Despite being a regular visitor to Noosa, there are so many new places that I keep discovering with each trip to Noosa, both new and old, as I found out on a recent long weekend.
The first discovery was Noosa Springs Golf and Spa Resort, located only 5 minutes from Hastings Street. Noosa Springs is surrounded by picturesque Lake Weyba and is nestled in a beautiful setting. The resort offers an 18 hole championship golf course catering to players of all levels, a luxury boutique style resort with accommodation and all of the facilities you would expect, including a world class fitness center, tennis court, spa and restaurants. On this occasion we were visiting restaurant Relish, and the Spa, which I was particularly looking forward to.
Relish overlooks the beautiful golf course and offers a relaxed lunch setting for golfers, locals and groups alike. Our waiter Peter cheerfully greeted us and offered us the menus along with a drink. To kick off the long weekend I opted for a glass of sparkling wine while we read through the menu. My husband, Troy, chose the Veal Pappardelle while I settled on the Vegetarian Tasting Plate.
I became quite excited when my vegetarian tasting plate arrived. Vegetarian dishes are, sadly, still often an afterthought on most restaurant menus, but my tasting plate was heaving with lots of delicious things to pick at – fried haloumi with wedges of lemon, a beautiful tomato stuffed with mozarella cheese and olive tapenade, polenta chips, eggplant parmigana with red pepper essence, stuffed mushrooms and a beautiful smoked red capsicum pate. Acompanying it was a basket of lightly toasted bread with a whisper of olive oil. Along with a glass of sparkling wine this is my ideal way to spend a Friday afternoon – sipping and nibbling.
Troy’s veal pappardelle was equally impressive with homemade pappardelle and melt in your mouth veal – although he kept eyeing off my tasting plate, which I happily shared as it was more food than I could possibly eat.
Although dessert is something one never needs, it’s something I find difficult to pass up. On this occasion I opted for Baklava served with Honey Mascarpone, and my husband went for the Molten Chocolate Pudding with Strawberry and Mint Salad and Hokey Pokey Ice Cream.
After lunch it was off to the Spa. The Spa offers world-class facilities that are some of the best in Australia, including a hydro massage pool, flotation pool, infrared sauna, steam room, blitz shower, thermal capsules and couples treatment suites.
We were booked in for a Hydro Massage and Steam Experience and were greeted by spa staff and offered a refreshing drink upon arrival, before being shown through the spa facilities, and our change room, ready for our Hydro Massage. The Hydro Massage uses strong underwater jets to massage your body and the near body temperature water is aimed at relaxing your muscles and improving your circulatory system. The spa includes a number of different massage areas focused on different parts of the body including neck and shoulders, back, legs and feet. It was so relaxing, and felt so good I didn’t want to leave!
Blissfully relaxed we were greeted in the relaxation lounge, where we could unwind and rehydrate with a delicious fruit drink before heading back into the real world.
Relaxed, and ready for a fun filled weekend we headed to the newly refurbished SeaHaven Resort, our base for the next 2 days.
Offering 68 newly renovated 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and beachfront views right on Hastings St. Each apartment offers a fully equipped kitchen (which has even more bench space than my kitchen at home), a lounge area, and beachfront apartments also include a balcony with a dining table and bbq. While the rooms are compact in design, they have also been designed to provide a feeling of space. There’s nothing worse than a cramped hotel or apartment, and SeaHaven is definitely not cramped.
One of the other things I liked is that it’s quiet. I’m not sure if we happened to stay on a particularly quiet weekend, but I couldn’t hear other quests, which is one of my usual bug bears when staying somewhere, particularly when you can hear the occupants of the upstairs room clomping around. Not here, thankfully!
After settling in it was time to get ready for our sunset cruise with Noosa Ferry. The cruise is a great way to kick off your evening, as passengers can bring drinks and snacks on board (glassware and ice provided on board). We settled for enjoying the spectacular sunset and gazing longingly at the multi-million dollar properties lining the river, and watching people have fun on the river. We even saw a woman in a kayak with a dog sitting on the back! He seemed to be happily enjoying his river cruise.
Back on dry land, it’s time to head to dinner, at the wonderful Berardo’s Restaurant and Bar. I’d longed to dine at Berardo’s, a Noosa institution but for some reason, on every visit to Noosa never quite got there. However I was so happy that I did this time because it’s one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. Not just due to the spectacular food, but to me, at least, it’s the service that really transforms a good dining experience into a special one, as it did at Berardo’s.
