Life is all about the journey, live your best life with LC

Get an insight into the life of Creative Director, Louisa Curtis as she shares a glimpse into her lifestyle, where she likes to dine, places to see, things to do and insider knowledge into her golden list of suppliers for when you’re planning your next dinner party or event.

Louisa share’s her trade secrets, know-how and the inside scoop into Melbourne’s must dos this winter. You’ll never be stuck for somewhere to eat, drink or visit.

 

 

GOLDEN LIST OF SUPPLIERS

Planning a dinner party or event and don’t know who to engage to help bring your party to life? I’ll share with you my insider knowledge and list of suppliers for all your event needs, from the best florists, caterers, prop and furniture specialists through to bespoke speciality items.

I’ve developed some truly incredible and lifelong friendships with my suppliers, they are the best in the biz, everything is considered and their attention to detail is second to none!


Production and Furniture – I have an amazing working relationship with Harry the Hirer they help us to achieve our overarching look and feel for each event, from furnishing, custom builds and production no matter the size of the event or budget they are my go-to. I love their attention to detail which helps make each of our client’s events memorable.

Harry The Hirer

 

Florals and Plants – Florals make any event, so you need to know exactly where to go and what they specialise in, here’s my top 3 florists whom I’ve worked with for hundreds of events. They provide a range of unique, colourful, sophisticated fresh flowers and bespoke plants for all types of events.

 

Michael Strownix | Michael is an extension of my team we collaborate on most jobs together, including the NGV’s Art of Dining where we won the People’s Choice Award. We have this crazy creative relationship where we both inspire and motivate each other to create beautiful things.

Michael Strownix X S|LC - Art of Dining table design

 


Flowers Vasette | I love working with Flowers Vasette from a floral perspective, they create beautiful floral arrangements and know literally all floral species inside and out. They can find any plant or flower you need!

Flowers Vasette - Romano Beck x Piper Heidsieck Media Dinner

 

Botanical Events | I often need larger scale plants and feature items for events this is when I engage Botanical Events, they are my go-to plant supplier for either hire or purchase of plants.

 

Botanical Events - Office Styling

 

Caterers - I have a range of caterers for all types of events nationally, from private parties to larger scale corporate events each customising the menu to suit any brief and help narrate the story and theme for the occasion. Cookes Food (Melbourne) | Cook and Waiter (Sydney) | Woofys all work closely with their clients to create and deliver the world’s best gastronomy experiences.

Cookes Food - Private Lunch
Cookes Food - Private party

Cook and Waiter
Cook and Waiter - Juvederm Volite Media Event

Woofys - insisfree media brunch
Woofys - SKWOSH media launch


Design and Printing - Alex Watson Creative (Design) | Viska Paper (Printing & Design) provide custom made bespoke design and printing services that bring that touch of detail and personalisation to your event.

Alex Watson Creative - NGV Art of Dining 2019 
Alex Watson Creative - NGV Art of Dining

Viska Paper - Face Value Media Event 
Viska Paper - Face Value Media Event

 

Speciality elements | Slide Productions (Lighting Products) | Lost in LA (Specialty Props) are where you need to go when looking for unique lighting and specialty props to tailor and customise your party.

Slide Productions - NGV Art of Dining 2019
Lost In LA - VRC Domain 2017

 

 

QUINTESSENTIAL MELBOURNE RESTAURANTS

I have a truly deep connection and personal experience with this city, we have some of the best food and wine the world has to offer. This city has become synonymous with fabulous food. It’s exciting, it’s vibrant and it is home to an immensely diverse range of restaurants that transport me around the globe, one bite at a time. I’ve selected some of my favourite local restaurants and bars around Melbourne for you to enjoy too.

 

Andrew McConnell Group | McConnell has accumulated many awards over the years with his first restaurant the Diningroom 211 which opened in 2001. Today, several of Melbourne’s best restaurants are McConnell’s and they are also on the top of my list. These include 10-year-old restaurant Cumulus Inc., its upstairs drinks and snacks spot, Cumulus Up; Wine bar Marion; Butcher Meatsmith; and modern pan-Asian restaurant Supernormal and its playful sibling Supernormal Canteen, whose lobster rolls are one of Melbourne’s most iconic dishes. The Builders Arms Hotel is a landmark public house on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. It is my favourite and also one of Fitzroy’s locals - it’s a meeting place for drinks and meals. The Public bar serves up 12 rotating draught beers and a considered list of new and old wines many of which I’ve had the pleasure of indulging.

