In Memory of The Buffet

We live in changing times, this year more so than usual. 2020 began as a year of hope, yet many hopes were dashed within a short couple of months.

In those few short months life changed, not just for one person, for everyone. The freedom to holiday and eat where we wanted was dashed, along with many other things we took for granted in life. Many have had their lives change suddenly for better, or for worse. Some are finding it hard, others are doing well, but, one thing we may not see again in the foreseeable future? The buffet.

Remember that time you went to a venue, the food is laid out, and you chose as little or as much as you wanted from what is usually a big, enticing variety. Sorry everyone, but it looks like the buffet as we know it, is gone forever.

Or when you chose from variety of canapés on a platter? Maybe walked up and down the rows of hot and cold food offerings? Keep those memories close, it may not happen again, or if it does it won’t be for a long time.

We can now dine in house with a few others, numbers dependent on your location. But, the buffet is not allowed. A la carte only.

Simply you choose and eat your meal only. No random unlimited choices. No wastage for the items you chose and decided not to eat. It used to be individual choice, with buffets very popular, particularly for some hotel meals. Easy to maintain, easier on staff, but not now.

Where ever you are in our world, support your local entities and businesses. These ones have strived long and hard to come up with solutions to ensure their business survives and the local community is sustained during these unprecedented times.

Life might not be a buffet anymore, your choices maybe limited, but, if you were to be completely honest, is that a bad thing? Maybe not.

Stay safe everyone, keep well and keep those options open. Try not to burn bridges, remember everyone and every place is in your life for a reason. Take care and stay strong 💪

Sofitel Brisbane Central & Queensland Ballet Mothers Day Performance

Sofitel Brisbane Central hosted High Tea with a performance by Queensland Ballet pe professionals for Mothers Day 2018. I was one of the lucky mothers to be treated to this experience.

High tea was superb with a mouth watering selection of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries. Table were set to impressively high standards, with crisp white linen and every little detail covered.

In the background beautiful music gently flowed across the tables of families spoiling their mums, daugthers and sons treating treating their mothers, as well as groups of friends.

The premium package gave us stage side seating with free flowing French Champagne. Ooh La lah!! Clever lighting added to the ambiance of the entire ballroom, with wonderful lavender hues flooding across the tables.

Even the lights above looked superb!. We were treated to a most spectacular performance from Queensland Ballet pre professional students.

Raw emotion was etched on the faces of these superb dancers as their fluid movements told a nurturing story, ending with true love.

The strength, agility and impressive expression of these highly talent dancers, drew you into feeling the emotion behind the performance. Choreography, direction and execution of this heart wrenching story was simply superb.To experience this, whilst sipping on French champagne and indulging in a painstakingly put together high tea was quite special. The high tea included a sense a humour from the chef…

We were also treated to a short heartwarming speech from the very special Li Cunxin. Author of the autobiography, depicting his life as he fought to rise from poverty. Number six of seven brothers, Li started from humble beginnings to progress and become a hugely talented director. To be a mere few metres from such a respected being, was humbling, to say the least.

There was a Q & A with the director and choreographer of todays performance. To be honest I think the audience was awestruck with the day and unable to ask questions, however the host had questions which were answered by Queensland Ballet. Wonderful to hear the young dancers explain that to reach their level takes hard work and commitment. Traits which humanity loses on occasions. And to the direction and choreographer, the emotion you put into this performance was incredible. For these students to portray this emotionally drawn performance was a huge credit to their respect of you, to say the very least,

Thank you to all involved in hosting this day, the hard work and effort was appreciated by all. Look forward to seeing these pre-professionals as they make their mark in ballet history.

And for the Sofitel, never do you disappoint. Drop by sometime, and enjoy the friendly ‘bonjour’ ! Merci !

Prive’249 – Degustation Menu

Tucked behind the Thyme2 Restaurant in the Sofitel Brisbane, is another fabulous restaurant. Quite the hidden little secret for fine dining.

