Sofitel Brisbane Central Blog

Hotel news, tips, advice and more!

There’s so much going on at the Sofitel Brisbane Central hotel we’ve started a blog to keep you up to date on it all. From announcements on our latest luxury packages to posts about upcoming city events, reading our online journal is the best way to stay in the know.


    On Friday, August 4 we are thrilled to be welcoming Steve Webber of De Bortoli Wines to our exclusive Wine Maker Dinner in Ballroom Le Grand. Along with exquisite cuisine designed by Executive Chef, Patrice Falantin, guests will enjoy delicious De Bortoli Wines and have the opportunity to be involved in a Q&A with Steve Webber




    “Delicious and interesting wines give a lot of joy to a lot of people. It’s nice to be able to have something to do with that.” 

    Steve Webber is the winemaker/manager at De Bortoli Yarra Valley. In his typically understated fashion, winemaking was something he “just fell into”. After finishing high school his father Ron suggested he give the wine business a try and organised a job for him at Leo Buring winery in the Barossa Valley.

    After a year in the cellars waxing concrete tanks and learning basic cellar work, he completed his studies in winemaking at Roseworthy in 1982 and gained valuable winemaking experience at Leo Buring and Lindemans over the next 7 years. Lots of terrific wine mentors along the way.

    In 1989 he married Leanne De Bortoli and the family approached them to head up operations at the family’s newly acquired winery in the Yarra Valley.Steve and Leanne, like many before them instantly fell for region, loving “the beauty, the climate, the seasons, the proximity to Melbourne”. 

    They’ve lived on the Yarra Valley Estate from the get go, raising daughters Kate and Sally and have become renowned for their casual, and occasionally rowdy, feasts on the back deck of their home.It wasn’t only the lifestyle that appealed to Steve, it was the challenges that this new patch of dirt offered. Steve describes the transition “a steep learning curve”, understanding the seasons, learning about the different aspects, experimenting with varieties and clones, all with the goal of making wine with a sense of place.

    Always a straight talker he says “Great wine is rare, it is textural, charming, tastes of place, has poise and elegance, and the bottle is empty before you know it.” Steve has won several major awards including Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year in 2007 and the Jimmy Watson Trophy in 1997. 

    Over the last 25 years, he has been a Wine-show judge and was instrumental in some of the recent changes to the Melbourne Wine Show.His fellow winemakers at the Yarra Valley Estate tend to agree.“Steve is a dynamic person with fantastic vision and is never afraid to put a new idea on the table” says winemaker Andrew Bretherton.Sarah Fagan describes working with Steve as “mostly exciting, sometimes manic, always interesting.

     Dynamic and energetic he certainly is but Steve’s mission statement is pretty simple: “to make wine with character and interest and have some fun doing it.”

    A tip from Steve"Drink what you enjoy. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find an interesting bottle."

    Did you know?Steve and Leanne started producing pale, dry textural rosé a decade ago.

    “It’s terrific that people are finally understanding the joys of this 'grown up' style of Rosé”, he says.


    Bastille Day marks the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789, by angry Parisian crowds.This seismic act demonstrated that ordinary people would no longer accept the absolute power of the king and signalled the start of the French Revolution which forced the creation of the modern French Republic. 

    The July 14 “Fête de la Fédération” - which marked the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille - became a French national holiday in 1880 and has been observed ever since. 

    4,000 soldiers, police, firefighters and various military academies take part in the spectacle on Paris's famous Champs-Élysées. In the evening fireworks light up the capital from the Eiffel Tower. Elsewhere in France, villages, towns and cities host their own fireworks displays and dances.

    The Bastille on the east side of Paris was originally a medieval fortress built around 1370 to defend the city from the English in the 100 Years War. In 1417 it became a state prison and during the reign of King Louis XVI it was used to hold his opponents, who were often kept there for years without trial.

    Revolutionary fervour had been gripping France for at least two years prior to the storming of the Bastille. Simmering tensions over the weak monarchy, persistently high taxes and rising food prices were slowing escalating. Feudal aristocracy still ruled over the peasants, as it had in the Middle Ages, and ideas belonging to philosophers of the French Enlightenment were beginning to permeate public consciousness.

    In 1789, resentment towards the bankrupt Bourbon monarchy reached a new climax when Louis XVI called a crisis meeting of the Estates General for the Third Estate (the common French population) on May 5, 1789 in a bid to raise taxes further.

    Revolution - that's what. It wasn't instant, but big changes did happen almost instantly. In the August, just a few weeks after the storming of the Bastille, the National Assembly abolished feudalism and adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen as its constitution. This was inspired by the American Declaration of Independence and contained the iconic statement: “Men are born free and remain free and equal in rights.” 

    In October, Louis XVI and his queen Marie Antoinette, who lived cocooned in their enclave of luxury at the Palace of Versailles on the outskirts of Paris, were removed from their home by 4,000 rioters and moved to the Tuileries, in the heart of Paris where revolutionaries kept watch over them.

    1. In France Bastille Day is formally known as La Fête Nationale, and is sometimes referred to as Le Quatorze Juillet.
    2. Bastille Day is celebrated in many other countries worldwide including the UK, the US, Belgium, India, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, New Zealand and South Africa.
    3. Claude Monet’s Rue Montorgueil depicts the first known celebration of Bastille Day, held on 30 June 1878.
    4. Bastille Day was officially made a public holiday in 1880, and the military parade, which remains an annual Bastille Day tradition, first took place during this year too.
    5. It is tradition for the French president to address the nation during Bastille Day.
    6. Entry to the Louvre is free on Bastille Day.
    7. Locals flock to Champ de Mars to watch the famous Bastille Day fireworks, and stay there for the day enjoying wine parties and picnics.
    8. The largest Bastille Day celebration outside France takes place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where festivities last four days and a 43ft Eiffel Tower replica offers hourly light shows.
    9. Bastille is an alternate spelling of bastide (fortification), which is taken from the Provençal word bastida (built). Embastiller is also a verb used in French, which means “to establish troops in a prison.”
    10. You can dance in a fire station on Bastille Day. To mark the holiday, most Paris fire stations open their doors to the public on 13 and 14 July for dancing and live demonstrations.If you want to experience Bastille Day for yourself, then head to Sofitel Brisbane Central for Bastille Day Gala dinner event.


