Gold Coast Gems

Feature Cafe: Marie Anita’s. BURLEIGH

by Vashte on March 24, 2014

Gluten Free Health Cafe- Honest Flavours, Healthy Foods

Marie Anita's

For some time now I have been frequenting the Burleigh Head markets on a Saturday morning. Here, local farmers sell their produce; some chemical and spray free, some organic, others full blown use of sprays and pesticides. Find your true locals! They are there- search them out and get to know them. Friendly bunch they are :)

If you read my blogs you will notice I favour certain people, with certain wares. I especially favour Bryn and Colin from Raw Connections; and Marie and Maz. This post is dedicated to Marie and Maz. I fell in love with these ladies from the outset; and their sugar free, gluten free coconut muffins :) And NOW … little to my surprise I know for sure that they are MORE than sugar free, gluten free coconut muffins!! Marie always sold her beautiful sorghum gluten free breads at the markets and an array of other sugar free, gluten free treats. They would usually sell out. Very special, her food. Why? Well when someone has a genuine passion about what they do- it shows. And so it tastes… A- MAZING!!

It turns out I was not the only avid fan of this little stall. When they weren’t at the markets I was sorely disappointed- often travelling from my home in Budds Beach just to go get a muffin!! It is not often I can find quality like this. She uses pure, clean ingredients, without the over load of sugar. Often ‘gluten free’ means removing the wheat but substituting with poor quality ingredients and packed to the brim with fillers and sugars. Beware of poor quality ingredients. I cant stand it.

Not Marie’s food. Her food is clean, fresh and exactly what it says it is. 

And now… she has opened her own cafe!!! She is no loner at the markets- she is farrr to busy in the cafe!! YAY!!! Marie Anita’s is now located directly opposite the markets on the Gold Coast Highway. It is a cute location on the corner of First Avenue and GC Highway. She opens for breakfast and lunch. It is cute. It is fresh. It is quirky. It is wholefood. It is clean eating. It is delicious!!!! She opened in February and I only just made it for the first time this past weekend. I have been missing out!

Marie Anita's Renovations

The Gold Coast is severely lacking in honest, clean, wholefood cafes. This one fills a big part of that space. 

All meals are fresh, mouthwateringly delicious, clean, and made from local produce. Awesome. There is a ZERO  tolerance to artificial ANYTHING at this cafe. What a refreshing breath of fresh air! I am so sick of companys, people, cafes, calling themselves what they are not. The meals here are made with love and care, and it shows. You can feel it. You can taste it. Finally a personal, honest space where people can come to dine in a relaxed atmosphere, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that the food presented is truly good for you; or just grab a (healthy, delicious gluten free, low sugar) meal or the run, coffee on the run.. whatever.

Marie Anita Coffee

  • A cafe specialising in artisan baking- without the gluten and sugars!
  • A cafe specialising in sugar free meals and treats; as well as providing dairy free, vegetarian, vegan and raw options.
  • Finally a cafe that truly reflects ‘healthy eating’.  A cafe not just using the term for trend’s sake, but a cafe with owners and operators who work IN the space, who create from that passion, and produce meals worth writing home about! 

If you are a bread lover and have given up bread due to gluten intolerance- head down here to buy Marie’s freshly baked sorghum gluten free bread. Your body will love you for it. You don’t have to miss out. But you do need to get the right kind of food in. This could be the place where you are finally introduced to healthy eating, without missing out! Healthy food is not boring! Let Marie Anita’s prove that to you.

I’m a massive fan, always have been, always will be and I will definitely be frequenting this place to eat, drink and just hang out. It is a long way for me to go in relative terms for breakfast, but I’m very specific about the food I put in my body. So this is where I’m going to eat.  I like good food that doesn’t result in my feeling tired, sick or half dead. HERE is their website. Check it out!!

