Fall Down The Rabbit Hole At Luxury Brisbane Hotspot

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?

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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?

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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June 24, 2015

Coolest bars in Australia

We’ve got the low down on the coolest bars from coast to coast. Get your drinking shoes on and check them out!BrisbaneThe Lychee Lounge

2/94 Boundary Street, West End. Phone 07 3846 0544.

If it’s vodka you crave down Bris Vega way, head to the hip West End and make a bee line for the Lychee Lounge, for what is surely the best cocktail list in town. Try a champagne and lychee shooter, or make your own with the help of the dashing young barmen…



Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay. Phone 02 8273 1222.

Serious cocktail lovers flock to the revamped Overseas Passenger Terminal in the Rocks for their regular fix. And while the cocktail list (more like a book) has to be seen to be believed, you won’t believe the view you get of the Sydney Opera House.

Water Bar

6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo. Phone 02 9331 9000.

It’s not often you walk into a bar and think “I want to own every stick of furniture in the place.” You do at Water Bar. Sexy people and delicious cocktails in a slinky harbour style.


Trinity Bar

28 Challis Street, Dickson.

Wildfire, Sydney

5010.Slink inside the slinky interiors of the Trinity Bar and feast your eyes what is reputedly some of the capital’s best eye candy. Yep, the staff at this place are almost as famous as the drinks. Try a chocolate flavoured martini on for size…Corvo’s

West Row, Canberra. Phone 02 6262 7898.

The first port of call for the capital’s Bolly Dolly set, Corvo’s is the perfect place to sip a long frosted stem of bubbles while shucking down a few oysters… Keep your eyes peeled for local hunky sporting legends too!


The Kitten Club

267 Little Collins Street, Melbourne. Phone 03 9650 2448.

Reminiscent of the sexy and stylish nightspots of the 50s and 60s, The Kitten Club is a warm and charming venue offering drinking, dancing and great food. Don’t miss The Powder Room the perfect place to refresh one?s make-up, while The Love Lounge is

plush, pink and red, quilted room is the perfect place to escape your friends and canoodle with your lover.Gin Palace190 Little Collins Street, Melbourne. Phone 03 9654 0533.

If martinis are your thing, you can’t go past the lavish interiors of the Gin Palace. Famously good-looking bar staff serve first class cocktails in a bar that’s way more chic than shabby. The perfect antidote to all this Vodka-bar madness.


Duckboard Place, City. Phone 03 9662 4555.

Arguably the best cocktail list in town, Honkytonks is renowned for serving cool cocktails (think lychee flavoured martinis) to an even cooler crowd. With decor that reeks of Liberace, it’s no surprise to find that the DJ booth is nestled inside a baby grand piano… Groovy baby.


Moskva bar

192 Hindley Street, Adelaide. Phone 08 8211 9007.

Inner-city chandeliers au-go-go at this hyper groovy vodka bar. Known for its super star spotting potential (think popstars – both real and manufactured) as well as its vodka (they have over 40 varieties!)

Rundle Wine Bar

273 Rundle Street, Adelaide. Phone 08 8359 2222.

If your tastes don’t stretch as far as exotic fruity cocktails, fear not. You can whet your whistle at the Rundle Wine Bar and indulge in an impressive list of wines by the glass. Complimentary bar nibbles are always welcome and we especially like the plump olives…

October 15, 2002