop 2, Lake Arcade 2/ 22 Lake St, Warners Bay NSW 2282, Australia
Qualified and experienced hearing professionals who involve clients throughout the consultation process and take time to explain testing and outcomes. They listen hard to understand the situations you find it difficult to hear in or where you’re exposed to noise and wish to protect your hearing – and then identify and recommend a solution to complement your lifestyle and budget.

Select Hearing
Ph (02) 4959 8635 Corner Pemell & Brighton Avenue (above Woolworths) 2/ 7 Pemell St, Toronto NSW 2283, Australia
A local provider of quality hearing care services located in their HQ at Toronto with regular clinics at the Morisset GP Super Clinic, Kurri Kurri Professional Suites, Cooranbong, Raymond Terrace and Fern Bay. Their clinicians have many years of experience providing services in the Newcastle, Central Coast and South Lakes areas.

Hunter Valley Ballooning

The Hunter Valley cannot rival the Swiss Alps or the Himalayas for extremely spectacular views, however there are many rolling images which delight the eye and soul. One of the best ways to see the Hunter Valley is not necessarily through wine-drenched eyes, but from a birds’ eye vantage point – drifting up with the wind currents in a hot air balloon.

Those with a fear of heights can rest assured that the safety record of Hunter Valley hot air balloons is second to none. A champagne breakfast in a hot air balloon is the ultimate heart-starter, watching the sunrise from half a kilometre up is a memory to savour for a lifetime. Spotting kangaroos in winery grounds on the way up or down surrenders to a landscape-expanding perspective – you can see it all!

The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. It is part of a class of aircraft known as balloon aircraft. On November 21, 1783, in Annonay, France, the first untethered human-carrying flight was performed by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes in a hot air balloon created on December 14, 1782 by the Montgolfier brothers. Hot air balloons that can be propelled through the air rather than just being pushed along by the wind are known as airships or, more specifically, thermal airships.

For most of us, the prospect of a champagne breakfast casts visions of a hangover arriving by noon. But rising above the landscape, breathing deep that rarified air, while sensibly drinking sparkling mineral water in equal quantities to champagne, will see you through the afternoon in a deep state of elevated satisfaction rather than a cloudy afternoon of temple ache.

To have your ballooning business featured on this page email: editor@sydneycafes.com.au

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Australian Cider Giving Wine a Run For Its Money?

Speaking to  wine and cider making talent Jeff Aston of Eling Forest winery and Dcider about how Australian cider is becoming more dynamic and is starting to develop complexities approaching those of wines …

Q:    What do you think about this new comparison between cider and wine which Australians are starting to pick up on and find similarities with?

