Alas, it is that time of year again. It’s time for snuggies, hot chocolate, chicken soup, woolly scarfs and hitting the snooze button at least five times before you pull yourself out of bed. With a visit to the beach (or the outdoors in general) out of the question due to the freezing temperatures, Brisbane as I’ve found out has heaps of pretty awesome places to kill time on a chilly day (No promises that they’re warm though!). Here are my top 8 picks in no particular order. I apologize for the abundance of food places… clearly my stomach is helping me write this blog post.
Max Brenner, master chocolatier has brought his amazingly successful franchise to Brisbane! With a cosy, cocoa inspired interior and a mix of rustic and modern furnishings, this is one place I frequent when my friends and I are in need of a cup of deliciously warming hot chocolate. The smell of decadence just wafts through the air as you step in and you are presented with a menu that can put Willy Wonka to shame. Located within the Southbank Parklands, it is a chilly walk to the store but the walk is well worth it. Their hot chocolate comes in a cute “hug cup” that has no handle, allowing you to cup your frozen hands around it while you sip on your choice of dark, milk or white hot chocolate. Visit on weekdays at around afternoon tea time to avoid the snaking queues that form after 6.00pm.
Try: Tutti Frutti Belgian Waffles, Hot Chocolate, Chocolate fondue, Chocolate Pizza.
Shop 1.1 & 1.2 Stanley Street Plaza,
How about a little bit of France in Brisvegas? Adorned with a not-so-miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower, this is the perfect place to talk about warm things while enjoying a hot cup of coffee. The food is alright and the cakes are quite delicious but what you come here for is the atmosphere. Sitting on woven chairs and watching the mini coopers drive by, time seems to just fly by as you chat the night away under the glowing blue lights of the Eiffel Tower. My favourite time to visit is late at night, where you can sip on hot lattes, share cake and catch up with a few friends without a care in the world.
Try: Coffees and Cakes.
Shop 16, 30 Park Rd,
Leave the mi-goreng and the Maggi instant noodles for a day, Hakataya Noodle Bar is where you get the real deal. Tucked in a small corner of the Southside’s suburb of Sunnybank lies a quaint little Japanese eatery specialising in traditional Japanese ramen. Their special, deliciously porky broth is made by simmering pork bones for a long time, resulting in a milky broth that is both flavourful and good for you! (Collagen coming from the bones is apparently amazing for skin). With springy noodles and melt in your mouth pork, it is warm, comforting and heaven with every mouthful. They only offer a few things on their menu but honestly, it is more than enough to keep the customers coming back for more. If travelling here, be aware that it’s incredibly busy in winter and the wait will be long but trust me, it is worth every single minute of your time. Note that they do sell out very quickly (sometimes they run out of soup at 3pm) so it’s recommended to get in early.
Try: Nagahama Ramen (item 1), Chashu Ramen (Item 2). I like mine with a dash of chilli oil.
Shop 27b Sunnybank Plaza
Cnr Mains Rd & McCullough Street,
I believe everyone in Brisbane knows of GOMA and have hopefully at least visited at least once. It is certainly no Louvre but on a cold winter day, nothing beats the warmth and beauty of GOMA’s exhibitions. Just finished at GOMA was the 21st Century exhibition where you see that art is never just pictures but giant slides, Lego playsets and balloon rooms. You never know what you might find interesting and it’s a free, educational, warm and brain-stimulating way to kill time on a lazy chilly day.
Tourist destination by day, twinkling light show by night. If you haven’t been to Mt. Coo-tha before, I highly suggest planning a trip there. High up in the mountains is a view over the entire city of Brisbane. From here, see the skyscrapers of Brisbane city and buildings of UQ St. Lucia as well as the many houses littered throughout the Brisbane landscape. Visit at twilight and stay for a while as you watch night fall and the city light up gradually. The good thing about winter is that on most nights, the sky is amazingly clear so along with the city lights, you might be able to see the glimmer of stars in the sky. Bring warm clothes, a hug or cuddle buddy and you’ll be set to watch Brisbane’s own light show.
1012 Sir Samuel Griffith Dr,
One of the best foods for winter is definitely pancakes. Drenched in warm maple syrup, butterscotch sauce and whipped cream, this is no doubt one of winter’s most sinful delights. Where to get it? Pancake Manor of course! Open 24 hours a day, this is your go to place for rainy days and midnight cravings. They have a fairly extensive assortment of pancakes with all sorts of delicious toppings, ranging from the humble maple syrup and cream to the sinful double chocolate with ice cream. They have excellent waffles and amazing… and I mean AMAZING aioli and is fairly decently priced to boot. They do get busy so be prepared to wait during peak periods. Beat the line and go at 3 am 😉
18 Charlotte Street,
Try: Buttermilk Pancakes, Waffles, Wedges/Chips with Aioli
Something closer to home, the Roundhouse is home to great entertainment at a reasonable price. I remember I used to come here often with my high school drama class and every single time, the performances were excellent and very entertaining. The LaBoite theatre company puts on a myriad of different performances every single season and they are of top quality at a bottom price. With a theatre-in-the-round stage, the roundhouse offers a unique experience unlike any other theatre. Check out the website for upcoming plays and to book tickets. You won’t be disappointed!
8. Yatala Drive-In Movies, Stapylton
For licensed drivers, there is only one thing better than late night maccas runs: Late night drive in movies. Situated halfway to the coast at Yatala, this drive in theatre is quaint, simply run and such good value. Bring picnic chairs, lots of snacks and blankets, some hot chocolate and you’ll be ready for a movie marathon under the stars. Two giant cinema screens situated at each end of the ‘carpark’ provide you with the view and speakers on poles on each side of each parking space provide for audio. You can also tune into the cinema’s radio station if you decide to stay in the car. You have a choice of paying for several movies or just paying for one but I think staying for two is best value. Movies start at 6 and you can choose from six movies, driving to whichever screen you like for which movie.
100 Jacobs Well Road,
So those are my top 8 for now. Doesn’t seem like it but Brisbane has lots to see and lots to do and I’m constantly looking out for more. So readers, what are your favourite spots? Leave them in a comment below 😀 Good luck for all your exams, the holidays are just around the corner!!!