    Renowned for delivering an indulgent buffet dining experience, Thyme² Restaurant at Sofitel Brisbane Central will now be hosting Family Sundays, a dinner experience designed with families in mind.

    Opening from the 5:30pm each Sunday especially for hungry little tummies, the famous buffet which offers abundant hot and cold savoury dishes, market fresh seafood and exquisite desserts created in the hotel’s own patisserie will now also feature a selection of dishes created for petit guests for a family friendly dining experience.

    To make your family’s Sunday night dinner even more magnifique, bookings made for the early bird time of 5:30pm will also receive an exclusive children’s price of just $10 and complimentary onsite parking for up to four hours.

    BOOK NOW  

  • Why is life magnifique?

    It’s a peculiar surprise to be greeted in French as you enter the lobby of a Brisbane CBD hotel, but at Sofitel Brisbane Central “bonjour” is just the beginning. For those guests that know us well, our French touch comes as no surprise, but first-timers may be taken aback.

    Let’s take a tour back in time to when a legacy was born. Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile opened its doors on 26 June 1964 and developed a reputation for its art exhibitions, gourmet dining and discerning clientele. This sparked the beginning of what would eventually become one of the largest hotel chains in the world, now with over 100 Sofitels in 41 different countries.

    The “what” stems strongly from the “why”, and our “why” is what makes us stand out from others. Sofitel is where innate French elegance artfully blends with local culture to create exceptional experiences, and at Sofitel Brisbane Central, our rituals are a manifestation of this.

    The four brand pillars of SofitelDesign and Innovation, Gastronomy and Wine, Culture and Events, and Well-being – are the foundation from which our rituals are formed. Some of our rituals are hard to miss, whilst others may go unnoticed unless you know where and when to look. That is why we have crafted an explanation of our rituals, and we ask that you keep an eye out the next time you visit.


    At 7am each morning at every Sofitel property around the world, a member of the Concierge is responsible for polishing the name-plate at the hotel entrance.
    A special white cloth is used to polish the plaque in an anti-clockwise direction, reflecting the movement of the earth. The cloth is then folded five times – to represent the five continents – and carefully placed back in the storage box.

    Candle Ritual

    At 5pm each night, two of our Front Office and Concierge ambassadors, dressed in traditional Parisian attire, light the candles in the lobby to signify the passing of day to night. Historically, Paris is known as the first city of light, so it only makes sense to pay tribute to our heritage.
    In 1662 King Louis XIV declared that the streets should be illuminated with candles so that the people of Paris would be safe going out at night. In 2016 Sofitel Brisbane Central performs this ritual, not only to pay homage, but to create a magnifique ambiance for our guests.

    Les Clefs d’Or

    Pericles Yiannakis is our Chief Concierge, and if you look closely at the pin on his suit, you might notice two gold keys crossing over. These keys signify that he is a proud member of the global concierge organisation, Les Clefs d’Or. But they are more than just a symbol of his membership; they are a symbol of guaranteed, quality service.


    Everything about the Sofitel experience is designed as a feast for the senses. We have our own signature fragrance dispensed through the air-conditioning system that can be noticed before you even enter our doors.  
    We’ve commissioned a musical composition exclusively for Sofitel to accompany the Candle Ritual. And everywhere you look, the eye is drawn to the colourful artworks and floral displays that bring life to the interior décor.

    Le Ritual de Pain

    Staying true to our French heritage, we even have a ritual dedicated to our boulangerie. Baking begins before dawn to ensure our guests have an array of fresh bread and pastries available at every meal, and once this is done, our pastry chefs start on our tantalising desserts.

    Cheese and Wine Ritual

    Celebrating the art de vivre, Sofitel continues its signature rituals with the Cheese and Wine ritual. Our guests can choose from a selection cheeses and wines, taste-testing each and choosing which one they like most.

    Apéro Chic

    Inspired by the cultural and culinary tradition of enjoying l’apéritif, this particular ritual truly brings together tradition and new French art de vivre alive. L’apéro-chic is a time in the early evening to socialise, relax, catch up with friends and indulge in drinks and canapés. Put your glasses together and say santé (cheers) for this fun French tradition.

    MyBed™ & Pillow Menu

    Your Sofitel experience wouldn’t be complete without the true luxury of putting your head down on the pillow of your choice. MyBed™ is a unique service that combines the comfort of home and the luxury of the Sofitel to create the ultimate sleep experience.
    The Pillow Menu in each room allows you to choose from a number of options to ensure your utmost “wellness”, and our dedicated ambassadors will have it brought up to you in time for a superb night’s sleep.

    Signature Sofitel Song

    “Rêverie” by HAUTE, created as the signature song for Sofitel Hotels & Resorts, is a blend of electronic R&B and soulful pop. Both vocal and instrumental versions are available for the hotels to be used for a selection of significant moments and touch points: openings, press events, conventions and speeches.
    French duo Anna and Romain are the avant-garde collaboration that make up HAUTE. Born in France, but growing up in America, they blend traditional French heritage with global sensibility, which is perfect for Sofitel.

    Now that you know why we do some of the interesting things we do, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you see an ambassador in a trench coat, holding  a lantern at 5pm.

    It's all part of being magnifique!

  • What's on in March

    An abundance of experiences awaits you in Brisbane this Autumn, from cultural and sporting events to a vibrant restaurant and bar scene and all of the natural local attractions.

    With this in mind, your Brisbane concierge team has developed this bulletin to provide you with ideas for your time in the riverside city. Please do not hesitate to ask us, if you have any questions.

    Pericles Yiannakis, Chief Concierge - Les Clefs d’Or Australia


    As we bid farewell to summer and welcome the golden hues of autumn, relax and induldge in a magnifique dining experience overlooking the iconic Anzac Square from one of our gorgeous restaurants and bars.

    We invite you to take this time to wind down from the business and festivities that come with the start of a new year and treat yourself to a well-deserved experience at Stephanies Day Spa or leisurely swim in our outdoor pool and spa. Otherwise, wander down to Cuvee and indulge in a daily Apero Chic offering or classic cocktail.


    Delve into the history of the river city like never before at the Brisbane Powerhouse, every Wednesday from 01 March. Immerse yourself in Brisbane’s fascinating past, as you’re led by award-winning actors, Therese Collie and Tim Mullooly, on a walk that will take you back in time.

