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Pop Up Soiree Summer Bar at The Sofitel

Home > Brisbane > Bars | Christmas | Nightlife | Outdoor | Pop Ups
by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
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Enjoy the VIP outdoor terrace, drinks & views this summer
It's easy to forget as we're scurrying around at ground level in Brisbane city what an interesting city Brisbane is, architecturally speaking. It's hard to appreciate that big country town meets sophisticated new world city ambience as we're hurrying to catch the afternoon bus or train. Well I say that Fridays through the rest of November and up until Christmas are days to stay later in the city, say goodbye to the working week and really appreciate Brisbane's city views and city chic at the Sofitel's Pop up Soiree summer bar.

Every Friday until 18th December from 3.30pm until 11pm you can watch the shadows lengthen over the city and relax as the lights turn on. Enjoy the striking 180 views from the Sofitel's 3rd floor outdoor terrace, usually a VIP-only area of the hotel, while you sip on a cocktail or share a plate with friends. It's the perfect spot for festive season catch-ups.

We popped into this pop up last Friday evening and were very pleased with what we encountered. Alighting from the lift we wandered past the pool entrance and emerged into a fun summery space where floors are clad in artificial grass, and a selection of loungers, bench seating around low tables or tall tables with stools beckons you to mark out a spot, preferably along the glass-enclosed Ann Street side where you can kick back and watch the world go by below.

Colourful market umbrellas mixed with potted plants and an area set up for croquet. A large part of the terrace is covered by a louvred roof that looks like it could be closed in case of bad weather (this is Brisbane in summer after all), so a spot of precipitation shouldn't really rain on anyone's parade. See how many champagne and spirits bottles you can find playfully hidden in the bird cages suspended throughout the space.

The bar is set up casually at one end of the space, complete with a mini-Eiffel Tower in the middle of the drinks display and large ice tubs filled with drinks.

On our visit we ensconced ourselves at a tall table close to the bar and made our choices from a drinks menu that features cocktails, champagne and beer. Before we had a chance to head to the bar with our selections a friendly waiter arrived at our table to take our order. What? Summer ambience, picturesque views of the darkening city AND table service? If only we could have settled in for the long haul. But another engagement meant that we couldn't stay to partake of the share plate food on offer.

We relaxed, one ear on the DJ playing tunes near us, and watched as the happy, chatty groups on the terrace multiplied while the hurrying hordes of commuters dwindled below. Brisbane took on a whole new vibe as the setting sun reflected off the towering glass-clad buildings and we saw some of our really interesting structures like the ANZAC Square Brisbane Central Clock Tower and the Shrine of Remembrance from a totally different perspective.

Overall Verdict

The Sofitel's outdoor terrace is a bright and airy space with great views over Brisbane. Its position on the eastern side of the building, sheltered from the setting sun is ideal for summer evening drinks - no squinting. Table service was excellent but at times there were longish queues at the bar. There's a nice, laid-back summer ambience that could be further enhanced with some added styling; maybe some fairy lights? I subscribe to my daughter's theory that everything looks better with fairy lights.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Brisbane really is THE perfect place for rooftop and outdoor terrace bars, and the Sofitel's Pop up Soiree is definitely one to add to your list, if only for a short Christmas season. Visit the website here where you can also download the drinks menu. Group bookings are welcome via email -

If you can't make it before 18 December (and you really should try) then see my Guide to Brisbane's Best Rooftop Bars for some other suggestions.

* All images taken by writer.
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Why? Drinks, Brisbane views and summer vibe
When: Fridays from 23 October to 18 December
Where: Sofitel Brisbane, 249 Turbot Street, Brisbane
Cost: Entry is free, drinks prices vary
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