Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Doughnut Time, Fortitude Valley

It's not hard to find the new Doughnut Time, just look for the queue of doughnut lovers stretching around the block at Alfred Street in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley.

This new pop-up which has grown out of reclaimed space at Alfredo's, Doughnut Time is another food innovation from the irrepressible Damain Griffiths.

The doughnuts are made in the kitchen of sister venue Chester Street in Newstead. They are trying hard to meet the demand, making between 1300 to 1400 doughnuts a day to replenish stock every two hours, but it's just not enough.

Chef Kylie says they don't take short cuts and the doughnuts take between 30 minutes to an hour to proof.

"It's a labour of love," she says. "The kitchen is being redesigned to better cope with making more doughnuts but we could probably sell 2,000 a day."

There's more than 10 flavours including traditional glazed doughnuts such as Vanilla and Chocolate and more creative creations including Pistachio and Brown Butter, Raspberries and Cream, and Maple and Bacon. Fancier-filled doughnuts include a Crème Brûlée doughnut, a Nutella doughnut topped with cinnamon sugar, and a decadent Lemon Cheesecake doughnut.

Doughnut Time opens seven days a week and deliveries are available for residents and offices from Fortitude Valley to the CBD.  You can also order on line.

Best tip: Eat them quickly - these are a fresh product with no preservatives and the flavour changes even in just a couple of hours.
Bottom line: The doughnuts cost $6 each

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Doughnut Time

Monday, 23 February 2015

Branell Homestead, Laidley

What would it be like to be one of the landed gentry?  To sit on the verandah, gaze over the lake, survey the cattle and sleep in plush old world luxury?

You can certainly indulge in all of this at Branell Homestead, located about an hour's drive from Brisbane along the Warrego Highway in the fertile Lockyer Valley.

Designed as an ideal wedding location, it's also a great B&B for couples and groups who enjoy the finer things in life.  The rooms have lavishly outfitted beds offset by antique furniture and plenty of communal spaces for enjoying a drink or dinner.

There's even a fully equipped kitchen so you can whip up a meal or take it easy as we did and take the short drive into Laidley for a pub dinner at the Queensland National Hotel.  The menu includes tender, grass fed steak from Toowoomba.

In the morning owner Kathy Brady will deliver a breakfast hamper that's brimming with delicious pastries, muffins and everything you need for a continental breakfast.

I stayed in a room which had a spa designed for two.  Positioned on a corner and surrounded by bi-fold windows it begged to be tried but time did not allow.

The two-level library features a floor to ceiling wall of books to explore with a media room at the top of the staircase.

Kathy Brady enjoys the view at her property, Branell Homestead.

Down at the lake a jetty stretches out into the water and I'm told it's a great spot to throw in a line or you could just take a stroll around the 80 hectare working cattle property.

New to Branell are three just finished luxury cabins with breathtaking views. Made from shipping containers, the three-roomed cabins wrap around a private deck. Each has two bathrooms, living and kitchen areas. It would be hard to drag your eyes away from the view here and I can imagine more than a few drinks will be enjoyed on the spacious decks.

What I liked:

  • Plenty of soothing country charm and very comfortable bed.
  • Huge bathroom with a spa and bidet
  • Friendly cattle to pat
  • Fabulous breakfast hamper
  • Relaxing country ambience and warm welcome from your hosts who actually live up the hill, connected to the homestead by intercom.

What I didn't like:

  • It's a B&B so no shampoo and conditioner supplied.
  • Wine glasses in the room didn't match (yes, I'm being picky)

My room: Kensington Suite
Recommended for: Couples, families or groups seeking a country experience.
Best tip: Head into Laidley for lunch at Eagle Rock Cafe.
Bottom line: Rooms range in price from $90 to $180 per night.

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK travelled with the support of Brisbane Marketing and Branell Homestead

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