New Farm[NF] is a hippy-chic suburb of Brisbane, affectionately referred to by the locals as ‘the Farm’!
‘The Farm” also just happens to be my arrondissement of choice and where I spend my days when I am back living in Australia. It’s an eclectic mélange of ripped denim meets Camilla kaftans; where town bicycles and luxury sports cars happily share the road; where teenagers and the elderly shop side by side and where dining in style can be either the latest hip new restaurant or a picnic with fresh produce from the market. It’s lively, quaint and stylishly understated and friendly all at once!
When I am here, I have my usual places that I frequent and I thought I would share these (how noble of me) as everyone needs to know where all the good places are where to find all the best stuff!
Here is a mixture of my top favourites places and why. Some of my fav’s, however, are in the next suburbs, (but on the borderline) so they rate a mention in this blog! ‘You’re far yet so close to my soul’…Rafy Rohaan
MOSCONI RESTAURANT AND BAR
MOSCONI 164B Arthur Street, Fortitude Valley.
First on the list, is food related and it’s awarded to my all-time FAVOURITE local bistro!
Mosconi is an upscale, modern Italian/European bistro situated in Arthur Street, just off James. This area is technically The Valley, but the owner had his former restaurant Vine in New Farm, so I give him the credit even though he’s moved into the neighbouring suburb! The vibe is relaxed European, the art deco inspired interior with rounded bunker ceilings is cool, chic and understated and the service always delivered with a friendly, knowledgeable and efficient air. White tablecloths and footpath dining give you an open air glimpse of bustling urban life whilst sipping an Aperol Spritz or a chilled glass of Prosecco beneath the shade of the awnings. The food, of course, is always flavoursome and consistent and I have NEVER been disappointed. The menu is both seasonal and imaginative and the wine card a mix of European and local choices both by the glass or bottle. What more could you ask for a local night out! It’s 5 star dining on any budget. Do yourself a favour and GO and you will honestly have one of the BEST meals in inner city Brisbane. You can thank me later!
CHOUQUETTE BOULANGERIE PÂTISSERIE
CHOUQUETTE BOULANGERIE PÂTISSERIE 1/19 Barker Street, NF. (chouquette.com.au)
Say Bonjour to the second hidden charm on my list. CHOUQUETTE is THE best bakery in Brisbane (not biased at all), and having a French partner, it’s an extremely important addition! This fab find just happens to be across the road from our apartment block (damn) and offers traditional french sourdough baguettes and the most buttery croissants and pain au chocolat this side of La Tour Eiffel! Eat in or takeaway, it’s a popular spot for weekend breakfast goers in the know or just random carbaholics like myself and MB (Monsieur Bleu)! Have a bash and practice your year 8 French with the friendly staff and buy les macarons, an éclair au café or a one of their superb gateaux for that Sunday lunch and float away on the aromas of coffee and freshly baked bread with the feeling that, if you close your eyes, Paris is on your doorstep.
JAMES ST MARKETS
JAMES ST MARKETS James Street, FV.
Third on list and continuing the foodie theme, I nominate the JAMES STREET MARKETS. This large undercover market space is home to many local and international products, a fish market, butcher, baker, florist and fresh fruit and vegetable space! Phew! Whatever odd ingredient you might need for that Moroccan themed dinner that you are preparing, you will surely find it here. For those of us who are obsessed with cheese, a huge section is dedicated to our drug of choice with anything from Feta to Manchego to Fior di Latte and Fromager du Calarines. Olives, pâté, dolmades, sundried tomatoes, fresh pasta, terrine- I could go on and on-everything under the sun and more to make up a delectable tapas-style platter which is great for a Saturday Afternoon Sundown Session! It’s your ‘one stop shop spot’ and the fruit and vegetable section is inviting, fresh and always well stocked. So grab your basket and immerse yourself for a while in food lovers heaven!
NEW FARM SIX CINEMA
NEW FARM SIX CINEMA 701 Brunswick Street, NF.
Fourth is an iconic piece of New Farm history and a favourite for both locals and visitors. NEW FARM SIX CINEMA was built in 1921 and has been recently renovated and oozes Art Deco style charm and quirky characteristics! There are 6 screen rooms, two being the posh ‘gold rooms’ which are intimate and comfortable and where you can enjoy full food and beverage service if that’s your thing! Fantastic! 70’s psychedelic carpet, old movie projectors and pin-ball machines are just some of the unique characteristics that greet you upon arrival. Alcoholic bevvies are also available along with coffee, popcorn, of course, and (my personal favourite) a chocolate and lollie station! YUM! Go and relax this weekend and get lost in your own personal movie world all whilst sitting in one of the cutest little picture theatres in Brisbane!
NEW FARM PARK
NEW FARM PARK By the Brisbane River in NF.
Fifth takes us outside amongst the Jacarandas and near the waters edge to a spot where you can do almost any style of activity you fancy! NEW FARM PARK is a huge ( 37 acres) public park which was created in 1914. Tranquility central, its abundance of Flame trees and Jacarandas provide both shade and comfort for those who frequent the many wooden benches and tables provided. For those physical types amongst us, a cycling/jogging/walking track takes its rightful spot alongside the river and is busy at all times of the day or night! Public bbq’s and bright yellow rental pushbikes are extremely popular to locals as are the forever moving CityCat ferries available from specific terminals. Large spaces in the park and the Rotunda are also available for rent. Request details when booking for weddings, parties…..anything! After you finish your shopping at Chouquette and James Street Markets, I suggest you dust off that picnic basket, load it to the brim with all your delicious purchases and a bottle of your favourite Rosé and head on down to ‘the park’. While away the hours under the shade of one of those magnificent trees and just watch the world go by.
MOLTEN STORE Shop 5/50 James Street, FV/NF.
Sixth is a ‘blink and you would miss it’ petite boutique in James Street called MOLTEN STORE. This original little place concentrates mainly on Art Deco style jewellery (think collars, headbands, earrings, rings) and bohemian one-off pieces. A small selection of clutches are also on display amongst the dramatic backdrop of shells and chunks of gemstone that gives the setting an air of artistic sophistication. Pop in and have browse and I’m sure that you will discover that ‘one off statement piece’ that will go with everything whilst making your friends green with envy and demanding ” OMG ! WHERE did you get THAT?!”
LTTLE PLACES THAT DESERVE A QUICK MENTION:
DEATH BEFORE DECAF ESPRESSO 3/760-766 Brunswick Street, NF.
I don’t ‘ DO coffee’ as I only drink espresso and am not a caffeine addict (strange right?) but this bizarre little hole in the wall café is open 24 hours! It’s dark and mysterious and also sells independent designer items and t-shirts. Dare to enter its lair at any hour and get your fix!
ISTANBUL 1923 695 Brunswick Street, NF.
In the mood for a trip to the far east but with no flight? Never fear, Istanbul 1923 is here! Having spent a lot of time in Turkey, I was very happy to have this restaurant open opposite my building! Offering a variety of traditional Turkish delights from Kebabs to piping hot Pide’s, all washed down with a lethal dose of Raki or something less invasive from their small wine list and you’re good to go! Great for a night out with friends as they also have live music and belly dancing on Friday nights, a quick take out, movie dinner or date night.
So people, that’s my list! I hope you feel a touch more informed and that I have sparked your curiosity enough for you to begin planning your trip to NEW FARM! Feel free to give all or none of them a go….it’s totally up to you!
…”seek and ye shall find”…Matthew 7;7-8.