Discovering the Burleigh Heads food scene

As a child, every year at Christmas my family made the journey down to Burleigh Heads to spend a week in the sun and surf. Burleigh quickly cemented it’s place in our hearts, with its laid back atmosphere, village feeling and beachside parklands. Burleigh wasn’t the tourist mecca of the Gold Coast, and that was just the way we liked it.

However, as the years go by, obviously development happens and places change. While Burleigh has been fortunate to retain its village feeling, it has seen a number of incredible restaurants and eateries open up, replacing long tired or empty shop fronts along James Street. As part of our longing to spend more time on the coast as part of our (soon to be)  new lifestyle, I shouted hubby and I tickets for a Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours tour of Burleigh Heads. We headed out last weekend to check out the latest offerings at Burleigh.

Our tour group had 10 people, including the guide, which was a great number for socialising and enabled us to have a group table where ever we went. I believe they cater for up to 20 people in a group, but there is a minimum to run (not sure what it is, probably depends on the tour). We met outside the Burleigh Heads Bowls Club (probably one of the best located bowls clubs in Australia) and started with a brief historical overview of the Burleigh area before we got down to business.

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Stop 1: Stones Throw Burleigh

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Stones Throw dishes up a surprising menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner eats. Run by brother and sister duo Cameron Chartres and Melanie Windsor, we were told that Cameron has spent the last 20 years working around the world, including training under Gordon Ramsay. The menu has bold, exotic flavours, and we sampled a Beef Rendang with crispy egg, currently available on their breakfast menu. I would normally have never chosen this as a breakfast dish, but I was so pleased as it was absolutely delicious! The menu changes every now and then, and has just undergone a small revamp so it’s a great time to get there and sample the offerings. Word on the street is that they are planning on offering picnic baskets soon, so you can pick up a basket of goodies and sit back and enjoy them while sitting on Burleigh Hill looking out over the surf.

Stop 2: Golosi Food Emporium

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Golosi is a foodie’s wonderland, located at the top of James Street. “Golosi”, which means glutton or greedy in Italian, is a food emporium showcasing some of the finest local and international products available. Their produce is ever-changing to reflect the latest and greatest tastes from around the world, and especially those sourced from the local region. This food emporium is bursting with every type of gourmet provision you could think of, from a cabinet stocked with cheese, salami, olives and savoury pastries, to walls lined with oils, vinegars, sauces, spreads, condiments and pastas. We were greeted on arrival with a glass of champagne, and there were two beautiful platters of gourmet goodies on the table for us to sample. Some of our favourites were the Bush Berry Jam and the Roasted Capsicum dip – we may have even purchased a little pot of the jam to take home.

Stop 3: Gelateria Dolce Follia

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Sixteen flavours of homemade gelato and sorbet grace the chilled cabinet of Gelateria Dolce Follia in Burleigh Heads. This award-winning hole-in-the-wall ice creamery uses only the freshest ingredients and no artificial flavours or preservatives. Favourites among the locals are the Honeycomb Chocolate Crunch, the Chocolate Nutella Cheesecake gelato and the Coconut Milk sorbet. We were able to sample as many flavours as we wanted, before settling on one to have a serving of. I couldn’t go past the award wining Coconut Milk sorbet – so refreshing and tasty!

Stop 4: The Pocket Burleigh

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The Pocket’s food is Mediterranean influenced, with an emphasis on ‘Good food, simply delicious’, free range and locally grown produce, with as much as possible coming from the owner’s own farm. Well appreciated by vegan, paleo and gluten-free patrons, The Pocket’s menu offers smoky babaganoush, creamy hummus and labaneh, soft toasted pockets, and the best falafel in town. We tried a mezzo plate, which had a selection of homemade dips, falafel balls, marinated roasted vegetables, fresh salad and pickles and was served with pocket breads. We also got to try their incredible homemade fresh lemonade, infused with rosewater and mint – some on the tour said they would come back just for the lemonade!

Stop 5: Finders Keepers Bar

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With our stomachs stuffed full, we had one more stop on the tour. Finders Keepers Bar is a unique cocktail bar and restaurant, and we were treated to a cocktail making demonstration and a delicious chocolate dessert. When you arrive at Finders Keepers you settle in to a welcoming and relaxed environment, inspired by French provincial and coastal styles, and enjoy share plate dining from their ever-changing menu. Their quality ingredients are carefully sourced and respected, many from local businesses. The experienced bar professionals at Finders Keepers craft classic-inspired cocktails, as well as twists on contemporary favourites. They were mouth-wateringly good and we couldn’t help but stay here for a bit after the tour finished to sample a second cocktail!

