‘Romance on the Menu’, The Netflix romantic comedy released in 2020, was filmed almost entirely on location in Australia, and mainly in the Brisbane suburb of Shorncliffe. The film follows the story of a celebrated New York chef, Caroline Wilson, played by Canadian actress Cindy Busby, who comes to manage the Seagull Café that she has inherited from her Aunt Doreen in the fictitious ‘Lemon Myrtle Cove Australia’.
The restaurant that convinced you into thinking it was a New York restaurant was Corella in Woolloongabba. Woolloongabba is an inner city suburb most well known as the home of The Gabba, and has in the last decade become a vibrant hot spot of cafes, restaurants and inner city apartments that easily resembles a bustling New York city scape.
The exterior and the interior shots for the Seagull Café were filmed at ‘The Hamptons’ café Hendra. The café has unfortunately since closed, but fans of the film can still get a selfie out the front of the cafe at 49 Gerber Road, Hendra.
The fishing scene was filmed on the beautiful historic Shorncliffe Pier. Reaching over 350 metres into Bramble Bay, the Pier was originally built in 1884 and rebuilt and reopened in 2016. The Pier is the centre of attention in Queensland annually in April as it marks the start of the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race.
Scenes were also filmed showcasing the Moora Park rotunda at 65 Park Parade, Shorncliffe offering a vantage point to view the bay set in the cliff tops of Shorncliffe. The rotunda is a remnant of the bandstand from the late 19th century from a time where courting was still a celebrated past time requiring respectable public locations. When not being appreciated by the locals, the rotunda is available for functions, including weddings.
The Brighton, Sandgate and Shorncliffe foreshores also feature prominently as backdrops of many of the film’s scenes. Stretching 5.5 kilometres from Moora Park in Shorncliffe to Ted Smout Memorial Bridge in Brighton, the walk weaves in and out along the foreshore under shady trees and exposed sand flats offering views across Bramble Bay towards Redcliffe and a refreshing coastal breeze to revitalise your senses.
Doreen’s party scene in the film was shot on Baxter’s Jetty located at 72 Allpass Parade Shorncliffe. A popular spot for fishing, the jetty was named in honour of John Baxter who supplied the area with oysters in the 1800s. When not used for fishing, the Jetty is an ideal spot to eat your fish and chips from the shop across the road and take in the views of the trawlers and seagulls on Cabbage Tree Creek.
The locals have always appreciated that Shorncliffe and surrounds are one of those rare pieces of seaside escape not far from the city, and thanks to ‘Romance on the Menu‘ the sleepy seaside town has now been put on the global stage.
Getting there: Shorncliffe is about a 40 minute drive north of Brisbane. There are flights daily to Brisbane from all major cities.