Farm House, Kedron

Most Brisbanites, particularly those familiar with the Northside, will remember Farmer Joes produce store, which sadly closed its doors in 2009, to make way for the new road associated with the Airport Link Tunnel. Farm House is a tribute to Farmer Joes, using farm fresh, quality foods for their busy venue.

Have a bubbly brunch if you like, there’s alcoholic drinks, as well as coffees on the menu.

Like the majority of venues at the moment, you need to book in advance and you may be time limited. Weekends are exceptionally busy, so plan well ahead to ensure you secure a spot.

Order and pay with your phone

Farm House gives you a couple of ordering options. There’s the traditional method of presenting at the counter, or, order and pay from your phone whilst seated, if you do not wish to mingle.

We trialled the phone ordering system, which in itself is a great concept, but, unfortunately the internet is a bit slow in the area. If you’re patient you will be fine, if not, suggest you order the traditional way to save any frustration.

Freshness simply oozes from the plate

Meals were delivered quickly, much quicker than we anticipated. All were fresh as promised, nicely presented and perfectly tasty.

Fruit and flowers present beautifully

The staff definitely deserve a mention, if not more. All were friendly, helpful and more than willing to do their best to accommodate. At no point did you feel like you were in their way. They welcomed all patrons with open arms.

Now that’s a brunch!

This is a busy corner of the world, but most definitely still worth a visit. Next time, we might try a weekday to avoid the crowds of people. Be sure to give them a try, the rustic surroundings are appealing and relaxing. Couple this with the delightfully fresh food and service, you now have a winning combination!

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Pullman King George Square – Brisbane

We live in a different world now, with 2020 delivering a sharp reminder to us all, that at the end of the day, we are human, we are vulnerable.

A time for reflection

Lockdowns completed, with restrictions on everyone’s lifestyle, beginning to ease in Queensland, it was time to start venturing out and try to make sense of our new world. After weeks at home, we treated ourselves to a night for an anniversary celebration.

Having never stayed at the Pullman King George Square, we decided to give it a test run, and we were not disappointed. Staff here were fantastic, friendly and very helpful. Hospitality staff have not had it easy over the past few months and it was great to see them smiling and carrying on their work professionally.

Fresh, clean and relaxing at Goldfinch Restaurant

After being treated to an early check in, we headed downstairs to the Goldfinch restaurant for an enjoyable lunch. Spacious, airy vibes greeted us, along with the wonderful staff, as we were seated next to an huge windows. Our view was of King George Square, with a constant moving canvas outside as everyone went about their business.

Little Gem Salad
Antipasti

Remember, anywhere you wish to dine now, you should book in advance and don’t be surprised if you are time limited. We were lucky here as the expansive area easily catered to the number of diners at that particular time. You still need to sign in, so that your party can be traced should there be any outbreaks of Covid.

View from Sixteen Antlers

After a break in between venues, we headed up to our booking at the rooftop bar, Sixteen Antlers. The Mercure and Pullman share all of these areas, which includes the pool, gym, Goldfinch and Sixteen Antlers. The rooftop bar is a very popular area so you will be time limited to 2 hours during current climate.

One night off a full moon rising

As the sun set in the West, we were treated to the rising of an almost full moon to the East. The corner table we had been allocated was perfect for viewing. Enjoying cocktails, and an evening beverage, this was a fantastic space to sit and wile away some time.

Sixteen Antlers Rooftop Bar

As the evening progressed, more patrons began to enter the popular venue. This was also at a time where you could not approach the bar, so friendly staff will seat you in one place, ensuring they are then attentive to your needs.

Reflections on the moon rising

This venue really is worth a visit, remember to book well in advance, as it is very popular.

Thank you to all the staff, we very much enjoyed our stay and the special gift in our room as well as the upgrade, was very much appreciated for our celebration night away.

Executive Room at Pullman King George Square

We look forward to seeing you all again soon!

