Bali’s best Feast Market Brunch

Feast Market Brunch from 12:00pm to 3:00pm every Sunday, well that certainly got my attention. Imagine all you can eat for 3 hours. And not just some shabby mediocre buffet, but a fully serviced buffet with foods from many continents, catering for every palate. The Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort puts on a really decent spread of food and who better to write about it than me. Wow what a bad time to go on a diet, but I’ll do this for the benefit of a good wholesome story in search for the best Sunday brunch in Bali.

We arrived a little earlier than normal opening time to get a few photos before the queuing patrons disturbed the lovely presented food and was impressed with the vibrant pink décor and our greeting by the helpful staff who led us to our table where we would be seated for the next 3 hours. Given the option for the standard non-alcoholic drinks or free flow beer and cocktails package I opted for the later. It was a perfect day for a few cold Bintangs to be later followed on with a few hot Cappuccinos.

As you enter the buffet there are freshly shucked oysters, prawns on ice, a selection of sushi and condiments. Not only was the selection of food amazing, but also of a high quality and beautifully presented. Oh where to start?

Further around the buffet a selection of various antipasti, salads, olives, pickled vegetables, cheeses, chicken and meat skewers, cold meats and a large variety of breads. Are you still with me?

Now let’s venture over to the other side of the buffet where we can find freshly made to order pasta and ravioli, various Asian noodles and soups, a selection of Indian foods, pizza by the slice, chilli crab, dim sum, steaks cooked to order, roast chicken, Teppanyaki and babi guling (roast pork).

At this stage if your mouth isn’t drooling then we’ll head on over to the sweets bar located in the centre of the restaurant. This is where the big kid comes out in all of us, freshly made crepes, pancakes and waffles all to be topped with jams, sprinkles and ice-cream or maybe just a bowl of ice-cream or sorbet. Cakes, fresh fruit, popcorn, croissants and more cakes are all on offer, you’ll go back for seconds and maybe thirds.

In keeping with the pink theme, there is a pink chocolate fountain with a range of sweet delicacies like honeycomb, profiteroles and marshmallows to be dunked. The Choux swans also caught my eye.

It was pleasing to see some Asian desserts to tease our palates too. There was Lemongrass crème brulee, Cocount and pandan agar agar, Thai mango sticky rice, Sumpung waluh and Putu ayu.

Market Brunch’s food stations feature authentic cuisine from Bali and beyond. The mouth-watering morsels are served tapas style in small bites so you can sample and savour seasonal local ingredients.

I can see why this brunch goes for 3 hours, there is just so much variety. And there is no rush, the food is constantly being replenished by the attentive and always smiling staff who are also clearing used plates and cutlery, ready for the next serve.

Between food stations we met and chatted with Executive Chef Rossano Renzelli who must be incredibly proud of his talented culinary team of hard working chefs. We also met one of the other team who is very proud of the staff here, the Director of Human Resources. What an amazing team he has put together.

Now venture outside where the chefs are preparing a selection of seafood. There is a choice of crayfish and freshly caught grilled prawns, fish, squid and clams all cooked to order.

Those of you with young children don’t need to be concerned as they also cater for the young undeveloped palates of children. There was a good variety of healthy options in the form of mice, cats, owls, And when sitting in one spot at the child sized table and chairs for more than 10 minutes becomes unbearable take them over to the well supervised children’s activity area. The staff will be sure to have them entertained while you sit back with your selection of cheeses sipping on your Cappuccino Freddo Greco.

Themed “Sip, Savor, Shop” this weekly Sunday brunch is ideal for the whole family or a group of friends to gather and enjoy a delightful, relaxing Sunday afternoon, Kuta style. It’s such an easy going setting in the outdoor area with the live DJ creating a relaxing mood for all to enjoy. After your hearty lunch lounge on the daybeds sipping beers, cocktails or you can upgrade even further and enjoy free flow bubbles until 3.00pm.

