I spent this week in Brisbane, and it absolutely flew by.
The weather was gorgeous for most of my visit, with blue skies, warm sunshine and it was almost always about 20 degrees – sometimes as high as 26 or 27! I love Autumn in Queensland!
In true Brisbane form, there was one epic storm during my stay, which started with rain and ended with floods. Fortunately, my friends and family weren’t affected, most of Brisbane’s flooding was relatively minor – nothing like the devastating floods of 2012.
Waking up every morning in my old bedroom was a dream. My light, airy room and the early sunshine in Brisbane meant I woke up naturally, which is so preferable to waking up by an alarm in the dark. Instead of waking up to sirens screaming and trucks sitting on their horns, I woke up to birds singing and the gentle hum of daily life at home – the coffee machine, the clinking of glasses and cutlery and the morning news playing faintly in the background.
After living in Melbourne for three months, I started to see Brisbane with new eyes. It’s not that I didn’t love living in Brisbane – I knew I was onto something good, and appreciated the lifestyle, weather and how beautiful the city is. But this time I noticed little things I couldn’t notice as special, when I was living there.
Like the beautiful flowers, blissfully unaware that it’s the middle of Autumn.
Like the palm trees, everywhere. One of my favourite things when I moved to Melbourne was the plane trees everywhere, especially how they change colour in the autumn. When I came back to Brisbane, it was the palm trees everywhere which I loved.
I love living in Melbourne, and the sounds of the city comes with the perks of city life. But it was so nice to wake up at home. I felt like I was on holiday every morning when I woke up.
Maybe I’m hanging out in the wrong places in Melbourne, but there’s something about Brisbane that makes me want to be healthy and fit and a more positive, peaceful person. I’m trying to bring back some of those good health vibes with me to Melbourne this time!
Where to eat & drink in Brisbane
I started the week with breakfast at Scout on Petrie Terrace with my friend from highschool, Claire. Their juice was amazing, but I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed by the Smashed Avocado – there wasn’t much to it apart from the sourdough and heaps of avocado, usually cafes put their own spin on it to make it a little more interesting. Claire got the breakfast bagel, which incited major breakfast envy.
My Moga dinner date with Stef, another highschool friend, had to have a literal rain check, thanks to Friday night’s thunderous downpour. I did manage to get my Moga fix on Saturday with Mum. Sushi and Champagne are strange but excellent bedfellows. I haven’t found a sushi bar to rival Moga. It’s the only upmarket sushi train I know of, making it just as perfect casual catch ups and drop in lunches as it is for date nights and even my pre-graduation lunch.
My best friend from birth, Chloe, and I indulged in a so-thick-you-need-a-spoon Italian hot chocolates at Dolce Vita on Park Road, a local institution that still has the iconic miniature eiffel tower atop the building, despite transforming into an Italian restaurant years and years ago. The Italian hot chocolate at Dolce Vita is the best hot chocolate in the world, in my opinion,
My other must-visit during my trip was Shouk in Paddington. It’s my favourite cafe in town, so Mum, Dad & I had lunch there on Tuesday. The Israeil-meets-Modern-Australian menu meant we all were deliberating for AGES over what to order, and having first hand experience with half of the delicious menu only made it harder. I surprised myself, already influenced by Brisbane’s good health vibes the day after arriving, and ordered the Health Bowl. It was delicious and so filling, I’ve been inspired to make my own back in Melbourne!
My grandparents came over for morning tea on Saturday, and it was lovely to see them and catch up on what had been happening with our family.
I don’t think I’ve ever watched so many movies in such a short amount of time.
I’ve got a long list of movies I want to watch, most of them “classics” laden with cultural references that I just keep missing. I’ve become a recent fan of the British rom-com (so cheesy, yet so deadpan with just the right of bitterness throughout), so I thought I should watch the rom-com that pioneered the genre – When Harry Met Sally.
Since both my sister and I were feeling under the weather, and Brisbane had been washed out the night before, I spent Saturday night in for a movie night with my family. We watched Disney classic Mulan first, to find a movie my little brother would enjoy, that the rest of the family would enjoy too, and then after he went to bed, I watched When Harry Met Sally with my parents.
I also watched Almost Famous with my sister and her boyfriend during the week, and was surprised how much I actually enjoyed it – music movies don’t often do it for me, but I can see why this one was so popular.
The night Mum & I were meant to watch WHMS, it was going to take an hour and a half to download on iTunes (seriously it would be faster to illegally download it), so we subbed in Keeping the Faith, one of my Mum’s favourite movies. It was cute and funny, with plenty of jokes to break up any scenes dangerously close to being too mushy.
West End Markets
My favourite way to start the weekend in Brisbane is going to the Davies Park Markets in West End with my Dad, and this weekend was no different. Half the market was closed because of the previous night’s rain, but there was still plenty of delicious food to buy. We bought figs, salmon, olives, falafel and other yummy bits and pieces, for a delicious lunch we made on Sunday.
The South Melbourne markets are wonderful, and much bigger, but you can’t beat the relaxed ambience of an outdoor market, shaded by the trees.
Costumes from the Golden Age of Hollywood
In the afternoon, Mum & I visited the Brisbane Museum’s Costumes of the Golden Age of Hollywood exhibition. If you’re in Brisbane, I urge you to check it out before it closes on May 24!
It is the best fashion exhibition I have ever seen!
The collection had soul, because it was full of beautiful costumes, but it was about more than just the dress. It was about the time it was made in, the movie it played a part in, the designer who created it and the star who wore it.
We saw dresses worn by Grace Kelly, Gloria Swanston, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Mitzi Gaynor, Ginger Rogers and so many more.
I feel so lucky that Brisbane has a collector like Nicholas Inglis, and even more so that he was generous enough to share part of his collection with the public!
Am I Coming or Going?
Leaving last night, I felt much sadder than I expected to. I thought it would be easier this time, because I was leaving knowing I was going back to a life I loved in Melbourne.
I love living here and I’m grateful for every day I have in Melbourne, but Brisbane proved to have a stronger hold on my heart than I previously thought.
I always felt lucky to have grown up in Brisbane, but I thought I only really missed my family and friends. As it turned out, I miss Brisbane too.
Driving to Moga with Mum on Saturday, I found myself declaring that I was going to buy a house in Paddington or Rosalie one day. This came as a bit of a surprise to me, because before this I’d always thought I’d “probably” settle down in Brisbane one day, because it’s a great place to live, have a family etc. But I didn’t commit too much, or feel that strongly about it. Until I suddenly did.
I was sad to leave, but I felt grateful to have such a beautiful family, lovely friends and a beautiful city to come home to. I also feel really lucky to have an exciting, beautiful city like Melbourne to call my second home, complete with a wonderful group of friends that I’ve made in the short time that I’ve been here. I think I’ve got the best of both worlds.