    Your guides will transform into various characters from the works of Brisbane’s great writers and artists, and you’ll learn things about the city that you never would from any tourist brochures.

    For more information, visit


    Let your senses be tantalised by the angelic vocals of Australian theatre, opera and pop star, Kate Miller-Heidke, as she teams up with Queensland’s Chamber Ochestra for a reimagining of her acclaimed hits.

    Conducted by Benjamin Northey, featuring visuals from Amy Gebhardt, this will be a special concert event not to be missed.

    For more information click here


    The Brisbane Queer Film Festival is returning for its 18th birthday, and you’re invited to celebrate its coming of age.

    For ten days, the New Farm Cinemas will be showcasing the most diverse queer films from Australia and around the world. This year’s program has been carefully crafted by directors Shanon King and Justin Marshman, embracing the best of queer cinema.

    Sticking to the theme of its 18th milestone, there will be eighteen sessions in this year’s lineup, including sixteen features, two short sessions, five documentaries and a special binge screening of Brazil’s four-part serial, The Nest.

    In addition to celebrating its birthday, 2017 also sees BQFF becoming a member of the Asia Pacific Queer Film Alliance, alongside the likes of Sydney Mardis Gras Film Festival and Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

    Vist for tickets or more information.


    Come support the Brisbane Lions Women’s team as they take on the Western Bulldogs in the second last match of the inaugural AFLW season.

    It’s been a year of firsts for the ladies, as they remain undefeated, sitting comfortably on top of the ladder. They’ll be looking to defend their top spot, making this a game not to be missed.


    After a record breaking premiere at the Sydney Opera House, My Fair Lady is coming to Brisbane and Sofitel Brisbane Central are proud to be the official partners of the production, commencing at the Lyric Theatre on 14 March.

    Make a weekend of your visit to see the show with the Sofitel Breakfast Drive package which includes accommodation, buffet breakfast for two and parking from just $275 per room per night.



    The 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival will return to Brisbane for its 28th season!

    Discover a dazzling line-up of 45 superb contemporary films for every taste, from historic drama and romantic comedies to tales of great adventure and informative biopics. There will be something for everyone to enjoy! Don’t miss out on this awaited once-a-year event and the 4 special highlights: Opening Night, Ladies Night, Taste of France & Closing night!

    Bon festival à tous!


    Treat your skin to a rejuvenating collagen facial this 30 March at this one day only event, and experience an anti-ageing treatment like no other. You’ll begin with a relaxing welcome massage, followed by the famous Stephanies cleansing ritual tailored to your skin type. To finish, indulge in an intense exfoliation to smooth and prepare your skin for an expert anti-ageing massage that will leave you feeling instantly renewed and revitalised.

    To book, head over to their website



    Known as the Pearl of the Orient Sea, the Philippines is a destination for anyone looking to escape the complexity of the modern world, and relax in a tropical paradise with experiences to suit everyone. Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city, with impeccable views of Manila Bay. Located 20 minutes from the international and domestic airport, and with a complimentary shuttle service to the famous Mall of Asia just a stone’s throw away, the location is perfect for every type of traveller.

    The Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila boasts an enormous lagoon with gorgeous wooden decks where you can relax on a sunbed or enjoy a cocktail from the Sunset Bar. For a gastronomic experience like no other, Spiral restaurant, with its 21 dining ateliers, is sure to entice all your senses. No relaxing, tropical break would be complete without a masterful massage at Le Spa followed by a perfect French manicure from Nail Artisan.

  • What is French Romance? Oh L'Amour...

    Firstly, why do we call Paris the city of love?

    Paris is called the "City of Love" for a number of reasons, including its sights, its native language and its popularity as a honeymoon destination. Although other cities sometimes claim the same moniker, Paris earns its name as a place where romance blossoms. Paris is so well-known for its romantic walks along the Seine River, sidewalk cafe dining and, of course, the Eiffel Tower all aglow at night. The other beautiful architecture, lovely hotels and fine art also help earn the city its name and reputation. Couples in love also enjoy being where they hear French, the "language of love," spoken all around them.

    What is it to be a romantic?




    1. 1.
    2. conducive to or characterized by the expression of love."a romantic candlelit dinner"
    3. synonyms:amorousintimatepassionateinformallovey-dovey"a romantic candlelit dinner"

    Many famous French authors have long lists of romantic sayings extracted from their writings. The sayings below are from various centuries of French literary talents, but all of them are sure to make a big impression when uttered at the right moment or perhaps written inside aValentine's Day card.

    • Le prix d'Amour, c'est seulement Amour, ... Il faut aimer si l'on veut être aimé. This famous quote, written by Honoré d' Urfé, can be translated as follows: The price of love is only love, ... one must love if one desires to be loved.
    • En sa beauté gît ma mort et ma vie. Written by Maurice Scève, this quote literally translates to: In her beauty rests (both) my death and my life. You can make this into a phrase to tell someone directly that you love them by replacing the "sa" (her) with "ta" (your) so that it reads "in YOUR beauty."
    • L'amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie. This line by Madeleine de Scudéry is less of a direct romantic saying and more of an abstract line about love. It translates to: Love is responsible for the greatest pleasures and the worst problems in life. This quote is a good one to use at a melancholic moment, such as when being separated from a loved one.
    • Je serai poète et toi poésie. This line from François Coppée is a very romantic and simple line. It means: I'll be a poet, and you'll be poetry. This is a great inscription for a card or on another gift. Alternatively, say it in person at a heartfelt moment.

    Aimer, ce n'est pas se regarder l'un l'autre, c'est regarder ensemble dans la même direction. This famous quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is almost as famous as his quotes from Le petit prince. This quote means: Love does not consist in looking at each other, but rather in, together, looking in the same direction.

    Today, French Romanticism remains difficult to define because it is so diverse. Baudelaire’s comments from the Salon of 1846 may still apply: “romanticism lies neither in the subjects that an artist chooses nor in his exact copying of truth, but in the way he feels.”

    What is what we call Le Coup de foudre?

    The French expression le coup de foudre has a literal and a figurative meaning, though the latter is a bit more common. Literally, un coup de foudre is a "bolt of lightning" or "thunderbolt."

