Category Archives: Australia

A Room without a View

c7The Floating Forest
168 Mount Shadforth Road
Denmark WA 6333 Australia
Phone: 08 9848 2784 (+61 8 9848 2784)

For once I am going to write about a “Room without a View.” Total darkness. The view is as black and dense as a starless night sky, so black that it doesn’t matter if my eyes are open or closed. Total silence and total stillness. I am floating in a sea of complete relaxation, content, at peace. All is well.

Such was my first-time experience in a Floating Pod. Wellness begins within ourselves, and although modern medicine has the knowledge and technology to cure us of many ills, there is at times a valid reason to seek alternative, more natural therapies for the healing of mind, body, and spirit. Because I am open to new concepts and pathways to wellness, I agreed to give The Floating Forest a go. At this innovative wellness center in Western Australia, floating simply and most definitely takes one far from the stresses of modern life, easing us into a place of stillness and relaxation, caressing us into a state of well-being that lingers. And that has to be good for us.

The session begins with a shower, then after placing earplugs in my ears, I ease myself into my personal floating pod, where the body-temperature water is saturated with Epsom salts to make it highly buoyant. When I am ready, I close the lid on the pod, blocking out all light and sound. For the first few minutes gentle Zen-like music plays and I can feel myself drifting into a place of calm and sense that my heart rate and breathing are slowing down. Then total silence. At first my mind is filled with thoughts that come and go and I let them be, knowing that as in meditation, they will eventually slow down and I can simply focus on just being… The minutes drift by slowly, but the hour passes way too quickly.

Another shower and some final moments of relaxation with a cup of tea. Ahh!

On the way back home, it makes perfect sense to me to step into the dark one more time, Dark Side Chocolates that is, located at the Denmark Visitor Center. John H. Wade, the best chocolatier in Denmark, brings his wine-making skills and his passion to creating a range of chocolates that could tempt the halo off an angel. I opt for the Salted Caramel, made with the darkest of chocolate. But what about his Australian Bush Flavors? Like Roasted Wattleseed Truffle or Aniseed Myrtle Caramel? Or could you resist a chocolate called Rainforest Pearl Truffle, when described like this: West Australian grown Rainforest Pearl” finger limes made into a delicious puree and topped with a 70% dark chocolate and fresh mango puree ganache. Each truffle is dipped in white couverture and decorated with colored cocoa mass.”

Go for it!  It’s part of your wellness journey.

Dark Side Chocolates
Shop 1 Denmark Visitor Center
73 South Coast Highway
Denmark, Western Australia 6333
Mobile: 0407 984 820

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RISING STAR WINES – Texas-Australia proud


Paul & Gwen Hyatt
46 Redman Road
Denmark WA 6333
Phone: 08 9848 1626

Texans Paul and Gwen Hyatt feel right at home in the wide-open spaces of Western Australia. A holiday first brought them to the Denmark area, a love affair with the region kept them here. Greatly influenced by their roots in Texas and by the wings that enabled them to fly far beyond, this amiable, hard-working couple bought this premium vineyard and turned their dream into a rising star among the many fine vineyards that grace this land. Named after the town of Rising Star, Texas where Paul’s paternal grandmother was born in 1898, their 30-acre property is geographically far from their ancestral home, but not at all far from the values planted in their souls in that faraway land.

Over a decade has past since they signed on to become winemakers, and in 2009 they enjoyed the fruits of their first vintage. Denmark is perfectly suited, thanks to its cool climate, for many grape varieties: Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunièr, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. One of their hallmarks is their sparkling wine, of which they are justifiably proud. Their Sparkling Chardonnay is bottle fermented in the traditional way, aged four years on yeast lees. It was a winner of a Bronze Medal at the 2015 Perth Royal Wine Show.

Ten acres are divided into vines for a House Cabernet, and in a more elevated position the remaining varietals are grown. All the wines they sell through their cellar door are exclusively estate grown by them. It would be hard to pick a favorite wine, but if I must, I have to say I love their Rosé, a light and flavorful Merlot, perfect for light dining or even a picnic.

Gwen and Paul’s passion for what they are creating simply sparkles, as does their Sparkling Chardonnay.   I raise my champagne flute to them!