One of the great things about living on the Gold Coast is the spellbinding all-natural environment — and stellar weather — we have here. You really must look hard to find anywhere else in the western world that comes close. Because of that, it’s a fair comment that when it comes to being outdoors and enjoying time bathing in all 300+ days of sunshine per year, we absolutely love it.
With this in mind, what more excuses do you need to get outside apart from yet another world-class event, Le Dîner en Blanc, Saturday 19th March 2022 on the Gold Coast?
Those with a good memory might remember the last time this phenomenon was held here back in 2018. But what is it all about, you ask? Well, the exclusive alfresco event launched in Paris in 1988 when a bunch of good friends decided to come together and have a large picnic — completely dressed in white!
Since then, the event has grown in monumental proportions and is now held in 30 different countries with over 80 cities taking part! Not so long ago, Le Dîner Blanc de Paris marked its 30th anniversary in 2018 with a record of 17,000 guests from Paris and around the world. While the technology around the event may have changed over the years, the principle fuelling this event has not: guests dressed in all white continue to gather at a secret location for the sole purpose of sharing a gourmet meal with friends in one of their city’s most beautiful public spaces.
This year’s Gold Coast event is a slightly smaller affair and will permit 1200 lucky people to feel like they have been transported to the south of France — and into a sea of people, all adorned in white! By creating images that are instantly gram-able, you’ll meet new people or reunite with long-time friends — getting all dressed up to attend a dinner à la française where laughter and champagne are essential!
Sound like something you’d like to get involved in? We thought so. The nitty-gritty: Le Dîner en Blanc – Gold Coast will keep to its tradition and rules: an elegant all-white dress code, bring your own all-white table setting and a picnic hamper of fine food and proper glassware, and of course, you won’t know where you’re going until the day of the event. Who doesn’t love a surprise?
With tickets yet to come on sale, the event is highly anticipated. Already thousands of people from the Gold Coast and around Australia have registered for the waitlist.
Participation in this unique event will happen in three stages: Phase 1 is for members who attended the last edition (in 2018); Phase 2 for new members referred from Phase 1, and Phase 3 is for people who signed up on the waiting list. So it pays to be in the know!
The host of this year’s event, Sara Walsh, said she was proud the event would be returning to the city. “This chic and elegant affair is encouraging people to shop local and bring to the event their favourite local flavours and producers. We’ve also been inundated with waitlist registrations. Most of them have come from Gold Coast residents, but we have seen a big number of people wanting to attend from interstate.” Ms Walsh said.
Don’t hang around Gold Coasters: we can’t let the out-of-towners have all the fun!
Check-out the event here.
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
The times they are a-changing Gold Coasters (again, yes). We are now allowed to venture out of our homes with those we have been spending ALL OF THE TIME with for a picnic. How nice. While we’re still practicing all of the social distancing precautions, it’s good to be able to sit down somewhere that isn’t the backyard for a spot of cheese and biccies.
To celebrate that, here’s a list of 10 pretty spots to throw down a blanket on the Gold Coast.
Hinze Dam, Advancetown
This underrated hinterland destination will be your new favourite picnic spot. There are several parks that surround Hinze Dam, so take in the stunning scenery, sip on a cold glass of bubbly and generally enjoy the company of family and friends. There’s a BBQ area, kids playground and even a small cafe in case you need fresh supplies. Make sure if you’re taking the pooch to one of the designated areas, they’re kept on a leash to preserve the wildlife.
Cedar Creek Falls, Mt Tamborine
Mt Tamborine is picnic paradise and has more picnic areas than a year has days, Cedar Creek Falls being by far one of the best. Driving up the winding roads and taking in the scenic beauty is almost enough entertainment, but that’s not all. Cedar Creek Falls are located just metres from three waterfalls and countless walking tracks, making it the perfect place to spend your next Sunday.
Macintosh Island, Surfers Paradise
This little oasis nestled in Surfers Paradise (most commonly used for getting around the GC600 every year) is great for picnic dates of all sorts. The tranquil setting with cascading water running through the park is home to many birds, so don’t forget your stale bread. There’s also that super fun bridge previously built for the Indy in 2007.
