Tired of the classic movie and dinner date night combo? Us too. That's why we're always on the hunt for new things to do, scouring the city for not-boring Brisbane activities — ones that are guaranteed to take your next date way beyond done-before beers at the pub. Whether you're taking someone on a second date or doing your 100th with your significant other, we've got some killer (and, yes, cute) ideas for dates to go on this week, no matter how much money you've got to spend. Just think of us as your cultural wingman. You're welcome.
SPEND THE WEEKEND WATCHING FREE FILMS
Four years after adding a new celebration of cinema to Brisbane's annual calendar, Queensland Film Festival returns with perhaps its most ambitious event yet — and its most topical. Running from July 19 to 29, the 2018 festival not only spans high-profile new titles, multiple cinephile-friendly retrospectives and QFF's first gallery installation, but also boasts an overwhelmingly strong contingent of female filmmakers.
More than 80 percent of QFF's lineup of 59 features and shorts is either directed or co-directed by women, including the fest's free component over at the Gallery of Modern Art's Australian Cinematheque. At GOMA, the program celebrates the work of avant-garde Czech director Věra Chytilová, and delves into the filmography of anthropologists and documentarians Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel. One made a subversive comedy, Daisies, that's considered one of the landmark films of the 60s, while the others specialise in observational and immersive explorations of both the natural and man-made world.
Showing at GOMA across Friday, July 20 to Sunday, July 22 and again the following weekend, it's the kind of cinema you don't get to see every day, let alone on the big screen and for free. And sure, going to the movies is a standard date-night activity — but not if you're catching Czech new wave hits and some of today's most distinctive documentaries.
SHOP FOR VINYL OVER A FEW BREWS
Even the best things in life can use a little tweaking — and that includes shopping for vinyl and general vintage fare. Thanks to Bloodhound Corner Bar, your buying and browsing will get better over a few beverages at the venue's aptly named Vinyl & Vintage Fair.
Between 1–4pm on Saturday, July 21, you and your partner won't need to choose between heading to the markets or heading to the pub, as you can enjoy the best of both in one spot. It's all part of the Brisbane Mod & Soul Weekender, which means that your purchases will have a definite 50s, 60s and 70s feel. No word if you'll be enjoying era-appropriate prices, however, but you can expect to pick up some bargains.
For refreshments, Bloodhound's usual food and drinks menus will be available, so expect to pair your afternoon with tacos, burgers and a few craft beers. It's all happening in the venue's upstairs area — with DJs spinning tunes to suit the old-school mood.
FEAST YOUR WAY THROUGH A TWO-DAY FOOD FESTIVAL
Like eating? Like South Bank? Then you're going to love the combination of the two. Yes, it's Regional Flavours time again. If you haven't made it along to the inner-city precinct's signature food and wine festival over the past nine — yes nine — years, don't make that same mistake again in year ten. And, as always, entry is free.
For two days across Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22, the length and breadth of the parklands will become a culinary wonderland, complete with different spaces serving up different taste sensations. At the Queensland Taste Marketplace, you'll find market stalls, demonstrations and live music. At The Hunting Club, which will kick things off a little earlier on Friday, July 20 from 5pm-late, you'll find woodfired and smoked meat matched with beers. Plus, there will be areas dedicated to street food and picnics.
In addition, there'll be classes, demonstrations, presentations and signings from a huge range of chefs — such as Adam Liaw, George Calombaris, Matt Preston, Katharine Sabbath, Miguel Maestre, Sarah Wilson, Jessica Sepel, Alastair McLeod and more. Need some energy for all of the above? A locally brewed coffee flavoured beer will also make its debut at the fest.
Image: Andy Fraser.
PRETEND YOU'RE AT SPLENDOUR WITHOUT LEAVING BRISBANE
The most envy-inducing time of year is here, dividing music lovers into two camps. Either you and your significant other are literally going camping in Byron Bay or you're moping around Brisbane wishing that you were. Don't worry, non-Splendour-bound folks — The Flying Cock's Splendour in the Cock has you covered.
For two nights across Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21, the Valley pub is pretending they're at the centre of the music universe with a playlist of Splendour in the Grass greats not only from this year, but also spanning previous ace lineups. Close your eyes, and you might just think the live cover tracks are the real thing. Do the same while DJs spin the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Flume, Kanye, Bloc Party, Florence and the Machine, The Strokes and more, and it might just have the same effect.
Wearing something glitzy and flashy is recommended; when you're acting like you're at Splendour, you have to dress the part after all. Entry is free, so as well as helping cure your desire to be dancing in a muddy field, the shindig will also be kind to your wallet — but, like attending any festival (or pretending to be there), you'll need cash for beverages.
SIP BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS OVER BRUNCH
Good Food Month is here for 2018, which means it's time to jump around town and enjoy the best meals and beverages that Brisbane has to offer. Or, you and your favourite person could just block out every weekend morning across the month and make plans to tuck into the best meal of the day — with unlimited mimosas and bloody marys.
That's what Pourboy is serving up on Saturdays and Sundays throughout July, with the venue's Bottomless Boozy Brunch running from 10am–2pm. It's the drinks that won't stop at the South Brisbane eatery — well, at least within the allocated time slot. Food-wise, you can choose from one of four breakfast options.
Seeing your morning slide into the afternoon with a drink in hand will set you back an affordable $39 per person. Unsurprisingly, bookings via email or phone are highly recommended, so gather the gang and plan ahead.