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!

Further photos are posted on Dine Live Travels Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Novotel Hamilton Tainui

Situated next door to Sky City Hamilton Casino complex, this Novotel faces towards the mighty Waikato River. From the deck and the river facing rooms, you have some interesting views across the Waikato.

Currently undergoing renovations, including additional rooms, there’s a little less room than usual out the front of the hotel, but this will change in time once renovations are complete.

From the time we checked in, to our final day staying onsite, staff were absolutely awesome. Courteous,helpful, but also responding to individuals and treating customers differently was definitely a huge plus. Most staff were non automated, willing to share a joke and assist in any way they could. That’s what makes the service all the more personalised and special.

Our room was clean tidy and roomy enough for two people on a short stay. We had four nights, two of which included Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Staff went to a lot of trouble to construct an a awesome edible Christmas display. The thought and effort they put into this was greatly appreciated by the guests staying on site. As soon as you stepped out of the lift to head to breakfast, this incredibly detailed display was directly in front of you. From the number of photos I saw being taken in front of this, I’m sure it’s been seen by many, worldwide,Breakfast each day was a diverse array of buffet foods, as is normal for Novotels. Chef was more than happy to prepare an omelette or eggs to your liking if required. We also enjoyed a couple of other meals, along with family, with the food always being high quality, some, like the banana split above, with great presentation.

A huge thank you to the staff, in particular the breakfast/lunch crew, working over Christmas. You guys absolutely made our visit very special. You are also the reason we shall return one day.

Further photos are posted on Dine Live Travel’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, as well as updates in Twitter and Snapchat. You never know where we might be!

Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments

Located in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley area, Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments provides an ideal venue option on the outskirts of the inner city.Here you have the option of a studio room, one or two bedroom apartments. Rooms are spacious, with plenty of comfort on offer. If you’re planning a longer stay, the full sized fridge, spacious kitchen with plenty of storage and utensils supplied, will be perfect for your own in house catering.Storage has been well thought out here, with plenty in the bedroom plus a full laundry stored behind a large folding door, in the bathroom.Muted decor is accentuated with splashes of rich gold and black creating an opulent feel without being over the top.A private balcony off the lounge, gives you a choice of indoor or outdoor space to relax in. The gold and black theme is continued throughout.Even the carpet in the lift continues the colour theme!

A bonus here too, is the onsite, undercover parking, a very reasonable $12 per night.

But, the jewel on the crown, is the well thought out rooftop area. Complete with pool, barbeues and shaded or open seating, its a fabulous place to chill out or catchup with family and friends also staying at the complex.

Across the road from the complex, is an array of shops and food options. The menu displayed in the room, is for Buzz Bistro Emporium. We chose this venue for an early breakfast. Quality meals and service, definitely worth a visit.

The savoury mince above very tasty, not spicy and easy to consume.

Keep the apartment complex in mind should you need some accommodation options in this part of the city. Sometimes its nice to be just out of the city itself. The rooms all presented well, being clean and tidy. For a shorter or longer stay, youre sure to find Alex Perry’s will meet your needs. Remember to follow Dine Live Travel on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, for further photos and information.

Royal Rajputana – Fitzgibbon Chase

Royal Rajputana has just turned one year old. Part of the Fitzgibbon Chase community shops, this is an innovative venue, bringing city style to the suburbs.

Rajputana means “Land of Rajputs”. This was an area in India which included some of the modern day Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan as well as parts of Sindh in southern Pakistan, covering a total of around 343 thousand square kilometres.

The Rajput race is considered the proudest and most noble race in India. Hence the inclusion of Royal in the name.

If you are seeking a good Indian curry, spiced to your taste, then you’ve come to right place.From butter chicken through to vegetarian or meat, the extensive menu is catering for a majority of tastes. Saffron rice was light, fluffy and very aromatic, making for an awesome accompaniment to your choice of curry.

All food was well presented, fresh, tasty and definitely a winner for our group. Prices are not expensive for the meal quality delivered. Those Naan breads too, very tasty!

The atmosphere is casual relaxed, with a good sprinkle of quality. Service is attentive, friendly as well as being focused on making sure you are comfortable, relaxed and enjoying your experience.

Water is plentiful, refilled regularly, whilst the well stocked bar provides for your wine or non/alcoholic preference.Take some time to stop by. Have a chat, watch the world go by and enjoy some good quality Indian cuisine.

Maybe we will see you there? Remember to follow Dine Live Travel on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and snapchat to stay updated. You never know where we will be!

2019 Brisbane Convoy for Kids

The tenth year of Brisbane Convoy for Kids provided an epic day for many. Truckies painted, polished and prepped their rigs, close to 600 in total. Families lined the streets and volunteers worked tirelessly either in public view or behind the scenes. Taking a few hours to complete, the convoy journey from Forest Lake to Redcliffe Showgrounds. It is an imposing sight as the convoy snakes its way through the highways to the end destination.Many line the streets into Redcliffe, cheering the trucks on. Inside the Showgrounds, families await the arrival of the trucks. The reason for this event is to raise funds for the only Children’s Hospice in Queensland, Hummingbird House.From Colourful stalls to activities, today is about the kids, and those truckies. Keep in mind the drivers have spent multiple hours bringing their trucks to show standard. Many trophies are on offer over multiple categories, all sponsored by companies or individuals. A little bit of a thank you to those involved.

Today I had volunteered to help with photography, thee brief being to take photos of the kids enjoying themselves. And there was plenty of that. From bumper cars, the teacup ride, through to the very popular petting zoo, kids were out enjoying themselves, taking advantage of the free activities on offer.

Parents joined in, spending previous time with families, some seeking to some quiet time in the shade to enjoy a break, cool drink or food top up.Many children were excited to see the trucks, with a number decorated in various ways to attract at their attention. Decorated trucks included those with flags, many teddy bears and various themes.Remember to keep this event n mind for next year, bring the kids, the family and enjoy a day out of free children’s activities with any funds raised going to a heartfelt cause.

More photos are posted on our facebook page, be sure to check them out. If you would like a photo of yourself or your truck, feel free to contact directly and we will send the photo through for you.

Grateful thanks to all those truckies who gave up their time the volunteers in every area, and anyone who contributed. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.