Ladies at lunch – I am woman
As Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world”. What if you then poured her a glass of wine, sat her at a table with a group of strong and independent local business women, and served her a delicious lunch? Now that’s a powerful combination!
Overlooking the glorious Noosa Main Beach at Season Restaurant, laughter and conversation flowed freely as my beautiful guests Angela Espie and Jo McDonald from La Clinique, Georgina Hammond from Candy Addictions, Maree McGrath from Profile Magazine, and photographer Lani Carter, shared some of the most pivotal moments in the making of ‘me’. This vulnerability prompted a surge of support and love, which was a truly remarkable thing to see, given some of the ladies were only meeting for the first time.
Talk about girl power!
Profile: What do you define as a powerful woman?
Georgina: I think a powerful woman is somebody who knows what they want, has direction and doesn’t waver. Anyone can be powerful in their situation.
Angela: Passionate. A powerful woman to me is someone who is passionate and it could be about anything, her children, her job, who she is as a woman, when your passion comes through you are at your most powerful.
Jo: A powerful woman to me is someone who in the face of adversity can be themselves. So you are fully challenged and you can feel yourself sweating, but you’re yourself and you believe in what you believe in because you’ve worked so hard getting to what you believe in and now you stand by those principles without putting them on someone else. That’s what I think is powerful.
Maree: Mine is similar to Georgina’s actually, a woman who knows what she wants and she gets it.
Profile: Who is the most inspiring woman you know?
Georgina: My mother, she’s always believed in me. She’s never stopped something I truly believe in and that has inspired me because it would be so easy to put your foot down. She has always taken the time to listen to me and poured her energy into making that happen, whether it be opening a restaurant at 21 in London, or whether it’s, ‘Mum we’re moving to Australia with your grandchildren aged one and two’, she’s never stopped me. That’s why my mother has inspired me.
Angela: My mum and my daughter now, we’re really connected. She’s 10 and she inspires me to be better, she has taught me love from a different angle, how to give, how to receive, how to show, how to feel, everything. My mother taught me that and you understand love from that, but to be able to transition that into your children it’s a really incredible thing. Raising little girls is a hard job, but she’s inspires me to be the mum who is supportive and kind and knowledgeable, and put boundaries in place – we are raising women.
Jo: I am particularly inspired by my mum. She’s come from a very European background, where women are in the kitchen and I was brought up that way and inside me was this rebellion, so for me to come through that and inspire my mum, ‘Mum you can be anything, you don’t have to be in the kitchen, to set her free a little bit’, and she’s right by my side now, she’s my biggest supporter.
Maree: Quentin Bryce has always been someone who I look up to. I love the way she dresses, very classical, very powerful and she’s so poised. I really admire her, when she was Governor General I loved to watch her in action, she was just amazing.
Profile: Has there been a moment in your life where you’ve felt particularly powerful?
Maree: It was when I was sales manager for Census in Brisbane, and I don’t like to use the word powerful but I had a really big team of sales people, at one point there were about 30, and I had chosen to not be in an office, I had chosen to sit out with my sales people, which was kind of out of the box. I distinctly remember a day, standing up and just watching this team of 30 people on the phone and doing their thing and it was a day of victory, I just knew I had nailed it; you know that whatever you do right now can change a sales person’s life, it can change the direction of the company, it was quite a moment and I still remember it as clear as day. It was an amazing feeling, the highlight of my career, incredible.
Lani: I have three sons and my first two births were really bad, but my last birth I had a water birth and it was so empowering. I was a totally different person and I just got in there and kicked its arse and I was winning at life, in the most beautiful way. It really was so empowering because I was so afraid I had so much fear and anxiety.
Georgina: I find that question really hard because of the levels of your life. If you said the most powerful moment in your 20s it was probably getting married at such a young age, opening our own restaurant and having my children, in my 30s it was coming out here knowing no one; in my 40s it was changing my career and creating a new journey.
