Waterline Restaurant – Friday’s Riverside, Eagle St Pier

An opportunity to venture into the city, is not something I refuse.  On this day, we visited Eagle Street Piet for a relaxing lunch. There is always plenty to see & do here.  Dining opportunities abound.

Today the choice was Waterline Restaurant located at Friday’s Riverside- located towards the opposite end of the pier than the location of this photo I snapped via the ferry.

Seated next to massive glass windows, your view through to the Brisbane River makes for a spectacular backdrop to your dining experience.  City Cats and ferries traverse the river whilst you are indulging in a wonderfully relaxing dining experience.

From the time of entering this restaurant, until departure , service was impeccable. Everything was delivered in a friendly, unobtrusive manner, also unrushed and pressure free.
Menu choice, included this special for lunches.  Now you have given me a menu where the first choice was chicken salad plus a glass of Matlborough Savignon  Blanc…yes my decision is made! Quite happy with my choice, I most definitely enjoyed my lunch decision!

There were no complaints regarding the other meals at the table which included a fish n chip option and steak sandwiches, as pictured below :  

  
I have no doubt this venue is most popular with the business fraternity, as they entertain their clients or fellow business associates close to their office locations.

However, if you are travelling Brisbane City as a tourist or local, you should stop by here.  Not a small venue, with plenty of dining or other options, Friday’s, may just fulfill you needs.  Stop by and check it out!

 
 

Villa Noosa Hotel – Noosaville Sunshine Coast

After a visit to the Emundi Markets, we decided to find a nice location for lunch before heading back to Brisbane.  A sort drive towards Noosa found us arriving at Nossaville.

Here we tried a couple of precincts, with nothing having our desired requirements – a nice lunch accompanied by a wine.  Eventually we found the Villa Noosa Hotel.  From what we could see on the Chefs Suggestions menu, there looked to be enough variety in meals and cost for everyone.   The main menu had not only a kids menu, but a smaller cheaper meal choice menu for seniors as well.    

 My choice today was the Caesar salad with calamari.   Nicely presented, plus freshening to have a Caesar salad which had ingredients mixed throughout.   So often with many salads, I find ingredients are basically all on the top, with pieces of lettuce making up the bulk of the meal.  This one was a full meal all the way through.  These lamb shanks, not only looked good, I’m told they were great.  A big fulfilling meal.  

Seated out on the open deck, with plenty of room between tables, our carload enjoyed the lunch break.   There was a slight issue with two of the meals being forgotten and coming out after the others were nearly finished theirs.  However staff were most apologetic and offered the table free desserts to make up for their mistake.   Both meals were pushed through before the kitchen closed at 2.   We were happy with the fact they admitted it was their mistake, certainly makes all the difference.  The wine pictured above, was chosen from the extensive wine menu and made a nice accompaniment to our lunches.  All in all a very nice break after walking round the markets.   

And as for the offer of free dessert – most couldn’t fit them in, however two were ordered and finished 😄. Check out this hotel when you’re in Noosaville, a huge complex so plenty for all!

 

Hotel Urban- Brisbane

Not our first visit to this delightfully trendy yet laid back complex in Spring Hill.  With enough height to give a birds eye view over different areas of Brisbane, as well as only being a short walk from the heart of Brisbane or the Roma Street transport complex, location is paramount. A crystal view of Brisbane from a one bedroom unit on the 6th floor.

This visit, our second family function here, was not going to disappoint.  Staff have always generally not only been good to deal with, but come with a sense of humour as well.

Tonight the function was held in the loft.  The short hike up the stairs, after the lift reaches its limits, is definitely worth it, to see the fabulous sparkling lights of Brisbane surrounding you.  With a neat selection of rooms, including toilets, private bar and a large outside balcony, this is an all inclusive, ideal function venue.   Added bonus, are the rooms available below to give you a mini break away and avoid the trip home after your function finishes.

Above photo taken by instagramer @amberrk_92

The views across Brisbane from up here, are superb.   Unfortunately on this night, I was rather busy so didn’t have the time to take my usual happy snaps.

I did however, manage to secure a few of the sunset from our 6th floor one bedroom unit.  The  rooms here are tidy, clean and comfortable.  Everything from hotel to two bedroom rooms, have their own balconys.  One & two bedroom units do have the better views with their location across the front of the complex, and very large balconies.  There used to be a coffee Nespresso machine in each of the units, however ours didn’t have one on this occasion.  Tea & coffee facilities were still provided in room though.

The one bedroom boasts a very roomy lounge/dining area as well as the usual ensuite & wardobe space in the main bedroom.   There are mini bar facilities, however the fridge still has plenty of space to put your own food or drinks in.   There are no kitchen or laundry facilities in the one of two bedroom units.