Headed up by chef Tim Montgomery, he is keen to promote the best local produce, and our waiter mentioned how he’s always heading out to meet directly with producers to see the best that they have on offer and how he can feature it on the menu at Berardo’s.
As we perused the menu we kicked off our evening with a pre-dinner cocktail. A Cucumber and Elderflower Collins for me and a Mojito for Troy.
While we sipped on our cocktails we were presented with a delicious Pastry Cigar of Chestnut Cream, Watercress, Truffle and Almonds. It was divine, and enough to get our mouth watering for the meal ahead.
I couldn’t quite decide what to have on the menu as I was torn between the Lara Valley Figs with Battered Radicchio and the Tortellini with Asparagus. As I couldn’t decide, I asked our waiter if I could have a tasting portion of each, which she said wouldn’t be a problem. Troy however, being the duck lover he is, quickly settled on the Duck Rillette with Cornichons and Flatbreads and the Moreton Bay Bugs with Smoked Duck and Sweet Corn Puree.
After placing our order we were greeted with another amuse-bouche. For me it was Sweet Corn Puree, Morel and Popcorn Butter in Baby Onion and for Troy Pureed Salt Cod with Potato and Herring Caviar.
Next came my Lara Valley Figs, which had been lightly caramelised, topped with Lirah Caramelised Fig Balsamic and served with Curd Cheese and Battered Radicchio. I love figs and I love raddichio, and the combination was beautiful, to die for actually, and I really appreciated the crunch that the light batter added to the dish.
It so happened that the chef was testing a new pâté recipe, so along with the Duck Rillette and Radish Salad that Troy had ordered, chef Tim Montgomery had also sent out a plate of the Chicken Liver Pâté. Both dishes looked beautiful to me, however Troy’s favourite, as I knew it would be, was the duck.
After a bit of a much needed, break, out came our next course. Tortellini with Asparagus and Almonds for me, and Moreton Bay Bugs with Sweet Corn and Smoked Duck for Troy. Even though there were only two Tortellini on my plate, they were huge, and, feeling rather full by this point (particularly as I’d forgotten I’d ordered a side dish), I struggled to even eat half of one. However it was beautiful, and the homemade pasta was meltingly soft, and the asparagus added a lovely fresh element to the dish.
I also ordered a side of Miso Green Beans as I adore Miso, and chef Tim Montgomery also gave us a serve of their infamous Blackall Truffled Brie ‘Mac & Cheese’, which was amazing! Comfort food and decadence all at once.
The offer of dessert was too good to refuse, (there’s always room for dessert, isn’t there?) and the moment I saw the words “Salted Caramel” on the menu my mind was made up.
Dessert orders placed, our waitress then brought out a couple of bowls of a wonderfully refreshing Mango Sorbet. Troy isn’t a mango lover, in fact he detests mango, so I was surprised when he actually ate and enjoyed it. I made a mental note to try and sneak in more mango dishes at home in the future as I adore mango!
Troy’s dessert of Lemon Posset with Berries, Meringue and Barambah Organic Milk Sorbet was nothing short of a work of art or should I say architecture, with sheets of meringue broken and arranged on the plate it was reminiscent of the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
My dessert of Belgian Chocolate, Malt, Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse with Brewers Malt Ice Cream was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. It was mind-blowingly good, and despite being very full, I polished off the entire plate. It had that perfect combination of sweet and salty, and the chocolate twigs covered with cocoa along with pieces of honeycomb added a wonderful textural element to the dish. I would go back to Berardos Restaurant and Bar for that dessert alone!
Stay tuned for part 2 of Uncovering hidden gems in Noosa next week!
Noosa Springs Golf Resort and Spa
Links Drive, PO Box 54,
Noosa Heads, Queensland Australia 4567
15 Hastings Street,
Noosa Heads, QLD, 4567
Book Online at http://www.seahavennoosa.com.au/
Noosa Ferry Sunset Cruise
Berardos Restaurant and Bar
ocean breeze resort,
noosa heads, QLD 4567
Delicious Everyday visited Noosa as a guest of Visit Noosa. All opinions however are my own.