Angela: I have always wanted to travel, and after I had some surgery I saved every penny I had for a year and took my daughter to Europe and I remember standing on a mountain in Switzerland and it was the anniversary of my mum’s passing and I remember standing on the mountain and ringing Jo and I can’t even explain the feeling of doing all of that myself. I always thought I would need a husband to be someone and here I was standing there and looking out. The other moment was when Jo and I held a charity event last year on my birthday and I got to get up in front of a whole room full of strangers and tell them my story and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more powerful and more beautiful and more at peace with myself ever, that was a defining moment in my life, that shut the book for me.
Jo: I remember the day I woke up and said my old life is over, it was the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make. But I had to decide to be me.
Profile: Do you think women draw their power from within, or from their environment/those around them?
Maree: From within, absolutely, if you think you are, you are.
Angela: From within, definitely. I think the environment is so much harsher these days, the things women are confronted with now are so difficult, we’re trying to fit into a man’s world, we’re trying to become these equals as human beings and there are people in power who don’t want that to happen, but I really think it’s a state of mind.
Ladies at lunch review
Season Restaurant Noosa
On an unseasonably warm day, Noosa really turned it on for us, which was made evident by the number of people enjoying a leisurely lunch on a weekday.
For the unassuming, Season Restaurant is tucked away behind Hastings Street, and is one of the gems in Noosa’s culinary crown; boasting superb views over Noosa’s Main Beach and offering the best in beachfront dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
In keeping with the name of the restaurant, they regularly change their menu to reflect the freshest produce in season, whether that be locally caught seafood, or the freshest of fruit and vegetables.
As this was my first visit to the renowned restaurant, I absolutely soaked up the delicious view and atmosphere, and running my eyes over the menu I was equally impressed. With options to suit all appetites, from appetisers to mains, vegetarian options, salads, breads and even something for the kids, it was almost impossible to settle.
I ordered the ricotta and basil stuffed zucchini flowers with charred asparagus, witlof and lemon olive oil; it was delicate and light – ideal for a lunch with the girls, matched with a chilled white wine. The golden crumb coating was a winning combination with the creamy ricotta, and the zucchini flower and asparagus was cooked perfectly, still with a little bite of freshness.
While some of the other meals ordered around the table were more generous in size, this was one of the restaurant’s smaller dishes (which the waitress warned me of upon ordering, in case I was more peckish), but it was the perfect size to leave a little room for dessert – which is my favourite meal!
Every single item on the dessert menu looked scrumptious, but the standout was the dark chocolate pave, orange blossom fig, pistachio ice cream and soil; as soon as the plate hit the table I was giving myself a high five for ordering so well!
The chocolate pave was light and fluffy in texture, while being decadent and rich in taste, perfectly paired with the earthiness of the fig and freshness of the pistachio ice cream, which really packed in the flavour. Each bite was heaven and it presented just as beautifully, as did the white chocolate panna cotta, which I had to sneak a taste of; soft and silky, it had the perfect amount of wobble (which we had to test of course), and the petite pears were the ideal accompaniment.
Whether it’s for a lunch with the ladies, a casual brunch, a romantic dinner with your significant other, or maybe a special occasion to celebrate in numbers, Season Restaurant is a feast for the senses.
25 Hastings St, Noosa Heads
ON THE MENU
• Roast chicken salad, jamon, turkish bread croutons, gem lettuce, radicchio, buttermilk dressing and parmesan
• Seared ocean trout nicoise salad, white anchovies, seeded mustard dressing
• Seared scallops, butifarra negra, cauliflower puree, golden raisins, pine nuts, witlof
• Roasted vegetables and Woombye feta salad with hazelnut dressing
• Ricotta and basil stuffed zucchini flowers and charred asparagus, witlof, lemon olive oil
• Dark chocolate pave, orange blossom fig, pistachio ice cream and soil
• White chocolate panna cotta, black olive caramel, poached pear and hazelnut crumb