Had enough of eating then take a look outside at market where you can fill up a bowl with a 1Kg of fresh local fruit ‘n vegetable and a selection of artisan breads. The attentive staff will pack it into a bright pink bag for you to consume later at your villa or just on the beach.

Now surely by this stage you’re sitting back in your chair thinking you shouldn’t have eaten so much, or is that just me? Anyway relief is in sight. The Sheraton also offers patrons of the Feast Market Brunch the opportunity to venture upstairs and enjoy there infinity pool for as long as you can tan. Grab a towel, find a sun lounge and just laze by the pool taking advantage of the last few hours of sunlight.

Alternately you could head across the road to Kuta Beach and catch some waves, but after a big feed finding a sunlounge and catching some rays might be kinder to your full belly. Or if you need to walk off all the scrumptious food there is a huge mall with over 200 shops right next door.

Just another day in Bali.

Yes, we were suitably compensated for this review and I would do it all again.

Tip: Get a loyalty card and collect 8 stamps for a Shine Spa voucher or 12 stamps for a free night in a Deluxe Ocean View room with Breakfast for 2.

Does all this talk of food make you hungry? Would you love to enjoy a 3 hour brunch at Feast?

What are you waiting for?  Share this post or leave a comment below. If you like this post and want to read more like this why not subscribe to our Newsletter? We won’t spam you or share your personal details. If you’re not doing so already, please follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or click the StumbleUponFlipboard or other social media buttons below to share this post with others who might enjoy reading it.

*Our meal at Feast was complimentary as part of our stay at Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, but as always, all opinions are our own.

Margs is a foodie’s paradise

For a long time the only people to trek to Margaret River were surfers and hippies, as the area has long been synonymous for its surf and wine. But move over surfies, as foodies of the world are heading down under for the area’s dining scene.

The Margaret River region is home to some of the best food and wine in the world so it’s no wonder it’s one of our favourite places to escape for a weekend getaway. If you don’t plan some time ‘down south’ as part of your visit when you ‘do WA’ one day, then you will be missing out. 

Must see’s and must do’s are subjective, what we like, you may not and vise versa. But I’ve included a few suggestions of places we like in the region to start you off to plan your time in the area.

Only three hours south of Perth, Margs is ridiculously spoilt for choice of artisan producers, award winning restaurants and wineries, not to mention the beautiful scenery and white sandy beaches. Margaret River is really shrinking the great divide between Australia’s east and west coast with more than one million people visiting the area annually.  Many a bottle of Margaret River cab sav or chardonnay are regularly consumed in restaurants throughout the nation making this region a household name.

On the way from Perth we suggest a stop at Busselton and walk the longest timber piled jetty in the southern hemisphere. The jetty is 1.8km and there is a train for those short of time or unable to walk the distance.  

Next you will pass through the quaint little town of Cowaramup. But make time to stop for a break and check it out, especially if you like cows. The locals call it Cowtown as there are 42 fibreglass life size Friesian cows scattered throughout the quirky town. Although the town was settled in 1920’s it was only in 1960’s the town was introduced to its first herd of cattle.

In 1967 the first commercial vineyard was established in the area, named Vasse Felix Estate. 

Stop for a browse at Mukau Giftware, pick up some sweet treats at Candy Cow and chow down on the best breakfast bacon and egg burger at Cowtown Diner & Burger Bar. After taking a few photos of some of the 42 cows check out the Roast on a Post, the take off of Laurance Winery’s Chick on a Stick.

As if food and wine isn’t enough to bring people to the area, there is also unimaginable raw beauty, rugged coastline and unpretentious charm. The town of Margaret River is way more than a dot on a map with the wine region covering an area larger than the Sunshine Coast. For 360 degree views of Geographe Bay climb the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse and you may be lucky to see whales on their annual migration or you can learn about the region’s rich maritime history. This is the point where two of the world’s seven oceans meet, causing clashing waves and currents from different directions to create turbulent conditions.

