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 Factory.
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 TwinWaters 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 TwinWaters 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,
Novotel Twin Waters, Sunshine Coast, 361 rooms that include one or two bedroom suites.
The Accor MyResorts program offers a number of inclusions for guests. More at accorhotels.com
Brewery tours are available at the Imperial Hotel. Tour price: $20 and $18 for pensioners/students (includes tasting log) or $35 for tour + lunch combo.
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.