Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2015 In Brisbane

Overflowing kegs, pork knuckles as big as your head, chicken dancing, frilly drindls, and lederhosen...this can only mean one thing...

Oktoberfest is HERE!

Wait- Are you one of those silly people who has never really gotten into the whole Oktoberfest thing?  If so, why the hell not! Oktoberfest is second only to Christmas in our books.

It's all about knocking back a few cold brews with good mates, and maybe partaking in a chicken dance or two, dressed in your fancy German threads. It's a good time. And that's why we're here... to make sure you don't miss out on all the fun this year!

So without further ado, here are our top places to celebrate Oktoberfest 2015 in Brisbane: 

Bavarian Bier Cafe

Bavarian always brings the party during Oktoberfest, but this year they have really outdone themselves! At Bavarian Bier Café Eagle St Pier, guests can be amongst the first to have exclusive access to the limited edition Oktoberfest biers from Lowenbrau, Spaten, Hofbräu, Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr. The extremely popular Jägermeister parties will return again this year as well as a fun-packed calendar of events, including Oktoberfest games, live oompah bands and DJs, regular keg tapping parties (FREE BEER) and family fun days until the celebrations end on Saturday, 31 October. 

Oktoberfest menus starring hearty Bavarian classic dishes, such as roasted pork knuckle, crispy pork belly, haus made sausages, huge schnitzels and haus-baked strudels will help create the ultimate cultural experience. For more information on the Oktoberfest events at Bavarian Bier Cafe head to the official website, click here.

Oktoberfest Brisbane

Of course there is no better way to celebrate this momentous occasion than at Australia's LARGEST Oktoberfest festival. Live entertainment, delicious German food, competitions, colourful costumes, traditional German beers, and plenty of chicken dancing!

This event is not to be missed. You will feel as though you've been transported to the streets of Munich once you step through those gates. The festival begins in exactly 9 days. Trust us, it's the most fun you can have with a lederhosen on! Get your tickets now - click here !

Special note: As always, drink responsibly and make transportation plans when attending Oktoberfest events. Why not hitch a ride with our mates at Black n White Cabs! 

The Best Fresh Produce Markets in Brisbane and Surrounds

There's nothing quite like spending a sunny Saturday morning wandering through your local farmer's market. Something about those glistening, fresh strawberries fill our hearts with joy... If you can relate then you are in the right place!

Here are some of the best fresh produce markets in Brisbane and surrounds:

1. Jan Power's Farmers Market

This Jan Power's Farmer's Market is widely regarded as one of Brisbane's best! You'll find fresh farm produce, flowers, breads, artisan products, meat, fish, poultry, plants, organics and food related objects and more at this awesome Brissy market. The market is BIG on supporting Aussie farmer's (which we love) so you will find heaps of colorful, local produce lining the aisles. Even better, they have markets all over Brisbane! There are currently four are in operation: The Brisbane City Markets, Powerhouse, Manly Farmers Market, and Mitchelton Markets. For more information on the Jan Power's Farmers Market, click here.

2. The Market Room

The Market Room is the newest addition to the growing Logan Hyperdome. The new space is redefining fresh produce in regional shopping centres. It's like a food court on steroids! Inside the vibrant space you'll find fresh fruit & veg, fishmongers, butchers, florists, delicatessen, chocolatiers, eat in/takeaway, spices, an Asian grocer, and a liquor store - it's your one stop shop! The 17 million dollar project only opened its doors a few months ago and it's already got the city of Logan buzzing. For more info on The Market Room, check out the Hyperdome website, click here.