From Cape Leeuwin lighthouse to Busselton jetty the coastline is both stunning and treacherous, with Smith’s Beach, Gracetown, Prevally, Bunker Bay, Eagle Bay, Meelup and Yallingup some of the top beaches. As you enter Prevally Beach you see Eurybia, the mascot and master of the seas as she personifies the vulnerability, excitement and fear faced in the challenge of the seas.

At Rivermouth Beach at Prevally you can see Layla, the bronze statue sitting on a rock breastfeeding a baby whale. There is a network of underground caves, long white beaches, hidden rock pools and limestone cliffs so you won’t run out of things to see and do in the area.  

Within Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is the historic fossilised Water Wheel that pumped water to the lighthouse cottage in 1890’s. There is a plaque with information about the history, the water system and the fresh water spring it flows from.

Take a drive deep into karri tree country to reach the old timber milling town of Pemberton where you can try the area’s finest delicacy, Marron (shellfish native to Western Australia) and climb the world’s tallest lookout tree, the Gloucester tree. This tree stands at 61 metres, the same height as the Sydney Opera House. A further ½ hour drive and you’ll reach the town of Manjimup for the coveted WA Black Truffle.

While wine and surf remain the main attraction, now the secret is out about the region’s food scene us Sandgropers have had to learn to share our beloved Margs with visitors from overseas and interstate. Western Australia also has more hours of sunshine than any other state too, so isn’t now the time to put this hidden gem on your bucket list?

Breakfast 

Australians love their breakfast and here a few suggestions to make a great start to your day

Cowtown Diner & Burger Bar – see above

White Elephant Café, Gnarabup

Margaret River Bakery, this place is a favourite with the locals so is always busy for the all day breakfast. It has an eclectic mix of retro and antique, you can recline on an old settee, among chandeliers, knick knacks, lace and mismatched teacups and collectible spoons as the smells of good ol’ fashioned baking wafts about. It’s like eating at Grandma’s place. The portions are generous, the coffee is delicious and they do takeaway to keep you going on the road.

Cake & Coffee

Café Boranup

Yahava Koffeeworks

Bunkers Beach Café

Berry Farm Cottage Café for the best cakes, sweet treats and farm style hospitality. Their farm fresh scones and homemade strawberry jam are a delight as are the fairy wrens that hop about the tables.  https://theberryfarm.com.au/ 

Lunch

Cheeky Monkey Brewery – enjoy a tasting paddle of locally crafted beer and lunch

Bootleg Brewery – we had a ploughman’s lunch we enjoyed the picturesque setting at this premium boutique brewery. Bootleg was the first crafted brewery in this wine region

Flutes Escape, Brookland Valley Vineyard, Wilyabrup is the region’s finest dining destination, offering an abundance of the region’s fresh produce. 

Rustico (Hay Shed Hill winery) offers my favourite cuisine, tapas. Try a refreshing rosé sangria with raspberry and ginger or enjoy a Black Spanish Rose (strawberries & Cointreau blended with a twist of Black Sambucca) while checking out the mouth-watering morsels on the menu. This is truly decadent dining set among a lush vineyard on a gently undulating hillside. 

Dinner

Settlers Tavern

Elkamo

Morries

Things to do

Cheese Tasting – Margaret River Dairy Company

Chocolate Tasting  – Gabriel Chocolate

Ice Cream – Simmos

Olive Oil Tasting – Olio Bello

The ultimate Olive Oil experience – Vasse Virgin

Venison tasting – Margaret River Venison

Margaret River Silk Road – Silk farm grows mulberries and cultivates silkworms, sells silk and mulberry products

Wine Tasting 

The wineries, oh where to begin. There are so many wineries in the area and we’ve been going ‘downsouth’ for many, many years and always find a new winery to do some wine tasting. But here are some of our favourites that we just can’t go past.

Fermoy Estate – their claim to fame being that their Sav Cabernet was on Princess Mary’s wedding menu when she married Prince Frederick.

