Three Blue Ducks & The Farm Byron Bay

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

I’d seen it on instagram, read it in Gourmet Traveller and heard it from friends – Matt and I only had a few days in Byron Bay, but we weren’t leaving without going to The Farm.

The Farm Byron Bay is an 80 acre working farm, with crops and livestock and a big vision. Their motto is “Grow, Feed, Educate” and they are big on sustainability, community and feeling closer to your food. 

The onsite restaurant, Three Blue Ducks, fulfils the “feed” part of that promise, sourcing as much as they can from The Farm, buying local for everything else and serving up delicious seasonal dishes for breakfast, lunch (everyday of the week) and dinner (Friday to Sunday).

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

Matt and I went for a leisurely breakfast on our last morning in Byron and were not disappointed. I had the most delicious porridge with toasted coconut, rhubarb and berries, and Matt enjoyed the baked eggs. Being a seasonal menu, it has since changed so you can’t have what we had, but I’m confident that anything that comes out of that kitchen would be pretty damn good.

When it comes to drinks, their coffee is great, they have a couple of different juices on offer each day and if you’re up for a boozy brunch, they serve alcohol from 10am onwards. Perfect.

Three Blue Ducks also runs The Produce Store out front, stocking fresh produce straight from The Farm and the local region. There are also a number of other micro-businesses that make a visit to The Farm all the more worthwhile. There is a florist onsite, regular yoga classes and permaculture courses on offer.

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

Then there is the smell of freshly baked bread from The Bread Social that greets you as you enter The Produce Store. It’s an artisan bakehouse selling freshly baked goods everyday, from loaves of organic sourdough to delicious buttery pastries. I tried to convince Matt we needed some pastries for the road, but his self control won out.

If you’re ever in Byron Bay, or just passing through, a visit to The Farm should be at the top of your list. Find them at 11 Ewingsdale Road in Ewingsdale just outside Byron, and on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

three blue ducks the farm byron bay

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Canberra Eats: Akiba

akiba canberra

It didn’t take long for Akiba to shoot to the top of my favourite restaurant list when they opened up late last year. With a modern, fresh take on Asian cuisine, a killer drinks list and the best vibes going around, Akiba always leaves me wanting more.

A few weeks back, I found myself there once again. This time, it was a family affair to celebrate my dear Dad’s birthday. Not a family to shy away from a celebration, we ordered a round of drinks to start and then about a million dishes.

The drinks list at Akiba is exceptional. I introduced Mum to one of my favourite cocktails – the Stiletto, a simple but delicious combo of vanilla vodka, passionfruit and sparkling. The boys went for the non-alcoholic strawberry & mint “Akiba Pop”, which is made in house and comes with the option to “make it BOOM”. In this case, “BOOM” equals bourbon.

akiba canberra

The food at Akiba is designed to share and the dishes come out when they’re ready, even if you’re not. That night, we’d ordered so many that we were having trouble keeping up.

As the vegetarian, I made sure we had my favourites on the table – the shiitake and water chestnut dumplings with red vinegar and chilli oil ($10 for 4), the sweetcorn pancakes with chilli caramel and togarashi ($8 for 2) and, on the side, a serve of the smoky potato with dill, black garlic and mayo ($9).

From the raw menu, we ordered the oysters with ume mignonette ($10 for 4), the kingfish sashimi with coconut, nam jim and coriander ($14) and the snapper sashimi with jalapeno, yuzu and honey ($14). The pork belly buns ($8 each), the satay chicken sticks ($6 for 2) and the Japanese fried chicken ($16) kept the carnivores among us happy.

akiba canberra

Speaking of the Japanese fried chicken – this has got to be the favourite Akiba item among the men in my life. I once went out with three of them and they fobbed off the rest of the menu and just ordered a plate of chicken each. It comes served with lemon braised onions, parmesan and the option to go supercharged, which means a slathering of sriracha sauce for an extra $2. And yes, they always go supercharged.

Akiba’s dessert menu is pretty on point too. As if we hadn’t had enough to eat already, we ordered one of each dessert to share. There were three – the chocolate-filled steamed bun with passionfruit ($8), the lemon tofu cheesecake with anzac crumb and pandan jelly ($8) and my pick of them all, the chocolate coffee tart with shiso pickled strawberry ($9).

But it’s not just the drinks and food that keep me coming back to Akiba, it’s the pumping but relaxed vibes and consistently great service. The staff are always happy, helpful and super friendly and if you’re a fan of 90s RnB, the music will never disappoint.

If you haven’t been yet, then get yourself along to Akiba (40 Bunda Street, Civic) and check them out on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

akiba canberra

akiba canberra

akiba canberra

akiba canberra

akiba canberra

akiba canberra

akiba canberra

akiba canberra

A Quick Guide to Byron Bay

byron bay guide

After more than 1000 kilometres, 11 hours of driving, 2 overnight pitstops and more than a few snapchat selfies, we made it to Byron Bay.

To be honest, when we left Canberra we didn’t really know if we were going to make it that far up the coast, but I am so glad that we did. It was the first time either of us had been to Byron Bay and, despite being ill-prepared to camp (not bringing mattresses was a rookie mistake), we were pleasantly surprised at how much we loved it.

