BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA


When Hanna Hervall @hannahervall tells me how despite living in Australia her heart is split in two, as she feels she have two homes, I instantly know we speaking the same language. The amazing thing is that still she lives with her beautiful family in Australia she manage to visit her second home a few months every year while successfully running two businesses, as a photographer and Bubnest. However when I ask her to pick her favourite spot to talk about with The Beach Seekers she comes back to Australia and the magic spot of Byron Bay. To be honest, Byron is one of my all time favourites too, and a very dear place to me. (…I have even decided that if I ever get a baby boy I will call him Byron…but the middle name cant be mentioned here. As it will scare away potential baby fathers ;)) So it squeezes my heart to share Hanna´s amazing Byron Bay tips with you. Still I have lost count of the times I been to Byron she mention places I am yet to check out and the images are divine. So enjoy the Byron magic and see you there!

What role does the ocean & the beach play in your life?

I grew up on a tiny island surrounded by the ocean, so it has always meant a lot to me. My birthplace is Hälsö, a small fishing community outside of Gothenburg. I live in Brisbane city now, one hour from the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. As a family we spend time on the beach almost every weekend and sometimes even during the week. My daughter does Surf Life Saving on a beach near where I used to live on the Gold Coast. I think its so cool to be confident in the water at a young age, it has a lot of benefits. Our plan is to move closer to the sea again, whether that is in Australia or Sweden it doesn’t matter. We want to be closer to the water.

Your favourite beach destination?

We are so spoilt in Australia, having paradise on our doorstep, so my first thought was Gili Trawangan just because it was such an exotic experience. At Gili we went snorkling with turtles right off the beach, we swam with horses and sipped on coconuts on a swing under a palm tree in the sunset. Absolute bliss! But when I think about it, my absolute favourite spot is Wategos Beach, Byron Bay. Its close to where I live, the water here is just amazing and you almost always spot dolphins playing in the waves not too far out. I love to swim under water with my eyes open and just marvel at that perfect shade of turquoise over the white sand. There are some palms for the shade lovers, great waves for surfing and the Byron village close by, its perfect.

The best coffee here?

I don´t drink much coffee, but there are coffee vans right next to the beach everywhere, even at Wategos. The Northen Rivers and Byron Bay has become a bit of a boutique coffee region with hundreds of coffee orchards in the hinterlands. Great coffee is a standard practice here.

Best breakfast?

I love to explore the gems off the main tourist area. I love the restaurants around Byron like Belongil Bistro or Three Blue Ducks at the Farm. Harvest is amazing too for breakfast or lunch.

Best shopping?

There is great shopping in Byron Bay but the best shopping is probably off the main street, you can find vintage treasures in the funky antique shops of Bangalow. The local farmers and arts markets are always interesting. Arts and bargain shopping at the Industry Park on the way into Byron is where a lot of locals go to grab a bargain. International hot spots such as Spell & The Gypsy Collective is now located a little bit off the main street too if you like that bohemian gypsy look, a bit pricey but always crowded and it’s definitely worth checking out even for a relaxing cup of tea in their amazing courtyard.

Best healthy eats?

Healthy eats can be found everywhere in Byron. This is the place for raw foods, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, not to talk about pretty!! Healthy food is literally everywhere. No shoes, no processed food, no worries. Harvest in the Newrybar (hinterlands) is worth the drive, even if you are coming from Sydney. This place makes you feel right at home with its organic kitchen garden and stunning surrounding. Its exceptionally tasty and beautifully presented food is the best of its kind. Organic and sustainable. If you bring home any harvest produce it could cause serious pantry envy.

Best sundowners?

It’s not like Bali where you have all those amazing beach side set ups, this is more BYO towel. If you want to support local, check out “The Beach People” roundie (round towel).

Best mani/pedi?

There are quite a few places around byron, but Gaia is probably the most famous retreat / massage place.

 Best way to exercise here?

There are lots of yoga studios in Byron Bay, and lots of hikes too, but for someone new to the area there is nothing quite like the famous light house walk, lots of uphill and lots of steps, and spectacular panoramic ocean views. If the forecast is good for surfing; I would get up early and go for a surf. If it’s too crowded, there are lots of alternative beaches around the area.