Hay Shed Hill – see lunch above

Lenton Brae

 

Happs

Gralyn Estate

Stella Bella – Pink Moscato 2015, from muscat grapes it’s fruity, light and slightly fizzy, and like drinking Turkish Delight. 

Laurance Winery 

Liqueur Tasting 

The Grove Experience is a great place for a different experience tasting their distilled liqueurs and spirits like Gin, Vodka, Absinthe, Grappola, etc, in lovely surroundings. I love their mosaic.

Tour 

Margie’s Big Day Out – Winner of the prestigious Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2014. They operate beer, wine and food tours from the heart of the South West, Margaret River.

*All opinions and photos are our own and we were not financially compensated for this post.

Does this sound like an ideal place for your to get your foodie on? Is this somewhere you would have like to spend sampling the local delicacies?

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Doing the block

I was in Melbourne last year as travel companion with my 80 year old Mum. Mum had booked tickets to see the Military Tattoo, something she had wanted to see most of her life. The trip was only a few short days and we planned to spend all our time in the city centre.

As soon as we arrived we made our way to the bus for our transfers and were taken on a tour of Melbourne. After an hour driving around past the MCG, Queen Victoria Markets, the Shrine of Remembrance and a few other places of interest we arrived at our apartment at Oaks on Collins in the CBD.  As well as being in a great location, the apartment was well equipped and had a decent onsite restaurant for those, like us, who didn’t plan to cook on holiday. They also have an onsite fitness centre and pool, though we didn’t check them out. After unpacking we decided to take a walk down the street and soon found ourselves at the Block Arcade.

The Block Arcade is opulent, heritage listed and arguably Melbourne’s finest example of 19th century shopping arcades. When it was built in 1892, during the boom time, Melbournians liked to be seen and would promenade or ‘do the block’, hence the name. Located on the fashionable ‘top end’ of Collins Street between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets, this historical and architectural treasure is full of fascinating shops. Inside, the arcade still has lovely retail shops, bespoke tailors, jewellers, art dealer, spice merchants and other specialty shops. Like many of the Collins Street buildings, The Block Arcade gives a glimpse of what Melbourne looked like back in Victorian times and is still one of Melbourne’s best loved shopping arcades.

With its intricate mosaic floors, beautiful glass dome and lavish interior decoration, the arcade was inspired by Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. In 2003 the City of Melbourne signed a sister city agreement with the City of Milan cementing their connection. The arcade has been beautifully restored and maintained over the years and is still exquisite. The elaborate and complex design of the mosaic tiled floor was designed using tiles imported from Italy. At the time of being laid, this was the largest expanse of mosaic to be laid in Australia and today, reserves of all the tiles used, except for the dark chocolate are still on hand.

The two shops on either side of the Collins Street entrance feature spectacular ceilings. The original ceiling decorated in 1907 for the Singer Sewing Machine Company is a beautiful ceiling mural. The company wanted a stand out ceiling to attract customers and is today sadly missed by busy Melbournians unless they look up. The shop now occupied by Evelyn and Crabtree allows people to come in and take a look and photograph the ceiling. The other ceiling worthy of note is opposite and occupied by Wittner Shoe shop. The shop was previously owned by Kodak and was the first Kodak shop in Melbourne. This ceiling is an elaborate pressed metal ceiling and although not Heritage listed can never be removed.

Close to the Collins Street entrance is Melbourne’s iconic Hopetoun Tearooms which has been operating in the Block Arcade since it opened in 1893. Originally in shop number 6, the Victorian ladies’ Work Association ran a small tearoom until in 1907 they disbanded. After moving to their current location they were renamed Hopetoun Tearooms.  Founded by Lady Hopetoun, she thought it was the ideal place for those promenading to have somewhere to rest and take tea.

Today you won’t find anywhere in Melbourne with more grace and elegance to enjoy old world charm and old school favourites. Tripadvisor lists Hopetoun Tearooms in the top five places to have tea and coffee in Melbourne. The shopfront is the most photographed window in Melbourne as it is always bulging with a display of to die for cakes on pedestal glass plates.