Places we visited:
Stones Throw Burleigh
Golosi Food Emporium
Gelateria Dolce Follia
The Pocket Burleigh
Finders Keepers Bar

Honourable mentions:
We didn’t get to try these places, but our guide highly recommended we come back for a visit!
Justin Lane Pizza & Pasta Rooftop Bar
Zelotti Restaurant
Zullaz Bar and Eatery
Harvest Moon Burleigh
Harry’s Steak Bistro
Jimmy Wah’s

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Kitchen planning + weekend fun

Well we still haven’t signed a contract for the build, but hopefully we’re very close.

This weekend we decided to start kitchen shopping as we’ve got the option of going with our builder’s cabinet maker or a kitchen company of our choice. I’ve found 4 companies that we wanted to check out, 2 of which are on the Gold Coast (the other 2 in Brisbane) so Saturday morning we jumped in the car and headed for Burleigh Heads. It was great to chat with both sides of the process – one place we spoke to the owner and the actual builder himself, and the other place we chatted with a kitchen designer. We already know fairly certainly what we want, but it was good to know that what we’re looking for is possible to achieve! I won’t go in to details until we have the actual drawings and are further along in the process, but this is our inspiration picture (image from Marsh and Clark).

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After spending 2.5 hours talking kitchens, we were both over it and given it was such a beautiful day we decided to swing by the beachfront and see if we could get a carpark and go somewhere for lunch. Luckily we only did one lap of the esplanade when we found a park and it was right in front of the best beachfront spot at Burleigh!

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We thought we’d push our luck even further and see if we could get a table at Rick Shores, a Pan-Asian restaurant headed by renowned Melbourne chefs, and managed to score the last two spots at the casual bar! Lunch was amazing, the flavours were so fresh and there wasn’t a bite that didn’t taste great. We had:

  • Chicken Popcorn, Meyer Lemon, Spiced Salt
  • Beef Brisket Bao, Smoked Ssam Jang, Cucumber
  • Massaman Curry, Lamb Shank, Potato, Pickled Onion
  • Miso chocolate parfait, with milo, peanut butter and malt.

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The cocktails were pretty amazing too!

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On our way home, we dropped into the estate to see if there was any building progress anywhere. Two lots have their building pads being levelled, so it’s likely we’ll see some construction there in the next few weeks. We had a hilarious story while we were there: we found a little pool in the nature reserve between us and our neighbours. It looks like it could be about a metre deep and it had a fair bit of water in it. We were looking at it and said wouldn’t it be great if there were turtles living in it. We got back in our car and drove around a couple of the other streets and all of a sudden hubby put the breaks on and said “what’s that?”. We got out of the car, and there was a turtle sitting in the middle of the road! It was really hot and the poor thing looked distressed. We’re not sure how it got there, or why it was there – perhaps it crawled up from a nearby creek and got stuck once it climbed down the gutter. I told hubby to pick it up and we would take it back to our little pond. Well, the minute we walked towards it, it ran and hid in the shade under our car! Hubby had to get an umbrella out of the car and he managed to get it to climb into an insulated cooler bag we had. We put it in the car and raced back to our block and managed to get it into our little pool! It was so happy, it swam around, ducking deep into the water and then finding a little ledge to rest on. Who knows if it will stick around, but at least the poor thing didn’t die in the sun!

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We spent a lovely day today celebrating our friends birthdays. Such a great group of girls!

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Did you know that it is only 91 more sleeps til Christmas? Can you believe how fast this year has gone? Have a good week everyone!

Meeting the neighbours + build update

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One of the key things hubby and I were looking for when we started looking for land to build our forever home, was a sense of community.

I grew up in a street where everyone knew each other and we stayed out playing in the street until dark when we’d run home for dinner. There were about 20 kids with a 10 year age range and we all got along. There was a park and a creek at the end of the street and we’d ride our bikes up and down the hill, with an occasional shout of “car!” signalling the scramble to get off the road. I lived in that house my entire childhood, and it was only at the age of 21 that I finally moved out of home – to a house a couple of streets away! At 29 I’m still in contact with many of the children that I grew up with, and many of the parents still live in that same street along with my own parents. Hubby on the other hand, moved around a lot as a child and moved out of home quite young.