Chicest place to stay here?

Check out the local Airbnb’s, there are some super chic hinterland escapes with outdoor baths or rainforest pools. Book early as Byron is super popular and a bit pricey. Nothing like waking up in federal, or possum creek and watching the fog clear over the rolling hills while the sun peaks through the palm trees. It’s cheaper in the hinterlands but you may need a car to get around (Uber into town is probably no more than $20 though). Lots of celebrities stay at Ray’s at Wategos, I have heard only good things about Ray’s but bring your big wallet.

Must see/do?

Sunrise at Wategos or any of the beaches nearby, perfect for a mind-blowing meditation session or a cleansing early morning swim/surf. I would also take a drive in the hinterlands in the afternoon until the sun sets, the scenery is pure magic and it’s a must do. There are some great places to eat up there too, a famous Japanese Restaurant called Doma Cafe that people drive for hours to get to (you need to book a table here). Harvest Cafe is a big hit among foodies, super healthy and super pretty food, no instagram filters needed (as mentioned above). There are some spectacular waterfalls in the area like Protestors Falls, bring a friend with a camera as you could get some seriously nice photos here, impossible to do on your own. South of Broken heads there are some hidden surf spots for the adventurer (you need to hike to get there, so bring a local surfer to show you) and nudist beaches for the wild and free, I found one just on the southern side of broken heads.

In your beach bag?

Organic sunscreen, sunglasses, a sunhat, a bikini, my water bottle and a few snacks so if I have to skip lunch I’ll survive.

Your beauty routine before and after the beach?

I like Kora Organics, and my husband make a killer coffee scrub with coconut oil and wild orange essential oils. It works perfect to scrub off sunscreen and go out (or to bed) smooth as a baby. I use coconut oil for everything and sunscreen is a must, a natural organic one.

Your secret to keep fit on holidays? I do yoga early in the morning every day, keeping it simple, just need a mat. Then I’m set for the rest of the day and if there are any other activities planned that’s a bonus! I have a light yoga mat for travelling.

Your beach uniform?

I love South American swimwear, but my latest bargains have been found at H&M. For something unique that is not too pricy check out butterfliesandbikinis.com.

Your favourite part of an ultimate beach day?

My ultimate beach day would involve some me-time. As a mum that is very rare, as there is always somebody to look after. Nothing beats taking my family to the beach, but just to have an opportunity to go for a swim, or a surf on my own or with a friend would be my favourite part.

 

February Beach Shopping

FEB IS FOR LOVERS..

Dress from Innikachoo.com. Jumper from Lingua Franca/Net-a-Porter.com. Earrings from J.W.Anderson/Matchesfashion.com. Sunglasses from Sunday Somewhere. Bikini from Lisa Marie Fernandez. Skirt from Isabel Marant, Ètoile/Mytheresa.com. Top from She Made Me/Mytheresa.com. Bag from Eliza Gran/Tuchuzy.com. Luxe Flamingo Float from Sunnylife.com. Sandals from Brother Vellies/Net-a-Porter.com.

 

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA


I met this Norwegian beauty and model Mari Lenferna de la Motte @maridelamotte on a cover and fashion spread I styled a few years back. Since am a hopeless romantic, Mari´s story about how she meet the man of her dreams; fell in love with both him and Cape Town, and decided to stay, was like music to my ears. After the shoot I started following her on instagram and instantly put Cape Town on my bucket list. And as this love story couldn´t get any better; Mari´s husband is also a great photographer @lucdelamotte, and helps filling Mari´s insta with images that makes you longing for beach days. (Note to self we all need husbands that are amazing insta photographer in 2017, right!?). So since Mari already put Cape Town on my bucket list, am sure she also will convince the rest of u..

What role does the ocean & the beach play in your life?