    Figuratively, it indicates "love at first sight," which I think makes perfect sense, as that feeling is like a huge a shock to the system.

    The two verbs you can use with the figurative meaning give it slightly different nuances:

    être le coup de foudre - to be love at first sight

       Quand je l'ai vu, ça a été le coup de foudre. When I saw it/him, it was love at first sight.

    Avoir le coup de foudre (pour) - to fall in love (with) at first sight

    J'ai eu le coup de foudre pour Thomas / pour Paris. I fell in love with Thomas / Paris at first sight.

    To fall in love (not necessarily at first sight):

       tomber amoureux (de) [not "tomber en amour avec"]

       avoir un coup de cœur (pour)

       (literary) s'éprendre (de)

       (informal) flasher (sur)

    To become infatuated (with):

       s'amouracher (de)

       (formal) s'enticher (de)

       (informal) se toquer (de)

    Some french important vocabulary for Valentine's Day:

    Joyeuse St. Valentin or Bonne St. Valentin Happy Valentines Day

    Je t'aime I love you

    Je t'adore I adore you

    Je pense à toi I'm thinking of you

    Sois mon valentin Be my valentine (to a boy)

    Sois ma valentine Be my valentine (to a girl)

    Les fleurs Flowers

    La rose Rose

    Le chocolat Chocolate

    Le Coeur Heart

    Le baiser Kiss

    Cupidon Cupid

    Mon amour My love

    Mon ange My angel

    Mon chéri My dear (to a boy)

    Ma chérie My dear (to a girl)

    Mon trésor My treasure

    Mon petit chou My little cabbage

    Les bijoux Jewelry

    L'amour Love

    Tomber amoureux I'm falling in love

    Grosses bises Big kisses

    Embrasse moi Hug me


    “ The happiest person is the one who makes others happier"' Denis Diderot

    Santa Claus: Père Noël.
    Christmas tree: Sapin de Noël.
    Presents: Cadeaux.
    Merry Christmas: Joyeux Noël!



    Le Réveillon de Noël is Christmas Eve dinner. At around midnight, French families eat a special meal to celebrate the very beginning of Christmas Day. May your Christmas holiday be filled with cheer, warm memories, and happiness. 
    From 9 December, the Gold Lotto City Hall Light Spectacular will see a magical story beamed on to City Hall every night through to Christmas Eve. And don't miss the Enchanted Garden and Christmas Movies in the Park at Roma Street Parkland, Christmas Beach Cinema at Streets Beach, free carols in The Courier- Mail Piazza, as well as The Christmas Markets and four nights of Christmas Fireworks at South Bank!


    On Tuesday December 6, Sofitel Brisbane Central’s General Manager, Hayden Hughes, opened the doors to Australia’s first in-hotel high performance sporting and recovery facility.

    The brand new ‘ELITE’ Gymnasium was designed in conjunction with a number of respected sporting names including Alex Corvo, High Performance Coach of the Brisbane Broncos & Kangaroos, Andrew Symonds, former Australia Cricket Player and Marcus Wagner, Football Operations Manager of Collingwood Football Club.

    The resulting facility is a combination of exclusivity and unrivalled excellence featuring state of the art cardio, strength and conditioning equipment, a multi-use outdoor area and two dual temperature, climate controlled baths for optimum performance recovery.

    The multi award winning Sofitel Brisbane Central is the city’s home for sport, catering for athletes across a range of codes and disciplines. The resulting expertise and knowledge of requirements has resulted in a facility unlike anything Brisbane or Australia has ever seen - a dedicated, exclusive space formulated for excellence. ELITE heightens the Sofitel Brisbane Central experience and is combined with a range of services and facilities that are second to none.

    General Manager, Hayden Hughes, looks forward to welcoming athletes to the facility, ‘As a hotel, we are proud to have a long tradition of being a ‘home away from home’ for elite athletes and sporting teams. I see the opening of ELITE as a milestone moment for continuation of that tradition. With this facility, we are aiming to better cater for the very specific needs of our sporting guests, welcoming them to Brisbane and to our hotel, cementing this great cities reputation as the ‘home of sport’ on a national and international level’.

  • GOMA’s turning 10 – get ready to party!

    GOMA Turns 10 – 2 Weeks to Go!

    Our GOMA Turns 10 celebrations kick off with an amazing range of free exhibitions, interactive Children's Art Centre projects, unique Cinémathèque programs, a new public artwork and an opening weekend packed full of spectacular performances, hands-on workshops and more.

    Can’t wait for the weekend celebrations? Join us on Friday 2 December for a party to celebrate GOMA turning 10!

  • November Newsletter

    An abundance of experiences awaits you in Brisbane from cultural and sporting events to a vibrant restaurant and bar scene and all of the natural local attractions. With this in mind, your Brisbane concierge team has developed this bulletin to provide you with ideas for your time in the riverside city. Please do not hesitate to ask us, if you have any questions.

    Pericles Yiannakis
    Les Clefs d’Or Australia

    The festive season is approaching and what better way to celebrate than with a Magnifique dining experience at the luxurious Sofitel Brisbane Central. Exquisite Christmas dining is available from November 4th until December 30th. Along with feative season, planning a magnifique Summer escape is also top of mind. Visit to take advantage of the incredible packages and exqusite offers available this coming holidays.

    BBC British Film Festival - Palace Barrack Cinemas - 1 - 16 November 

    Now in its fourth year, exclusively at Palace Cinemas, the BBC First British Film Festival 2016 program features a spread of international award-winners, crowd favourites, and Australian premieres. For full session and film information visit

    CITY EVENT Supanova Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre - 11 – 13 November Supanova Pop Culture Expo, since 2000, is where the adoring public comes face to face with Supa-Star celebrities and the creative talent that inspire their imaginary worlds under one big roof.Gathered from and surrounded by the wonderful worlds of comic books, animation/cartoons, science-fiction, pulp TV/movies, toys, console gaming, trading cards, fantasy, entertainment technology, books, internet sites and fan-clubs. The result is an amazing atmosphere tailor made for expressing your inner geek and where getting into cosplay (cos-tume role-play) is the obvious thing to do! It’s Comic con AUstralian Style !

