I love Brisbane

i-love-brisbaneFlying into this north-flung city, I had no strong feelings. I had always assumed that Brisbane would be an extension of the Gold Coast. More glitz, more high rise, more muggy nights spent drinking under neon.

I was wrong.

Brisbane offers up everything I hold dear in a whimsical, frontier setting. There are crooked sailing boats moored in the river, barely contained tropical wilderness spilling from every available inch of earth and colourful nooks of liveliness at every turn.

I was lucky to have a very gracious host (thank you Mel) who did all the hard work for me. All I had to do was arrive and after that, everything was taken care of. What a blissful start to a holiday!

Here are the places I loved the most:

Paladar Fumior Salon: This Cuban-themed hole-in-the-wall is run by a very bossy, magnificently bearded man who will knock you out a perfectly barrista-ed coffee in the time it takes to gaze around happily at the hundreds of cigar boxes that line the walls.

Sassafras: Imagine a cafe run by the couple from the BBC’s Good Life. Remember them? The hippies that lived next door to the posh couple? Sassafras has a menu replete with gluten-free goodies that make you feel as though you have stepped into a rainbow. All the staff are cheery vintage-clad hipsters; a rarity, non?

Salon: The cocktail menu is about 50 pages long. No kidding. Boasting some seriously obscure and unrecognisable ingredients, Mel, Rachael (the second amigo) and I decided that Salon would be the perfect place to go on a first date. So many drinks to get through! It’s a fairly unassuming looking little bar but you will be entertained for hours whilst studiously getting pissed. You will surely leave with a much lighter wallet and possibly a new husband whose name you can’t remember.

But the best thing about Brisbane? The Queenslander houses that line every street – I love them I love them I love them. I want one I want one I want one.

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