I love having a few glasses of wine on a lazy Sunday. Whether it’s at the races, a wedding or a cheeky Sunday session, the sensation of getting a leisurely buzz in the Brisbane sunshine makes me extraordinarily happy, even though it only takes me a glass or two.
Another thing I love to do is eat, so combine these two, throw in some good company and IMHO you have the makings of a fantastic day out. Once glass of rosé turns into a bottle, and before you know it the drinks are flowing as freely as the conversation.
Here are a few suggested settings for a lovely ladies lunch in Brisbane, an innocent get together that may or may not get a little messy.
French Martini – South Bank
French Martini is first up due to the fact that some of the She Brisbane writers and I were recently here for an extended lunch session. We loved the lipstick-pink couches and there’s a three course Express Lunch Menu for $35 that takes the effort out of ordering so you can focus on the wine list. The real star of the show was Reggie, our very French, very patient water.
The Burrow – West End
It’s famous for its pizza, quirky art and craft beers, and has recently moved to a converted cottage on Russell Street. I feel a bit edgier as soon as I walk through those pretty blue-edged glass doors, a feeling that only increases as I sip on my locally brewed ale. Two big thumbs up for the Mango Beer and the vegetarian pizza; whoever decided to add potato as a topping has changed my life.
Sixes and Sevens – James Street, New Farm
Sixes and Sevens has become so much of a Brisbane staple that I almost take it for granted, but I still love the vibe of the good-looking crowd that spills out onto the fake lawn. The bar serves up glasses, carafes or half carafes of wine, which is handy when you’ve got a few people on red and a few on white. Starting at lunchtime ensures you can establish a spot before the night crowd descends!
The Story Bridge Hotel – Kangaroo Point
As a born-and-bred Brisbane girl I associate the Story Bridge Hotel with Australia Day parties, but there’s a lot more going on in this iconic pub than two-up. Main Street Bar & Eatery is super cute, strongly air conditioned, and in the same building as three other bars where your lunch can continue until the wee hours. They also have a range of enticing smoothies for any designated drivers or mums-to-be.
Customs House Restaurant, CBD
If you’re feeling a bit fancy then splash out at Customs House; there’s a killer view of the river, with a very exciting, very recent addition; an outdoor pop-up cocktail bar. The Sunset Spritz Bar is in partnership with Aperol, and after sipping on this citrusy Italian aperitif mixed with Prosecco and soda I kind of felt like I was in partnership with them too.
There’s a modest selection of light bites offered between 1pm – 5pm on Sundays, and some deliciously squishy beanbags to aid your total relaxation.
Eatons Hill Hotel – Eatons Hill
Any far north-siders will probably have raised a glass at the EH at some point, and the quality of live acts that this fancy pub puts on never fails to delight me –anyone keen for Panic! At the Disco in January? There’s plenty of room for activities, a hearty pub grub menu and a chilled out vibe that means that both families and parties are equally welcomed, although the weekends can get full on.
Libertine – The Barracks, Petrie Terrace
If you can sneak in during the week, Libertine offers a $29 four-course lunch with a glass of wine on workdays. The décor is almost as pleasing as the delicious French/ Vietnamese fusion dishes, and there’s a seven-course, gluten-free banquet menu that is available at lunch or dinner. I love Libertine because it makes me feel fancy without breaking the bank. If I’m being honest, they had me at the $14 Pink Lychee Cosmo and the juicy Bangalow pork spring rolls.
The Defiant Duck – Gasworks, Newstead
This intriguingly named restaurant is located in the snazzy Gasworks complex. Despite its fancy location, the menu gets down to earth with bursty burgers and a variety of American, fried goodness. Live music sets the mood from 2pm on a Sunday, but you hardly need it; the atmosphere is schmick yet laid-back, inviting you to turn your lunch into an all-day event.
La Quinta, Bulimba
No restaurant list of mine would be complete without some Mexican involved, and La Quinta gets a look in thanks to its fresh food and funky vibe. You can BYO wine, but if you like Pina Coladas (haha) why would you bother? Reasonably priced Margaritas, crunchy, edible tortilla bowls, and an upbeat atmosphere set the scene for a festive lunch indeed.