    CITY EVENT Land Rover Polo in the City Dorrington Park - 19 November Land Rover Polo in the City’ is a rare opportunity to witness Australian, and international, polo stars in high speed action in a capital city near you. A perfect day out with friends, or an unrivalled corporate Christmas function, ‘Land Rover Polo in the City’ allows you to enjoy the excitement of the world’s fastest growing spectator sport from within the festive atmosphere of the

    ‘Somersby Polo Lounge’. This chic and vibrant event (a state winner at the Australian Event Awards in the ‘Best Sporting Event’ category), is taking Australia by storm, so don’t miss.

    EXHIBITIONS & PERFORMANCE DISGRACED - Until November 6 QPAC Prize-winning drama fearlessly puts contemporary attitudes towards politics, race and religion under the microscope. Exploring freedom of speech, political correctness and the prejudices towards Islam that still persist even in the most progressive cultural circles.

    Sunday Sessions on the Green 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th November 2-5pm - River Quay Green Southbank Parklands
    The sun is shining and the weather is great – there's no better way to enjoy Queensland's famous climate than with a relaxing Sunday Session at Brisbane’s most spectacular riverfront destination, River Quay Green. Finish your weekend on the right note with live music performances, lawn games and funky chill-out seating on the lush River Quay Green every Sunday afternoon.

    Spring Glow - 100minutes - Rose Petal Foot Immersion | Exfoliation | Massage
    Your Spring Glow begins with a rose petal and lavender scrub foot immersion. Breathe and enjoy our la Vie élixir® lavender 20 minute back exfoliation to deeply cleanse your entire back area, bliss out with a 30 minute orange & lavender nourishing balm back massage then gently turn over and enjoy our 50 minute spring renew French facial include including cooling beauty globes massage finishing with a heavenly scalp massage.

    FOCUS ON SOFITEL Bali Nusa Dua
    Nusa Dua's only French heritage instilled luxury 5-star beachfront resort with 8 hectares of tropical gardens, modern
    architecture and sophistication in every detail. The resort offers a collection of 415 well-appointed rooms including 39
    suites and villas alongside complete resort facilities: 2 restaurants, 3 bars, Nikki Beach Bali, So FIT, So SPA, Vietura Bali Aesthetic Clinic, outdoor and indoor kids club and 12 function rooms including one Grand Ballroom and one Beachfront Ballroom.
    Located within the exclusive and serene five-star beach resort enclave of Bali's famous southern peninsula, Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort is a sumptuous retreat within close reach to Bali's tranquil eastern coastline of Nusa Dua. Nusa Dua is home to the Bali Collection shopping, dining & entertainment centre, Bali Nusa Dua Theatre, and the Bali National Golf Club. It's 30 minutes' drive from the airport and a short-drive north to the water sport coastal area of Tanjung Benoa. Lot N5 Nusa Dua Tourism Complex 80363 NUSA DUA BALI INDONESIA /

  • Melbourne Cup tips

    This Melbourne Cup Day, build an outfit of unsurpassed glamour at QueensPlaza. From top to toe, including hair and beauty, we have everything you need to stand out on the big day. Take a look at our race day ready items at

    Plus, be sure to visit our Millinery Pop Up on Level One for inspiration, styling advice and the perfect headwear from the talented Felicity Boevink Millinery and Martina McGrath Millinery (until 1 November).

    2016 Melbourne Cup Update:

    The 2016 Melbourne Cup is set to run on Tuesday November 1 and the Melbourne Cup field is starting to take shape. 

    Some last Fashion Tips:

    ■ Interesting textures like lace and pleats; expect to see lots of white lace on Derby Day this Saturday.

    ■ Black and white metallic, with splashes of silver and gold in bags, shoes and headwear. Check out styles from queen crown-maker Viktoria Novak, hat guruNerida Winter and talented milliner Hatmaker.

    ■ A fit and flare shape, tighter around the top and flared out at the waist is the preferred shape of the racing season.

    ■ According to the Myer style peeps, long or midi and cap sleeved dresses, as well as detailed high neck pieces will be popular this season.


    ■ Shorts: even of they are smart “walk” shorts, a day at the races is not the time to look like you are about to step out onto the golf course.

    ■ Don’t wear brand new shoes. You want to make sure you can walk comfortably all day and not be part of the shoes over your shoulder brigade at the end of the day

    ■ Don’t wear an outfit that is too revealing or one where you can see your midriff: leave that for the beach. Races are about elegance and sophistication.

    ■ Don’t wear millinery that is SOO over the top that it gets in the way of other racing guests.

    Vogue Australia at the Races

    Kate Waterhouse's Cup Carnival Fashion Blog

    2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival - Fashions on the Field:

    There are four key criteria that the judges will be looking for when it comes to the Myer Fashions on the Field competition:

    Style - your dress needs to meet the style standards expected of entrants in a leading fashion competition - outdated styles will not impress!
    Originality - meaning your dress offers something new and unseen in the competition's history and has hopefully anticipated - or better yet SET - the latest trend!
    Attention to detail - this alludes to the importance of every single detail from head to toe
    Adherence to the dress code - to stand any chance of winning your outfit must conform to the dress code and fashion brief for the given day of the Carnival (yes, the three main days each have a theme!)

    The Emirates Melbourne Cup 2016 is the most important race on the Australian horse racing calendar. It isn’t called “The Race That Stops A Nation” for nothing – Australia really does come to a halt for an afternoon to watch the Melbourne Cup, which is the world’s richest handicap.

    Held each year on the first Tuesday of November, the Melbourne Cup is a real test of staying power. The Melbourne Cup is raced over a distance of 3200 metres, far longer than any other major event in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, so it is certainly not a race that is easy to prepare for. Two miles is the traditional cup race distance and few races in Australia are still contested over these meters.

    Every year the Melbourne Cup captures the attention of race fans around the country and abroad. It has now become a truly international affair too with nearly half of the 2016 Melbourne Cup field being raiders trained outside of Australia and New Zealand. Each year the international raiders are well-fancied in the Melbourne Cup Odds as they are bred to go the distance.

    The Melbourne Cup is one of the few remaining genuine, two-mile races held in Australia each year. The only other 3200m race at Flemington Racecourse is the Andrew Ramsden Stakes, while in New South Wales the Sydney Cup is the country’s other Group 1 over the distance. Australia isn’t known for breeding genuine stayers and that is one of the reasons why every year the Melbourne Cup field features more and more both internationally-bred and trained horses.

