A Vegetarian’s Guide to Byron Bay

Even though Italian cuisine has so many delicious vegetarian dishes, ‘being vegetarian’ is still misunderstood in many Italian towns. As a result I get served everything from fish (mistaking me for a pescatarian) to plain grilled vegetables (thinking I’m a vegan). It can be frustrating and tiresome always calling ahead to advise that ‘two vegetarians are coming to dinner’ and ask if they have anything to serve us.

So coming to Byron Bay really felt like coming home. It truly felt like we were welcome as vegetarians, not strangers from another planet. We felt in the majority not the minority, for once. And we ate like veggie kings.

So it only seems fit that my first vegetarian travel guide be for this vegetarian paradise!

Breakfast & Brunch

// The Farm + Three Blue Ducks

This place deserves its title as a foodie mecca. The boys from Bronte (Sydney) have set up a second venue 5 minutes drive out of Byron which includes a restaurant, store, yoga studio and flower shed on a 32 acre sustainable, chemical and spray free farm.

They have live music on weekend afternoons and you can even buy a picnic hamper to enjoy at your leisure on The Farm grounds.

Best for breakfast as a vegetarian as lunch and dinner have limited options.

  

// Bayleaf Cafe

Just a short walk from the beach Bayleaf is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. In fact the place is always packed and it can be difficult to get a table during the breakfast rush. But they do serve an all day breakfast to be enjoyed even later on in th day. Its got a typical laid back, relaxed vibe and serves local, organic seasonal produce.

  

// Top Shop

This corner shop on the outskirts of town is Byron Bay institution. Serving great coffee and a wide selection of snacks its the perfect pitstop heading to or from the beach. We stayed around the corner, so we ended up here most mornings for breakfast.

 

Lunch

// Heart & Halo

Certainly one of the best vegetarian cheap eats in Byron, this food bar  serves indian and asian inspired eat in and take away meals in a very relaxed and laid back setting. Perfect for a quick lunch, dinner or snack

8am -830pm

// Harvest

A short 15 minute drive from Byron in the delightfully sleepy Hinterland town of Newrybar, you’ll find the award winning Harvest.

Also home to the Harvest Produce Delli where you can purchase everything on the ‘bar eats’ menu to take home and enjoy all over again.

Open seven days for breakfast and lunch, with dinner also served Thursday through Sunday, book ahead to avoid disappointment.

  

Dinner

// Thai Lucy

Hidden in bay lane (Byron’s ‘eat’ street)

Plenty of veg options and vegan available on request

12-3pm & 1730-late (dinner BYO)

// Treehouse on Belongil

Playful, cozy spot with live music, just out of town, great atmosphere

wide selection of veg wood fired pizza plus other veg options

local craft beer and cocktails

  

 There are so many vegetarian options in Byron that I didn’t get to try them all! I wish I had also had time to try:

// Naked Treaties

// The Cardamom Pod

// Folk Cafe

 // The Cyprus Tree

// Manna Haven

// Asia Joe’s

A Wayfarer’s Guide to Brisbane

Brisbane is Australia’s third most populated city and as such lives often in the shadow of its larger and more well known cousins Sydney and Melbourne. But this is cosmopolitan city with the welcoming and open heart of small town, plenty of green spaces and a thriving cafe culture.

And the ‘River City’ is the first stop on our Australian trip this year, so it’s appropriate that it will be my first official ‘Wayfarer’s’ Guide!

As my first Guide, I’ll be trialling this format:

SLEEP / COFFEE / READ / EAT / DRINK / EXPLORE

I hope this will cover both the touristic and lifestyle/local aspects of any city as well as all the things I love =)

SLEEP

// Spicer’s Balfour Hotel (New Farm)

This Australia trip serves three purposes for us… 1) attending our dear friend’s wedding, 2) much needed catch up with family and friends 3) a honeymoon after our June nuptials.

As such, we have decided to occasionally splash out for the ‘honeymoon’ experience, and with Spicer’s Balfour Hotel we have done just that, even if it is only for 2 jet-lag ridden nights!

