Ricks Garage-Palmwoods

Within easy reach of Brisbane, Ricks Garage is a great destination for a day trip. Initially your standard local garage and workshop with a couple of pumps, Ricks has evolved since first opening in 1962. By 2014, the Jamieson family, who had purchased in 2002, decided to change direction.

Today, as on most weekend days, the shop frontage was lined with the pride and joy of many bikers, peppered with restored and much loved cars from days gone by.

Everywhere you look, this venue is bursting with memorabilia. Memories line the walls, blending with intriguing, furniture and fittings.

One of the biggest employers in this area, with around 55 employees, Ricks popularity is growing rapidly. And those employees, wow, good work, well done, you were all on the ball and friendly.Upstairs is a whiskey bar, no kids here, if you’re under 18 you cannot climb the stairs. But, for those whiskey lovers over 18, this place is heaven on earth.

Oh and for those who only stay downstairs, there’s one toilet for guys and one for the ladies. But, head up the internal stairs and there are some newer facilities for both. Another reason why you need to go up for a look around.

Check out the menu. Hearty food which arrives in an incredibly short time. Hubby today decided he was hungry, so Ricks Famous Big One was the choice.1.1kg of pure burger infused serendipity. Double everything. Yes everything.

There are no changes, so dont request to remove or change the ingredients. This burger is an intricate work of art.

A warning too with the thick shakes, they are multiple desserts, in one vessel. If you’re the driver, ok treat yourself because you cannot indulge in the enticing array of whiskey and alcoholic beverages. But, be warned, these thick shakes are not for the faint hearted!.. .For the alcohol indulged, Sunday afternoon, you can have these blended jugs, that’s why its called Spritz Sunday. A lot bigger than it looks, as the wine glasses supplied are big ones. Trust me, they are!

Stop by and check out Ricks. There’s many options and much to see. Well worth the drive from Brisbane. Or, closer if you’re on the Sunshine Coast.

This hinterland township, also houses some interesting businesses. From crafts to food, something for all. Next time, we will be checking out the sausage roll shop next door. Now that sounds intriguing! Watch this space..,,

French & Mor, Albany Creek

Tucked at the end of a group of shops, in a quiet area of surburbia, is a surprisingly cool French inspired cafe.Book high tea in advance, take your own bubbles, for a mere $2 cover charge, then relax whilst the wonderful friendly staff cater to your every need.Crockery was embossed with an interesting design, complementing the chunky wooden table. Even sugar had transformed as cute cubes with silver tongs. The little details do make a difference, with effort made here to include attention to detail.At $41 per head, this high tea was definitely very good value. Great idea for a birthday gift too!

Once seated, peruse the drinks menu to decide on your beverage choice. The coffee drinker can choose two coffees, not delivered at the same time, whilst tea lovers have an interesting selection of teas to choose from.Should you require an additional coffee or tea, this is only an extra $2. Very reasonable.

French flavour oozes from the menu, from baguette to delightfully intricate petite fours and sweets.For those who have allergies, which may be affected by the ingredients, French & Mor makes sure you do not feel left out. Indulge in your very own two tiered high tea, designed to ensure you are served only what is safe for you to eat.

The selection is quite impressive, and this is the two tier designed just for one person!

First up, some beautifully fresh bread chicken, tomato and cucumber sandwiches, which literally melted in the mouth. Pausing to savour the mini sandwiches, it was then time to indulge in the beef baguette, again wonderfully fresh, pairing well with the horseradish creme, which had a hint of mustard seeping through. Nothing overpowering, but some fantastic separate flavours there to enjoy.

Grissini and charcoal wafer thin crackers followed, dipped in tasty beetroot hummus.

Already you discover you’ve beaten the hunger pains. These tasty morsels are actually a lot more filling than they appear!

Those petit fours were to follow, with the selection of desserts the last remaining items to be consumed.Dainty French macaron which literally dissolved perfectly in your mouth was the first dessert on the plate. A myriad of flavours followed with raspberry purée and peppermint pana cotta. Both strong dominating flavours, bringing an end to this most enjoyable high tea.

