Queensland

A mini travel guide to Mt. Tamborine

Recently we were lucky enough to go on a wine tour on Mt Tamborine with some of our dear friends, and I wanted to share that experience!

Important: This is no way sponsored, our friends bought us tickets as a gift for my 30th birthday, but I was genuinely so surprised with how lovely it was, I had to share.

Okay, with the disclaimer out of the way, let’s dive in. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned previously, I was born in South Australia, one of the premier wine regions of the world. So I have… let’s say strong opinions about wine. When I heard there were wineries in Queensland I was intrigued; it’s sub-tropical, and so pretty humid here, which isn’t exactly ideal for growing grapes for wine production.

Turns out, Queenslanders who love wine don’t let something like the climate stop them. Most of the grapes are grown further south near the New South Wales border, where it’s much cooler and less humid.

Now, I’m not going to mention the wine tour company we travelled with, not because they weren’t fantastic (they were) or because I wouldn’t recommend it (I would) but because I think you could have an amazing experience with any of the companies that operate out of the area, or even just head up there without a tour (though of course I would expect you to have a designated driver or another safe transport plan).

With that said, let’s go on a brief tour of our stops for the day:

A mini travel guide to Mt Tamborine || Miss Sweet Nothings

Mason Wines

I’ve actually been following Mason Wines on Instagram for awhile now (honestly, it’s how I keep track of places I want to visit in Queensland, I follow them on Instagram) and they did not disappoint when I got to go in person. I loved their cellar door, which had a balcony looking out over their vineyards (which don’t actually produce wine grapes but boy are they pretty to look at). If Clare Valley has Riesling and the Barossa has Shiraz, I would say the signature wine of Mt Tamborine is Verdelho, we had several on our tour and although I’m more of a red drinker, I found them all to be very good (in different ways). I would absolutely recommend the rose, it’s a beautiful light summer rose, perfect for a barbeque.

A mini travel guide to Mt Tamborine || Miss Sweet Nothings

Witches Falls

This is the feather in Mt Tamborine’s winery cap, an award winning winery that’s been rated one of the best in the world. It was the first stop on our tour (as our incredible guide put it - whilst we still had enough sense to really appreciate what we were drinking) and we had some really interesting wines, including the second chardonnay I ever found palatable. I wish I had the chance to try more of their reds, as they’re doing a lot of really interesting wild ferments, but I can 100% recommend the Saignee rose. It’s probably the most interesting rose I’ve ever tasted in terms of flavour profile.

Mt Tamborine Distillery

I don’t even know where to start to explain this distillery, except that I think if there was a fire it would go up in a ball of flames that could be seen from space. I’m pretty sure they make every liqueur, schnapp and mixer known to man. If there’s something you can have as a shot, they’re making it at the Mt Tamborine Distillery. It was probably the most fun cellar door experience we had, with blind tastings, an impromptu hokey pokey (which is when I discovered my husband has never heard of or done the hokey pokey in his life which blew my mind) and some frankly amazing liqueurs. I walked away with a limoncello, but I immediately regretted not seeing they had raki (a famous Greek/Turkish liqueur we drank in abundance in Greece) because it makes a great end of meal digestive. Ah well, one of my travel mottos is always leave something to do so you have a reason to return to places you love, so I guess we’ll have to go back.

Fortitude Brewing Company

Our last stop was also possibly my favourite? I mean the whole day was fun so I can’t really pick one over another, but any place that has live music, a cheese factory and a brewery is probably going to be a winner for me. It was a great place to finish up, we shared some cheese and biscuits and had a few different beers. Had we not been on a tour we probably would have stayed for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening, trying different beers and ordering pizza.


A quick guide of where to eat (and drink) in South Bank, Brisbane

We’ve been lucky enough to call Brisbane home for eight years now - and in the last three or four years I’ve become obsessed with finding the best places to eat and drink. It’s become a really fun hobby, and I always love recommending places to people.