    The race goes for roughly three and a half minutes with the Melbourne Cup race record held by the Bart Cummings-trained Kingston Rule who won in 3:16.30 minutes back in 1990.
    The 2016 Melbourne Cup will be run on Tuesday 1st November 2016 at 3pm local time.

  • Events in October in Brisbane

    Cindy Sherman
    GoMA – South Bank
    Until 3 October Cindy Sherman is renowned for her mastery of masquerade — her own image is at the centre of an inspiring array of character studies created over decades.

    Johnny Romeo
    Mitchell Fine Art
    Until 15 October
    A raucous and rollicking journey through the wild frontiers of Pop culture, this exhibition offers a fresh new spin on Romeo’s signature brand of bombastic Neo-Expressionist Pop.

    Craft and Quilt Fair
    Merivale St, South Brisbane
    5-9 October
    Heralded as THE home of craft, the fair is a fixture in the diary of crafting enthusiasts and has everything under the one roof to be inspired and get creative.

    Singin’ in the Rain
    Until 23rd October
    This spectacular show is packed full of the charm, romance, comedy and Tinseltown glamour of one of the world's best-loved movies. It tells the story of the first Hollywood musical, when the silver screen found its voice and left silent movies - and some of its stars - behind.

    Spring Hill Reservoirs
    7, 8, 11-15, 18-21 October
    HeartBeast Theatre have transformed the Spring Hill Underground Reservoirs into a war bunker for its exciting immersive production of Hamlet.

    Suitcase Rummage in Brisbane City
    266 George St, Brisbane
    October 2 & 16
    Suitcase Rummage is a mini scaled market with giant rewards; it promises to be everything that is a market without the hassle. Its about bringing a suitcase (or two!) filled to the brim with your goods and treats.

    Oktoberfest Brisbane
    RNA Showgrounds
    7-9, 14-16 October
    It’s time to don your dirndl and lederhosen and get ready to celebrate Australia’s biggest German Festival when Oktoberfest Brisbane lands in 2016.

    Brisbane Fashion Weekend
    RICC, Bowen Hills
    22nd – 23rd October
    Brisbane Fashion Weekend is the ultimate Brisbane fashion event featuring designer catwalk shows coupled with an on-site designer and boutique pop-up shopping experience, featuring exclusive designer offers and discounts on current and past collection


    Brisbane Roar V Victory
    Suncorp Stadium 7 October

    Brisbane Roar V Glory
    Suncorp Stadium 30 October

    Cricket @ the Gabba
    13 Oct 10:00 AM NSW Breakers v SA Scorpions
    14 Oct 10:00 AM NSW Breakers v Tasmanian Roar
    16 Oct 10:00 AM QLD Fire v NSW Breakers
    25 Oct 02:00 PM QLD Bulls v NSW Blues




    A range of sublime, gastronomic delights that are locally sourced, handcrafted and entirely unique.

    ‘‘An Artisan (from French: artisan, Italian: artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates things by hand that may be functional or strictly decorative.’’ See a watchmaker creating mechanical mechanisms such as the handmade clockwork movement. Artisans practice a craft and may through experience and aptitude reach the expressive levels of an artist.

    Enjoy one of our Magnifique Experiences at:

    Cuvée Lounge Bar

    In partner with Ink Gin, we created beautiful cocktails: The Ink Fizz would be Ink Gin, lemon juice, lime juice, cream, orange blossom, whites & the martini is Ink Gin & vermouth.

    Venture to Privé249

    Where modern, innovative French inspired cuisine from Chef de Cuisine James Gallagher will take you on a Magnifique journey to our local produces.

    Continue to Thyme²

    Our chefs expertly create a selection of gourmet dishes and desserts inspired by our region. Discover Le Cellier, a range of local red, white and sparkling wines as an accompaniment to your dining experience. 

    Thyme2 Interactive buffet restaurant will have it decorated thanks to some of our local partner:ARTISAN


    Magnifique experiences await you in Brisbane from cultural and sporting events to a vibrant restaurant and bar scene and all of the natural local attractions.

    Royal Queensland Show - Ekka
    600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills 5-14th of August
    The Royal Queensland Show, or Ekka as it's most commonly known, is Queensland's largest annual event. Held over ten full days, Ekka showcases life and achievements in the Sunshine State, bringing visitors from all across Queensland and Australia to the heart of Brisbane. 2016 marks the 139th show and brings with it a variety of best talent, culture, produce, fun and entertainment.

    Brisbane Marathon Festival Park Road, Milton 6th & 7th of August
    Set your sights on discovering what Brisbane has to offer, by foot. Brisbane Marathon Festival events, tour famous city streets and take you on a journey of the beautiful Brisbane river. The marathon event will cross several bridges and multiple landmarks along the way, in what will be one of the most picturesque courses Australia has to offer. The Brisbane Marathon is one of the fastest growing marathons in Australia with participants flocking from over 35 countries and representing every state of Australia.

    As a part of L’Artisan, we invite you to experience our exquisite high tea paired with a bespoke cocktail using locally sourced Gin from Byron Bay Distiller, Ink Gin. Choose from either The Ink Fizz comprised of Ink Gin, lemon juice, lime juice, cream, orange blossom, whites, or a classic Ink Gin Martini $65 per person. 

    Visit our website landing page HIGH TEA for more information, pre bookings required

    CINDY SHERMAN Until October 3rd GOMA | GALLERY 1.1 

    Cindy Sherman is renowned for her mastery of masquerade — her own image is at the centre of an inspiring array of character studies created over decades. Sherman expands on contemporary society's fascination with aspiration, narcissism and the cult of celebrity, and explores the resulting emotional fragility. Focusing on large-scale photographs made since 2000, this exhibition charts the artist's return as the central model in her artworks, for which she is also costume designer, make-up artist and photographer. The exhibition includes two series made with high fashion houses Balenciaga and Chanel, and an entirely new body of work shown for the first time outside New York.

