Fortitude Valley, described by Visit Brisbane as “a contradiction in itself – raw, yet sophisticated. It is where elegance and style meet grungy and offbeat” It’s a fantastic, kinda grubby, little gem about a mile outside of the Brissy CBD and I absolutely adore it!
When I first arrived in Australia back in August 2014, Kerry and I spent 2 weeks living in a dreamworld; We rented an amazing apartment in the Meriton just minutes from Sydney’s CBD, we spent everyday in the city, seeing the famous sights and being proper little tourists. I couldn’t have asked for more, it truly was a whirlwind of love and excitement!
Then reality kicked in, we could no longer afford the fancy accommodation or the Sydneysider lifestyle, so we got on a plane and headed to Brisbane.
We started our Brissy adventure in New Farm, which is probably my favourite place on earth! Gorgeous green spaces, a bustling shopping mall, a million awesome food choices and a free ferry in to the city, it has a suburban, but cosmopolitan vibe and I loved it! Then we moved again as unfortunately a price tag comes with ‘suburban cosmopolitan’, so for 5 months we called Fortitude Valley ‘home’. It’s only a stones throw from New Farm, but I was slightly dubious at first as it was a rougher part of town, but, hey, we rented a cheap, tiny studio apartment just a few doors down from the famous Tivoli music hall, we were moments from the High Street and we had Chinatown on our doorstep. My worries vanished, I was back in our dreamworld.
The Valley (as it’s known to locals) is about a 30 minute walk from Brisbanes CBD, it’s a grungy, urban place full of sex shops, beggars, underground bars and delicious Asian restaurants. The high street itself is pedestrianised about half way down and this area plays host to many cool overpriced brunch spots and funky, alternative bars. Brunswick Street is the place to go for food and James Street is great for bars (and homewares!) We spent many a happy evening just wondering through the side streets and laneways (avoiding the strip clubs and ‘The End is Nigh’ scaremongers) finding kitsch little shops, expensive craft beer bars and cool veggie restaurants. There are too many to mention but one of my favourites is Govindas Vegetarian. It’s a really great place that offers authentic Indian food at great prices. It also runs a great initiative helping to feed families in need through a sponsorship scheme. Check it out if you can!
If you head in the opposite direction, towards Bowen Hills, you’ll find Victoria Park and Roma Parklands. This is just a little piece of heaven in a crazy city. You’ll absolutely forget were you are! It made me forget New Farm and that’s saying something! It’s green, full of trees, there’s a gorgeous lake and a trail that leads you right in to the CBD. It’s a perfect stroll on a spring day and something I absolutely loved to do. Kerry, not so much, it was hot and he isn’t a fan of sweating!
The reason I’m reminiscing so much is because this month marks our 3 year Brissy-versary. This time 3 years ago, this is the life we were living, calling this wonderful part of Australia ours and falling deeper in love with every passing day. Sorry, soppy!!! Everything about The Valley for me, is full of happiness. Yes, our apartment was a dive, yes there were lots of strippers around, yes, drug addicts were everywhere, yes I got ‘told off’ by a policeman for drinking in the street, but, you know what, I wouldn’t change any of it. I can’t wait to go back one day and relive the whole darn thing! Vagrants an’ all!
Here are a few more pictures (courtesy of my very first Instagram Account – Carat Cake) I hope you don’t mind!!!
I would love to know if anyone else has spent time in Fortitude Valley and if you love it as much as I do! Please share your experiences below, or head over to Instagram and start the conversation there! Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it! ✌❤