Novotel Surfers Paradise – Hanlans Restaurant/Bar

Mini Breaks are a great way to give your mind and body a chance to take a breath before you launch back into the routine of life. This view of Surfers Paradise Main Beach area, could be all yours at Novotel Surfers Paradise.  As an Accor Plus member, the complimentary room for the year was still waiting to be utilised.  Hence a visit to Novotel Surfers Paradise.

Our view from the room, was mesmerising.  From here we could watch the activity on the streets below, check for whales passing out at sea, view the river and its boats, or simply chill out and enjoy the landscape canvas rolled out before us.   Sunset and Sunrise views, were nothing less than superb!

Day rolled into night, with outstanding orange hues as the sun dropped in behind the Western Ranges.  As the hunger pains set in, we visited the Novotel Restaurant, Hanlans.  Located on Level 1 of the complex, the expansive restaurant mainly operates as a buffet for both breakfast and dinner.   On the ground floor, Hanlans Bar is open through the day, with a breakfast and lunch mini menu to keep you going.Staff here are attentive.  Water is topped up throughout your meal, plates are cleared in a timely fashion and above all else, every staff member we came across, throughout the hotel, from reception, concierge through to bar, restaurant and cleaners, were professional yet friendly.  Its a rare venue to have all staff displaying good quality customer service.

From fresh seafood, to seafood salads and other salads or meats, through to a delectable dessert selection, along with many options in between, there is plenty to choose from.

Should you have the prilege of being an Accor Plus member, you will receive big discounts of your meals.  For two people with one membership, this results in a 50% meal discount, essentially one of you eats for free.

Rooms are comfortable, clean, with balconies plus the added bonus of being so close to a lot of options, where you will likely park the car and leave it there.  Shopping is below the hotel, or walk to the beach in 5 minutes.  Check out the Q1 tower for a birds eye view, barely 10 minutes walk or visit the many other attractions in the area.  

As night falls, life does not become quieter on the streets below. Patrons flock to the nightlife, bathing in the depth of colourful lights, twinkling around them from all angles.

A winter sunrise in Queensland is stunning.  Orange hues light up the fiery sky before fading through to the daylight blue.  Take a short walk to the beach and you may have the opportunity to see a surfer disappearing into the waves. 

Silhouettes outlined by. the rising sun provide not only fantastic photo opportunities, but also those moments where time stands still, momentarily.  Indulge yourself, take the walk and wonder at the colourful birth of a new day.

All the food we enjoyed at the Novotel was fresh, nicely presented, and enjoyable.  Below are some food images from our weekend stay.Caesar Salad with Chicken tenders at Hanlans Bar.

Love the presentation of the loose leaf tea.

Calamari & salad at Hanlans Bar.

Cheese plate at Hanlans Bar.Burger at Hanlans Bar.

Ice cream is made fresh on the premises.

I love this personal touch with what we think are staff handprints across the front window, making an interesting view from Hanlans Bar.   Sit down in the bar, enjoy a barista or bar drink whilst you watch the world go by.   There is always something happening in Surfers. This is a venue we will return to, look forward to seeing you there!

Skypoint Q1 – Seventy7 Cafe & Bar

At some point during life, you have no doubt been told, ” your head is in the clouds”.well up here it truely is.

77 floors up with vistas covering 360 degrees, accessed by a lift so quiet yet very fast.  Every window gives a totally different view.   Now do you feel like you really do have your head in the clouds?  Impossible not to, particularly when  you gaze down upon helicopters giving visitors a birds eye view of the stunning Gold Coast.  Yes I said down upon.  Right now you are higher than those rapidly rotating rotors, which may only be half as high as you are. 

Dizzy?  Maybe, however you still can’t help but peep out through the eyelids to wonder at the extensive moving canvas laid out for as far as the eye can see.  Here’s a little perspective for you.   How many floors of the high rise does this glass of sparkling cover?  Let’s just say a lot!

The total fascination of this place, will no doubt have you tempted to linger.   Why not grab a bite to eat, or enjoy a coffee or cool beverage, to give you the excuse to stay.   Dotted around this incredibly massively roomy floor area, are comfortable seating settings, as well  as a raised floor for the cafe/bar.    

