When you’re in the depths of winter in the U.K. and you imagine what life would be like if you lived in a place where it was almost always sunny with plenty of things to do and restaurants to eat at, that place is Brisbane.
So, what does a day in the life of your best self in cosmopolitan Brisbane look like, then?
We’re assuming this version of you has acquired a fashionable, perhaps postmodern apartment in one of the city’s trendiest areas, such as Fortitude Valley, Paddington or New Farm; trendy suburban life is what Brisbane is all about.
The day begins by meandering through your local neighbourhood and following the sweet aroma of a local bakery for some artisanal coffee and freshly made patisserie. Our top picks include Christian Jacques, Agnes Street Bakery and Sprout Bakery. As you take that initial sip of coffee and sink your first bite into the freshly made dough, a feeling of pure content surges through your body and takes residence for the day. The sun is shining and you can just tell it’s going to be a good day.
Equipped with the vigour afforded to you by coffee beans and a delicate almond croissant, you contemplate where your curiosity will take you next. It's warm but the presence of a pleasant breeze invites you to take a stroll through the expansive Roma Street Parkland. This leafy pocket of the city features various gardens and waterways and contemporary designs.
After a leisurely walk, you decide it’s time for a more substantial meal to punctuate a day of taking in the culture and beauty of Brisbane. You opt for Donna Chang, an elegant dining venue located in the CBD's (Central Business District) Adina Apartment Hotel. Donna Change serves guests elevated Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine in a neo-classical setting. Supremely fresh and high quality ingredients are prepared by Executive Chef Jake Nicolson and Head Chef Lyndon Tyers. When dining in this establishment, an understanding and appreciation of the culinary artistry produced by Donna Chang is de rigueur.
From Donna Chang, you cross over Victoria Bridge on your way to one of Brisbane’s most desirable areas, South Bank. This is an idyllic precinct where leafy green spaces are overlooked by the city’s modern skyscrapers. Here, you can walk and cycle along the riverbank or even go for a swim in the ever-popular Street Beach swimming pool.
But for now, oeuvres by some of Australia’s pre-eminent artists beckon at the Gallery of Modern Art. You make your way around, reflecting on works from both Australian and international artists and even catch one of the upcoming exhibitions. Taking some time out for contemplation evokes a greater appreciation of Queensland and the artists that have made their name here.
Afterwards you stroll along South Beach, making a quick stop off to appreciate the Nepalese Peace Pagoda: one of Brisbane’s oldest heritage items from World Expo ’88. This intricate building was carved by 160 Nepalese families and provides a space of quiet and tranquillity surrounded by tall Bamboos.
Brisbane is a very walkable city, so making your way around on foot is perfect as it lets you really get to know the city, but you’ve definitely done enough walking for the day, so you take a taxi home to freshen up and get ready for an evening of laughter and great food.
There’s only one place on your mind for some pre-dinner drinks with friends and that’s Howard Smith Wharves. On the banks of Brisbane River under Story Bridge, this urban hangout is at the beating heart of Brisbane’s entertainment scene. Quite simply put, the drinks are ice cold and the vibes are immaculate. You head to Mr. Percival’s—a European beach club-inspired bar—to order a refreshing aperitif as you have dinner reservations at one of the hottest restaurants in town later this evening. Tonight’s sprightly countenance is brought to you by one of Mr Percival’s famous cocktails.
As the sunset casts delightful orange hues over the city and provides a warm glow, you take a short walk to Agnes, which has recently been voted as Australia’s restaurant of the year by Gourmet Traveller. The whole concept behind Agnes is really engaging: everything is fuelled by fire. Creativity is the special ingredient in bringing simple ingredients to life; a talented group of chefs even use different types of wood such as apple wood and cherry wood to create flavours so divine that your hitherto unacquainted palate thank you for. The interior is minimal but Agnes’ unapologetically meaty, smoky serenade is what you’re here for. You order wood-roasted duck, smoked prune and onion followed by a choux bun with milk, honey and macadamia as a sweet treat. As an exquisite day in Brisbane approaches its conclusion, you head to Agnes’ wine bar where an extensive list of boutique wines accompanies you and your friends for the remainder of the evening.