When Mum and I were there, the arcade was busy with people stopping to take photos of the Instagram worthy cakes, lamingtons and vanilla slices and we waited for our chance to see for ourselves. Just looking in this window made our mouths water and my blood sugar sky rocket. Of course we just had to go in for a taste of yesteryear. Think cucumber sandwiches or elegant ribbon sandwiches as we would raise our pinky and sip our beverages from fine china. But what we hadn’t realised was this was a place where food lovers queued for the delicious treats.

We were hungry as we’d had nothing since breakfast on the flight, so decided to get something elsewhere. Further along the arcade we found Caffe Duomo where we stopped for a coffee and enjoyed a little people watching.

Next day we saw a lot of the sights, Flinders Street Station, Federation Square and Southbank, before a river cruise along the Yarra River. That evening we headed to Etihad Stadium for the Military Tattoo and Mum was not disappointed.

Our last day and it was agreed we just had to go back to The Block and have ourselves some cake and coffee. When we arrived as it was still early we had only a short wait before being seated. Inside we felt like we’d stepped into another time with the quaint, vintage décor of green and white wallpaper and the ceiling draped in heavy green fabric, all preserving the façade of the heritage. We could easily vision the ladies of the past, with gloves and hats and impeccable etiquette, who made sipping their tea an art. Two mirrors caught our eye, one with a heavy gold frame had the words “where there’s tea, there’s hope” written on the glass. The other was clearly the feature, a large beautifully etched Italian mirror dating back to 1891.

As if the display of decadence in the window wasn’t enough to make us drool, the selection on the menu made our choice even more difficult. Pinwheel sandwiches, vanilla slices, lamingtons, scones, tarts and cakes, asparagus rolls, Welsh rarebit and a whole page dedicated to teas. Mum can’t resist the temptation of a vanilla slice and I finally order a piece of Carribean Coconut Crumble. Despite being a tearoom, we did not partake in a fragrant Early Grey or pot of organic tea. Anyone who knows Mum knows she can’t resist the temptation of a good cappuccino and as Melbourne has the reputation of the best coffee in Australia, coffee it was.

The queue was building outside and we had places we wanted to explore so we didn’t sit too long. Beside we needed to get out and walk off the cake we had just devoured. Time for us to do the block again.

As we walked out we were once again taken back by the stunning mosaic floor that runs through the entire arcade. The timber shop fronts add to the old world charm and style of the Victorian era. The arcade has many whimsical bronze statues and a Victorian weighing machine that was imported from Britain at the turn of the century and for a gold coin you can check your weight.

It was a truly stunning stroll down memory lane and we were successfully transported into a world of luxury, elegance and decadence in one of Australia’s oldest and most iconic retail precincts.

Melbourne is the epicentre for all things fashionable and still the place to be seen. We enjoyed doing the block, as we ate, shopped and stayed on Collins Street.

 

If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out QVB in Sydney. Did you find The Block Arcade as stunning as Mum and I did? Would you like to shop, escape the weather and indulge in high tea there?

What are you waiting for?  Share this post or leave a comment below.  If you like this post and want to read more like this why not subscribe to our Newsletter? We won’t spam you or share your personal details. We’d love if you would follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or click the StumbleUpon button or other social media share buttons below to share this post. If you want to come back to this post again, pin the photo below using the red Pinterest button.

Festival Fromage – A celebration of all things cheese

Complementing the Cow Parade is the inaugural Festival Fromage, a celebration of all things cheese. A celebration of cheese, decadence and deliciousness. There was stinky cheese, gooey cheese and just plain old yummy cheese with some wine? Ooh, yes please!

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Located in the historic Perth Town Hall, this ticketed event is a kind of ‘choose your own cheese and wine adventure’. Here at Festival Fromage we could sample and purchase the world’s best cheeses from leading artisans and retailers.

