Friday, February 28, 2014

Avalon Beach House For Sale

Beautifully restored to retain many of it's 1920's features, this Avalon Beach House is full of character and charm.

Open plan living makes the most of a north easterly aspect, capturing the best the of the local seaside micro climate.  Walk to both Avalon and Bilgola beaches, to enjoy all those environs have to offer in terms of surf, sun and village lifestyle.  Or relax in the terraced backyard and bask in the established gardens. 

Beautiful Sydney sandstone is featured throughout this lovely home, culminating in an original Alexander Stewart Jolly fireplace.

This gorgeous Beach house is truly one to inspire.  For more of her details go here.

Have a great weekend Beach Dwellers

The next Desire Empire newsletter will also be going out soon.  Sign up here  to receive Desire Empire's posts straight into your inbox once a week, so you don't miss anything.
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Palm Beach Markets

Palm Beach Markets have a lovely beachy vibe and you will see loads of colour and movement here.  Only an hours drive from central Sydney, why not throw in your cozzie and book a table for lunch in one of the great eateries Palm Beach has to offer.  You can make a day of it.  It's visually splendid, as you will see.  All the details you will need for a great day out in paradise are down below.

Governor Phillip Park Palm Beach and Dunes Restaurant & Kiosk
1193 Barrenjoey Road Palm Beach
(02) 9974 3332

Cranky Fins Holidae Inn
I Beach Road Palm Beach
(02) 9974 1159
Go here for a full review.

The Boat House
Northern end Governor Phillip Park
(02) 9974 3868
For full review go here.

Here's what you'll need to know about the Palm Beach Markets

Location: Governor Phillip Park 1193 Barrenjoey Road Palm Beach NSW 2108 On the green next to Dunes Restaurant

Distance from Sydney CBD: 45.4km and about 1hour and 10 minutes by car. 

WhenThe Palm Beach Markets are held once a month, on a Sunday, between September and May (excluding January).  Check here for dates.

The vibe: Think beach decor, Summer fashion, jewellry books, beach bags,  hats, good coffee, gourmet olive oil and bread.  Tropical plants

Restaurant and Bar: Dunes Restaurant and Kiosk (bookings advisable), Cranky Fins Holidae Inn (bookings advisable) and The Boat House (bookings unavailable).  See all their details above.

Parking: Some free untimed on street parking. Parking in Governor Phillip Park, which is ticketed.  Cars bearing a Pittwater parking sticker, park for free. Obviously parking gets tighter on weekends and public holidays.

Public Transport: Yes, take the L90 bus from Wynyard, which stops on Barrenjoey Road near the entrance to Governor Phillip Park.  

Seaplane: Sydney Sea Planes flies to Station Beach on the Pittwater side of Palm Beach.  There is a wharf for alighting at The Boat House, The plane leaves Sydney from Rose Bay.  

Toilets: Yes public toilets at North Palm Beach Surf Club

Shade: Yes plenty of it.  Covered picnic tables and loads of mature trees.

Childrens' Playground: Yes, there is a good unenclosed one, just near the entrance to Governor Phillip Park across the road, which has recently been renovated and is fabulous for toddlers to tweens.

Other attractions: Palm Beach Golf links, which are directly across the road.    Barrenjoey Boat Hire operates at the end of Govenor Phillip Park and is about 400m from Barrenjoey Road.  You can hire kayaks, stand up paddle boards and small fishing boats daily. You can also walk up to Barrenjoey Light House and take a guided tour inside the light house and heritage buildings on Sundays, via NSW National Parks.

In general:  For many reasons Palm Beach is a great place for a day trip.  It is very busy on weekends, particularly on market day, so my advice is to come early or after 2pm for a more relaxed experieince.

Go here for other things to do on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Dairy Free Banana Bread Cafe Style

Dairy Free Banana Bread Cafe Style

Top of the morning to you Beach Dwellers
For some time now, I have been trying to nail a great recipe for cafe style banana bread.  My mum has been baking banana bread since I was a child, but her version was a paler cakey style, with lemon icing.  Although lovely, it was really nothing like the banana bread I grew to love when I began to frequent cafes on a daily basis, 11 years ago with my first new born and a big dose of the baby blues.

To say I ate my way back towards good mental health, is probably only part of it, but I did grow to love the stuff and came to realise all too soon, that if I continued to eat this cafe staple on a daily basis, my butt, would grow as quickly, as my new little bundle of joy. 

That being said, it is nice to have finally found as close a version as I have to date, to cafe style banana bread, in Donna Hay's easy recipe.  Yet again Donna has given her readers a simple, yet fool proof recipe.  This time in the form of this cafe style banana bread, which is not only delicious, but actually tastes and resembles its cafe cousin.

I love Donna's simplicity and her use of every day ingredients to create wholesome and delicious food, which really appeals to a home cook like me.  I can highly recommend this recipe as fabulous, fool proof and very authentic to it's cafe roots.