Marie Anita's menu

I had breakfast here. It was divine. My mouth was watering over the menu. So clean and fresh!! It was hard to choose- but it doesn’t matter matter -I will be back to work my way through it. All of it!

Marie Anita’s café is just one street back from the beach so if you are a coffee drinker, pop down for a beautiful coffee- have in or take out. Stop by as you drive through to Burleigh. Parking on Gold Coast Highway so you can run in and grab a takeaway! GOOD coffee, hard to find on the Coast…  It is here. If you are like me and drink tea or smoothies- then choose from a variety of fresh teas, or delicious green and fruit smoothies. …Have some breakfast; brunch or book in for lunch! Guaranteed you wont be disappointed!!!

The only thing I am disappointed about is they are not open or dinner!! lol But I will let them off- they are open 7 days a week from 7 am to 5pm. I think they are working hard enough.

Meet me here for a tea/coffee/smoothie… or delicious gluten free, sugar free treat!!! Raw or baked- they do it all!!!


My breakfast was delicious: eggs, baby spinach, asparagus and  zesty homemade hummous on lightly baked pumpkin. No bread- the pumpkin served as bread. WOW.

breakfast with Marie Anita

Craig made his own meal up- another added bonus is the flexiblity of the chef. Some places will not allow changes to menus. He had eaten but still couldnt resist the temptation of Marie Anitas clean food! He LOVED the bacon.

Marie Anita's

Marie Anita’s

1863 Gold Coast Highway (corner of First Ave) Burliegh heads Q 4220

P 07 5659 1324

They are on facebook and instagram too.

To your health- go see them!

Meet me there! Any chance I get..I’m there!

xx Vashte xx


A Day in the Life of….

by Vashte on July 22, 2012

A Girl living on the Gold Coast, Australia. A Sunday in fact. What better day to delve into a day in the life of!!…

Lazy days are a thing of the past. Every day passed is exactly that, something you and I will never get back, so .. make each day count. Don’t count the days. This particular Sunday is another stunning day here on the Goldy; the sun is out, it’s Winter but it is still amazing sit outside slightly rugged up and enjoy the ocean breeze, view and atmos..watching people or better still..being the people being watched 😉

The Farmers Markets are a great way to start the day on a Sunday after a brisk walk to shake the sleep from the body and ready oneself for the day ahead. If thats too much then just up and go to the Markets to enjoy the bustle of locally picked and produced veges, fruits and all sorts of goodies.. handmade, home cooked and cozy. Me, I’m going for all the green produce I can find to stock my fridge with alkalising greens-primarily veges. Spinach being my number one commodity..and I find it! Of course. Broccoli, leeks, lemons, apples, oranges.. Im a happy little coconut :)

Church rocked. The Dream Centre Christian Church is my home church, very grounded, real and 21st Century. Great session today at 9am – come on down to suss it out before you diss it out, then make your own decision. Who would have thought I’d be a church girl a few years back. Not I that’s for sure. But..the Truth.. it has a way of finding your heart and speaking your language, mine at least :)

Lunch date with a dear friend in Burleigh Heads followed. We live in the same town and yet this is our annual get-together..crazy ol life this is. When you consider we met in London and saw each other most weekends… however, lives change and nothing gets slower, so time needs to be MADE for friends, just as it needs to be MADE for pretty much anything in life that you believe to be important. Time is not FOUND.

We lunched at Connors Cafe 3/37 Connor Street, Burleigh Heads. Delish! We both agreed on that! Carol opting for the Moroccan Salad, and I chose the Vegetarian Salad (I have the giggle at the name) adding tuna- no longer vegetarian I guess. It was really hard to choose what to eat- the menu was brilliant. We were served by Nathan, I think he owned the place. Really friendly and attentive staff. They are opening a funky bar called ZePickle right next door very soon- looks great- like them on facebook!!- Burleigh is the place to be!!! I/We might see you down there enjoying the sun set on a Sunday one day soon!!

