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Amaro You Ready for This?

Bitter is better at Loborn.

LoBorn Spritz, Mt Tamborine (image supplied)
LoBorn Spritz, Mt Tamborine (image supplied)

If the sight of a Spritz gracing the cocktail list makes your heart skip a beat, or the very thought of Apertivo hour gets your tastebuds tingling – we’ve got two little words to make your whole day: Tasting. Bar. Or, Loborn – as Tamborine Mountain’s latest specialty sip spot is officially known.

Loborn, Modern Amaro born on Tamborine Mountain(image supplied)
Loborn, Modern Amaro born on Tamborine Mountain(image supplied)

Bringing a taste of Italy with a distinctly Australian twist, Loborn is the specialty distillery levelling up the Mountain’s sip scene. Showcasing modern amaro infused with local botanicals, Tambo’s stunning new tasting room offers a variety of ways to familiarise ourselves with its herbaceous star sip.

Nestled amongst Main Street’s lush greenery, swing by for cocktail service or walk-in tasting. Discerning liquor connoisseurs can go behind the brand’s two signature aperitif blends and their signature gin, with experiences and masterclasses to delve into.

Loborn, Modern Amaro born on Tamborine Mountain(image supplied)
Loborn, Modern Amaro born on Tamborine Mountain(image supplied)

For those partial to sun-soaked arvos with a spritz firmly planted in hand, this home-grown distillery comes as a particularly tantalising development. Bittersweet Italian liqueurs, collectively known as ‘amaro’, have quite literally been having their moment in the sun of late. Even if you’re not up with all the technical lingo, chances are you’re already a big fan (huge, even) of this herbaceous sip. Thanks to the surging popularity of aperitif-based cocktails like the classic Negroni and Aperol Spritz, this bold citrusy style of libation has earned its place as a cocktail list (and happy hour) staple.

Now with a spot dedicated to this very sub-category, Loborn – short for ‘Locally Born Spirits’ – is the handiwork of Thomas Drewett. Specialising in traditional Italian methods melded with hinterland-inspired ingredients and surrounds, the lip-smacking new venture all began with one thought: what if Tom could reinvent the famous bitter aperitif using local Australian botanicals? Asking the real questions here!

Loborn, Tamborine Mountain(image supplied)
Loborn, Tamborine Mountain(image supplied)

A Tamborine local of several years, Tom was inspired by the mountainside community’s abundance of produce – particularly the local oranges. And when life hands you a bumper supply of citrus, naturally, the next logical step is to try your hand at the age-old craft of amaro. Or it is when you’re one ambitious fella with a background in engineering! Channelling that expertise into the complexities of distillation and flavour, Tom embraced the challenge of perfecting the precise art/science behind traditional Amaro.

Emerging victorious the brand now boasts two signature, botanical-rich blends. Thirstly, there’s Amaro N01 – a bright and vibrant aperitif ideal for a golden hour Spritz. While Amaro N02 is a bolder, ruby red Australian amaro packed with bittersweet complexity (think Negroni or Americano).

Also on offer is the Loborn Original Gin, which blends juniper with native citrus for a crisp dry finish.

Loborn, AmaroNo.2 and cocktail, Tamborine Mountain(image supplied)
Loborn, AmaroNo.2 and cocktail, Tamborine Mountain(image supplied)

Then there’s the little matter of the brand new HQ Loborn is now flaunting; perched within North Stores’ food, art and nature precinct in the heart of Tamborine. With the fit-out led by Ashlea O’Neill, the vibe is modern utilitarian, but beautiful – which is only befitting for a crew of modern Amaro makers residing in an architecturally designed creative hub!

Tempting locals and day-trippers with everything from crafted tipples like the Loborn Spritz to private tasting experiences and masterclasses – this one goes straight to the top of the ‘must try’ list cocktail fans! Like, this weekend.

Where: Shop 4, 46-48 Main Street, Mt Tamborine
When: Friday & Saturday from 11am–7pm and Sunday from 11am–3pm.
Extended opening hours will be released during spring / summer season.

Words by Kellie Leader

8 wineries within short driving distances of the Gold Coast

Winery tour experience at Witches Falls Winery (image courtesy of Tourism Australia)
Winery tour experience at Witches Falls Winery (image courtesy of Tourism Australia)

Wine is a beautiful thing: loved the world over and the perfect accompaniment to the next best thing in the world — cheese. Happily, the Gold Coast Hinterland is home to several world-class wineries, all of which are around an hour or less drive away. Pack your picnic blanket and make space in your boot for a case or two; here are the best cellar doors to take a sip at.

