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BRISBANE

BRISVEGAS FASHION AND BEAUTY
Brisbanites love to look good and there are many places to give that plastic card some exercise.

FORTITUDE VALLEY
This is the 'Fashion Hub' of Brisbane and is filled with high-end boutiques.
If you love the finer things in life, then this is the place to visit for everything from a wide range of home-oriented retailers to fashion specialty stores for females. ‘The Valley’ stocks the likes of international labels such as, Collette Dinnigan & Collette Dinnigan Enfant, Citizens of Humanity Denim and Christian Louboutin shoes. There are also great male and children ranges thrown into the mix.
• Faves are Ultra Suite and Blonde Venus for up-to-the-minute style.
• Also, Jean Brown at Emporium, Ann St. A fantastic boutique bringing international fashion to Brisbane.
• Sass & Bide’s flagship store has finally come to Brisbane on James St!
• Kisses, James St, Fortitude Valley- A boutique famous for it’s trendy labels, including Stella McCartney and Collette Dinnigan.
Don’t miss the James St strip for fantastic shopping and ‘The Emporium’ which hosts an exciting mix of food, fashion, lifestyle and cafes all in the one place.

Brisbane CBD

You will think you have died and gone to heaven! A fabulous range of amazing fashion, accessories, shoes and lifestyle products.  From Australian designers, international designers and up & coming local designers. International big names include; Marc Jacobs and Missoni Homewares, with Australian greats, Tsubi Denim, Willow, Ginger & Smart, Alice McCall and Gale Sorronda . You will not leave empty-handed!

*Bessie Head, Broadway on the Mall, Brisbane City - This boutique stocks a fun but always fashionable array of pieces.
*Xile, Elizabeth St, Brisbane City - If you’re looking for the best of European tailoring and international cutting edge designs, then look no further.
*Nancy King, Grey St, Southbank - Bringing a fashionable edge to Southbank! Olive Home, Given Tce, Paddington - Ginger and Smart are an obvious credit to this store but there is so much more! The most gorgeous children’s gifts too!

Queens Plaza, Brisbane City

Host to the most luxurious brands in Brisbane including LV, Mont Blanc and Tiffany’s.
Take a break from shopping and beautify yourself in the best beauty bars!
Glow Salon, Shop 6a, Little Stanley St, Southbank
The Brow Bar, 43 La Trobe Tce, Paddington

Restaurants - Bring on the Food!

Bespoke Restaurant, Albion 317 Sandgate Rd
A modern, boudoir restaurant feel and a delicious French menu to match. Leave room for desserts because they are to die for!
London Club, New Farm Vernon Terrace
Cool, trendy and upmarket – just like its location. Be sure to dress in the chicest outfit to dine here!
Byblos, Portside, 37 Harbour Rd
This is an inviting bar/lounge/restaurant so take your pick – it’s fantastic for all three!
Cru Bar, Fortitude Valley 22 James St
Glamourous and fashionable. A great place to meet after work on a Friday night. Cocktails and wine with a modern Australian Menu. This is the place to be seen with your most fashionable accessories!

Bars & Clubs

Bar of the moment: The Bowery, Fortitude Valley 676 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
New York comes to Brisbane… A cool, relaxed atmosphere with a trendy, fashion-forward crowd. There is a strict door policy – so dress up!
Don’t leave without trying the Mesha Cocktail – a must!
Stylish Club: The Sun Bar, Fortitude Valley 367 Brunswick St Fortitude Valley
There is a Red Carpet after all… The ‘Sunbar Restaurant Lounge’ has a wine bar, a restaurant, a beer café, a coffee lounge, a cocktail bar and more. Dress to impress as the fashion stakes are high!
Coolest Sunday: The Lychee lounge, West End, 2_94 Boundary Street West End
Great cocktail selection and fantastic tapas food. Head down to ‘Uber Nightclub’ a couple of doors down to keep partying through the night. Trendy and funky is key here.
Latino Sundays: Alhambra Lounge, Fortitude Valley 12 McLachlan St
Salsa the night away – What a way to end the weekend! Amazing music with sultry sounds of South America. Voted Brisbane’s best New Club for 2006.

Written by Style Correspondent: Teresa Gomez
Picture Courtesy of KomShiki at www.flickr.com/photos/komshiki/340293411/

MELBOURNE

Melbourne is one of the best-looking cities I have ever been to, so fresh, unique with its ‘old’ looking buildings. Really quite beautiful. There is so much to see and do, the best and only way to see it all is by the wonderful tram service. Cheap, regular and services all of the city sights; it is a tourist’s dream.

For when you are tired and need a place to sit and watch the world go by, there are dozens of wonderfully kept parks dotted around the city. Or you have the wonderful views of the water from the luxurious Dockland whilst sitting at any one of the numerous cafes there. Melbourne is also world renowned for its obsessive desire for that perfect coffee.

It is taken very seriously, most cafés have a dedicated and highly-trained barista.  Mario’s on Brunswick Street is one of those places; it’s nestled neatly away just past the corner of Johnson Street.  Mario and Mario have jointly owned this wonderful establishment for the past 20 years ... the breakfast is the best, the tastiest Eggs Benedict you will ever eat and the coffee, well that is thanks to Nicola (pronounced Nic- co – la) a true connoisseur of making coffee. A typical Sicilian family; warm and friendly. They are true perfectionists who make the best coffees in town. I know that when Cate Blanchett is back in Melbourne, Mario’s is her favourite place to go.