Gold Coast Regional Botanical Gardens, Benowa
Hard to believe that this beautiful little piece of paradise is just a mere 10 minute drive from Surfers Paradise. Take the whole family or soak up some solo serenity, it’s the perfect setting for both and anything in between. There’s even a butterfly garden for your gazing pleasure.
Cascade Gardens, Broadbeach
Cascade Gardens can be found between Surfers and Broadbeach and there are plenty of barbecue and undercover picnic shelters. This peaceful riverside sanctuary is the perfect date spot and with a huge area to run around, it’s also popular for families wanting to keep the kids entertained for hours (hopefully not on a date).
Ed Hardy Park, Miami
Next to North Burleigh Surf Club the park offers great people watching and a few BBQ areas perfect for that Sunday arvo picnic with the gang. Walk up Miami Hill and take in the views or have a sneaky swim in the ocean. There’s a takeaway bottle shop across the road if you need to stock up on sips.
Burleigh Hill, Burleigh
In unsurprising news, Burleigh Hill is probably the most popular picnic spot on the Coast. You can’t beat the Insta-worthy views overlooking the Surfers Paradise skyline. If you want to get a good spot on a Sunday get there early `cause the whole Gold Coast likes to unite here to see and be seen – at a safe distance obviously.
Tallebudgera Creek, Tallebudgera
The battle between which side to choose continues. But no matter which is your go-to, Talle Creek won’t disappoint as favourite picnic spot. The calm creek waters are perfect for a little splash before devouring your mobile buffet. Beware the hungry bush turkeys!
Long Tan Park, Currumbin Valley
Not many people know about this pretty but somewhat hidden picnic spot in Currumbin Valley. It’s the perfect spot to get away, relax by the creek and pop in for a dip. There are no toilets or BBQ stations and uninhibited nature is purely the theme here, so go prepared. Drive along Currumbin Creek Road and take a right turn at Bains Road, the park is situated just over the bridge.
Kirra Lookout, Coolangatta
Kirra Lookout is the Burleigh Hill of Coolangatta, just not as busy and with more parking opportunities (we like the sound of that). You can either drive or walk up, but be warned, it’s quite steep, you’ll burn off your picnic before you make it to the top. Enjoy the view whilst nibbling on some crackers and sipping on an icy cold one, it’s pretty special!
Words by Kirra Smith
Dining out can be a mixed affair. From finding yourself excitedly catching up with friends over share style plates to sitting down in a sophisticated environment with huge explorations of flavours — and no doubt courses. There is undoubtedly an eating-out experience for every occasion. Boutique dining room-style destinations offering polished and carefully orchestrated dishes are growing in popularity; offering diners the chance to take part in a culinary journey from the moment they sit down until the moment they wave goodbye.
How do nine luxuriant courses of utter seasonality and divine savourings sound to you? Like something you need in your life, we think you’ll agree. Brought to you by renowned Sydney Chef Alex Munoz-Labart, Restaurant Labart provides one of the most on-point submersions into culinary wizardry you’re going to find outside of a capital city. Once you have taken your seat, enjoy the pared-back wooden furniture and muted colour accents permeating serene yet urbane feels. Seriously: what is there not to adore about this place?
Where: 8 West Street, Burleigh Heads
The North Room
A sophisticated and contemporary dining room in Mermaid Beach, The North Room made its debut in mid-2017 introducing locals to share-style dining. The ever-changing menu focuses on seasonally inspired dishes served in a clean and minimalistic space. For wine lovers out there, rejoice. You’ll be treated to exceptional and lesser-known wine producers hand-picked to accompany the exquisite flavours of whatever chef/owner Tim Stewart has opted to curate for the day’s menu.
Where: 2527 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach (between Ventura Rd and Cronulla Ave)
If the backdrop is something you consider heavily when choosing a destination for eating out, how does a world-class art gallery sound? Home of the Arts (HOTA) brand spanking new Gallery building would not have been complete without an astounding place to eat and drink, right? Enter Palette. With the talented and much experienced Dayan Hartill-Law as Executive Chef, the ethos is simple; high-quality produce with amazing provenance underpinned by knowledgeable yet approachable staff. Book in for an evening visit and be amazed by a degustation menu directly inspired by neighbouring art installations.