The ocean and the beach play a huge role in my life. I have never permanently lived in a city without the ocean close by, and if I’m traveling to somewhere where the ocean is miles away it definitely doesn’t make me feel good about myself. I’m lucky enough to live a five minute car ride from some of the most beautiful beaches in the world (Clifton 1,2,3 and 4).We also have an ocean view from our flat. I don’t venture to the beach as often as I should, but I guess I go a couple of times every other week. For me it’s more the feeling of knowing that it’s there.

Where is your favorite beach destination?

My favorite beach destination is definitely any beach in Cape Town. I enjoy the four Clifton beaches because they are situated basically in the middle of the city, but when you go down to the beach it feels like you’re miles away from civilization. There are also small beaches in Cape Town like Beta Beach, or Bakoven. They are more intimate and a cozy option if you don’t feel like being surrounded by a million people. Llandudno beach is also awesome, but if you’re spoilt like us then a 15-minute car ride is too far to go to the beach (I realize how ridiculous that sounds now).

Best coffee here?

Trying to figure out the best coffee spot in Cape Town is rather challenging. This place is like a melting pot for baristas from all over the world. But personally I think I would say Jarryds, in Sea Point. Because it’s walking distance from me and it’s one of my favorite spots for coffee and breakfast. The variety of coffee and healthy food is huge, and the people there are super friendly. I also really enjoy Bootleggers in Sea Point and Truth Coffee in Gardens.

Best breakfast?

Best breakfast, I would say Jarryds again. You might think I work for them, but I don’t. I just really and truly love the place, and the breakfasts you get there are definitely my favorite in the whole world. A personal favorite is the Avo smash on Toast, or the Poach Eggs Benedict with Spinach and Mushroom. It might sound boring but when it gets served, it’s so pretty to look at, that you don’t really feel like eating it. But when you do, it’s just too good and you forget that the portions are way too big to finish, so I usually roll out of there every time. Another place I really enjoy is Himmelhuijs in the City center. It definitely lives up to its name, with the cool decor and the amazing food.

Best shopping?

In the beginning when I first got here I didn’t enjoy shopping here at all. But, that was until I found all the hidden gems around town. It’s like a vintage heaven, and there are frequent markets with amazing treasures to find. Cape Town is definitely a city that encourages you to be whatever you want to be, and that’s pretty easy to see by the way people dress. A few shops I really like; Babette (in town), A store (Kloof street), Lindsay and Lenny (Sea Point). I also have a few friends that sell their brands online. For Boho swimwear, jewelry and clothing I would highly suggest Earthling and Moon. For beautiful swimwear I would recommend BeachCult. For guys Granadilla has some really cool board shorts. I love supporting my friends and local up and coming brands, and would definitely always pay a little bit more to buy their stuff, than to buy fast fashion and non-personal clothes.

Best healthy eats?

We are so lucky in this place to be blessed with a very health oriented mindset. There are literally healthy restaurants and cafes on every corner here, and I think a majority of the people here are vegetarian. Some of the places I enjoy going to for healthy food; Plant (City Center), Nü (Sea Point and Green Point), The Kitchen (Woodstock), The hungry Herbivore (City Centre), Raw and Roxy (Woodstock).

Best sundowners?

I feel like all I say is how lucky we are, but I seriously think I live in the best city in the world. For sundowners the options are endless, but some of my favorite places are; Sotanos (in Mouille Point) Their cocktail menu is extensive and they have a big food menu as well. It’s right by the ocean and the sunsets in Cape Town are known for being mind blowing, so this is definitely a great place to be. Bungalow (by Clifton) is also amazing, with a stunning view. The Grand (Granger Bay) is probably the coolest place you can go to. It’s very much a see and be seen type of place but their drinks are great, and so is the food. And the place ends up being quite a vibe on occasions, with dj´s and the beach being the dance floor.

Best way to exercise here?

Personally I am not a fan of the gym. I don’t do yoga and I don’t go to classes. But I know that the yoga culture in Cape Town is massive and there are some great studios (My Utopia, Yoga Life, Hot Dog Yoga Studio, Wild Thing Yoga). I enjoy an outdoor workout. Either a run or a power walk on the promenade in Sea Point, or a serious stairs workout at Biskop Stairs (Clifton). The nature is amazing in South Africa and the hiking possibilities are endless. I don’t see the point paying for a gym membership when you have the most beautiful gym right outside your door, that nurtures both your body and mind.