My take on the menu on offer?  I would have to say impressed.   Simply because anything which yells tourist attraction is generally renown for overpriced average or below food.  Very pleasantly surprised to find a simple, yet effective, reasonably priced menu.

Check the ticket prices online, and keep in mind if you intend visiting more than once a year, you might be better with the annual membership which will give you another 10% off the menu prices.  

We decided to share the Sky Tea for two, which did seem very popular, and the Seafood Stand.  Between three people we found this more than sufficient!

Not one morsel disappointed.  Everything was beautifully fresh, well presented and extremely tasty.   Right down to the delightfully fresh sandwiches on the Tea for Two stand. 

  WOW !   I heard that as soon as you saw the enticing petite four selection on the top.   Delighted to confirm they were as tasty and delicious as they look.  

Seriously, drop by for a visit, you simply won’t be disappointed.  I’m looking forward to returning in the evening.  Can you imagine how spectacular sunset and/or sunrise is from this fabulous area?  Now imagine one of those summer Queensland storms rolling in….See you soon Q1!

BSKT Cafe – Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast

Maybe you’ve started with a morning stroll along the beach, just a stones throw from the cafe, or, perhaps this was your intentional destination.  Either way, you’ve now discovered a pleasant indoor/outdoor seating area, with an interesting menu.

A mix of old meets new.  Sharp clean lines around the bar area are  given a slightly eclectic  touch, with hefty wooden tables, metal seats plus random relics from earlier eras.   

Nice to note there were plenty of staff, all neatly and uniformly dressed, more than willing to politely assist customers.    

 Breakfast salad.   A combination of beets,  sweet potato, brocolini, haloumi, topped with poached egg and a touch of maple.   I’m told this was good as this shiny, appealing plate of food looked.

 Another meal at our table was the packed full, omelette. Served with field mushrooms and the seeded toast, peeking out from under the omelette. 

Hubbys choice was the Big Breakfsr.  Steak, ham, eggs, mushrooms, alongside a sweet potato bubble n squeak.  

   My choice today, was the Navajo Native Breakfast with an extra side of smoked salmon.  Smashed avocado, beans, eggs and a pleasant non-hot tomato relish filled the plate.   The beans mixed nicely with the rest of the dish.

With a reasonable selection of drinks, including smoothies, juices and pleasing sekection of tea or coffee, you won’t have a problem finding a beverage to accompany your meal.

Now if you didn’t have that beach stroll earlier, maybe you will feel so inclined after your relaxing breakfast. 👍

Wyndham Cruises, Surfers Paradise

Seated at the iconic bar ‘Howl at the Moon’, I snapped a photo of what was to be our cruise boat for the afternoon.  Today was the opportunity to use a birthday voucher, which included a two hour buffet lunch cruise for two.   Leaving from Cavill Avenue, along one of the many man made canals, the wharf is easy enough to find.  Ticket office for voucher confirmation or to purchase tickets, is located around the corner of the bars, on the street front.  

A few cruises were tied up along this wharf, departing at different times for different purposes.   Boarding is easy enough, with the captain checking rickets before directing cruisers along the ramp to the boat.  Staff onboard then direct you to your table.

Big windows line the sides of the boat, allowing everyone a view of surrounding areas.  Upstairs, an open top deck with seating provided, gives the opportunity to lounge in the sun and enjoy the scenery with the wind in your hair, or a chance to enjoy many photo opportunities for the duration of the cruise.  Your lunch table setting includes a rubbish bowl for the prawn bodies and a water bowl for refreshing the hands after dissecting said prawns.  Bar prices are very reasonable, with beer, wine and basic spirits as well as a couple of jam jar cocktails, slushies and soft drink.  Not an extensive menu, but definitely sufficient for the cruises.  The Captain is seated inside the boat and gives a commentary throughout the cruise, pointing out locations of interest.  Captain Tony had a fabulous sense of humour, popping in added extras along the way, which, unfortunately, were only picked up by a handful of those onboard as most were not really listening.  We on the hand, did enjoy his dry sense of humour.

