Rydges Southbank offers magnificent city views.
Rydges Southbank offers magnificent city views.

Soak up the sights of a sophisticated city

Sipping champagne for breakfast, wrapped up in a fluffy bathrobe watching the world go by ... it's something I could get used to.

Decadent? Yes, but it's a special treat and paired with a divine eggs benedict, it's a pretty good way to start a relaxing day.

I'm at Rydges Hotel South Bank and I'm revisiting my old stomping ground to see Brisbane in a way I'd never dreamt of in my uni days.

While sipping a beverage in the early hours may not be something entirely new, it was never this sophisticated.

Soleil Pool Bar
Soleil Pool Bar

Once the bubbly is finished, there are decisions to be made, and it's not easy - within walking distance are an overwhelming number of choices on offer to help you while away the hours in the River City.

The star of the show in Brisbane is undoubtedly the climate and there is much to do outdoors to make the most of it.

A stroll through The Collective Markets, a swim at South Bank beach, a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane, or climbing the Story Bridge - they are all great options, but a leisurely cruise up the river on a Brisbane ferry is still a firm favourite for me, any time of the day.

You could spend the whole day at South Bank. Culturally, the precinct is home to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the museum and art gallery.

I had never been to a production by Queensland Theatre, so took the opportunity to visit the nearby Bille Brown Theatre.

The theatre company has established a reputation for presenting engaging productions and for promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theatre.

I was lucky enough to catch Barbara and the Camp Dogs, written by Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine and performed by a superb cast led by Shakira Clanton, Elaine Crombie, and Troy Brodie.

On the surface, it's a musical about Aboriginal sisters heading home to Katherine to visit a dying mother. But it's much more than that. While outrageously funny at times, it asks brutally honest questions about racism in Australia and lingers with you long after you've left the theatre. And that's theatre at its best.

By now, you're probably getting pretty hungry, and luckily, the Brisbane food scene is booming - cool hipster bars and cafes popping up in every nook and cranny.

South Bank itself has enough dining options to satisfy all tastes, but if you're looking for a truly decadent dining experience, book yourself a table at the award-winning Bacchus restaurant.

Bacchus restaurant entrance.
Bacchus restaurant entrance.

From the moment you sink into the luxurious oversized chairs, you're in for a treat. While manager Kevin Puglisevich and his team ensure your every need is met, Chef Speroni will tantalise your tastebuds.

For lovers of seafood, Pacific oysters, scallops and lobster are excellent choices, but if you'd prefer a steak, a variety of cuts are presented, including Kiwami Full Blood Wagyu.

My partner's eye scotch fillet was to die for; the smoked eggplant on the side was something else.

My tip for dessert - try Coconut on the Beach. It evokes memories of sun-kissed days spent on a Queensland beach - on paper, it's a cheesecake with lime butterscotch, but in real life, divine.

At the end of a day traipsing about the city, you'll be thankful for the luxurious bed at Rydges and the delicious room service at your fingertips. It's here I end my day as it began, wrapped up in a cosy bathrobe, wine glass in hand.

The writer was a guest of Rydges South Bank/Bacchus

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