Sweet dreams are made of this.
Sweet dreams are made of this.
So it seems the best news of 2020 comes out of our very own Burleigh Heads and you guessed it, involves the very best of baked treats and a few familiar faces.
We’re talking about the opening of Tarte Bakery & Cafe, which is happening Wednesday August 19th and if there is one thing you absolutely must do this year, it’s head in there and eat absolutely everything.
Tarte is the stunning new baby of Gold Coast hospitality royalty Chloe Watts, former owner of Paddock Bakery and an absolute magician when it comes to creating a world-class venue. It can be found on a sunny corner block in the heart of Burleigh, where Vecchia Roma once lived and look, you won’t miss it, there’ll be hordes of people (socially distanced obviously) wanting to get in for the rest of time.
The space has been entirely redone with the front façade being pulled out and put back in again to create a Soho, West Village (NYC) vibe that’s perfectly at home amongst the surrounding greenery. It’s all cool whites and calming blues with a huge open window overlooking the street, perfect for that Parisian-inspired people watching we all love while sipping coffee and downing baked goodies.
As you’d expect from Chloe, the space is beautifully put together – an antique bench was brought in from a rural NSW movie theatre (circa 1940’s), the door handles are over 100 years old, a luggage rack from an old train holds the bread behind the counter and Chloe’s Dad built a bench seat at the back.
Our favourite detail are the little gold cups Chloe bought from a London flea market years ago when she first decided she wanted to open a café and has been saving for this very moment ever since. Oh and the fact that she (and her builder) hand-chiselled 5,000 tiny black tiles into the floor. A labour of love indeed.
We could go on but let’s chat eats shall we?
First things first, the sweet baked treats will absolutely blow your mind. Every single one of them.
A Gold Coast first is the Cookie Cup which is indeed a cup made out of cookie mixture and served with warm vanilla bean milk (cold in summer). Yep, that’s a (very amazing) thing.
There are also Chocolate Praline Tartes, Cannoli with whipped ricotta and choc chips, a Rhubarb Custard Tarte, the list goes on. Many of the items are vegan and some are gluten-free but all are absolutely mind-blowing. We’ll let you discover the rest for yourself.
In terms of cooked dishes, there are some life changers and you’re going to want to sample them all. Starting with the Turkish Eggs with whipped Greek yoghurt, two poached eggs and Turkish spiced butter and served with white sourdough. Chloe has wanted to put that one on her menu for a while now and we are so very happy she did. There’s also Miso Scramble, a packed Breakfast Burrito and BAGELS in many epic flavours.
You should also sample the Roasted Grape Tartine, the Toastie (best in the world) and Cauliflower Burger because they are all some of the tastiest things we’ve ever eaten, hands down.
Every dish on the menu is thoughtfully created and balanced with intricate flavours and look just really yummy honestly. Best get down there and try them all for yourself hey.
Tarte Bakery & Cafe is sweet and sophisticated, warm and welcoming and the absolute perfect addition to Burleigh’s dining scene.
Things are looking up Gold Coasters, how good.
LOCATION: 2 West Street, Burleigh Heads
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Oh Burleigh you little beauty, what’s not to love right? Since the dawn of time (or the dawn of the GC at least) Burleigh has been one of the most-loved suburbs amongst a slew of strong contenders.
Sure, the beach is beautiful (that Hill is iconic for a reason) and James Street boasts all the best eats and acai bowls galore but it’s more than that, Burleigh has a soul of its own born of cruisy, barefoot, salty seabreeze vibes you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Gushing aside, we’ve found the best of Burleigh so you don’t have to.
We say when in Burleigh do as the locals do, so here’s our guide to the best eats, bars, shopping spots and places to visit so you can see why the locals love it and you should too (or else).
The fine dining venue has become part of the fabric of Burleigh’s bustling heart, but it’s also become one of the Gold Coast’s premier dining destinations. Tucked away on West Street, the five-star, seasonal produce-led restaurant is an absolute must-visit and your dining experience there is one you won’t long forget. The produce is sustainable and the wine list is filled with some of the most stunning natural wines in the world. The service is impeccable too, but in a fun, not-too-formal way. We LOVE.
