Margate Beach House Bar and Kitchen

You don’t get much closer to dining to the sea, than this. Ok yes, you can sit on the beach, but, for a restaurant, this location has you feeling the sea breeze whilst you chill out.

We recently spent a short break away at the Sebel Brisbane Margate Beach. One of the bonuses, is the Beach House Bar & Grill located on the ground floor.

Our check in was 2pm, something they are strict on here, but we went early to enjoy long lunch and begin the wind down.

I’m loving how this hotel has included history in the rooms as well as throughout the hotel itself. It really does provide a point of interest.

Clean lines are everywhere. Ok the hotel is new, so is this restaurant, however, comfortable roomy seating is a big plus. Nice to have a decent amount of room between yourself and the next table. There is nothing worse than being so cramped as extra tables are fitted into an area. The balance here, is really well thought out.But, the important stuff, food. Everything we had here was superb quality. Fresh food, delightful presentation, generous serves, and the added bonus, wonderful interactive wait staff.

Hubby had intended to go with the seafood tower, but a menu change had him test this intriguing seafood stew. There is much more to this dish than the photo shows, and he was most impressed.

Sticking with the seafood theme, I chose the barramundi. No complaints. Again, fresh, nice presentation, and for me, the perfect size.

Right now I could not go anything more, but hubby needed a sweet finish to the meal. His choice, lemon donut. Presented with fairy floss and dried raspberries, this was quite an impressive combination.Moving on through the day, Hubby eventually was hungry again. Not me, I was still overfull from lunch! Nice steak for hubby, side of crunchy broccolini for me. Perfect!

Once you enjoy a lovely night here, head down for brekky. No buffet, choose your meal and enjoy. Yes menus are limited, but, you don’t need a huge menu to please your customers. No matter what you do, you will never cater to all tastes.

Seriously, how good are these breakfasts??

From the time we spent at this venue, we could see the locals favour it. Treat yourself to a seaside weekend, check into the hotel and enjoy the delights from this onsite restaurant. Really doubt you will be disappointed!

Nerada Organic Tea

The Nerada brand has a history dating back to 1882. In fact, right back to April Fools Day, 1st April 1882. On this day, four brothers, Herbert, Sidney, Leonard, & James Cutten rowed over 50 kilometres on the Tully River before they came upon Bingil Bay. The significance? This area is where Nerada Tea hails from. 100% pesticide free, black tea, 100% Australian grown. All 600 kilos plus of it every year.

As one of those chosen to promote Nerada tea, I was delighted to receive a pack of 4 different tea bags, as well as Iced tea suggestions and Nerada information. The challenge here? Some promotional work for the brand, showcasing iced teas. Hmm well lets see what we came up with!

This one was not iced, BUT the lemon & ginger in this delightful teacup set was a superb way to start the day. During the heat of the Brisbane day, one then turns to iced tea. This is the time you need not just chilling, but refreshing!

I trialled this simple recipe of my own, Lemon & Ginger tea (yes the same one from the morning), chilled it in the fridge for a few hours, with slices of lime. Add the ice, sprinkle a little ginger on top and wow! Great combination! Lime, Lemon & ginger iced tea. Refreshing, plus what better way to chill than in the pool with a refreshing poolside beverage!

Adding that with this drink, even Hubby, who is a coffee fan, loved this mix. Now thats saying something!

The mix above, was chilled blackberries, soaked in black tea. Not being a sweet tooth I personally enjoyed this, but for Hubby, not so much. However, if you were to add some local Australian honey this would sweeten the whole mix.

What was my favourite tea? The peppermint. Why? Because it is seriously pepperminty! Over ice, slice of lemon and some mint leaves this was a lovely drink.For that extra dessert, why not add some chocolate syrup round your glass, pour the tea over ice, and you have an after dinner mint! Ok a little naughty for the waistline, but your tastebuds will love you! Note here, I didn’t actually trial this one, but, sure sounds good!

Experiment with these tea bags, they can be used hot or cold. For the sweeter tooth, don’t forget to add a little honey.

Don’t forget the chamomile! I loved that one hot, but yet to trial cold.

Thank you to Nerada for the opportunity to assist with promotion!

( #dinelivetravel trialled these teas after being chosen as a Nerada Tea Taster.)