Witches Falls Winery
A self-proclaimed small but bold winery, Witches Falls are passionate about big tastes. Not only do owners Jon and Kim love the end product, but they’re also pretty keen on the growing, making and matching aspects of the fruity liquid. They offer personalised wine tastings that permit access to their entire range for $15 per person. And be sure to try their fantastic cheese board when you go!
Where: 79 Main Western Road, North Tamborine

Cedar Creek Estate
With a tree-lined entryway and lush green surroundings, Cedar Creek Estate is all your charming winery dreams come true. The vineyard consists of two varieties including Chambourcin and Verdelho, and even though the vines are relatively young, their Chambourcin in particular, is producing a fabulous Rose. Cedar Creek Estate also boasts the Arthur Hamblin Art Gallery, if sipping wine overlooking vineyards doesn’t fill your cultural cup entirely. As an added bonus, the Queensland Wine Centre is their store located on the premises. Featuring the largest range of Queensland’s wine under one roof it’s an impressive display of up to 100 wines from 16 of Queensland’s Premier Wineries.
Where: 104-144 Hartley Road, North Tamborine

Sirromet Wines

Sirromet Wines
Passionate about sustainable wine production, Sirromet Wines state-of-the-art, family-run facilities can be found in picturesque Mt Cotton. From the award-winning 2014 Signature Collection Shiraz Viognier and 2012 Saint Jude’s Merlot to a fresh Vineyard Selection Rose, you’ll be spoilt for choice at the Sirromet cellar door. Tastings run every day and you can also choose to do a behind-the-scenes tour of the vineyard. Plus, there’s a nine-hole golf course too — before or after wine, it’s up to you.
Where: 850 Mount Cotton Road, Mount Cotton

Vineyard door at O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)
Vineyard door at O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)

O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards
A picture-perfect location, O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard is a boutique vineyard and historic Queenslander homestead dedicated to fine food and fine wine. Enjoy a wine tasting, stay for lunch or purchase a gourmet picnic basket and stretch out by Canungra Creek with a bottle of bubbles. Take the kids who can also run around and take the resident alpacas for a walk.
Where: 852 Lamington National Park Road, Canungra

Sarabah Estate Vineyard (Image via Flutter and Luxe Photography)
Sarabah Estate Vineyard (Image via Flutter and Luxe Photography)

Sarabah Estate Vineyard
Further along the Canungra Valley, before you begin to make your steep ascent up to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, is this enchanted and sun-soaked vineyard and cellar door. The folks here wear many hats as viticulturists, alpacas herders, cheesemakers and gardeners: meaning there is plenty to see, do, eat, and drink! Weekends see their Chalet Bistro open for delicious lunches and the Smoke & Vine Bar is perfect for a stone-baked pizza — and of course a glass of wine (our pick being their 2018 organic shiraz).
Where: 46 Rymera Road, Sarabah

Mount Nathan Winery
Mount Nathan Winery is a progression of the Gibson family’s involvement in the wine industry over generations. After developing a unique range of honey-based products in Cessnock, the winery was born. Award-winning wines include the Bubbly Brut – a not too dry and not too sweet sparkling – and the Autumn White – made up of late-picked grapes with explosions of fruit. If you’re visiting, wine tastings are direct from the barrel. Doesn’t get more authentic!
Where: 220 Clagiraba Road, Mount Nathan

Large wooden barrels in the vineyard at Mount Nathan Winery (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)
Large wooden barrels in the vineyard at Mount Nathan Winery (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)

The Overflow Estate 1895
Situated a little past Beaudesert, this ten-year-old vineyard is a spectacular feast for the eyes. Jutting out on a small arm into Lake Wyaralong, you may be forgiven for thinking you’ve come across a place of fairy tales, but alas, you haven’t; this is a place of delicious food and fine wine! Expect some delectable menu choices from their weekend seasonal menu from The Two French Chefs, and their gourmet cafe with antipasto and grazing boards aplenty runs Wednesdays to Fridays. Hardy Spanish and Italian varietals flourish here, so be sure to try the wine for a taste of Europe without the jetlag.
Where: 1660 Beaudesert – Boonah Road, Beaudesert