Keep this one up your sleeve for somewhere as a surprise gift or just to be that little bit special. There is a normal cafe menu to if you would like to check it out first. Just remember to contact the friendly, helpful staff and organise your high tea in advance.

Dine Live Travel now provides a service to organise many types of functions, surprises or anything you require assistance to plan. Our network is vast and we are not affiliated to any other business. All your quotes will be fair and equitable. Contact via email dinelivetravel@yahoo.com.au or message our our many platforms including Instagram, Pinterest and facebook. Looking forward to assisting you!

Sunday’s Cafe Rocklea

Directly across the road from the Rocklea train Station, you will find Sunday’s Cafe. Clean, sharp and fresh looking, the cafe sports a large covered area outside, on two sides of the building. Heavy wooden tables and long wooden seats, invite you to stay a while. Bring your furry friend too, they are most welcome.Inside, a couple of small tables sit in front of a cleverly painted mural, framing the kitchen area, yet giving you a peaceful desert feel.

Quite a popular cafe, on this particular day, and I was informed it usually is busy on weekends, most trade coming from the local markets, yet surprisingly, not really anything from the train station.

Sorry commuters but you are seriously missing out here. Perhaps we should all take sometime to actually see what surrounds us.

Menu covers pretty much any taste. Short, simple and catering to your required choice.

Smoothies, coffees, plenty to choose from here.

Staff were friendly, helpful. Could not do enough in that regard, including asking if the dog needed a water bowl. Nice touch.

Service of food was quite adequate, we were there to chill and catch up so enjoyed the no rush, jam it down approach. If you’re expecting something nice you cannot expect that to arrive instantaneously.

Totally recommending this dish. Vege salad can be hard to balance and still be appetising, especially when its cold, but this dish, was seriously delicious. The turmeric paste mixed so well with the Vegetables. Not hot or over the top, just a really nice mix.

Add to your big breakfast with this seriously incredible pulled lamb. Tasted totally devine. I was lucky to try a small morsel.

Or, check out the mushrooms.

Topped with a poached egg, again lovely presentation, another delightful dish. Also, Im told, somewhat tasty.

This cafe has a few siblings. Check them out if they are in your area. Definitely worth a look,

And to those train commuters, stop and look around, you really are missing out.

Check Dine Live Travel on Faceboo, instagram, Pinterest, and twitter for more on this venue.

Novotel Brisbane South Bank

Spaciousness combined with modern, inviting surrounds, greet you in the bar/restaurant area of Novotel Brisbane South Bank.

Refreshing to see such a large area devoted to comfortable lounge style seating in front of the bar. Add to this the bar stools, and you know you’ve found the ideal space to enjoy a coffee, pre dinner drinks or just wile away some time.

Friendly staff help to make this home away from home experience even more enjoyable.Unfortunately on this occasion, we did not have the luxury of staying, this was merely a visit for a business function. Very lucky though to be given a tour of this fabulously fresh and new hotel.

Given the standard of the food we did try, combined with the atmosphere, delightful staff and overall feel of this venue, Dine Live Travel will be back.

A lot of thought went into the design and decoration of this new hotel. Only opened in May of this year, this particular Novotel has been based on a European design which embraces the local area. Here, the outside comes in.Given the handy location to South Bank and all amenities in this area, how cool to see rooms with the bed head area dominated by these incredibly real depictions of the local area!

Immerse yourself in the city of Brisbane, drifting off to sleep under the very real feeling, canopy of the South Bank Arbour. Or, perhaps your room will feature the Channel 7 Wheel of Brisbane.

What a nice surprise when you open the room door to see what delightful artwork is waiting to make you feel a part of this vibrant city. Looking forward to hearing what you think!

From standard hotel rooms to suites with their own lounge, there is plenty on offer for you to to overnight or take a well needed staycation. Some rooms face over the spacious greenery that is Musgrave Park, others towards Southbank and the city. Maybe you will be able to clearly see the real Wheel of Brisbane from your room.

Suites feature an inviting deep bath. Immerse yourself here, with bubbles and champers. Oh yes, can you feel it??

