This south-east pocket of Queensland we get to call home is quite a special place. The endless sub-tropical Pacific Ocean and sublime beaches on one side and backed by lush, ancient rainforest on the other — what a place to live!
And the Scenic Rim is very much part of that makeup too. Set at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, this region holds host to incredible food and produce, the likes we sometimes don’t get to see here on the Gold Coast.
Well, if you head to Picnic Real Food Bar in Mount Tamborine, you’ll experience nothing but the best ingredients the region has to offer.
How so, you might ask? Owner Brenda Fawdon is an avid expert of all things culinary in the area. A hospitality veteran of 30 years, after moving to Tamborine a decade ago she took it upon herself to research and then write not one, but two cookbooks highlighting incredible Scenic Rim producers. So you could say what Brenda doesn’t know about great food from the local area isn’t worth knowing!
Picnic Real Food Bar is set along the green and tree-lined Main Street in North Tamborine and is part of a recently revealed new building development called the North Stores. The space is an open-air uber-modern, yet rustic approach to any café we have seen. Whoever you take here is absolutely going to love it!
Bring your hunger ‘A’ game with you, as the assortment of baked treats — both savoury and sweet — are dazzling here. There are Chocolate Salted Rye Biscuits, gluten-free Italian Almond Slices and a rather scrumptious looking ‘breakfast’ Carrot Cake. Cake for breakfast? If you say so! Not to mention all of this is made on-site by a dedicated baker.
A selection of Toasted Ciabattas with ingredients such as prosciutto, artichoke, mozzarella and tomato jam are available — or you might prefer a Charred Zucchini and Black Bean Salad? Either way, everything is fresh and delicious.
Drinks come in the form of house-pressed juices, Buchi kombucha from Byron Bay on tap, milkshakes and Reuben Hills Coffee from Surrey Hills in Sydney. This boutique micro roastery only produces a set number of beans per week, meaning great consistent coffee every time you take a sip.
Being licensed, the café has a small but carefully considered selection of natural wines, Witches Falls Cider on Tap, as well as everyone’s favourite Balter XPA. If you’ve decided to do a morning hike on one of the many nearby trails then you surely deserve a lunch beverage, no?
With plans in the future to start creating specialised lunch boxes for you to take away, Picnic Real Food Bar will allow you to take their gorgeous food and drinks off with you to find your own slice of the hinterland. All you’ll need to do is BYO blanket, and then sit back and soak it all in.
Words by Alex Mitcheson.