3. Carseldine Farmer's and Artisan's Market

Open every Saturday from 6am- 12pm the Carseldine Markets is a very popular weekend hang for Northsiders. Inside the market you'll find fresh produce, crafts, traditional and gourmet foods made on the spot, market provisions made by passionate producers, growers, farmers, painters, cooks, chefs, designers, bakers, fishmongers, butchers, baristas, juicers and so much more. Jam out to the tunes of awesome local artists while you do your weekly shop. Parking is free. For more info on the Carseldine Markets, click here

4. Rocklea Markets

I mean, who hasn't been to the Rocklea Markets?! The long established market is one of our favorite places to spend a Saturday morning. The Saturday Fresh Markets and Sunday Discovery Markets are both opened from 6.00am – 12 noon. The Saturday Fresh Markets boasts over 220 stalls offering a huge selection of fruit & vegetables, quality meats and poultry, fresh cut flowers, breads and baked goods, gourmet and deli lines, indoor and outdoor plants and lifestyle products. For more information on the Rocklea Markets, click here.

5. Village Markets, Kelvin Grove

This bustling inner city market is open every Saturday from 6am to 1pm. Inside the market you'll find delicious ethnic cuisine super affordable fresh fruit and vegetables, clothing and second hand plants, flowers, crafts furniture and more. The one thing that really sells it for us is that it is just around the corner from our favourite sandwich shop Dannyboy's! For more information on the Village Markets, click here. 

Where's your go to spot for buying fresh produce? Let us know in the comments section below!

6 Reasons Why You Should Get In Bed With Crowne Plaza Terrigal

Crowne Plaza Terrigal is unlike any beach accommodation we've stayed at before... 

It's the kind of place that leaves a lasting impression. Long after our trip to the cosy, Central Coast town of Terrigal, NSW we're still dreaming of our AMAZING suite at Crowne Plaza.

We needed a break and this hotel provided the perfect escape. So without further ado (as if our mouthwatering food pics weren't encouragement enough...)

Here are 6 reasons why you should get in bed with Crowne Plaza Terrigal:

1. The hotel is GORGEOUS.

Seriously, cudos, to whoever designed this place...it's incredible. The first word that comes to mind when I think about Crowne Plaza Terrigal is GRAND. Pearly white floors, winding staircases, ornate cornices, classic furnishings, and intriguing works of art fill this palatial accommodation.

As soon as we stepped through the glossy revolving doors we knew we were in for a luxurious week. If you are looking for a taste of the good life, look no further than Crowne Plaza Terrigal. The beautifully appointed hotel and the very attentive staff will have you feeling like a King (or Queen)!

2. VERY Central Location

Crowne Plaza Terrigal is the heart of Terrigal, NSW. The beach is directly across the road, and some of Terrigal's best restaurants and shopping destinations are only minutes walk! Your car never needs to leave the parking garage. If you're like me and desperately crave seafood anytime you're near the ocean check out Blue Bell's Seafood next door to Florida Beach Bar. The food is quick and the service is excellent. Grab takeaway and enjoy your lunch by the sea.

3. Immaculate Suites

"If only we could actually live in this suite forever..." That's exactly what you'll be thinking once you step foot into the Terrace Suite at Crowne Plaza Terrigal. It was magnificent! We've stayed in suites before that - to be honest - really didn't feel like suites or weren't worth the crazy expensive nightly rate the hotel was charging. This was not one of those times. THIS was a suite.

The room was HUGE and had all the luxurious touches you'd expect with a suite. Plush robes, generous sized lounge room, private balcony, plush king bed, and a beautiful porcelain spa bath to soak away all your troubles in!

There's nothing quite like watching the sunset over the beach, as you stand enjoying the coastal breezes sweeping through your room, high up on your private balcony.

Checking out was one of the most difficult things we have EVER had to do...

4. Foodie's Playground

If you've been following our Crowne Plaza adventures for the last few weeks then you know we did not go hungry... How could we with some many quality dining options available at your fingertips!! Degustations, high teas, buffets, pub grub, tapas...the list goes on. If you are expecting your typical lacklustre hotel food then think again! The dining team at Crowne Plaza Terrigal are world class, serving up quality, thoughtfully prepared meals.