Sebel Brisbane Margate Beach

At a build cost of around $15million, this recently new hotel for the luxury Sebel brand, has a lot to offer. Sebel brand itself, emerged back in 1963. In those early days, you could expect to mix with a number of celebrities who favoured Sebel. Betty Davis, Elton John, Zsa Zsa Gabour, all enjoyed the comfort of Sebel hotels.

Interior designer, Siobhan Gnomes McNabb, captures many styles with textures ranging through from smooth to exposed brick and concrete, both in the 58 rooms and throughout the hotel. You cannot help but reach out every now and then to run your hands over the corrugated and rough surfaces. Floor to ceiling glass doors which glide easily back to a two third opening, bringing the outside in, creating a wonderful spacious feeling.

Much thought has been given to the small things. The full length mirror, hidden inside the wardrobe door, so as not to detract from the room itself. Beautifully soft, luxurious feeling robes. The heavy stone table on the balcony, is not going to be blown around! A microwave in each room, contained within the workable kitchenette. Historical photos cleverly used in each room, and throughout the hotel.

The local area has a lot of history, first occupied by the Ningy Ningy people, European settlers, headed by Matthew Flinders, did not arrive until 17th July 1799. It is refreshing to see a new establishment retaining reference to days gone by.

The rooftop area, is the crown atop this complex. Full use is made of the large area, with a pool, bar, cabana areas as well as loungers and tables. Plenty of choice for a comfortable evening drink whilst you enjoy the uninterrupted view, from many angles.Sydney the Sebel Bear certainly enjoyed his afternoon chilling on the rooftop, whilst reading his travel book! The area up here is totally different to the Beach House restaurant downstairs. You will hear more about the delightful restaurant, in the next story as I believe, it earned its own review.

The rooftop bar is open for guests on Friday & Saturday evenings, as well as Sunday afternoons, with a barbecue too, subject to weather conditions.

There’s an adequate gym area, with free bicycle hire for guests. Take a bike, or a stroll along the 2km boardwalk which runs along the waterfront, opposite the hotel.

Only around 25 minutes from Brisbane Airport, this area feels like a world away from city life. During the day and over weekends, this popular area bustles with activity. Parking fills up quickly around here, as people enjoy the sun, sand and surf.

Reception staff were efficient and there to assist as required. Really the only problems encountered at this venue, one lift which, is a little slow, and a lack of adequate parking for the hotel. However, if you’re there to chill out, the lift time doesn’t bother you, and, as for the parking, we had no problem securing a park in the underground secured area.Enjoy a sunrise like this from your own private balcony. Treat yourself, to a weekend away or some previous wind down time, you will not be disappointed.

Remember to check Dine Live travel on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for more photos. Keep a watch out for the Beach House Restaurant review too, it will be coming soon!

Jaylianos Steak and Seafood Restaurant -Strathpine

One of the venues we have visited earlier this year, was the all you can eat buffet at Jayliano’s, Strathpine.

Now for me, all you can eat isn’t usually worthwhile, however hubby is a fan. It was a pleasant surprise to find the venue of a much higher quality than expected. No plastic chairs and tables here, a lot of thought has gone into the decor, including furnishings and set up.

So much to see here, with attention to detail really having been taken into account. The flooring helped to soften the background noise, steel has been used to create some interesting pieces.

Staff have a very efficient system in place, from greeting and table allocation at the door, to prompt clearing of tables and swift attention to drinks orders. It certainly helps to ensure you have sufficient staff levels, and Jayliano’s ensure the staff to customer ratio is well balanced.

Drinks prices were reasonable with jugs of soft drinks available too.

But it’s a buffet and its about the food. What a huge variety of food! From fresh seafood, steak, meats, salads, through to Asian style foods, pasta, fried food and a most impressive array of desserts.

The choice of foods is more than enough to satisfy anyone, no matter what your taste or diet. they really have catered well. Not only that, staff were quick to move any serving spoons customers did not remove and top up dishes as required.

The dessert selection included ice cream, miniature desserts, banana fritters, fruit and, the icing on the cake, marshmallows plus a selected fruit which could be dipped under the fast moving chocolate fountain. At $30 for lunch or $35 or dinner, thats pretty good value for the choice you have. A good venue if you have a group of people to cater for, who have varied tastes. At least you know what your meal cost will be.