Andrew Mcconnell's Marion Wine Bar

I love to head to the Builders Arms for a late Saturday afternoon, I enjoy the buzz, the vibe and love to people watch. I generally start with a beer followed by the famous cod roe which comes with the most delicious Baker Bleu bread I often order this more than once as it’s just too good!

Andrew Mcconnell's Builders Arms Hotel
Andrew McConnell's - Builders Arms Hotel famous Cod Roe

 

Carlton Wine Room | This is a typical neighbourhood bistro and bar, serving food that works with wine in a 19th century building. It’s located in the heart of Carlton on the corner of Faraday St and Drummond St. Carlton Wine Room occupies a treasured corner in old Carlton with distinct dining spaces over three levels which are linked by a common offering. This place is great for honest, generous dishes, perfect for sharing or keeping all to yourself. 

I love to visit here on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, it’s a great place to just sit and let the afternoon slowly pass by. I always start with an Aperol Spritz and order the Stracciatella, mushrooms, rosemary with potato focaccia – this is the perfect taste sensation to start your journey at the Carlton Wine room. The kingfish crudo, crème fraiche, horseradish and pickled wombox is another delectable dish.

Carlton Wine Room
Carlton wine room stracetella dish

 

Chin Chin | The Chin Chin experience is based on more than just food. Whilst you're there you listen to curated playlists by some of Australia’s most respected DJ’s and see art exhibited on the walls by both established and emerging artists. Chin Chin is a quintessentially Australian restaurant with a South East Asian injection.

 I tend to head here before going to a footy match at the MCG with a group of friends for pre- match cocktails and great food. I like to order one of their classic slushie cocktails which usually include tropical fruits and coconut, giving you the sense of summertime. Food wise you are in for a feast… start with the kingfish sashimi, tartare of salmon, chilli salt chicken wings. Or if trying to decide what to eat leaves you feeling anxious look no further than the Feed Me menu. All the food. None of the stress. It’s a great option, one I do regularly with large groups.

Chin Chin
Chin Chin - Tartare of Salmon

 

Intimate Bars, Restaurants for Dates, Meetings or Catch ups with a small group of friends

Melbourne is blessed with some of the best bars, from rooftops and underground gems to intimate wine bars, gin joints and whisky dens, here are some of my favourites that you must visit.

Bar Liberty | Bar liberty is an alcohol-focused bar and casual restaurant, that have a thing for wine.

Bar Liberty, named after a line from Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith focuses heavily on drinks, with an extensive wine list and solid selection of beers and liqueurs. The food menu is refined ranging from olives, oysters, to a plate of gabagool (a type of salami) and fried potato with fermented chilli.

This is the perfect place to go for a date or a one on one catch up with one of your besties. Every time I visit this place I leave happy and energetic. No guessing why… starting with one of their specialty Negroni’s, followed by one of many signature dishes. The wholemeal sourdough flatbread with butter curd is sensational - they even supply you with a pair of scissors to cut the bread. But my truly favourite dish is the Bucatini alla Cacio e Pepe… I live for it!

Bar Liberty
Bar Liberty - famous flat bread

 

Yoku Ono | This is a special one for me as it’s my brother’s restaurant which I frequent regularly. Yoku Ono is a traditional Japanese Ramen & Sake Bar, one that feels like you are right in the heart of Tokyo. I order one of their signature cocktails, most often I order the Yuzu Margarita which I always ask to be served in a tumbler on the rocks instead of the traditional way. Alternately I’ll order the Clockwork Orange which is a clever spin off from the original Aperol Spritz. Food wise it depends what mood I’m in or what time of year it is, on a cold winters night I will order one of the Ramens, my favourite being the tan tan sesame ramen. If you’re not in the mood for ramen I recommend the gyoza, oyster tempura, yoku ono chicken karaage, swordfish bao bun, prawn tempura and the house special tuna sashimi. If you like Sake I order the no.5 which is very dry and is fabulous either cold or warm.

Yoku Ono
Yoku Ono - Bao Buns

 Gourmet food suppliers 

Meatsmith | Owned and run by my favourite chef Andrew McConnell. Meatsmith is a butcher that is passionate about best quality heritage meats and skilled butchery, the focus on partnering with dedicated producers with ethically reared breeds, cultivating meats that deserve to be celebrated.