Fear not the visible oil droplets, it's just oil spray residue I used on the loaf tin.

Dairy Free Banana Bread

4 ripe bananas
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 eggs
1.5 cups loosely packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 cups self raising flour sifted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
cooking olive oil for spraying

Preheat oven to 160 C or 325 F.
Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Put the banana flesh into a mixing bowl and mash with a fork.
Add the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla and mix well to combine.
Add the cinnamon and flour and combine well.
Pour into the loaf tin.
Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Cool in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Allow to cool completely, before slicing.
Slightly adapted from Donna Hays Simple Banana Bread

Mr Beach House's verdict:  He thought I had bought it and said "It's not as good as yours darl."  But he had to say that, didn't he?  He never held back in eating it though.  I think it is the best one I have made so far and probably the one I will continue to make, as it is as close to professional as I have ever got banana bread.

For more simple baking recipes go here.

Have a good week Beach Dwellers.

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Metamorphosis Monday
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Wow Us Wednesday
Feathered Nest Friday
Foodie Friday
Show and Tell Friday
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Show Stopper Saturday
Take a Look Tuesday
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Plantation House Avalon

This large home consists of a 4 bedroom residence and an attached 2 bedroom cottage, with separate street access.  Located in one of Avalon's best streets and only a short level walk to the village and Beach, this property would suit a range of family combinations.

My favourite features of this home are the sandstone fire place and kitchen island, the beautiful park like grounds and the sparkling pool and surrounding deck, which are perfect for alfresco entertaining.  For more of her details, you will find them here.

The Cottage entrance

Have a great weekend Beach Dwellers.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Apollonian Hotel Boreen Point

The Apollonian Hotel Boreen Point

Indulging in the Sunday lunch spit roast, at the historic Apollonian Hotel in Boreen Point in the hinterland of Queensland's Sunshine Coast, has often been described, as a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Whilst the spit roast is the pub's weekly signature event, this establishment serves good country pub style food, every day.

Originally built during the gold rush in Gympie in the 1870's, the hotel was moved to it's current location on 3.5 acres, in the quaint hamlet of Boreen Point, by the shores of Lake Cootharaba, in 1987.  Whether you sit around her beautiful wide and shaded verandas or, in the beer garden under the big old fig tree in Summer, or by the open fire place in Winter, you will be in for a truly authentic Australian country pub experience, when you visit.

The roast is prepared in a typical Australian bush kitchen, on a wood fired spit, adjacent to the beer garden.  Sunday lunch is often accompanied by live music.  Just 30 minutes drive North West of Noosa Heads, and steeped in the history of the area, this is one not to be missed.
Take a look around and meet me at the bottom, for all the essential details.


So here's what you'll need to know:

Location: Laguna Street Boreen Point Queensland

Distance from Noosa CBD: 26km and about 30 minutes by car.

Phone: (61) (07) 5485 3111. Between 10am and 10pm daily. 

Open: Seven Days a week 12pm -2pm for lunch and 6pm-8pm for dinner.

The vibe: Think relaxed country Queensland and colonial history. Spread out under the shade of the big old fig tree in the beer garden.  The beer is cold and there's plenty of room for the kids to play outside.  A pool table is also available for the use of guests.

Up Coming Events: Loads of live music.  Go here for the hotel's updated program.

Cuisine: Offering a good range of Australian pub style food, for lunch and dinner. In addition, the Sunday spit roast, which includes potatoes, salad and damper, is very popular and bookings are advised.

Functions: The hotel is available for function hire.

Accommodation: Yes, budget accommodation in restored former railway workers' quarters.  Bathroom and kitchen are shared.  Breakfast on request, if pre ordered the night before.

Poker Machines:  Happily no.

Highchairs: Yes

Parking: Free parking is ample in the hotel grounds.

Public Transport: No, private transport is required.

Toilets: Yes

Shade: Yes plenty of it.  Dining is outdoors under to wide colonial style verandas.  There is also an inviting beer garden, well shaded by mature trees.  Indoor dining is also available.

Fire Place: Yes there is an open fire place, with a beautiful shell clad mirror on the mantel.  I am reliably informed that it does get cold enough in Winter to be lit.

Childrens' Play Area: Although no formal play equipment is provided, children can play freely on the lawn in front of the hotel. 

Water Views: No, not from the hotel.

Other attractions: Take a walk down to Lake Cootharaba after lunch and take in the beautiful vistas of the body of water, which ultimately flows into the Noosa River.

The Location map

For more ideas on what to do when staying in Noosa and her environs, try these:
On the Streets of Noosa here,
A review of The Spirit House here
Shopping in Noosaville and Noosa Junction here.
Eumundi Markets and Noosa Farmers Market here.
Silent Movies at the Majestic in Pomona here.
Shopping and Dining at Peregian Beach here.

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