There’s a well set up tea, coffee and water station too. Why not wash down your meal with a hot drink, or keep the water glass full during your meal.

Also there is a sister shop, over Kippa ring way, Ariala. Pricing is slightly different, however the concept looks similar. Would be interesting to check this one out too and see how it fares next to the Strathpine model. Keep up the good work!

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Drive Mount Mee – including Pitstop on Mt Mee

Life is wonderful thing, but all along the road we are tested. Sometimes you need to take some time to just smell the roses and appreciate the sheer beauty of our extraordinary planet.

To do just this, we took a drive around the beautiful Mt Mee. Located close to Brisbane’s Northside, the area is popular with car and bike clubs and weekend drivers alike. Winding roads open to some stunning locations with incredible views. Even our first foggy, overcast day in months, could not take away the enjoyment of this breathtaking vista.

There is a lot to see on this road. We took a total of around three hours to drive and stop for brunch and photo shoots. A nice way to spend a weekend morning. The two photos above were taken at the Ocean View Area of Mount Mee. You can feel the cortisone levels dropping as you soak in the sheer beauty.

Many places are along the way, including markets,wineries, cafes and restaurants. Today, we chose the Pitstop on Mt Mee. Watch out for those checkered flags on your left as you drive from Dayboro. Go in and check it out.

Memorabilia lines the walls, a motorbike takes pride of place in the middle of the cafe. Don’t stop at the entrance, this location has tables and deck space extending out the back. Grab a menu, find a seat then when you’re ready, head back to the counter and pay for your choices.Meals were delivered in such a quick time. Not only that, they were, hot, tasty and enjoyable. Add that to the good value price and we have a winner. The meal above was the large Pitstop breakfast.

I opted for a small meal, luckily! This Avocado, bacon and one egg mix was perfect.I could not have eaten any more. Note though, the extra large coffee in the background. Not mine, just saying!

They have pancakes for which you choose your own toppings. This one was strawberries with strawberry jam. Lovely jam by the way, I had a little taste. Not overly sweet, with more of small bite to it.

Or, go Canadian style and pile your bacon and maple syrup on the pancakes.

We had chosen the one foggy day in many months. However, its still worth the drive. The venue is a photographers dream. The memorabilia inside, the views outside, where do you start. However, my intention is to return on a clearer day and take some awesome pics. Watch this space.

Continuing on, we drove around Mount Mee, to meet the Bruce Highway, near Caboolture. So many places you can stop along here, depending on your needs. We chose a little lookout with incredible views across the plains and glasshouse mountains below.

No one photo can show you the sheer beauty of these views. Take some time, drive Mt Mee, enjoy. If you need to escape life for a few hours and reconnect with nature, this is one of the better places to do so.

Follow Dine Live travel on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, Stellar and the website to enjoy all different postings.

But I ask you all, please take care of your fellow humans, we are all here to support each other through this thing called life. Never underestimate the value of support. Be thankful we have the ability to do this. Don’t forget, take some time, indulge in the beauty of our earth, None of us would be here without it.

Ginger Flower + Food Festival 2019

Ginger Flowers are not only vibrant colours, their forms are diverse and incredibly interesting. On display last weekend for the annual Ginger Flower + Food Festival, you really could not help but be drawn to what are considered among the most beautiful flowers in the world.

With names like beehive, torch, dancing ladies, spiral, red, shell and moth, these beautiful flowers are quite spellbinding.

The festival is held at the Ginger Factory, located in Yandina in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. A short one hour drive from Brisbane’s Northside, the area makes for a lovely destination day trip.

Entry is free to the complex, with a number of activities on site. Last weekend was busy, with many people around so we didn’t venture too far past the cafe, mainly focusing on the market place which was set up, to showcase ginger products.The products on display, were available for tasting accompanied by informative stall holders who were more than happy to provide the history behind their particular products as well as answer any questions.

Included in the marketplace were Pomodoras Dressings on Obi, with some interesting combinations of balsamic and flavoured dressings. Not only were we given tastings of the products but also treated to some informative narration on how they came to be. the recommendation at this table, was to visit Pomodoras on Obi restaurant. Certainly looks and sounds intriguing! Looking forward to visiting at some stage.