Carafe Wine
GC, say “Chardon-heyyyy” to our newest winery experience. Located in Southport, you don’t even need to leave the GC for this environmentally conscious tipple. Carafe Wine has been an established premium wine on tap supplier for several years, before opening their bricks and mortar space in March 2023. Sample wines direct from the barrel, enjoy crafted winery blends and share a charcuterie board. Sounds like our kind of afternoon outing.
Where: 49 Johnston Street, Southport

Carafe Wine exterior, Southport (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Carafe Wine exterior, Southport (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Pineapple Tours
Want to visit some wineries without the hassle of finding a designated driver? Pineapple Tours offer half day, all day or fully customisable tours, with door-to-door service to/from your abode or hotel #VIP. They cover all areas of South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Grab your bestie, your partner or your posse and check out all the best wineries, distilleries, eateries and super fun GC experiences in one of their luxury vehicles. Yes please!
Where: 3200 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Words by Alex Mitcheson & Belinda Symons.

Cedar Creek Estate on Pineapple Tours (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)
Cedar Creek Estate on Pineapple Tours (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)

Mt Tamborine’s newest French bakery rises to the occasion

Croissants at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)
Croissants at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)

With a name like Franquette (pronounced Fraen-ket), our minds conjure up images of all kinds of French inspired splendour.

And well done us, because this is precisely what Franquette Bakery on Tamborine Mountain is all about.

Meaning ‘without any fuss’, the name is reflective of the food; simple, unpretentious, and made on the premises using sustainable flours and Australian ingredients when possible.

The result is crust what the doctor ordered, with THE most delicious artisan French carby goodness, making Franquette a legend in the baking.

Toasted sandwich at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image byTwo Birds Social)
Toasted sandwich at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image byTwo Birds Social)

Founder and Head Baker Jérôme Favier has the perfect ‘blend’ of skills, with a resume any baker would be proud of.

Being somewhat of the Doogie Howser of the bakery world, Jérôme graduated from the typically two-year professional Baker Diploma course in just six months, yeah, as you do.

He then returned to Europe to master traditional artisan methods to produce quality, crafted baked goods, with the intention to come back down under to wow us with his skillz.

Loaves of bread at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)
Loaves of bread at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)

Baking for several big names, he spent two years in France, one in Switzerland, plus one in Germany, and this reads like our Contiki tour itinerary circa 2001.

Moving on to the Gold Coast, he enjoyed an eight year stint at Burleigh Baker, where he held the prestigious ‘Master Baker’ post and played a key role – both front and back of house – in the GC institution’s success story.

Exterior of Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)
Exterior of Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)

Jérôme chose the beautiful Tambo location as the village size is similar to his French hometown in Bourgogne.

It also has that unmistakable mountain atmosphere, a relaxed and peaceful lifestyle, and of course, it’s a mecca for locals and tourists alike.

Engaging Shopfit Co for the design, we’re pleased to confirm that from bread to dough, Franquette rocks a French style bakery and bistrot (small café) look and feel.

Everything about this gem is warm and inviting, starting with the striking green and white logo, reminding us that it’s ‘without any fuss’.

The roof forms an eye-catching peak, featuring dark wooden panelling and matching weatherboard, contrasting white bifold doors, bare bulb pendant lights, and lots of on-brand green accents.

Croissants at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)
Croissants at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)

The large windows allow people to see the bakers in action #NoSecretsHere, and although it’s geared primarily to the takeaway market at this stage, patrons are invited to sit and relax under the terrace and on the deck.

Around the back is where you’ll find the cute deck space with an outdoor seating area accommodating 40+ people, plus a green area for kids and doggos to hang.

Interior of Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)
Interior of Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)

So what sort of bakery wizardry can we expect to unearth?

Firstly, we’re talking more loaf varieties than you can poke a bread stick at, including white, multi, olive, fruit, sandwich, ciabatta, napoleon, spelt, Josephine, miche, and the French bakery staple, baguettes.

Or, if you’re not interested in DYI-ing your sanga or baguette at home, hook yourself up with one of Franquette’s freshly prepared sandwiches, toasted sandwiches or baguettes.

Overflowing with THE most scrumptious fillings (think European influenced deli meats, cheeses, and other quintessentially Euro ingredients), the photos alone induce a drool reflex.

Delicious treat at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)
Delicious treat at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)

There’s also an assortment of rolls, scrolls, and pasty-infused deliciousness.

Oh and if you’re partial to a croissant and duh, who isn’t, there are melt-in-your-mouth good almond croissants, savoury croissants, or you can order them a-la-natural.

The signature item here is called The Mountain Top which is both intriguing by name, and totes fitting for obvious reasons.

