I was on the Gold Coast in Sunny Queensland attending my first Problogger Conference at the Royal Pines Resort. The two full-on days of inspirational speakers*, partying, blogger meet-ups and tantalising food were over in a nano-second and I found myself rejoining Marty and our caravan at nearby Miami Beach.
The Gold coast is Queensland’s sun and surf playground, but with our remaining seven days we had plans to explore the Cafe scene.
Coffee and Cake Time
Our first choice was Borough Barista, where Marty was taking me to try a special cake only available on the week-end. By the time we arrived on Sunday morning they had unfortunately sold out, but Marty described it as a deep fried doughnut/muffin, coated in cinnamon sugar and filled with Jam. Evidently this rock star cake sat on the counter in un-named glory. Muff-Nut, anyone?
14 The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads. Hours 6 a.m. – 2.30 p.m.
With all the freshly baked items sold out, my gaze shifted to the fridge and a pile of take-away containers that housed some rather handsome looking salted caramel brownies. One between two of us seemed totally appropriate, after my Royal Pines indulgences and warmed up it was moist and rich with a real salt crunch. I’ve noticed that salted caramel often has no discernible salt taste at all, but this brownie lived up to it’s name.
Sunday at Borough was busy, with lycra clad cyclists and dog walkers waiting for take-aways. Most of the tables were full with some interesting looking brunch boards exiting the kitchen.
Borough Barista – a good place to start.
At Burleigh Headland we met Caz* and Craig from Ytravel blog and when conversation turned to coffee and cake they pointed us in the direction of another cafe. We love getting tips from locals, so the next day found us on the lower level of the Gold Coast Highway in search of a cafe called Commune.
1844 Lower Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads. Hours 6.30 – 3.00 p.m.
I felt an instant attraction to this cafe. Maybe the name conjured up Hippy memories, but I loved, loved, loved the decor and the multiple choice seating areas.
Inside was an eclectic mix of stools, chairs, tables, benches, walls plastered in posters and music that echoed the sound track from my twenties. One outdoor area overlooks highway street art while another cosies up to a creeper clad wall.
We shared the mother of all muffins – as bold and eclectic as it’s surroundings. Topped by a blob of peanut butter, a raspberry and sliver of banana, the dense muffin was filled with pieces of chocolate and whole berries. Chunky goodness cooked and served old style in brown paper.
p.s. Our waitress confessed that the aroma of the cooking muffins drove her crazy with anticipation.
I could have communed all day and even as I write this I find myself drifting back.
Driving toward Coolangatta from Burleigh with Marty at the wheel, I spotted a grey brick wall with a stand-out Feather and Docks logo in white. Beneath it were a couple of tables and chairs and a guy soaking up the sun, while out front were benches, chairs and more people. We parked out the back.
Feather and Docks
1099 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach. Hours 5.30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Weekdays 5.30 – 12.00 p.m. Weekends.
The young woman who took our order was chirpy with a friendly natural manner and set the tone for an enjoyable morning. Marty loves chocolate brownies and they were a stand out to him amongst the more healthy looking options on display. He gave it the thumbs up for it’s straight-from-the-oven taste. I chose a healthy apricot slice (V) which was just what I fancied. The vegan cook is expanding the cafe’s range of baked vegan goodies and we were given a taste of his latest creation – a chocolate peppermint slice which had an intriguing occasional hint of salt. We couldn’t remember if the Chocolate Brownie was vegan or not…
At the southern end of the Gold Coast we arrived at Coolangatta Beach front, which on that Sunday in August was hosting the Arts and Craft Market. Right there in the middle of the market we found Peace of Cake.
Peace of Cake
Gold Coast Arts and Craft Market. Broadbeach, Burleigh and Coolangatta
Strictly speaking Peace of Cake is not a Cafe, but their cakes belong in one.
We had merely been browsing in the market until we found this stall. I could tell by the display, that pastry chefs and partners Aaron and Anne-Marie loved their art. My browsing ceased the minute I saw the Pear and Blueberry tart. I’ve been a tart freak my whole life and have only tasted one other as good.
The pastry stole the show – slightly crunchy, with caramel undertones, it mixed addictively with the pear and blueberries. Hell yeah. Marty looked pretty happy about his spiced apple and custard Danish too.
I actually went back to have a chat and let them know how much I loved the tart. Beaming, Aaron then wanted us to try the profiteroles, his personal favourite and I had to admit that they looked luscious.
These slightly chewy pastry balls, with their smooth creamy filling and coating of soft rich chocolate, would be the perfect conclusion to a romantic dinner.
Even though the profiteroles were seriously good, I was still wowed by the tart.
Marty who tasted all three, declared the profiterole hands down winner.
I later wished I had bought some of the chocolate brownie and lemon delicious for my brother who is a happy coeliac.
Coffee Vixen’s cart was obligingly close by so we got our usual, and sat beneath the Pandanus, sipping and feasting.
Next was a l.o.n.g. beach walk.
18 Christine Avenue, Miami. Hours 7 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. Weekdays.
We drove past this cafe the first day we arrived at Miami Beach. Our GPS took us down the seemingly never ending Christine Ave and a block before it joined the Gold Coast Highway, I spied Little Boho. It was closing up that day, but I made a mental note to return.
Little Boho’s crazy mix of colours in both decor and crockery is very inviting. Like the name suggests the interior is tiny and there’s a dinky courtyard too, but I suspect a lot of their trade comes from filling orders for nearby workers. I fancied the look of some of the savoury options on display, but nothing caught my eye in the sweets department until I spotted the muffins on the counter. It seemed like Muffins were our Gold Coast destiny. Little Boho’s were as delicate as Commune’s were robust.
Street Corner Espresso
1,1840 Lower Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads. Hours 6 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Street Corner Espresso is in the same block as Commune, with one outdoor area facing the colourful highway and another on the wide side street footpath. I was swayed by price and ordered the Special of a coffee and a Choc/Orange slice, but probably should have ignored my budget instincts and gone with my first choice.
I liked the look and feel of this place and if I lived within cooee I’d be back on the Street Corner in a flash. Good Coffees as usual.
The best part about this area is the coastal Headland beyond which lies Burleigh Head National Park. The Sunday evening we were there, the grassy headland overflowed with people, six packs/cartons, cheese platters and picnics. I wondered if we were about to witness some special celestial event, but it was just a normal Sunday.
43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads. Hours 6 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. Weekdays 6 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. Weekends.
You will find Nook, a hole in the wall, right on the waterfront at Burleigh Headland, by it’s steady stream of customers. It is perfectly positioned for walks along the foreshore or for when leaving the beach is just too much effort. Service is surprisingly fast with snacks packed ready to go. The coffee is passable, the muffins tender and the view unbeatable.
We enjoyed each of the seven cafes we visited. There were more that caught our attention and we will be trying them next time.
My favourite Cafe this time around was Commune and I chose Peace of Cake as having the best cakes.
Marty’s favourite was Borough Barista and he chose their Muff-nut mystery as his favourite cake.
Budget Travel Talk
Burleigh Heads is situated mid-way between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta on the Gold Coast of Queensland.
The cost of 1 large coffee, 1 small coffee and 1 cake, ranged from $11 to $14 AUD.
While you’re here leave your favourite coffee and cake suggestions in the comments.
I’ve linked to Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox for Travel Photo Thursday.
Add your link below.