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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Patience Hodgson's Five Steps to the Perfect Brisbane Weekend

The Grates frontwoman now runs Brisbane's favourite vintage tropical cafe bar.
By Imogen Baker
July 16, 2015
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By Imogen Baker
July 16, 2015
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If you're heading to Brisbane for a tropical weekend of indulgence, there are a few institutions you simply have to visit. A lot of the best food, drinks and company will take you off the beaten track, so don't be afraid to rent a car and hit the road.

One such institution you must travel to is the Southside Tea Room on Wynnum Road, Morningside. Co-owned by couple Patience Hodgson and John Patterson, formerly of The Grates, the Southside Tearoom is known for its relaxed atmosphere, unusual events (including the incredibly popular Always Sunny in Philadelphia trivia night) and vintage tropical aesthetic.

"We wanted to create a relaxed, unpretentious suburban oasis," Patience says. "When we lived in the States we fell in love with all the neighbourhood bars, and that's what we were dreaming of replicating in Brisbane."

The Grates

Like any loyal Brisbanite, she also loves to talk about the weather. "I love the weather," she says. "I'm so conditioned to good weather in Brisbane that I feel like I get micro-seasonal depression when it rains for stretches longer than two days. We all joke about it, but I think it's a genuine thing!"

Patience and John have just welcomed a new baby into the fold, but that hasn't slowed them down. Here are Patience's five steps to the perfect weekend (even if you have a baby in tow). To experience them for yourself, head to the Visit Brisbane website and get booking.

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DIP YOUR TOES IN WYNNUM'S FAMOUS WADING POOL

Well worth a day trip, Wynnum is a suburb just 30 minutes drive out from Brisbane's CBD. "The Wynnum wading pool is a rad glimpse into ye olde Brisbane," Patience says. "Basically it's a pool that fills with sea water that's been there for almost 100 years. It's still got loads of character even though they renovated it about ten years ago. The locals are a hoot, and there's plenty of classic fish & chip shops close by." While you're there, check out the quality op-shopping on offer along and just off Bay Terrace.

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EAT LUNCH AT PERRETT'S PIES

"While in Wynnum go to Perrett's Pies," Patience says. "It's one of the oldest bakeries in Brisbane, dating back to 1970. They still use the same pie trays and cake moulds so you'll notice everything is a little smaller then modern times. It's run by a hilarious Irish man and their Neenish Tarts are to die for." There ain't nothing more Queensland than eating a sauce-slathered pie by the ocean, so tuck in.

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DINNER AT POPOLO IN SOUTH BANK

When you get back into town, be sure to head down to South Bank, the precinct that boasts the famous inner city beach, Streets Beach. There are plenty of places to have dinner while gazing over the twinkly Brisbane river, but Patience recommends Popolo. "Popolo in South Bank is a must do. It's right on the river with spectacular views of the city. My mouth is watering just thinking about their truffle polenta and their chilli clams, and they also make great cocktails."

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ARCHERFIELD SPEEDWAY

"Head down to Archerfield Speedway on a Saturday night," says Patience. This is one seriously decibel-raising, out-of-town adventure. "Super loud, and, once you've forked out your ticket price, super cheap inside. Heck, they serve beer out of a shipping container that's emblazoned with a faded 4XXXX Gold logo. Kids run around playing footy with empty coke bottles and lifers bring their own ice boxes filled with home-brand soft drinks even on nine degree nights. It's amazing. And yes, the chips are covered in chicken salt!"

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TREAT YOURSELF TO A PROPER HAIRCUT AT BAREBONES BARBERS

"Barebones Barbers in Morningside is great," says Patience. "It's an original barber shop run by fresh young blokes. Steve, one of the owners, was the last man in Australia to actually get qualified through a barber course; they've since pushed it into the hairdressing accreditation. He was trained up by the old bloke who used to own the place, and a year ago, he retired and left the shop for Steve to take over. Even if you don't need a haircut, just get one because these guys are the real deal — ex-ship makers and tradesmen who now find satisfaction in other people hair."

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Book your own Queensland weekender at the Visit Brisbane website or follow them through the Visit Brisbane Facebook page or Twitter at @VisitBrisbane and hashtag #brisbaneanyday.

Published on July 16, 2015 by Imogen Baker

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