Do you have a favourite bar? A No.1 fall-back place you know and love with a passion, at which you always choose to meet loved ones and celebrate all of life’s many ups and downs?
For me, that place is Brisbane’s multi-award winning Emporium Hotel Cocktail Bar at the upmarket Fortitude Valley precinct. I adore its cosy, luxurious red velvet chairs; scrumptious food and to-die-for cocktails; and its sumptuous, enticing interior, including a grand onyx bar overlit by an amazingly opulent, antique crystal German chandelier, originally from a castle in Europe, home to elegant debutante balls. Then there’s the bar’s exquisite stained-glass wall which was originally a Parisian shopfront crafted more than 100 years ago. What’s not to love?
NB: This is an unsponsored story – I recently stayed at Emporium Hotel and revisited my fave bar as part of a birthday present from my husband, but such is my love for the place, I thought I’d act as a kind of tour guide here. So, if you’re fortunate enough to visit the sunshine state during winter – when the weather is still very mild and warm – as a long-time local, this is definitely where I reckon you should go.
In fact, I’ve consumed so many celebratory cocktails with my friends at Emporium, I’m left wondering why there isn’t, in fact, one named after me? Just joking; I’ve marked engagements, marriages and babies; new love; lost loves and loved one’s deaths, all with a cocktail in hand there.
And, speaking of cocktails, the Emporium Hotel has just released its Winter Wonderland cocktail menu with which to warm the cockles, celebrate shorter days and brave the cooler nights. The menu plays homage to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland – now, there’s a white rabbit hole I’d gladly fall down! Each section of the menu is inspired by a chapter from the much loved book-turned-movie – some that reference back directly to the title and others the subject within.
I tried an aptly titled cocktail for my big birthday night out called Mother’s Ruin (pictured) from the enigmatic Chapter Two: The Pool of Tears chapter. It was an amazing blend of Beefeater Gin, lime juice, sugar syrup and Angostura Bitters. And no, I’m happy to say there were no tears afterwards; just many happy feel-good quaffing moments.
Emporium Hotel Food & Beverage Operations Manager Katrina York says the menu is unique in Brisbane. “The Emporium Hotel’s new Winter Wonderland features a range of uniquely crafted beverages and winter warmers, to spiced varieties and fruity blends with a twist, and is sure to lure locals out from under their covers this winter,” Katrina says.
“The Emporium Hotel menu has unique traits no-one knows about. We grow our own herbs, which creates the garnish on each cocktail, and we have our own beehive on the roof of the hotel, with which we source our honey from for the food and beverage menus – adding an extra Emporium signature to the Winter Wonderland range.”
And the luxury hotel can also lay claim to an impressive array of accolades including recently being inducted into the Queensland Tourism Awards Hall of Fame and Winner: Best Luxury Accommodation, Queensland Tourism Awards 2014, 2013, 2012.
You can also enjoy a new Emporium Suite & Cosy Winter Package until August 31. It includes overnight accommodation in a room type of your choice; a bottle of red wine and a warming lavender wheat bag and Molton Brown massage oil on arrival; continental breakfast for two, served in-suite and late check-out at noon. Rates start from $249 per night. Check it out! Many happy cocktails to you, too.