With that in mind I wanted to share some of my favourite places to eat, drink and be merry in Brisbane. It’s a reasonably big city (hush now all you Sydneysiders - I know it’s smaller than Sydney) so I’ve decided to divide it into suburbs. I’ll also do my best to keep it updated as I discover new places (and say farewell to old ones).

Pre P.S. Most of the photos are going to be from Instagram as I rarely take my big camera out when it’s not an event - so apologies in advance for the photo quality.


South Bank is one of THE places Brisbane Tourism tries to spruik to tourists as being the place to go, and you know what? They’re kind of right to do that.

Of everywhere in Brisbane, South Bank reminds me the most of Adelaide, lots of casual dining and sidewalk tables, perfect for people watching whilst sipping a delicious beverage. I’ve seen a lot of places come and go in my eight years in Brisbane (RIP Fifth Element), but this is the current list of my absolute faves.

Ole and Sangria Bar

Ole is the place to go if you want to eat all of the tapas. It is a bit pricey, so it truly is best to go with a bunch of friends to help share the bill. If you want something more casual, next door is their Sangria Bar. It has a great range of sangrias and a smaller range of tapas, making it perfect for after work drinks. Be warned though - the sangrias will knock you on your arse, so consume responsibly.

The Plough Inn

The Plough is pretty much an institution in Brisbane, it’s been around since 1864 (which is quite old by the Australian standard for pubs) and has gone through many a facelift over the years. I’ve been kicked out of it more than a few times for getting a bit rowdy on a Sunday, but I’m sure you’ll be much better behaved. It’s the perfect place for a casual drink with friends and some solid pub food.

Mucho Mexicano

Personally, I would recommend going to Mucho Mexicano on two occasions:

  1. On a Tuesday for all you can eat tacos

  2. For breakfast on the weekend

I can say with absolute certainty that you won’t be disappointed on either occasion. Though definitely book a table for All You Can Eat Tacos because it definitely fills up quick.

French Martini

This one of my favourite “special date” spots in Brisbane. It’s a small restaurant serving (not surprisingly) French cuisine. It has a good mix of well known classics and surprise offerings, and the food is always top notch. As a Francophile I’m always looking for places to replicate my experience in Paris, and this place definitely makes the grade. Take someone special.

Big Little House

Housed in the old South Brisbane police station, Little Big House is a reasonably new pub in South Bank, having only opened in 2018, but it’s fast become one of my favourites. It’s got lots of tables to gather around and the drink selection is unusually excellent. After a few early misses, the food menu has definitely found its stride and has a good mix of classic pub fare and inventive new ideas.

Bourbon Street

This is a place I wish I could visit more often, because I love New Orleans themed everything (don’t worry - it’s on the list to visit one day). I’ve never eaten there… I think… Possibly I had a late night snack once? But the cocktail menu is great and the ambience is excellent.

Aquitaine

The other French restaurant on my favourites list, Aquitaine is less of a cozy French bistro (like French Martini) and more of a classy Michelin star vibe (without the star by the way in case you were worried about the price). We had a particularly wonderful Bastille Day dinner at Aquitaine last year which was amazing from beginning to end.

Stokehouse Q

After dinner walk over to Stokehouse Q for some post dinner drinks whilst looking out over the Brisbane River. Every time I go here I’m reminded how insanely lucky I am to have ended up in Brisbane. It’s nowhere I ever expected to make my home, but having a glass of wine and looking out over the city twinkling on the river, makes me so incredibly greateful.

Munich Brauhaus

Long awaited newcomer Munich Brauhaus is everything you expect from the name. Lots of German beer, lots of pig based meal options and waitstaff dressed in dirndls and liederhosen. It’s a really fun place to go for dinner with friends (just make sure you have an empty stomach - the food portions are enormous).

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar

No night is truly complete without a stop at Max Brenner’s for a hot (or cold) chocolate. I still remember the first time we went there and I was blown away by the lines that will form just to get their sweet treats.


A quick guide of where to eat (and drink) in South Brisbane

We’ve been lucky enough to call Brisbane home for eight years now - and in the last three or four years I’ve become obsessed with finding the best places to eat and drink. It’s become a really fun hobby, and I always love recommending places to people.

