The Gold Coast was bathed in the warm glow of a setting sun as I drove in to stay at the newly opened Hilton located right in the middle of Surfers Paradise's throbbing centre.
I wound down the car windows to soak up the warmth and heard a strange strangled cry that sounded like a Bush stone-curlew, a bird I last encountered on Daydream Island in North Queensland, an unlikely inhabitant for the concrete jungle of Surfers Paradise. Realisation dawned as I looked sideways and saw where the cry actually came from - the overexcited body of a tourist being shot into the air an 'adrenaline' ride.
There's often an air of excitement in the air at Surfers, whether it's the giggles of the girls as they walk down the streets, the wide smile of a surfer emerging from the blue ocean or, now, the pleasure of discovering the unfolding delights of new hotel.
If you want to be smack in the middle of the action you couldn't find a better position than this new Hilton Surfers Pa…
Sweeter, thicker and more tender than it's green cousin, purple asparagus also has an interesting fruity flavour and a naturally higher sugar content.
This is a different variety to green or white asparagus and it comes from a region around the city of Albenga in northern Italy.
The colour is a definite plus when combined with natural partners such as jamon, ham, smoked salmon or an omelette.
One of the highlights of visiting my Grandmother in Ashgrove was the close location of the corner store.
We thought it a treat to walk up the hill and purchase meat at the butchers for dinner and then pop into the corner store for a few lollies in a paper bag.
The Corner Store Cafe replaced a corner store in suburban Toowong but still has a few staples on the shelves, including milk, for locals to enjoy.
Looking around the cafe on a busy Friday morning, I got the impression the only locals where my friends who walked down the street to with me for a coffee. The place was packed with people tucking into food and enjoying it immensely.
We were only here for coffee and cake, though after reading the menu I did regret my stomach wouldn't stretch to lunch. Reef fish taco, Tiger prawn nasi goreng and Shepherds pie were just a few of the lunch items that caught my eye.
I'd also like to try their Quesadilla, Colcannon potato cake and Belgian waffles on the breakfast menu. It's …
Nice to see Brisbane local PJ McMillan on the back cover of The Australian's Weekend APlus section where they now hide my fave food columns.
Finding the now slim section in the massive Weekend Australian edition puts a whole new new slant on Saturday morning entertainment, but it's always worth it to discover Michelle Rowe's Food Detective gems for the week.
PJ is the owner chef of Harveys Bar and Bistro in busy James Street. I recently lunched there and enjoyed some wonderful food with a stand out dessert that deserves to be sampled again. (note to self).
Thirty-five years is a long time the restaurant industry when days often start early and finish late for weeks on end.
It's also no small stretch to keep a business of any sort, but particularly in the volatile hospitality industry, running for half a life time.
So it's a big congratulations to Marilyn and Francis Domenech who last night celebrated 35 years of trading at Baguette Bistrot + Bar in Racecourse Road, Ascot. They are one of a very select group of restaurants who have lasted the distance.
Spoilt for choice is probably the best way to describe the dining scene at Nash Street, Rosalie.
There's Indian, Thai, Mexican, Australian, Asian, Indonesian, Japanese, burgers, seafood, ice cream, pasta and more, plenty of seats and some restaurants more popular than others. So when you find a restaurant where there's consistently no vacant seats you know they've got it right.
I'm sitting in a perfectly positioned deck chair gazing out onto palm trees, a sweep of blue sea and one of the biggest pools I've ever seen.
It's the new improved revamped and regenerated Hayman Island in Queensland's Whitsundays, post cyclones Anthony and Yasi.
The gardens are a tropical visual feast filled with bromilides, unusual palms and more designed by garden guru Jamie Durie, but that's only the beginning.
Everything has received a major spruce up and the resort feels like a lux Asian getaway (with distinctly Aussie tones) all just a couple of hours from Brisbane and no international airport hassles.
In less than 10 minutes the Air Whitsunday sea plane whisked us from the airport near Shute Harbour over the azure sea to Hayman Island with an oh-so-smooth flight. We appreciated the extra 30 minutes the flight saved us over the launch and the scenic view of the Whitsunday Island group islands along the way.
The greeting at Hayman was impressive with smartl…