Curl up with a Crumpet_Blog


NOSTALGIC winter dishes are making their way onto menus around town this winter, with old school favourites such as the honey crumpet and cheese jaffles re-emerging as menu stars.

The Chelsea Bistro at The Barracks is tempting foodies out from beneath their blankets to enjoy a trip down memory lane with nourishing, comfort-food breakfast offerings reminiscent of childhood treats.

Steve Ackerie, owner of the Chelsea, is proud to say that his café is one of Brisbane’s only nooks serving homemade crumpets, plated up with locally sourced honeycomb butter!

“For many of us the humble crumpet brings back childhood memories of chilly mornings at home in our pyjamas, so we have put our spin on an old classic,” said Steve.

“A good crumpet is the perfect harmony between a plain piece of toast and a buttery croissant, not an overly indulgent breakfast, but still enough to make you smile.”

On the other hand nothing warms the tummy more than melted ham and cheese toasties, fondly remembered as jaffles, which are a perfect take-away option or late morning snack.

Steve says, forget experimental dishes and outlandish flavours, sometimes it is the simple things in life that are the most delicious.

“At a time where café’s are competing for the most unique and groundbreaking dishes, we are bringing things back to basics this winter to satisfy our regulars with quality, home-style cooking,” said Steve.

Don’t be put off by the outside chills this winter, The Chelsea Bistro is the perfect locale to hibernate, whether swinging by for a coffee and a homemade muffin or dining in the beautiful, heated courtyard – BYO beanie.

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TWO Brisbane boys are clicking their way to million-dollar success in just three years, growing their search engine marketing agency from a home project to a business with more than 38 employees and a sizeable turnover.

University mates Nic Blair, 27, and Michael Bell, 29, are the brains behind Search Factory, a business that is focused on delivering content marketing and online search solutions for medium- to large-sized businesses.

Yet, both Blair and Bell will confirm that the road to success certainly doesn’t come easy, having experienced the hardships of eight failed businesses.

The young guns, from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, first met nine years ago when they were studying business at the University of the Sunshine Coast and, since then, have endured a roller-coaster of highs and lows throughout their careers.

Their days as entrepreneurs hail back to business ventures they attempted together from home offices at their parents house – including a digital marketing agency, an online reverse auction business, a flash games website, and a website targeting Australia’s mixed martial arts industry.

Disappointingly for the duo, all businesses failed, with one taking only four days to go belly up.

To earn a living, Blair started working as a furniture removalist for his Dad’s company and Bell took up a part-time job at a liquor shop – both gigs were meant to be a temporary solution, but two years passed and they were still there.

Blair had borrowed $25,000 from the bank to fund the majority of their business ventures, while Bell had handed over $10,000 of personal savings, originally for his home loan deposit and invested an extra $18,500 from the sale of his car.

For Blair, reality hit when he was in arrears by $600 on his business loan repayments.

“The bank was calling me for a month, saying that I was behind in repayments, so in the end we had no choice, we had to finish what we were doing and get real jobs,” said Blair.

“It was a period of making a couple of hundred dollars a week, learning heaps, making lots of mistakes and losing a bit of money,” he said.

At the same time, Bell was only earning $200 a week while his wife worked two separate jobs to pay the rent and support her husband.

Living week to week was taking its toll, so Blair and Bell discussed their individual situations and decided it was time to raise the white flag and call it quits.

By the end of 2009, Blair and Bell decided to go their separate ways, after eight failed business ventures and little money to their names.In 2010, Blair moved to Flight Centre to work within the company’s digital marketing team and Bell began at a boutique search-engine marketing agency, also in Brisbane.

When another job became available at Flight Centre, Bell also moved across to join Blair, once again.
It wasn’t long before Blair launched two more businesses – one being Search Factory in 2011 – and he called on Bell to be his wingman and help grow the business.

By January 2012, Search Factory had gained some strong momentum and was in a good position financially, and in March 2012 they moved into an office in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

In November 2012, Bell bought a 50% share in Search Factory and the rest was history.

Today, the company employs 38 staff – 22 full-time and 16 part-time – and had a revenue turnover of more than $1.3million in the past financial year (2012/2013).

Bell said the duo had faced several challenges together, but were now fortunate to be enjoying the luxuries of working with an awesome group of people in a new, much larger, Fortitude Valley office.

“Search engine marketing is what we know inside out, so we are committed to sharing and supporting local businesses in their quest to generate strong enquiries through online methods,” said Bell.

“We have never been ones to give up, so this year we want to share our positivity and give back, whether that be participating in a fun run or sleeping out with the homeless.”

Both Bell and Blair are excited about the possibilities for the year ahead, with predictions set high for even further growth.


BRISBANE’S much-loved watering hole, The Fox Hotel, is set to unveil its fresh new look at an official launch party to be held last night.

Now, if you’ve been living in Brisbane for a few years, you probably would have visited or, at least, heard about The Fox Hotel in South Brisbane. You may not have noticed however, that the four-level establishment had been closed for the past six months during a major refurbishment.

This week saw the relaunch of a savvy new look that is set to reinvigorate Brisbane hipsters. Think, bright fresh colours, funky decor, vibrant wallpapers in more than eight beautifully appointed spaces, including the new dedicated NYC-style meatball restaurant, which is appropriately named The Meatball Company.

The highlight for daytime drinkers and night owls is the new Dandy’s Rooftop bar sporting a vintage tennis club decor and serving up char grilled fare in a relaxed outdoor setting, aimed at inner-city apartment dwellers.

Among the food and wine offerings is the contemporary Fish Lane Studios, a multipurpose art space that features the works of local Brisbane artists in exhibitions, fashion shows and creative workshops.

It’s really a matter of serving up something for everyone, with the focus being to play on the tapestry of cultures in the surrounding arts precinct. We think it’s a great spot to grab a bite to eat before seeing a show at QPAC or even for the corporate crowd, who like to share a drink with their work colleagues.

The Fox Hotel’s general manager, Rohan Topley, said the emphasis on good food and service had been a central part of the redevelopment, while the inspiration for each of the different spaces had come from the local community.