Jeff: With such a young market in Australia, we’re still only really learning food
matches and all the sort of complexities that are already established with
wine. So we’re only starting to get our heads around all that. Now
we’re still in that mindset of sweet, dry, or draught when there’s now just
starting to come out, there’s all these varieties and blends and thousands
of new cider variations. There’s a bit of a way to go before we start
treating it almost like a wine, I guess.
Q: Where people try cider for the first time and they try something that’s too syrupy or – to be frank – tastes like dishwater – they can get permanently put off. Is there a risk, do you feel, at the moment as far cider becoming a bit of a trend that people will try a cider that maybe doesn’t quite hit
the spot and it can turn them off for life?
Jeff: I don’t know. I guess it is, but I’d like to think that people are a bit more open-minded than that and would sort of try a few more, I guess. And I think that we’re naturally more like that anyway. In
Australia, in particular, a lot of the big brands and even the beer brands, you don’t have that brand recognition anymore. People are conscious that with craft beers or boutique cider brands, the flavour can vary a lot.
My dad used to drink the exact same beer every day. That’s what they
did. A lot of friends that I’ve talked to, their parents are the same, but
our generation is not like that. Everyone wants to try something new. They
probably don’t drink the same drink twice in a row. It’s very hard to get
that established. People aren’t locked into something, so I don’t know… I
think their mindset is very open to try things anyway.
Q:  I’m curious as to the way you’re finding your way into the market, you’re doing a lot with
social media and the Internet with people ordering directly off your website as one of the strategies to counteract the fact that a lot of small brands are locked out of distribution by big companies enforcing anti-competitive practices. But you’ve got a few places in Sydney, you’re breaking into Melbourne and a little bit into Perth now, and also Port Douglas. Where can people find you in Melbourne at the moment, and where
are you in Perth?
Jeff: Perth … we’ve just sent a pallet over to the distributor, and the word literally today is we’re now at Frisk Small Bar, the Inglewood Hotel, Steve’s Fine Wine & Food and X-Wray.
Melbourne, we’re in The Olsen and Spoonbill restaurant and the Cider House. There are a few others down there…
Port Douglas is going quite well, surprisingly, for such a little area. They’re doing quite well. I guess people are going up there to relax and have a drink, so they tend to go through a bit of cider.
Q:  And I notice as far as Sydney goes, we see a lot of photos at Snapback of entire tables of ladies sitting there, and there’s barely a drink other than Dcider on the table. So you seem to have found a
bit of a market at the Newtown Hotel.
Jeff: Yeah, I think that is actually. It’s one of our biggest people, the
Newtown Hotel. They go for Dcider. I think Snapback’s a great night. I
think they seem to have picked it up well. It’s a good opportunity to get
out. Until people try it, it’s just
another cider, as you know.
Because we’ve partnered with the Snapback
event on Wednesday night and it’s given more people the opportunity to try
it, and so it’s really been beneficial for us. And it’s good to see that it
hasn’t been a one hit wonder, people are obviously continually
buying it because they’re continually ordering, so I guess that’s a good
Q:    Yeah. It’s almost like… I don’t know if I’m a bit biased, but it
seems to be like when you see photos like that of a whole stack of people
drinking it, you think that it’s almost tied in really as the drink of the
event in some ways.
Jeff: Yes.
Stewart:    It’s amazing what can happen with something like that. It becomes
unique. It does seem quite hard, though, for new products to break into the
established bottle shop and pub network. Are there any challenges there
that you wish perhaps the situation was a bit more supportive of Australian
Jeff: Absolutely. Sydney in particular, and I guess, to an extent, some of
the other major cities, but Sydney in particular. A lot of these big groups
of pubs have signed up on contracts with people like Toohey’s and Fosters and
those sort of things, and they’ve got… they’ve basically signed a five-
year contract that says, ‘We’re providing your cider and no one else can.’
And so, for example, for us to get into the Newtown Hotel, we had to get
So you’re not only fighting to get in the door of places and
impress managers and their staff, but you’re also then fighting to actually
get past contracts, existing contracts. And even, to an extent, some of the
smaller pubs. They have these big companies that come in and say, ‘Oh,
well, we’ll give you all your fridges and we’ll set up your bar for you as
long as you guarantee you’ll only stock our product, and we’ll give you
5%, or you can get other people’s products in, or 20%, or whatever the
negotiation may be.
      And so we’re finding, actually, Sydney is one of the harder markets
for us to get into because it’s all tied up with these contracts that
they’re in.
Q:    Well, I think, after living in Sydney for 14 years, my feeling is, if
you can make it in Sydney, you can make it anywhere because it is tough for
whatever you try and set up and establish. Yeah, there’s a lot of people
who are very set in their ways in Sydney, and yes, so that’s the bottom
line is, if you crack it here, it’s going to be… the rest of Australia
usually is much easier, as you’re probably finding with Port Douglas then
and places like that.
Jeff: Yeah.
Q:    Yeah, that’s great news about Perth coming up as well that’s going to
be interesting.
Jeff: Perth’s going to be great. I know from other cider
brands and people I’ve talked to, Perth will be very big. It’s a big, big
market over there. A lot of dining. A lot of people spending money on
Q:    Yeah, well, you’re so far from everywhere, you’ve got to keep
yourself entertained. So, actually, Perth is a very lively town. Having
spent many years there myself, people are always up for a night out,
definitely, so…
Jeff: Yeah. It sounds like a pretty good place, actually.
Stewart:    Yeah, it is. It is great, for sure. So, yeah, I guess… Let me think
what else I should ask you. Looking at what you’re currently doing as far
as sort of online and developing a brand, do you-,  I mean, are you finding
that people are, if they just simply-,  if you just tell them that they
can’t get it in the local bottle shop, are they open to ordering it off
your website? Is that becoming a bit more of a trend, or is it still a
great challenge?
Jeff: No. People are very reluctant to order online. They always have been
and, I think, always will be. They like to make that spur of the moment
decision and just go down to the bottle shop. And I think, ultimately,
that’s where we’re pushing is to have the venue so that we can use our
marketing to push people to the venues rather than push people to the
product, if that makes sense?
I think that’s a better option for us, ultimately, in the long
run. But then just to have that opportunity because we’ve sold a bunch of
cases to, God knows, the middle of Australia, the Outback, Queensland sort
of area. Outback of Western Australia, people have ordered cases. So to
have that option now, I think, is quite nice.
Q:    So, you are having quite a bit of success at that real grass roots
community level, which I guess is a counterpoint to the problem that you
might have, where the pubs and clubs and bottle shops are locked into a
long term contract. That you are getting that community vibe happening with
local markets. So can you just let me know which markets you’re currently
in and what days of the week? Or what days of the month you’re actually in
Jeff: That’s a very good question. We’re at the Bowral Public School
market, which is every, I think is the second Saturday of every month.
Itís probably one of the best markets in the Southern Highlands.
Like, food and wine sort of produce type markets.
We’re at Camden Markets, which is fourth Saturday of every month.
Jeff: In Sydney, in North Sydney, Pyrmont, and Penrith markets. I can’t even remember which days they are.They are all Saturdays but I can’t remember which.. .
Q:    I’ll check them out, for sure. And I mean, are they, do you generally
find that you are selling cases or six packs or what’s actually happening?
Jeff: Generally, quite often we’re selling six packs the first time we are
there and then cases after that.
Q:    Wow, that’s great.
Jeff: Except for Bowral markets because there is a bit of a tourism, it is
more of tourists rather than locals and so we sell a lot more six packs
always in Bowral markets.
Q:    So what you’re got there I suppose is people who
might go to the markets regularly and they’ll try your cider and really
enjoy it. And then they go back and buy an entire case of it.
Jeff: Yeah. Like Bowral markets, we still have our regulars that will
come and buy their case a month.
Q:    Yeah. So that must be very satisfying. I suppose it leads to the next
question is how much, when you first produce this batch, how many bottles
did you actually produce? Because it’s quite a leap into the market, isn’t
it? It must be in the many thousands? Was it 40,000? Or 50,000 bottles that
you produced?
Jeff: Bottles, it’s about 60,000 I think we made. It is a big leap, but we’ve got added difficulties in New South
Wales where we’ve only really got one or two facilities that can actually
bottle cider. So there is a real headache in volumes and small volumes, and
price, and there’s, to an extent, when we actually put out the first batch,
there was only one place really in New South Wales that we could get it
bottled. So it cost us a small fortune.
Q:    Yeah. I bet, I bet. Does that mean the next time, because I guess at
some stage you are going to have to do another run. Will you do another
60,000? Is that where you’ll stay at at this stage.
Jeff: Yeah I think so. Itís just apple season now, and apple season goes
from now until probably end of August, mid to late August. So we’ll do
another batch. May have to do a slightly bigger
batch this time.
Q:    And when would that be put out there? Would that be August?
Jeff: Probably look at putting that out into the market sort of August, the
end of August.
Q:    That sounds great. So I guess in the mean time,
have you got enough stock? You’re not going to run out in any shops that
you’re in?
Jeff: No, it’s going to be close though!
To find out more about this great Australian Cider click the link!
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Mens Gift Ideas for a Great Cause

