Sandstone Point Seafood Extravaganza Highlights Regional Flavours

Paul West with grilled bugs at the Sandstone Point Hotel oyster shed. Here's cheers to the upcoming Regional Flavours.
Paul West with grilled bugs at the Sandstone Point Hotel oyster shed. Here’s cheers to the upcoming Regional Flavours.

Winter? What winter? I’m lucky enough to live in Queensland’s beautiful Moreton Bay region where the days have been gloriously sunny and the temperatures have been hovering around 23 degrees. It really is a winter paradise. About 45 minutes up the road from where I live, just before the bridge to Bribie Island, is the Sandstone Point Hotel. It’s right on the waterfront, overlooking the Pumicestone Passage and Moreton Bay.

Sandstone Point hotel
Sandstone Point Hotel: home to a restaurant, concert area, kids playground and restored oyster shed.

Sandstone Point oyster name badge

Yesterday I enjoyed a fantastic seafood lunch there, courtesy of the folk from Brisbane Marketing. Their special guest was Paul West, presenter of the River Cottage Australia series on TV’s Lifestyle Channel and soon to be screened free-to-air on SBS.

West will be the ambassador for the Moreton Bay Region at Regional Flavours, the fabulous event in Brisbane’s South Bank Parklands that celebrates the fantastic food, wine and craft beer produced in the greater Brisbane region. This year’s Regional Flavours will be held on the weekend of July 15-16.

Sandstone Point Fresh Seafood
Fresh seafood from the Oyster Shed.

West will do two demonstrations at Regional Flavours, one on the Queensland Taste stage and one on the main stage in the South Bank Piazza, both showcasing freshly caught seafood.

Sandstone Point grilled Moreton Bay bugs
Grilled Moreton Bay bugs … heaven on a plate.

Sandstone Point Hotel will operate a Flavours of Moreton Bay pop-up restaurant on Little Stanley Street, with a menu designed in consultation with West. Patrons will be able to buy seafood meals for lunch and early dinner on both days of the festival. The menus haven’t been announced yet, but I’m told they will definitely include Moreton Bay bugs.

Sandstone Point Paul West cooking
Paul West tosses a few bugs on the barbie.

As regular Food Wine Travel readers probably know, bugs are my favourite seafood, so you can imagine that I was in seventh heaven yesterday when West tossed a few on the barbie yesterday for a taste of what we can expect from Regional Flavours.

Sandstone Point seafood tower
The seafood extravaganza that was yesterday’s lunch.

Yesterday’s lunch was held down near the water, at the Oyster Shed in the grounds of the Sandstone Point Hotel. It’s a genuine old oyster shed that has been beautifully restored and now serves fresh seafood, including oysters, bugs, crabs and prawns.

Sandstone Point oyster signThe shed was built in 1875 by James Clark, who was renowned as the “Oyster King”. At the peak of his operations in the 1900s, he owned more than 30 dredging sections in the area and employed more than 25 families, which was unheard of at the time.

The oyster shed revives some of this remarkable history and it’s a simply beautiful spot to enjoy fish and chips, fresh seafood or, during the warmer months, an amazing seafood banquet. It’s the perfect way to enjoy an afternoon on the bay.

And note: the desserts are pretty amazing too. I enjoyed a slice of lemon cake, which was deliciously light, but a couple of my colleagues were stumped by the stupendous Belgian waffles.

Sandstone Point Hotel
Kick back and relax near the water.
Sandstone Point Belgian waffles
Belgian waffles, a dessert to be reckoned with.

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    • Yes, I’m very lucky indeed Michele. Count my blessings every day. I love those bright and sunny winter days in Canberra but I love Queensland winters even more 🙂 This winter has been unbelievably warm. We are still wearing short sleeves!

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