Jaylianos Steak and Seafood Restaurant -Strathpiney

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.

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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….

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.

Tips for your first day onboard

With a blast on the ships horn we head off on a short three night wine and food cruise, safely onboard P & O’s Pacific Dawn. Having only completed longer cruises, this quick little trip was going to be interesting. Ive been researching for questions from those who have never cruised, this article is number one in a little cruising series I’m going to do. Be interesting to see what you learn.

Let’s start with why we choose a cruise holiday over staying at a resort?

Because we love cruising and no matter what level cabin you choose, your holiday is as packed or chilled as you would like it to be. Everything is done for you. Accommodation, travel, meals and entertainment are all included, except for a few specialty restaurants or some activities onboard which have a surcharge. Added to which you have the bonus of a changing landscape, and, if you’re on one of the longer cruises, different ports to visit without having to pack and unpack.

P & O have a handy little login called cruise control which becomes available once you’ve booked. From this site, you can monitor your payments prepay and order onshore activities, purchase spa voucher/s, or pre order special packages. For instance birthday or special occasion package, or even a bucket of prawns and bottle of wine. Something for everyone. Your final cruise payment is 75 days prior to boarding. After this why not go in and prepay in the months leading up to your vacation, its really worthwhile.

Boarding procedures are the same, no matter what style of cruise. For those who think of they turn up a couple of hours prior to their boarding time they will board the ship early, don’t bother. You won’t. There’s a process starting with priority boarding, depending on your cabin choice. The lower value cabins board last, higher value first.

With priority boarding we were amongst the first keen cruisers to embark. Quickly drop your cabin to drop off hand luggage, meet the cabin stewards, these are the people who work at keeping your cabin clean and ensuring you have what you need, so look aft them.

Do not forget the onboard daily activities guide, (trust me on this one, that guide will become your lifeline), then head straight up on pool deck to the bar! Nothing like being first in line!

From here, consider your dining options and duck into Salt Grill to ensure you book any desired special evenings before their bookings fill up. After which, cruise by the Pantry for lunch. Choose your cuisine and staff will serve you. Gone is the old help yourself buffet, no more dirty spoons contaminating other foods. As a tip, the food on the other side of the buffet is the same as this side. Keep that in mind.

Peruse the activities guide whilst partaking of a leisurely lunch. Eventually, time to leave the table and head off to the entrance to Waterfront restaurant. Here, put names down for activity bookings, or dinner reservations. As a side note, you could enjoy lunch here too which is an a al carte menu, with sit down service. A tip here, you will need to reserve your dining space for the evening meal if you wish to dine at the Waterfront. The Pantry does not require bookings, just go on in whenever you are hungry. They are only closed a couple of hours throughout the day.

For the Waterfront, Breakfast and lunch are walk ins, however dinner is pre booked only. Same applies to specialty restaurants onboard, for example Salt Grill, all which must be booked in advance.

Swing back past the cabin, pick up the life jackets, and work out your muster station. Trust me, yes you need these jackets today. If its a beautiful day, head back up on the pool deck whilst you wait for all passengers to embark and the ship to set sail.

Of course if you are one of the last ones to board, my tip to you would be to head straight to the cabin, pick up your life jacket and keep it with you until the drill begins.

Once all are on board, everyone has to present to their muster station, including crew, for the mandatory emergency drill. This is where you must have your life jacket. Your cruise card is scanned so they do know who is there. Don’t be the person holding everyone else’s holiday up trying to get out of it, the crew will find you.

Formalities over its time to drop those life jackets off and enjoy your time on this floating resort!

Now you explore, drink in hand if you so wish. Check out the bars, the spaces, spa, gym, adults only area. If you spend your first afternoon orientating yourself to the ships facilities and their location, it will make your onboard life so much easier…..Work out where your favourite spot might be, there’s so many comfy areas to choose from. For the smokers, there will be one corner of seats allocated up on pool deck plus usually one side of ship around a middle deck. Strictly no smoking anywhere else, including your balconies.