I’d like to draw your attention away from the Hunter for a moment but only for a really worthwhile cause. My friends over at Belmondo Boxers have decided to donate the proceeds of an entire product line to the charity Project Futures as part of their Stella Fella campaign, which provides funds to help with the prevention of human trafficking.

So I’m rather shamelessly going to give them a little bit of spotlight as I believe any business which helps to give back to its community deserves some recognition. Because yes, even boxer shorts can make a positive change to the world we live in.

Now I believe it’s actually all of their bow ties which they have offered up the proceeds to charity, however they’re primarily known for their boxer shorts. Which are smart, professional but also fun. They come in a range of colourful designs and are some of the most comfortable boxers I’ve ever worn myself. They’re 100% cotton and have only a single seam to make sure there’s no discomfort, and they’re stitched flat to avoid rubbing against you. The waist is also sewn flat to avoid grabbing at your skin and maintains a certain firmness.

Their ties are made of Italian silk and also fit within those fine lines of being smart, professional, but also zesty. These say Wall St to me. But then again, what would I know? I’m hardly a banker!

They come in neat little gift boxes also so that you can give them as gifts without having to put too much thought in, not because you’re unthoughtful, but sometimes around crucial gift giving times there’s a little too much on.

All in all, Belmondo Boxers are being Stella Fellas in supporting this campaign and I hope I can do my part to help you support them by grabbing yourself a new bow tie.

So for some great mens gift ideas check them out!

Stella Fella


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Englewood Ridge

Self-contained accommodation in the Hunter Valley.

Looking for group or family-oriented accommodation in the Hunter Valley? Englewood Ridge offers luxury self-contained accommodation of the highest order.  A beautiful house which nestles naturally into the landscape – and it’s pet-friendly too.

65 Talga Road, ROTHBURY NSW 2320, Australia

For more info ph Mike

(02) 9489 8184
Mobile: 0417 287 345

Or click this link: self-contained accommodation hunter valley

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Wineries in the Hunter Valley

At Englewood Ridge accommodation you’re within sipping distance of the following totally awesome Hunter Valley wineries:

1. Tower Estate Winery
2. Bilgavia Estate
3. Krinklewood Vineyard
4. Margan
5. Meerea Park Wines
6. Mistletoe Wines
7. Peppertree
8. Scarborough
9. Drayton’s Family Wines
10. Gosforth estate
11. McGuigan Cellars
12. McWilliams Mt Pleasant Estate

Key Links:

Accommodation Hunter Valley

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