    Spa Indulgence – 5 Hours - Rose Petal Foot Immersion | Skin Brushing | Body Scrub | Massage 60mins Spa Lunch | Classical Facial | Classic Manicure & Pedicure 

    When only the best will do, the occasion calls for excellence! Embark on this amazing journey with an intensive dry body brushing, full body exfoliation for complete skin renewal, then let us soothe away the stresses of the outside world with an aromatic one hour essential massage. Drift gently back into consciousness in time for a sumptuous spa cuisine lunch served to you on the sundeck. Enjoy a lazy swim or simply doze until it is time for us to welcome you back to enjoy a classical facial where we will revitalise your skin with a customised treatment to uncover a new you. A scalp and hand or foot massage provides the perfect interlude before we further indulge you with our hand therapy manicure and foot therapy pedicure.


    Concierge Tips – July 2016

    Sacre Bleu  at Sofitel Brisbane Central - French Theme until 17th July

    Cuvée Lounge Bar
    Selection of French wines, Barrel-Aged Settlers Gin Negroni
    Sidecar French Martini twist cocktail, French sparkling or glamourous Champagne by the glass, Iconic Kir Royal made with Crème de Cassis.

    Venture to Privé249
    Where modern, innovative French inspired cuisine from Chef de Cuisine James Gallagher will take you on a Magnifique journey to Paris & beyond.

    Continue to Thyme²
    Our chefs expertly create a selection of gourmet dishes and desserts inspired by the classic flavours of France and its regions. Discover Le Cellier, a range of French & local red, white and sparkling wines as an accompaniment to your dining experience.

    Display in Thyme² with Le Comptoir & La Vieille Branche

    Le Comptoir Français is an online boutique offering a selection of clothing and home linen from iconic French brands. With a range of women’s and men’s clothing from Saint James, Arthur and Vicomte A, baby clothes from Cyrillus and home linen from Garnier Thiebaut, there is something French for the whole family. 

    Le Comptoir Français also distributes for two of these brands:

    Saint James, that manufactures the classic marinière and woollen jumpers in Normandy, 20 minutes from the Mont Saint Michel.Garnier Thiebaut, manufacturing jacquard linen since 1833 in the Vosges region.



     ''Le Comptoir Français to bring to Australia a vision of my youth, in the form of classic French linen and clothing.

    As a young boy I was surrounded by iconic French products from the kitchen to the table, from bathroom to bedroom and from the streets of Caen to the beaches of Normandy – brands that to me represent the quality of everyday French living and are an integral part of every French family’s daily life''


    Vieille Branche

    is a concept shop in a backstreet warehouse at 10 Fox St, Albion, Brisbane.

    The name, Vieille Branche, directly translates to ‘the old branch’. It is a colloquial way of saying ‘my old friend’ in French.They want people to feel that way when they come to see us, we want to create a space where people start talking and meet new ‘old’ friends.

    We eat, laugh, share, learn, create, find, sell & make but scroll down to see a little more of what we do!

    7.30am - 4pm Tuesday - Friday, Saturday 7:30am - 2pm
    Sunday + Monday Closed



    Le Festival – Brisbane French Festival (8-10th July, South Bank Cultural forecourt)
    Entry fee: $5 (free for children under 12)

    The Brisbane French Festival returns to South Bank’s parklands from 8 - 10 July and invites you to discover the best of French culture.

    Traditionally celebrating Bastille Day, join us for our annual gourmet fair and celebration of French heritage.

    From an exclusive selection of design and handicraft products, to culinary delicacies, wines and champagnes and hours of French entertainment on stage, the Brisbane French Festival plays host to Australia’s most traditional French experience.



    Winter Festival (Until 10th July, King George Square)
    Free entry

    Get set for some true winter magic at Winter Festival Brisbane. Enjoy open-air ice-skating, tobogganing and powder snow with traditional European culinary delights and captivating entertainment for the whole family.

    In the hub of bustling Brisbane King George Square stands next to the stunning City Hall providing an imposing backdrop for the large outdoor Winter Festival ice skating rink.

    The ice skating rinks are wheel chair accessible and there are special skates for tiny tots.


    Colombian street Festival (July 16th, Ballow Street, Fortitude Valley)
    Entry Fee: $15

    Join us again this year for a traditional street party featuring exotic food, drink, arts and entertainment that will tantalise your senses to an extraordinary cultural experience right here in the heart of Fortitude Valley.

    Traditional Colombian food, beverages (including Aguardiente, Aguila), performances, bands, artists and DJs will be performing throughout the festival. The official after-party will continue at GPO.

    Sunday Sessions on the green (Every Sunday from 10am, South Bank – River Quay Green)
    Free entry

    The sun is shining and the weather is great – there's no better way to enjoy Queensland's famous climate than with a relaxing Sunday Session at Brisbane’s most spectacular riverfront destination, River Quay Green.

    Finish your weekend on the right note with live music performances, lawn games and funky chill-out seating on the lush River Quay Green every Sunday afternoon. This weekly event showcases the soft and smooth tunes of some of Brisbane’s best musicians, all set against the backdrop of the sparkling city skyline.

    Regional Flavours ( 16-17th July, South Bank Parklands)
    Free entry

    Maggie Beer, Matt Preston, George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and more - Australia's best-known chefs and cooks are coming to Brisbane. Head to the South Bank Parklands on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July to see them whip up gourmet treats and simple, scrumptious eats at Regional Flavours presented by The Courier-Mail.

    Regional Flavours is completely free to attend and includes something for all ages, including a producer market with more than 80 stallholders from across Queensland, live music, craft beer, regional wines, kids' activities and more.

    For more events or day-trip ideas, go on



    An abundance of experiences await you in Brisbane from cultural and sporting events to a vibrant restaurant and bar scene and all of the natural local attractions.


    With this in mind, your Brisbane concierge team has come up with some enchanting ideas for your time in the riverside city. Please do not hesitate to contact us before or during your visit for any additional suggestions!


    Pericles Yiannakis


    Les Clefs d’Or Australia


    Disney on Ice presents The Magic Ice Festival

    2/06/2016 – 17/07/2016

    Boondall – Brisbane Entertainment Centre

    A must for families. The hugely popular FROZEN comes to life on ice.

    For Information Click HERE


    City2South Fun Run 2016

    Sunday 5/6/2016

    5km start @ Brisbane Corso,Dutton Park, adjacent to Goodwin Park

    14km start @ William St, between Elizabeth St & Margaret St

    $40-$60 entry

    For Information Click HERE


    Yoga Day Festival


    Roma St Parklands

    This FREE event follows the success of last year's inaugural festival, which saw over two-thousand yoga lovers come together in the heart of Brisbane City to celebrate 'International Yoga Day'.

