How to relax with a massage before you fly

Start your holiday with a massage before you fly at Brisbane International Airport's new Plaza Premium Lounge.

Along with honeycomb seating, plenty of electrical outlets and complimentary Wi-Fi access, Plaza Premium Lounge also a separate spa facility. Scheduled for opening in the second half of 2016, the spa’s menu will include seated massage, plus head and shoulder massage.

You'll need to adjust your pre-departure buffer allowance to allow extra spa massage time!

Operated by the world’s largest independent airport lounge network, Plaza Premium Lounge has made Brisbane's International Airport a whole lot more comfortable.

The sleek lounge design combines rustic wooden features with modern structures and fine materials. There are stacked wooden lamps and rattan swing chairs look as though they have been plucked straight from the pages of a decorator magazine.

The individual workstations provide a compact, but comfortable workstation area, and there are comfortable lounge chairs with a big screen view of the airport's activity.

Just like you’ll find at airport lounges operated by major airlines, there’s buffet dining where you can eat your fill of a good selection of Asian and Italian food with plenty of extras.

If you are looking for a comfortable place to hang out between or before flights, have breakfast, lunch or dinner, catch up with the latest newspapers or on television or recharge your phone, this lounge has got something for you.

I can imagine arriving early for my next international departure and slipping in for a massage and a meal before I jet off. Sounds like a nice way to start a holiday.

You find the lounge on level 4 at the International Terminal, just up the escalators.

Bottom line: A five-hour package costs $66.  It’s simple to book entry online

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest at the opening of the lounge.


You'll be surprised by what's in a Paleo High Tea

You'll be surprised  by what's in a Paleo High Tea but more surprised by what's not.

There's no dairy, refined sugar, flour or legumes making this high tea suitable for people with all types of intolerances and allergies.

But not all is as it seems and this spread is definitely different, except when it comes to flavour.

Designed by Pete Evans and Brisbane chef Josh Harris for Asana at Capri by Fraser in Brisbane's CBD, the spread includes all the sweet treats you would expect such as brownies, panacotta, chocolate truffles and tiny meringues with lemon butter.

Paleo High Tea at Asana by Pete Evans
Paleo High Tea at Asana by Pete Evans

But not all is as it seems and this spread is definitely different, except when it comes to flavour.  The truffles are bliss balls made from dates, chia seeds and cacao, the lemon meringue treats are made with paleo lemon curd using nut oil instead of gee and italian meringue made with maple syrup instead of sugar.

The paleo brownie comes with whipped coconut cream and the rounded mounds of strawberry shortcake are sprayed with cocoa butter with turmeric through it, which gives a buttery texture when it sets firm. Inside is panacotta with a strawberry gel and almond based sponge on the bottom.

Paleo strawberry shortcake
Paleo strawberry shortcake

The sliders (teeny, tiny hamburgers) are made with paleo bread rolls.

Paleo Sliders
Paleo Sliders

New on the Asana a la carte winter menu are a seafood laksa, bone marrow pho with beef short ribs, and a chicken healing broth.  If you are short on time, you can also get the chicken broth just as a mug of soup through the coffee shop.

Chef Josh Harris is a big fan of the chicken broth and regularly makes batches at home .

"It's great to have in the freezer," he says.  "You can pull it out and use it for a soup or sauce, or heat and add turmeric and ginger and lemongrass and have it as warming soup.

New entrees include a smoked ham hock terrine crumbed in nuts, tuna tartare, and a new winter warmer vegetarian dish with roasted seasonal vegetables and smoked black garlic. The new dessert is chocolate self saucing pudding with salted caramel coconut ice cream and maple glazed pecans and honey comb.

"The pudding has only been on the menu for a week and it's already our number one seller.  It's hard to keep up with the demand for that one," says Josh.

Bottom line: High Tea is priced from $32 per person with coffee or tea and $42 with a glass of champagne.

Best tip:  Take some design inspiration from the quirky decor in the restaurant and lobby.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Asana.

Kerry Heaney is a food sherpa, travelling the world bite by bite. For her, it's all about where to go to eat and where to eat when you go, and she's been writing about that for the past 20 years. A writer and editor who contributes regular food and travel feature stories for RACQ's The Road Ahead and a range of other print publications, Kerry has been sharing food love through Eat, drink + be Kerry for eight years. Although dedicated to eating her way around the world, Kerry is an expert on Queensland food and has written the Queensland food component for several Hardie Grant titles. Kerry is immediate past president and a current committee member of the Australian Travel Writers Society (ASTW).