Where: 2A/8 West Street, Burleigh Heads
Literally opening out onto the sand at Burleigh beach, Rick Shores is loved (not only locally) for its stunning sunset views and those tiny little taste sensations otherwise known as Bug Rolls. If you’ve never tasted one, you’ve been wasting your life, make a booking RIGHT NOW and order them all. Wash them down with one of Rick’s signature cocktails and you’re a bonafide Burleigh-ite.
Where: Shop 3, Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Yum, contemporary Cantonese food, we love you. Mr Hizola’s is dishing up the goods in the form of tasty share-style dishes and we are here for it. Particularly the sizzling steak dish that is all kinds of delicious and an array of epic cocktails to match.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
If you’re looking for fancy food but with the relaxed vibe that’s quintessentially Burleigh, look no further. The stunning space offers incredible Vietnamese dishes inspired by Head Chef Jake’s trip through Vietnam and a desire to eat some of the very best street food in the world every single day. Same. It’s a refined style of dining paired with mouthwatering cocktails and a sleek, paired back vibe. Jimmy Wahs is one of the Gold Coast’s most impressive eateries and we are big fans.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Town Hotel
If you haven’t seen this new reno, then where have you been? One of the best glow ups on the GC recently (in our humble opinion), Burleigh Town Hotel has nailed the pub-style menu and good vibes. The perfect place to set up for the arvo with your besties and the kids, there’s loads of space for the little ones to roam and plenty to keep them entertained while you kick back with a beverage in hand. Say less.
Where: Tsipura Drive, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Gelato Co
We’re softies for the sweet deliciousness that is gelato. Burleigh Gelato Co know how to deliver on flavours worth melting for, they’ve got all the classic Italian flavours you know and love along with their own signature specials. Guaranteed you’ll love them un-cone-ditionally.
Where: 9 Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
The guys behind Seadog know coffee. Starting as a humble little hole in the wall – literally – Seadog has become the go-to for a quick bite and a brew. And don’t worry, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you – you really are seeing double because you’ll find the crew on the bustling James Street or down the other end at the old faithful Burleigh Bowlo, perfect spot for a piccolo and park hangs.
Where: 8/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads and 1, Bowls Club, Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
Tarte Bakery & Cafe
There’s good reason this gem is heaving at all hours, the home of the iconic muffin top (IYKYK) and some of the best coffee in town, it’s not just locals who love it – you’ll find Gold Coasters and beyond flocking here for a taste of the goods. Come for a coffee and to get around their huge menu with something for everyone – literally, it’s impossible to not love something. Plus, we’re pretty sure it’s mandatory to leave with a pastry in tow – go on, you deserve it.
Where: 1748 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Social by name, social by nature – Social Brew is one of Burleigh’s best coffee hangouts whether you’re looking to catch up with the crew or a spot to work for the day, there’s a reason these guys have stood the test of time. A staple spot to visit in Burleigh for their signature iced coffee, come for the caffeine and stay for the bites.
Where: 34-36 James Street, Burleigh Heads
The baked goods that come out of this friendly little bakery are honestly something else. Owners Geoff and Lisa are passionate about baking and opened Burleigh Baker to provide us with the best tasting and most nutritious Artisan Sourdough and boy do they deliver. They use only the finest ingredients and the traditional process of fermentation. Do not buy bread anywhere else. You’re welcome.
Where: 13/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Something To Drink
Paloma Wine Bar
From the brains that brought us Labart is the one and only Paloma. This small but mighty wine bar has one of the largest selections of boutique wines (we mean, it is in the name) with some seriously epic eats to accompany. We can’t go past the steak frites – seriously, don’t sleep on this – and if you don’t know where to start on what to sip the expert team always nail the reccos. Pop a Pet Nat on your must-try for something a little bubbly or if you’re more of a red drinker, their signature chilled reds are the ultimate for a hot summer’s day.
Where: 12 James Street, Burleigh Heads
It’s the good time, slightly fancy Australiana bar of your dreams and it is perfectly at home in Burleigh Heads. Rosella’s very quickly became a firm local favourite when it opened last year and with both a drinks and food menu made up entirely of Australian produce, we are in love. There are cocktails made with Nutri Grain, some of the tastiest toasties around and all the very best Aussie beers. It’s refined, beautifully decked out and created by a couple of absolute legends. Love.
