For many Queenslanders, Twin Towns has been a favourite playground. Founded in 1957 by the RSL as a services club almost straddling the twin towns of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads (hence the name), Twin Towns was a favourite place to have a tipple because of its location in NSW, especially during the years when gambling was illegal in Queensland!
For us, though, Twin Towns has been a wonderland of entertainment. As other venues such as Cloudland and The Playroom closed, Twin Towns hung in there, delivering acts such as Peter Allen (who danced on the piano that night), The Supremes, Manhattan Transfer, Sydney and Melbourne Comedy Festival highlights, as well as countless rock, pop and country legends.
Nostalgia leads us to accept an invitation to visit Twin Towns for an evening of entertainment, but it’s curiosity that piques our interest in the advances the club has made and the facilities it offers its patrons.
Brought into the 21st century with a $26 million upgrade in 2012-2013 Twin Towns, overlooking the Jack Evans Boat Harbour, is open seven days a week until late, the Showroom hosting national and international performers, backed up by restaurants, bars, gaming and accommodation.
We book into the Mantra Twin Towns before making our way across the enclosed link bridge to the entertainment lounge. Our one-bedroom suite is well appointed, including a self-contained kitchen, looking out across Twin Towns to the harbour. Comfortable and spacious, we feel right at home!
An even better harbour view is shared by one end of Breezes, the lounge where we take afternoon tea, but the most dominant features of the lounge are the chandeliers of crystal rain and the ‘cut glass’ bar, sparkling by day and a stellar visual feast by night, lights winking from its many facets across the space.
Served on silver stands and Noritake tableware, high tea comes with a choice of tea or espresso coffee ($35pp), or you can choose to upgrade to a Lux High Tea with a glass of Moet & Chandon included for $49pp – a bargain! We choose Silver Needles tea, one of the finest white teas available, its buds picked in the Wuyi Mountains of China.
High tea is an exquisite delight of tasty morsels. One plate of scones, complete with their own pipettes, jam and cream; another of ribbon sandwiches, salmon scrolls and savoury choux pastries; the third of small baked sweets, one even carrying the Twin Towns logo on its icing. A tiny roost of Bonne Maman jams accessorises the feast.
Twin Towns has a selection of dining options. We dine at Signatures (where we also enjoy a buffet breakfast the next morning). In its muted tones of brown, Signatures is a quiet, relaxing retro space, in stark contrast to the club environment of the entertainment tower.
Our meals are rustic club fare, suited to the mostly retired demographic – Slow-cooked Duck Maryland and a Slow-cooked lamb shoulder, both with kipfler potatoes and pan-fried greens. A traditional Sticky Date gets a twist in the Sticky Fig Caramel Pudding, lifted by a whiskey caramel butter and vanilla ice cream. Delicious!
Flame Restaurant will be the choice of many younger people, with Italian pizza chef Otella Mancini serving up pizza.
“If I served up pizza with pineapple at home, someone would probably call the police,” Otello laughs.
Working with different ovens, which in turn impact on the dough, as well as different toppings, from Hawaiian to Vegetarian, there’s been lots of adaption to the local palate. We notice, however, that there’s a Margherita pizza on offer, and the Pepperoni is also fairly traditional.
“Sometimes it is hard to live as an Australian, but I am willing to learn…We love it here, not just for the sea and beaches, but for all sorts of things you have in Australia we do not have at home,” Otello says.
The evening’s concert by The McClymonts is an absolute delight! Sassy, down-to-earth and funny, these ladies really know how to put on a show that appeals. Harmonies were fine-tuned, with light and shade through faster and slower numbers, highlights of their ten years in show business. The band was also excellent and each of the McClymonts emerged showing their own personality. It was a night to remember.
So much has happened over one night away that it seems like a weekend has passed. Only 25km from Surfers and 100km from Brisbane, Twin Towns is a little weekend escape that could please many people. Particularly recommended are the High Tea and a well-chosen show. Coolangatta, with the upgrade to The Strand, also offers many dining options, a drive (or walk) to Point Danger is a must, as is Rainbow Beach!
Why not build Twin Towns into a weekend with a ‘Show & Stay’ package. Come and visit one of our favourite playgrounds.
1 Wharf Street, Tweed Heads NSW Ph: 07 5536 2277