My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for theatre, comedy and impro shows. Now I'm a professional creative person. Mostly high-end branding, strategy, writing, editing and digital content creation.
There's nothing more wonderfully romantic than a gorgeous view while you enjoy delicious drinks and top quality nosh. That's why Stoke Bar, the little sister to Southbank's Stokehouse Q, is such a wonderful treat.
Easily accessible from Sidon street, the bar is warm and inviting, the staff are attentive and fun, and the views are to die for. My sister and I were lucky enough to attend a 'witty winter tasting' at Stoke Bar earlier this week and were treated to delights such as the warm Winter Julep (Bulleit Bouron, orange, honey, peppermint, mint), fried mozzarella, crumbed prawns, spiced sausage (my favourite) and the Lady Jane (Gin, Aperol, elderflower, Licor 43, orange) that had the most beautiful rose petals sprinkled on top. Sadly we didn't get a chance to try the cheese selection or slow braised beef cheek as they were swiftly snapped up by voracious food bloggers (top hint – never get between a ravenous food blogger and a plate of complimentary grub. It's terrifying).
Stoke's executive chef, Queensland-born Richard Ousby, popped out to say hello and chat with us about the tapas menu, confessing his favourite was a dish we weren't sampling that evening, the anchovies. In 2012, Richard took out the title of the San Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Young Chef of the Year, winning over a global lineup in Venice, and now he's preparing to commute between Stokehouse in Brisbane and their new establishment in Melbourne.
"Obviously I come from here and I moved back here from Sydney," he confessed to us, "so this is where I want to be. I won't be leaving, I'll just be spending some time up here and some time in Melbourne."
Stoke Bar and Stokehouse Executive Chef Richard Ousby
Stoke Bar was an absolute treat so if you're looking for somewhere that's casual and comfortable yet extremely high quality, I'd recommend a visit. I'd love to hear your thoughts though - have you tried Stoke Bar? What's your favourite tapas bar with a view? Let us know in the comments!