Want hear more about all the amazing food we ate? Check out our blog posts on the dining options at Crowne Plaza Terrigal by clicking the links below: 

Seasalt Restaurant
Lord Ashely Lounge
Florida Beach Bar

5. Entertainment

I know what you night owls are thinking..."What entertainment could a hotel possibly offer? Soft piano music in the lobby? I want to party!" See that's where you'd be so wrong. Crowne Plaza's Florida Beach Bar is the entertainment hub in Terrigal. The vibrant venue hosts a number of special events like trivia evenings, sports broadcasts and live bands. You can catch live bands and entertainment every Friday from 5:30pm to 9:30pm, Saturdays 1pm to 5pm & Sunday’s from 1pm to 9pm at Florida Beach Bar.  To see what musical acts are lined up next at The Beery, check out their Instagram page, click here.

6. Breathtaking Beach Views

One of the biggest perks of staying with Crowne Plaza Terrigal would have to be those views. Every where you turn there are sensational views of Terrigal Beach. Those magical, unspoiled views paired with the faint sounds of waves crashing against the shore create a very tranquil and leisurely atmosphere inside of the hotel. Oh, how we miss it!

Crowne Plaza Terrigal has so much to offer. We anxiously await our next visit! For more information on the rates, services, facilities, dining options available at Crowne Plaza Terrigal check out the official website, click here.

Thank you so much to the team at Crowne Plaza Terrigal for making our stay very enjoyable!

*AmeriAus was the guest of Crowne Plaza Terrigal. 

A Liesurely Lunch at Florida Beach Bar | Terrigal, NSW

Crowne Plaza has something for every kind of foodie...

Degustations at Seasalt...high teas at Lord Ashley Lounge...and pub grub at Florida Beach Bar! 

Florida Beach Bar & Terrace aka The Beery was the last stop on our dining adventure through Crowne Plaza Terrigal. It is without a doubt the most casual, and popular dining option the hotel has to offer. Since opening it's doors in 1992 the bar has served as the entertainment hub in the small town of Terrigal.

The vibrant venue hosts a number of special events like trivia evenings, sports broadcasts and live bands. You can catch live bands and entertainment every Friday from 5:30pm to 9:30pm, Saturdays 1pm to 5pm & Sunday’s from 1pm to 9pm at Florida Beach Bar. 

Needless to say, the place is always buzzing with activity! Entertainment, however, is not the only thing this unique venue has to offer. The bar boasts a delightful Mediterranean-inspired menu and a sensational cocktail list. Sit back and enjoy your delicious meal in the largest open air dining area in Terrigal with perfect views of Terrigal Beach from every table. Some of the highlights include: The Florida Beach Bar Burger and the Philly Cheese steak. 

Be sure to add Florida Beach Bar to your itinerary next time you are on the Central Coast, it does not disappoint! For more information click here.

*AmeriAus was the guest of Crowne Plaza Terrigal. 

The Lord Ashley Lounge at Crowne Plaza Terrigal

The next stop on our dining adventure through Crowne Plaza Terrigal was the extremely elegant Lord Ashley Lounge located on level 1.

The Lord Ashley Lounge is the perfect place to unwind with friends after a big day of exploring the magnificent Central Coast. Light snacks, fancy high teas, tapas, and the most incredible cocktails...the Lord Ashley has something to satisfy every craving. This was our go to chill spot during our stay with Crowne Plaza Terrigal.

And did I mention the exquisite beach views?! The hours can easily get a way from you when dining at the Lord Ashley Lounge. 

High Teas are offered daily from 12pm to 5pm and feature a mouthwatering selection of sweet & savoury nibbles (quiche lorraine, scones, finger sandwiches, brownies, etc) accompanied by Vittoria Coffee or Dilmah Loose Leaf tea. Click here to view the High Tea menu.

In the evening, Lord Ashley transforms into a stylish cocktail bar serving up delectable tapas and refreshing drinks. Some of the highlights include: Lime & Garlic Green Lip Mussels, Tomato & Parmesan Arancini, Smoked Salmon Croquettes and the Toblerone Cocktail. So delicious!  Click here to view the full Tapas menu. Dinner is available from 6:30pm to 11pm. 

Put Lord Ashley on the top of your 'must eat' list next time you're venturing through the gorgeous Central Coast. 
For more information on the Lord Ashley Lounge, click here

*AmeriAus was the guest of Crowne Plaza Terrigal.