Further photos are available on Dine Live Travel Instagram and Facebook. Thank you for your interest, it’s been fantastic to start moving around again, as our restrictions ease!

In Memory of The Buffet

We live in changing times, this year more so than usual. 2020 began as a year of hope, yet many hopes were dashed within a short couple of months.

In those few short months life changed, not just for one person, for everyone. The freedom to holiday and eat where we wanted was dashed, along with many other things we took for granted in life. Many have had their lives change suddenly for better, or for worse. Some are finding it hard, others are doing well, but, one thing we may not see again in the foreseeable future? The buffet.

Remember that time you went to a venue, the food is laid out, and you chose as little or as much as you wanted from what is usually a big, enticing variety. Sorry everyone, but it looks like the buffet as we know it, is gone forever.

Or when you chose from variety of canapés on a platter? Maybe walked up and down the rows of hot and cold food offerings? Keep those memories close, it may not happen again, or if it does it won’t be for a long time.

We can now dine in house with a few others, numbers dependent on your location. But, the buffet is not allowed. A la carte only.

Simply you choose and eat your meal only. No random unlimited choices. No wastage for the items you chose and decided not to eat. It used to be individual choice, with buffets very popular, particularly for some hotel meals. Easy to maintain, easier on staff, but not now.

Where ever you are in our world, support your local entities and businesses. These ones have strived long and hard to come up with solutions to ensure their business survives and the local community is sustained during these unprecedented times.

Life might not be a buffet anymore, your choices maybe limited, but, if you were to be completely honest, is that a bad thing? Maybe not.

Stay safe everyone, keep well and keep those options open. Try not to burn bridges, remember everyone and every place is in your life for a reason. Take care and stay strong 💪

Transit Tavern

Located in the DFO complex, just past Dan Murphys, we have been going to check this one out for along time. Finally as a random choice for brekky, we dropped in one recent weekend morning.

They have indoor or outdoor seating, but with a number of patrons having secured outdoors, we settled for a quieter location at the back of the venue.

You can build your own breakfast or choose from the menu. All reasonably priced and catering for majority of tastes. I decided to build my own, minus the bread base. And I’d have to say that rib fillet steak was incredibly easy to eat, soft, nicely cooked and not overly fatty.

Even the halloumi which is often something overcooked, was light and tasty. Value wise, this ended up being a surprising good breakfast.

Hubbys choice was the chicken fillet with bacon burger. Again, nicely cooked, not chewy and quite filling, hubby was happy with his breakfast.

The staff on site this particular morning did a noteworthy job. All were on the ball, especially given the two front of house staff were trying to keep up with orders, drinks and meal delivery, in an expansive restaurant. Both did it professionally, with a smile, like a well oiled machine. Impressive.

It’s not often you come across professional staff members who can track all their customers and ensure no-one misses out on their orders. The speed of the drink delivery was definitely up there. Meals, were within 20 minutes, which again, was well done considering the number of customers on site.

Thank you, we are very keen to come back for a lunch and some of those enticing cocktails sometime! See you then! In the meantime, highly recommend checking out this venue.

Dine Live Travel keeps various posts on all venues on Instagram, Facebook Snapchat & Twitter. We welcome your interest and queries!

Cake My Day by Jo

We recently had the opportunity to employ Jo’s creative services for a family engagement.

Jo has an incredible dedication to her craft and from the outset, not only was her enthusiasm inspiring, but her professionalism shone through during the entire process.

Our cake was designed to the specifications we required, with the finished product containing all the elements requested, put together in such a way, the final creation was eye-catching!

Jo’s passion shines through with the instructions for transporting your cake if you are collecting yourself. From the time you arrive to collect the cake, to loading in your transport, Jo is on hand to give recommendations and advice. You can tell Jo adores her work, and is proud of each of her handmade creations.

I would highly recommend engaging Jo’s services, we certainly were not disappointed and would most certainly use her again in the future!

