I'm a freelance writer who likes to wax lyrical about hiking, eating, art, gardening, and the joys of living a little like a gypsy.
Published August 4th 2014
Maleny Restaurant Guide: Because a Homo Sapiens' Gotta Eat
Ever wanted to quit life and, like, just eat everything? ("Yes!" You chorus.) Well, I hear you, soul-friend, and the great news is that, in Maleny, you can! So, this weekend, turn off your phone and make your way to the ridiculously good-looking Maleny countryside for the eating holiday you've always dreamed of. (Tip: You'd be wise to wear stretchy clothes to accommodate for your oncoming food baby - because good things happen.)
On the way to Maleny, via Brandenburg Rd
Rub Shoulders With the Locals at the Upfront Club
The Upfront Club, one of many of Maleny's wonderful cooperatives, is best described as the town lounge room. Locals catch up here all the time - whether it be for Tuesday morning knitting, Friday afternoon drinks, or Monday open mic nights. They have a hearty menu that not only features generous portion sizes, but offers sustainably sourced fish! Hoorah!
Love Your Inner Grandma/Grandpa: Tea and Antiques at Geordie Lane
Like B1 and B2 and Mickey and Mallory, tea and antiques go mighty well together. At Geordie Lane you can browse through glass, china, costume jewellery and collectables while sipping on a delectable brew of your discerning choice.
Unpretentious Dining at Monica's
It's kind of hipster, but it isn't, really: meals at Monica's tend to have that trendy, fusion flair, but without all the fuss and pretentiousness. Note that they make mean-as smoothies (watermelon and mint, anyone?), so make sure you leave room for one of these bad boys.
Monica's Cafe - Maple St, Maleny / monicascafe.com.au
The Prettiest of all the Pretty at Mary Cairncross
A simple café with simple (but generously portioned) food, Mary Cairncross Café is home to what's probably the best view of the Glasshouse Mountains in all of the hinterland. If you're visiting Maleny on the weekend, head here early, because they tend to close up at about 2PM.
Is something missing from your life? It's probably curry from the Maleny Curry Mahal. The guys here are passionate about their Indian-Pakistani cuisine, so popping in for lunch or dinner is definitely worth your while.
Live Kindly: Raw Dining & Uncooking Classes
The folk at Kind Living Café are well renowned for their creative flair in raw cooking (or, better put, uncooking). And, if you're serious about making raw food a staple in your life, they often run super hands-on and super-informative "uncooking" classes. Check it, here.
Can't Afford a Trip to Africa? Me Too; But I've Got Us Covered.
I don't know about you, but I'm about to combust from longing for African dance, food and animals for far too long now. Nevermind, because, in the mean time, we can all enjoy a little slice of Africa at Key Restaurant, which features a chef, hailing from Ghana, and regular drum and dancing events. No African animals, though, unfortunately.
Tours at Maleny Dairies run from Monday through to Saturday, and feature fantastic activities, such as petting baby animals (!!!), learning how to handmilk, and, of course, gorging on dairy deliciousness. You can learn more about these tours here.
Ermahgad, calves! So CUTE.
Cheese and Yoghurt at Maleny Cheese
Get in on all the behind the scenes action as you nibble on hand-crafted cheese and yoghurt at a Maleny Cheese tour. These tours run by appointment only, so get yours sorted here.
"Because Mountain Wine is Mighty Fine"
Is the best title I could come up with. But don't let that abysmal rhyme deceive you: the wine at Maleny Mountain Wine's is actually pretty damn good. The team here offer a range of wine tasting and catering packages, so don't hesitate to make an inquiry today.
Colin James Fine Food
Colin James Fine Food not only have decent breakfast and lunch menus, but they offer an impressive range of award-winning icecream options, and, to top things off, a fromagerie (French for 'cheese shop') that is brimming with European cheeses and delicious accompaniments. You're welcome.
Think: kale, silverbeet and feta pies, quinoa and roast vegetable salad, and chana dahl. Oh, and, also, lovingly made chocolate chia cake and bush lemon and poppy seed cake - both washed down with ethically sourced coffee. I'm telling you: this is clean eating with a touch of badass, and it's all within a bright and beautiful setting - decked out with bundles of tarot cards, and the like - to keep you comfortable and entertained.
Get Yo' Fancy Pants On: Degustation at Reserve Restaurant
Okay, so, if you're looking for a refined dining experience, Reserve Restaurant is the place to go. Perched at the edge of a hill that overlooks hinterland and vineyard views, you can enjoy a four course degustation experience (with wines to match, of course) at breakfast or (and?) lunch.
For Hands-On Folk: Cooking Classes at Spicers Clovelly Estate
Spicers Clovelly regularly run fancy (but incredibly practical) cooking classes at their charming country estate. Learn how to make French, Italian or Thai cuisine with a modern, elegant twist. More information here.
Nom-Nom-Nom by the Obi: Pomodoras
This place is easy on the budget, which surprised me, since the restaurant is lovely in a sparse and elegant way, and the lush views of the Obi Creek and surrounds are to die for. We came here for breakfast before a quick round of Maleny's Sunday markets (walking distance from the restaurant) and then an energizing hinterland hike.
Ich habe Hunger!
If you haven't already had enough of Maleny's natural beauty, you can always head to King Ludwigs: it's the home of authentic Bavarian food and hospitality that's set against a 180 degree backdrop of the Glasshouse Mountains. Best of all, they have an extensive drinks menu that offers a selection of – get this- more than 38 preservative free German beers and fine wines. Thank me later.