James Street Lovin’ – Part 2
Nothing beats waking up in a plush hotel room surrounded by a sea of pillows fluffed to perfection, there is also nothing worse than waking up with a champagne hangover, both however are signs of a great night. Before I could fully open my eyes and switch on the coffee machine I experienced a vivid flashback: rooftop bar, espresso martinis, R. Kelly and a chicken fillet throwing competition.
But I wasn’t even wearing chicken fillets last night?
Before my mind could explore the logistics of who’s fillets I was throwing, I had forced myself out of bed and into a fluffy white robe. To my left there were two fresh towels for the rooftop pool or gym and while I was tempted to swim off the hangover I jumped in the shower instead. Despite my roaring headache, I couldn’t wait for todays activities to begin.
Upon exiting the Emporium Hotel I saw the little Patisserie I spied on my first visit to this area of Fortitude Valley. As I stood admiring the little sign ‘With enough coffee anything is possible’ a man in business suit swept past me and inside the quaint cafe.
He appeared to be in a rush, as he danced about trying to decide which pastry to have with his morning coffee. This moment reminded me of something i’d seen during a Sunday stroll in Montparnasse, Paris (Sunday Musings in Montparnasse).
While it was tempting to stay at the patisserie for a sweet and buttery treat, my hangover was longing for something a little more savoury. I called my friend Miss R for a breakfast recommendation and she directed us down a narrow alleyway to Campos Coffee.
CHIPS FOR BREAKFAST!? My inner skinny bitch demanded an explanation, but my wicked hangover cooed at the thought of those crispy chips hitting my lips. I’m not going to lie…This ‘Breakfast Burger’ went down a treat!
After breakfast it was time to take my little red dress for a spin around James Street. For the last few weeks I have been lusting over this dress online (here) However, since I am only allowed 30kg of luggage to take to London I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy anymore clothes. I’ve discovered when you’re poor and restricted by airline requirements you need to be inventive with the outfits you already own. I found this dress recently when I was cleaning out my wardrobe at my mum’s house. I had purchased this flowing red number in Barcelona when I was 15, fortunately I was a rather chubby 15 year old (thanks to the job in the ice cream shop) and now this dress still fits me perfectly!
Wandering through James Street felt as though I was strolling around the laneways of Melbourne and from one alleyway to another I found myself falling deeper in love with this area of Brisbane.
As I stopped to admire the lunch menu at Cantinho, an impeccably dressed man caught my eye. He was dining alone and rocking a light navy suit with a bright red pocket square. He instantly reminded me of the gents I saw walking to work in London earlier this year. This was certainly not the level of style and sophistication you’d expect to see in Brisbane, let alone Fortitude Valley!
Today James Street is a fusion of old, modern and ‘under construction’ spliced together.
When I lived in Brisbane, I felt as though the city struggled with having it’s own defining identity, especially in the seedier suburbs like Fortitude Valley. Brisbane just wasn’t as iconic as Sydney or as trendy as Melbourne, however I have now discovered that it’s purpose was to be the perfect blank canvas. After spending the last three weekends here I can see how a group of very clever Queenslanders (is there any better type of person?) have drawn inspiration from the world’s most beautiful cities. With a sense of style to rival Melbourne and housing prices less than half of what you would expect to pay in Sydney, this street could easily represent the rebirth of Brisbane.
This best bit – A mere five minute walk up the road you will bump into Brisbane’s own unique icon, the Story Bridge. Thanks to Queensland’s dreamy weather, this vista is as stunning and vibrant in August as it is in December.
Side note: I’m not a sponsored writer, I promote the places and things that I truly love so that you can experience them too. Thank you to my beautiful friend Miss J for introducing me to James Street, Fortitude Valley before I took off to London. It embodies all the things I love about Australia and so much more!