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A perfect summer weekend in Brisbane

Zip from brunch to bar to farmers’ market in Brisbane, we’ve mapped out an ideal weekend of all the city’s summertime hits.

Mojitos at Stoke Bar


6pm: Nothing dispels the end-of-working-week-fog better than a sharply constructed cocktail. At Maker (Fish Lane, Brisbane), a tiny, dimly lit cocktail bar, the surroundings are as chilled as the frosty drinks. Nab a stool at the window on Fish Lane and scope out fellow guests across the broad brass-topped bar. An icy slurry of Botanic Australis gin, rosato, kiwifruit and lime is crowned with tarragon, or opt for a more low-key but equally restorative glass of BK rosé.

8.00pm: Smart drinkers will have left names earlier in the evening either at Maker sibling, Gauge (south 4101, 77 Grey St, South Brisbane), a quick stumble around the corner, or at next-door Julius Pizzeria (77 Grey St, South Brisbane). Gauge chef Cormac Bradfield’s nuanced share plates are as adventurous as they are well-conceived. At Julius, the carte is easy, breezy Italian, from classic wood-fired pizze to flirty staff.

Julius Pizzeria, South Brisbane.

10.30pm:  More drinks? A short cab ride will take you to Paddington’s only honkytonk, Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall (15 Caxton St, Brisbane) for hip-swingin’ good times, whiskey and fresh apple juice. Or visit the new addition, a NOLA-conjuring cocktail affair, Seymour’s Oysters & Cocktails (19 Caxton St, Petrie Terrace), next door.

Related: A perfect summer weekend in Melbourne




8am: A uplifting cup of Mariage Freres tea or well-made Bear Bones coffee and a croissant with confiture, eaten in the boho surrounds of Vieille Branche‘s airy warehouse space (10 Fox St, Albion) will supply energy for a walk down the Brisbane river at Newstead, before browsing The Jan Powers Farmers Market at The Powerhouse (119 Lamington St, New Farm).

Vieille Branche, Albion.

11am: Afterwards, on to neighbouring Fortitude Valley and brunch in the Modernist laneway surrounds of Gerard’s Bistro (14/15 James St, Fortitude Valley). Fork up shakshuka, perhaps, or black pudding with Manchego custard, smoked almonds and flamed grapes. Then visit Scrumptious Reads (5, 6/19 James St, Fortitude Valley) to top up supplies of artisan Japanese pantry nice-to-haves like Yamaki Jozo naturally fermented shoyu, or jar of Wadaman black sesame paste.

1pm: Ignore James St’s other retail distractions – yes, even Pottery Barn – well, maybe a short trawl. Head to South Bank and into the light-filled, beautifully air-conditioned sanctuary of QAGOMA (Stanley Pl, South Brisbane) which celebrates its 10 birthday in December.  

3.30pm: Late afternoon swim? You could hit the surf at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast in little more than an hour. After cooling off, pretty up and watch the moon rise from your ocean-front table at Rick Shores (3/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads). It’s not just the best ocean views on the east coast that are on offer here. There’s also local Burleigh Brewing’s 28 Pale ale on tap, a raft of spice friendly wines and smart snacks like char sui pork with pickled green tomato and Sichuan snapper bao. Still hungry? Stick around for lamb shank Massaman, or a yellow curry of king prawn.

Rick Shores, Burleigh Heads.

10pm: Back to Brisbane in time for a nightcap against the stately heritage backdrop of the city’s favourite and friendliest bar, The Gresham (308 Queen St, Brisbane).



8am:Northey St Organic Market (16 Victoria St, Windsor) plays out in the heart of the city every Sunday, under shady trees. Sure, you can get supplies for the week ahead and seedlings for your garden – but odds are, you’ll feel better just for visiting. Have an organic coffee or some draught kombucha. After unpacking the spoils at home, make tracks for inner-city Paddington.

11am: Phone ahead to get added to the wait list at Naïm Café (formerly known as Shouk Café, 14 Collingwood St, Paddington), housed in a cute Queenslander cottage, conveniently located across the road from Paddington Antique Centre. Beneath the arched blue ceiling of the heritage listed former Plaza Theatre are dozens of dealers offering everything from antique watches to ’50s furniture.  

2pm: A trawl down Latrobe Terrace, with its eclectic mix of boutiques, bars and cafés?  You’ll need another drink. Seek out breezes down river at South Bank overlooking the mangroves at Stoke Bar (Siddon St, Southbank), the more casual adjunct of Stokehouseq, the home of the long lunch. An afternoon DJ session, a glass of something chilled and plate of serrano, crab sliders or rye crispbread and prawns and Sunday will slip away.  


5pm: Authentic gelato from La Macelleria (10-29 Florence St, Teneriffe) will sweeten the late afternoon and provide a second wind for a trip to The Triffid (7-9 Stratton St, Newstead) a quirky live music venue opened in an old backstreet hangar by former Powderfinger bass guitarist JC John Collins. The adjoining beer garden is a cool spot for a final cold one.

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