Last Minute Xmas Shopping in Brisbane

Who else is panicking that Christmas is this Sunday? As in only a few days away Sunday. If you’re a leave-it-to-the-last-minute kind of person when it comes to present shopping, and you live in Brisbane, then don’t worry because I’ve got you covered. Avoid the madness of the big shopping centres and support these smaller stores instead.

Avid Reader
193 Boundary St, West End
What’s in store: books on books on books on books. Grab a gift for the bookworm in your life and some summer reading material for yourself.

The Botanist
Shop 5, Bakery Lane, 694 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
What’s in store: all of the plant things! Think potted plants, planters, cut flowers, vases, and an assortment of decorative bits and bobs.

Flower Lovers
11 Hynes St, Fortitude Valley & 385 Sherwood Rd, Rocklea
What’s in store: more flowers than you can poke a stick (or branch) at. Give the gift of flowers this Christmas or pick up some greenery for last minute table decorations.

The Happy Cabin
58 Vulture St, West End
What’s in store: an edited selection of men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, and gifts. They stock brands such as House of cards, Kester Black, Status Anxiety, and Saltwater Sandals. If you can’t decide what to buy then you could always try one of their lucky dip prizes.

Molten Store
Shop 1, 49 James St, Fortitude Valley & Shop1070C, Ground Floor, Westfield Carindale
What’s in store: a glittering trove of jewellery and precious trinkets. Think celestial-inspired earrings, delicate rings, and ornate hair accessories. If you’re after a bit of Christmas sparkle, then this is the place to go.

19 Browning St, West End
What’s in store: if you’ve ever attended the Finders Keepers Markets then Nook stocks the kind of stuff you’d find there, only you can shop it all year round. Think fun jewellery, handmade ceramics, colourful accessories, and quirky greeting cards. If you’re lucky you’ll also encounter a shop cat.

104 Edward St, Brisbane City (above Le Bon Choix)
What’s in store: a thoughtfully curated selection of keepsakes for the home. Falcon Enamelware, PF Co Candles, Once Was Lost, Fog Linen, and Bondi Wash are just a few examples of brands you’ll find adorning the shelves of this very beautiful store.

Sunday Social
5d Winn St, Fortitude Valley
What’s in store: modern and vintage clothing, funky jewellery, and colourful accessories. It may be small in size, but this shop is brimming with goodies.

Violent Green
1/105 Albert St, Brisbane City
What’s in store: men’s and women’s streetwear, shoes, and accessories. You’ll also find things like prints by local artists, a range of pins and patches (including some favourites of mine by Georgia Perry and Coucou Suzette), Lomography cameras and accessories, and more.

Of course, there are plenty of small businesses that you could support in Brisbane (and as I’m wrapping up this list many more are coming to mind) but these are just the few that I frequent. And if you’re not in Brisbane, go out and support small businesses in your area anyway, no matter where in the world you are.

Brisbane in November

Hello, yes this post is a few days late because November snuck up on me and SERIOUSLY HOW IS IT NOVEMBER ALREADY? That means in a few weeks it’ll be December and before you know it Christmas and New Years Eve and ARGHHH 2016! When I’m not panicking about WHERE ON EARTH THE TIME ACTUALLY WENT, this is probably what I’ll be doing this month:

Dining – A bunch of new cafes and eateries have opened up around Brisbane recently (there are way too many to mention here) and these are the ones I’m most keen to check out.

The Bleachers: 153 Boundary Street, West End
The Bleachers is the latest venture from the same guys that bestowed Ben’s Burgers upon us. While burgers will be a mainstay, there will also be a changing seasonal menu and a soft serve machine.

Morning After: Cnr Vulture and Cambridge Streets, West End
I’m always on the look out for new and cute cafes and Morning After looks like a winner. I have to admit the striking Scandi-inspired design of the cafe was what initially drew me in but the menu looks pretty damn tasty too.

Nodo Donuts Cafe: 1 Ella Street, Newstead
The makers of “the world’s friendliest” and Brisbane’s tastiest (IMO) gluten-free donuts have opened a standalone store in Newstead. You know what that means? No more chasing these bad boys around their roster of cafe and market appearances for your donut fix. In addition to donuts, there will also be a range of treats available for those with various dietary requirements. Hooray!

Shopping – If you dislike markets then this list probably won’t interest you at all  ¯_(ツ)_/¯ 

Finders Keepers Markets: 7 – 8 November at the Old Museum
I pretty much have a standing date with the Finders Keepers Markets. Last time I went it was super crowded and you could barely move let alone look at the stalls but I’m willing to overlook that experience on the off chance that things will be different this time around.

Summer Night Markets: every Friday from 13 November to 22 January at the Old Museum
Longer days and balmy weather means more outdoorsy evening events like the Summer Night Markets. Held in the same grounds as the Finders Keepers, these markets will be host to food trucks and stalls, locally grown produce, craft beer, local wine, and artisan stalls.