Find the name of Prive’249 inscribed on the floor with light, and you are heading in the right direction. Once through the doors, you immediately notice the hush, particularly after the clatter of plates, cutlery and crescendo of voices you have just walked past. This is a gorgeous, evening, fine dining setting.

The rectangular glass encased, carpeted room, is lit with subdued lighting and candlelight which complement the coloured lights of Central Brisbane, clearly visible through the oversized city facing windows.

Upon entry you are greeted before being seated at your allocated table. On this occasion, we were next to the window facing the city, overseen by the clock tower, which rose above the roof tops around us.

The glint of gold and silver cutlery hints at the gastronomic delights ahead. Tonight we chose the $115 6 course degustation menu. After enjoying the complimentary chefs gift which was a delightful salmon dish, the first course arrived. This creamy, velvety soup was presented without the chestnut soup base. However this was poured around the dressed pear, which sat proudly in the middle of the plate, once the dish was delivered to the table.

The combination of pear and chestnut is superb. To start with, hubby was somewhat horrified when he thought his first course was a pear! You can imagine his relief when the chestnut soup base was poured around the dish.

Second course was this warm pork belly, served with watermelon, pickled red onion and cashew butter. Beautiful presentation of this appetiser coupled with a fabulous taste, as the tender pork with popping candy gently exploded in the mouth, oh wow, an absolutely divine dish!

Next was the barramundi dish with a crunchy, crisp skin and yellow squash. Superb.

Frozen in thyme, the palate cleanser pictured above. Again presentation left you feeling slightly guilty at having to dip your cutlery into this frozen topped dish. An exquisite little winner.

Wagyu beef fillet followed, a delightfully tender course, married perfectly with vegetables and a creamy mash. The chances now of fitting in a dessert are slim to middling, but sometimes you have to take one for the team. Trust me , You just do 🙂 .

Chocolate cake. Not just any chocolate cake but an elegant, chocolate cake, not sweet, presented with beautiful juicy berries. A totally devine finish to end this degustation menu.

I did opt to go with the wine matching for each course, which tonight was an excellent choice given the wines matched the dishes beautifully. Even the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc wine, which to be honest is one I avoid. I’m a straight Sauvignon Blanc fan, not that keen on the sweeter Semillon mix. But, who could resist a coaster like this….Bling!!!

The service throughout was impeccable. Every dish and wine was explained, staff were happy to be discreet or interact, whatever happened to be your preference. It was with a full belly and somewhat heavy heart we had to leave at the end of the evening. Why the heavy heart? Well we are long time devotees of our favourite fine dining restaurant, Salt Grill. Sorry Luke, once this year we had a lunch at a place which came close, but on this occasion, we have found a fine dining restaurant which equals, and in parts, betters our favourite. Another note, the menu changes here every three or so months. Fantastic!

Anyone looking for a special , exclusive fine dining restaurant, I would highly recommend you try Prive’249. We will definitely be back, it might not be for awhile, but we shall return!

Sofitel- Brisbane

You definitely have my attention! This has to be the best apology we have ever received. A couple of weeks ago we stayed here for a mini holiday for a private celebration. We could not fault the staff, the food, the biggest most comfortable mattress ever slept upon, everything was top class. One little hitch was a bunch of serenading hens party attendees in the middle of the night. To be fair, Management and Security did quickly attend, which, although favourable to us, apparently did not delight the young ladies in question who felt it necessary to voice their disapproval at a higher decibel rate than than their screaming…oops sorry serenading. Luckily we were in a room close to this delightful group thus enabling us to hear every piece of colourful conversation with the somewhat unfortunate staff sent to deal with the situation, who were simply doing their job.