Skin care, honey, tonics, bone broth products, relishes and drinks made up the stalls in the market place. A fantastic idea to showcase products which include the local Buderim Ginger.For us it was pure chance we decided to enjoy a Sunday drive and visit the factory on a day which just happened to coincide with the festival.

We enjoyed our visit to the festival, and now look forward to returning to better explore the activities on offer at this venue. If you are in the Sunshine Coast area during mid-late January, I highly recommend you keep this festival in mind. It really is an interesting, colourful event. Plus you never know who you will run into amongst the flowers….

Summer Land Camels

If you haven’t visited Summer Land Camels, then you have missed not only a wonderful day out, but also, a highly entertaining experience.

The farm is the 3rd largest in the world. Around 600 camels are on site and another 300 off site. That’s a lot of camels! And yet, look at the beautiful mum above, so happy and proud of her baby. Yes I can confirm, the camels are all happy and well looked after.

We were so lucky to hear from Jeff Flood who gave the most interesting history of how he ended setting up the farm. If you have the opportunity to talk to him, you should, and listen. Love hearing how something came about being, it gives you so much more perspective! We were then treated to a behind the scenes tour, with his son Corey, who was very informative and happy to answer questions. Big thank you to both and all staff who were relaxed, helpful and friendly,

The cafe and shop is located in the awesome old renovated Queenslander above. Love the wrap around verandah giving you the most incredible uninterrupted views across this gorgeous part of the Scenic Rim.So how about a few facts.

Firstly, Camels do not spit, they do not stink, they do not have top teeth, and, apparently, they are not grumpy! But camels also have the solving iq of a 6 year old human equivalent, just keep that in mind. I mean we all know how cunning our little humans can be!

Why are camels simply amazing animals? Many reasons. They have the best wool, their milk is second only to human milk, mix them with normal farm stock in dry conditions and your cattle and sheep will not lose condition. Plus, they rarely become ill. Worms are their biggest problem, but, if wormed regularly, even ticks don’t appear to affect them. Seriously, how special are these incredible creatures?.No those guys are not deceased, they are simply chilling and enjoying an afternoon nap. And yet they look somewhat like a camel puzzle! I do wonder how comfortable it can possibly be to sleep like this, however, they obviously find it to their liking.

In the middle of January, they are still losing their winter wool, with awesome shiny coats showing through. The tufts on their neck were really cool up close, set at regular intervals, totally different to a horses mane, it looks like someone has threaded those little tufts by hand. And then there are the beards underneath the neck. They are quite cute. Their life span? About 50 years.

We were so lucky to be allowed into the paddock with youngsters. After curiously checking out the invading humans and their camera gear, some turned their backs. Not sure if this was the ostrich approach of if I cannot see you, you are not there, or they were simply regrouping to decide on the next strategy. Whatever it was, still kinda cute!

Check out the wool on this baby! Oh and guess who this was?? It was my little mate Marvin from the Sandgate Jingle on the Bay. You may remember that article from a few weeks ago. He was the little man who was quite vocal in his displeasure at being separated from his home. We found out, Marvin was bottle fed and has a little mate Ella who is so bottle fed. The two are very close. When Marvin left to travel to the other side of Brisbane and be a star in the parade, little Ella missed him. She was more than delighted when Marvin arrived home.The Scenic Rim is simply stunning. With the farm location, you are on the edge of this beautiful part of Australia. If I was a camel, this paddock with a stunning outlook, would be my pick. I’m not sure they notice, but pretty sure I would!

We have so much to learn from these incredible animals, seriously these guys are very relaxed and cool. Make sure you go check them out some time. Visit the cafe, check out the retail shop, try a camel milk gelato, purchase some feta or milk to take home. Or, just have a coffee and chill on the balcony, whilst you watch the majestic camels beyond. Oh, and listen. The noise they make is awesome, very chilled, laid back, almost lazy, yet enough to make you know they have an opinion.

I for one, will now be adding this to the list of where to take our visitors when they stay. Go and check it out. Hope there are plenty of babies when you go, they are simply, too cute! Might see you there!