Vieille Branche Christmas Market Day: 21 November at Vielle Branche, Albion
What? You didn’t utilise the Finders Keepers or Summer Night Markets to pick up Christmas presents for your friends/family/secret Santas well ahead of time? Well luckily for you Vielle Branche are holding a Christmas Market day with stalls by the likes of Kara Rosalund, NICO Underwear, and The Notedly.


The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8): 21 November – 10 April at QAGOMA
The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art is the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art’s flagship contemporary art series. It’s the only exhibition series to in the world to focus on the contemporary art of Asia, Australia and the Pacific. APT8 will run across both galleries and is free to view. You can see a few of my photos from the last APT exhibition in this blog post.

7 Things To Do In Brisbane In October

Italian, Chinese, Greek, and British Film festivals: throughout October at Palace Cinemas
It seems like there’s a film festival of some kind held every month in Brisbane and October is host to several of them. First off the ranks is the Italian Film Festival followed by the China Australia Film Festival, Greek Film Festival, and British Film Festival. Stock up on round-the-world tickets of a different variety.
Openair Cinemas: 2 October – 15 November at the Rainforest Green, Southbank
Summer is in the air and that means it’s the perfect time for outdoor cinema. First up this season is Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinemas at Southbank. The films on offer include a mix of blockbusters like Everest, The Martian, and Pan, and classics like Thelma & Louise, Grease, and Dirty Dancing.
Oktoberfest Brisbane: 9 – 11 and 16 – 18 October at the Brisbane Showgrounds
Held over two weekends in October, this is the largest Oktoberfest in Australia. Nobody seems to mind it being held a few weekends after the actual Oktoberfest in Germany, as long as the beer is flowing and the good times are there to be had. I’ve gone a few times over the past couple of years and while I am fond of beer and pretzels, I’ve found the entry prices a bit steep and you’re usually hard-pressed to find a table during peak times.
RESORT James St: 15 – 17 October at in James St.
RESORT James St. is back again this year and the shopping precinct is ready to party. Get an insight into the minds of some of fashion’s best and brightest and grab a ticket to the RESORT Trailblazers talks with blogger extraordinaire Margaret Zhang, jewellery designer Holly Ryan, and Lisa Gorman of Gorman. Or you could squeeze in a bit of late night shopping with the RESORT After Dark event presented by Elle Australia.
Valley Fiesta: 23 – 25 October in Fortitude Valley
The Valley Fiesta is without a doubt Brisbane’s most iconic street festival. Every year we’re treated to a jam packed program of free live music, markets, and food-related events. Musical acts this year include Alpine, Last Dinosaurs, Art Vs. Science, Asta, and The Cairos. 
Garage Sale Trail: 24 October at various venues Australia-wide
The Garage Sale Trail is the biggest community and sustainability event held in Australia. A whole day dedicated to garage sales (or treasure hunting, as I would prefer to call it)? Count me in. You can register your own garage sale or use the website to locate sales in your area and create your own garage sale trail for the day.
Chet Faker: 31 October at the Riverstage
Finish off the month by treating yourself to the sweet sweet sounds of Chet Faker. Playing his biggest venues to date, audiences will be treated to songs from his debut album Built on Glass as well as never-before-performed-live material. It’s an all ages gig (although there is a licensed area but that’s a bit further back from the stage from previous experience) and tickets are around $80.

I Heart Brownies

i heart brownies
When it comes to hobbies, I think “eating my way around Brisbane” has to be up there as the most consistent. If you’re a regular at Brisbane markets then you’re probably already well acquainted with I Heart Brownies. For those not familiar, let me introduce you to the tastiest brownies I have ever eaten. The best part? They’re all gluten-free and come in a range of flavours – ranging from the OG chocolate to salted caramel and cheesecake. There’s also a dairy-free version, in case you needed more of a reason to *heart* brownies. And you don’t even have to hang out for the markets anymore to get your fix as their cute-as-a-button standalone store in Bakery Lane has all your brownie needs covered, seven days a week.

i heart brownies
i heart brownies
i heart brownies
^ Raspberry & chocolate brownies. Hanging out to try the salted caramel brownie but you’ve gotta get in quick for those.

Kit and Ace, James St

Kit and Ace James St.
Last week I visited the new Kit and Ace store in James St., Fortitude Valley. Focusing on luxury basics, this store is sure to be a must-visit for those looking for wardrobe staples and minimalist attire. The store stocks selected styles from the Kit and Ace collection, including core styles made from their signature blend of cashmere. That is, cashmere that’s machine-washable. Yep, you read that correctly. Machine-washable cashmere! Hallelujah! While Kit and Ace is a Canadian brand, what I like about their approach is that they aim to engage local makers and creators. The James St. store currently features a piece by Brisbane artist Louise de Weger and will include feature lights by Luxxbox. The local emphasis follows through with in-store pamphlets highlighting the best places to eat, drink, and shop in the area. The space itself is quite generous with couches and tables providing ample space to sit and converse. I tried on a few pieces in store and let me tell you, I am all about the cashmere t-shirts now. Because if Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle have taught me anything it’s that you’ve got to treat yo’ self.

Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.
Kit and Ace James St.

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