My lunch- had to share- you know I love my healthy food…

Think I talked Carol’s ear off about my trip overseas.. working on a plan to enable me to spend more time out in that world of ours…love it out there!! And love it here too. make the most of your every day- BE the light and …make each day count!!

Over and out

xx Vashte xx


Through Vashte’s Eyes- The Gold Coast

by Vashte on June 13, 2012

London dancing queen turned beach babe…

The Gold Coast of Australia.

My Beach- Gold Coast Australia

Some people instantly think of tackiness, some people think of the party town, some people think of the beach.. whatever you think of it, this is where I am based currently and I have grown to love it. I hated it to begin with; coming from London via Brasil to the Gold Coast was a sudden change of pace and style of living BUT I have stopped looking for things found in the city, and love the purity of a smaller town, beach side.
Purity on the Gold Coast Vashte? lol – yes it is here – just stay out of the night life! That easy!

View from my home. Gold Coast Australia

I love my morning walks before the sun comes up- even now when it is cold and brisk. Something the people of the night miss out on all together- I did for many years! 5.30am in the Winter here is a special time for me- most people sleep and as you walk, rugged up, you feel the peace and tranquility of the earth. With the ocean rumbling and the sun peeking up over her as the hour dawns, there is something special about being one of the few strange people out exercising at this time in the morning- especially in Winter.

I have a series of photos to show you a part of my life and the way I see it these days. Through the lens of Vashte. A couple of these shots were taken by my dear friend Rene, thank you x An amazing photographer who I respect greatly as a professional and a friend.

Through the lens of Rene

I have fallen in love with this place. It has taken a while, but look- I am still here. I arrived late 2007. It is now mid way through 2012. Who would have thought! City chick turned beach babe! I have met some intriguing, wild, crazy people, as well as some very caring ones here. Just as there are in many places in the world.

My home viewed from the beach- Rene

The Gold Coast is a hard place to live, and I have lived in many places around the world. Meeting people who are here for a long time, is rare. So I find solitude in my dear friends spread throughout the world, many of whom are in Melbourne, and appreciate and absorb my beautiful blessed life on the Gold Coast without looking for things that just don’t exist here. Getting up early in the morning is absolutely worth it here, I miss none of the nightlife this place has to offer! I win !!

The sun sets over the Hinterland. Glass of champagne anyone?

I hope you enjoy a part of my world and can see a little of what I love about the beautiful Gold Coast!

Candy floss skies

Fire Orange Sunsets

Sunsets galore

Blood Red Skies

The sky is never the same..

 xx Vashte xx

Dancing Queen Cityside turned Beach Babe.. ;)


Escape for One Night

by Vashte on March 19, 2012

No matter where you live, to escape for one night from the usual routine can be a complete God-Send. That is not to say we don’t appreciate our lives and the beauty we have in them but the cycle of everyday living can get the best of us down if we don’t drop the ball, at a specified time, and take off for a ‘refresh’ every once in a while. And that is precisely what a girl friend and I did just recently.

‘Unplanned’ in the sense she was supposed to be in another city for that weekend and I had my usual pile of ‘things to do’ for the weekend BUT events took a turn. It was her birthday weekend and suddenly she was no longer going away. What’s a friend to do when a girl friend has her birthday and things don’t work out the way they are supposed to?

Rescue! That’s what!!

Rescue in a sense; we considered heading into the city for the restaurants and clubs but something tugged on my heart to look further afield into ..the mountains. Tamborine Mountains as a matter of fact, slap bang between her; Brisbane based, and I; Gold Coast based. Perrfect.

We found just what we both needed – peace, nature and beauty. God’s beauty. Awesomeness.