With it’s chilled vibes, beautiful beaches and great nightlife (happy hour anyone?), Byron lives up to it’s name, but isn’t over the top tourist tacky like I thought it might be. We only had two nights there and when it came time to leave for the drive back home, we wished we had more.

Here are a few of the things we would suggest to anyone who finds themselves in this cute hippy town for a couple of days:

1. Go to the markets

I’m told the weekend markets in Byron are probably the best, but we happened to be there on a Thursday and Thursday in Byron means an early morning trip to the Farmers Market for breakfast. We tried a little bit of everything – delicious pastries, healthy smoothies, frozen fruit, and, of course, that necessary morning coffee. I love a good mix and match breakfast and the Byron Bay Farmers Market is the perfect place to get it.

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

2. Swim in the ocean

The warm water of the Byron Bay beaches was a welcome change from my usual ocean experience. Being a Canberran, I’ve never quite been on board with swimming in the year-round ice cold waters of the NSW South Coast. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but the water up north is much warmer and, in my opinion, a whole lot more pleasant in those initial moments when the water first hits your thighs.

byron bay guide

3. Head up the hill to the Lighthouse

It was whale migration season when we were there, which means whales could be seen hanging out, playing around and splashing each other in plain view from the coastline – no boats needed. With views out to the ocean in almost every direction, the Lighthouse was the perfect place to watch them play. It was pretty special, but whales or no whales, the Lighthouse is worth a look no matter what. You can drive up there if you want, but I recommend taking the time and walking up along the headland. It’s a big walk, but oh so worth it. And don’t forget to look up, you might even spot an eagle.

– Bec x

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

byron bay guide

Summer Cocktail Series: White Rabbit Cocktail Room

Summer is my absolute favourite time of year. Sun-kissed skin, bare legs, cute party dresses and warm nights that seem to go on forever. It’s the time of year when cocktails at 3 in the afternoon is a regular occurrence and Friday night drinks is a must.

To celebrate the arrival of t-shirt weather, I’ve got a new series featuring some of my favourite cocktail bars in town. First up is new kid on the block, White Rabbit Cocktail Room. A few weeks back, a few of us dropped by for a sneaky Friday night drink.

Playful. Curious. Intimate. Decadent. Sophisticated. That’s how the owners describe this whimsical bar located on Northbourne Avenue in the city.

Everything at White Rabbit is a little bit pretty, a little bit decadent and a lot of fun. The team behind the scenes tell me they want people to feel pleasantly surprised by their unusual dessert and cocktail ideas – and pleasantly surprised we were. One look at the menu and we had fallen down the rabbit hole and landed right at the Mad Hatter’s table (cue all of the Alice in Wonderland puns).

For me, it’s all in the details. Like the cucumber sandwich that comes served with the Alice Be Curious cocktail, a sweet mix of Hendrick’s gin, Lillet Blanc and house made berry and rosemary tea served in a pretty little tea cup. Yes, a cocktail in a tea cup. It’s a scene straight out of Lewis Carroll’s imagination, am I right?

Also, be ready to get your sweet tooth on, for their other strong suit is dessert. Think creative items like blood plum soufflé served in a tea cup or a strawberry and vanilla bavarois “forest” featuring strawberry mushrooms and dark chocolate trees. It’s dreamy and decadent and had us all grinning like the Cheshire Cat.

When I ask what cocktail I should order for a hot summer night, I’m led in the direction of the Tweedle Rum. “It’s the perfect blend of rum, pomegranate, pineapple, ginger and crushed ice.” Served with pineapple chips on the side, I have to agree, the Tweedle Rum is the ultimate refresher.

So what else can we expect from them this summer? “More playful and quirky twists with the menu” – I can’t wait.

If you’re game, follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole to 65 Northbourne Avenue. You can also find this cute little cocktail bar on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

white rabbit

white rabbit

white rabbit

white rabbit

white rabbit

white rabbit

white rabbit

Roadtrip Detour: Murray’s Craft Brewing Co

murrays beer

What better roadtrip detour than a sneaky little pitstop at a brewery? *

I’m not a huge beer drinker, but I’m a fan of Australian craft beer and, as long as it’s not too dark and heavy (get that Guinness away from me), I enjoy a nice cold one every now and then.

On our way from Newcastle to Port Macquarie, Matt and I called in at the headquarters of Murray’s Craft Brewing Co. We tasted a few of their beers, had some lunch and went for a quick spin around the brewery to see where all the magic happens.

I’m certainly no beer expert, but I know what I like when I try it and I liked most of what I tried at Murray’s. The “Fred IPA” was definitely a favourite and you know I can’t go past a cute label.

If you’re in the area and after a chilled afternoon with a few beers in hand, you can find Murray’s Craft Brewing Co at Bobs Farm in Port Stephens. If you’re not in the area, but want some more info about where to find their beer, Murray’s is also online and on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

*Obviously Matt pulled the short straw (as always) and was the designated driver. Don’t drink and drive kids. It’s not cool.

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer

murrays beer