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Accolades for Byron design

Byron’s new Elements of Byron resort has just been named by Forbes Magazine as among the 25 Coolest Hotels in the World. They share this accolade with only one other Australian property, the Old Clare Hotel in Sydney.

It has been a good month for the beachfront resort, which was also shortlisted in the Hotel Design category of this year’s SBID (Society of British Interior Design) International Design Awards. Entries were received from 43 countries and the Elements of Byron interior design is the only Australasian finalist selected by the technical panel of judges in this category. The Awards are one of the most prestigious recognitions of excellence in the interior design industry.

Further, Elements of Byron received a Highly Commended Award in the Hotel Interior Design category at the 2016 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, held in Sydney on Friday 2nd September.

Elements of Byron owner Peggy Flannery worked closely with Interior Designer Rowena Cornwell and local artists to bring her vision for the resort to life. “Byron Bay is such an exciting place” said Rowena Cornwell. “There is a strong entrepreneurial youth culture. The intention was to create environments that were sexy, with a sophisticated edge but still very accessible”.

Mullumbimby Artist Noel Hart spent months studying species found on the property to produce four layered oil paint, pigment and charcoal on jute paintings to adorn the private dining room for sixteen. Celebrating the four unique ecologies on the site – eucalypt, wetland, rainforest and dunal – the paintings are reinterpreted in works throughout the 94 villas.

Moving from sandy whites to tonal ocean blues, the resort’s soft colour palette lets nature do the talking. Soft copper reflects the underside of a banksia leaf while deep bronzes reference Belongil Creek. Surprise pops of vibrancy – hot orange, fiery corals and rich reds pay homage to the native birds which visit or call the property home. The black cockatoo, a strong totem for Elements of Byron, is acknowledged through five blown glass works by Noel Hart in the lobby.

Byron hinterland Artist Suvira McDonald’s majestic in/outdoor hanging metal sculpture Khorus blends the lobby lounge with the dining spaces. His training in classical ballet is evident in the grace of this work which stands five metres tall and ten wide. McDonald also contributed a five metre ceramic landscape mural for the Banksia Pavilion Bar as well as hanging ceramic works for the Central Pavilion guest bathrooms.

Winners of the SBID International Design Awards will be announced at The Dorchester hotel London on 25 November. View the finalists at www.sbidawards.com.

The Byron Bay Brewery reopens its doors

As a sought-after destination, Byron Bay has a lot to offer both residents and tourists alike. From the beaches to Bluesfest, Byron is renown for it’s idyllic elements, both natural and man-made. Being such a popular spot, most of us already feel quite well acquainted with Byron.

However, one of its best-kept secrets has just been uncovered.

Following a full refurbishment the Byron Bay Brewery has reopened its doors welcoming Byron locals and visitors to enjoy a range of local craft beer brewed on-site, an extensive new menu, brilliant service and chilled live music.

Only minutes from the town centre, the Byron Bay Brewery features sun lit wide-open spaces, intimate booth seating and an impressive beer garden shaded by a Morton Bay Fig, perfect for families, groups or just a friendly catch up over one of the brewery’s distinctive beers.

Byron Bay Brewery’s craft beer offering is a major attraction of the venue, with the unique craft beer range brewed on-site, meaning visitors can get closer to the brewing experience than ever before. The range will include distinctive beers including some old favourites and new recipes.

Head Brewer, Alastair Gillespie, who has been with Byron Bay Brewery since June 2015, is looking forward to the next chapter of the venue. “I’ve seen the work that’s gone into the renovations and I can’t wait for people to come in and see how great it looks. I am really looking forward to brewing some of the popular ales made at the brewery over the years as well as sharing some new lagers with the community.”

Incorporating locally and sustainably sourced ingredients, the new menu has been designed to share and compliment the craft beer offering. Families in particular will be well looked after with an extensive kids menu, and multiple budget friendly options.

Gordon Treanor, Craft Director at Lion, comments, “We wanted to develop a quality yet accessible food and beverage experience that builds on the great food and drink culture of the region and are excited to open the doors to locals and visitors.

“We also know how important the brewery is to the community and we are looking forward to becoming an integral member of the community over the coming years.”

Following launch, the new and improved Byron Bay Brewery will celebrate the unique and creative spirit of the Byron area via a series of events and experiences.