You don’t absolutely need to leave at sparrow’s fart in the morning to escape for one night. We both proved that to be true – arriving at 6pm up in the mountains on the Saturday night. That was the earliest we could get there due to commitments but the sun was setting, birds still chirping and the instant you start driving up that mountain a sense of calmness sets in and there really is no rush. Not even when you drive straight up and over the mountain and down the other side as I did….right past our accommodation. Hahahaha

Head to Cedar Creek Lodges for a last minute getaway. Simple, clean and virtually insect free- one cockroach ventured forth into our abode which was not funny, but…it IS Australia and it really IS bush so what do we expect? Sigh, every rose has its thorn. We managed two queen sized beds in our room, with a shower that flooded (giggle) but it added to the ‘escapee’ feeling we had accomplished from our usual routine for the weekend. Exciting!!

We were incredibly impressed with the friendly service and then completely astounded by the quality of the restaurant food.  Hidden away we would never have even THOUGHT to assume anything of this calibre was nestled away in this place had the caretaker not convinced us to go. Here is their menu:  Unbelievable quality of food. You have GOT to try it.

Quiet murmuring voices from tables of two, reminiscent of a gentleman’s clubs with dimmed lighting and old classic leather lounges and comfortable chairs to dine in. In the winter it would be sooo romantic with the fireplace going… one factor is missing in that equation though- a man!!! However, who knows what the future holds so keep that one in the book for the right time!!! Service in the restaurant is ….abysmal – I almost died of thirst waiting for my spring water – I think they walked TO the spring each time to fill my little glass up BUT they are just so NICE and FRIENDLY it was really hard to get upset; and the fact the roof of my mouth was sticking to my tongue stopped me from speaking without thinking. ..Again, it was just so good for the two of us to escape, really, anything could have gone wrong and we would have been happy. The insect sitting on the arm of my chair was just so… apt. What can you do? You are in the mountains so suck it up princess. 😉

Free main meal for birthday girls as well. No complaints from our table! Join their birthday club thing they have going on there and they give you a free main meal for the birthday celebrant. Nice touch.

Breakfast is included in the price of the room so before eating again we ventured forth on a hunt for a swimming hole advised to us by the incredibly helpful and bubbly caretakers.  They had suggested we find their favourite swimming hole upstream: “just walk past the first pool and keep going till you find the second one, 15 minutes away- it’s easy to find” they said. So we decided that was a grand idea! And it was! Grand and freezing cold but oh so fresh!! What a way to start the day!!!

Breakfast was smorgasbord of heavenly delights, and after swimming in sub freezing temperatures we had worked up an appetite. Everything from providing a juicer to juice your own fresh juice, to freshly baked pastries, cereals, fruits, homemade yoghurts, pancakes, eggs, bacon, mushrooms- you name it they had it and if they didn’t have it, they would get it. We fell in love with them all over again! Breakfast is served in a covered outside area with kookaburras watching you eat ready to pounce on the remainders if left too long; gorgeous foliage and beautiful gardens.

There is a load to do on Tamborine so we had to pick and choose as we didn’t have all day up there. She had to head home to her darling little ones who couldn’t call as, when you are on Tamborine, you really are away from it all. No reception- so be prepared for that. We chose to head to the Sky Walk which was certainly well worth it. Walking above ground amongst the foliage on a metal (slightly) swinging bridge gives a completely different perspective from walking on the ground. Very cool. The staff here are also incredibly friendly and kind, from the man who greets you in the parking lot with a huge smile to the staff in the kiosk. Ten points guys and definitely recommended as something to do up there.

With only a small amount of time left we headed to the Cedar Creek Falls where people are crazy enough to jump from high altitudes into the natural spring pool below. Heads are cracked open here often enough for signs to be posted everywhere..but do they listen- NO. Whilst we were there two girls who actually COULD NOT swim decided to slide down the natural slide into the pool. Yes they had to be rescued which was no small feat considering the size of them. Why would you even consider doing that when you actually do not know how to swim? Bizarre. Such a beautiful place- go early in the morning- you might miss the morons. The locals swim further upstream and further downstream away from the idiot tourists. I recommend doing the same.

