If, like us, you’ve been hibernating through winter, now is the time to peel off the heavy layers and soak in a little sun. And there’s no better way to do that than over a long lunch with friends and family at one of the Sunshine Coast’s stylish and contemporary eateries. With spring comes renewed inspiration driven by our plethora of fresh local produce.
It really is the ideal time to discover why the region has secured a spot on Queensland’s coveted foodie map. Here’s our suggested alfresco dining trail, featuring some of the Sunshine Coast’s best spring-inspired venues.
1. Hinterland, Flaxton Gardens
We never tire of visiting this beautiful manor, which is perched atop a hinterland escarpment. There is something pretty special about sitting in the sunshine, sipping on a glass of champagne while taking in the million-dollar views over the rolling green hills and to the coastline beyond. The venue’s signature Vineyard Restaurant offers alfresco dining overlooking the landscaped gardens, and intimate dining on the colonial verandah – both beautiful settings. The team of chefs use the abundant fresh produce that grows on their doorstep to dish up modern Australian culinary fare.
LIVE IN LUXURY: Phone ahead to secure one of Flaxton Gardens’ famous high teas, which are served on the terrace or in the gardens. We like the luxury menu, which includes a glass of brut or wine, followed by your choice of tea or coffee and a bonbonniere of chocolates. The divine offering of savoury and sweet treats will have you dreaming for days of warm, fluffy scones lathered with rich strawberry jam and fresh cream, decadent chocolate treats and finger sandwiches fit for royalty.
flaxtongardens.com.au, open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 3pm and Friday/Saturday from 5pm for dinner.
2. Hinterland, The Long Apron at Spicers Clovelly Estate
A celebrated destination for foodies, award-winning The Long Apron is the product of experienced chef Chris Hagan. The chef-hatted restaurant boasts a sun-drenched terrace, with pretty garden views, while the ingredients are sourced from the hinterland, including from Spicers’ own property. Visitors are in for
a true gastronomical experience.
Our tip: Pull up a chair in the tranquil gardens and enjoy a charcuterie platter and glass of champagne with a group of friends.
spicersretreats.com/restaurants/the-long-apron, open for lunch Friday through to Sunday 12-2pm, breakfast from 8am every day and dinner Thursday to Monday from 6pm.
3. Glenview, Daisy’s Place
Stepping into Daisy’s Place is like entering another world – a world of tranquillity and relaxation. Lush plants create a beautiful background, while water features bring another natural element to the setting. This quaint restaurant has become a Sunshine Coast icon thanks to its long history which stems back to 1923. Founded by Emma ‘Daisy’ Johnson and her husband Samuel Dorrington Johnson, the restaurant was known for dishing up homemade pies and tea to holidaymakers and Coast residents alike. Today, Daisy’s Place is owned by Sue Joseph and has undergone a renovation. The seasonal menu offers contemporary fare, which can be enjoyed on the terrace.
daisysplace.com.au, open Wednesday to Sunday from 7.30am.
4. Caloundra, The Yard Bar @ Parklands Tavern
Chef Damien Grimes has been cooking up a storm for 25 years and has become a recognisable foodie here on the Sunshine Coast. The Sunshine Coast Hotels group executive chef loves cooking with fresh, local produce – a trait he passes on to his staff. “Coming from a small country town, the product was all local and of great quality, which is something that I didn’t realise then, but has greatly influenced how I approach food now,’’ he says.
The group’s Caloundra offering is a great place to enjoy a spring afternoon. The grassed area of The Yard Bar is fitted with shaded picnic tables, plenty of space for the kids to run around, and a purpose-built timber bar.
Parklands offers indoor and outdoor dining and the menu boasts five-star pub food including all the traditional faves, as well as contemporary salads, mains and pizzas.
DON’T MISS IT: Parklands Tavern is holding a Melbourne Cup Garden Party on Tuesday, November 5. Tickets are $30 and include a champagne cocktail on arrival, canapes in The Yard, live coverage of the race, music, sweepstakes and prizes for the best dressed. Bookings essential.
parklandstavern.com.au, open every day from 10am.
5. Mooloolaba, Pier 33
Easily one of the Sunshine Coast’s most popular alfresco locations, this pretty restaurant and bar is a must for your spring hit list. Decked out in stylish blue and white interiors, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into the ultra-fab world of the Hamptons. Nestled alongside the marina, Pier 33 has both inside and outside dining options, including a lawn area, and you will find yourself happily whiling away the hours in this prime location. The menu is designed to share, which makes the experience all the more intimate and enjoyable.
Try it: The perfect spring refresher, the signature Mahalo Mooloolaba cocktail is built on Havana Especial rum blended with pineapple, palm sugar, bitters, mint and citrus.
pier33.com.au, open Wednesday to Sunday from 11.30am.
6. Mooloolaba, The Savvy Squire
When The Savvy Squire opened its doors at The Wharf Mooloolaba last month, it became the latest offering from Australia’s oldest brewer, James Squire. Created in partnership with Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, the venue caters to the growing love of craft beer with modern pub food that not only celebrates the region’s produce, but is crafted to pair with the alcoholic range. Head out to the deck to soak in the sun and water views, or settle into the front beer garden.
jamessquire.com.au/brewhouses/the-savvy-squire, open every day from 10am.