For T’s Christmas present, I booked us a weekend away in Byron Bay over Valentines weekend. Any excuse for a mini break!
We drove down on Friday, arriving at lunch time, so headed straight into town to grab some lunch. We found a real gem in the form of Asia Joe’s, a small Asian cafe on Bay Lane. Straight up one of the best pad thai’s i’ve ever had (and i’ve had a lot!) – crunchy, nutty, sweet, flavoursome and packed with fresh veggies. Definitely recommend this place!
After the obligatory drink at the Beach Hotel, we went to check into our accommodation. We stayed at The Byron at Byron which is about a 5 minute drive out of town. The all-suite hotel itself is set in 45 acres of lush rain-forest, and is criss-crossed with meandering boardwalks throughout the foliage. You can stroll through the greenery to admire the lotus gardens, or follow the paths through to Tallow Beach which is directly accessible from the hotel.
The Byron is completely gorgeous and I only wish we had more time to spend here! Once we had checked in and zoomed to our room on the back of a golf buggy, we headed straight to the hotel pool, where we spent the afternoon sunbathing, dipping in the pool, drinking cocktails and enjoying a spot of people watching. Bliss!
All this relaxing had worked up an appetite, so we quickly freshened up and headed back into town for dinner. We had booked in at the Italian at the Pacific which we had heard good things about. Suprisingly it is actually part of the Beach Hotel but don’t let that put you off – when you’re in the restaurant you would never know there’s such a loud bar next door, the decor is lovely and the ambiance is super romantic.
I started with bubbles and bruschetta (when in Rome) and T had some oysters – simple italian fare is sometimes the best. For my main I had the “Tortiglioni con Pollo” – Burrawong Organic Corn Fed Free Range Chicken, shredded with Tortiglioni in a porcini infused cream sauce with mushrooms, peas & parmesan. Very rich and very tasty! T had the Penne Con Maiale – Penne in a roast garlic & chilli olive oil, tomato sauce, Salumi minced pork shoulder, roasted red capiscum & parmesan. Of course I had a taste and it was nice, but nothing on my main! Overall it was a lovely meal, we both agreed that the food was good but nothing out of the ordinary.
On Saturday we woke up (me hungover, T happy as larry), and went into town for some breakfast. We went to a popular cafe on the main strip called the Byron Fresh Cafe. Hangover cured with a large orange and pineapple juice, we both ordered the Halloumi Roll – grilled halloumi, fried egg, aioli, avocado salsa, and rocket on a sourdough bun. Exactly what the doctor ordered! Salty, yolky, carby goodness.
Feeling much perkier, we went back to the hotel and continued to recuperate by the pool for the rest of the morning. T got me some gorgeous flowers for V Day ❤
After lunch and a little siesta, we wandered through the hotel grounds to Tallow Beach. This is an un-manned beach and the currents can be strong so be careful. I previously learned to surf here and can confirm that the waves can be pretty vicious! Even T who loves big waves didn’t stay in long. Perfect sunbathing weather though, and lots of cute dogs to play with!
On Saturday evening we went back into town in search of a feed. On valentines day with no reservation this was no mean feat! Happily we stumbled across a gorgeous little restaurant/cafe called Il Buco again on Bay Lane. A very casual little pizzeria, we grabbed a little table outside on the street. It’s BYO, so T went over to the nearest bottle shop to grab us some beverages to go with our pizza. The menu is fairly small, but perfectly formed – a small selection of anti-pasti, and then a variety of pizzas. I went for my favourite, the Bufala – homemade tomato sauce, fresh buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. It was delicious, dripping with oil, the freshest mozzarella. T had the quatro staggioni which was also really tasty.
On Sunday I managed to wake up early enough to catch the daily yoga class at our hotel, which turned out to be one of my favourite parts of the trip. Practicing yoga surrounded by the sounds of the rain-forest, the birds calling and the waves rolling in the distance was incredibly relaxing. Feeling very zen, we went to breakfast at the hotel restaurant and chose the full buffet option (continental never stood a chance). Naturally I over indulged, starting with a full cooked breakfast, then moving onto the pancakes. Oh the pancakes, sigh! The fluffiest, softest, yummiest pancakes I think I’ve ever had…
Our last stop was the Lighthouse at Cape Byron. I had every intention of walking up, but our massive breakfast put a stop to that (what a shame), so we drove up. Having driven, I was very glad that we didn’t do the walk! The views from the lighthouse are pretty spectacular though so it is worth a visit.
Begrudgingly we started the journey back to Brisbane, taking the scenic route along the Tweed Coast. We stopped for lunch in Kingscliff at a cafe called Choux Box. I ordered the orange, pineapple and strawberry fruit frappe, and the nachos with chicken. Now I am a serious nacho aficionado and these did not disappoint! Crunchy tortilla chips topped with melted cheese, mixed beans, fresh tomato and onion salsa, shredded chicken breast and guacamole with a very tasty side salad. So so yummy! A fitting end to an amazing weekend 🙂