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Cafe Wisteria – Ascot

Happy to have started our regular brunch, random choice sessions again for this year. This choice was picked simply by going for a drive and choosing what looked like a nice venue.

Located on the edge of the Coles Complex, the cafe is split easily across the footpath. With partial walls, giving open an airy open space feeling, decorated with hanging wisteria and herbs, the dining area next to the road edge, is definitely a relaxing place to sit and enjoy your meal.

Menu choice was enough to cover for all tastes, so we were interested as to what ordered meals would be like.

Staff here, were not only exceptionally friendly and helpful, they were very accommodating, giving only their best attitude to visiting customers.

Presentation of the tea was intriguing. So often tea is overlooked as everyone scrambles for coffee. Luckily, I’m not a coffee drinker, hence tea presentation is what I notice. And yes, i liked this simple eye catching assortment for the tea ordered,

Meals arrived in a timely fashion, nicely presented, with a complete order looking very tasty.

My choice on this occasion was the Salmon on corn fritters with a side of mushrooms.

Yes, it did taste even better than what it looks. Fresh, light and very enjoyable, this was quite a filling meal.

An interesting choice was the bacon pancakes with maple syrup and ice cream. Pancakes were light and airy, topped with tasty bacon rashers and a side of maple.

They have a pretty awesome selection of juices and other drinks here. You can choose your own ingredients to try something a little different. Worth a try, you. Never know what you might end up with!

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The Saucy Chef on St Andrew – Invercargill

Part of the Northern Tavern Complex on the corner St Andrews & Sydney Streets, The Saucy Chef has a lovely ambiance with a a choice of dining or relaxation areas.

We retired to this cosy area for dessert. But lets rewind to the beginning.

Upon entry, friendly staff greeted us, before seating us in a glassed corner, giving an uninterrupted view of the moving canvas as locals go about their daily life. One of the perks of being the first customers for the evening I guess.

Attentive staff provided drinks, water and menus in a timely efficient manner. Let the food choices begin.

One dish I hadn’t yet tasted whilst on this NZ trip, was venison. Time to give the Denver Venison dish on the menu a trial. With a high topped presentation, the Red Deer Venison was atop Kumara mash, paired with wilted spinach, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. The basil & tomato jus was a nice finish to the overall dish. Flavours blended well with the deliciously tender venison.

Creamy mashed potatoes swimming in your choice of sauce, were a great match for the steak dish also enjoyed at our table.

As far as eyecatching presentation, this simple Gingerbread Jar dessert, certainly had what it takes. The shape of the plate, gingham style jar lid, all perfectly sprinkled with just the right amount of icing sugar, really did give the whole dessert a wow factor.

Lime & lemongrass Creme Brûlée certainly didn’t disappoint either. As they say you eat with your eyes first and these desserts, as well as the meals were very well presented, all tasty, making for a most enjoyable experience overall.

Drop by the Saucy Chef if you’re in the area. It’s an easy stroll next door to the bar for the bar experience, or stay where you are in the restaurant, to enjoy a night cap or two.

Further photos are available on Dine Live Travels Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Enjoy!

Alexandra District Club – Alexandra NZ

Alexandra resides on the banks of the Mighty Clutha River. With a length totalling 338 kilometres , the Clutha is the second longest river in New Zealand, and largest river in the South Island. Alexandra’s population of around 5500, swells considerably during holiday season. Whilst Alexandra might be under the radar from Queenstown, it still provides its own personal punch.

The famous white clock sits up on the hill to the East, visible from many areas around Alexandra. 150 Torch bulbs illuminate the clock which can be seen from about 5 miles away. To give you some idea of the size of the clock, the minute hand is 5.6 metres long and the hour hand 4 metres. Quite an impressive structure, planned and built in the late 1960’s, with the materials at the time totalling under NZD3,000.00.

