Spring Break: A Photo Diary Part I
“NOTHING COMES CLOSE TO THE GOLDEN COAST” – the smarmy line from that Katy Perry song Aaron texted me when I arrived in Gold Coast. I don’t know how Gold Coast would compare with California but that said, the first thing I noticed about the city was how freakishly similar it was to the other coastal areas I’ve been to. It reminded me of Malacca, Marine Parade, and Sentosa all at once and perhaps we’re looking at a trait inherent to most coastal cities: they gravitate towards nearly identical architectural styles and have a relaxing vibe that comes naturally with beachfront living.
My spring break didn’t start out so great. I had to sit next to the most insufferable people on the plane: two other girls, one of whom started complaining when asked to put her bag below the seat in front of her – “I can’t put my LONGCHAMP on the floorrrrr.” Girl, it’s hard to believe you don’t know it’s standard protocol to have all bags on the floor before take-off so stop playing the victim and let the stewardess do her damn job. A long string of expletives played out in my head every time she looked in my direction and finally, an hour into the flight, bitch went to sleep. I tried to look at the positive side of things; I may not be able to push this chick off the plane but at least I’d have one terrific flight story to tell Nad when I’d arrived.
Many things have changed since my last trip there (I was 8!) but to all intents and purposes, Gold Coast remains much the same as it was then. The beaches are as spectacular as I remember, just cleaner and more modernized. The coastline is still cramped with apartment hotels either fathered by the nondescript global hotel chain or the ones that are too indie to be clustered with the mainstreamers. I devised a little game to see if we could spot the most ridiculously named hotel but it was forgotten shortly after a seafood dinner of the grandest scale. Freshly shucked oysters, delightful baby octopus dressed in a light oil and vinegar dressing, lobsters, battered fish and shrimp on a terrifying bed of fries – it was carb hell but we were in heaven.
Unlike Melbourne, Gold Coast isn’t really the place for great coffee. Let’s be frank: nobody goes to Gold Coast for coffee. They’re there for the beaches, hot surfer boys, girls in bikinis overdoing the tanning oil, overpriced buffets, and amusement parks. But I am a coffee fiend who likes the occasional challenge. After some google-sleuthing, I scoped out two chic cafes with decent beans: Bumbles and Elk Espresso.
Bumbles is conveniently tucked away at the back of our hotel and after a 7-hour flight, Nad, understandably needed some caffeine and nosh in her system. I wasn’t in the mood for coffee after that plane episode so we split some prawn sandwiches, truffle fries, and a mocha between us. The prawn sandwiches weren’t just dressed in grandma’s old mayo but had some paprika and lemon juice mixed in as far as I could tell. It was blistering hot and those sandwiches were a cool food refuge from the sun, yum. The truffle fries were great too and came topped with parmesan shavings but honestly, they were expensive for the little amount we got. Still, money needs to be spent during a holiday and spend it all we did LOL.
My favourite between the two has to be Elk Espresso, this – dare I say it – Melbournesque cafe located in Broadbeach. Admittedly, it’s very hipster-y with a mural of an elk on its specked green walls and wood trimmings but god, it’s so pretty I didn’t mind being identified as a hipster for an hour. Nad ordered a beautiful lemon tart with a side of cream and a coffee. As for me, I had read reviews prior to my visit and everyone was saying the same thing: do not leave Elk’s without trying their crème brûlee milkshake. And it gets better. While they did have regular milkshakes on the menu, the crème brûlee flavour exists only as a colossal food monument you often see on Man V. Food: THE THICKSHAKE. It’s scoops of smooth vanilla-caramel ice cream, milk and white chocolate shavings blended into the thickest, most decadent milkshake in the entire gold/east/west coast. I don’t know how many calories went into one thickshake but nothing succeeds like excess. Kelis, it’s time to update your song girl – this thickshake is going to bring more than boys to the yard.
Stay tuned for part II!
19 River Drive
Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217
16 Chelsea Ave
Broadbeach QLD 4218