Byron Bay Brewery is located at 1 Skinners Shoot Road, Byron Bay and is open to the public from Friday 16th September 2016. For further information visit www.byronbaybrewery.com.au.

Best of Byron: Food and Wine

Byron Bay is home to a food scene characterised by its wholesome ingredients, fresh produce and health-conscious philosophy. There’s so much good food to sample during a trip to Byron Bay that, often, time and money are the only limiting factors. Luckily for you, we’ve pitted Byron Bay’s restaurants against each other to reveal the top performers across several important categories. Now you can sample the best of the region by visiting some (or all) of the following restaurants...

Best Italian: Il Buco

Il Buco is a small, family-owned restaurant tucked away in Bay Lane, just behind Bay Street. Although fairly new to the area, this cosy little joint is said to be home to Byron Bay’s best Italian food. Above all, Il Buco is renowned for its authentic pizzas, whose fresh toppings and perfectly light bases have earned Il Buco a spot on Tripadvisor as Australia’s highest-rated pizzeria. We dare you to try it for yourself and disagree.

Best Mexican: Miss Margarita

If you’re looking for equal measures of food and fun, it’s hard to go past Mexican food –– especially the kind you’ll find at Miss Margarita. This colourful, cantina-style eatery blends traditional Mexican flavours in an exciting, delicious way. Choose from a selection of crowd favourites like pulled pork nachos with guacamole, salsa, cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream, and consider accompanying your meal with something more adventurous, such as a chipotle-infused margarita.

Best Tapas & Wine: St Elmo Dining Room & Bar

Head to St Elmo Dining Room & Bar and you’ll find over 100 varieties of wine sourced from all over the globe and a selection of modern tapas dishes and share plates. With chalkboard menus on the wall, an intricate mosaic by the bar and exposed lightbulbs for ambience, St Elmo’s is the place to be for a lively yet intimate atmosphere. Check out their 18 month Spanish mountain ham with tomato bread or set menus for a dip into Spanish cuisine.

Best Burgers: Top Shop Byron Bay

Everyone needs a favourite burger joint, and we suggest that you make this yours. Once a popular corner shop and milk shop, Top Shop Byron Bay now serves up delicious cafe food and creative burgers. From the classic juicy patties and softer-than-soft buns to the vegetarian friendly gluten-free quinoa buns and chickpea patty, head to the outskirts of town, grab a burger and recline on the grass outside for the ideal Byron Bay experience.

Best Brunch: Dip Cafe & Bay Leaf Cafe

We don't know how to put this, but in Byron Bay, brunch is kind of a big deal. As such, the title of “best brunch” has resulted in a tie.The first winner is Dip Cafe, a cool little café serving up all the breakfast classics including bircher muesli, corn fritters, croque-madames and an unmissable Boston bean stack. Sit back and enjoy Dip Café’s hearty and healthy offerings at the communal dining table, surrounded by poster-covered walls and the smells and sounds coming from the open kitchen.

Meanwhile, Bayleaf Café offers something equally good just a few streets away. Bayleaf’s coffee uses locally roasted Marvell Street beans and is often hailed as the best in town. The buzzing yet casual atmosphere is one that combines friendly service with old school tunes, breezy outdoor seating, and a range of fresh, wholesome meals.

Byron Beachside Markets

Next Beachside Market: 30 March 2018, 8am - 4pm, Main Beach Foreshore, Byron Bay.

Held four times a year in early January, Easter, July and late September, the Beachside Markets are a make it, bake it, grow it market held on the Byron Bay foreshore east of the Surf Club. The perfect location to experience some of the most original products by one of the worlds’ most famous beaches.

Open from 8 – 4pm this market showcases a diverse and exciting collection of high quality art, sculpture, ceramics, glass, home wares, fashion, craft, toys, clothing and music created by local artists and designers as well as an array of services offered by our health and well being practitioners.

The focus and emphasis of the Beachside Market is on authenticity and fosters both originality and sustainability. Echoing worldwide popularity and the growing demand for direct-from-the-artist-to-you handmade, high quality product. This Artisan Market provides an unparalleled opportunity for local artists, creators and healers to showcase their talents. With over 200 stalls stretching over half a kilometer of beachfront at Byron Bay Main beach, this market is the perfect location, right on the doorstep of one of the worlds’ most famous beaches and destinations to experience some of the best and most original products and services.