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Moving around the stalls at times wasn’t easy with the crowds moving in different directions. We were all sampling the cheese, with a huge range of farmhouse, handcrafted from cow, goat, sheep and ewe milk and/or cream. Each vendor tells us about the cheese as we sample. There are tasting notes for each variety on little take-away cards.

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Festival Fromage had cheeses from family farms using age old techniques, soft style cheeses, pungent blue cheeses, Swiss Gruyere, French Roquefort, delicate creamy Brie, tangy light goat’s curd, semi hard cheeses, creamy mild feta and aromatic raclette.

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During the event there is a chance to meet and speak with Artisan Producers and try and buy their amazing produce.

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And to make the cheese experience a little more decadent and delightful venture to the long table in the Liquor Hall  where you can pair the cheese with award winning wine, beer, cider and spirits using the tasting card.

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Have you been to a cheese festival? Do you think this is the type of event you would attend?

What are you waiting for?  Share this post or leave a comment below.  If you like this post and want to read more like this why not subscribe to our Newsletter? We won’t spam you or share your personal details. We’d love if you would follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or click the StumbleUpon button or other social media share buttons below to share this post.

Breakfast at Padbury’s

Who doesn’t love a long leisurely breakfast? You know, the fragrant aroma of good coffee, gooey eggs or perhaps something sweet? But hands up if you’ve had breakfast at Padbury’s in Guildford? Neither had we, that is until we received an invite from owner Helena Tran to come and experience their new Winter breakfast menu.

Padbury’s is a top notch restaurant in the historic location of Guildford, and a much loved favourite of ours, so of course we accepted without hesitation.

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But it’s not just the location that makes this a great restaurant. This place makes the produce the star, putting the focus on premium local produce. Add to that friendly service and we think it’s hard not to be won over.

We arrived on a rainy Saturday and were warmly welcomed and shown to our table. Seated at the front of the restaurant in the bay window we finally had our first look at the new winter menu.

We ordered coffee and perused the choice of tasty treats.

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and how good does this menu look?

Fruit Toast with ricotta, honey and walnuts.

Sweet & Salty Granola, pineapple, berries compote, vanilla panna cotta, house-made sesame soy milk.

Char-grilled Portobello, pesto, asparagus, poached egg, spiced tomato relish.

and more…

My mouth was watering.

I finally decided on Buttermilk pancake stack, lemon curd, honeycomb, meringue, coconut and Steve ordered Sweetcorn and feta fritter, poached eggs, tomato relish, salmon, crème fraiche.

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We sip our coffee while our breakfast is being crafted. It’s good coffee and I saviour each mouthful as Steve takes a few photos.

The building has been lovingly restored, preserving its old world charm and warehouse styling. There is warmth in the historic character of exposed brick walls, wooden flooring, pressed metal ceilings, with large pendant industrial styled lighting. We step up into the prime bay window seating with quaint chandeliers. All the tables are dressed in crisp white table linen and the room decorated with vases of peonies.

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In no time at all our breakfast arrives and it’s a sight for sore eyes. It looks amazing, this dish is a work of art with a taste to match. I’d been dying to try these pancakes since seeing them on Instagram, and they did not disappoint. Light pancakes with tangy curd, fluffy meringue and crunch from the honeycomb, coconut and nuts. Each delicious spoonful is like a party in my mouth.

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Steve enjoyed his fritter and eggs equally as much, and said it was very fresh and tasty and the tomato relish added a nice zing to the dish.

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No wonder this place is a favourite of ours. Serving up quality coffee alongside a menu of locally sourced, seasonal produce, in a relaxed setting, Padbury’s have the formula down pat and breakfast at Padbury’s is hands down a winner. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus and the shameless indulgence of high tea. At Padbury’s there is a clear focus on food done well and yet again you failed to disappoint. So step into the colonial charm of Padbury’s where every visit the options presented are a gourmet delight.

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Did this post make your mouth water? Have we tempted you to make a booking at Padbury’s?

*Although invited to try the new winter menu we were not financially compensated for this post and all opinions are our own.

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