An Evening in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Fortitude Valley is full of activities at any time of the day or night. There is always something happening as well as much to see here. It’s a place where culture oozes from the area as East meets West. From historic buildings through to modern, grunge to clean lines. Brisbane’s iconic Valley will always be known as Australia’s first dedicated entertainment district.

Affectionately known as The Valley to local Brisbanites, the area sits on the Eastern edge of the main city. Easily accessible by train, which we chose to use on this weekend afternoon, its simply a matter of choosing where you would like to go.

Our choice today was the intriguing Alfred and Constance, consisting of two Queenslander style homes, the bones of which were used to create bars and differing areas within.

Starting with a cocktail on a quiet part of the verandah, we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and attentive, friendly staff. Patrons drifted in for a chat over a drink with mates, or for group celebrations. With the different bars as well as this really cool verandah area, where you can watch the world pass by, theres bound to be an area to suit you.The menu is pub style food, at reasonable prices. Arancini, pictured above was quite delicious. Not only was the food nicely presented and tasty, it arrived quite quickly after ordering.Salt & Pepper calamari, plus cheesy bacon fries completed the shared choices for this evening. After taking some time to meander through the food and drinks, it was time to leave this relaxing spot and head off to find our main objective for the evening, Brush N Barrel.

Brush & Barrel is an interesting concept, bringing together a love of wine and painting. Tonight was a pet portrait evening which was a birthday treat for myself. Photos of our pets had been sent in, with staff sketching these onto a canvas for us to paint, whilst indulging in a wine or two. Yes! Bring your own wine and learn a few brush strokes, before you proudly leave with a painting of your own pet, completed by yourself.A couple of staff are hand to assist, one then using a canvas to show you some brush strokes. You dont have to follow the instructions, go off on a tangent and do your own thing. At the start you carefully try to imitate the instructor.But, at some point the wine loosens your senses and try as I may to follow the instructions, it was time to turn rogue. I couldnt see me producing one of those splendid looking works of art on the wall, but it doesn’t matter. Flow with your brush and experiment with the colours. Our dog is black, with a white chest and prior to this session, I simply could not visualise painting in different colours. But, it doesn’t take long before you realise this is a lot of fun! A myriad of colours are on hand to encourage you to expand your horizons, leave the railway track and experiment.Happy with the end result, the evening eventually came to an end. Our instructor started at the back of the room and went from portrait to portrait assisting budding painters. Unfortunately, some of those who were first on the list, called the instructor back after their initial assistance, leaving those further down the room with a long wait for some advice.

But, it was all good for me, happy in the fact that I was the only one to do this painting, that was enough for me.

Take some time to visit The Valley. You’re bound to find something that suits your taste! Highly recommend both of the venues in this article, especially the wine & paint at Brush & Barrel, a great destress session!

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