Come with family and friends to experience the vibrant atmosphere, enjoy a coffee, brunch or lunch while you listen to some fabulous live music and browse the stalls.

For further information, visit www.byroncentre.com.au/markets/beachside-market/.

Elements of Byron on Track for February Opening

With a $7 million a month construction spend, Elements of Byron Resort is on track for a February 1st 2016 opening.

The “slow architecture” venture celebrates four unique ecologies present on the site – dunal, eucalypt, rainforest and wetland.

All 94 villas have now been constructed and 65,000 new plants will go in between the villas and existing mature trees over the next three months to re-establish the natural ecosystems. The infinity lagoon pool is ready for pebble effect and the first native rainforest trees in this precinct have been installed.

The housekeeping building is completed and ready for the installation of a 500 square metre array of solar panels.

The main bar shell now sits in the lobby, a centrepiece of the main pavilion, awaiting a custom mosaic finish. The other two bars are under construction. An oversized elliptical skylight sits over the main bar and a series of custom glass pendants will hang from the four metre high ceiling above. Renowned Byron artist Noel Hart is creating a major series of hand made blown-glass works reflecting the local birdlife to adorn the reception area.

The wood fired oven has arrived and is ready to install. This will become a showpiece in the more casual terrace dining area. Final touches are being made to the custom brass fire bowl for the sunken fire pit area, which lies below the water line of the pool and is bounded by a mosaic tiled wet edge and garden. The $1.5 million kitchen fit-out is well underway.

The Elements of Byron Energy Management System, which will enable guests to monitor their energy consumption in real time via the TV or personal iPad in each villa, has been installed. When guests depart they can choose to offset their carbon footprint, knowing exactly what their energy consumption has been. The concept of monitoring and quantifying exact energy consumption in real time is new. “So if you turn on a light, for example, you can watch the monitor rise” outlined General Manager Leon Pink. Other aspects of the Energy Management System utilise the latest available international technology, such as motion detectors which activate power, lighting and air conditioning when a guest is in their villa.

"We are conscious of energy consumption" said Leon Pink. “This has been considered from the ground up by using principles of passive solar design and orientation so that the villas naturally require less energy to heat and cool. And in addition to this our Energy Management System will further reduce power consumption by around 40%".

 

Book Now to stay from 1st February 2016.

A Day in Bangalow

Located a scenic 20-minute drive from Byron Bay, Bangalow is a historic town with a range of specialty shops, cafes, and restaurants. Bangalow’s eclectic spirit and lush-green backdrop make it unlike anywhere else in the Byron Shire.

See in Bangalow

There’s nothing quite like a walk down Byron Street in Bangalow. You could spend hours exploring the one-of-a-kind shops, which boast a range of artisan gifts, clothing, beauty products, toys, and art.

Be sure to make time for a visit to the Zakay Glass Creations Gallery. The gallery showcases striking glass sculptures and light fixtures made from geometric shards of glass. When hit with natural or artificial light, the glass sparkles and shimmers, projecting an array of colour. These stunning three-dimensional sculptures make for unique souvenirs or gifts.

Eat in Bangalow

Evoking the old world charm of a traditional trattoria, The Italian Diner offers flavours from the diverse regions of Italy, with friendly, relaxed service. The menu focuses on fresh seafood and finest local produce, and is complemented by carefully selected Australian & Italian wines and beers.

Located at the Bangalow Bowlo you'll find the Stockpot Kitchen. Their southern inspired menu including an onsite BBQ smokehouse and  award wining southern fried chicken is in line with this down south hospitality that is warm, fun, generous and full of love.

Markets in Bangalow

On the fourth Sunday of each month, the Bangalow Showgrounds play host to a vibrant Bangalow Markets. Set among the shady camphor laurel and fig trees, the markets features over 300 stalls selling handmade, local, and imported goods, plus live entertainment. You’ll also find a variety of regional produce, fresh bread, exotic food, and great coffee.

As well as the monthly market, Bangalow is home to a popular farmers market held Saturday mornings from 8am to 11am. Located in the centre of town in the Banaglow Hotel car park, the smallish market has every thing you’ll need to fill your pantry. If you’re just visiting for the day, it’s the perfect spot to pick up a freshly baked pastry or a few pieces of fruit.

