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City Botanic Gardens Markets

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by West End Girl (subscribe)
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Published July 24th 2016
Brisbane's most relaxing Sunday market
Each Sunday, Brisbane's gracious City Botanic Gardens come alive with food, music and artisan wares at Peter Hackworth's latest market venture.

Officially known as 'Riverside at the Gardens', the markets were originally a relocation of the markets that ran for many years on the waterfront at Brisbane's Riverside Centre. (They moved site last year, without a lot of fanfare.)

But I think they're a very different creature, with what I remember as the tackiest aspects of the Riverside Markets removed, to be replaced by quality offerings that are a perfect match for the beauty and serenity of the Botanic Gardens.

The Gardens markets boast plenty of food, including crepes, rosti, fresh juices, Asian offerings, and more. Nearby you'll find quality arts and crafts, including silver jewellery, Turkish stoneware, and some great fashion (with the extraordinary tailoring and creative designs of the Tangerine Rose stall a standout for me). If you're into the mystical, there's also a fortune teller set up under a spreading tree. A farmer's market provides fruit and veg.

My favourite thing about these markets is their space and grace. Unlike a trip to many other markets, it's actually a pleasant and rejuvenating experience to visit the Gardens Markets.

Set up near the Albert Street entrance, the stalls occupy a wide avenue with plenty of room to stroll. Most food vendors have tables and chairs, and spreading lawns offer easy retreats.

Live music features on the nearby bandstand, with local Brisbane musicians getting to showcase their best Sunday-morning music. I've heard wonderful classical players, gypsy jazz and French chansons on various visits.

The markets are perfect for families with children, with room to move and a gorgeous playground nearby. You can also take your child nature watching, with birds and lizards hiding in nooks and crannies (I met a very jaunty curlew not 20 feet from the markets last time I visited.)

They're also ideal if you'd like to take your dog for a walk. And their long operating hours (from around 8am to 4pm) make for a relaxed outing.

Parking nearby isn't easy, but don't be put off by that. Try walking or cycling from South Bank and over the Goodwill Bridge if you can, or use public transport to the CBD if that works better for you.

Plan a gentle Sunday with the City Gardens Markets on your agenda, and I think you'll find it's Brisbane's most relaxing market.

This time of year is perfect for a visit, so why not do it soon?
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Why? For a relaxing, delicious market experience
When: Every Sunday, from around 8am to 4pm (get there earlier as stalls start to pack up)
Where: Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, near Albert St entrance
Cost: Affordable
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