Lunch was superbly fresh, with plenty of salad, prawns, sliced ham, chicken and fabulously fresh buns available.  Tables were directed to the buffet by the staff, to ensure everything flowed, with an opportunity to return for more if you wished.  Tea, coffee and fruit were also available.  After cruising through various canals and past many mansions on islands, you are passing the Palazzo Versace, touted as the most luxurious hotel on the Gold Coast.  Surrounded by millions of dollars  berthed at the marina, the hotel peeks through the masts and various decks, with the canal frontage, not revealing the extent of the luxury inside.

SeaWorld theme park & resort lie along the strip next to the Palazzo Versace.   Beaches were filled with families enjoying the many water sport opportunities available to this area, or just a simple family picnic on this fabulous day.

 As well as views of those multi million dollar homes,  (one including its own canon!), an incredible array of boats, all shapes and sizes, you most likely will pass paraglider, jet skiers and canoeists.   So keep the camera handy!
 To top off this cruise, you are afforded some simply spectacular views of the Gold Coast skyline, showcasing the many high rises piercing the fabulously blue skies we enjoyed on our cruise day.

 Locals, tourists, everyone should take the opportunity to view the glitter strip from a cruise.   There are a number available, however check out Wyndham Cruises.  Aside from the lunch buffet, they do run other cruises including morning & afternoon tea.  

More photos are at Dine Live Travel on both Facebook & Instagram. #wyndhamcruises #dinelivetravel

Remember to take your camera, and listen to the Captains commentary, it could very well put a smile on your dial !  

Restaurant Lurleen’s – Sirromet Winery

  Would you like to have Sunday Breakfast at a winery?  Umm do you really think I’m going to say no???

I could leave you in suspense as to my answer, however the photo above most probably gives the answer away.   Therefore, we were off to Sirromet Winery for breakfast, on a recent Sunday morning.

Stunning vistas in every direction, before you even enter the winery.   The entire setting exudes, tranquility, peacefulness and privacy.    This is going to be a great day.  The Sunday Breakfast menu offered up a choice of delicious dishes to trial.   Oh yes and there was a wine list.   Oh why not, how often do we enjoy bubbles for breakfast 😄. 

My choice  today was the Grilled Portebello Mushrooms.   Beautifully presented, with some of the largest, most juicy field mushrooms I have ever tasted.  Pairing fabulously with the goats curd and rocket, most definitely a winner for me.

Both of our male counterparts settled on the Once in a Lifetime breakfast.  Talked up on the menu as a seafood breakfast to outweigh all breakfasts, both were salivating at the mere thought of the delights to come.  

Half a lobster, smoked salmon, truffles, caviar, described as a most decadent dish all round.   To be fair, they both loved the dish,  although perhaps lacking on presentation, the contents were not disappointing.   Both were happy, however did comment that they had expected a breakfast dish valued at close to $50 to perhaps be a double tier or outstanding on presentation.  I think they thought it would be a bit more distinguished compared to the other dishes.

Overall this lingering Sunday breakfast was most enjoyable.  We will be back to enjoy those fabulous views, the extensive choice of wines, and of course, the beautiful fresh foods.  Service here was impeccable too.    Next time, I intend on trialling the Cellar Door.

Beach Cafe, Marine Parade, Broadbeach


Heading home from the Gold Coast, we decided to drop by Labrador for a refuelling Brunch.

Located on Marine Parade, just opposite the water, is this fresh, beachy feel cafe.   With an inside airconditioned area, open at one end, or outside dining area choices, you will find something suitable to you.  Here you order and pay at the counter, before taking the allocated table  number to your area of choice,.


The chocolate thick shake above was most definitely thick, with the consistency  of a cold soft serve ice cream, enabling the straw to stand on its on.   A meal in itself!


Hubby’s choice of the big breakfast, impressed with the large steak and generous portion sizes overall.  I myself chose the omelette.  Soft, tasty and packed with my choices, the omelette was a filling yet not too heavy meal. Service here was friendly, prices reasonable, with drinks and meals arriving without a long delay.  

