One of my favourite local day-get-aways is a visit to Point Danger and Coolangatta south of the Gold Coast.
I always feel on holiday when I am in the neighbourhood and worries from home seem distant.
A popular cafe and casual dining spot is Cafe D-bar.
The views are spectacular and sitting up stairs makes you feel on top of the world. Open air, gentle breeze and usually yummy food.
I often order the coffee martini and today tried the Gravelox salmon. Maybe I don’t know my graveloxes but it wasn’t as good as the salmon I have sampled in Monaco and the south of France but fortunately the view makes up for the food today.
The breakies are generally good. But they can get overwhelmed and quite busy and today my meal and drink came in dribs and drabs.
Overall it is generally a safe bet, good location and a good spot to take visiting guests.
Our Sunday finds us pottering along the Northern Rivers seaside towns of Fingal and Kingscliffe where we stumble across Baja, celebrating the famous Mexican day Cinco De Maya. The day when the Mexicans beat the French.
The Giant Causeway at Fingal, named after the famous Irish Giants Causeway. Absolutely magic.
Before finding our lunch destination we swing into the quiet town of Fingal. Fingal Heads was discovered by Captain James Cook way back in 1770. But it wasn’t until 1872 when a light house was erected to veer ships away from it’s treacherous cliff rocks that Fingal was put on the map.
The causeway and light house make a delightful short walk and then you can meander to Kingscliffe, just as we did.
Baja lured us in with it’s vibrant colours, chilled atmosphere and the celebrator air. Today they were celebrating Cinco De Mayo. The day (really 5th May) when Mexico beat the French in the battle of Puebla. Complimentary tequila, $5 fish bowl sized cocktails, I instantly liked the Mexican remembrance day! A long way from Mexico, Kingcliffe Baja does OK.
The food was fine – not five star dining but ok. Crispy calamari, buffalo wings and a beer washed down nicely a sorjourn to another country.
For a few years now, my dear friends Rachel and Pete have been creating a living art space in the Tassie wilderness (secret address) which they have affectionately called Coopers Hill.
The adventure begins as one passes through the gates which is like entering an enlarged outdoor art amphitheatre.
Visiting the land is an opportunity to discover and uncover all sorts of things – Pete’s art, Rachel’s natural ability to create welcoming and zone out spaces and eat some amazing Tassie Tucker! I love it.
This short trip didn’t disappoint in re-charging my “buzzy city battery”.
Fresh air, heavy drops of rain, animal noises and nature immersion 101!
The Tasmania Bush is something else. So much wild life, so many noises and so wholesome.
Rach and Pete have a vision to bring the land to it’s climactic best. Where the land is thriving and tip top condition.
This is in keeping with nature’s rules – such as when a fire goes through, which is a natural 20 year phenomena – they are simply supporting the natural process of the land and helping it thrive – shifting wood piles, so birds can come and peck, bringing in the grubs, sapplings can grow and new life can begins.
I had a ride on their ride on escavator and found my altered bushman ego LOVED it. Moving dead logs, chomping up clumps of bramble seemed very empowering from my drivers seat.
What I love most about Cooper’s are Pete’s sculptures. Sprinkled throughout the land are art pieces, little sculptures and characters.
Coopsy is a fictious character that pops up here and there. He governs and protects that land and occasionally you can see his handy work, maybe some chopped wood, maybe a new path and if you are lucky enough, you might get to have a beer with him!
I must mention the loo.
Ingenious in it’s design, and fully functional the toilet is eco friendly. Pete and Rachel have given the dunny lots of thought.
Not wanting unwanted aromas to filter back to the camp site, the loo faces the northern sun.
It is ventilated well, operates perfectly, with 2 cups of charcoal (from the fire) and 2 cups of sawdust (from the wood cuttings) then Kobota excavator buries the excrement. The way loos should be – open aired, relaxing with the “business” going back to the soil.
The big fires of Christmas 2013 decimating the Peninsula also ripped through Coopers (burning 90% of it). But from old life, new life begins and in the morning the drops of dew on the leaves danced like disco balls around the property. The bush seems to cover in the scars of the bush fires only a few years back!
The morning autumn sun seems to have a different light frequency.
Last night I stayed in the guest’s suite, AKA the Place du Cafe, falling asleep in the bush, waking to birds and gentle sunlight seeping through the fly screens.
Waking with nature, feeling chilled out, Rach is making a gluten free (hearty) breakfast. Fresh brewed fair trade coffee brewed on the fire and a dash of last nights Tassie liquor port start my Sunday off just nicely.
Thanks guys, I love catching up with both of you and as you say ” its the impression that is left that matters most”.
The Tassie black pepper is still exploding on my tongue as I pass through the “hugs now” security check at the Hobart Airport. But nothing, can compare with the magic afternoon of pure taste delight I have been privvie to at Frogmore’s Creek.
What an experience – what a delight – what a treat.
Ruben Kopens the head chef is a rival for World Famous chef Heston Blumenthal made famous by his TV shows and eclectic food creations.
Ruben, friends with infamous Heston, will exceed your expectations. That self limiting belief line where one’s internal chatter says “I am not worthy of such grand fan fare”, well sit down sista, you are!
Born in Holland he understands the EXPRESSION of food as an experience, a place in time … a memory.
If you have ever fantasized about how YOU can become a Heston excipient, then look no further, come to Frogmore and be treated to a world class dining experience.
Frogmore Creek Wines and it’s restaurant are located outside of Hobart between the towns of Cambridge and Richmond. The winery offers a few labels, many with awards. Personally I have always loved their Meadowbank Mardi , and their 2007 Frogmore Creek Evermore Pinot Noir is a must for any cellar.
Today, however, I am here for the degustation experience by Ruben and his staff. It is to be a special Sunday afternoon.
Between each course, one is tantilised with palate cleansers, taste experiences and art pieces.
Today’s fare was as follows:
Prawn crackers with miso sprinkles and wasabi mayo
Then a morsel of panna cotta cauliflower jus and noodle, and olive tapenade just because.
To be served the best venison, followed by Whisky froth and desert.
Desert what can I say… an experience, an adventure, a food orgasm.
What can I say. It is by far the BEST eclectic meal I have part taken in.
The wines : Frogmore Creek pinot noir, then reisling and I would highly recommend the desert.
I look forward to visiting this enclave of elegance and fine dining not surpassed anywhere else in this grand land again.
Accolades Ruben and team (noteably Tristan and Meredith) – fine star dining at its TRUE best. Merci