Sweet (Fortitude) Valley high
Sometimes I feel like I am turning beige with middle age. I wear a lot of stripes and pearls. I go to bed early and get excited about steamed vegetables.
But then I went to Fortitude Valley in Brisbane and rediscovered the joy of reckless eating and drinking.
My friends and I went up for the Liverpool FC game at Suncorp Stadium which I was hoping would be all thuggery and bloodlust. Sadly no. It was about as passionate as a kiss on the cheek from Margaret Thatcher.
Spiritless sportsball aside, we had fun. Brisbane is easy to get around, awash as it is in available maxi taxis.
We stayed at Tryp Hotel in Fortitude Valley that, as luck would have it, is smack dab in the middle of everything I like.
Starting with kiwi chef Warren Turnbull’s Chur Burger downstairs and then wandering two blocks to the left to Alfred and Constance for green chilli scrambled eggs, gingerbread buttermilk pancakes and mimosas, all your hangover cure requirements are catered for.
In the afternoon, we met up with one of my favourite local ladies and went to The Powerhouse, a theatre, gallery and bar on the Brisbane River, for sundowners. This is a short taxi ride from the Valley and offers a glimpse into the fanciness that is New Farm.
Upon our return to the hotel, we popped next door to Kerbside. Set inside a garage, it’s a bar that’s all couches and graffiti with bar staff who want you to have fun.
Then we went to Sabotage, another uni-style bar where they play hip-hop, heavy metal and serve a drink called a Marilyn Monroe that tastes suspiciously like Red Bull.
Finally, with a skinful of Fireball and Kraken shots, we washed up at Cloudland, a Merivale-esque type of establishment with lots of girls dancing in circles. It was great.
The morning was a little slower, with two rooms out of three receiving wake up/get out calls. We stumbled, crusty-eyed, towards breakfast salvation at a place called Spoon Deli Café, sadly missing the breakfast menu and settling for the B version all day option.
To finish it all off, we went to QAGOMA to check out their collection – which is impressive, beautifully housed and logically laid out – for a final dose of Brisbane culture.
Where are your favourite places in Brisbane?