Which would you prefer? A night in Chile or a night in Coolum?
Obviously, Chile looks nice James but it's a long way to go for just one night.
However, Coolum is a doddle up the road from Brisbane and so it was an easy choice to hop into the car and head north for A Night in Chile at the recently renamed Palmer Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast.
A taste of Coolum is the resort's annual food and wine feista, 'A Taste of Coolum' (June 22-24), and this year the theme was Chilean. Oh how I wish I could be abducted and taken to the heart of Santiago but the resort's Village Square looked pretty lively for the night.
With highly regarded Chilean pastry chef Wuile Pineda Flores in charge, the feast was full of new pleasures and some old friends. The oysters, mussels, fish and prawns in the Chilean antipasto were fantastico and had plenty of people queuing to sample their delights.
A series of food stations positioned around the square offered soups, empanadas cooked to order at a wood fire oven station, a variety of grilled skewers, roasted pork ribs and beef rib eye fillet, steamed mussels, garlic and chilli prawns.
Wuile's passion for pastries, exotic desserts and sublime sweets was certainly evident at the dessert spread where, to my delight, caramel was a prominent ingredient. There were also delicious churros with a thick chocolate sauce.
Hailing from Santiago, Wuile has worked in some of South America’s leading hotels including one of Santiago’s oldest and most prestigious establishments, Carrera, as well as the Hotel Plaza San Francisco, the Hotel Laguna Marina and the Sheraton and Sonesta hotels. Currently working as a private chef, Wuile runs his own patisserie and catering business specialising in traditional and fine pastry, wedding cakes and functions.
A country blessed with some of the richest soils on earth, Chile has had a long viticultural history, proved by the series of tasting stations offering wines from some of Latin America’s best producers such as Sauvignon Blanc from Casa Lapostolle in the Rapel Valley, Chardonnay from the Casablanca Valley and Merlot from the Colchagua Valley.
We stayed overnight at Palmer Coolum Resort, my first visit here. There was an air of nervousness amongst the staff with the hint of job losses in the air but there's plenty of that around everywhere at the moment. We found everything working very smoothly.
Our room, which overlooked the golf course, also looked recently refurbished and was very spacious with a dining, lounge and bedroom area plus a very large bathroom with a bath, fluffy towels, bath robes and slippers!
Friends who have stayed here say it's hard to match the combo of golfing facilities, day spa and beach access - something for all the family it seems.
Disclaimer; E.d+bK was a guest of the Palmer Coolum Resort.