Where: 6/1734 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Justin Lane Rooftop
Don your finest frock and rally up your girlfriends for a Sunday session and a spot of people watching on the roof at Justin Lane. With cocktails in hand and a balmy breeze blowing in through the windows, you need never go anywhere else again. After a few hours, pop downstairs for one of Justin’s famous pizzas and that’s your Sunday sorted.
Where: 1708 – 1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
A somewhat hidden little speakeasy in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Lockwood Bar specialise in all of the very best varieties of whiskey along with many a local tipple transformed into tasty cocktails. It’s a laidback, jazz bar kind of vibe, low lit, often with live music and once you’re inside, you likely won’t want to leave. We dig it.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Brewing Co.
If there’s one thing Burleigh deserves (the big legend), it’s a brewery and Burleigh Brewing Co. certainly delivers. After opening in 2006, Burleigh Brewing Co. has produced nine delicious drops with delightful names such as ‘My Wife’s Bitter’ and ‘FIGJAM’ – perfectly Burleigh. Get a sixer for Netflix and chill or head into the brewery from Wednesday to Sunday afternoons to get amongst it. There’s live tunes too, what a combination.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Something To Do
Well hasn’t this simple little piece of Mother Nature become a local legend? No matter the day of the week (but particularly Sunday arvos) “the hill” as it’s affectionately known is packed with picnic rugs, ball games and groups of revelers basking in the sunshine. Looking out over the ocean and with the city in the distance, it’s the perfect spot for a late afternoon lemonade or early morning coffee date with the crew. If you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll around the hill to Talle Creek for some Insta-worthy scenery or if you’re into hill and chill then order some takeaway and perch up on a picnic blanket to soak up the scenery.
Where: The south end of The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Bowls Club
A relaxing little beachside club loved by young and old alike, Burleigh Bowls has been around since 1937 and is certainly a prime piece of real estate these days. Barefoot Bowls roll on from 12 to 5pm every Sunday and it’s a measly $5 per person including coaching and bowls (AKA ball whipper snappers). Live music can be heard on Sunday arvos from 2 to 6pm. Get down and support your local while sipping on a schooner.
Where: Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
David Fleay Wildlife Park
Nestled in the heart of Burleigh Heads, David Fleay’s is a wildlife park with a difference. Stroll through the tranquil surroundings to experience some of Queensland’s most iconic natural habitats and meet the resident wildlife — all in just one day. Explore the park solo or join the dedicated Park Rangers at the daily wildlife shows.
Where: Corner of West Burleigh Road and Loman Lane in West Burleigh
Shop With Us
If you’re in need of some retail therapy then James Street is the only place you need to go. The range of shopping has everything you need whether you’re looking for some new additions to your home from Maison & Maison or to update your wardrobe at Emte you’re guaranteed to leave suitably more stylish. If you’re looking for the perfect piece of art to dress your walls at work or home, Art Yarramunua is our pick for their incredible collection of indigenous art, expertly curated to celebrate the rich cultural history of Australia’s indigenous communities.
Where: James Street, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Farmers Markets
Everyone’s favourite Saturday morning market adventure. Get up early, grab your basket and set out in search of fruit, veggies and of course, your first coffee of the weekend. These days the farmers market also boast locally made clothing and homewares, flowers, meat and seafood and delicious breaky and lunch options. There’s also live music and plenty of laughter floating around. Happy days.
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
The Village Markets
Our beloved boutique fashion and lifestyle market, The Village Markets, is home to hundreds of local makers and has helped to launch the international careers of countless creatives. Head down for an early morning coffee and breakfast while wandering through the stalls until it’s time for lunch. Oh, and there’s always live music if you need a breather. It’s the best way to spend a sunny Sunday
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Chloe Watts is the local gal who’s as sweet as pie. Not just in nature, but Chloe was at the helm of Gold Coast bakery/cafe phenomenon Paddock Bakery producing all things sweet and tasty. After passing on the reigns at Paddock, Chloe has a new project in the works in Burleigh and the people couldn’t be more excited. Due to open at the top end of James Street in Burleigh in the not too distant future, in the meantime Chloe shares with Inside Gold Coast her career to date and what we can expect from her new venture, the much anticipated Tarte.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was born and raised on the Gold Coast and left to live in Sydney for six years, then moved to London for two years before returning home a few years back.