And the signature beverages are their Blackboard coffee bean-based brews, straight outta Burleigh #LocalsSupportingLocals.

Plus there is a range of Blackboard products stocked in the bakery so you can buy some for ‘ron.

Sandwiches at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)
Sandwiches at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)

Our advice?

Just dough it!

Jump in your car and head for the hills (mountain hills, potato potahto) to experience the best bakery goods since sliced bread.

Where: 155 Long Road, Tamborine Mountain
When: 7am – 3pm Thursday to Monday. Closed Tuesday & Wednesday

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Toasted sandwich at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)
Toasted sandwich at Franquette, Mt Tamborine (image by Two Birds Social)

I scream, you scream, we all scream…gelato!

Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Strawberry & Honey and Pistachio Gelato, Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

If you’re anything like us, our brains say salad, but our tastebuds autocorrect that to gelato. It’s the edible equivalent of shoes – there’s always room for more, plus it feels way less damaging than its bloat-inducing cousin, ice cream #truedat. So when we discover a gelato shop worthy of our coin and in this case, our KM’s (it’s on Tamborine Mountain), we feel compelled to do our bit for society and spread the good word.

Introducing Tamborine Mountain Gelato Co, a two-months young gelato wonderland churning out the finest traditional Italian gelato goodness. With seasonal flavours rejigged every few days, regular visits are totally justified, dispelling the theory that you can have too much of a good thing (you can’t).

Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Interior of Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Using local growers and ingredients where possible by working with suppliers like For Real Milk, Grazing Girls Eggs, and Funny Honey (Scenic Rim), Cravve Chocolate (Burleigh Heads), Those Little Voices Coffee (roasted on Tambo), it is the ultimate #supportlocal business. And stop press, these gelato geniuses have opted for the traditional pozzetti gelato cabinet. This uber authentic cabinet has lids (say what?!) and the contents can’t actually be seen from the cabinet (*cue crickets…*). But fear not friends because this is the traditional way, and the best means of storing a natural product. It stops circulation and maximises freshness, which means the end result is pure gelato supremacy.

Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Experienced Pasty Chef Bec Leitner along with her partner (and home-grown Tamborine kiddo) Alick Kilsby combined their passions and voila – Tamborine Mountain Gelato Co was born. Bec, who is also the ‘Head Chef’ and was previously manager of the pastry team at Burleigh Baker, has long championed desserts that are natural, lower in sugar, with no nasty fake stuff #AmenSista. Joining forces with Alick who is passionate about supporting the growing food scene in his ‘hood’ and making Main Street a food lover’s must see (or must eat), they’re a match made in heaven…both professionally and personally.

Just before opening, this gelato loving duo embarked on a research trip across the entire East Coast to sample as much pozzetti gelato as possible and guys, if you need volunteers to source more intel…#JustSayin. This enabled them to nail the exact texture, flavour and style, demonstrating their commitment to the cause. Bec also received one-on-one training from a couple of Italian Gelato experts to perfect her skills, and ensure the recipes remained authentic and natural.

Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Owners Bec Leitner and Alick Kilsby, Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Alick and Bec designed the interiors with a clear aesthetic in mind, alongside shop fitter Sam Harder. Inspired by the Tamborine Mountain rainforest scenes with a minimalist and contemporary look and feel, you’ll find indoor seating for 18, outdoor seating for 8, or you can plonk on the grass. Located close to stunning lookouts and rainforests, if you overindulge (us), you can always clock up some steps on a nearby rainforest hike #bonus.

In addition to being delish and tradish, their gelato is all gluten free, plus they offer several vegan options as well. Right now, we’re crushing on the Mint Stracciatella which is fresh garden mint gelato with chocolate shards throughout. Equally delectable are the Banana Custard, Lamington, and Lemon Myrtle and Honey flavoured gelatos, and we won’t judge if you order all of the above coz we did too. There is also a small selection of cakes for sale each day, which again are natural and always gluten free.

Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

So next time you’re planning a trip up the mountain, remember a balanced diet is a gelato in one hand and a gelato in the other – especially when they’re au naturel from Tamborine Mountain Gelato Co.

Where: 4/15-17 Main Street, Tamborine Mountain
When: 10am – 6pm Wednesday to Sunday. Closed Monday & Tuesday. Days and hours are extended on school holidays
Instagram: @
tamborine_mountain_gelato_co

Words by Bianca Trathen
Images by Carly King

Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Exterior of Tamborine Gelato, Mt Tamborine (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
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