Chicest place to stay here?

Be it that I live here I haven’t stayed at a lot of touristy places, but there are a some really cool places here. The One & Only Resort at the waterfront is definitely a place you would want to stay, or Airbnb a place in Clifton or Fresnaye. Pretty much anywhere you stay in this city will be awesome, and you are 99% guaranteed an epic view.

Must see/do?

Places to go and see and things to do are so endless here that I don’t even know where to begin. Things like Table Mountain, Lions Head, Kirstenbosch, Cape Point, Robben Island, the waterfront, Boulders beach and the drive to Cape Point are things that are mandatory Cape Town things to do. And then you have things like zip lining, sunset kayak tours where you are pretty much guaranteed to see dolphins, sundowners on one of the beaches, wine tasting in the wine district (Franschhoek), that might not be on the top of the tourist companies list, but things that are seriously fun. The opportunities are endless here, and if you somehow manage to be bored in Cape Town, you must have a special ability that never allows you to have fun.

In your beach bag…

Big beach towel for the Hubby and me, and sunscreen. I’m extremely strict with sunscreen and never leave the house without having some on my body. An umbrella, it might not look supercool but you need to hide from the African sun after a while. No one wants to look like a leather belt when they’re older. – A cooler box with cold drinks and some snacks, and a head hammock. Yes, it is what it sounds like; it’s a hammock in a miniature size that you can rest your head on, for optimal comfort. A little speaker, everyone likes good beats on the beach. Money for ice cream, there are always people walking around on the beaches selling ice creams and soft drinks. As you can see we take our beaching quite seriously in Cape Town, and only the best is good enough!

Beauty routine before and after the beach?

To be frank, I am not very into a strict beauty regime; I’m a firm believer that less is more. But before I go to the beach I wash my face and put on SPF 50, preferably Vichy, Australian Gold or just Nivea. And then SPF 30 on my body. After the beach you always feel a bit oily and sandy. I shower in cold water, scrub my face with my husbands face scrub (Neutrogena) and then use a natural body scrub to take away dead skin cells and whatever sand and oil that’s there. Then I put after sun (Nivea) or a good lotion, I prefer either Elizabeth Arden, or the body milk from No7. I also always give my hair a good wash with the blonde shampoo and conditioner from either John Frieda or Goldwell.  And then I put in some coconut oil, or a dash of hair treatment from L’Oréal. I find myself not fuzzing too much, and believe just finding whatever products works for you is the best way to go.

How to keep fit on holidays?

I don’t really think about keeping fit too much, seeing that I am quite the hyper person in general (except in the mornings). I believe that if you just try keeping as active as you can in your everyday life, and do fun things like hikes, walks and runs, or even swims (if that’s possible) you will stay fit and be happy. Find fun activities and forget that you’re working out. But also focus on eating healthy and having a healthy routine.

Your beach uniform?

My beach uniform would definitely be a bikini from either BeachCult , I love their high waisted bottoms, or a beautiful swimsuit from Earthling and Moon, the Casablanca is my favorite!

Your favorite part of an ultimate beach day?

That would be when the sun is setting and you have wine in your glass, plenty of good friends, laughs, some good tunes in the background, the sun setting and coloring the sky in all sorts of colors and some good snacks. That’s when I’m at my happiest and appreciate everything the most.

 

BARRA GRANDE, BRAZIL


If you haven´t heard about the fashion label Chicameo  @chicameo founded and designed by Tale Hagelsteen and Pernille Holmboe, it is about time to check out their amazing pieces all inspired by the exotic places the girls visit. Tale Hagelsteen @tale_chicameo a stunning blond Norwegian with the loveliest smile reminds me of the girls the Chicameo designers say they design for; fun-loving and modern bohemian jet-setters. Naturally Tale and myself could talk about exotic destinations for days, but since she have a holiday house in Barra Grande in Brazil I got her to spill some insiders from this gem of a beach destination…Enjoy!