This is the place to go when hosting a dinner party, my go to’s are the foie gras, pickles in a jar, the iconic cryovac lamb shoulder which is the same as what they serve at Cumulus Inc. It is a genius idea for dinner parties and wins people over every time! Shhh… it’s a secret! Meatsmith is more than just a butcher, there is plenty of wine and goodies to choose from and even a perfect place to buy a gift for someone who loves their cooking or when you are heading away to stay with friends it’s a great gift idea.

Meatsmith Fitzroy
Meatsmith St Kilda

 

King and Godfree Deli | Old meets new, channelling their original store and its long history of great service, the King and Godfree Deli has expanded the Deli offering a superb range of classic deli items alongside roasted meats, vegetables and salads to go. Specialty dry goods, gourmet hampers and friendly, old-fashioned service, this is the grocery store, rebooted. 

Its full of my favourite things, I love creating my own hamper for a weekend away with friends... you can buy a whole lot of goodies to indulge on whilst away.

King and Godfree Establishment
King and Godfree Deli

 

MY LIST OF THE BEST PRIVATE DINING ROOMS WHEN YOU
WANT TO AVOID THE STRESS OF HOSTING A DINNER PARTY AT YOUR PLACE.

Many of Melbourne's top restaurants offer private dining rooms, which means that you can avoid the stress of hosting your own party and leave it to the experts. Whether it's a cocktail party, business lunch or family celebration, I've got you covered.

  • Supernormal | Caters for lunch and dinner events in their private dining room, 7 days a week. The room can accommodate up to 40 guests for a seated event and up to 60 guests for a cocktail event.
  • Cumulus Inc | Caters for events exclusively in Arc One Gallery and Cumulus Up.
  • Builders Arms | Has two event spaces, the Bowery room and the private dining room
  • Cartlon Wine Room | With three unique private dining spaces Carlton Wine Room provides the ideal setting for your next occasion. They cater for parties of up to 24 seated and up to 70 guests for a canapé style event.
  • Chin Chin | In the heart of the CBD, above the bustling Chin Chin & GoGo bar lies Chin Chin's brand new private event space.

Builder's Arms - The Bowery Room

 

 

EVERYTHING I LOVE ABOUT WINTER IN AND OUT OF TOWN

Melbourne has some of the best art, film, craft and galleries both locally and out of town. I'll share with you some of my favourite activities to do this winter. 

Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) | the annual Melbourne film festival is a favour of mine and takes place in numerous locations throughout the city and it’s cheap! You will find anything and everything from all genres, nationalities and cultures.

There are also special events such as Live Music events which Supernormal has partnered with MIFF to create a bespoke 5-course banquet menu taking inspiration from the film.

Be quick as this festival ends on Sunday 18th August….

Recently my business, S|LC were engaged by Cos We Can Media to be the prop stylist for the MIFF advertising video that is going to be played before every film throughout the duration of the film festival. It was an incredible experience to be behind the camera seeing this incredible piece of art come to life.

 

Melbourne International Film Festival - LC Behind the Scenes
Melbourne International Film Festival - Behind the lens
Melbourne International Film Festival - S|LC Prop Styling for short film

 

 

Top 5 movies I’ve been itching to see (in no particular order!)

  • Australian Dream
  • American Woman
  • Australia the Wild Top End
  • Once Upon a time in Hollywood
  • The Beach Bum

NGV Exhibitions and Friday nights at the NGV | The NGV is the oldest and most visited gallery in Australia. Situated over two magnificent buildings, the gallery hosts a wide range of international and local artists, exhibitions, programs and events; from contemporary art to major international historic exhibitions, fashion and design, architecture, sound and dance.

NGV Friday Nights | Performing in the NGV's Great Hall every Friday night until mid-October, this season's line-up will feature the likes of Ngairre, Rainbow Chan, Husky, Slum Sociable, the Audreys, Young Franco, Sui Zhen, Terracotta Warriors and heaps more. See the full line-up on NGV's website. This year, the NGV has teamed up with the dumpling heroes at Hutong Dumpling Bar. A selection of their signature dumplings are available to purchase at the NGV Gallery Kitchen. 

 

NGV 'Terracotta Warriors Exhibition'
NGV 'Terracotta Warriers Exhibition'
NGV 'Terracotta Warriors Exhibition' - HuTong Dumpling Bar

 

BENDIGO ART GALLERY – Bendigo Art Gallery is one of Australia’s oldest and largest regional art galleries, about a 90min drive from Melbourne. The gallery hosts Australia's richest open painting prize, the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize.

