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Life

For the love of Newcastle

Most Selector readers would know that the magazine is produced in Newcastle and as editor I am often asked what is Newcastle like? Where do you go to eat and drink?

I like to think of Newcastle as Australia’s best kept secret. Known as a steel city, it has long had a reputation as an industrial town with the smokestacks dominating the landscape. But over the last few decades Newcastle has undergone an amazing transformation.

Once the biggest employer in the region, the BHP is gone and the blue collar mentality is changing to white or even t-shirt. The University of Newcastle is now the biggest employer, so in that respect Newcastle is a real college town. With that, there is plenty of creativity, a cheaper standard of living and a growing bohemian café and restaurant scene.

It may surprise many that Newcastle is a city of natural beauty, bordered by spectacular (clean) beaches and a glorious working harbour. It is of course the gateway to the Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest and most visited wine region.

Just to the south is Lake Macquarie, Australia’s largest salt-water lake offering a plethora of water-based activities from boating to fishing with cafes, restaurants and museums dotting its shores.

To the north is glorious Port Stephens, world-renowned for its marine wildlife with whale watching a regular activity in its pristine waters.

A time of change

The inner city of Newcastle is also going through a real transformation. The main arteries, Hunter Street and Scott Street were once bustling ‘High Street’ style thoroughfares, with hoards of shoppers and business people crowding the sidewalks. But an earthquake in 1987 had an impact that lasted far more than its initial rumblings.

Measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale, the tremors tragically claimed the lives of 13 Novocastrians and also caused wide-spread damage. Some buildings needed to be demolished, while a vast majority in the heart of the city were deemed unsafe for business.

With an extensive wait for insurance and repair, a plethora of inner city businesses were forced to relocate. Many remerged in quickly growing suburban shopping malls and, as a result, the city of Newcastle became a virtual ghost town overnight.

The city’s recovery was initially hindered by Sydney hosting the 2000 Olympics. Money potentially earmarked to revive Newcastle was funnelled into hastily preparing the state’s capital for the world biggest sporting event.

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A divine inspirational work of art of the highest order, Silver Muse sees the Silversea fleet expanded to nine ships and the bar in the intimate-luxury cruising market raised to its highest level yet. Boutique in size, accommodating 596 guests, Silver Muse can visit ports that larger ships simply cannot access, and retains an intimate, cosy, home away from home feeling. Yet she is also large enough to offer the superlative quality of luxury service and options for which Silversea are famous. While the destinations Silver Muse visits offer plenty of opportunities for active exploration, back on board, exclusive new additions will ensure you’re sailing in ultimate luxury and relaxation. Bespoke savoir beds
They were the choice of Sir Winston Churchill, Giacomo Puccini and Marilyn Monroe, and now Savoir Beds will ensure guests sailing in the Owner, Royal and Grand suites of Silver Muse enjoy a superb night’s sleep, too. Savoir’s handmade bespoke mattresses and toppers, created using the finest natural materials and skilled craftsmanship, offer a variation in support from soft to firm, customisable to guest preference. With their cloud-like comfort, you’ll never want your trip to end! Spa sanctuary Silversea has redefined beauty and wellness on board Silver Muse with the introduction of Zàgara Beauty Spa – a uniquely artistic and holistic sensory experience. Zàgara melds its beautiful Italian heritage with a 360º mind and body philosophy to evoke awareness and nurture well-being. A sanctuary of leisure and comfort, this elegant respite is the gateway to serenity. Complementing a choreographed menu of services that feature award-winning products and innovation, the unique Zàgara concept also encourages guests to create their own spa experience. Blending artistry through a myriad of visual and experiential elements with holistic therapies, Zàgara promises peace and beauty at every touch point. Be immersed in art Another exclusive to Silver Muse is the all-new Arts Café. Evoking the ambience of an art gallery, in this unique space, guests are able to relax and unwind, surrounded by some of the most exquisite pieces of art. The featured exhibitions are varied, exciting and frequently changing, including paintings and sculptures from a broad range of talented artists. The venue’s distinctive design offers a relaxing getaway with daytime cuisine in the form of a café and deli-bar. Come early evening, the venue transforms into a lively, evening cocktail lounge, where guests can retreat to one of the comfortable chairs, grab a drink and relax, while taking in the incredible view. Exquisite attention to detail
While iconic destinations and grand vistas are obviously impressive, often its the smallest details that have the biggest impact. Silver Muse’s exceptional guest-to-staff ratio, including butlers in every suite, means that someone is always on hand to look after the details, so you don’t have to. As Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio says, “We believe that Silver Muse is quite simply, our best ship ever.” Register now! +  Exclusive gourmet tour
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My City Brisbane
Words by Ben O'Donoghue on 14 Aug 2017
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Live La Dolce Vita with Uniworld Boutique river cruises
Discover the cultural gems and myriad splendours of Italy in 2018  with the world’s most renowned river cruise line, Uniworld. Across 40 years and throughout spectacular destinations, Uniworld has forged a name as the specialist in boutique cruises throughout Europe, Russia, Egypt and Asia. Renowned for their all-inclusive luxury, impeccable service, culinary excellence and bespoke cruise excursions, Uniworld is the world’s most revered river cruise line. With this being Selector’s ‘la dolce vita’ issue, Uniworld is proud to announce two culturally rich journeys through Italy in 2018 – the Gems of Northern Italy, a 10-day cruise from Milan to Venice, and Splendours of Italy, 15 days from Milan to Rome. The Gems of Northern Italy
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Win every wine lover's dream holiday! Buy now and you could be escaping on a Bordeaux, Vineyards & Châteaux cruise for two with Uniworld valued at $17,999 ! Experience the  joie de vivre  of French life and discover one of the world’s most acclaimed wine regions on this amazing journey. From its noble châteaux to its breath-taking estuary, Bordeaux is an oenophile’s paradise and every wine lover’s dream. Sail the Garonne, the Dordogne and the Gironde, savour the unique heritage of southwest France, and be treated to a grand display of culinary magic. Find out more here
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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