With that in mind I wanted to share some of my favourite places to eat, drink and be merry in Brisbane. It’s a reasonably big city (hush now all you Sydneysiders - I know it’s smaller than Sydney) so I’ve decided to divide it into suburbs. I’ll also do my best to keep it updated as I discover new places (and say farewell to old ones).

Pre P.S. Most of the photos are going to be from Instagram as I rarely take my big camera out when it’s not an event - so apologies in advance for the photo quality.


I was lucky enough to work in South Brisbane for 6 years and it’s one of my favourite parts of Brisbane. I loved going to the museum and art galleries on my lunch breaks, or walking down to the park lands to laze around and read. It’s also home to a lot of my favourite bars and restaurants so let’s take a quick tour.

Fox Hotel

When I first moved to Brisbane The Fox was a hole - but it wasn’t long before it was bought and immediately renovated. These days it’s a great place to go to have some casual drinks with friends and order food to share.

Saccharomyces Beer Cafe

Oh SBC, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. This was my regular haunt when my office was in South Brisbane because they did amazing coffee, the best mac and cheese around and all the craft beer a girl could want. To this day it’s one of my favourite places in the whole world, and I’ll find any excuse to go back. They have regularly rotating range of beer on tap, as well as a great food menu and excellent taste in music. I love it, and I hope you will love it too.

Julius Pizzeria

Oh my lord, if you want an amazing pizza experience then Julius Pizzeria is the place for you. It has some of the best pizza in Brisbane (and possibly Australia). Anytime we go to an event in South Brisbane it’s our default choice for dinner. Their menu is seasonal so there’s always something new to try, and it’s fun to watch them make the pizza in front of your eyes. Be warned though - they don’t do bookings (aside from one lunch hour and one dinner hour) but they’re happy for you to sit at the bar, have some olives and a drink whilst you wait for your table to be free.

La Lune Wine Bar

If you want to have a fancy happy hour La Lune is the place to go. They have a rotating list of uncorked wine bottles to choose from, as well as an enormous list by the glass and bottle. If you want to treat a lover (or friend) to a fancy drink (maybe before dinner at Julius), this is the place to go.

Taro’s Ramen

Taro’s has a bit of a cult following, and I was so excited when they opened a restaurant in South Brisbane. I’m a bit of a ramen fanatic, and this is some of the best I’ve ever had. It’s the perfect place to stop for lunch or dinner.

NOM

If you want something a little healthier for breakfast or lunch, NOM is the right choice. It has a daily range of salads and wraps, along with a few cheeky baked treats. It was a favourite for the days where I forgot my lunch and didn’t want to indulge in the mac and cheese at Saccharomyces.

Gelato Messina

I’d heard about Gelato Messina long before it rocked up in South Brisbane - the queues it would attract in Melbourne were pretty legendary to the foodie set. I miss a lot of things about having my office in South Brisbane - but having a gelateria that did nothing but high quality, unique gelato made on site is up there.

P.S. Most of these places are in or around Fish Lane - and every year the Fish Lane Festival does its best to showcase the best the laneway has to offer. I’ve been lucky enough to go twice, and it’s great fun (though I do recommend getting in early before it gets too busy and crazy).


A quick guide of where to eat (and drink) in Fortitude Valley

We’ve been lucky enough to call Brisbane home for eight years now - and in the last three or four years I’ve become obsessed with finding the best places to eat and drink. It’s become a really fun hobby, and I always love recommending places to people.

With that in mind I wanted to share some of my favourite places to eat, drink and be merry in Brisbane. It’s a reasonably big city (hush now all you Sydneysiders - I know it’s smaller than Sydney) so I’ve decided to divide it into suburbs. I’ll also do my best to keep it updated as I discover new places (and say farewell to old ones).

Pre P.S. Most of the photos are going to be from Instagram as I rarely take my big camera out when it’s not an event - so apologies in advance for the photo quality.


