Bribe Island – South East Queensland

Brisbane winter weather can be absolutely stunning.  Beautiful clear warm days without the summer humidity, lend themselves to exploring the great outdoors.

On this particular recent winter day, a visit to this interesting piece of beauty, seeped in history, was a most enjoyable experience. Here you could feel the light breeze, soak up the stunning scenery and explore the different areas dotted across the island. Since 1963, when the bridge was built to connect Bribie with the mainland, accessing the island became an easy drive for Brisbane and surrounding area residents.

We found a meandering little walkway. siting between some lucky residences and a bird sanctuary.   A couple of hides had been built along the way to enable you to spend sometime viewing the different bird species as they mingled near the waters edge.

At the end of the track lies a waterway giving local residents access to the bay.  Sun rays danced across the glistening blue water,, highlighting the moving reflections stretched across the mirroring water.

Explore the different areas across the island, there is plenty to see and do.  A number of  cafes and other venues, leave you plenty of choice to enjoy a relaxing bite to eat.

On this occasion, we stopped by the Blue Anchorage, situated near the jetty, for a pleasant lunch.

With a choice of inside, outside dining and table service, the venue was a lovely place to wile away some time,

Enjoy your visit to Bribie Island, its an easy drive from Brisbane.  In fact from Northside you will do this in well under an hour.  Always nice to visit on on a weekday as weekends can be busy out here, with everyone trying to enjoy a slice of heaven on earth.

Carseldine Roadhouse

An impromptu visit to the Carseldine Roadhouse recently, was in no way disappointing.  Part of the Caltex complex on Gympie Road, the final Brisbane service station stop on the main road out of the city heading north, 

Enjoy the Roadhouse restaurant atmosphere here, whilst you maintain expectancy to indulge in a good hearty meal.


Dropping in for breakfast, the simple all day menu still gave enough choice for us both to enjoy a meal.  Staff were friendly and efficient, with not too much of a wait before meals were delivered to the solid wooden table.  

Bursting with flavour, the Italian omelette was my choice today.  Certainly a bigger meal than expected and not one that would leave you hungry afterwards.   


Hubby’s choice was the Grill breakfast with an added extra or two.  The only problem he had was making his way to the end! 

All food was fresh and nicely cooked, without being overdone or tough.   It was a pleasant start to the day,  partaking of the good quality food at the Roadhouse.

Open 7 days with other meal choices available, and some specials available, stop in before you leave Brisbane, or just drop by if you’re in the area looking for a reasonably priced hearty meal.  We were told Thursdays have good specials ūüĎć.  We will have to check that out sometime.


And those large cups on the menu are exactly what they say!

Lakeview and Mandys on the Mountain Restaurants, Mecure Clear Mountain

Beautifully located on the side of Clear Mountain, with incredible vistas to the side and front, you will find the Mecure Clear Mountain Resort.   Two restaurants are onsite.  One being the general Lakeview restaurant boasting a wide wrap around verandah area giving you a choice of indoor or outdoor dining.

The second is the adults only dinner restaurant Mandy’s on the Moutain.  Menus are similar and simplistic, in a good way.  We enjoyed a lunch at Lakeview on a balmy weekend day, followed by an intimate dinner at Mandy’s, with a backdrop of wine, and nightcaps on the balcony overlooking the evertwinkling Brisbane & surounds lights.

This soft shell tempura crab lunch special, was incredibly soft, with the light tempura giving some crispness to the dish.  Presentation was superb.

Pairing well with the stuffed jalape√Īo dish and delightful platter, lunch was most enjoyable.


With lunch definitely not disappointing, we were left wondering what delights would be in store for this evenings meal at Mandy’s..  

We had a lovely conversation with new restaurant managerduring lunch.  Interesting  to see new staff learning the ropes.  Certainly no complaints from us regarding staff, everyone we came across was friendly and helpful.

Natural oysters displayed on a bed of salt with crisp lime slices,  provided that wonderful raw seafood flavour to the tastebuds.  They were also a perfect starter to our dinner at Mandy’s on the Mountain.Crispy duck was my dinner choice.  Never have I eaten such a delectably soft duck.  With a crunch on the outside, the inside meat simply fell apart and melted in the mouth.Hubby declared his bangers and mash to be superb.  Apparently a very enjoyable dish.Why not finish with a dessert?  This tiramisu with pistachio ice cream, finished off hubby’s meal with that taste of sweet, but not too sweet.  Again service here was superb.

There is no doubt we will be going back to either of these restaurants. To combine this wonderful food, with the atmosphere, views and service, why would we not return!  Look forward to our next visit.

Dragonfly Restaurant – Eden Gardens Carseldine

Situated on the busy corner intersection connecting Beams & Gympie Roads, lies the Eden Gardens. Browse the gardening, landscape and homewares or treat yourself to meal or drink break at the Dragonfly Restaurant.

Local wildlife enjoy the comfortable safe environment, which adds to your relaxing entertainment for the duration of your stay.