Enjoying the airconditioned inside area, whilst still able to take in the view across to the sea,  this cafe was a very pleasant place to dine.  You may wish to check this cafe out sometime whilst in the general vincity.   Certainly worth a look.


Marios Italian Restaurant Broadbeach


Seated beneath the decorative grape vines, secured to the roof above, we enjoyed a long, lingering lunch, wiling away the afternoon with good friends.   A wonderful place to sit and watch the world go by, served by waitstaff with an awesome sense of humour and accompanied by very good food and wine.  Aaah bliss 😄.

Located on the side of the Oasus Shopping Centre, along the restaurant strip side, there’s plenty to see here.  People passing by, a busy restaurant strip, yet somehow relaxing when you are seated at your table, just out of reach of the normal comings and goings around you.  


One of the entrees enjoyed was the scallops dish above.  Delightfully soft scallops cooked Italian style, were a definite hit.  


I chose the above stuffed, lightly crumbed mushrooms, as an entree.  A perfect combination of mushroom, cheese and crumbs.   Enjoyable as a nice light start to a meal.

Presentation of meals was certainly very good, as was the freshness of the food included.    Your biggest problem here is probably going to be choosing a seating area.   We had the wonderful balcony area, with a big marquee available in the mall area, as well as the inside dining.


My choice was to enjoy a second entree as opposed to a main.  Given the size of the meals I saw being delivered to other tables, this was a wise choice.


However this seafood plate above was a delicious choice.  Salmon, oysters, prawns and a superbly dressed rocket salad.   The main size version of this was available as well, personally though, I found this to be the perfect size.

No doubt at sometime you will find yourself in the Broadbeach area of the Gold Coast, keep this Italian Restaurant in mind for a relaxing dining experience.  In the meantime, here’s  a taste of the dessert menu, to tempt those tastebuds😄.



Boonah Bowls Club – Sunday Buffet Breakfast

Another gorgeous day dawned in Queensland, with an early start for a car club run out to Boonah.     Morphing from urban into rural, whilst you cruise the roads between, the constant canvas of scenery unfolding around you, leaves you with a wonderful visual experience.

Our destination, the Boonah Bowls Club, to partake of their $13 Sunday Buffet Breakfast. Most definitely worth the drive.   The hardworking individuals at this bowls club, have a wonderfully, fresh, varietal and extremely reasonably priced buffet.

There are three buffet service areas.  Now to say we were impressed with variety, doesn’t really do this set up justice.   Hot & cold buffet including the usual breakfast offerings with the addition of bubble & squeak, lambs fry & bacon, savoury mince, plain or gravy sausages, and the list goes on.  In fact we enjoyed the food so much, one forgot to take photos!

From those working in the kitchen to the staff keeping food fresh, topped up and the wonderful lady on the door and clearing tables, their team work together very well.

All the food was farm fresh, the large fruit salad had been individually cut up by hand, not poured out of a tin and was simply delightful.

Plenty of room around the tables, with a view of the distant hills and pasture, everything here was neat, clean and well set up.    Obviously popular in this area too, with a constant stream of customers through the door.

Should you reside in Brisbane, Ipswich or anywhere in the South East QLD corner, set aside a Sunday to take a drive through to Boonah.   At $13 per head, you would be hard pressed to find a better value breakfast.   Re ver to take cash too, no eftpos here.

  Well done to everyone involved in this venture.   Keep up the great work.👍😄

Mecca Bah, Broadbeach

Just prior to the time we were to head across for dinner, Broadbeach was battered with a most impressive storm. Throughout the latter course of the afternoon, the storm had announced its arrival, somewhat shyly at first, before bursting it’s restraints to pummel the whole area.

Not long after this shot, the storm hit with a vengeance.

Thunder lightening partnered with tropical rain to drench everything in its path. We delayed our trip to the restaurant, ringing through to ask the table to be held until we could brace the elements without becoming fully drenched.

After a brief dash between buildings and cutting through the shopping centres, we made it to the bustling Broadbeach vicinity surrounding Mecca Bah. Slightly wet, with an appetite worked up, we were seated in this Middle Eastern style Restaurant.

