For Natalie Imbruglia, who grew up outside of Sydney, the capital of adventure is Australia. Yes, the double-platinum pop singer spent her childhood in tap and ballet classes, but it was the country's endlessly great outdoors that truly inspired her. This year, Imbruglia, whose two albums, Left of the Middle and White Lilies Island, with singles that hit Billboard's Top 10, has made Australia especially proud. First, she'll be starring in international TV and magazine ads as the latest in a list of legendary women - including Catherine Deneuve, Claudia Schiffer, and Andie McDowell - to serve as the spokesmodel for cosmetics giant L'Oreal. What's more, she began work this summer on her first movie role, in Johnny English, co-starring John Malkovich. Although she now lives in London, Imbruglia returns home annually to visit her family. Here's an adventurous weekend in Sydney with the queen of song and the new face of beauty.
"I stay at the W Hotel in Woolloomooloo, down by this really cool finger wharf. There are boats and water and it's really peaceful. I stay in this loft room that's got the bedroom up in the balcony overlooking the main room. It's kind of funky but not too posh, not too over-the-top. The Ana Harbour Grand Sydney is right across from the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. I've never stayed there, but the views are supposed to be great and its Japanese restaurant is phenomenal."
"Otto's, downstairs at the W Hotel, has great Italian food. You can sit inside or out overlooking the water. Then there's Nove right next to it that's a bit more low-key and serves pizza and pasta. So you can either do the pizza thing or if you want to get dressed up you can go to Otto's. They have great barramundi, an Australian whitefish. For modern Asian food, I like Tetsuya's."