Tamborine is just magic. God Zone. You can get close to God and hear Him speak up there. And if you don’t then you can just get away from it all and escape for a moment. It takes a mere 40 minutes from the Gold Coast to drive there and about the same from Brisbane. Make a last minute booking and do yourself a favour; retreat for a moment in time. It can do you the world of good. It certainly did for us. Accommodation ranges from five star to camp sites so take your pick. You can make your escape as romantic, as adventurous, as wild or as peaceful as you like. It is quaint and it’s stunning up there. Drink straight from the streams- we did and we are still standing. It is very likely you have not tasted water as fresh and clean as that in …a very long time.

One life, live it well. Don’t count the days, make the days count.

xx Vashte xx





Lazy Sunday Brunches

by Vashte on January 29, 2012

Lola’s on Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach, Gold Coast.



That’s something unique for the Goldie!

I had been meaning to get to Lola’s for some time. The reputation precedes it somewhat, and yet I have been lax getting there. I am very sorry for that as it is clearly my loss and the local’s gain.. No longer!!!

Found you 😉

Lets backtrack just a smidge:

First and foremost we will start with a great place to stay just outside the centre of Broadbeach. Check out Maison Belle.An older style building with rooms spacious enough for you; the family AND the kitchen sink(s). Their premium 2 bedroom deluxe is larger than some people’s homes. Whether it was the time of year, the fact my friends had stayed here previously, or the set price..who knows but it went for a song this weekend.

Ensuites, tiled floors, formal and living areas, bar space, and million dollar views all round.

I’m liking it. Could easily move in.

Thick walls too; unlike the latest and greatest paper thin, shonky high-rises being slapped up all along the Gold Coast. …

Brunch at Lola’s:

I just have to comment. I’m kicking myself I haven’t been here sooner, but c’est la vie, let’s say it will now be a regular hangout.

Service with a smile and kids are welcomed. Crayons provided and baby chinos on hand. Ahh happy children :)









Lola’s has beautiful thick wooden tables with cushions which makes a welcome change to the plastic fantastic tables along Broadbeach’s main strip!! Lola’s is situated on the corner with a roundabout right there. I wondered the reasoning of placing a great restaurant roadside- however, you pay no attention to the cars. Don’t ask me how they do it but they just keep your attention drawn inside with the friendly staff and food fit for a king or queen.

Make sure you book!! There was a queue when I drove past and then again as we walked straight in to our reserved table :)  Thank you!!

They have something for everyone from light breakies (bircher muesli /fruit salad) to fav’s (eggs any style/corn fritters to savoury baskets) to something a little different (hash stacks, rosti stacks, vanilla pancakes, French toast and ohhh so much more!!!).

I choseFarm FreshPoached eggs, grilled asparagus, grilled mushrooms, herb crusted tomato + a chilli, lime + coriander dressing served w gluten free or turkish bread. Ten points for guessing I opted for gluten free 😉 Talk about perfect food!! Next time I’m going for Trim Fresh– eggs with the works and fresh spinach (my fav!)

Lola’s is open for lunch and dinner and quite frankly I might just have to sample their entire menu!!! It is mouth wateringly good. Our eyes were almost popping out of our heads as the dishes were carried past….”Excuse me Miss.. what was THAT?? Ohhhh and what was  THAT!!!” …You would think we had never been to a restaurant before. Yes, we were hungry :)

They even have their own fish and chip/burger shop around the corner for takeaways. That good.

The one thing they could improve on is the bathrooms. Poor show there. This is a bone of contention for me on the Gold Coast. Why a good restaurant/coffee shop or any establishment wants to let themselves down in the hygiene department is beyond me. The back end is just as important, if not more important than the front end.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience until the bathroom visit. Definitely going back but sure do hope they clean up their act behind the scenes – Literally!!

They deserve their reputation as a fine restaurant food wise.  Extremely reasonably priced.