This iconic bridge provides the exit/entry towards Southland, crossing the blue waters of the Clutha. Not too far to the West and you see the Clutha Dam. Another story in itself as we covered a couple of years back. Right now though, you are in Alex and you need some sustenance, somewhere to meet the locals. We checked out the Alexandra District Club.

Australia or NZ, they accept reciprocal membership for either. Otherwise, have a member sign you in and you can then experience the local lifestyle. A busy bistro operates to keep the patrons full. Prices were reasonable, but I apologise now, I could not see past that Shrimp cocktail, oh yes you have me. One of those rare treats from years gone by, and one of the few I really do miss. Certainly did not disappoint, was exactly as I remember! Even the presentation was exactly as I would expect.

Choose your meals, drop by the counter and pay in advance. Trust me, won’t be long and the entrees and or meals will arrive depending on what you’ve ordered.

In the interim we had some meat raffles going. Didn’t take long at all, from buying your tickets to the draw. Nice steak by the way! Yes we did manage to score one packet of steak, great investment for about $8 total! Awesome down to earth meals, unfrilled, non competitive. Well done!This is one of those places that needs support. For the locals, there’s plenty happening within the club, meets etc, but, as a visitor, take some time to check them out. Like every local business they need not only their local support but yours too.

Oh and did I mention that awesome courtesy coach? Take advantage, and enjoy a drink with your meal!

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Buff, South Island, New Zealand

Sitting just below Invercargill, Bluff is well known for its oysters, whilst also being the home of the ferry to Stewart Island. Depending on the weather, you can sometimes have a clear view of Stewart island, other days you may not see anything. The popularity of this area is obvious by the number of tourists, huddling close to the iconic Bluff sign for photo opportunities.

Sitting just above the sign, is the Oyster Cove restaurant, with sweeping views out across the moody Foveaux Strait. This is the seaway which divides New Zealand’s South Island from Stewart Island. According to Maori legend, the strait was created by the obedient whale, Kewa, when summoned by the traditional Maori elder Kiwa to create a waterway.

Hence the Maori names for the strait being Te Ara a Kiwa “the path of Kiwa”, or Te Ara a Kewa “the path of the whale”.

No matter where you are seated within Oyster Cove, the huge floor to ceiling windows provide a panoramic, moving vista, whist you enjoy your meal.

Mouthwatering treats await you on the menu, this Paua Cob loaf made for a hearty meal. Hubby partnered this with the creamy, delicious Seafood Chowder. It wasn’t the season for the famous bluff oysters, however he intended on having as much local seafood as he possibly could throughout the trip.Today, my choice was the lamb, which simply melted in my mouth, being so soft and tasty.Presentation was eye catching and overall, staff were very considerate and helpful. The entire atmosphere of this venue rates very highly. Exceedingly high ceilings complement those massive windows, giving an air of spaciousness.

With a belly full of good food, you are probably now ready to head outside. When we entered Oyster Cove, the day was quite pleasant. By the time we left however, the prevailing chilly, southerly wind had pushed cloud over the area. Still, there was time for a trip up the Bluff Hill to take in some views from the lookout, before the rain set in.Even though a little murky, you could still see out across Bluff itself. Keep in mind the weather here is generally coming directly from the mass of ice surrounding the South Pole. That wind can have quite a bite to it.

Have a look in the opposite direction, to see the last inhabited land mass before Antarctica, Stewart Island. Today, barely visible, but still enough to make out the outline of 1746 square kilometres of island, home to about 380 permanent residents.

Historic Bluff is worth the short 20 minute drive from Invercargill, at least once. Many houses here are still the original workers homes from days gone by. A lot have been remodelled and improved, yet still retain their heritage.

Visit during the Oyster festival in May, and you will find the roughly 1800 population of hardy souls, swells by an additional 4000 for the festival duration. Be sure to purchase your tickets well in advance if you’re interested, as they do sell out very quickly!

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