Saturday, June 12, 2010

Shoal Bay - August 2009

For my sister’s birthday last year, my mum and I took her for a weekend in Shoal Bay. It was August, so it was cold, so we knew we wouldn’t be spending much time by the beach. So we weren’t too fussed with our location, knowing that we’d have a car and could pretty much get anywhere.

We stumbled on the Shoal Bay Beach Club Apartments, found that they were reasonably priced, could fit us comfortably and not in a bad location. We arrived quite late, and had to buzz to be let in; we were met by the owner who cheerfully checked us in, even though we possibly woke him. He ran through a few things with the hotel, and gave us our room keys.

Our room was two bedrooms, with a full kitchen, large lounge/dining room, and a narrow, but long balcony. We were pleasantly surprised with how modern and clean everything was. If I hadn’t known better I probably would have assumed that it was only recently built.

Don't mind the date on these photos, I couldn't be bothered setting it when I replaced the batteries.

We hit they hay in preparation for a long day full of pampering, shopping and eating.
We woke up bright and early in the morning, and headed into town to have breakfast at the Sandyfoot Cafe. I knew my limits and only had a small meal, while my sister and mum tucked in – and of course couldn’t finish their meals. It was a good breakfast though.

Next we headed over to Nelsons Bay for a little bit of shopping. I tried the fairy Floss ice cream from Baskin and Robins, it was awesome, so I bought a take home tub of it. We shopped around for a bit, but didn’t really find anything.

We dropped back to the hotel to store my ice cream and then headed over to Salamander Bay; we all had appointments booked in at the Body & Soul Day Spa. We got there a little early so we stopped in at the Salamander Bay Shopping Centre for some lunch. We just grabbed some quick counter service meals from the food court, nothing special, but filling enough. I think I had Chinese.

There was some pretty good shopping here, nothing out of this World, but we all bought a little something we couldn’t pass up.
There was also a little shop – out of the shopping centre – that we thought was great. It was called Bay Living, it had beautiful stuff, and at great prices. Mum picked up a beautiful cupboard with a mirror in the back of it, very nice. It was half price or something too, so it was a bargain! Unfortunately it was huge, and we’d walked quite a way from the car. We managed to find a trolley though, and half balanced it on top, and struggled our way back to the car.

By this time it was Day Spa time!!

Mum and I were both booked in for the “Anti Ageing Stress Buster” which is a 120 minute treatment which included an Oxygen Therapy Facial, followed by a 30 minute Swedish Massage, Scalp Massage and finished with a relaxing Foot Massage. I also had an eyelash tint done.

The girls here were great! I was so relaxed the whole time, the girls were very professional and while they give you a list of recommended items for you to purchase, they definitely don’t push or pressure you. They also give you some complimentary tea while you’re waiting.

I didn’t buy any of the recommended items, but I did buy some mineral foundation. Personally I probably wouldn’t get the Oxy-Facial again; it just didn’t have that much effect on my skin.

Mum however looked great. It really plumped out her skin.

We headed back to our hotel for the afternoon, and spent a bit of time in the gym.

That night we had a reservation at the Rock Lobster (yes like the song, but not related!). It’s a lovely seafood restaurant in Nelsons Bay. They must have changed the menu since we were there, because for a starter I had prosciutto wrapped lobster, and my main was a chicken dish and I can’t find either on there.

The lobster was amazing! There was some sort of sauce drizzled over it, and the three flavours of the lobster, prosciutto and this sauce were beautiful! A perfect mix. I also really enjoyed the chicken dish, however I will admit I should have asked for the lobster to be served as a main, as it was really that good.

I also had chocolate soufflé for dessert, and it was outrageously good! Have you ever had a glass of Milo (chocolate milk for those not in the know) where you’ve got mainly Milo and maybe a couple of drops of milk to moisten it up? And it’s like this rich, chocolatey goo? Well that’s what this was like, plus it was warm, and had strawberries and cream on the side. I ended up cutting the strawberries up into little pieces and mixing the whole lot in together. Awesome, just awesome.
The soufflé is still on the menu. I highly recommend it.
The service here always seems warm and friendly, and another bonus for it is that it is Celiac friendly. This is a restaurant that we will continue to return to, every time we’re in the area.
We headed back to the hotel feeling uncomfortably full.

The following morning we headed back to Nelson’s Bay for breakfast. I can’t find the name of the cafe, but it’s in the same complex as Rock Lobster, and seemed extremely popular. Most tables had people sitting at them, and the wait staff seemed run off their feet.

I’m not really a breakfast fan, but the food here was good. The service was slow, but that could have been due to the amount of people there. I got a milkshake when we ordered our meals, and I could have finished it three times over before the food got there. I ordered another one when the food got there, and I’d finished eating before it came back. I hate that, I need to have a drink with my meal, and never managed to do that while here...
We also managed to get in a brief stint of whale watching. *giggle*
After that we said goodbye to Shoal Bay and started the trip home.
Extra photos of our trip.

This really is a beautiful part of the world.


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