What do you love most about living here?
Undeniably the lifestyle and the weather, it truly is such a magical place.
Tell us about your career thus far?
Prior to owning and running Paddock Bakery for several years, I had some incredible opportunities in London. The best experience was working with a top private chef in London on several events. The most notable experience with him however, was staying with and cooking for John Taylor of Duran Duran and his wife Gela Nash-Taylor (creator of Juicy Couture) in their 50-room Manor in the English countryside. We cooked and served them for two weeks over Christmas on ‘THE’ Napoleon’s antique dining plates and King George’s table, while white ‘albino’ peacocks ran around. A truly surreal experience…
I also had the pleasure of working for a top London hospitality company, marketing some of London’s most notable restaurants and chefs. To gain further experience, I worked for seven pounds an hour in a famous bakery and deli, to learn the ins, outs and intricacies of how it is done on a very large scale. These experiences have undeniably shaped the way I do things within this industry here and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I was given.
Tell us about Tarte.
I have dreamed of doing Tarte for a very long time, and have forever eyed off the location it is now in. The food focuses on ‘classic’ dishes done to another level, honouring the demand for that recognisable breakfast, brunch and lunch menu, but ensuring it is taken to new heights and executed flawlessly, with absolutely everything made on site. Tarte’s bakery offerings will be rustic, and have everything from freshly made, flakey tarts, to the classic cookie and more (watch this space…).
Over the years I travelled to NYC for weeks at a time. While there, I fell in love with the style and aesthetic of West Village and Soho and I knew very early on that I wanted to achieve that look for Tarte. Simply put, the aesthetic of Tarte is a ‘West Village – New York’ style with a Parisian influence. It has a fully custom dark charcoal frontage, made from high quality timber and super high windows and doors. The interior will be filled with marble, tiles, blacks, whites and brass accents throughout. The main service and display counter is a 100 year old antique counter from a country NSW town Movie Theatre with the lights above from mid-century Amsterdam. The idea of Tarte is to be completely open, offering a seamless flow from indoors to out.
What is the process of creating Tarte from concept to reality?
Honestly, it’s a lot of hard work and attention. Nothing is simple. Every decision has to be well thought out and serves its purpose. Each element of design was carefully curated to achieve the look I wanted but also to make sure the staff are comfortable at their stations and that we have good flow for our customers. It also means getting your hands dirty – I personally put in over 3,000 individual black mosaics with the tiler – those three days were not fun! Haha. We hope it’s paid off!
Why do you think the Gold Coast needs a bakery/cafe like Tarte?
I think the Gold Coast has some wonderful bakeries and cafes, namely my brother’s establishments, Bam Bam, Custard Canteen and Cubby Bakehouse, as well as Paddock Bakery, now owned by Dion and Maya. All four of these places are some of the best in QLD, not just the Coast and I’m extremely proud to be connected to them. So simply put, we have amazing places, but Tarte will have its own unique character and menu with a style the Gold Coast hasn’t seen before. It’s also something new for Burleigh Heads, with loads of outdoor seating under the trees and in the warm sun – Burleigh hasn’t really had that before, so I’m super excited to offer not only good food and a great space, but over 100 seats outside in the iconic Burleigh Heads!
What can the Gold Coast anticipate from Tarte’s menu?
I have been curating this menu for 12 months, and I cannot WAIT to share it with the Gold Coast! For now though, it’s top secret 😉
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant for dinner: Francie’s in Coolangatta for a casual date night – best pizza around! Rick Shores is hard to beat when you combine the tasty food with that unbeatable view and of course, my good friend’s over at Labart are downright amazing!
Bar or pub for a drink: The Scottish Prince is great fun on the weekend!
Café for breakfast: Paddock Bakery still has my heart
Coffee spot: Seadog in Burleigh does epic takeaway coffee and has kept me going through this fitout!
How does your weekend usually look: At the moment? Covered in dust and paint! Haha. Otherwise with my fiancé and little cavoodle relaxing at home or making a day trip south with a podcast on…