Emporium Hotel – South Bank, Brisbane

Before you enter the glittering building itself, your eyes are drawn to the spectacular display of colour inside the Emporium. Add to this the sparkling Christmas decorations at the time, and you could not possibly walk by without even a glance.

Upon entering you are met with a friendly greeting from concierge as well as a building oozing in sparkling, reflective finishes. Not only can you stay in this hotel, you could also buy an apartment and reside here, permanently. But today, was for a Christmas event, held in The Terrace bar on the 21st floor.

To visit the bar, ride the lift from the ground floor up to the 21st floor. The lifts continue the sensory overload theme of this hotel. Beneath your feet and on the walls, constantly changing scenes light up your ride.The trip to the terrace is worth it. A massive bar dominates the back wall of the room, overlooked by a moving canvas of neon. The glittering ceiling rolls back to reveal a glass roof, giving an added air of space to the area.Even the floor moves, with lighting continually changing from square to square.There is a constant wow factor here. Just as you are focusing on one area, something else lights up and catches your eye. But there is one overwhelmingly beautiful view which is most definitely the cherry on the top for this impressive building.Brisbane comes to life beneath the balcony, with breathtaking views across Southbank, Brisbane river to the city and beyond. Personally, I could spend hours here, just watching the living, breathing city, going about its day to day business.Sunset is always impressive, however 21 floors up with a totally uninterrupted view of our wonderful city (yes I may be biased here, but seriously, Brisbane is pretty cool!), it is simply stunning.

You cannot access the pool area, unless you are staying on premises, however, imagine lounging around this infinity pool with a sprawling Brisbane City laid out before you. It’s pretty hard to find such an uninterrupted view anywhere.Parking is available directly beneath this complex, or in the nearby Southbank car park. However, if you would like to come sit, wile away some time over lunch, dinner, or enjoy a catch up drink with friends, then try the train. The hotel is built into the platform of the South Bank train station, really, how much more convenient do you want!

Impress your visitors as you stop by here for one of Brisbane’s most incredible vistas. It will be pretty hard to find someone who finds this view blasé. Or, book in and treat yourself to weekend of indulgence. With all of South Bank on the doorstep, this area has a lot to offer!

Destination – Gold Coast. What to do during your stay!

When you reside in South East Queensland, the Glitter Strip that is the Gold Coast, or the Goldie as it is often affectionately referred to by locals, is right on your doorstep. Funnily enough, when something is right on your doorstep, you often overlook it in favour of destinations further from home.

Highrises tower over sand, surf and myriad of city streets. Here the limit is, imagination, pure and simple.

Recently having enjoyed a brief overnight stay at Surfers Paradise, it was a delight to spend some time wandering our little area and visiting a few local businesses. Our accommodation for the night, was Novotel Surfers Paradise. Not the first stay here and definitely wont be the last.

This trip was to serve two purposes, one for a function, the other to catch up with lifetime mate and spend some girl time alone for the first time in about 16 years. Both purposes were fulfilled beautifully,

With a balcony giving a view of the sea and beach, Novotel Surfers Paradise, really is a pleasant place to wile away some time as you relax into that holiday (albeit brief) mode. Our room had been renovated, was clean, tidy with plenty of room to move. That balcony is just an awesome added extra bonus!

Staff were fantastic, throughout the establishment, from reception to cleaning and everything in between. Very welcoming and helpful. The only meal we had at the hotel was breakfast, but, the choice at the buffet is superb. Add to that a helpful chef who can whip you up an omelette or eggs of your choice. Yum, great way to start your day.

Even though the weather wasn’t that great we did head out for lunch on the first day. After a bit of retail therapy, what could be nicer than a balcony lunch overlooking the flame trees in full flower, with a lot of potential for simply watching the world go by. We found this ideal spot at Hard Rock Cafe. Located on the same block as the hotel, we arrived there by meandering through some interesting shops between the Novotel and Hard Rock. Ok so we didn’t go far, but in our defence, there was a lot to see, I mean a lot!

Again the service was superb, with meals coming out quite quickly. The Nacho meal was huge and I certainly enjoyed the fish n chips, awesome food, great company and a lovely atmosphere.

