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THIS IS MY CITY | Bianca's Brisbane

Brisbane is Australia's sunshine city, a place of bronzed girls and summer sun. And one of our favourite bloggers who hails from Brisbane is Bianca from Sargasso Sea, winner of last year's Pedestrian blogger award and a member of Vogue's prestigious Spy Style blogging network. We got her to send through her insider's guide to Brisbane and we love her tales of the local creative scene, it makes us want to book a ticket asap! This is Brisbane, by Bianca.

All photos by Bianca Blades

 A weekend escape to the Sunshine Coast

one. Best thing about Brisbane? The proximity to tropical beaches and islands is always nice but the best part of Brisbane is the local creative scene - seeing bands, visiting art shows and meeting designers. 

two. Worst thing about Brisbane? I won't get political so I'll stick to a shallow answer - we always miss out on good sample sales. I guess designers don't really want to ship their dead stock up to Queensland when they can have a quick sell in Sydney or Melbourne. 

  Bianca relaxing at the Mt Coot-tha botanic gardens

three. Favourite secret spot? Sunday afternoon yoga and meditation class in West End, before a walk through the community garden and down to my favourite spot by the river. I also love escaping to the Mt Coot-tha botanic gardens and planetarium whenever I'm feeling stressed with study, the Japanese gardens always have a great sense of calm. 

four. Favourite everyone-knows-it-but-it's-still-good spot? Cedar Creek Falls at Mount Tambourine. It's a bit of a winding drive, but the shady swimming spot and rope swing make up for it. 

 Watching over Cedar Creek Falls

five. What is your newest discovery in Brisbane? Rogue Rennard in Paddington for coffee, sweet pastries and a mean toasted cheese sandwich. What about somewhere you've been going forever but can't quite give up? The antique shops at Paddington and Woolloongabba. I like buying antique presents for loved ones and I've managed to find some amazing treasures in really good condition. 

six. Where is the best place for.... morning coffee/pick-me-up? Healthy and delicious breakfast snacks at Sourced Grocer. meal with friends? Marinara restaurant for hilarious waiters, wine, cheese and authentic Italian food. romantic rendez-vous? Porkbelly and spatchcock at Crosstown Eating House. late night drink? Flaming kava cocktails, tiki bar tunes and hawaiian leis at Alfred and Constance. even later-night boogie? Jazz, soul or disco at Black Bear Lodge

 Precious jewellery on display at Gail Sorronda's flagship store

seven. Where are Brisbane's style spots? Where is the best shopping? Blonde Venus is our most charming fashion destination, run by local fashion luminary Thea Basiliou since 1990. She genuinely cares about designers and runs her business with such integrity. Gail Sorronda just opened her flagship store nearby in James Street, where Ksubi also has a fun art collaboration with the Institute of Modern Art called k.O.M.A (Kontemporary or Modern Art). Apart from shopping at the Valley, I like looking for vintage jewels and fabric at my suburb in Paddington. 

eight. What is something you can get/read/experience/eat that you can only do in Brisbane? The Stitchery Collective is a really special artist-run initiative that presents fashion as a social tool. Housed in a historic building in Fortitude Valley, the collective holds open studio workshops each month to preserve handmade skills and provoke discussion on ethics and sustainability. 

 The Stitchery Collective

nine. You can tell a lot about a city from their airport. Describe Brisbane's. Like most places in Brisbane, the airport is nestled in bushland where the river meets the port. The best part of coming home is driving back into the city through the leafy river suburbs. 

ten. How would your describe Brisbane to someone who has never been there before? A warm and relaxed city where you can work by the river and escape to the beach at every opportunity. 

The cultural centre at Southbank where you can see plays, work in the library and visit the art gallery

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