Remember that activities guide? Yes? Well make sure you take some time each day to go through tomorrow’s guide and work out what you’d like to do. The guide will appear in your cabin mailbox each afternoon/evening. The choices in this four page publication are phenomenal. Some activities are free, some have a charge. Another tip, if you like a drink, sign up for the cocktail making or tasting classes, They are great value.For the wine drinker, this is the most expensive drink on board. On 7 day or longer cruises, consider the drink packages, they do represent good value. Another option is to prepay and preorder packages prior to boarding.

On our short cruise, I had three bottles of wine included in packages we ordered, already paid for, with some delivered to cabin before we boarded, others arrive when you ordered your package to be delivered to your cabin.

One last question for this article, what sort of cabin should we have booked? My answer, entirely up to you. But, consider why you are going cruising. If, like us, you like to have some quiet time away from it all, then yes highly recommend a balcony. We love to sit for a an hour or two each day and just chill out in privacy.

But, if you’re a party animal or some one with kids who will always be on the go, then go the cheaper inside cabins, you’re not going to be spending any time there anyway so what pay for the balcony privilege if you don’t need it.

Enjoy your cruise! Watch out for the next in this little series and comment any questions you would like answered!

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.

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!

FV By Peppers – Fortitude Valley Brisbane

Thank you to Travel Massive and FV By Peppers for an interesting, informative evening last week. To attend a meeting at this newly opened complex was a privilege to say the least.The view from the restaurant and bar located on level 6, was certainly stunning as the sun set. Huge, inviting lounges, invite you to rest your feet and enjoy the location. The bar and restaurant area has massive doors opening to this secluded location.

To give some background FV by Peppers is still under construction. In saying that, its only the third accomodation tower which is yet to be finished. Tower One & Two are open for business. Offering both hotel and apartment accommodation, FV by Peppers gives you plenty of choice. Oh yes and you can live here too! Short stay, long stay, corporate, everything is on offer.

Based on skyscraper architecture, New York style, the building is impressive, including the u shaped swimming pool which offers a breathtaking area to both swim and chill- and includes a swim up bar, looking towards Brisbane city.

We were incredibly lucky to be treated to a private tour. So many hidden surprises here, and I would have to say, we were impressed. In fact so much so, that already we have a few groups of people we know making plans to stay. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool.

Hotel rooms, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments, there’s plenty of choice. And when I say apartments, I’m talking full kitchens. These apartments are built to live in, not just stay.

The two bedroomed apartment we viewed, had a gorgeous view of the story bridge at night, as you entered the second bedroom. Muted colours throughout enhanced the beautiful lights outside.

Comfortable lounge setting, leads onto the enclosed glass balcony. Everything you need for a chilled out stay has been included.

There are some impressive extras here you can enjoy with a group of friends or family. For a mere $30, hire one of the four large, beautifully appointed spa rooms and enjoy 4 hours of fun and relaxation.

Relax in the bubbling spa, letting your stress disappear and muscles relax, whilst you either enjoy the city view or watch the TV. There’s plenty of comfortable seating and even your own private bar where staff will provide you with food and drinks (not included in the hire fee), during the course of your four hours.

Should you maybe wish to continue your fun, there is also the moonlight theatre for hire. Again you and your friends relax, enjoy, whilst staff tend to your tends using the private bar (not included in hire fee), contained within the theatre. Bean bags or comfortable lounges make for a sprawling good time!

Even the gym is impressive, roomy plenty of new equipment to keep everyone happy, a wonderful city view, and the cherry on top, will be a new yoga area due to open soon.

Mantra Group have done well to ensure not only do you have the comforts of home, but that extra added luxury at a very reasonable price. For those of us who are Accor Plus members, be sure to keep on checking on how the Mantra Group bid is progressing. To have the Peppers and Mantra complex’s added to Accor portfolio options will be quite the feather in their cap!

And, should you be looking for something special, keep these hire rooms in mind. They aren’t available unless you are staying on site, but what a wonderful treat this could be!

Finally, as with most venues, weekends are busier and it might be that bit harder to secure a private spa or the theatre, so if you are able to stay during the week, chances are you will have most opportunities open to you. Enjoy, we are looking forward to visiting again, perhaps we will even see you there!