Stay near Bangalow

Escape to the sanctuary of Coco's Country Cottage, where you can unwind & nurture your mind, body & soul in stylish tranquil surroundings. Feel as though you are a world away but know you are only a short drive from the boutique shops & cafes of historic Bangalow.

Just East of Bangalow, Byron Hills Hinterland Retreat offers an open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area 3 good sized guest bedrooms, a main bathroom and an expansive master suite with kitchenette, ensuite and outdoor bath with stunning views!

5 ways to relax in luxury in Byron Bay and surrounds

Spend a day (or two) in a lap of luxury on the NSW north coast. Immerse yourself in spectacular natural scenery, recharge with a spa treatment, join a yoga or meditation group or just laze by the beach or pool. A premier luxury destination, Byron Bay and the nearby laid-back coastal towns of the northern rivers make the perfect spot for an indulgent stay. You’re bound to leave feeling refreshed and renewed.

Get away from it all in a luxury villa or suite

Wake up rested and refreshed in your own little piece of paradise. There are so many superb accommodation options in Byron; from stunning resorts to impeccable luxury villas to gorgeous boutique hotels. Choose from a plethora of exclusive north coast stays and you can spend the day by the pool, at the spa, or in bed, with everything you could want and need at your fingertips.

Explore the stunning beaches of Byron Bay and surrounds

Start your day in Byron with a leisurely walk along one of the area’s gorgeous beaches. Go for a quick dip or just sit on the sand and survey the vast beachscape spread out before you and really take it all in; this will be your home away from home for the next little while. Take a stroll along the headland on the Cape Byron walking track, which weaves its way through ancient rainforests and has stunning views of the surrounding area.

Recharge at a meditation or yoga retreat

Relaxing by the sapphire shores of Byron Bay and it’s surrounding beaches is only the beginning of a truly revitalising break. While in Byron sign up for a class at the Byron Yoga Centre, which has been offering daily yoga classes in a range of styles since it opened in 1988. It also also hosts annual health, wellness and yoga retreats.

Dine in style

As far as dining goes, you’re spoiled for choice in this part of the world. Stop off for brunch at the Byron Beach Cafe, where you can linger over your coffee and eggs and the panoramic beach views to your heart’s content. Or try sustainable, farm-to-table Three Blue Ducks in Ewingsdale (just outside of Byron) for inspired breakfasts and lunches in their rustic renovated barn. For dinner book in at Byron at Byron; the restaurant is in a stunning rainforest setting and serves fresh, local produce.

Indulge in spa treatments

A day at the spa is a truly restorative experience, and Byron Bay offers a wide selection. Gaia Retreat and Spa near Ballina is known for its holistic approach to wellness, promoting health and wellbeing through tailor-made spa experiences within the gorgeous Byron hinterland. For an incredible relaxation or remedial massage, it’s hard to go past Ripples Byron Bay, who also offer day spa extras and beauty treatments.

Splendour in the Grass 2015

15th annual Splendour was the biggest yet with 30,000 in attendance... the music was great and diverse, the food choice was fantastic, the markets, bars and art rounded out the total festival experience.

The super headliners always put on a show worth watching, but I tend to have the most fun towards the front with a late afternoon act. My STIG 2015 festival favourite was The Districts.

The food and people watching round out my time at Splendour. My pick for best festival food is a toss-up between Mary's Burgers (only available in the Gold Bar) and the calamari at Tanker (and the pizza in the truck stop, and the organic doughnuts, etc.).

And, it was a little muddy all weekend! See you next year Splendour!

Enjoy the Hinterland with Coco's Cottage

Coco's Cottage is ideally located in the Byron hinterland triangle between Bangalow, Mullumbimby and Byron Bay, Coco's is an 1890's cottage stylishly restored to its former glory. Surrounded by a lush tropical garden with a stunning vista. Surrounding decks enables guests to relax in the hammock, or lounge out on the miners couch. In the cooler months there is a cosy fire going in the cottage 24/7.

The owners, Kevin & Janice Pickles have 30 years experience in hospitality, including having owned three successful restaurants. They are able to offer guests dining in the privacy of the cottage, where the produce is sourced from local farmers, is in season, and where possible is organic.