Today’s choice for lunch was two of the delectably described salads.   Once you have selected your meals and or drinks, head up to the counter for pay & order.     

The first meal delivered by a very pleasant staff member, was the Avocado Caesar which not only looked superb, but I’m told was most enjoyable.Choosing the Pork Belly salad I was not disappointed.  Juicy pork belly, married beautifully with the soft, slippery noodles and combination salad.   


A very enjoyable meal, nice fresh food and beautiful setting.  Certainly a lovely place to enjoy lunch.

With an intriguing selection of cakes and desserts as well as cold drinks and coffees, you are likely to find something nice here to treat yourself.   Enjoy!

Mecure Clear Mountain Lodge 

Sometimes you need to relax, chillout, have some down time,  What better place than the stunning setting at Mecure Clear Mountain Lodge.   From the time you arrive to the time you reluctantly leave, this location embraces your being with a feeling of peace.  

Stunning vistas unfold in every direction.  The ceremony area frames a picturesque background, who wouldn’t want to tie the knot here.   To have such an incredible venue on the outskirts of Brisbane’s Northside, is a massive bonus in itself.  Couple this with the friendly, helpful staff and food to a high inner city quality, and you have an awesome combination.

Your own balcony, should you choose to take advantage of the onsite accomodations will most likely provide you with a very restful area to spend some time whilst watching the city of Brisbane and surrounds, going about their business.   Planes landing, taking off, cruise ships disappearing into the distance, and a city just doing what a city does.

Pastel hues gave way to the twinkling Brisbane lights as night fell on the area.  Sit back, relax and enjoy.  Maybe from your balcony, maybe from one of the restaurants on site.  Wth a choice of the spacious Lakeview or the more intimate adults only, Mandy’s on the Mountain, you are sure to find something to suit your taste.   To do these restaurants justice, a separate review will follow.  Keep an eye out for it.

On site gardens supply the chefs with fresh produce in the creation of their meals.  Even a small vineyard, supplies grapes which find their way from vineyard to plate.

To give you a taste of what is yet to come, lets tantiilise your tastebuds with this platter for two. Superb!After eating your and drinking your fill, take the time to linger on the deck with a nightcap and drink in the twinkling atmosphere laid out before you.  Eventually you will have to tear yourself away to head back to your  comfortable room, or home, whichever the case may be.  Should you be lucky enough to have decided to stay, see if you can rise in time to watch the sun dawn on a new day.   Our hope is that upon reading this review, you will check this venue out.  Perhaps a wedding venue is what you are after, maybe just somewhere for a relaxing meal, or perhaps you will visit here to enjoy the onsite spa facilities.   Whatever the reason, enjoy your visit.  Remember to take time to relax, its a feeling oozing around you here, which just shouldn’t be resisted.   If you take time to enjoy a restaurant balcony meal, watch out for the local bird life, they enjoy a meat treat, and may feel the need to remove their own meat from your plate if you linger in feeding them!  

One last word in closing, Relax!

Westfield Chermside 

Today and over the weekend, celebrations which commenced yesterday will continue @westdieldchermside.  All in aid of the grand opening for the new incredible spaces Westfield Chermside now has to offer.  


Be sure to check out the huge selection of restaurants and shops now available. Whilst there, drop into the champagne pop up bar to refresh yourself before you taking advantage of these fantastic end of financial year sales.

Everywhere eye catching lights, reflections, and something new around every corner will take your attention.

The new area boasts green space complimented by an amazing array of new shops.  Take some time to visit and check out the selection.   Here you will definitely get in your 10 000 steps for the day!

Kallangur Twilight Markets

Markets pop up in many locations.  The Twilight Markets are held in Kallangur Tavern carpark on Saturdays over winter, starting mid afternoon to about 8pm.

Good thinking on someone’s part as winter days can generally have more predictable pleasant weather in South East Queensland, than the summer months.

A good variety of stalls, majority with reasonable pricing, and not too many to become confusing.   Free entry, now that is something I feel is a necessity for markets, most people are looking for a bargain so charging them to enter can be detrimental to the cause.  One general spends more when entry is free, and less when you have to pay to enter.

A happy train driver was operating his wheeled train around the edge of the Markets,  During our time at the markets, there seemed to be a number of smaller patrons with adults in tow, entjoying a ride.

Bric-à-brac, fresh Fruit market and a very good variety of food stalls were among the good selection of stalls on offer.

These candles in martini and champagne glasses were displayed in one of the eyecatching stalls. Very clever work on someone’s part.

Continuing with that cocktail feel, this intriguing stall was full of donuts with injectable flavourings.   As explained by the stall holder donuts become soggy when filling is left inside.  By leaving the filling in a plastic syringe to inject when you are ready to consume this delectable treat, the soggy factor is taken out of the equation.


Over the winter months, if you’re looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon, or feel like calamari, Japanese, or perhaps an indulgentdeep fried mars bar or donut, then stop by the markets to check them out.  Enjoy your choice of meal to accompaniment of  some background live music,  Pleasant in itself as not being too over powering.   A number of tables were in front of the music, however seating appeared to be few and far between.  Perhaps take your own chair if you’d like to stay a while.

