Life & Style Weekend - - ESCAPE - The writer was a guest of Novo­tel Twin Wa­ters and the Im­pe­rial Ho­tel. WORDS: LETEA CAVANDER

The child looks at the tiered choco­late foun­tain on the buf­fet dessert table with wide eyes and mouth slightly open. The choco­late flows with such con­sis­tency it looks al­most solid, un­til some­one puts a marsh­mal­low on a skewer into it and breaks the brown cur­tain for a mo­ment.

The kid and I look at each other with glee as we line up with our own skew­ers.

I can’t help but think of the choco­late stream in Willy Wonka and the Choco­late


It’s a touch of whimsy in an es­tab­lish­ment de­signed with fam­i­lies in mind.

My part­ner and I are din­ing at Nouveau Restau­rant in the Novo­tel Twin Wa­ters Re­sort and the choco­late foun­tain is the crown­ing glory of a buf­fet dessert table over­flow­ing with ice-creams and top­pings, cakes, and choc fon­due pair­ings like marsh­mal­lows and straw­ber­ries.

I nearly did not make it to the dessert, how­ever, af­ter gorg­ing on an ar­ray of seafood in­clud­ing prawns, whiting, More­ton Bay bugs and I will be back to have a crack at the moun­tain of oys­ters.

For non-seafood fans, there are hot and cold meats on of­fer, along with stan­dard buf­fet sal­ads and veg.

The restau­rant, like nearly ev­ery­thing else at the Sun­shine Coast re­sort, is de­signed with fam­i­lies in mind.

My part­ner and I are here for a much-needed “babymoon”, a short get­away be­fore the lit­tle tacker ap­pears on the scene next month. I was knock­ing the con­cept un­til I tried it. I take it all back af­ter a cou­ple days of rest and re­lax­ation.

Yes, I live on the coast, but it is still lovely to have a one-night “stay-cay” 15 min­utes down the road. And whether ex­pect­ing a bub, or with a cou­ple of chil­dren al­ready around, the Twin Wa­ters re­sort has some­thing to of­fer the whole crew.

The fam­ily friend­li­ness starts at check-in with a ping pong table in re­cep­tion to keep the kids busy while par­ents fill in the pa­per­work.

The re­cep­tion opens out onto the re­sort-man­aged lake, and fam­i­lies make full use of the wa­ter sports on of­fer, in­clud­ing sail­ing, kayak­ing, stand-up pad­dle­board­ing, and swim­ming in the canal and the mas­sive pool. Other guests, and this wad­dling preg­nant wo­man with her beau, take leisurely walks around the wa­ter fea­ture to spot the fish that call the lake home.

Some of the crea­tures are about 15 years old and huge. The re­sort is set among 36ha of nat­u­ral bush­land, mak­ing the 361 rooms feel pri­vate.

Over­all, the re­sort has the same in­no­cent vibe of the sum­mer hol­i­day re­sort in movie clas­sic Dirty Danc­ing be­fore Pa­trick Swayze’s char­ac­ter, Johnny, hits the scene to cause some drama.

Head­ing back to our over­wa­ter bun­ga­low, we sit on the deck and watch the ac­tion on the wa­ter as gag­gles of kids fly by in their cata­ma­rans. It is hard to peel our­selves from the ve­ran­dah with wa­ter lap­ping un­der­neath, but there is still much to see.

A short stroll out of re­sort grounds and we find our­selves on a nearly de­serted stretch of Mud­jimba Beach. There are life­saver flags up, and be sure to make full use of them if ocean swim­ming is pre­ferred. We then head back to the room to get ready for din­ner.

Toi­letries made from sus­tain­able prod­ucts line the big bath­room bench and the mas­sive dou­ble bed looks invit­ing fol­low­ing an af­ter­noon of ex­plor­ing.

So does the spa bath, but I have run out of time af­ter frol­ick­ing on the beach for the af­ter­noon. The next day, af­ter a deep sleep that was in­duced by the buf­fet feed, we take a 20-minute drive to the hin­ter­land town of Eu­mundi.

This part of the babymoon is all about the dad-to-be as we em­bark on a short brew­ery tour at the Eu­mundi Brew­ery in the Im­pe­rial Ho­tel. The tast­ing first up means he is fall­ing in love with a lager be­fore we step into the brew­ery. Mas­sive metal vats with elec­tronic tem­per­a­ture gauges hold a num­ber of brews, in­clud­ing a pale ale and the lager that is made with Cas­cade and Ella hops.

We also lis­ten to a his­tory of the ho­tel, which has a res­i­dent ghost. The Im­pe­rial, built in 1911, burnt down in 1927 but was hastily re­built.

The ghost, Mag­gie, likes to hang out up­stairs in one of the func­tion rooms. No one has seen her lately but she likes mov­ing fur­ni­ture around and open­ing doors, ac­cord­ing to staff.

Dad-to-be de­cides the lager is too good to leave so he downs a cou­ple of pints as we tuck into per­fectly spiced buf­falo wings and crispy frit­ters in the ho­tel’s out­door beer gar­den.

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