I'm a Sunshine Coast journalist who jumped out of a lengthy mainstream media career 18 months ago to do some hearty work for the soul. A pescatarian sharing with you her secrets on our little piece of coast paradise.
I imagine heaven has its own beach. Minus the blue bottles. There's a chocolate tree - without the calories, ABBA playing 24/7, and an endless supply of size 9 Jimmy Choo shoes. Oh, and did I forget - there's a garden full of the freshest basil and ripest garden tomatoes! For years they have been a kitchen staple for me. I drive my husband, Stixy, crazy by putting them in every meal, only for me to to unceremoniously reach over his shoulder to pick them off his plate - having long devoured my own.
Well, this week I think I literally tasted heaven. And it was all in the name of a horse. Well, a Palomino to be exact. As a pre-Valentine's Day treat, my long suffering husband, Stixy, and I set off to Maleny for a sunset and portable meal courtesy of Palomino Picnics. The hinterland based business has been in operation for the last six months catering for business luncheons and community meetings. Hinterland mum and former vet nurse, Jodie, has an epiphany that coast locals and tourists wanted to get out amongst our paradise, in a private sanctuary, and take the time to enjoy the food and our chosen company with little to no distractions. This idea hit a real chord with me and I'm sure it will with you. Palomino has an incredible and extremely affordable three course menu selection and they will even tweak it to suit your requests. On this occasion, I told Jodie "we're in your hands" and we were not disappointed. Crusty bread with the sharp sweet tang of mango salsa, followed by a pasta salad with the most incredible home made basil pesto I have tasted in my life.
It left me speechless. (My husband is in the process of asking Jodie to fill up his ol beer kegs with her potion!) We followed it up with a delightful ricotta and lime syrup cake and pecan chocolate slice, before laying back on the provided cushions and blankets to let our full tummies digest these samples of a menu carefully created by Jodie and her super mum, Julie.
But where the magic really happens with Palomino (besides the speechless wife!) is their attention to detail with the picnic and careful consideration of advising clients on the best possible locations for a perfect meal in the great outdoors. (It was no picnic for the mosquitoes - Jodie had even thought ahead to include some mosquito repellent for us)! From the charming and seemingly bottomless picnic basket, to the super soft cushions and rugs (all for hire), this is my idea of romance. Everything you see in all of these photos will cost you just $84. Hire a basket or pick up a disposable one, Palomino have it all.
And fellas - with Valentine's Day just around the corner you'll get props for being creative and thinking outside the square by taking me up on my recommendation. Don't worry - she won't hear it from me!