The spice trail

Spicers Clovelly Estate 

With the feel of a French provincial estate, Spicers Clovelly Estate sits on a ridge north of the Glasshouse Mountains with views down to Caloundra on the coast. As with all Spicers properties, the style is relaxed and professional. The bathrooms have rainwater flowing from the taps and showers. We even spa-bathed in it. It is trapped from the roof of the estate and available as table water in the restaurant as well. The restaurant, The Long Apron, is ready to take on the best. Chef Cameron Matthews sources produce from the region like Gooralie free range pork and Kingaroy olive oil. These – often combined with heritage ingredients and artisan produce – star on the menu. As with all real forage-style restaurants the menu has to be slightly flexible to accommodate seasonality. The cellar is well stocked with French and Australian wines, which paired well with the food of our seven-course tasting menu.

Standouts were the globe artichokes, with truffled crème fraiche and hazelnuts, accompanied by Dutch cream potatoes served with a glass of Veuve Clicquot. Dutch cream potatoes are dehydrated on-site, rehydrated with yoghurt and also served with exquisite locally produced spanner crab. These are fresh-steamed in their shells to preserve the texture. This dish is finished with Yarra Valley salmon caviar and matched with Heggies Riesling. I don’t want to not mention the black Angus served on roast wood or the dessert of aniseed sorbet with Midori-soaked apple.

If you are planning a trip to Noosa or the coast you wouldn’t want to miss Clovelly.


A delicate dessert at Spicers Clovelly Estate


Spicers Tamarind Retreat 

As the name suggests, Tamarind feels like a retreat. Tranquillity and privacy are offered in the 11 individual cottages edging down the sward toward the waterfall, which is audible through the thick, ancient rainforest. The calls of butcherbirds, magpies and catbirds punctuate the murmur of the water and echidnas march across the lawn in search of afternoon tea. It feels a million miles away, but from midwinter Sydney or Melbourne it’s an easy trip. And any driver who doesn’t get a thrill from the Montville, Maleny and Landsborough roads should hang up the keys. The retreat proper is the luxury day spa, Spa Anise. The infinity-edge hydro-pool, with all the windows drawn away, seems like a part of the pasture below.

The Tamarind restaurant on-site has a tropical Asian feel with pavilions inviting you to dine outdoors. The menu could loosely be described as both pan-Asian and fusion. There is a degustation menu for the fusion, a Thai-style banquet and an à la carte selection, all conceived and executed with finesse by Chef Danniel Jarrett and his team. Some standouts from our degustation were oysters and fingerlime, and compressed honeydew melon matched with a Pelorus sparkling from Cloudy Bay. Next, seared bug tails with perfectly textured, on-site made, chestnut noodles in broth with chilli and garlic relish. The steamed duck and foie gras dumplings with black pepper tea, black garlic and celery leaf demonstrates the fusion approach as does the five-spice roasted pork belly with steamed garlic and coconut relish. 


Crisp cocktails at Spicers Tamarind Retreat


Spicers Balfour Hotel – Brisbane

Different from other Spicers properties, Balfour has no on-site dinner facilities but is within walking distance of most of New Farm’s restaurants and the staff are knowledgeable and willing to book you. The splendid breakfast is a must though and the property has the feel of a very hip, Parisian pied-à-terre with all modern facilities; Wi-Fi, in-room espresso machine, and a rooftop bar with a fabulous view over the Storey Bridge and city. Balfour is less than an hour’s drive from Spicers Clovelly Estate and Spicers Tamarind Retreat.


Suite details at Spicers Balfour Hotel


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