When temperatures start to drop, Brisbanites migrate to Europe like a stampede of Wildebeests. A stampede of Wildebeests with a particular fondness for Aperol Spritz, pasta and cut off tees.
If your poor ass can’t afford the arm and kidney it costs to fly to Europe (‘cause you’ve been too busy fighting virtual zombies, making rainbow cheese toasties and booking Harry Potter-inspired brunches), we’ve got a solution for you.
Here are all the things to do in Melbourne if you’re too broke to be in Europe.
1. Satisfy Your European Sweet Tooth At Chouquette
Creating some of the most stunning French-inspired baked treats this side of the Seine, Chouquette in New Farm has all the charm of a Parisian patisserie, right here in Brisbane.
Feast your eyes (and stomach) on their incredible selection of viennoiserie (sweet bread to the likes of you and I), pain au chocolate, eclairs, millefeuille and fruit tarts galore.
2. Dance Like There’s Zero Chance Of Running Into Your Ex
Pretend you’re in Berlin by starting pre’s at midnight and heading to the club at 3am.
While we don’t have any venues that can stand toe-to-toe with Berghain, we also have very few clubs that will refuse to let you in after a three-hour queue. Compromise. Try Laruche, The Bowery or Oh Hello for a boogie.
3. Pretend You’re In Warmer Weather With A Rooftop Pool
Holy crapballs, if I have to see another photo of European summer while I stand in my dark kitchen, eating soggy Weetbix and scrolling through Instagram, I’m going to take up day drinking.
Make a beeline to Soleil Pool Bar instead, which is heated to a toasty 25-degrees all year round. You can even order a glamorous high tea, seeing as it's adjacent to the award-winning Bacchus restaurant, and do how any local European would in their natural habitat.
4. Dive Head First Into A Michelin-Starred Feast
Nothing screams European vibes better than a multi-course michelin-starred dining feast at Dan Arnold. Choose from three dining experiences, which include some incredible French classic with flair (and much of that French wine we're crazy for). Oh, and they have one of the most incredible cheese carts in Brisbane. Need we say more?
5. Pick-up Some Classic Italian Gelato
No need to fly 24-hours for a serve of Nutella gelato, La Macelleria is home to artisanal-style, Italian gelato. Their gelato-creations are founded in lessons taught at the Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna (where owners Matteo and Matteo are from, coincidentally) , so you know you’re getting the legit stuff. Head in for flavours including fior di latte, stracciatella, or bacio.
6. Invest In Small-Batch Wines From La Cache Au Vin's Wine Boutique
With just over 200 wines hailing from the Burgundy region, plus drops from Italy, Spain and Australia, you can pick up boutique wines produced from small wineries at the soon-to-open wine store next to La Cache au Vin in Spring Hill.
7. Buy Your Weight In Cheese
No Europe trip is complete without a soul-warming, heart-healing dose of cheese.
Along with farmhouse and artisan cheeses from Australia, Emile & Solange offers a wide range of French-hailing cheeses. Don’t pair them with anything but a fresh baguette and wine.
8. Catch Italy's Best Upcoming Talent At The Italian Film Festival
Hosting a huge line-up of Italian's most celebrated and promising up ‘n coming talent, the Lavazza Italian Film Festival is a feast of storytelling, culture and art. Hosted at Palace Cinemas across Brisbane, the cost of a movie ticket is much more appealing to your wallet than return flights to Rome, just saying...
9. Warm Up In An Award-Winning Temple Spa
Stephanies Spa in the Sofitel Hotel is home to award-winning Turkish-style Hammam chamber, the Opal Rasul Temple Spa. A private steam room credited for hydrating the skin and exfoliating properties, essential oils and body mud is also provided to complete the experience.
If you are heading overseas, get further travel inspo here.
Image credit: Chouquette, by Ariana Gillrie for The Urban List