Baked Apple Pie. I haven’t yet looked at the menu, yet this was offered by one of our party. Somewhat surprised, I’m thinking I can’t eat pastry, when the Apple pie is ordered…at the start of the meal!

When it arrives, I understand, and I’m hooked!! What an awesome cocktail! Cinnamon and sugar coat the top edge of the glass. Combined with the contents, I’m convinced this is an apple pie. Certainly this is one very tasty cocktail. Another one? Yes, well I should probably check the first one wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t :).


Seafood, chicken kebabs, sides of rice or meals with couscous, there was a good variety.

I chose to go with the beef and couscous, having been recommended by a couple on our table to try one of the couscous meals. The beef was deliciously tender, melting in the mouth. Combining well with the couscous, it was a nice meal. I did find the final gravy bit of the dish became a bit too sweet for my taste near the end, however no problems with the meat. I’m told the other meals were very tasty too.

The Turkish delight dessert was chosen by hubby, and following his recommendation, others on our table also partook of this genuine, sweet, lightly coated, confectionery.

Staff here were attentive and helpful, with Stan overseeing and directing proceedings like a finely tuned movie rehearsal. All the time with that lovely permanent smile never wavering from his face, seemingly oblivious to the hustle and bustle of this popular, busy restaurant.

Prices here are very, very reasonable, certainly not extravagant by any stretch of the imagination.

There are a lot of restaurants to choose from in this area, most were busy on this particular Saturday night. This one, did appear to be bursting at the seams as the night progressed, which was perhaps a good indicator of its popularity. Certainly worth a try if you’re in the Broadbeach area.

If you’re a cocktail buff, be sure to order a Baked Apple Pie!

Mecure Gold Coast Resort

An impromptu stay on the Gold Coast to meet visiting family, resulted in a frantic search for accommodation during the fully booked school holidays.

Broadbeach was where we needed to be, but there was nothing available for a night. Having stayed at the Mecure before , a quick phone call after checking Le Accor’s website, (which said they were fully booked), and we successfully secured a room.

Located near Broadbeach, close to the Carrara Markets, this is a beautiful spot if you’re not after a beach high rise. The short drive into the Mecure takes you through towering palms, with rolling immaculate golf course, either side. Imagine driving down here in a Ferrari with the top down and the wind caressing your hair. This drive, gives you a brief feeling of driving into the grounds of a mansion, maybe in California. Already you are feeling relaxed.

This time round the staff were again fantastic. Valet parking is beyond awesome here, $5.50 for the duration of the stay and the wonderful friendly staff will happily park your vehicle in the undercover car park, retrieving it with a smile, whenever you require it back. Quite refreshing to have such awesome service at a very nominal fee. To be honest, it would be so easy to park your own vehicle, but when you have the opportunity to talk with the wonderful staff, why would you? Much more fun to valet park :).

The resort rooms are nicely equipped, roomy and come with either your own balcony or a little garden. One thing we have noticed here, the rooms are very quiet. This time round we were right next to the hotel entry. A steady stream of vehicles drove through, yet we never heard a sound all night. Nice! Another refreshing change, no mini bar!!! Bring your own fridge supplies, as the room fridge is empty, awesome!!

Off to breakfast at 6.30 when the buffet opened, and we were met with two of these ballon baskets, returning to drop guests off after their pre breakfast flight.

A little hint with breakfast, book when you check in if your booking didn’t include this already, as you will save around $7 per person per day, rather than just turning up for brekky each morning. Hot & cold buffet, plus pastries, this is a very nice buffet.

I’ve checked out the gym area, very nice. Plenty of room, tidy, reasonable equipment. There’s a couple of pools, a nice spa with an extensive menu, a handy on site shop, plus a restaurant and bar area. The restaurant area is currently being renovated. Sure to be nice when it’s finished.

Keep this resort in mind, we have the enjoyed a couple of overnight stays, to be honest though, we would quite happily stay here for a few days. Perhaps sooner rather than later!

Only just over $20 for a cab through to Broadbeach, where you have an amazing array of restaurants, as well as the beach and plenty of shopping.