Paper Daisy at Halycon House | Image credit: Halycon House
With winter winding down and spring in the air (read: magpies dive bombing us out of every second tree) now is the perfect time to celebrate the warmer weather by hitting the road and heading for the coast.
City foodies have been swapping urban life for Byron Bay and beyond for the last few years and they’re not the only ones getting a good deal out of the sea change: they’ve brought with them plenty of stellar coffee and food options that make it well worth taking a coastal roadtrip.
The Farm Byron Bay
The Farm Byron Bay—an 86-acre working farm on the fringe of hipster Byron Bay—has proven to be one of the hottest openings of the year. Foodies are converging on the onsite restaurant run by Three Blue Ducks for the delicious farm-to-plate breakfasts, lunches, and weekend dinners. And the goodness doesn’t stop with the restaurant: you can also drop by for sourdough from The Bread Social, cheese from The Produce Store, organic flowers from Flowers at The Farm or just to chill out in the fields of green.
Sitting majestically atop sleepy Cabarita Beach, the newly opened Halcyon House boutique hotel sets a new benchmark in coastal chic. The hotel’s restaurant, Paper Daisy, is headed up by ex-Esquire chef Ben Devlin and the crisp blue and white interiors have been designed by the fabulous Anna Spiro. Add an ocean-inspired menu featuring fresh fish, pippies, clams, and a stocked beach side bar, and you’ve got the the perfect relaxation destination.
We don’t usually recommend heading to a caravan park for top food, but that’s exactly what you need to do to get to Folk in Byron Bay. Serving up delicious, healthy, pretty food in a peaceful spot, this Byron Bay restaurant comes with the added bonus of being a civilized distance from the hordes in the city centre. The strawberry and rosewater smoothie made with coconut milk and the gluten-free banana buckwheat hotcakes are firm favourites.
As early as 6:30am you’ll find locals making a beeline from the beach straight to the Paddock Bakery in Miami where artisan sourdough, breads, donuts and muffins are baked in the huge wood fired oven. The copious amounts of both quality coffee and cute surfers ensure Paddock Bakery is a no-brainer.
Set at the base of Mt Warning, Mavis’s Kitchen is THE spot for a long, lazy lunch in serene surrounds. Owners Peter and Charlie serve up sophisticated comfort food such as slow cooked lamb shanks and braised beef cheeks along with a wine list that has peeps setting this as their Sunday drive destination of choice. A little tip: book in advance to avoid disappointment and a long, sad drive home.