The Crofthouse Town Kitchen & Bar

Situated on the ground floor of the Sebel Brisbane, the Crofthouse is a result of a restaurant makeover around a year ago.   With a choice of indooor and outdoor dining, as welll as a mix of dining suite styles, you will are sure to find something to suit your tastes and wile away some time.


The Crofthouse  opens from early to late, catering for all daily meals as well as bar, snack and chacutierie menus.   

Lunches are $16, with a choice of two types.   Choose a protein meal and match to the interesting mix of salads at the bar, or choose an a la carte meal.    Today we both chose an a la carte option.

Mine was the Mushroom Risotto which had a some juicy mushroom pieces scattered throughout.   A nice mild meal, which suited me perfectly.  No spices, just herbs and goats cheeese making for a very enjoyable lunch.


Hubby chose the Flathead meal today.  Accompanied by chunky chips, I’m told the meal was tasty and enjoyable. As far as $16 meals both of these represented very good value for their cost.  Keep in mind too, if you are an Accor plus member, this restaurant accepts the accorplus card giving you discounts on your meals.


Wile away some time here, you may even find free entertainment outside the window.   We were lucky enough to be treated to a reverse parking display which took close to ten minutes from beginning to end, quite entertaining!

Should you feel the need to stay in the city, the Sebel has apartments and rooms available.   

Check the menus here as you pass by, there might be something which will catch your attention and provide you with the opportunity to stop off and relax.

Catalina Bar & Restaurant, Novotel Brisbane Airport

Having been a few times to breakfast, I finally had the opportunity to visit this lovely venue for lunch recently..

The floor to ceiling windows accentuate the high ceiling above, giving you wonderful views over the beautifully maintained lawn outside.   

Pre lunch drinks arrived while we perused the menu.  This delightfully refreshing bubbles with citrus  added was superb!

The menu here has some tantalising lunch specials as well as full restaurant menu.  My choice today was to be the Ceaser Salad with added smoked salmon.

A filling lunch, with just the right amount of dressing mixed through the dish.  Crunchy croutons and crispy bacon mixed well with the softer salmon.  Egg presentation was certainly unexpected, adding to the initial visual appeal and colour.

This dish though completely stole the limelight with its gorgeous presentation.  Peppered seared yellow fin tuna nicoise, layered over potato, green beans, olives, tomatoes and a cute wee quail egg. Not only a delightfully visual dish, but I’m told also extremely tasty.

Service here never disappoints and this particular day was to be no exception.  Added bonus for me is the acceptance of the Accor Plus card which gives 50% off a meal for two.  Also the fact that lunch starts at eleven, was appealing on this occasion, fitting in well with other appointments.

Located √°t the DfO complex, this would be a wonderful place to take a break in your shopping or end your exhaustive shopping day with a bit of luxury.!

Smoked Paprika

Located on the busy Macgregor Terrace in Bardon, one of Brisbane’s, inner Northen Suburbs, the airy and bright Smoked Paorika Cafe was this weekends breakfast choice.

An intriguing all day breakfast menu, detailing some interesting sounding choices, which, make the final choice of meal all that more difficult.Friendly staff brought chilled water and glasses to the table taking an upfront drinks order, then leaving us to peruse the menu.Loose leaf tea on the menu here, which makes a nice change from teabags.   However the hot chocolate above is certainly an eye catching drink.  Wonderful chocolatey blissfulness, topped with cream and marshmallows, this hot drink was akin to sneaking in a dessert before your meal!

Simple surroundings, with a nice touch of hessian sacking and neatly written appealing blackboards adding to the friendly simple ambiance. 

With the appealing presentation of the hot chocolate raising the bar, one was left wondering what delights were to follow with the meals,  could they match or exceed the bar?   Suffice to say, we were not disappointed in any way.Omelettes come in a number of forms, this particular spinach, goat cheese & mushroom filled Omelette was divine, especially with the tantalising mix of macadamia pesto combined in the dish.  Blistered cherry tomatoes were an added extra of my choice.  

Two of the other meals at our table, included a special of zucchini fritter with an enticing beetroot lending not only a generous dash of colour and fragrance to the dish, but also providing a pleasant accompaniment to the meal.

Chorizo spiralled over the delicious ratatouille dish above.  Presentation topped off with smoked paprika drizzled around the plate, as in the other dishes.  A nice touch given the cafes name.

Now this mammoth looking meal was Hubby’s breakfast choice. A superb melt in the mouth slow cooked brisket, served with crispy Haloumi chips, and his additional choice of lamb sausage and chorizo.  

Dessert choice today, soft Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes, drizzled with maple syrup, hiding delightfully velevty caramelised banana, finished with honey macadamia mascarpone, and finally, dotted with mixed berries.  A truely heavenly dish.

With the menu choices being so enticing, we will return to taste more of the delights on offer. Drop by and check this cafe out.  I would highly recommend you do so!