Where: The Gallery, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Glenelg Public House
One for the meat lovers out there: what these guys don’t know about preparing and serving up mouth-watering steak isn’t worth knowing. The menu cleverly hinges on incredibly diverse, quality produce — both from the paddock and the ocean — with old-school yummy dishes served with a contemporary Australian flair. For those who feel like something a bit special, there is an additional section for oversized select pieces of meat which can be sliced and brought out ready to share. Be sure you come with drinks on your mind, as the back bar and wine selection are another strong point at this Mermaid Beach ode to good food.
Where: 9/2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Eddy + Wolff
The décor and styling of this tucked-away Robina hotspot will inevitably make it hard going if you intend on ordering anything quick. A central island bar with wrap-around high seat dining is the epitome of modern, sophisticated eating, and we reckon you’ll fall for it in a big way. A fusion of Asian flavours awaits you from an uncomplicated share style menu with its devoted section to BBQ: Octopus Tentacle with tangy nashi pear glaze is the absolute highlight here. Another eatery with a ‘distinction’ in Instagram profiles, showing off some mighty sexy-looking cocktails you just must try — all with subtle but considered nods to the orient.
Where: 44 Commerce Drive, Robina
When you’re yearning for top-notch Japanese eats within a small and intimate setting, then this under-the-radar restaurant in Currumbin Waters, we think, fits the bill to a tee. From the moment you arrive, the cheery staff will bring the specials blackboard over to your table and talk you through what delicious edible sensations are on offer. If it’s available, we recommend the black sesame crusted Salmon or any one of the baos — they’re all fabulous. Pair up whatever you opt for with a selection of sakes and Japanese beers to round off a great experience of Japanese cuisine on the southern Gold Coast.
Where: 10/27-31 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
Being one of the longest-standing — and most celebrated — restaurants in our city, Little Truffle most certainly has a piece of our heart. But what is it about this unassuming Mermaid Beach haven of flavour? Is it a European-inspired menu filled with the most deftly put together mouth-watering dishes, or a dazzling wine list, perhaps it’s the exceedingly polished service? You know what, we think it’s all three — and a whole lot more!
Where: 2444 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
From the same folks behind the ever-popular pizza restaurant, Francie’s, this newly opened Mediterranean delight is already bringing all things delicious to the people of Coolangatta. Aesthetically, this bolt hole with a fresh white interior is the kind of place you’ll want to settle into and be in no hurry to leave. With a menu centred around some incredible handmade pasta — with a separate vegan menu — we think you’ll join us in agreeing Griffith Street just got a whole lot better. The textbook spot to pop in for an afternoon wine — or fall in love with the menu and stay late into the night.
Where: 14 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Lupo arrived at Mermaid Beach to a whirlwind of rave reviews, and here now, nearly four years later, the adoration hasn’t stopped. The comfortable space offers a homestyle Italian menu with lashings of love and an atmosphere to match. Made up of the very best produce around, if you take a look at their Instagram anytime soon: beware. It’s plausible you’ll be lost to the world scrolling their drool-worthy photos for a while. The Pork Cotoletta is crumbed pork that will ruin the humble Chicken Schnity for you forever.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
When the prospect of visiting the cutest little Italian eatery comes your way, you should be keen as can be. The newly opened Bottega on Chevron Island features handmade pastas to hand-rolled and stretched pizzas, fired right on the spot in their pride of place pizza oven — beside the entrance, no less. Sprinkle into the equation some out-of-this-world imported wines, which you won’t find on the high street every day, and Bottega is the answer to your pasta-induced prayers.
Where: 58 Thomas Drive, Surfers Paradise
The Little Plate
Another hidden in plain sight gem, The Little Plate manages to pack a punch in the flavour department by taking Euro and Asian favourites and turning the taste up to 10! You’ll consistently find a large selection of as-fresh-as-possible specials, giving this Burleigh restaurant the ultimate replay value — no two visits will ever be the same. We suggest you give their tasting menu a go at least once and let the experts take care of the rest.
Where: Shop 11/3 Deodar Drive, Burleigh Heads
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Let’s be real – the best deals are done over a delicious meal and a glass of vino…or, ahem, a bottle…or 2, or…. (you get the gist).
Here is a list of local places we think fit the bill as must-do Friday biz lunch destinations, for you to chew the fat with your clients and colleagues, and finish the week off on the right note!
