The consummate adventurer, ever looking for something new. I travel both near and far to find escapades. Visit my blog at www.alicesadventureunderground.wordpress.com for more.
Published May 3rd 2018
Find places off the beaten track
All of us have thoughts of what to do with our mum on Mother's Day. You want the perfect gift. Maybe that perfect gift is the gift of time, and why not combine that with some retail therapy with a difference. You only have to go to the blocks just around the edges of the Queen St Mall to find interesting places, many of which are unique to Brisbane. Here's a journey for you to venture on, and if not on Mother's Day, it's still worth taking this trip at any point in time.
Stop 1 Monster Threads – 158 Adelaide Street
We start at the corner of Edward and Adelaide Streets and head towards King George Square. If needed, stop for sweet treat at the Noosa Chocolate Café, then head on in.
You could get a gift for just about anyone in this store, with offerings from their arty clothing range or jewellery through to a great range of books and Nanoblocks and everything in between. My favourite is the ceramic mushroom scent diffuser, to keep a room smelling great, while looking like a piece of art.
I discovered this store and have since purchased many gifts for family and friends, as well as items for myself. I am off to the USA and will be visiting a friend and her kids so I am buying Aussie themed T-shirts - cute but not sickly touristy. Just what I'm after.
You will love visiting this nirvana of preloved and new designer fashion. Although little, this store packs a punch. Shoes, jewels, unique every day pieces and evening wear; it's all there. I guarantee that you'll walk in and find at least one thing to love.
Classis style - beade glove, a Louis Vuitton scarf and a Burberry bag
I have popped into this store for years. The quality is always high and the products are beautiful. I am always finding the next thing I need in my wardrobe. The best thing is you'll know very few others will have the same pieces as you.
Stop 3 - Rocking Horse Records – 245 Albert Street
This stop is music, cross Adelaide Street and head up Albert Street to the next Brisbane institution.
Open since 1975, this place knows music. CDs, vinyl, movies, T-shirts and memorabilia are all in the one space. That exclusive piece of audio or visual delight should be found in here. Walking down the stair into an audio visual delight, cases and tables full of stock wait for you to explore.
My choice here would probably be acquiring the Beatles White Album in vinyl as it's one of my all-time favourites, but I could just as easily leave with numerous CDs and a Rocking Horse Records coffee mug for my morning brew. Add in a few DVDs and then there's that shirt from the Chilli Peppers that wore out a few years back, that I absolutely loved.
Stop 4 - Bean. Café Bar – laneway 181 George Street
Back up Adelaide Street and then head left along George Street. Along the way admire the architecture of Brisbane City Hall. Opened in 1928, it was made to be a grand statement to the rest of the world. Guaranteed you'll find numerous places that command your entrance, but this designated stop is for sustenance.
From the street you'll see a little orange and black sign with BEAN and an arrow. Head through the brick arch at the entry of the laneway and around the corner where a red door at the top of a staircase heralds your arrival.
Make your order from their coffee menu and great food range. Your coffee will be well made by trained baristas and served to your table. Or if it's that time of day, you could choose something harder from the bar. They have craft brews and small batch wines available amongst many other choices. Grab a chair or lounge and relax. Play one of the board games or look at the range of art. Perhaps there is a piece you'll have to purchase.
Housed in the beautiful John Reid and Nephews building a small staircase and white rafters welcome you to an antique wonderland where you'll find beautiful pieces from every era. This place is a visual delight, and you never know what you may learn from the helpful staff.
Even if it's not to your taste or within your budget, one cannot help but admire the beauty and craft of a bygone day. Most places don't make pieces with the love and care given by the artisans of yesteryear. Who knows but there may be something you just have to take home.
Stop 6 - Archives Fine Books – 40 Charlotte Street
Any bibliophile will walk in the door and breathe in heaven and know they won't be leaving soon. There are books from every genre imaginable in countless 10-foot-high bookcases. It is beyond imagining the treasures of words inside the doors of Archive, housed in the 'John Mills Himself' building
Find those that command further perusal, and head to the back of the store to take residence in an armchair or at the table. There is so much to see. If you are musically inclined, on your way to the back, you'll pass reams of sheet music too. With a million books, no doubt there will be one or two that must come home with you. Likely for me another science fiction tome or another edition of Alice in Wonderland.