If you are looking for something a little more fun and durable then the pointless craze of eating or drinking coffee then why not try the second most famous attraction that brings folks to Melbourne, which of course is the fashion. From the cool little side streets packed with boutiques such as Grevillea St  in South Yarra, on the doorstep of the more commercial area of Chapel St, full of all the trusted designers. Alternatively, go to Chadstone ... the holy grail of shopping! This place is not for the faint-hearted, a few tips ... 1) wear comfy, easy-off easy-on clothes,  2) Flats or thongs are a must. Only the inexperienced will dress as though is is an audition for Australia’s Next Top Model, because this place is HUGE. The rumour is it can be seen from space!

Other wonderful places are the Melbourne Central hive of boutiques, GPO, High St stores and flagships stores of the best-loved Australian designers such as Sass and Bide, Zimmerman ... and the list goes on. Try Alice Euphemia (Cathedral Arcade), Cactus Jam (QV International) and Laquer Fashion Boutique (Yarraville) for a fabulous boutique experience.

The CBD is full of surprises  and Collins Street features all the usual suspects - Chanel, Gucci, Hermes and Louis Vuitton, to name a few.  If you are visiting on a weekend, visit the ‘Sunday Market’ at St Kilda to check out a wide variety of market stalls and a gorgeous area to explore and have lunch.

For nightlife  Crown Casino is open 24hours a day and has everything - gambling, restaurants, shows, shopping.  Located on the banks of the Yarra, it is a great experience and night out. If exclusivity is your thing then why not try the infamous Boutique, all the 'celebs' pop in there at some point when in Melbourne … if you’re lucky you may spot a few footy players as well, a real mixed bag of ‘celebrities’!

If live music appeals then head down to Brunswick Street where you will find the Spanish quarter, why not Salsa Samba with live vocals to the grungier feel at Bimbos.

With so many European immigrants here, food is out of this world with a massive choice on offer. Lygon Street, Italian. Lonsdale Street, Greek, China town, no surprises there but whatever your fancy you’ll find it here.

Written by Style Correspondent Barbera Hawley
Picture Courtesy of Doggonit
www.flickr.com/photos/93136519@N00/219054962/

PERTH

Perth, maybe because it is far away from anywhere, is a fabulous place for shopping,
going out and enjoying amazing weather!
 
Perth is ‘BIG ON BREAKFASTS’!  So make sure you get up early, go for a run along the beach and then have breakfast at either ‘John St Café’, Cottesloe, or ‘Beaches’, on Marine Pde Cottesloe.

Most shopping areas have great spots for lunch/ eating out. Fremantle has a fabulous connoisseur ice-cream shop with a great ‘cookies and cream’ version and King St is lined with lots of great coffee shops, which means you can keep your caffeine levels up for some productive shopping!  Some other great spots to stop by for coffee/lunch/shopping are Bay View Tce, Claremont and Napoleon St, Cottesloe.

The shopping and fashion in Perth is fantastic! We have the best selection of the great labels… Unlike Sydney where you have a full store dedicated to one brand, in Perth, someone has done all the hard work for you and selected the best items of each brand…

Two favorite spots for shopping to find something a little different are, firstly Market St, Fremantle. There is always a wide range of different labels, some by local fashion students and totally original. Also, King St in the Perth CBD is a great spot, they have a range of shops from Subway DC to some really up-market stores.

TIP - Check out ‘Body and Soul’ at Garden City Shopping Centre… It originated in Bali and has some amazing and reasonably priced pieces.  A day MUST be spent at Cottesloe Beach! It is beautiful … and North Cottesloe is a favourite with the 'beautiful young things'.  After a day on the beach, head over to the OBH (Ocean Beach Hotel) for a drink then wander across the road to the ‘Blue Duck Café’ for dinner.

Perth is big on SUNDAY SESSIONS!  We all love a good Sunday afternoon at the pub… Cottesloe Pub and the OBH are the best places for these sessions, and you will be sure to spot a ute (Holden that is) or ten, parked along Marine Parade, as all the kids from the country come to town for a Sunday night. The night is not a true Perth experience however unless you hitch a lift in the back of a ute to Club Bay View, Claremont, for some dancing to finish the evening off!

Written by Style Correspondent Emily Pollard
Picture Courtesy of Tourism WA

BYRON BAY
Not just a great surfing spot… Byron Bay has got great shopping to keep things interesting on a beach break.

FASHION

The vibe may be relaxed and beachy but the fashion is not lacking is this little town. Check out the following hot spots…
*Shubar - a fabulous shoe shop with a great range!
*Girl Overboard - swimwear central, with a great range of kaftans/cover-ups.
*Sweet Papillon - jewellery and gorgeous trinkets… a bridal range too.
*Madame Pompidou - great spot for cool Australian labels.
*Byron Bay Community Market  - on the 1st Sunday of every month ... great for clothing, jewellery or homewares.
*Studio Lavish -  gorgeous labels including Papinelle and with furniture and beauty products thrown into the mix.
*Shelley’s Vintage Collection - costume jewellery and vintage pieces, with some pieces made by the owner, Shelley.

ACCOMMODATION
*Waves  - a great hotel just by the main beach of Byron Bay.
*Byron at Byron -  a beautiful spot and luxurious headquarters to retreat to.
*Go to TakeABreak.com.au for more great Byron accommodation

PLACES TO EAT/GO:
*Budda Bar is a highly rated bar and restaurant with the best of Australian cusine and seafood…
*Beach Hotel Brasserie - there is a lot happening in this spot most of the day, also a fab spot for people watching!
*Earth and Sea Pizza and Pasta is a great budget friendly option, with fantastic pizzas.
**Picture supplied by Tourism New South Wales

 

About the author
Style Correspondent Teresa Gomez wrote this article

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