Posts tagged wine
wining and dining on the gold coast...

with another long weekend upon us and no firm plans in place, we were busy bee's out and about on the gold coast this past weekend. our friday started after a leisurely sleep-in and a walk up to the natural bridge in springbrook national park before a great pub lunch up on mount tamborine. we then opted for an afternoon of water skiing and beers on the coomera river. the rest of the weekend was a blur of fishing, eating, playing tennis, hitting the local farmers markets, sipping on amazing wines and enjoying time with family and good friends.

i am always asked by family and friends about some great spots to visit on the gold coast so i am going to name a few of our favourite spots for you to head along to when you are next on the coast, in no particular order.

a long lunch on the water in sanctuary cove is always a safe bet before heading to ferry road markets for a coffee and shop at the amazing bohemian fashion and homeware stores. evening tapas at madam tojo's on a friday night is a fun event followed by drinks at stingray bar in surfers paradise. breakfast at elk in broadbeach is consistently good but busy so if you can't get in, head on over to edgewater at capri on via roma, just around the corner. wines in the garden at manadala organic cafe is a nice way to waste the afternoon away and take in some vegan cuisine.

nobby's beach is a great spot for dinner and drinks on a saturday night. some of our local haunts are the fish house at burleigh heads, hellenika in nobby's beach (both owned by the same peeps), little truffle in mermaid, avvia cafe in palm beach and bumbles on a thursday night is you are after a romantic setting. sundays are always fun if you head to the bundall farmers markets or south to burleigh to the village markets where you can pick up some handmade candles, some vintage clothes, shabby chic furniture or some fresh flowers. finish the weekend by either grabbing some seafood from petes fish markets at marina mirage along with a nice bottle of wine and head over to the beach for a picnic or take a drive up to mount tamborine for an afternoon walk and a cold cider at clancy's and enjoy the open fire place.

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our final few days...

we spent our last few days in lovely santa monica staying in a gorgeous room we booked on

airbnb

. if you plan on driving in la (which is known as a driving city) then beware! your stress levels will elevate, as will your need to consume vast amounts of alcohol, even with gps. this was our base for exploring hollywood, beverly hills and westwood. we purchased a map of the movie stars homes and basked in the gardens of chateau marmont. we made the most of delicious tex-mexican and the amazing bargains at the citadel outlets. our last evening was spent watching the sun set behind the malibu hills at paradise cove and dining on delectable seafood with desley and ted over some amazing californian sauvignon blanc.

travelling south on highway 1...

the all american road trip is synonymous to most travellers looking for adventure, landscapes and history. weather it be route 66, the avenue of the giants, monument valley or the million dollar highway - most head on some type of road trip through the usa, once in their lifetime. this trip, we headed south on california 1 (highway 1 or the pacific coast highway) and followed the scenic road from san francisco right down to santa monica in los angeles. it was everything we could have imagined.

weather it was pulling over to a vista point atop the plummeting cliffs, stopping to admire the towering red-woods lining the road, enjoying a world famous seafood and clam chowder in a bun and watching sea lions frolic in the surf or enjoying homemade apple and strawberry cider at a road side stall, we basked in every second of our four day journey.

we visited the bigger towns such as santa cruz, san luis obispo and monterey bay and enjoyed the quainter ones such as carmel and big sur (which to be honest, were our favourites). we loved the wine tasting in los olives and watching the sunsetting over an open fire along the ocean front at santa barbara with the lovely desley and ted. an enjoyable trip that everyone must take, at some point. (i went a bit crazy with photos - i hope you enjoy…)

spring in san francisco...

san francisco is breathtaking and could be, after paris, the prettiest city i have been to. ever. arriving (after a 3am start mind you) from new york on saturday, we have been blessed with above average temperatures for this time of year and have been enjoying the glorious outdoors. although a little jet-lagged, on saturday we headed to alamo park with some beers and gourmet snacks, alongside a few thousand san franscians and just sat in the park, basking in the sun. after the cool temperatures of gotham, the sun was a welcome sight.

the past few days have been spent enjoying the jasmine scented air, walking the streets, dining in the outdoor gardens and taking old-worldly trams up san francisco's iconic hills. dining for one is a lot easier in sf, as there are a lot more "traveller friendly" spots to pop in to and they tend to be a little friendlier on your wallet. over the past few days we have taken in the magnificent views at telegraph hill, taken two buses for kurt to get famed coffee in russian hill, walked the castro and its vintage shops and had organic red walnut and dark chocolate ice-cream in the mission.

on sunday morning, mama's in north beach called, unfortunately - the latest review in timeout magazine - also meant that mama's called every other visitor in san fran, so after waiting in line for 45 minutes and not moving an inch, we blew it off. we headed for fisherman's wharf, but got scared of the other hordes of tourists so headed out the fine dining in the ferry building before getting on a street cart to downtown. with a little bit of everything on offer, parks, city, street art, sailing, hiking and wineries, this is a fantastic spot for a holiday.

today we went on a fantastic bike tour with streets of san francisco, and lucky for us, it was our second unplanned private tour of the trip. geoff our guide took us through some of most "iconic" neighbourhoods and enlightened us on the architecture and history of the different areas, as well as of the city. this tour certainly shed a different light on sf - right from the hippy drum circles in golden gate park (that still take place each weekend as they pay homage to the summer of love in 1967) to the painted ladies in alamo park and the history of the "paris of the west" aka. the civic centre. he also took us to an amazing pie shop, where i had a slice of classic apple and cherry pie with twin brothers organic vanilla ice-cream. nom nom.

day five - a day in the life of a ny foodie…

today was the day where calorie counting went out the window and we became "yes men". enjoying some of the oldest dishes and most popular and iconic dishes, today we really enjoyed the new york city experience. mainly focused in the west village, we enjoying mainly italian dishes with a side of architecture. in this case, the establishments and photos speak louder than words, so here goes.

we first enjoyed a slice of authentic italian pizza at joes before heading to o & co to sample hand-picked and pressed olive oil, a three cheese rice ball from faicco's italian specialities, the amazing cauliflower dish at palma (where we also got to see the private dining rooms of the really rich and famous), the classic eggplant rollatini at rafele's, chocolate cookies at the milk and cookies bakery, three different cheeses at murray's cheese shop (i'm in heaven) and a fresh cannoli from rococo's.

todays walking food tour was a real reprieve from the sub-zero winter winds that descended on manattan. with one more day in the big apple, tomorrow will be a busy day.