Elegant Evenings in the Hawkesbury Valley

Harvest Restaurant at The Sebel Hawkesbury Valley always delivers! We should know, we've dined here before, check it out here

Harvest utilizes the highest quality ingredients and finest culinary skills to produce a superb gastronomic experience.

The beautifully appointed restaurant features a stunning French provincial lobby, white marble fireplaces, metallic accented frosted lamps and plush flooring. All of this paired with the live pianist, create a cosy and intimate atmosphere. The perfect place for a romantic date night. 

We were extremely excited to head back to Harvest restaurant to try the Winter/Spring 2015 menu

So how was our second experience at the Harvest Restaurant, you ask? 

Seafood Tower: Bugs, Prawns, Oysters, Crab, and Salad
Lamb Backstrap with Butter bean puree, honey balsamic strawberries, baby leeks
Dark Chocolate Tart with Sour Cherry Ice cream and Chocolate Truffles

Even better than the first! The new menu is perfection. A credit to the chef- it only takes one glance to see that this menu has been thoughtfully crafted. We are happy to report the Harvest restaurant has only gotten better with time. If you weren't too fussed on the old menu, do yourself a favour and try the new one.

Molten Marshmallow Cheesecake with Pashmak and Strawberry Sorbet

Fresh, bursting with flavour, beautifully cooked and elegantly presented - these words sum up the 2015 Winter menu at The Harvest Restaurant. 

For more information on Harvest restaurant click here. 

*AmeriAus was the guest of The Sebel Hawkesbury Valley.

Fine Dining by the Sea at Crowne Plaza Terrigal

If you ever find yourself wandering through the gorgeous little town of Terrigal, New South Wales, treat yourself to an elegant dinner at Seasalt Restaurant. 

Seasalt is undoubtedly one of THE BEST dining experiences this central coast community has to offer. The restaurant is located in the Crowne Plaza Terrigal and is renowned for it's sensational ocean views, and thoughtfully prepared seasonal menus.

The beautifully appointed restaurant exudes sophistication & elegance, making it the perfect place for a romantic dinner date or special occasion.

On our visit we indulged in the 7 course degustation which is 109pp (or 169 matched with wines). Check out some of the highlights from our dinner below:

Atlantic Salmon, Beetroot Puree, Fish Crackling, Candied Beets, Dutch Carrots, Beuree Blanc
Galician Style Red Wine Braised Octopus, Baby Onions, Salsa Verde, Lemon
Galacia is a region in Northern Spain well known for pulperias (octopus restaurants). The octopus is tenderized, then braised for 2 hours in a mixture of red wine, port pomegranate, pancetta, paprika, onion, garlic, and herbs. The octopus is then rolled, compressed, and thinly sliced. This dish is extremely tender and bursting with beautiful, rich flavours!

Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder, Winter Vegetables, Parsnip, Lemon Puree, Oregano inspired by Ross Lusted
The lamb shoulder is heavily marbled producing a rich and flavourful cut. Because the shoulder muscles do more work they are typically less tender and require slower cooking methods The lamb should at Seasalt is braised for 6 hours in red wine, herbs, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. It is thin portioned into medallions and roasted until crisp. Is your mouth watering? A memorable end to a magnificent degustation.

Seasalt's attention to detail, and thoughtfully prepared degustation menu make it a memorable gastronomic experience, perfect for special occasions!

Seasalt is open from 7am to 10pm and offers buffet breakfasts, al a carte, and degustations. For more information click here.

Experience a unique Culinary Journey with Seasalt.* Enjoy three-courses from Seasalt's special menu for just $69.00 per person. From 17 August 2015, in Seasalt Restaurant, Crowne Plaza will be featuring a special menu from their Culinary Ambassadors group of incredibly talented and award-winning chefs. This menu represents the chef’s individual culinary journey, such as Theo Randall’s childhood trips to Italy or Sam Leong learning Cantonese cuisine from his father. To make a reservation please call 02 4384 9133. Menu is available until 15 November 2015.

*AmeriAus was the guest of Crowne Plaza Terrigal.