I'm a qualified UK lawyer, who emigrated to Australia in May 2012. I have three small children and we've been getting to know Brisbane and making it our home.
Published May 21st 2013
Our lovely 'hen' chose a select gathering of friends with whom to celebrate her forthcoming nuptials. A significant percentage of the invitees were pregnant, including me!
I therefore set about organising an enjoyable day out for all concerned. I proposed various options to our bride to be and she selected the following:
A Pamper Workshop with Arbonne Experts
The Arbonne skin care and cosmetic range is relatively new to Australia, originating in Switzerland in 1975. It is a fabulous range of skin care products based on botanical principles. It doesn't contain any nasties and each product smells amazing; fresh and clean and you can identify the ingredients it consists of.
The products are distributed and sold via a network of independent consultants. I like this about it, it's less commercial and the consultants ensure you have products suitable for your skin. The consultants will attend events, but will also arrange a personal workshop for you and your friends to showcase the products on offer and generally pamper you and your friends, including a free pamper pack for the host. This is the option we went for.
Our Arbonne consultants, Angela and Jo, arrived at my house at 10.45am to set up. The 'hens' arrived at 11am. After a brief explanation of the products and an explanation of the proposed itinerary for the workshop, we tucked into nibbles whilst the consultants took each of us in turn to run us through the stages of the pamper session.
We were each cleansed, toned, moisturised and then had a full make over. It was wonderfully relaxing and the products felt indulgent and beautiful on our skin. Furthermore, we all looked lovely and felt special for the rest of our day out.
The cost: totally free (unless you're tempted to purchase some of the products on offer, I know I will be, especially with the great savings on offer). I have to say that the consultants didn't put any pressure on us at all to buy; the whole purpose of the session was to familiarise us with the products and allow us to enjoy them, which we certainly did.
We then walked to catch the City Cat and enjoyed the trip along the river into the city, uninterrupted thoughts and conversations being a particular treat as we all have at least one small child.
We got off at Riverside to make our way to our next venue.
High Tea at a Room with Roses
Our table was ready for us, complete with bone china and pressed linen. It felt very decadent and civilised. The waiting staff took our drinks order, bubbles for the women without bumps, and then presented us with a stunning selection of mini treats including sandwiches, savoury pastries, sweet pastries and cakes. The mini chocolate heaven cake being my favourite, but each delicious and wonderfully well thought out.
Decadence at Room with Roses
The surroundings were intimate and very pretty (in fact, very English and made the Poms amongst us feel very at home). It is a small room with tables set out cleverly to make the most of the room available without feeling overcrowded. The decor is slightly over the top, but tasteful with roses being a running theme. The chandeliers add a touch of decadence and the uniforms of the waiting staff are pristine. The venue describes itself as a 'sanctuary in Brisbane city' and I would agree with that.
The cost: $42 per person (an extra $7.50 for bubbles and $4 for gluten free or vegetarian). A very reasonable price, in my opinion, if you consider the quality of the ingredients and the loveliness of the surroundings.
Surprisingly full, we set off to our next venue. A short walk back to the river.
Cocktails/Mocktails at Mr & Mrs G River Bar
With ceiling to floor windows, this venue offers a stunning view over the river and Storey Bridge, particularly beautiful at sunset.
Mr & Mrs G River Bar
We took our time digesting what the cocktail menu had to offer, pretty much every cocktail under the sun, and took advice from our well informed waitress. In terms of Mocktails, the bar staff were able to recreate pretty much any cocktail on the menu, substituting the alcoholic content but without losing the unique flavours of the drink - quite an achievement. Probably the most impressive being an alcohol free mojito, which was simply delicious!
A stunning view
We enjoyed the ambience and view over the river (and also indulged in being child free) as Riverside came to life with the restaurants opening their doors for dinner. A wonderful spot for people watching and to wile away a pleasant hour. A perfect end to a perfect day.
The cost: depending on the drink of choice around $7-14.