Let’s unpack this, from north to south….
Mr P.P.’s Deli and Rooftop
Anyone who works in or around Southport will tell you this little rooftop gem is a bona fide crowd-pleaser and client woo-er (we just made up a word!). A gourmet pizza from here is legendary, and their delicious drinks menu will have you asking “but do we really need to go back to the office this afternoon?”. We’ll answer that one for you, no, no you don’t….
Where: 43 Nerang Street, Southport
Glass Dining and Lounge Bar
With a no-expense-spared fit-out and a priceless view overlooking the water at Marina Mirage, Glass is a no-brainer for your Friday business pow-wow…with just the right amount of fancy. It delivers a five-star feed every time with quality produce, meats, fresh seafood, and an equally showstopping wine and cocktail list. Scoring an A+ for service, it’s another home run for The Gennari Group.
Where: Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
If you haven’t experienced an end-of-week business lunch at Edgewater Dining, drop everything and book a table! The stunning water views are good for the soul and the modern Australian cuisine menu infused with Italian goodness is off the richter. If a liquid lunch is more your jam (same) the drinks menu is lit, and we’re drinking Edgy Lychee Martinis all arvo long.
Where: Shop 3, Capri on Via Roma, Isle of Capri
I mean, who doesn’t love this joint! Miss Moneypenny’s has become quite the local fave, always filled with Gold Coasters seeking their hit of fresh seafood and creative cocktails (yes please…and yes please). Perfect for your Friday meeting-come-cocktails sesh, make it an extra loooong lunch and experience Oysters and Spritzers from 3pm, with $2.50 oysters and a refreshing seasonal spritzer!
Where: 50 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Mamasan Kitchen + Bar
If it’s modern Asian flavour you and the team are after, Masaman Kitchen + Bar is where it’s at. With a focus on the share food philosophy, encompassing small intimate bites and banquet-style dining, renowned Chef Ray Choi delivers! Mixed with a zesty, Asian inspired cocktail list, international beers, wines, spirits and sake (obvi), this multi-award winner is a Friday afternoon fave.
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
Social Eating House + Bar
It’s difficult to go past a multi-award winner like this. Sitting the benchmark (REALLY) high, Social Eating House + Bar is the logical choice for your next end-of-week wind-down treat. With an extensive international tapas and sharesies menu, all meticulously curated by Head Chef YK get stuck into the likes of Roast Quail and the mind-blowing Lamb Shoulder. Wash it down with cocktails-a-plenty and you’ve got yourself a biz lunch to remember.
Where: Shop 137-138 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
Nineteen at The Star
Experience Nineteen at The Star’s stunning new menu for your next Friday business lunch (kudos from your colleagues for this one!), or sip cocktail after cocktail with a view of the glittering Gold Coast in the uber-chic lounge bar. Combining sublime sophistication with a cool coastal flair and the freshest seasonal produce, let Chef Uday Huja’s exquisite dishes from his signature a la carte and set menus wow one and all!
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach
Want to impress a client? Two words; Rick Shores. A meal here will woo the pants off anyone (hopefully not literally…), as you take in the sea breeze with 180-degree ocean views in one of the GC’s most iconic locations. The Pan-Asian flavours and fresh, locally sourced produce, the share-friendly meals are always next level and sorry, we can’t even pick a fave dish to highlight because they’re all our faves. The cocktails are equally on point, as is the service. Pure magic.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Friday lunches at Burleigh Pavilion’s The Tropic are something we could get used to. Surrounded by sun and sea-spray, this relaxed but premium dining experience manifests a fresh Mediterranean and Modern Australian menu and OMG, you just have to try the Goldband Snapper. Soak up the on-trend pastel interior, uninterrupted ocean views and impressive drinks menu, and enjoy the transition into weekend mode.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
The newest luxe restaurant to open on the Goldy has turned heads since it opened in January and is guaranteed to please you and those you take there. (Not only with the scenery that surrounds you but with their drool-worthy share-style menu too!) Oh, and if your client (or client-to-be) are partial to a tipple or two, you are in good hands with the Sibling’s crew. You have endless choices as part of their ‘Liquid Journey’ menu. (Yep, what a name right?!) Cheers to wheeling and dealing!
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Words by Bianca Trathen.