James Street Lovin’ – Part 1
It’s official, I’m school girl giddy about my latest discovery! It all started when my best friend, Miss R invited me to stay at her apartment in Fortitude Valley, an inner city suburb of Brisbane famous for it’s tequila shots, strip clubs and regretful one night stands. When I was 17 I lived in Brisbane for a year and definitely experienced my fair share of nights out in “The Valley”. My most graphic memory would have to be nearly going home with a man with one eye and no teeth but hey, that’s another story!
It perplexed me how such a sweet, beautiful creature like Miss R could live amidst the sex crazed night owls of Brisbane’s filthiest party district. However, since she had lived in the Valley for over a year and bared not so much as a scar from a mascara wand I thought it would be safe to go and visit her.
You can imagine my surprise when I arrived outside a flashy new apartment complex directly across from The Emporium Hotel which had a Ferrari lined up in the drive. The area was littered with boutique restaurants and a little French patisserie promised warm buttery delights.
When Miss R emerged from her marble foyer and outside into the warm Queensland air to greet me I couldn’t believe my eyes. I seriously expected her to live above a kebab shop!
Instead of going into a long winded story about how much Brisbane has evolved I thought I might just show you myself.
First things first, check into the Emporium Hotel, which is exactly what I did last weekend…
Their rates are incredibly affordable for a luxury hotel with rooms starting from $199 per night. Highlights including a gym, cocktail style bar and fab roof top pool.
The Emporium Hotel is on the fringe of the James Street precinct, my new obsession! James Street is unlike any other street in Brisbane or Australia for that matter. It is almost like a group of first-class architects, stylists and town planners got together in a garden bar with a bottle of rosé and said “How can we design the most fabulous street in the world?”.
There must be brilliant coffee, spectacular ivy swathed on white tiled walls and really attractive people.
Oh yes and there must be wine bars…Lots and lots of wine bars.
There are no shortage of boutique wine bars on James Street and after plenty of deliberation we finally decided on Cru Bar for our boozy Sunday lunch. It is a smart-casual open plan restaurant with mouth watering food and wine menus.
If you’re not sure what to order, it’s always a good idea to try a little bit of everything! I particularly loved the halloumi, roast pumpkin and feta pizza and brie cheese with figs and quince paste.
After my second glass of red, James Street had me feeling all starry eyed. We ditched our original plans of going shopping at Mecca, Lululemon and Zimmerman (just some of the names in the James Street fashion directory) and instead wandered up the street to Miss R’s top pick for a Sunday afternoon drink, Sixes and Sevens.
Sixes and Sevens is possibly the most stylish gastropub you’ve ever seen. Order at the revamped bar and sit anywhere in the beer garden that takes your fancy, it’s that easy!
You know that feeling when the sun is shining, the live band is playing and your happiness levels are climbing with every sip of wine? Yeah, well that’s when my mind goes to one place and one place only…
The sexiest rooftop bar in Brisbane with chilled house and R&B music that plays all afternoon long and into the evening. We quickly popped back to the hotel to change into something a little more appropriate (tight jeans, white shirt and a bright red lip) before heading up the road to Eleven Rooftop Bar to catch the sunset. The beauty of staying at the Emporium is that everything you need is within walking distance. No need to hire a car or even hail a taxi and why would you want to when it’s a delicious 24 degrees outside, even in the middle of Winter?
The best thing about this area of Brisbane is that it doesn’t feel like Brisbane, even this venue reminded me more of a rooftop terrace in New York’s Meatpacking District than classic Fortitude Valley.
So yes, you’d be smiling too if you were perched on a rooftop terrace eleven stories high above the city, with a drink in your hand and the song “So Into You” by Fabulous playing in the background.
I never thought I’d say this but…
Brisbane – I really like what you’ve…done to me, I can’t really explain it, I’m so into you.