Today, we have returned at the invitation of Management, who have provided us with a complimentary executive room, including the Club Sofitel access we enjoyed on the last visit. None of this was expected by us, however, this to me does show how dedicated the Sofitel is to providing the ultimate in customer service. Now as a side note, at no time did we jump up and down demanding compensation, we did say it was a shame our sleep was disturbed on this special occasion, when everything else at this establishment had been superb. Nor did we expect, or request, any type of compensation. You can therefore imagine our stunned surprise when we were offered this. Our thoughts, why not take advantage of this generous offer and recreate the relaxing, enjoyable stay we had hoped for.

Now there are chocolate strawberries and then there are, well these gold dusted little gems who tasted just as good as they looked. Absolutely delightful. Any strawberry would be proud to end up dressed like this, I’m sure!

The bed, yes I have to tell you about these beds on the executive floors, the mattress is about the same thickness as the base upon which it rests. Absolutely awesome!

With access to the executive lounge included, we were able to enjoy the benefits, along with the views from the lounge, located on the 30th floor. All day you can enjoy complimentary tea, coffee, juices and nibbles which included club sandwiches for part of the afternoon. From 5.30pm for a couple of hours, the all inclusive free flowing wine, drinks and canapés are yours to be enjoyed. As you partake if your canapés and drinks, you are treated to a fantastic view, either over the city, or on the other side of the lounge, an uninterrupted vista which includes the Glasshouse Mountains.

A superb spot for watching the sun as it slides down behind the distant hills.

Also included in your executive package is a free flowing champagne breakfast in the lounge. Hot, cold, fruits, cereals, pancakes, you would be very hard pressed not to find something to your liking! The tea and coffee selection is broad ranging and of a high quality, plus it’s available all day.

If you are considering a stay in Brisbane or simply looking for a luxury mini break, you really should consider a stay in the executive suites at the Sofitel. With all the inclusions taken into consideration, plus the added bonus of being in the heart of Brisbane, it may be good value to you.

The service at this hotel is impeccable. Reception, Concierge, Cleaners, Restaurant staff, everyone is here to ensure your stay is relaxing and enjoyable. Be sure to ask the staff how they are. When we arrived to check in, we were greeted in reception and asked how our day was. We were the first people that day to ask our staff member how his day was. It doesn’t take much to be polite. The staff are, they are here doing their job, why not make their day a little brighter and more enjoyable.

Enjoy your stay!

Cuvée Lounge – Sofitel Brisbane

Champagne, whiskey teamed with an enticing menu. All within a French themed setting. Nice.

Louis Bouillet was the champagne of choice, whilst hubby decided to take a flight.

This flight was 3 Bulleit Bourbon varieties, (Bulleit, Bulleit Rye, Bulliet 10yo). Combined with the three beautifully presented mini tasting plates of beef, hubby set off on his flight. I’m told this cluster of glasses and mini plates, made for a comfortable, tasty and very relaxing flight! At $35, it certainly seemed good value and was certainly enjoyed by the recipient as he savoured the birthday drinks.

The Cuvée Platter was the ideal accompaniment to the champagne & whiskey. Around the lounge area, a few of these platters appeared as groups and couples chilled out with their chosen beverage. An ideal platter for nibbling away at, whilst sipping our way through Bubbles & Bulliet.

The atmosphere here is comfortable, with a choice of relaxing lounge settings or high bar style tables and stools. Plenty of room around, with the added bonus of not being a noisy area. So comfortable in fact, that hubby was having trouble staying awake, with the good food and whiskey sending him into a state of relaxation.

Staff, fantastic. Nothing was too much of a bother, very informative, polite, discreet, yet still capable of engaging in a conversation to make you feel like an individual and not just another customer through the door.

This was to be a mini-break for the weekend, to both celebrate hubby’s birthday and take a brief escape from reality.

So far it was looking like being a fantastic break. You will hear about the accommodations next…..keep an eye on this blog,, http://www.facebook/dinelivetravel .com, or follow Dine Live Travel on Instagram.

If you’re looking for that extra little bit of style, perhaps a little bit of France in Brisbane, or just something a little special, try the Cuvée Lounge. You too could take a flight, maybe a flight through wine or champagne !