The on site restaurant Spice Central, gives you some pleasant dining options. Here you can choose table dining, or, perhaps you would like to interact with kitchen staff. In this case, choose the bar stools located around the open air kitchen. What a great way to become a part of your meal production process, without the work or the dishes!Highly suggest you pay this venue a visit. It really does tick those boxes. And for those looking to enjoy the many events on offer either at South Bank or in the city, then this location, will definitely suit your needs. Give it a test run, we are going back. Might see you there!

Check this link for more Brisbane information https://snaptravelblog.com/best-place-photograph-story-bridge/

Outback Steakhouse – Aspley

With a refreshingly different style of menu presentation, the Outback Steakhouse provided us with a very pleasant venue for a Fathers Day treat. Once you realise the markings throughout the menu are actually part of it and not the scribbling from a previous patron, you will be somewhat amused!

Staff here will introduce themselves before tending to your table. Overall service was fine, and suited the location. Bar staff deliver the drinks whenever ordered and your wait staff often arrive out with trays to deliver your main meals.

Even when you are the driver for the day, the non alcoholic Mocktails are quite tasty. Yum to this thirst quenching Cherry Limeade!

There’s always a popular favourite entree, here, its the blooming onions. Onion pieces, encrusted in the Outback Steakhouses special recipe, these golden delights are handcrafted for your pleasure. No double dipping now….

This is quite filling, plus those blooming onions, really are quite moreish, you just cant help picking away. Well, I guess its not an everyday thing so once off is ok.

Steak meals abounded at our table, I mean, after all, this is a Steakhouse. This steak was quite eye catching, it really looked like a little loveheart. Rather cute.

Of course Dad is going to want the all in, ribs and steak, no surprises there!Too big a meal for me but hubby loved it and ate every tantalising morsel.

On this occasion I opted for the steak salad. Very happy to see a really good serving of steak covering the salad. Not only that, the steak was quite tender. An enjoyable dish, not too filling, not too light, and, yes you’re right, there were more blooming onions throughout the salad! Too easy to get addicted too!

Now Ive saved this photo for last, if you’re a burger lover, I think you are going to like this.Check out out this packed bun, bursting at the seams. A little note here too, those side salads. Not only pleasing to the eye but very appetising. They side salads exceeded expectation, a lot more than just lettuce mix.

Usually I’d finish with delectable dessert, but on this occasion, we were just too full. Ooops, but I guess you have to knock back on the calorie intake somewhere!

Outback has a number of locations, plus they offer pickup or delivery takeaway meals too. Drop in, its a nice experience. Let me know your thoughts.

Corner Store Cafe – Toowong, Brisbane

Open the gate, come on in. Welcome to the Corner Store Cafe!

Always enjoy seeing the fresh garden produce available to chefs. Not all venues have the room, however as our city rapidly expands. Refreshing plots of fresh produce at your choice of cafe or restaurant, gives you that relaxing vibe. It really does just wash over you in one of those aaah moments!

Sharp eyes will have noted this venue is cycle friendly. There’s rack room out the front of the gates under the beautiful umbrella shaped tree, and, on a Sunday, plenty of parking in the streets around. Or, a private little table where you and your bike can enjoy an awesome coffee or top up your energy levels with food.

Note the subtle green blanket on the chair back. not something you see often in Brisbane, however a nice touch for those chilly, pre stunning day, winter mornings.

Somewhat out of the box, but today my choice was this superbly creamy apple & cinnamon porridge, topped with tasty berries, strawberry compote and a most delicious, macadamia crumble. Presentation was superb, I mean, end of the day, this is porridge right?? But, to make a porridge look and taste this appetising, takes some talent.

Should you have a preference for greens, why not try the green bowl. Add a side of salmon if that is to your taste. Again, presentation superb!

I must mention the staff. Not only were they were smartly dressed, all were friendly and happy to oblige. Finished dishes were cleared in reasonable speed and no request was a problem.Perhaps your preference is chorizo. This chorizo and potato hash was a delightful dance on the tastebuds. If you are a chorizo fan, give it a try. Most likely something you will not only enjoy, but savour.

Last, but not least, sweet potato waffles paired with a curried savoury mince, and an added side of delicious bacon. Superb pop of added colour with the beetroot!