Coco's is a place of future minded hope and vision as well as a great base to explore the Byron Hinterland region where visitors are pleasantly surprised by the amount of activities and beauty available to them just a short distance from the beaches of Byron Bay.

There are two popular Sunday markets. The Channon Markets on the second Sunday of each month are very laid back and picturesque. The Bangalow markets on the fourth Sunday of each month can be busy, so get in early to avoid the crowds.

There are also farmers markets in Mullumbimby every Friday and Bangalow every Saturday.

Another popular hinterland attraction is the Crystal Castle in Mullumbimby which has stunning gardens and the best rural views in the hinterland.

Minyon Falls and Rocky Creek Dam are great spots for guests looking to enjoy a bush walk.

The Byron Hinterland also boasts a few of the regions favourite events with the Bangalow Billy Cart Derby each May, the Bangalow Classical Music Festival in August and the Mullumbimby Music Festival in November.

Coco's Cottage aims for its guests to be rejuvenated in the beautiful environment and feel nourished by the delicious food from the region. Learn more, visit Coco's Cottage online, connect on facebook &/or follow on Instagram.

Farmers Markets in Byron Bay

Enjoy the freshest produce in the region at the incredible farmers markets in the Byron Shire.

Byron Bay Farmers Market

Since 2002, the Byron Bay Farmers Market has been a must for locals every Thursday morning. The market commences at 8am, and runs until 11am at the Butler Street Reserve.

Here, you’ll find the very best fresh produce, farmed in local areas, and transported straight to the market for you to buy. As well as organic and non-organic fruits and vegetables, you’ll find a range of Byron Shire specialties, such as freshly squeezed cane juice, macadamia nuts, honey, artisan bread, and Ballina prawns.

The Byron Bay Farmers Market is hosted by the Byron Farmers’ Market Association (they also run the Bangalow Farmers’ Market), who work with local farmers to ensure the produce is priced correctly.

The Byron Bay Farmers Market is a well-loved weekly event in Byron Bay, so come along for food, coffee, fresh produce, and a lively atmosphere. For further information visit www.byronfarmersmarket.com.au

Bangalow Farmers Market

With the success of the Byron Farmers Market, the Byron Farmers Market Association decided to host a second farmers market in the historic town of Bangalow. Located just 15 minutes southwest of Byron Bay, the Bangalow Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday between 8am and 11am in the Bangalow Hotel carpark in the centre of town.

The Bangalow Farmers Market is smaller than others in the area, but you’ll have no problem purchasing everything you’ll need for the week, from organic fruits and farm fresh veggies, to homemade preserves and rustic bread.

You can also grab a cup of coffee and a freshly baked pastry, or take a walk through town. For further information visit www.byronfarmersmarket.com.au

New Brighton Farmers Market

The New Brighton Farmers Market is held each Tuesday, whatever the weather, from 8am until 11am. Located at the New Brighton Oval, the market is a short 20-minute drive north from Byron Bay.

The New Brighton Farmers Market is organised by a team of volunteers who encourage residents to support local farmers by purchasing local produce. The produce is fresh straight from the farm, so does not travel nearly as far as conventional supermarket fruits and veggies.

As well as organic fresh produce, you can pick up locally and ethically farmed meat, fresh nuts, home baked goods, olives, free-range eggs, and dairy products. Come early for a hot breakfast, delicious coffee, and live music. Plus, on the first market of the month, a market hamper is raffled to one lucky winner – just make sure you’re there to claim your prize! For further information visit www.newbrightonfarmersmarket.org.au

Mullumbimby Farmers Market

Rain or shine, the Mullumbimby Farmers Market is held at the Mullumbimby Showgrounds on Main Arm Road every Friday between 7am and 11am. The market features an exotic range of fresh produce, and well as a tantalizing variety of breakfast options, and live music entertainment.

The Mullum Farmers Market is a vital part of the unique Mullum community. The 50 plus stalls, 13 of which are certified organic, are all owned and run by local farmers, bakers, and foodies. Don’t miss the wood fired artisan break, sweet local honey, and sustainable local meats.

The Mullumbimby Farmers Market is an excellent way to experience the spirit of Mullumbimby, and is positioned about a 20 minute drive from Byron Bay. For further information visit www.mullumfarmersmarket.org.au

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