Two bedrooms, have a strange design, whereby you have to walk through the main bedroom to access the second room.  Probably more suited to families with young children.  Parking your car onsite can be a little challenging, particularly if you drive a larger vehicle, which we do, however we find a few manoeuvres will have you skirting the multiple structural poles, which appear to be inconveniently located  around the carpark.   A little testing for some perhaps, with the bonus being secure undercover car parking.  Worth the effort 👍.

Adjourning the huge, Alice in Wonderland feeling lobby, sits a very comfortable restaurant/bar area.  Plenty of room around the tables, with a large undercover area.   Outside, there are lounge and high stool/table settings, giving you plenty of seating choice.

 The morning after the function, we enjoyed a lingering buffet breakfast which gave everyone a great opportunity to catch up. Hot & cold buffet was $30 per head, with plenty of choice available.  Hot drinks from the large coffee machine, or a selection of cold juices were included in the buffet.   We enjoy visiting the Hotel Urban.   With a few lazy afternoons spent here in the past, enjoying lunch over a couple of afternoon drinks.  Or an evening spent savouring the dinner menu, before retiring to enjoy the view from your balcony upstairs over a nightcap.  Anytime we have spent here, has always been relaxing and enjoyable.   As I said earlier, staff are generally very good, most with a good sense of humour.

I have no doubt we will return to the Urban again, maybe we will see you there!

Bistro Aubergine – Great Sandy Straits Marina, Hervey Bay

To say this place is a hidden gem, really does not do it justice.  Service, food, atmosphere, everything is superb here!  Our biggest problem here?  We so wish this fabulous place was open for lunch & dinner as well as just breakfast.  In saying that, they do open at other times if the year, but during our visit it was breakfast only.

 
During our three night stay at The Mantra Hervey Bay, we visited Bistro Aubergine for all our breakfasts.  Located just outside the Mantra gate, with a charge back to the room, the menu had enough choice to cover everyone’s tastes.  Zucchini Fritters pictured above, were my first choice, and I have to say, a wonderful start to the day.  And that marina view, wow, awesome!

Not only was there coffee available, there was also a good choice of teas.  I made my way through the the herbal menu, tasting a peach infused tea as well as a couple of the others.  To be honest, it was lovely to have a choice of teas.  Yes they are teabags, but, to see all the tea and coffee accompanied by a lovely little gingerbread, put a smile on your face for the day.   

 According to hubby, the Cramel & Vanilla lattes he tried, were among the best ever.  Possibly that was the little gingerbread treat…I’m not sure 😄!

To cater for hubby’s tastes, he was delighted to find lambs fry, English fry up and savoury mince on the menu.   Ax it turned out, I enjoyed the savoury mince on one occasion, but he had two days where breakfast was the lambs fry.   Apparently the lambs fry was just too good to pass up – not saying there was anything wrong with the Engkish fry up either!! 

 The infamous lambs fry!

Most definitely recommend a visit here, the prices are reasonable, servings generous, fresh and very tasty.  The big added bonus, very friendly, personalised service!  Keep up the good work, we look forward to returning soon!

Below- one of the lightest, fluffiest omelettes I have ever tasted and the not too spicy, savoury mince.  
 

Bourbon Street – South Bank, Brisbane

 To be presented with a cocktail list, with same main ingredient .(see above) ….now you’re interested aren’t you!

During this break from work, I took some time out to visit various places around the Great South East.  Let’s start here, Bourbon Street located on the restaurant strip, next to Southbank Brisbane.

Today was a quiet lunch out with family after a stroll through the city and Southbank.   

 Always something to see here, even on a quiet afternoon.   

 Pictured above – chocolate brûlée 

Stop by Bourbon Street on your way past, there’s an interesting atmosphere to this place.   Service was very friendly with no request a problem at all.  Enjoy a cocktail or maybe dessert.    Just remember, to have a look through Southbank while you’re here.   And, if this restaurant doesn’t take your fancy, there’s plenty more to choose from.    
We had actually intended to dine at another nearby restaurant on this day, however the cold reception changed our minds where upon we found ourselves at Bourbon Street, receiving a warm welcome.   

Plenty to choose from on the menu too, you never know what may take your fancy here!  

Pictured above, bread & butter pudding.

Seal Trainer for a Day

 (Photo of Sly taken by Underwater World Staff, Mooloolaba, Qld)

Oh those eyes!  To celebrate one of those milestone birthdays, I decided to do something different on the actual day.  Not being the type of person who jumps out of planes with nothing wrong, or scales buildings and rock faces, my decision was narrowed down to a couple of options, from which I chose the Seal Trainer for a day.

Located at Underwater World in Mooloolaba, this friendly, fun filled place is an easy hours drive from Brisbane.    My first contact via email to the staff, had been earlier in the year to see if this day would be possible.   From the first contact through to the actual experience, every single staff member I met however briefly, were incredibly welcoming, friendly and helpful.   