And after turning up on their doorstep at 9am (yes 5 hours before check in) after our particularly exhausting long haul flight from Milan, our room was obviously not ready so they offered us a complimentary upgrade to one of their brand new suites…..we must have looked worse than I thought!

Located in an iconic ‘Queenslander’ heritage home in the trendy suburb of New Farm, Spicer’s Balfour Hotel offers a chic and stylish interior and a rooftop bar with enviable views of Brisbane city and the Story Bridge, which is just 15 minutes walk away. And as we sat at this rooftop bar enjoying a much needed aperitif on our first night, looking across the rusted corrugated iron roofs of old homes to the lights of Brisbane city, I was filled with a sense of happy nostalgia, seeing this juxtaposition of old and new city living in Australia.

COFFEE

// Death before Decaf (New Farm)

I popped in here for a caffeine fix while hubby was next door getting a close shave at The Moustachery. It’s open 24/7, hence the aversion to decaf!

READ

// Avid Reader (Boundary Street, West End)

No modern book shop is complete without a cafe and Avid Reader is no different. One of Brisbane’s best independent bookshops, they stock all the latest fiction and non fiction with an excellent range of travel books, cookbooks, literature and more.

EAT

// Balfour Kitchen (New Farm)

Staying at the Balfour, we couldn’t go past sitting on the verandah for their delicious sweet and savoury breakfasts. One such morning we also spied a vegetarian tasting menu with matched wines on their dinner menu which was just too good to pass up. And then there is the rooftop bar with a decent wine and cocktail list to go with that view.

// Lost Boys (Fortitude Valley)

The enchanting and magical Lost Boys serves all organic, vegetarian food prepared daily onsite (breakfast, lunch and snacks) ordered from menus inside vintage storybooks.

Enter this slice of Neverland and embrace your inner Peter Pan, enjoying rustic but delicious meals in the shadow of the tree filled with Tinkerbell fairy lights and ‘lost boys’ hidey  holes.

 

DRINK

//  Heya Bar (Fortitude Valley)

At street level this place looks like a dive bar and wouldn’t usually have caught my attention if it hadn’t been recommended. And this dive bar aesthetic does continue in the nooks and dark corners hidden under Brunswick Street but in a kitsch kinda way when it is mixed with South East Asian style. Great for cocktails and imported beer. 

EXPLORE

// A stroll around South Bank

Perfect for my fellow Wayfarers, Southbank provides 17 acres of green parkland along the south shore of the Brisbane River. There are also plenty of places to eat and drink and things to see along the way, including a man made beach!

// Hanging out in New Farm

As we stayed in New Farm we spent lots of time just hanging out in this this trendy riverside enclave, enjoying the ample green spaces, heritage homes community atmosphere and riverfront strolls.

Bye-Bye Socality Barbie 

I love Instagram, I really do. But sometimes the curated perfection can get you down and that’s why I love an account that keeps it real, tells it like it is or adds a dash of humor – no matter how cynical or sarcastic  – is a welcome relief to my feed.

And so I am sad to see my of my favourite accounts, Socality Barbie, closed today. After months of secrecy, the account’s creator has revealed her identity and claimed her work – poking fun at the “authenticty” of curated Instagram posts and the manufactered hipster lifestyle particularly in America’s Pacfic Northwest – complete.

The account will be kept open for a few more days before it disappears from Instagram forever. So, if you havent already, this is your last chance to check out and enjoy this clever and amusing account that never failed to bring a smile to my face.

Giveaway with Folk Magazine

I’m super excited to be launching my new Wayfarers Inc jewelry collection later this month! 

I’ve been busy getting everything ready so that you order pieces to arrive in time for Christmas, either to gift to someone you love or to keep for yourself! 😋

In the lead up to the launch I’m running a giveaway with FOLK Magazine! Head over to this Instagram post to be in with the chance to win one of two exclusive necklaces. And follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with all the details about this exciting new venture!