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Showing posts from 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 a…

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 sta…

Fox & Rabbit Coffee Co, Paddington

There's a new local's lair in Paddington that promises breakfast all day, a finely tuned coffee offering and whimsical humour.

I'm talking about Fox & Rabbit Coffee Co on Kennedy Terrace, sandwiched between Maddisons Hair Design and a catering company, in an old group of shops near the back entrance to Ithaca State School.

The menu is short but offers cafe staples including avo on toast and fruit toast ($6) or a moist spinach and feta cheese damper. There's also a daily parade of breakfast wraps and a scrambled eggs and melted cheddar combo that would be top of my daily breakfast list.

It's open weekdays from 6am to 8pm and weekends from 7am to 6pm which means there's plenty of time to pop in both before and after work for an easy meal.

The decor is an interesting modern nana style mix with recycled doors as tables, Ikea furniture given a funky twist and lots of interesting junk shop finds repurposed. Surprisingly it's not overly noisy when there's…

A meat boutique - Schulte's Meat Tavern, Plainland

You can smell the delicious aroma of bacon being smoked from the Warrego Highway almost before you even see Schulte's Meat Tavern.

It's been like that for 60 years as this family owned and operated business brings a south east Queensland paddock-to-plate experience to adoring locals and regular commuters.

Following traditions established by their grandparents, today's Schulte's team produces a range of European style salads including cranky, knackwurst, frankfurts, smoked chorizo plus ham and bacon. Their traditional smokehouse bacon process takes up to two weeks to complete.

Chatting to Peter Schulte, I learnt that the biggest sellers are their award winning bacon and metwurst, although Peter's personal favourite is the pork sausages which he says taste just like old fashioned sausages.

What's the secret behind Schulte's meat?  According to Peter it lies in their supply chain.  They only purchase from the same regular suppliers who personally supervise th…

QT Port Douglas, North Queensland

It feels a little as though I've stepped into a Dean Martin movie.  All I need is a silver pole and 'Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime' on the speakers and the scene at QT Port Douglas is complete.

What better companion to explore the wonders of Port Douglas than super party boy Dean Martin, a man who really knew how to have a good time?  So put Dean, or Don Draper from Mad Men in your pocket, add a dash of Hamptons white beach-side ambiance and you've got the feel of this hotel.

It's a sprawling complex and getting to my room involves walking past the lagoon-style pool, through the tropical gardens, over large ponds and up a flight of stairs winding around corridors until my destination is reached.

This is the first room I’ve stayed in where you can buy everything from the bed and lamps to the coat hangers. The slick kit out has obviously attracted the attention of visitors and they want to recreate the look at home but the beds also are a big seller across the g…

What's in the box - Hello Fresh

Food with flavour that comes from good quality ingredients, meals that are easily prepared, well balanced, well priced and minimal fuss, that's what I like for a mid-week dinner at home.  And it has to be better than takeaway!

As a food writer and travel writer I eat out a lot, so when I'm home simplicity is the key unless I'm whipping up something special for dinner guests.

I've used many different types of home delivery services and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.  The Hello Fresh concept ticks many of my boxes and doesn't make too much of a dent in the budget.  I do appreciate not having to frequent the shops as much as well.

What do I like about Hello Fresh?
I don't have to shop as muchThere's no thinking apart from which meal to cookThe directions are clear and simpleThe meals work - the flavours are well defined and balanced with vegetablesProduce was good qualityServings were generousIt only took about 30 minutes to cook and there was no…