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Local Favourites… Jess from Bellevue Hill

By James Hutton on July 3, 2012 in People

Photo: Grant Brooks

Jess, the Principal Explorer of Whileaway Guides (along with business partner Kitty) shares her local favourites with The Beast…

Have you always lived locally?
I’m a Sydney girl, born and bred, but grew up OTB (over the bridge). My sense of adventure got the better of me and after a few years overseas I came back and realised that the East was much more exciting!

How long have you lived here?
I threw in the passport over three years ago and have never looked back. I love living in the East; who wouldn’t?!

What’s your favourite beach?
There is nothing better than an early morning run down to Bondi Beach to kick-start the day, but weekends tend to draw me towards Neilson Park for the view and the walk around the point to Parsley Bay. There are some great hidden spots along here – you’ll feel like you’re on holiday.

What’s your favourite eatery?
I’m like a moth to a flame when it comes to Bondi bistros. It’s hard to choose with so many great haunts but my current faves are Speakeasy for their cosy setting and mouth-watering morsels and Paper Planes had me hooked with their gyoza topped with wasabi foam – yummo.

Where do you like to have a drink?
Who could resist the relaxed hole-in-the-wall at Shop & Wine Bar with their admirable wine list? On a sunny afternoon, a chilled rosé and cheese platter keeps me happy.

Do you have a favourite sporting team?
I wouldn’t say I’m a die-hard fan of any team in particular but can’t go past the Swannies when they play, plus my friend Sam updates me with thrilling game tips and commentary.

What music are you into at the moment?
Spotify is getting a workout with the new Chairlift album along with Bombay Bicycle Club, Austra and Beach House.

Who is your favourite person?
My sister Zoe, who is doing inspirational things at a hospital in Kununnurra
in the Kimberleys, WA. She moved there from Bondi a year ago and is so dedicated and passionate to help others as a nurse in the outback.

What do you get up to on the weekends?
I have a keen sense of adventure so I’m usually out and about ‘researching’ mini-breaks and escapes for our regional travel guide business, looking for exciting places to visit and experience so I can share them with others.

Do you have a favourite quote?
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page”.

What do you do for work?
I’m originally a graphic designer but my business partner Kitty and I started ‘Whileaway Guides’ last year – Australian regional travel guides designed to make even the smallest of escapes big on experience. It was born to inspire people to get out on weekends and explore the hidden gems in these areas – uncovering all the best things to do, see, eat and discover. All the research is independent, unbiased and of course tested (the best bit!).

What’s your favourite thing about work?
The fact that is doesn’t feel like work… I Iove my job. Who needs an excuse for a road trip (or plane trip) getaway? I get to meet great people and discover fantastic finds in areas that are right on
our doorstop including Bondi and beyond.

Any other words of wisdom for readers of The Beast?
The thing I love about the East is that the people that live here are adventurous – both locals and visitors alike. If you are looking for a weekend escape, our pocket-sized travel guides have done all the research for you. Visit for great Australian adventures.