With restrictions lifting, it’s time to revisit the classic weekend getaway to the country.
And – heads up, foodies! – we’ve got a delicious drive suggestion for you.
Less than two hours from Brisbane is leafy Toowoomba where a wintery nip in the air only sharpens the appetite for great food.
First stop – for brekky or morning tea – is James Street Grocer, tucked away in one of Toowoomba’s elegant suburban streets.
Owners, Alex Kennedy and Ash Forbes, have brought a little bit of European splendour to the Garden City – with gourmet food to match.
Choose from the bespoke menu for breakfast… or order one of the delicious salads or fresh-bread sandwiches made daily, for lunch.
And – now hear this! – do not leave until you’ve sampled something from the temple of sweet treats.
Ash creates a daily spread of baked delights – from classic French Apple Pie to dainty Lemon Curd Tarts – in a pretty, flower-strewn display that any self-respecting sweet-tooth would bow down and worship.
Leaving Toowoomba City, it’s just 20 minutes’ drive through farmlands to the little country community of Meringandan.
This peaceful rural idyll is home to Rosalie House – a gracious Queenslander cottage surrounded by lush vines.
The cellar door, restaurant and vineyard is owned and run by the Thompson family – Doyle, his wife Vicki, and their 3 daughters.
Drop by for a tasting or settle in for a country lunch on the veranda. The Grazing Platter features local gourmet delicacies – from cheeses to olives grown just kilometres away.
If just one day in the Toowomba region isn’t enough to satiate your appetite, consider an overnight stay (or two) at Kiambram Country Cottages – an eco-farmstay just two minutes’ drive from Rosalie House.
Set on elevated cattle country, each cosy self-contained studio cabin has glorious views of the surrounding farms. Laze on the deck of your private getaway… or hike a private walking track to the aptly-named Sunset Plateau.
No country escape is complete without a counter meal (or countery) at a classic old pub. Meringandan Hotel has a long history – and heaps of devoted regulars.
If you’re staying at the cabins, it’s a convenient place for a relaxed and memorable dinner.
And if – by some miracle – you are still feeling peckish after a day of foraging in the Toowoomba region, then why not order the “Monster Rump”? It’s a 1-kilogram slab of steak – cooked to your liking and served with salad and chips.