    For Information Click HERE


    Out of the Box Festival


    Out of the Box is a biennial festival for children 8 years and under, held at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and surrounding venues.

    For Information Click HERE


    West End Film Festival

    24 & 26/6/2016

    Boundary Hotel West End

    Launch Party and 2016 Music Video Awards

    For Information Click HERE


    Sunday Session on the Green

    Every Sunday from 5pm

    Southbank Parklands

    The sun is shining and the weather is great – there's no better way to enjoy Queensland's famous climate than with a relaxing Sunday

    Session at Brisbane’s most spectacular riverfront destination, River Quay Green.

    For Information Click HERE



    14/15 Jamest Street, Fortitude Valley


    Gerard’s Bistro is the latest of the stylish restaurants in the James Street precinct. This one-of-a-kind culinary destination has earned many praises from critics since it opened in July of 2012.


    Its modern décor features a textured yet relaxing environment and is a masterwork of the Moubarak Brothers. They are the avant-gardes that brought West End’s Lychee Lounge and Fortitude Valley’s Laruche Bar to life. The restaurant’s intelligent and simplistic structure and layout, which create a flow through chains of interconnected areas, promise to give guests a unique dining experience.


    The remarkable thing about Gerard’s Bistro that sets it apart from other popular dining destinations is its enticing menu. The man behind its delightful creations is Head Chef Ben Williamson—one of the elites of the restaurant scene in Brisbane for his widely-recognised work with Cha Cha Char and Urbane. The menu has great influences from some of the most flavourful cuisines in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East.


    The restaurant also has an extensive list of wines and drinks to complement its hearty and mouth-watering offerings. Gerard’s Bistro serves lunch from Tuesday through to Sunday and dinner seven days a week, while breakfast is also available on weekends mornings.



  • Pistachio Macaron Recipe

    A classic macaron flavour loved by our guests, now you can create these delicate bites of heaven in your own home with this recipe created by Executive Chef, Patrice Falantin.


    200g Egg Whites                     

    60g Caster Sugar                     

    250g Almond Meal                            

    450g Icing Sugar                      

    Green Food Colouring

    Crushed Pistachios


    Pistachio Filling Ingredients:

    200g Soft Butter

    150g Caster Sugar

    100g Almond Meal

    Pistachio Paste or Pistachio Nuts


    Pistachio Macaroon Process:

    1. Preheat oven to 150°c

    2. Mix almond meal and icing sugar together in a food processor for approximately 4 minutes.

    3. Sift and set aside.

    4. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form and add half the sugar.

    Continue whisking until stiff peaks form and add remaining sugar.

    5. Whilst whisking, add green food colouring until the desired colour forms.

    6. Using a spatula, gently fold in the sifted icing sugar and almond meal until just combined. Do not over mix.

    7. Pipe the mixture onto baking trays 5cm apart. Sprinkle with crushed Pistachios.

    8. Leave the Macaroons to rest for approximately 15 minutes before baking.

    9. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until set and lift off the tray.


    Pistachio Filling Process:

    1. Cream the butter and castor sugar until pale.

    2. Add in the almond meal and mix until combined.

    3. Add in pistachio paste to taste or alternatively finely grated pistachios.


    Assemble by placing filling between two macaron biscruits

    Bon Appétit!


    Sofitel Brisbane Central’s iconic MICE spaces have been given a modern update with stylish, understated carpeting being installed throughout all 15 flexible event spaces and onsite staging company, AV Partners, taking technology to thrilling new heights. 

    The addition of two new venues, Bercy Room and Soiree Terrace now provide organisers with even more choice with the Soiree Terrace offering a stunning outdoor option for breakouts, cocktail functions or dinners featuring sweeping views over Brisbane’s city.  The upgrades to the AV facilities have been extensive with the 1,100 capacity Ballroom Le Grand now boasting a 9M Mega Blend Screen, 90 intelligent table lights, 120m drape track to cover the entire space with black, white or star cloths and a Flown Meyer Audio Array. All other venues including boutique restaurant space, Privé249 have been given a total technology refresh to ensure clients have a seamless audio visual experience. 

    Director of Sales & Marketing, Abbey Madden says that the refresh has given the hotel’s MICE facilities an entirely new feel. ‘The Sofitel brand embraces elegance and femininity with a modern edge, this new look certainly encapsulates that’ she says. ‘The state of the art technology has also been instrumental in ensuring we continue to provide our clients with leading product and service’. She continues by mentioning the Sofitel brand’s ‘Inspired Meetings’, which highlight exceptional experiences for conferences and events. ‘It’s about exceeding expectations, providing those memorable, ‘once in a lifetime’ moments that takes an event to the next level. It could be anything from a specially curated culinary experience within the hotel kitchens or a behind the scenes opportunity with one of our luxury partners… the sky is the limit and we embrace the chance to create these moments for our clients.’ 

    With Sofitel Brisbane Central taking the coveted ‘Best Deluxe Hotel’ award in the Queensland Hotel Awards and Bronze in the highly prestigious Queensland Tourism Industry Council awards within the ‘Luxury Accommodation’ category, it is obvious that their dedication to excellence flows from their MICE spaces to their 433 stunning guest rooms and suites and throughout the four multi award winning dining outlets. 

    To highlight their recent refresh, Sofitel Brisbane Central is currently offering new events 1 for every 10 delegates complimentary on both accommodation and day delegate packages. They are also including an 'Inspired Meetings' experience on each day of the conference. 


    Jerome Magisson, one of our fabulous chefs in the Privé249 kitchen has been awarded 'Most Outstanding Pastry Chef 2016' by the Australian Culinary Federation this week with a bronze, silver and gold in different categories. 

    Jerome works at Privé249 with James Gallagher our Chef de Cuisine and is passionate about creating modern, inspired and truly sublime dishes for Prive249 guests.

    This Masterpiece is now on display at the Privé249 Maitre D desk situated on the lobby level. This represents more than a month of preparation and 30 hours of work. Fresha Mardira from Pastry also won a silver medal for her entry in the 'static dessert' – same competition. 

    Bravo Team!