The seal trainer for the day experience, runs for four hours, with you being the only person working behind the scenes with the staff.  Entry into Underwater World, lunch, a T Shirt, seal swim, photo plus DVD of photos are all included in the $250 charge.   For me, this experience was worth every cent!

Usually I use all my own photos, however I was a little busy this day, therefore photo credits will be given to those who took the photos. As different staff members were taking photos, I simply, don’t remember who took what shot, therefore I am crediting these photos to Underwater World staff.   Photos may be cropped, but remain otherwise unaltered.

 ((Photo taken by Underwater World staff)

After being met by the welcoming, Malcolm near the front desk, I was whisked through the back to the behind the scenes area for the seals.   Here I was shown a locker for my gear, and given a run down of the facilities.    Next stop was over to meet Ally in the shop to pick up a T Shirt emblazoned with Seal Trainer for a day.

More staff members were introduced, and I was given a rundown on the seals, their daily habits and food intake.   Having spent some time on commercial fishing boats in the past, the lingering fishy smell did not bother me at all.   I who have to say, the organisation behind the scenes is superb!  Everything is clean, tidy and well looked after.   Not only that, the banter between  staff was refreshingly nice to listen to.  There is something special about people who enjoy their job rather than view it as a chore.

I simply cannot stress enough, how amazing all the staff were.   This was an exciting experience for me and to welcomed with open arms, then treated like one of their own was definitely the icing on the cake.

My first job of the day, was in the sound booth, where upon Malcolm’s direction, I would start the different music and voice cues for the first show of the day.  Having a husband who owns a lot of sound gear for his musical pursuits, I am a little familiar with what the different equipment looks like, making it all the more interesting as I sat in the booth.  Plus the added interest of letting the trainers out the back know what each seal was doing.  IE when each seal leaves to head back stage, Malcolm would relay the information via the microphones to the back stage area. All very interesting.

 On this particular day, one little sealion had decided to take up residence on the jetty, rather than retire to her private pool for the duration of the show.  Obviously she felt the need to be the star of the show.  This meant, the first show was changed based on her refusal to leave the main arena.   Groucho took this opportunity to display his stubborn side, refusing to do some things , simply because of the changes.   Definitely a case of their own personalities shing through!

After the show, it was back behind the scenes with Katie and Malcolm, where I had personal one on one meet and greets with two of the seals, the huge 260 kilo Groucho, followed by his smaller counterpart Sly, who was just learning to meet the public.   Some of the other seals were in their own private pools behind the scenes, with plenty of curious looks from the residents as I was shown through their living quarters.  These seals and sea lions are definitely well cared for, which was fantastic to see.

 (Photo taken by Underwater World Staff)

Sly obliges with his health check, opening his mouth wide so I could check his teeth, during the behind the scenes meet & greet.  Sly was a perfect gentleman during his health check, although both his and Grouchos breath smelt somewhat fishy….!!

After giving the seals their daily massage- achieved by spraying  the running water from the hose over their sleek bodies, it was time for lunch.  Lunch involved a visit to the shop near the seal pool.  Here I was introduced to staff who advised I could order whatever I wanted.   Quite a wide variety to choose from, however I was happy with a sand which and a pot of tea.

After lunch, I was seated to watch the second seal show.  During the show I was called upon to feed the fish to one seal.  What a beautifully smooth move made to leap majestically out of the pool and ever so gently pull the fish from my hand.   Very awesome! 

Note our little photobombing sealion has still remained in residence in the background…😄

 (Photo taken by Underwater World staff)

A very interesting, informative and personal tour of the animal hospital, guided by Maddi, as well as other areas of the complex followed the second show.  To be above the shark tank was a wonderful experience, watching the sharks, Rays and other fish go about their normal business.  The hospital was an interesting place, lots of babies, and only one turtle on this occasion. Really enjoyed this behind the scenes tour.

The final task for the day was a swim with the seals.   Aah time to meet the residents in their territory, and not really much of a hardship task! Wet suits were offered and gratefully received as the water temperature was a bit lower than your normal bath!  Only two of us swimming today, myself and my daughter as we had brought a voucher for her recent birthday.

 (Photo but Amber – Instagram amberrk_92 )

To say this seal swim was an incredible experience does not do it justice.  Malcolm accompanied us in the water letting us know when it was ok to pat the seals as they lazily drifted by.   Now I can swim, but not as beautifully smoothly as these majestic creatures.    We were offered the opportunity to snorkel under the water and view the public through the glass.  For us though, the water was way to cold to keep your face in, so we passed on that one.

What a highly entertaining time, with Malcolm photobombing, as well as Groucho who will not even let his girlfriend onto his side of seal rock!

If you are after a once in a lifetime experience, consider this.   Honestly you cannot be disappointed in any way😄.   

Credit to all the staff we dealt with, I do apologise if I cannot name you all, only the day was so full in and exciting.   Thank you!

Final photo- seal massage in progress! 

(Photo by Underwater World staff)