6 Things That Surprised Me About The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is a lot more fun to visit than I remember 20 years ago when it was the first stop on family holidays.

The GC Girls love to wear summer clothes all year around!

I’ve just been on The Gold Coast for a fabulous 3 day convention full of fellow bloggers, where we all were educated, chatted and laughed about the crazy world that is blogging.

I snuck out for a night on the town in the GC,and was quite impressed with the fun on offer.

1) Luke Mangan’s Restaurant Salt In The Hilton
There is a guy running this restaurant called Frank, who is fresh from NYC and is not only delightful, but knows his stuff. Salt is a haven from the hustle, bustle and craziness that can be The Gold Coast. You could be sitting in Sydney with luxe fabric and stone interiors, and the international crowd.

There is a gorgeous upmarket bar serving fabulous martinis amongst other selections for a drink before dinner, and you wont feel like you are in a GC singles bar.

The restaurant and bar have a stunning wine list, even by the glass. The menu includes Luke’s signature Hiramasa Kingfish entree, grilled meats, and a selection of mains to die for. The sides are varied too with tomato and fetta salad,  green beans and green salads. I loved every minute of the food and the experience.

2) The QT Bar is fun
The QT Hotel is one of the trendy spots on the GC to have a a drink, chill and mingle with locals. It’s worth popping in to see who is in town, and enjoy a list of fab cocktails which includes a few skinny versions to keep off the kilos.  The food has a Mexican flavour and is enjoyable pub style cuisine. There’s a Japanese restaurant and a famed modern take on the buffet concept if you want something different. Brightly coloured furniture and cute bar staff keep the place light, lively and interesting.

3) Black Coffee Lyrics
Ignore the entrance via a shopping centre, as this grungy but funky cafe/bar is one of the hottest spots on the GC right now. They grind their own coffee, have a sensationally creative breakfast menu which includes the “Penny Lane” breakfast roll, rocking cocktails by night and Beatles music to boot.

Staff are passionate but humble, and aim to please. The GC is well and truly finding its food feet.

4) It’s Cold right now

Apparently the arctic breeze is coming in from the snow. Whilst we’re not sure which snow the locals are referring to, they are certainly right when they say it is cold here. Open toe shoes don’t work at night right now, as I discovered.

5) The Spas are top notch

Every hotel worth its salt has a day spa and they seem to be very, very good. We road tested The Royal Pines Hotel spa – miles from the GC, (we were there on a conference), and the facials were excellent. A manicure at another in Surfers was sublime. These people know how to chill.

6) Wow – that fashion!
The GC Girls certainly go their own way in the fashion stakes. Bright colours, plenty of jewellery and ahem, coloured bras are all part of the fun. The bright blue and red spacesuit style onesies on the QT staff complete with plunging neck lines take the award for crazy fashion style – but they are so far pulling it off.

Salt grill 4
Luke Mangan’s Salt Restaurant in The Hilton is sensational for a couple or solo sophisticated Sydney style bite.
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Renae Leith-Manos

Editor and Founder of Bondi Beauty

Renae Leith-Manos loves fitness, new beauty products, long chats and long flights. She is at her best when traveling the world writing about luxury hotels and Michelin Star restaurants (www.renaesworld.com.au). She has had a colourful media career as a journalist inmagazines and newspapers, in Australia and Asia. She spends her time writing, cooking, consulting to new businesses, running and working out.

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