A bit of this and that...with added frangipani.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Celebrating in Port Douglas: From Laundry to Luxury and Back Again

Over the weekend, a group of six ladies, mostly mums, descended upon sunny Port Douglas to celebrate my friend's 40th birthday in style.

The purpose of this post is purely to make you green with envy. I can be mean like that. I'll outline the activities, but will leave out the mischievous detail, because what happens in (Port) Douglas stays in (Port) Douglas!

On the Friday, we started out with a lovely pub lunch and a cool beverage while we waited for our room to become available.

Then it was on to check out our penthouse three-bedroom apartment at the Coconut Grove Resort. When we all picked ourselves up off the floor after checking out the luxurious accommodation, complete with its own private rooftop pool and spa, we headed out to the meeting point for our sunset sail on Sailaway.

The Birthday Girl is third from the front

Dinner afterwards was at Salsa Bar and Grill and then drinks and dancing at the Courthouse Hotel.

Saturday, we enjoyed various combinations of massages, body exfoliation, foot and hand indulgence treatments, facials, the hydrotherapy bed and the steam room at the Wellness Day Spa.

In the evening we sipped wines and tasted delicacies off the 7-Course Chefs Tasting Menu at Nautilus Restaurant. The restaurant was all outdoor dining and there was not a cloud in the sky to sully the atmosphere. I include here, the menu:

7 Course Chefs Tasting Menu

Amuse Bouche

Queensland Spanner Crab & Tuna Tartare
Garlic Chips, green onions & orange soy
(Cloudy Bay Pelorus Sparkling - Marlborough)

Tahitian Lime Marinated Tiger Prawns
Pear tomato, avocado & cucumber jalapeno gelee
(St Hallett Riesling - Eden Valley)

Lobster & Bay Bug Boudin Blanc
Pinaeapple sage, cauliflower puree, lemon burnt butter
(Tim Adams Pinot Gris - Clare Valley)

Ballotine of Duck
Pistachio farce, vanilla cinnamon apple & apple foam
(Mitolo Jester Sangiovese Rose - McLaren Vale)

Herb Crusted Eye Fillet
Truffle mash, wild mushrooms & sauce béarnaise
(Henschke Keyneton Estate Blend - Barossa Valley)

Vanilla Crème Brulee
Pistachio biscotti
(Vasse Felix Cane Cut Semillon - Margaret River)

View Looking Up Into the Night Sky

Sunday morning, we snuck in a bit of shopping on Macrossan Street, said a reluctant farewell to our posh hotel and headed north of Mossman for lunch at the Silky Oaks Lodge. The restaurant overlooks the river, the staff were so friendly and the food was delicious! It was all we could do to pull ourselves away for the trip home.

The car ride back was slightly subdued. I think we were all missing our children and/or partners, but also dreading the return to the humdrum routine of family life. After such an extravagant weekend, who could blame us?!

I was delayed in writing this, because of the laundry and chores that awaited my return. To be fair, Will did an excellent job of keeping the kids amused and the house ship-shape while I was away, but all the meals out in Port Douglas meant changing outfits multiple times a day and the mountain of laundry was my own.

Now, as I stare at the pile of papers on my desk, the breakfast dishes in the sink and the basket of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away, I'm counting the days until the next of our friends turns 40 (It's 444 days if you're curious to know).

I set out at the beginning of this post to make you uber jealous of our weekend away, did it work? Have you ever shared an amazing weekend with your pals? If you've celebrated a birthday with a zero on the end, how did you celebrate?


  1. OMG yes....uber jealous here!! I was seriously salivating reading the menu. You girls certainly know how to celebrate in style!! My little sis turns 40 next month, we doing an all day wine tasting tour and lunch on Tamborine Mountain near the Gold Coast. CAN.NOT.WAIT!

  2. Wow...now that's what I call a great weekend! Though green with envy I am also encouraged by the wonderful ideas for my own 40th which isn't until November 2013. Lots to look forward to!

  3. Oh yes! I highly recommend living the high life on your 40th; it eases you into the new decade in grand style. :)

  4. I know why, it's called 'lint in my wallet' syndrome. I'm ready and willing to be pampered for a weekend every year, but alas my bank balance has something different to say on the matter!

  5. Thea, that sounds like the perfect way to celebrate your sis' birthday. I can't wait to hear all about it. :)

  6. That sounds like a fantastic weekend... and the food!  Wow.
    About a year and a half ago I spent a weekend with some former work colleagues, we went to Floriade, the flower festival in Canberra.  That may not sound so exciting, but we had an absolute ball!

  7. It's all in the company you keep, isn't it? I'm sure with this group of friends, we could have had fun anywhere!

  8. I don't know why you don't celebrate every birthday this way...they are all as important as 40....or, you all could just stay 40 and celebrate it every year...Personally, I'm staying 30 something...lolol.


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