Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Produce, Ashgrove

What do you do when you can't find what you want close to home?  You open your own store!

At least that's what Ashgrove locals Kelly Duffy (pictured above) and Angelo Falco did when they came up with The Produce on Waterworks Road, Ashgrove.

Kelly comes from a background in the fitness industry and, along with partner Angelo, created exactly what she thought was missing from the local area.

"My skin reacts to chemicals and preservatives and we wanted to create a place where people would know it was okay to eat and drink.  We want to make organic affordable," says Kelly

The Produce is a of bulk foods and cafe combination where you can go to stock up your cupboard and your stomach at the same time.  There's also a selection of beauty products and eco-friendly cleaning items.

Everything is organic, including the organic fair trade coffee and the Barambah milk that goes in it, and it doesn't cost extra.

It's a small food offering with a cabinet display to choose from with fresh salads and a board with a selection of fresh cold press juices, crushes and smoothies. Bulk foods include nuts, cereals, flours and supplements.

It's early days for The Produce but their opening hours are 7.30am to 6.30pm seven days a week.  I expect that will change as they get a feel for what their customers need.

Kelly also is committed to working with local suppliers including Tinkerworld who made their tanks for honey and other wet goods.  Their muesli comes from Byron Bay and their make up from Burleigh Heads.

The Produce Bulk Foods

Bottom line:  Coffee costs $3.80, smoothies are $6.50, acai bowl is $9.50.
Best tip:  There's plenty of parking behind the building.

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK received a free coffee.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Banyan Tree, Macau

The Banyan Tree Macau brings a new level of luxury to hotel accommodation in my experience, and I've slept around (in hotels, that is)!

This is the first time I've stayed in a room where there are are five different ways to wash, one of them a four metre relaxation pool actually inside the room.

What to do around Macau?

It's filling as I enter the room and stays filled for the duration of my visit, which is good because it takes most of the afternoon to fill.  There's the gentle sound of a waterfall into the pool to lull me to sleep in my king-sized bed if I desire.

The room is 100sq metre and it's a standard room for this hotel.  There's a wooden hot tub flanked by a rain shower and  two basins.  I realise I'm going to have to make a list to ensure I use all of the washing methods at least once!

An instruction panel on the wall is the only way I know how to operate the intricacies of the wash and blow dry toilet. It even raises the lid as I enter the room.  Scrunch or fold is superfluous.

My room also has a separate lounge area with a second flat screen television.  It's big enough for a party.

Traditional Chinese architecture and design elements including red colour accents are everywhere plus the Wi-Fi is excellent and included for free. The service extends to my own stationery.

Banyan Tree Spa Macau is a very special place to relax. An entirely internal spa, the complex has been designed to make you feel you are in a relaxing rain forest.

I'm booked in for a three hour package but it flies past in minutes.  I remember hot stones soothingly massaged over my body with sesame oil, putting warmth and pressure on my energy points.  Well that's what it said happened in the brochure - I was so relaxed I was finding it hard to remember my name.

Banyan Tree Macau is located in vibrant Cotai city, 15 minutes from Macau International Airport and a 10 minutes from Taipa Ferry Terminal.  It's within walking distance of some of Macau's older and interesting areas but also part of the huge Galaxy Complex which is worth exploring for it's wow factor and amazing window shopping.

Ed+bK rating: 5 star+

Best tip: House of Dancing Water is a Macau show that should not be missed.

Recommended for:  If you want to splurge this is a great place to to it.  Best value is a midweek booked as this is wildly popular on weekends.

Bottom line: Midweek you can pick up a room here for around $362 a night.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK travelled as a guest of Tourism Macau and stayed as a guest of Banyan Tree.

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