There’s plenty to see at this venue too, with walls seeping music history for your perusal. Loved the Christmas tree set up, great tribute to Guns N Roses.

Part of the reason for this trip was to visit a small function at the iconic Island hotel. With a renovated function, open bar area on the rooftop, it was interesting venue to visit. The Island is one of the original hotels for Surfers Paradise, now renovated, whilst still maintaining some of the history from years gone by. We were treated to a very brief sunset, which looked incredible from the function room we were in. Would recommend paying The Island a visit whilst you’re exploring Surfers, theres a great bar and restaurant downstairs, plus those renovated rooms are apparently quite a sweet place to stay.

Our exploring included a test of a couple of chocolate places, one each day of course… Our favourite between Max Brenner & San Churro, was the latter, on this occasion.Remnants of the 2018 Commonwealth Games remain around Surfers, with Borobi smiling happily at tourists and locals alike, inviting you to take a posing photo.

We finished our exploration of this small part of the Gold Coast, with a lunch at Helm Bar. The large sprawling complex caters for your needs and is conveniently located alongside one of the canals, meandering its way through Surfers. Even on a dull, overcast day, there is still plenty to see across the water, with the big floor to ceiling windows allowing a great view. Here we encountered helpful, friendly staff and a menu with plenty to choose from.This superb platter we shared was a credit to the Chef. Awesome finish to our short little break.

There is simply not enough room to cover everything we saw and experienced. However, set Gold Coast as a destination for your break, either short or long stay. You certainly will not be bored!

Further photos and brief stories, posted on Dine Live Travel’s Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Stellar. Follow Dine Live Travel to enjoy future visits to the Gold Coast!

Christmas in Sandgate – Jingle All the Bay

Following an invitation from Sandgate Chamber of Commerce, I visited the annual Sandgate Jingle all the Bay Christmas parade and street party. This free event is organised by some hardworking volunteers, from the Sandgate Chamber of Commerce.Even the dull skies and threatening rain could not dampen the spirits of those who attended. Totally awesome to see so many families enjoying an evening out, perusing the many stalls, dining from the food vans and enjoying the entertainment on offer.

What a wonderful assault on the senses! The air was filled with the sounds of music, machines and laughter, all competing against the chatter of flocks of bird life, eagerly gathering for their usual dusk meal and daily catch up. The smell of many different foods, wafted through the air, enticing hungry patrons to eat their fill.

A big hit with young and old alike, was the baby animal nursery. All were so cute, very friendly and active, but one little man stole the show. Marvin, the 5 month old baby camel.Marvin was more than happy to voice his disapproval at what he perceived to be a delay in the arrival of his dinner. Whilst his milk was warmed and feed prepared, Marvin took great delight in loudly proclaiming how hungry he was.

Vintage cars drew many looks and comments. These old girls were part of the parade too. Lovely chatting to the proud owners and hearing the history. For instance the Chevy Ute at the back of the photo above, had refurbished timber from different structures around Brisbane. This old Ute had been in the same family since 1926, with the original registration papers still kept. The back of the cab was made with timber from one of the old city swimming pools.

All aboard the express! Families rode in the train as it traversed the street. Others climbed the rock wall, bounced on the bouncy castle, took a spin in a spinning cup or found something amongst the many stalls to keep them amused until the Christmas parade began at 7pm.

The happy crowd enjoyed some free handouts from local businesses, including the water donated by Cafe63, show bags from the doctors and Chemist Warehouse. Friends caught up, whilst strangers traded happy remarks. It was truely wonderful to see so much community spirit come to the fore.

Much to great delight of the children, parade time came round, hearlding the arrival of the jolly fellow in red, Santa Claus himself. Full of wide eyes and excitment, the children proved Santas arrival was the icing on the top of truely enjoyable evening.

Animals, vehicles, people and even a longboat, paraded down the street in front of everyone. Bringing up the rear was a young lady, covered in a string of lights, who showed her impressive poweress on a bar across the back of a ute.If you missed this years event, be sure to keep an eye out for details next year. I’m told the crowd attendance well exceeded last year, proving the popularity of this community street party.

To all those volunteers who worked, businesses who participated and donated, to bring this enjoyable event to the local community, you should give yourselves a well deserved pat on the back!

The success of the evening is proof you are doing great work.