ON NOW AND UPCOMING EXHIBIITIONS

  • BALENCIAGA: SHAPING FASHION – 17th Aug – 10 Nov
  • Desert Lines: Batik from Central Australia – 17th Aug – 17th Nov

 

MELBOURNE FASHION WEEK | Takes over the city from August 28th – 5th September with more than 150 events celebrating the best in Australian Fashion. I love going to these events to get inspiration and see what they have done from an event production perspective as it’s one of those annual events that brings Melbourne to life!

 

Melbourne Fashion Festival Aug - Sept 2019
Melbourne Fashion Festival Aug - Sept 2019

 

FARMERS DAUGHTERS X STARWARD WHISKEY | Gippsland paddock-to-plate restaurant Farmer's Daughters is teaming up with Melbourne's most loved local whisky bringing you a series of three events that feature a produce market, bar, whisky tasting area and campfire feast cooked by Alejandro Saravia, which will make it feel like you've left the city without actually leaving the city. 

The event is held at Port Melbourne distillery where you can buy produce to take home or purchase meals already cooked in front of you over a campfire. There will also be collaborative cocktails made with the Starward Whisky distillers from each region like a wine-infused cocktail or a fat-washed, honey-buttered whisky using local honey and butter along with Starward Single Malt whisky.

  

Farmer's Daughters x Starward Whiskey
Farmer's Daughters x Starward Whiskey
Farmer's Daughters x Starward Whiskey

 

 

MY STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO HOSTING A DINNER PARTY

Always make a shopping list before you go anywhere! The list should include ingredients and stores you need to go to.

I’ve decided to share my delicious winter lamb recipe with my secret potatoes and herbed iceberg salad (based on 8-10 guests)

I always like to start my dinner parties with a large grazing plater so people can pick at delicious cheese, cured meats and antipasto whilst having a drink- it always sets the mood for a good night.  I like to get my foie gras with a sour dough bread stick, pickles and hard goat’s cheese from Meatsmith.

My Shopping list, first I head to Meatsmith for the iconic slow cooked lamb shoulder from Cumulus Inc

Then I make my way to Prahran market for my favourite grocer, Pinos to buy the potatoes and salad ingredients

  • 2 x cryovaced lamb shoulders (the iconic slow cooked lamb shoulder from Cumulus Inc) 
  • Potatoes – cocktail potatoes 1 kilo
  • 2 x iceberg lettuces 
  • Herbs – one bunch of chives, one bunch of dill, one bunch of mint, one bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 5 x lemons
  • Garlic
  • Butter (Lurpak)
  • Olive oil

Finally, I finish up at Casa Delicatess for aged pecorino – a nice big piece!

Lamb – take the cryovaced lambs out of the fridge and let them get to room temperature – remove the lambs out of the packaging and place on one large backing tray – they should fit next to each other – these need to go in after the potatoes have been in for 20 minutes. Lamb only needs to go in the oven for 30 - 40min until crispy. The beauty of this is it is already partially cooked when you buy it! 

Potatoes – put in large pot and boil along with 4 cloves of garlic until semi soft. Drain, then put back in pot with lid and shake, take lid off pour in a decent amount of olive oil and a tablespoon of Lurpak butter then chop half the bunch of chives, put lid on and shake again.

Place on baking tray with grease proof paper placed on the bottom of tray – put in oven at 180 degrees for around about 45-50 minutes.

Herb Salad – Cut iceberg into 8ths and wash well, lay out on paper towel to dry, place in your nicest salad bowl drizzle with olive oil, the juice of one lemon and a generous pinch of sea salt. Then add finely chopped chives, dill, mint & parsley – I usually use around half or the full amount of the bunch depending how big the bunches are, then finely grate large amount of the aged Pecorino.

Dessert – I usually make a special order at Pidapipo and will let each guest choose a flavour, I will also include Nutella and add cones and cups to serve.

While waiting for the dessert I usually make everyone a Negroni and play some fun tunes while having a laugh and a good time with my close friends.

Table Decoration – Depending on the season I usually use florals that suits the season and will fill small bottles along the table. For example, this time of year is great to use daffodils, they give off a fabulous scent. I also burn some candles as well to add to the ambience. I like to use a printed tablecloth and mix matched napkins to give the table a sense of character. I will also style the table with Laguiole coloured cutlery for dinner parties.

Flowers - Go to Flawless Flowers in the Prahran market, if it’s something in particular you need go on the Tuesday before the dinner party to put the order in, so there is no disappointment on the day.

  

LC Table Styling
LC Signature Cheese Platter

LC Personal collection
Seasonal Flowers