Hamilton Island Luxury Food Diary Posted by Kara Rosenlund - 12 January 2016 We know how important food and wine is when it comes to holidaying, but what you might not realise is how many dining options there are on Hamilton Island. We sent our good friend of the island Kara Rosenlund up to qualia for a luxury weekend getaway with her husband. Her mission: to find out about the different dining options that are available for ‘foodies’ - those who seek out ways to experience the finer things in life and enjoy relaxed, understated elegance. Here’s her suggested food diary, to help you plan your next luxury escape to Hamilton Island. Day 1 Waking up at qualia would have to be one of the most relaxing ways to start a holiday. I just love the feeling here, so effortless and as though time stands still. The attention to detail is flawless, even the table tops in the Long Pavilion are works of art in themselves. I started my day with the ‘wild oats’ muesli’, such a great assortment of colours and textures, with a perfect petite raspberry smoothie on the side and fresh seasonal fruit. My husband enjoyed the ‘heirloom tomato and avocado on toasted rye’, such a simple dish, yet qualia's fresh produce transforms and elevates the flavours to another level. So vivid. We sat back and took in the expansive view out from the Long Pavilion while finishing our morning coffees. Colourful breakfast at the Long Pavilion, qualia. This was a highlight! qualia offers a ‘beach drop off picnic’, where you jump onboard a private qualia tender and arrive soon after to your own private beach and a thoughtful set up with everything you need. We spent hours listening to the sound of the waves gently coming in, just enjoying having time in the sunshine, what a luxury that is. We grazed on the variety of freshly cut baguettes with the most delicious fillings, plus a vibrant array of fresh fruit and salads all afternoon, while enjoying a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck champagne. I didn’t see a single person all afternoon, such bliss. Our very own private beach drop off, complete with gourmet treats for an afternoon of grazing. We decided to visit Bommie Deck in the late afternoon to take in the iconic Hamilton Island sunset with a couple of cocktails. We were very impressed with the bar staff’s extensive knowledge of their cocktail menu. The selection was so contemporary and chic. I ordered the Parasio, made on gin, lychee liquor, watermelon and citrus, very impressive, while husband ordered a Moroccan Mint Ice. The white rum, Moroccan mint syrup, citrus and green tea tasted like summer in a glass. All that was left to do was sit back together and watch the sun slowly go down over Dent Island. Bommie Deck’s Parasio and Moroccan Mint Ice cocktails, served with incredible sunset views. Following the incredible sunset, we walked a short distance to the exquisite Bommie restaurant for dinner. We were immediately struck by the architecture of this iconic building on the island, and also the elegance of the restaurant with its intimate lighting. You really could be anywhere in the world. I ordered the ‘pan seared nannygai, with squid ink and eucalyptus oil vinaigrette with an onion soubise, jamon air and mango’ paired with the perfect match - a glass of sake. Husband enjoyed his favourite – duck – but this was on another level; ‘glazed duck breast with ginger pears, burnt leeks, horseradish lemon ice cream and guiness froth’. The daring combinations of textures and flavours in both dishes were very sophisticated. Bommie restaurant’s ‘pan seared nannygai, with squid ink and eucalyptus oil vinaigrette, onion soubie, jamon air and mango. Day 2 We had a slow and gentle start to the day and chose to have breakfast in our pavilion. Our own perfect sanctuary, it was bathed in gorgeous warm morning light and felt very special and serene, as did our breakfast in bed. We shared the ‘smoked salmon with caper, fennel and radish’, I can never resist smoked salmon and qualia’s was just perfect. We followed this with fresh, light and crisp pastries with yoghurt and seasonal fruit and herbal tea. Such a nurturing way to start the day. The perfect treat, breakfast in bed in our qualia pavilion. When we finally were able to pull ourselves away from our perfect pavilion, we took the ferry over to Dent Island to the Hamilton Island Golf Club. Husband enjoyed a quick 9-holes at the 18-hole championship course, whilst I took the opportunity to finish my book and take in the indescribable views at the Clubhouse before our late lunch. There is a stillness to the landscape here which sets such a tone for the dining experience. Husband opted for the ‘seared scallops’ which were perfectly paired with pork belly and crispy crackling and served on a pea puree with pancetta crumble. I ordered the ‘pumpkin and feta tortellini with spinach puree, sun-dried tomatoes and shaved manchego’ - so simple, yet so sophisticated in the pairing of flavours. The tortellini was perfectly soft, each mouthful was a voyage of flavours, as were the colours on the plate. The Clubhouse - Pumpkin and fetta tortellini with spinach puree, sun-dried tomatoes and shaved manchego. TSeared scallops with pork belly and crispy crackling, pea puree and pancetta crumble. Whilst husband retired to our pavilion for an afternoon nap, I took a late afternoon stroll around the lush gardens of qualia before returning to the Long Pavilion for an afternoon refresher. I was very pleased to see a Passionfruit Mai Tai on the menu. Such a pretty cocktail and I love qualia’s take on celebrating the fresh ingredients in the garnish. No denying the passionfruit punch of the Mai Tai, it was such a refreshing cocktail after enjoying the sunshine of the day. The Long Pavilion’s Passionfruit Mai Tai – the ultimate afternoon refresher. We returned to qualia’s welcoming Long Pavilion later that evening for dinner. It was just too easy really, being a quick two-minute ride in our own private golf buggy from our pavilion. After our late lunch, I opted for a lighter meal and ordered the cheese, ‘la luna holy goat with golden beetroot, apricot and orange blossom'. The most attractive dish with every element considered and the goats cheese was so smooth and creamy, balanced by the sharpness of the apricot. The delicate micro herbs, which are grown on the island like much of the produce, had such an intense distinctive flavour. Husband ordered the ‘barbecue shiro kin wagu beef, with charred broccoli with shiitake mushroom’ which was like theatre on a plate. The wagu was cooked upon a hot stone with hay. It was very impressive to watch and listen to it sizzle and smoke right in front of us, such an indulgence to see it right there on the table. The aromas of the hay and the beef were tantalising as they filled the air. It was the perfect evening to end our indulgent weekend getaway. Long Pavilion’s la luna holy goat with golden beetroot, apricot and orange blossom. Theatre on a plate - barbecue shiro kin wagu beef, with charred broccoli with shiitake mushroom. About the Author Kara Rosenlund is an Australian lifestyle photographer, stylist, adventurer and author. She is passionate about Australia and how we all live within its vast surrounds. Working in the both the freelance editorial and advertising capacities, with a unique blend of photography and styling, Kara is a regular on Hamilton Island, shooting a wide range of the island events, interiors and the landscapes. Back at home in Brisbane, Queensland, she lives her life in a timber and tin weatherboard cottage, thriving on the casual lifestyle it offers and the joy it brings, shared by a small flock of loved pekin bantams chickens.