Five Romantic Brisbane Date Ideas for This Week From Budget to Blowout
This week, you and your plus one can hit up an Italian market by the river and swoon over a Wes Anderson movie.
May 30, 2023
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.
TAKE A HIKE — A SCENIC ONE, WITHOUT HEADING TOO FAR OUT OF TOWN
Ask any long-term Brisbane couple to rattle off a list of great things about this fair city of ours and they won't have any trouble. The glorious year-round weather, the plethora of spots to relax by the water, summery day trips, the ability to head either up or down the coast for a quick weekend away, GOMA — they're all certain to rate a mention. So too should Brisbane's abundance of places where you can take a relaxed hike through nature. Just because you and your special someone live in a city, that doesn't mean you don't want to go for a scenic mosey without straying too far from home, after all.
We all love wandering well beyond our own backyards, of course, but sometimes sticking to nearby turf is on the cards. That's when all those nearby hiking trails look particularly attractive. So, next time that you grab your partner and/or housemates, pack yourselves a picnic, jump in the car and get ready to start breathing in the fresh air while putting one foot in front of the other — and you're keen to stay local — we've got a few ace locations for you to try.
One standout: D'Aguilar National Park, previously known as Brisbane Forest Park and stretching over 36,000 hectares, which means there's always somewhere to walk. And, it starts right next to the aforementioned Mt Coot-tha Reserve, so this is another place where you can go wandering without leaving the city limits (if you prefer).
Choose which part you'd like to see, or add them all to your list — whether you're eager to hike around Mount Nebo, feast your eyes on the water at Enoggera Reservoir, or head to Samford and Mount Glorious. If it's a lake, some grassy trails and a nice picnic spot you're after, you can also venture west to Lake Manchester, which is connected to the nearby dam around 15 kilometres north of Ipswich.
SHOP FOR SECONDHAND THREADS AND HELP A GOOD CAUSE
It's a shopper's dream: walk into a store, browse the racks, and then nab a highly discounted bargain. Trust those vintage fiends at Vinnies to put the idea into practice, and to keep raising money for charity in the process.
The Vinnies Feel Good Finds: 50 Percent-Off Sale is exactly what it sounds like. You and your plus one can expect the usual array of clothing, accessories and other items to grace their racks, not that there's anything usual about trawling for secondhand treasure. Not knowing what you'll find is all part of the experience — but, this time, you're paying much less than what you'd normally pay.
The sale runs from Thursday, June 1–Saturday, June 3 at Vinnies stores across Queensland, with the full list of sites — which includes Fortitude Valley, Newstead, Paddington, West End, Annerley, Coorparoo, Stones Corner, Wilston, Cannon Hill, Corinda and Kenmore shops — available on the organisation's website.
As well as boosting your wardrobe, you'll be helping a good cause — so, this shopping spree is a win-win situation.
SWOON OVER A WES ANDERSON MOVIE
In 2023, for the 11th time, the wondrous cinematic world of Wes Anderson will expand. The beloved filmmaker's latest release Asteroid City is set to zoom into Brisbane picture palaces in August, complete with all of the writer/director's trademarks — a star-studded cast, a quirky setup, symmetry aplenty and pastel hues all accounted for. And, it arrives just two years after The French Dispatch finally made it to screens in 2021.
So, that's Anderson's new movie, plus his most recent one before now — aka what you and your other half are next eager to see from him, and likely what you last watched from his filmography. Because you can never have too much of a good thing from this filmmaker, 2023 is also delivering a retrospective of his work at Palace James Street: In Focus: Wes Anderson.
On Thursday nights until Thursday, June 22, cinema lovers can enjoy Anderson's distinctive visual stylings, compelling soundtracks and roster of familiar faces, with the venue playing seven of his flicks across the program's run. On the bill to come: the stop-motion animation delights that are both Fantastic Mr Fox and Isle of Dogs, because no one does animated cute critters like Anderson, plus the exceptionally cast The Grand Budapest Hotel and The French Dispatch.
Each session starts at 8pm, with tickets costing $10 for Palace Movie Club members and $15 otherwise.
EAT YOUR WAY THROUGH AN ITALIAN MARKET BY THE RIVER
Margarita weeks, gin and tonic festivals, Easter celebrations and music trails are just some of the festivities that Howard Smith Wharves has added to Brisbane's social calendar over the years. The latest? FESTA ITALIANA, the CBD precinct's first-ever Italian food market. And, it isn't any old celebration of Italian cuisine and beverages, boasting chef Orazio D'Elia of Bondi Beach's Da Orazio in Sydney as a guest of honour.
The Naples-born and -raised, Sydney-based D'Elia is also one of the driving forces behind FESTA ITALIANA alongside HSW. He heads to Brisbane with quite the reputation, including a stint as Head Chef at Sydney's iconic Icebergs Dining Room and Bar alongside Maurice Terzini, then keeping that collaboration going by opening Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta.
FESTA ITALIANA is welcoming in winter at its riverside home with Italian bites and sips, and a live music soundtrack, all on HSW's main lawn. The market-slash-festival is also stretching its Italian-themed fun out over two weekends, debuting on Friday, May 26–Sunday, May 28 and now returning from Friday, June 2–Sunday, June 4.
Thanks to Orazio's involvement, several of his well-known dishes are on offer, including vodka rigatoni (made with tomato and vodka sauce) and focaccia con porchetta (with the meat fresh from the rotisserie, and paired with chilli-marinated grilled eggplant, cos lettuce and mayonnaise on schiacciatina bread). The food range extends to woodfired bread, fritto misto and gelato, plus a live pasta station making fresh pasta onsite. And drinks-wise, fans of Italian beverage can expect a heavy focus on Aperol spritzes and peach bellinis.
ONE BIG BLOWOUT
GET SLEUTHING AT AN ONSTAGE AGATHA CHRISTIE MYSTERY
Calling all sleuths of Brisbane — again. If you and your significant other haven't fulfilled your murder-mystery fix on the big and small screens over the past few years, and if you missed a whodunnit play hailing from the one and only Agatha Christie back in 2022, then you'd best make a new date with The Mousetrap.
Here are two questions for you to solve before you get there: why is it a big deal when is it coming your way once more? The answers: as well as being penned by Christie, it's the world's longest-running play; and after last year's season proved such a hit — and a sellout — it's back at Brisbane's QPAC Playhouse until Sunday, June 11.
Initially premiering in London's West End in 1952, The Mousetrap has been treading the boards in the UK ever since, only pausing during to pandemic venue closures. When theatres reopened in Britain, so did the show. Indeed, when it arrived in Australia last year, The Mousetrap did so 70 years to the month that it first debuted. Unsurprisingly, that hefty run means that the show has enjoyed the longest stint for any West End production, and for any play anywhere in the world. So far, there's been more than 28,500 London performances.
To answer the other obvious question, yes, it's all about an unexpected death. The murder-mystery starts with news of a killing in London — and with seven people snowed in at a guest house in the country. They're strangers, which is classic Christie. When a police sergeant arrives on skis, they're told that the murderer is among them (which, again, is vintage Christie). They all have wild pasts, too, and all those details are spilled as they're interrogated, and also try to work out who among them is the killer.
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