First up is Fortitude Valley. It’s got a reputation as the place to party in the city - and that’s definitely correct, but it also has a great bar scene (including my favourite bar in Brisbane). So if you’re looking for a more chilled night out - this guide to the Valley is for you.

Greaser

I almost don’t want to tell you about Greaser because it’s my favourite bar in Brisbane and I like that I can always get a table. The theme in Greaser is The Outsiders (yes that book you read in high school) so the menu is heavy on burgers and fried chicken, the live bands are normally swing or jazz, and it’s got that speakeasy vibe (helped by the fact it’s underground and you have to walk through a creepy alley to get there).

Heya

Heya is inspired by the street food of South East Asia and the tiny bars found in the Golden Gai district in Tokyo. There’s lots of hidden corners to be found in the venue, and the odd secret bar as well. The food is really good - I recommend the cheeseburger spring rolls personally and there is a great range of alcohol behind the bar. It’s a fun place to go for drinks with friends on a Saturday night.

Les Bubbles

When I first moved to Brisbane I was surprised to learn that in the eighties and nineties the police were universally considered corrupt scum bags. All that ended with the Fitzgerald Inquiry, and that’s where Les Bubbles comes in. At its height the “bathhouse” where Les Bubbles now stands was a brothel and illegal casino where the high ups would come to - ahem - have “meetings”.

Les Bubbles (regretfully) would like to inform you that they are no longer a brothel - but their speciality is still meat - steak frites to be more specific. When I say specialty I mean it - they do one thing, but they do it perfectly. It’s probably the best steak you will eat in your life, and they serve it with bottomless fries, an amazing salad and a range of sauces. Don’t panic though if you’re vegetarian or pescatarian, you’re still welcome and they’ll happily tell you what the dish of the day is if you don’t consume meat. The ambience is perfect, the food is delicious, the wine range is excellent. Definitely don’t eat lunch before going so you can enjoy the experience fully. Bonus points if you head downstairs to the bathhouse for pre (or post) drinks. They still have the hot tub up and running and serve cocktails and snack food.

Bloodhound Corner Bar & Kitchen

I love Bloodhound for pre-drinks before heading out to dinner. It’s got a great cocktail menu and a rotating range of interesting beers on tap. It can get pretty packed on the weekend, so head in early if you want a table, otherwise you might have to accept standing around. The food is tasty, but expensive for what you get, which is why I don’t really recommend it as a dinner place.


A quick guide of where to eat (and drink) in Broadbeach, Gold Coast

Broadbeach | Miss Sweet Nothings

In November my husband and I went on a quick trip to the Gold Coast for our tenth anniversary (since we got together, we’re only up to our fourth wedding anniversary). I was really excited to explore a new part of Queensland. We’ve lived here for eight years, and we really haven’t explored much of this place we’ve made home, and I’m hoping this is the first step to changing that!

For a lot of people, when they think of the Gold Coast they think glitz, glam, bikies and Schoolies. I was determined to seek out a different side of the Gold Coast, and I’m happy to say I think I succeeded!

We stayed in Broadbeach, which is a bit further down from Surfer’s Paradise (what most people think of when they think of the Gold Coast) and cusps on the more suburban parts of the Gold Coast.

I will say - if/when we go back to the Gold Coast I would probably stay even further down the coast in Miami (no, not that Miami) or Burleigh Heads. All of the breweries we visited were down that way, and it had a lot more of that classic “Aussie beach town” vibe.

Pre P.S. We stayed at Ocean Pacific Resort. It’s a little more pricey than what I might normally have gone with (I mean it was our anniversary after all) but it was worth every penny. I can’t say for sure but I’m pretty sure it’s family run (it definitely had that vibe). It didn’t have a lot of the fancy bells and whistles that you’d find in bigger resorts (restaurants etc) but it was well cared for with a nice pool and spa and the rooms were really lovely.

Pre P.P.S. Despite me bringing my DLSR I mostly took pictures with my phone, so apologies for the photo quality.

