Rafael Nadal at the Brisbane International

A ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ Guide to the Brisbane International

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If you’re in charge of organising your annual ladies trip to the Brisbane International and you want it to be the stand-out trip of the year, here’s a few ideas that even Serena Williams would love.

From boutique shopping to high tea and sophisticated lunches, you and your friends will ace your Brisbane adventure and set the new standard for trips to come.

So, rally the ladies together and let them know that your trip is going to be a grand slam smash.

First things first, where to have lunch (and wine)

Thyme2 Restaurant, Brisbane

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Photo by Sofitel Brisbane Central via Instagram

Treat the ladies to a taste of sophisticated dining at Thyme2 Restaurant. Nestled inside the Sofitel Brisbane, this award-winning restaurant serves worldwide cuisines and offers a unique buffet experience. Their signature feature is market fresh seafood and they also have an in-house Patisserie, so keep room for a naughty (yet tasty) dessert.

1889 Enoteca, Woolloongabba

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Photo by 1889 Enoteca via Instagram

When in Rome Woolloongabba, do as the Romans do. Obviously, the ‘Gabba’ isn’t Rome, but you can experience authentic Italian culture and cuisine inside 1889 Enoteca.

Dine on delicious Roman fare and sip on some of the finest vini naturali (natural wines) in Brisbane. And that’s just on the surface, beneath this award-winning restaurant sits a beautifully crafted underground cellar, perfect for private dining and functions. After all, Enoteca does translate to wine library.

Malt Pier, Newstead

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Photo by Malt Pier Newstead via Instagram

Looking for lunch with a view? Well, how about luscious parklands in the background and the iconic Brisbane river as the foreground?

The Malt Pier in Newstead is a popular lunch destination and the vibe is very intimate compared to its big brother; Malt Dining in the city. With a relaxed and refreshing feel, you can indulge on fresh seasonal produce as you catch up on all the gossip with your friends.

Where to (boutique) shop

Logan Road, Woolloongabba

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Photo by Absolutely Fabulous via Instagram

Amidst the restaurants and cafés of the Logan Road dining precinct, you’ll find charming little boutique shops. The precinct itself has a vintage feel with heritage-listed buildings and the Gabba area is slowly transforming into an urban hub. Neatly tucked behind the Gabba Cricket Grounds on the corner of Jurgens Street and Logan Road,  is Absolutely Fabulous; a quirky little store that sells everything from clothing to homewares. Warning: If you’re going in to have a ‘look’, you won’t leave the store empty-handed.

The Barracks, Petrie Terrace

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Photo by The Robe via Instagram

What was once an Army Barracks site in the 1800’s is now a trendy retail landmark. The Barracks at Petrie Terrace offers a little bit of everything from dining to retail. And if retail therapy is what you need, head straight to The Robe. With an eclectic mix of fashion, accessories and homewares, it’s just the spot to pick up a new outfit and boho hat to wear at the tennis.

Psst! If boutique shopping isn’t your cup of tea, here are 6 other shopping hot spots to check out in Brisbane.

Where to take the ladies for high tea

The Spirit of Queensland High Tea, Stamford Plaza

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Photo by Stamford Plaza via Instagram

Andy Murray’s homeland (Britain) may have invented high tea, but Stamford Plaza has put a Queensland stamp on it. All their delectable creations only incorporate fresh Queensland produce and draw from Queensland experiences such as the Ekka.

Champagne High Tea, Customs House

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Photo by Customs House via Instagram

Give the ladies a touch of French elegance and spoil them with Champagne High Tea at the Brisbane Customs House. With stunning views of the Story Bridge, you’ll graze on savoury canapes,  mascarpone and biscotti as you enjoy French tea or a sneaky glass of Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne.

More things to do while you’re here

During the Day:

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You’ll be in Brisbane during summer, so if it gets too hot and you want to cool off indoors, head to the Blue Room Cinebar in Rosalie and catch a new release or arthouse film. Feel like a celebrity and order meals, drinks and alcoholic bevvies from your seat, so all you need to do is relax and enjoy the movie.

If you want to see the local wildlife, hop on board the Mirimar II and cruise down the Brisbane river to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. It is the world’s first and largest Koala sanctuary and if you’re wondering, yes – you can definitely take a photo with one of these furry residents.

At night:

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Photo by Cork and Chroma via Instagram

If you’re looking for things to do at night, Brisbane has a lot to offer. Get dolled up and catch a Broadway show at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Or, if you’re an arty bunch, head to Cork and Chroma and paint a masterpiece as you sip on fine wine and have fun. Even the ‘non-creative’ in your group will be able to master this art. Plus, you get to take your artwork home as a memory of your creative night out.

What to look forward to at the Brisbane International

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Photo by Getty Images

The Brisbane International (31 December 2017 – 7 January 2018) will see tennis superstars and fans from around the world converge in the river-side suburb of Tennyson. You heard that right; Tennyson as in “Tennis in” – the name says it all.

Andy Murray is kicking off his 2018 campaign at the Brisbane International this year and it’s the first time he’s been back since 2013. Nadal is also making an appearance this year and it’ll be quite interesting when these two stars face off.

Reigning champs Karolina Pliskova and Girgor Dimitrov will also be back to defend their titles.

Even without name dropping, this year’s tournament is going to be incredible and you and your friends will be close to all the action.

Have you started planning your trip to the Brisbane International?