What role does the ocean & the beach play in your life?

I recently moved back to my hometown Oslo in Norway after 8 years in Hong Kong. What I miss the most (apart from friends obviously) is the weather, walking around in summer dresses and flip flops and the constant beach weekends we used to have in Hong Kong. Our weekends always consisted of meeting up with friends at the beach for large BBQs and afternoon swims. Hong Kong is a pretty hectic cosmopolitan city that can easily drain you during a busy workweek, so these weekends at the beach just made my lifestyle complete. The instant holiday feeling and relaxed mood the sand and the ocean provide is just incredible. Its meditation and a power smoothie in one go!

Where is your favorite beach destination?

My husband and I have spent every opportunity to travel over the last 10 years, and we have seen some incredible holiday and beach destinations. We have traveled to destinations all around South East Asia such as Vietnam, Myanmar, Borneo, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan, and out of all of them Hoi An in Vietnam is probably my favorite – yummy, healthy food and such kind and happy people. Definitely stay at the Nam Hai. Best hotel in the world!

Outside of Asia I have a special relationship with Brazil, and my favorite beach destination is here. Up North East in Bahia there is a hidden little gem called Barra Grande. This heaven is just unique in every sense. My family has a house there by the beach, so I go there as often as I can. The beaches are endless with clear blue water – some spots are calm and some perfect for surfing, and with just the right amount of amazing beach hotspots. Situated just in from the water is a peaceful, local village that has managed to preserve the local charm and atmosphere of a local fishing village. Colorful, small houses are surrounded by gardens with flowers, coconut palms and mango trees – perfect rustic chic! This place has everything I love – hidden shopping gems, healthy eats and yummy juice bars and of course endless beautiful beaches with all that fun Brazilian vibe.

And what really makes this place special is that it transforms completely during the New Year celebrations! From a tranquil beach spot, Barra Grande turns into one of Brazils biggest party scenes…all taking place at the beach with thousands wearing all white and dancing into the New Year to the tunes of Brazils hottest DJs. The best thing is that it is still a bit of a hidden gem mostly visited by the Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo it-crowd. It’s like Trancoso before it became the celeb packed town it is now. So be sure to get on that plane soon!

 Best coffee?

I am not a big coffee drinker, but Oh bar has the best warm (and cold) drinks in town.

 Best breakfast?

The breakfast at Dreamland Bangalo is a must (before hitting the waves just outside)

Best shopping?

A small shop at Balidende carries small artifacts and treasures to bring home.

Best healthy eats?

Try the lobster with black rice at Bar da Ro!

Best sundowners?

Ponta do Muita has the best sunset and sundowners.

Best way to exercise here?

I always do yoga in the morning. Water sports or volleyball keeps me busy during the day.

 Chicest stay?

Stay at a colorful posada on the beach or at our house if you want to stay privately with staff.

Must see/do?

Barra Grande has the clearest water for diving, rent a boat and go island hopping, hit the waves, SUP or just hang by the pool.

 What do you always pack in your beach bag? 

I always pack spare bikinis and lots of sarongs, that also act as a shawl for impromptu temple trips or long lunches. I get restless easily so if I am having a full tanning day I need to stock up on books and music. I always keep sunscreen with different SPFs and some different options for sunglasses. If I get a fresh young coconut, my day is complete!

What is your beauty routine before and after the beach?

My little beach holiday secret is to use a self tanner a couple days before I go, so I don’t stress out about getting that first layer of color the first couple of days. I get super tanned, but I am a slow tanner so it takes time and this mindset helps me build that color while I get into the relaxed holiday spirit. It is also key to have manicured nails on both hands and feet.

How do you keep fit on your holidays?

Outdoor activities and healthy meals! I love action filled holidays with lots of sports and outdoor activities. I am not a gym junkie, so indoor classes are not ideal for me. The ocean is the best platform for exercise. Wakeboarding is my absolute favorite together with a combination of yoga and meditation in the morning to keep my brain happy and healthy!

Your beach uniform?

