A weekend escape with Elyse Knowles #2

Model Elyse Knowles and her partner Josh Barker recently enjoyed a well-deserved break on the NSW Central Coast, staying at one of Belle Escapes most stunning beach side holiday houses.

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Not only did Elyse get to stay in paradise, she was also pampered by a talented group of hosts that work closely with Belle Escapes to provide personalised experiences for holiday guests.

Elyse enjoyed an in-house spa treatment where massage therapist Cate used iKOU organic De-Stress massage oil and hydrating body souffle for a relaxing massage. The experience included a calming iKOU face oil infused with neroli essential oil. Designed to deeply relax and hydrate the skin, iKou owner Naomi Whitfeld said Elyse loved the products.

“Everything was organic and safe for Elyse’s pregnancy,” said Naomi. “Our product development has always stayed true to our personal passion for the protection of animals, the environment and being a business that benefits others. We source and research the impact of our ingredients and methods of production to ensure iKOU is an ethical and sustainable business.”

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Sounds perfect for Elyse, who was the face of WaterAid Australia between 2014 and 2018. A passionate environmentalist, she assisted the brand with educating the public and spread much needed awareness about giving back and taking immeasurable care of our shared planet.

For two of the three evenings in which Elyse and Josh stayed at Forresters Beach, they had dinner provided by the Private Chef Catering team. Local cooks that provide special private dining experiences for Central Coast residents and visitors.

Owner chef Dimitris Aronis described Elyse and Josh as ‘down to earth’. He served them tapas on the first night and a full course meal on the second.

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The tapas evening included grazing dishes such as miso and chilli glazed eggplant, torched scampi tail and roasted ricotta filled mushroom. Dessert was roasted nectarine – a perfect stone fruit for the season – slow roasted in brown sugar with mascarpone cream.

On the second night, dinner started with roasted chestnut, truffle and jerusalem artichoke soup. Entrée was caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart, and the main was a signature eye fillet with cauliflower cream, crispy kale and roasted baby vegetables. Dessert included the melt-in-your-mouth textures of Belgium tempered chocolate and blueberry, all broken down to look pretty on the plate.

“Whilst we serve the meal, we talk to our clients about the produce we have on offer as well as how we work closely with local suppliers to utilise fresh, organic foods,” Dimitris said.

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“We also provide a special range of salt and oils on the table – in fact, Elyse and her guests were big fans of our charcoal black salt. We also brought along our own lemon infused verbena oil, which was also popular.”

Dimitris’ fresh and healthy meals suited Elyse down to a tee, as she is well known for being an advocate of a healthy lifestyle. Eating well and exercise are an integral part to Elyse’s daily regime, and what she associates with ‘having balance’.

“Being able to enjoy your career and your work life as much as possible, plus making the most of our day-to-day – that’s what Josh and I try to do on a daily, weekly, yearly basis. Making sure we’re actually living and not stressing too much about work. Plus making sure we take time-out to enjoy each other’s company, to have a holiday, and explore our beautiful country,” she shared.

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“And just breathe – sometimes we forget to do the simple things it seems. I think living by the coast, in Byron Bay, has helped us change our attitude a lot. We prioritise different things and make time for what makes us happy. Simple things like walking on the beach with our dogs makes us very happy.”

When asked if the Central Coast trip was her ‘Babymoon’, Elyse said that she hadn’t really thought about it or planned anything specific to welcome her baby. “I don’t think we’ll get another chance to go away with Christmas coming, so maybe you could call it a Babymoon,” she laughed.

“Because we live on the beach at Byron, we always have lots of people wanting to come and stay with us over the summer holidays. The baby could be here as soon as February, so we probably won’t go away again.”

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Elyse said that she thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Central Coast, stepping away from her usual stomping ground, Byron Bay. 

“We enjoyed spending time in a different environment. The beaches on the Central Coast are very different to northern NSW – the colour of the sand and the terrain with the rocks and sand dunes was refreshing.

“It has been nice to explore somewhere different. I think that’s what we all need to do this year, explore Australia whether it’s an hour or two from home or a big road trip in the car – go see somewhere we’ve never been before.”

To find out more about the Waters Edge holiday home at Forresters Beach, contact the Belle Escapes team on 02 4360 1717 or visit: www.belleescapes.com.au/properties/waters-edge-forresters

Jess Verrender

Jess is a journalist living on the NSW Central Coast. Coming from news.com.au she's written for realestate.com.au, interviewed celebrities such as Johnny Manuel from The Voice, Kyal and Kara from The Block, as well as model and reality TV star Elise Knowles. We're honoured to have her on our team.