Coffee, I’m told was superb. I can definitely confirm the Sri Lankan, honeydew green was a very nice tea choice.

Drop by here, they are well worth the visit. Should you feel the need the need to dispose of the breakfast calories, there are tennis courts across the road! Or just bring your bike.

Snapshot on Nelson – NZ South Island

In Queensland, you do not have the pleasure of going out for breakfast with a view of snow capped mountains peaking over the shopping centre roof. With beautiful days, I enjoyed this short break to the Tasman area, top of the South Island.

A short 1.5 hour flight from Auckland, the area has so much to offer and well worth the visit. Nelson sprawls across a huge area at the top of the Island, hugged closely by mountains and sea. From here you can easily access New Zealand’s rugged West Coast or the inviting Marlborough region.

My first night arriving, was a quick pickup at the airport, before being whisked off for dinner at Harbour Light Bistro. Overlooking the sea, this beautiful old home has been transformed into a restaurant on Wakefield Quay. Here you can sit near the enveloping picture framing windows and watch the harbour activity.

Staff were friendly and we were seated upstairs, not near the windows on this occasion, however you could still see the scenery framed beautifully through the expansive windows.

This homemade bread entree was a great way to start the meal, whilst nibbling away and catching up. I chose the incredibly soft, flavoursome beef fillet with roasted carrots as my main. For this weary traveller, the meal was a massive hit. Also pictured is the lamb rack, which I did consider, and Im told was most enjoyable. You need to follow a meal like this with a delectable dessert. Plus one for a special occasion, hence the choice of an enticing Creme Brûlée with turmeric and citrus salad.

Quite happy with the dessert choice. It was devine!

Be warned, food in New Zealand is an experience in itself. Fresh, with tastes most likely stronger than what you are used to, this omelette at Columbus Coffee, Richmond, provided an awesome kickstart to the day. Packed full of fresh produce, the colours lit up the table. This is also the venue providing the snow capped backdrop from earlier.

After brekky, it was off to check out the markets. Nelson city has markets which have operated for years. There’s a lot to choose from, even clothing made from possum fur.

How beautifully warm and snuggly this looked, now if I didnt come from Queensland…

When you’re on a short break, why cook? Well, on this particular trip, we were booked into one of Nelsons best restaurants, The Tides, located at the Trailways. For some this was a surprise, me, I was along for the ride, and to enjoy the look of surprise!

Bar staff were above and beyond, in fact I had a couple of wonderful conversations with the bar staff here, which was much appreciated.

Food, yes that was definitely good. Our set menu gave many choices, quite impressive given most venues with a set menu have only 2-3 mains. This one, 6 mains to choose from. Well done. I for one am tiring of the alternate drops and limited menus when you have a large group and loved this venue for many reasons, but this one was a definite plus.

Colourful bread selection started the meal, followed by mains and dessert. My choice for mains, was the salmon.

Fabulously soft, the salmon was one of the most flavoursome dishes I have enjoyed recently. Now for dessert! Again, an impressive four choices. Where are these menus when we have functions? Moving on, I chose the Salted Carmel Cheesecake. This would be the best cheesecake I have ever tasted. Soft, more akin to a mousse than a cheesecake, this was a delightful dessert to finish the meal.

Highly recommend a visit to The Tides if you are in Nelson. Their expansive restaurant caters for everything. Even impressed by the bathrooms with separate clean washrooms.

For this visit, I was lucky to be staying on a local farm. Relaxing scenery all round. Even the night sky was mesmerising, with a moon clearer and enticing, peeking through the cloud.Consider Nelson when travelling to NZ, this area has a lot to offer. There are many areas to choose from within the Tasman region, and the next blog, will cover Mapua. In the meantime, Ill leave you with another delectable meal from Columbus Coffee. Enjoy your visit to Nelson!

The Square Restaurant- Novotel Auckland Airport

Sometimes transit times can be dull. But, should you be on flights which transit through Auckland, then take some time to dine or stay, at Novotel Auckland Airport. The Square Restaurant will not disappoint. Here there are comfy booths or stand alone dining settings, all situated under the massively high ceiling with a living wall sprouting from the bar..Delightful melt in the mouth fish made for a fantastically filling, yet light on the stomach meal, for this late evening traveller.