Broadbeach | Miss Sweet Nothings

Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid has the chilled out vibe of a beachside cafe that has been running since surfboards were invented. It’s somewhere the locals go for brunch, or for a Sunday session. The brunch menu has a great mix of options to suit everyone and part of the reason we went more than once was because there were multiple things I wanted to try! I definitely recommend the breakfast burger or the haloumi mushroom stack.

Bam Bam Bakehouse

It’s a good thing you could walk straight past Bam Bam if you weren’t looking for it because if it was more obvious it would be constantly packed. As it is it has a bit of a cult status; Margot Robbie even started her hen’s day at Bam Bam! The croissants take three days to make, and they are worth it. They also make a variety of dangerous looking pastries that taste as good as they look (there’s nothing worse than food only looking good “for the ‘gram”).

Skull & Bones Espresso

We didn’t eat anything here - but word on the street is they do cracker bagels. We did stop here a few times for coffee, and it was really good - so if you’re a coffee addict like us, it’s worth it just for that.

Loose Moose

The Loose Moose has the kind of food that you need to skip lunch to make room for. The menu is full of hearty burgers, ribs and loaded fries; essentially comfort food at its finest. The ambience is really fun and friendly, it was a great place to start our Gold Coast adventure!

Roosevelt Lounge

Roosevelt Lounge is the exact opposite of its brash, loud sister; Loose Moose. The max capacity is probably barely 50, and if it gets too full they close the door (though if you ring the doorbell they might let you in - as we discovered on Saturday night). It’s the kind of place you go with a few friends or a lover for some fancy drinks and maybe some snacks. The bartenders are incredibly knowledgeable, and you feel so classy sitting on a plush red velvet stool sipping your drink and people watching. Also they have a live saxophonist every night which really adds to the ambience.

Soho Place

Soho Place really is hidden in plain sight. It’s behind an unassuming red door that looks like a London telephone box, in amongst Thai massage places and pharmacies. It’s the last place you expect a cute speakeasy style bar to be - which is probably the point. Decorated in an homage to everything London, it’s a fun place to go for pre-drinks or an evening with friends. It’s officially the first “small” bar opened in the Gold Coast (aka a bar with no requirement to serve food) - but I hope not the last!

Double Zero

Honestly, Double Zero doesn’t need me to sing its praises. I think every other foodie magazine and website out there has already said everything that can be said about this top notch pizzeria. It’s even officially approved by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana as selling true Neapolitan pizza! We went here for our anniversary dinner and it was a fantastic experience from start to finish. The wine list is incredible, the service is polite but not overbearing and of course there is the pizza. As my husband said, I could eat just the pizza dough without any topping, it’s that good! Even better is we had a great view of the kitchen, so I could watch the chefs preparing and cooking the pizza.

A mini brewery tour…

I’m really hoping we will be able to go back to the Gold Coast soon and do a proper brewery tour, so this is just a little taster. We spent an afternoon further south in Burleigh Heads doing a mini brewery tour. We started at Black Hops which is a tiny taproom in an industrial complex. They do a great range of beers and occasional ciders, the staff are really friendly (and know everything about their beers). Plus as a nerdy business person I love that they’re doing their best to share how they’re creating a craft brewery as just three lads in Queensland.

We also checked out Granddad Jacks, a distillery down the road. I love gin, and it is a beautiful space where you can go to chill out, have a drink and listen to some music. Pets and kids are welcome, and they even have a barber cutting hair in one corner of the distillery!

I’m sure you’re wondering what we ate to help line our stomachs for all this tasting. In probably the most genius business idea I have seen, Wholly Smoke is a small BBQ smokehouse that runs out of a small kitchen in the local area. If you’re at one of the participating breweries or distilleries you can text a food order over to them, and they’ll bike it over!

Most licensed venues have some requirement to provide food (as part of liquor licensing laws) but having a kitchen is a lot of work. Having Wholly Smoke supply food makes it easy for them to build their business and means the breweries and distilleries don’t have to worry about bringing in food trucks or having a kitchen onsite.

I found this little adventure incredibly inspiring to see how these businesses are working together to create a community in Burleigh Heads, and it’s the reason I really want to go back and explore properly.