When you drive into Byron Bay, you’ll be greeted with a sign that reads “Cheer up, slow down, chill out.” In our opinion, there’s no better way to define a weekend experience at this popular coastal town.
Byron Bay has long been popular with those seeking a little rest, relaxation and perhaps quiet reflection. But with the opening of The Farm at Byron Bay earlier this year (pictured above), surfers and hippies have had to stand aside for the influx of foodies descending on Byron.
Tom and Emma Lane, who moved to Byron for a sea change, undertook the ambitious task of creating The Farm at Byron Bay. It’s principally a working farm that houses a collection of micro-businesses all sharing in a common goal. Their ethos to grow, feed and educate the community with their “farm to plate” philosophy.
One of The Farm’s micro-businesses is the wildly successful Bronte café Three Blue Ducks. Three Blue Ducks is naturally receiving high praise for its divine and wholesome breakfast foods, and the long lazy lunch options. With menu items including a Ploughmans board of cured meats, piccalilli, olives, hard cheese and linseed crisps, you’ll be inspired and satisfied by your experience.
The Produce Store, an extension of the Three Blue Ducks, deals in fresh, sustainably-produced goods and local produce, including some grown on The Farm itself. You might be full from lunch at Three Blue Ducks but the smell of freshly-baked bread from artisan bakehouse The Bread Social will soon set your mouth watering again.
The Farm is not just about tempting your tastebuds; there’s also a yoga studio, a florist and school holiday activities for the kids. They’ll learn all about the paddock to plate concept and develop a real understanding of where our food comes from. If you’re feeling a dash of envy for your kids, you can also learn the skills for down-to-earth living with short courses available.
Complete your Byron Bay foodie weekend by wandering through some of the local markets. Don’t miss out on the famous Byron Bay Markets held on the first Sunday of each month; or stop by the Bangalow Markets on the fourth Sunday of each month to gather some fresh local produce.
After a day exploring, lay your weary head to rest at Byron Bay favourite Apartments Inn. If you’re anything like us, sometimes you just want to nip down to Byron without the hassles and restrictions of high-priced accommodation options. Apartments Inn fits the bill with great value apartments, central location, after-hours check-in and no minimum night restrictions.
Apartments Inn offers studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, each with comfortable and contemporary-style furnishings. Checking in after an afternoon at The Farm, our two-bedroom apartment is blissfully filled with natural light, perfect to relax and catch the sea breeze on any of the multiple. Cook up a storm using your bounty of produce from the markets or The Farm with fully-equipped modern kitchens.
Unlike many apartment-style hotels, Apartments Inn offers a minibar service with a unique collection of local produce including Lush coffee, Byron Bay Chilli Co. corn chips and salsa, Nudgel nuts, and even Byron Bay Cookie Company treats to go with your cuppa.
Enjoy all the usual mod cons with a plasma TV and DVD player, and an iPod dock and radio. We use the latter to tune in to the local Byron radio station for some reggae to complete the Byron vibe!
With the town literally on your doorstep, the full set of Byron Bay activities is laid out before you: swimming at Main Beach, a trip to Wategos and the Cape Byron Lighthouse, stylish boutique shopping and, of course, dining Byron-style.
If you need a break from the beach, there is an onsite swimming pool alongside the fabulous St. Elmo restaurant. St. Elmo is oh so conveniently located downstairs and serves up great cocktails and tapas inspired by fresh and flavoursome ingredients with all plates designed to share.
To complete your wholesome hipster weekend, we suggest dinner at The Roadhouse, a cosy whiskey bar dedicated to sourcing the highest grade naturally-grown local produce.
By the time you leave Byron Bay (if you can bring yourself to do so), you’ll be just as cheered up, slowed down and chilled out as the sign suggests. And you’ll want to keep coming back for more.
20-22 Fletcher Street, Byron Bay
from $200 per night including free parking and wi-fi
Play and Dine
Open seven days. Doors open 7am.