In my opinion, there is no drive too far to get to an exciting new food destination. Which is lucky because the coast is having a real moment right now.
Byron Bay is pumping with hipsters and hipster venues; the Gold Coast has suddenly embraced good coffee and even better restaurants; and in between them both is sleepy Cabarita Beach which also has something very special: new boutique hotel Halcyon House.
Sitting majestically atop the white sands of Cabarita Beach, Halcyon House is a white-washed behemouth boasting the distinctive crisp blue and white interiors by star designer Anna Spiro.
And Halcyon Hotel’s restaurant, Paper Daisy headed up by ex-Esquire chef Ben Devlin, provides something interesting to write home about too, not least its extensive, ocean-inspired menu.
With exciting items like pippies, clams and yabbies on the menu, where the hell do we start?
Obviously with carbs. We order delicious warm wholemeal sourdough with macadamia butter.
Then it's ON with the divine seafood. We choose a dozen magnificent natural oysters teamed with tart finger lime pearls, red claw yabbies with mayonnaise and salted fish with green mustard. The meals are light, refined, pretty and mouth-wateringly delicious.
Wine is always an appropriate choice and in this case we order a bottle of crisp Australian pinot gris.
Although the long dining room is filled with a bustling crowd of people enjoying a leisurely weekend meal, the service is attentive and professional, with an unhurried vibe befitting the beachside location.
We're offered more seafood, dessert and even more drinks, but damn, there is that pesky hour drive home to think of. And yet this doesn't put a dampener on proceedings. Which means that Paper Daisy is definitely worth the drive.
Image credit: Halcyon House