Room service is 24 hours, if you are looking for some peace and quiet. Or stop on in the restaurant, the friendly, professional staff will do all they can to make your meal enjoyable.Mind you the view from your room at night might be quite enticing!

Lunch was also an enjoyable meal, again with fantastic staff.

I really enjoyed this Calamari. Tender enough to chew, with a crispy exterior.

However, check out the brilliant colour on this NZ salmon bagel! The eye catching pop of colour gave a hint of how tasty this fish was.

Or, continuing on the fish theme, how about a hearty fish and chop meal? Impressively large this lunch was another tasty dish.Even the children’s meals are enticing..On a couple of occasions now we have stopped by this restaurant. Never yet have been disappointed. Stop by, the staff will look after you!

Blockhouse Coffee & Eats

Tucked away in the Northside suburb of Nundah is a really cool collection of specialty shops, which include the sleek, clean, Blockhouse Bar.Seating is a mix of tables, bar stools, indoor & outdoor settings, there’s plenty to choose from here. We dropped by early in the week for a brunch and were not disappointed.

If you’re seated inside, the big floor to ceilings windows add a feeling of spaciousness, beautifully blending the line between indoors and out.

The menu choice on this particular day was the Mothers Day brunch menu, which boasted some very interesting, mouthwatering meals.

We took our time to choose, after all, it’s not easy when the selection is so inviting, and different to the normal brekky / brunch choices.

Eventually though, after careful consideration, whilst sipping on refreshing wine and mimosa, the choice was made. I chose the gnocchi.

Certainly not disappointing, in any way, shape or form. This dish was simply delicious. Soft, melt in the mouth gnocchi, blended fabulously with the goat cheese, pumpkin and all ingredients. Not only a filling dish, this one was very tasty. Overall, very happy with my choice!

The other dish chosen today was an interesting chilli scrambled egg. The chilli was not overpowering, and the maple bacon, simply delicious! Oh yes I did have just a little taste, luckily!

As I mentioned there’s plenty of seating choices and we enjoyed the outdoor view, wiling away some time, watching the world pass by.

Stop by, spend some time and browse the interesting specialty shops, before you indulge in a bite to eat or refreshing beverage.

Keep this one in mind, it’s certainly worth a visit!

Cryptic Artt -Rice Cooking Event

We enjoy going anywhere and experiencing what life has to offer. Hence, upon receiving an invitation to attend a rice cooking event, to aid a good friend with their art project, we were happy to accept. I will note here too, we weren’t invited for me to take photos or write, this was simply something I chose to do as the photo opportunities presented on this day were, I felt, really cool, and different.

The idea behind the event, was to complete a uni project studying “relationship”, “human interaction” and the idea of “sharing within a multicultural environment”.

After rounding up a number of friends and their families, Jodesa from Cryptic Artt, had everything set up with cooking equipment and food preparation, ready to go.Watching the process, participating as well as interaction, really was a lot of fun. The rice dishes included some delicious recipes from China, Korea, Carribean, and the Philippines.

Those couple of hours spent, chatting, tasting new dishes and ingredients, plus learning new processes, really was quite enjoyable and I would be interested to see the results of this event.

Everyone was more than happy to offer information on the types of food and ingredients. Me, well I came away that day with a bit more knowledge than I had prior to the event. That to me, makes it worthwhile. Learning new things not only expands the mind, you open doors to other things you may have never considered before.This Korean rice dish above, sported a symphony of colours and textures, added to which it was superb! What was the key behaviour everyone took away from this? I believe it would be the completely relaxed, non judgemental and friendly attitude of everyone involved, no matter what background or culture. A reminder that you do not have to step too far from your comfort zone to be surprised by what is out there.

For something quite different, and being a person who believes artists should be supported in their endeavours, not only was this a pleasant afternoon, but to have the pleasure of tasting and devouring the end results- unbeatable!

Check out @cryptic_artt on instagram, Jodesa’s ideas are offer an interesting look at how she views the world. Love how everyone’s mind has that different perspective!