Good neighbours

A world-class resort sits perched above one of Noosa’s most-recognised leisure and dining destinations yet most locals have never set foot inside. Deb Caruso shares her reasons why you should meet your neighbours.

by @JohnCaruso on Friday, 16 Sep, 2016

Just 500 metres off Hastings Street sits the environmentally sustainable, five-star Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas. Most locals don’t even know it is there as it blends into the landscape and seems too world-class, too good to be open to just anyone.

But it is, and the resort operators want Noosa locals to know it is available, accessible and as welcoming to its neighbours as it is to the thousands of tourists that choose to holiday or conference there throughout the year.

Since opening in 2010, the resort has had a commitment to blending in, and supporting, the natural environment. While the resort is large with 197 luxurious suites, villas and penthouses; its environmental impact is small with numerous design and landscaping awards recognising some of the eco-friendly features including rainwater harvesting systems; sustainable building design and materials; gas and solar powered hot water systems; gas heated pools; and energy efficient in-room facilities. All glass waste is processed on site and redistributed through the grounds; suppliers are required to take any waste away with them and staff regularly participate in eco initiatives, such as Clean Up Australia Day.

The venue is as flexible as it is fantastic. From intimate meeting rooms to an 89-seat theatrette and myriad rooms for meetings, conferences and private functions up to 1000 people; the captivating atmosphere of rainforest canopies, ocean breezes and stunning bay views are only equalled by the superb selection of indoor and outdoor venues. Wedding and Conference and Event coordinators are on-hand to assist and catering is something else with Executive Chef Andreas Nielsen ensuring every morsel has your guests raving.

The venue was chosen for the launch of our Winter 2016 edition of IN Noosa Magazine and we took advantage of one of the conference rooms to hold a social media workshop with our clients before getting down to the serious business of getting our hands on the latest copy of the magazine whilst enjoying the good food and drinks around the newly-refurbished bar and restaurant area.

The stunning and functional island bar and Terrace Lounge show some of the recent renovations that have been completed since Mantra Group took over operations in July this year, rebranding it as Peppers Noosa Resort & Hotel and stepping up the focus on ensuring the restaurant and bar area was more functional, friendly and food-centric.

Andreas’ approach to food is inspired by his Danish heritage and strongly focused on using the freshest seasonal produce paired with the best local meat producers.

“Every chef says that but I think it is very important,” he said. “It means so much to reduce your carbon footprint, support the local community, get the produce as close to you as you can so that it is the freshest it can be. You don’t need to do too much to it to make it outstanding – keep it as simple as possible, that’s my philosophy.”

He cites Bendele Farm Duck, Moya Valley Chicken; Cooloola Berries; Noosa Red Tomatoes; Noosa Fish Providores; Queensland’s only RSPCA-approved pork from Goondiwindi’s Gooralie Free Range Pork; and Tajima Wagyu from Gympie with a marble score of six; as key producers that feature regularly on the menu.

View Restaurant offers all day dining starting with a sumptuous buffet breakfast including fresh fruit; cheeses; cereals; eggs, bacon, mushrooms; omelettes made to order and coffee and tea from 7am to 11am.

After that, the all-day dining kicks in with a bar snack menu, lunch menu and dinner menu with last orders taken at 9pm.

There are plenty of options for gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian with the flexibility to accommodate special requests and dietary requirements.

The lunch menu keeps it simple with a range of options from snacks and salads; to pizza and gourmet burgers with a decent number of hearty meals to satiate even the hungriest tummies.

Dinner is an extension on lunch but raises the bar with more upmarket offerings designed for sharing. Customers can try more of the menu by ordering the smaller taste plates or create a feast with the option of larger share plates.

While Andreas is still creating his spring menu, you can expect to see some favourites remaining on offer including: Sake and mirin Gooralie pork belly crispy fried, curried watermelon, lime; Fire roasted golden shallots, grilled leek and soft Gympie free range egg; Spiced watermelon soup, pickled rind, micro coriander; Beer and bourbon soaked flame grilled whole Moya Valley chicken; and 700g twice cooked pork ribs, sticky house-made BBQ sauce, slaw and shoestring fries.

His signature whole baby barramundi with bonito soy, sesame and chilli oil and coriander, which was created when he was at the award-winning Jellyfish Restaurant in Brisbane, is a must-try.

“I like to use quality ingredients to keep it simple and fresh, pickled Bowen whiting with rye bread, rosemary and curry salad; it’s a heritage dish from my mum who was also a chef,” he said.

“Spring is about light and fresh flavours and using whatever is in season.”

In this way, General Manager Steve McPharlin feels the venue reflects the menu with its abundant natural light, stunning views and the surrounding trees and living walls providing a feeling of being at one with nature.

“It is a large space which can be a challenge but the advantage is in its size,” he said.

“There aren’t many places where you can relax in the Terrace Lounge enjoying the vibe of a world-class resort; have a refreshing drink and light snack in the ample bar area; or sit down for a relaxed fine dining experience.

If you haven’t popped in to visit your neighbour yet, happy hour is on everyday from 4.30pm with $5 drinks and live music on Fridays and Saturdays; all day dining caters to your needs; free WIFI allows you to stay connected to the outside world while feeling like you are a world away; and event planners can help make your celebration special. Book your seat for the Melbourne Cup Lunch at $85 per person, including a three hour drinks package with extended Happy Hour from 3pm and don’t forget to get in early to book your table for the famous Christmas Day luncheon.

Read more articles by @JohnCaruso

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