One of the biggest perks of being a designer is that I get to design and wear a complete set of fresh summer clothes from Chicameo each season. Both my partner Pernille Holmboe and myself travel extensively so we create exactly what we feel is needed on that beach holiday. My favorites are our off-the shoulder dresses such as the Floral Poesy dress  and our Macrame Denim Dress. And I always pack one of our fun and colorful sequin skirts for the evening, perfect for tanned legs!

I’m also addicted to mirrored sunglasses in different colors. My favorites right now are Illestevas hand made sunglasses. Love them! For bikinis I love Melissa Odabash and Heidi Klein. And lots of colorful bangles to give that summer pop feeling!

What is your favourite part of an ultimate beach day?

Waking up! …on the first day of the holiday.

 
 
 
 
 
 

KAUAI, HAWAII

Misty Charles surfer and swimwear designer


Misty Charles the founder of the unique kids swimwear label Oceana Blue Swimwear has always been surrounded by the ocean. After living overseas for few years Misty is currently back in Australia living on the beautiful Gold Coast, near the sandy shores of Palm Beach with her two gorgeous ocean loving daughters. If you ever need a bit of sunshine in your life, you should definitively start following @oceanablueswimwear for your daily dose of vitamin sea. However since Misty has spent a lot of time on the beautiful island of Hawaii she promise to spill us a secret or two.

What role does the ocean & the beach play in your life?

It is our life, everything we do revolves around water & the beach. As a child I lived in a small country surf town by the beach, being brought up in a family that surfed we spent all of our spare time at the beach & in the water, surfing, swimming, jumping off rocks into the sea & rolling around in the sand. As an adult not much has changed & I’m fortunate that I can share my childhood memories with my daughters, there is something about the beach that lets your imagination run wild & free… Watching my children play making sandcastles, digging holes, jump over the waves & chase the seagulls – its pure bliss.

Your favourite beach destination?

I had the opportunity to live in Hawaii on the island of Kauai for a year when my eldest daughter was 1years old at the time.  There are so many beautiful beaches & memories my favourite being Poipu on the south side of the island, it was safe for my daughter to swim, there was surf & plenty of snorkeling, with a great island atmosphere.

Best coffee?

Im not a coffee drinker, Java Kai in Kapaa on the west side of the island makes a rock’n Acai bowl & Chai Latte.

Best shopping?

Shipwrecked Kauai has some amazing product/brands & homewares instore, including our very own Oceana Blue Swimwear.

Best healthy eats?

Living Foods health food Market in Poipu and Keoki’s Paradise in Poipu if your after a restaurant style atmosphere.

Best sundowners?

Best place to watch the sunset…Waters edge, nothing quite like the sunsets over the ocean in Hawaii.

Best exercise here?

If you looking for the best workout OFF KAUAI on the south side of the island offers the best sessions for an intense workout.

Where to stay?

If your travelling with a crew you could look at getting a holiday house that sleeps 8-10 people.

 In your beach bag?

Beach towels, sunscreen, zinc, water bottles, snacks, hat, sunglasses, phone, camera, business cards (lol I am always working).

Beauty routine before and after the beach?

Before the beach I wear a tinted UPF 50+ moisturiser afterwards I like to use my dõTERRA Veráge organic facial range, cleanser, toner, tightening serum & moisturizer.

How do you keep fit on holidays?

With high energy children fitness isn’t too much of an issue. I feel like I’m always chasing the kids. In my down time I like to do some stretching before bed.

Your beach uniform?

Seafolly or Tigerlily kaftan over my bikini, it’s lightweight & breezy… for surfing I wear my long sleeve Oceana Blue Suit, it’s perfect for the sun being UPF 50+ stylish & being a suit my back doesn’t get sunburnt.

What is your favourite part of an ultimate beach day?

I love going to the beach with friends, once everything is all set up (beach umbrella, towels, food, drinks, toys, surfboards) we normally switch out turns to go for a surf, then just kick back & enjoying the sunshine, watch the kids play, good laughs, embracing life & being grateful to have the lifestyle I live.