While we both come from very different backgrounds when it comes to calling a place home, we both agreed we wanted to achieve a similar life as what I had as a child for our own children. And even for ourselves. I like the idea of getting home on a Friday and cutting through the backyard to go and have a drink over a back fence with a neighbour. Just knowing our neighbours will be a good thing! In today’s society we are becoming more isolated and don’t like to get to know our neighbours. We’re looking for a community, with similar goals and views on life.

We had strong hopes for this sense of community when we purchased our land, but needless to say we were very excited when we heard the initiatives that the developer has in place to help us all meet and get to know each other. The first of which was a ‘Meet The Neighbours’ evening at the estate, where we had nibbles, drinks, games and a bonfire. We met a number of our direct neighbours, and even a few who are a couple of streets over. It was a great introduction to the community and the first of many events they have planned – there was talk of movie nights under the stars and another BBQ type picnic affair.

In terms of where we’re at with the build. Well, we’re learning to be patient! It takes a long time to go back and forth with the builder and we still haven’t signed a contract, but we did receive what is hopefully the final drawings and changes to our plan today (with lots of highlighter colours and mark ups!). We’re hoping to quickly review and send back, so that we can get them to draw up the final contract and get it signed. Then it’s off to the bank for money, the developer for their design approval, and the council for building approval. Fingers crossed, we might be laying the slab in November. I’ll cry if we’re not!!

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New discoveries lately

Hey y’all! Life – it gets busy, doesn’t it? Well I’ve been out and about and spending time online and have a few new discoveries I wanted to share with you!

Enjoy xx

Globe West

I’ve started furniture dreaming lately, making plans for all the new pieces I am going to want to buy once we move into our home. I’ve found some great new companies, and fallen in love with some old favourites again too. While I love the furniture in Coco Republic, unfortunately my budget doesn’t stretch to the $13,000 dining tables. Globe West have some similar products at a better price point, so I’ve been doing some window shopping. How gorgeous is this Midnight Blue sofa!

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Flour & Bloom

I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of supporting our local entrepreneurs. The concept of daily bunches of flowers has taken off over the last year and it’s so great to see small businesses popping up and delivering something new and creative. I’ve been a fan of Poco Posy and Poppy Rose for sometime, but another that I’ve recently discovered is Flour & Bloom. Their point of difference is that twice a week they offer a donut or cupcake with their flowers! I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful bunch from my husband this week. (P.S – if you’re in Sydney or Melbourne, check out my cousin’s business – Daily Blooms!)

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The Malty Grain

On the topic of local entrepreneurs, hubby and I decided to try out The Malty Grain recently. Opened in the first half of 2016, The Malty Grain is a beer house that has been created by the team behind the acclaimed Beard and Brau Farmhouse Brewery. Malty Grain’s main focus is food and beer done well and by all accounts it has nailed the concept. Tuck into a great menu of tapas-style eats such as chicken wings, Spanish tortillas, croquettes and charcuterie with morsels sourced from local providores, and quaff some of the exceptional craft beer and cider on offer.

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ASOS

It’s been a while since I checked out ASOS and I don’t know why, but I jumped online the other day to check it out. Low and behold, they’re having their 70% off final clearance sale! It must be fate. I quickly snapped up four new dresses for the summer (free shipping and they were here in two days!) and am loving them. Sale still on, check it out!

Project Build: Ready for settlement!

After what seems like forever, the developer is finally ready to hand over the land and we can get on with the process of BUILDING! We received notice the other week that everything is good to go, and thankfully at the same time our finance came through so according to the solicitor and mortgage broker, we are all ready for D-Day!

There’s been a little bit of progress with the site over the past 6 months and I thought I’d share some photos of the changes as they happened little by little. In case you missed it – here is my post on when we purchased the land! Probably the most exciting part was when we got the roads in – that’s when things really got real. Now the construction gates are down and we can come and go as we please which is really exciting.

September 2015

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December 2015

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February 2016

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March 2016

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June 2016

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July 2016

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In other news, we’ve also settled on a builder and are trying to finalise our plans as much as possible before signing the contract. I know a lot of builders are happy to do variations to the contract as the build progresses, but we’re really keen to have everything locked down as much as possible. With hubby being an Engineer he is very detail-oriented, and we have a meeting this week with the builder to raise a number of smaller points that we want finalised. Here’s an updated floor plan to have a look at, although there are still a couple of small changes to come.

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Well hopefully everything goes smoothly this week and we become proud new land owners!