Next Door Kitchen & Bar – South Brisbane

You really are spoilt for choice in the Southbank/South Brisbane area.  We have visited a myriad of eateries in this precinct, some on numerous occasions.   However, this visit, we chose a new venue.  Next Door Kitchen & Bar.  The view from inside or outside the restaurant is eye-catching in itself.  Pops of colour along the Southbank walkway hang about in front of the city skyline.

Menu choice for breakfast, had enough to cover a variety of tastes, not an extensive menu, but enough.  One at our table chose the ‘Tommy Gun, It’s loaded’ meal, all the while declaring ‘I won’t eat the BlackPudding…’   Well apparently the black pudding was fine, nothing like he thought it would be.  

I’m not usually too tempted with smoothies and juices, only because I do find they have a tendency to make me feel full and not enjoy an actual meal.  However, on this occasion, the celery, spinach, kale and cinnamon mix sounded different and tempting.  Let’s give it s go!  Quite refreshing, mainly tasting like celery and cinnamon.  Not too bad really, although, for my personal taste the cinnamon was a bit over powering. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this, as I definitely did.

Staff here were friendly, attentive and happy to assist.   My choice of the Filled field mushroom was not ever going to disappoint. A delightfully presented and enjoyable dish.

Look forward to returning to this venue  in the future.  Perhaps we should be looking at an apartment in this area, hmmm, one would be spoilt for dining and activity choice!

Check out the scrambled egg & salmon dish below,  another delightful meal.    Keep up the good work…!

The Charming Squire, Southbank, Brisbane

There are times you follow an impulse decision to dine out – somewhere, basically where ever you end up.   On this particular night, we left the train at Southbank and stopped at the very first place we came too, right next to the Train Station.   That was how we ended up at The Charming Squire.

Smiling, helpful staff were more than happy to show us to a booth, with freestanding chairs along the outside edge.  Seated around the heavy wooden table, in comfortable high backed seating, with a large menu in hand, it was time to settle in for the evening.

This is a large high ceiling venue, with a pub area down one end, an upstairs area for groups plus the sprawling restaurant.  Also, seemingly, a very popular place, which was soon filling up with customers. 

 Charcuterie Plate, garlic bread with Mushroom & Truffle Aracini Balls, were a nice entree share plate style start to the meal.  
Even though the venue is large with live music down the other end, the noise levels were not excessive enough to the point of overpowering your own tables conversations.

Toilets are located down the bar end, only a small number of separate toilet rooms, however the wash basins are along a wall on the edge of the pub area.  Quite different to the usual fully enclosed set up.  A bit of a walk too if you are in the restaurant area as you have to go through the bar customers and past the live music stage.

Up until the mains had been delivered to the table, staff were attentive and helpful.  After that we lost them.  Seemingly off to concentrate on newer table seating, we found it became hard to gain their attention to continue ordering drinks and desserts,   However they would respond quickly once realising we required their service.

 Mains were well enjoyed, with presentation pleasing to the eye.  Even the sides were as good as they looked!  

Kipfler potatoes with peas & feta, were a fabulous accompaniment to the steak.

We found the wine menu extensive enough to cater to  everyone’s tastes, including their own brand of James Squire crafted beers. As with most meals,  there comes a time where you decided if the desire to taste one of those delicious sounding desserts, outweighs the internal ‘do I really need it’ struggle.   Faced with choices which included, a Banoffee Pie, Stanthorpe Apple SoufflĂ©  or Datk Chocolate Fondant, all with mouthwatering descriptions, sometimes the temptation becomes to hard to resist.  

On that note, I will leave you with an image of one of these tantalising, delightfully presented desserts, and see if you rise to the challenge of trying this Banoffee Pie!


Mantra Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast QLD

 With views across the Marina towards Fraser and surrounding islands, visible from the majority of units, you will find every excuse to relax out on your balcony.   Reasonably priced with hotel room, plus one or two bedrooms fully equipped apartments, you really are setting the scene for a fantastic break away.

On this occasion, we were staying for a three night relaxing, chilled out break, therefore we chose the hotel room option.  Did I mention each room comes with one of these?  The hotel room, also doubles as the second bedroom to a one bedroom apartment.  However it is a seperate room complete with its own balcony,  TV, tea & coffee facilities, a bar fridge which isn’t already full of mini bar items, allowing plenty of room to store your own food or drinks, as well as an ensuite which includes a spa bath.

There are two card only accessible parking areas for those staying.  However even when it was as quiet as it happened to be in mid August, there still seemed to be a battle at later times in the day to find a secure park.  We discovered the key was to go out in the early morning, then have the car parked up around mid day.  This way we were able to secure the same shade sail covered park each day.  

As you have walking access to the Marina Boardwalk running along the waterfront of the hotel, if you were looking to relax, then there was no need go anywhere else. 

The Marina houses a few shops, laundrette, plus a selection of restaurants & cafes.    A mere stones throw down the road from the Matina Shops and you have the fully facilititated Yacht Club at your disposal.   Meals, bar, pokie area and pkenty of room available, it’s certainly worth a visit.  Remember to sign in as a visitor upon entry!

From your room you can most likely see the spit on the outer side of the Marina, helping to provide a safe haven for all the boats housed within the marina.  Roughly a 5km round walk, it’s worth taking a stroll out to the end of the spit, to visit the monument rerected to recognise those lost at sea, and to view your temporary home from a different angle.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Hervey Bay, give the Mantra some thought.   Pools, gym & other facilities, friendly, helpful staff, plus the convenience of the marina, you really can’t go past it.

I certainly didn’t complain about waking up to this view each morning !


Matthew Thomas Cafe- Sandgate

 Standing proudly between residential housing, Matthew Thomas Cafe, on Eagle Street Terrace Sandgate enjoys a fabulous tree filtered view across the bay.   Should you be able to tear yourself away from the interesting wares on display and for sale, you will be sure to find something of interest on this menu.   Plenty of choice on the breakfast menu, with the option of continuing to choose a breakfast item for lunch if you so desire.

 Choose your meals, order & pay at the counter, then sit back, relax, soaking in the ambiance  whilst you await your chosen delights.  Table service here was good with everything delivered without any real delay.  Staff were also polite and unobtrusive.

Today my choice was The Onesie.  One each of poached egg, corn fritter, zucchini fritter, one rasher of bacon and avocado, all delivered onboard a sourdough base.  Sided with my added extra of roasted mushrooms, I would have to say, this was a most enjoyable fulfilling breakfast. 

All of the meals were enjoyed, with no complaints.  This included the colourful array of smoothies and coffees delivered to the table.   Even though the tea selection was limited, to few teabag choices, the delivery of  the tea did create a point of interest, with this regal looking cup & saucer combination below. 

One of the dishes on our table, was definitely an indulgent breakfast choice, fit for royalty.

Freshly made waffles, topped with vanilla bean gelato, banana, strawberries, drizzled with maple syrup, topped with a dusting of icing sugar and grated chocolate.    Definitely an appealing looking and tasting dish. Sandgate foreshore is always a nice area for a drive, perhaps while you’re enjoying the sea breeze, the hunger pains might see you checking out this interesting cafe.   With fabulous bay vistas directly across the road, you are bound to enjoy your time at this little slice of Sandgate.