Sage Hotel's lush room.
What do you think of when I say, "Brisbane shopping?" Your mind may dart to your local shopping centre or maybe you envisioned Queen Street in our City. Well, I'm about to take you down one of my favourite streets and shine the spotlight on this stylish destination.
I'm not only talking to you savvy fashion gurus who have a cheat meal at Yiros on Tuesday night, enjoy Sunday brunches at Harvey's Bistro and shop at Bed & Bathroom in-between lunch breaks. I'm also talking to our corporate interstate travellers, suburban mothers and everyone else in between. Specifically, James Street needs to be your new go-to, because it's all things shopping and eating in a fairy lit, bustling strip.
Sage Hotel James Street
I'm always on James Street, Monday morning meetings, Thursday night fashion events, Saturday afternoon shopping. But even though I'm always around, there is so much of it I don't usually explore. Simply put, I'm a creature of habit. So when I was invited to be one of the first to experience staying at the newly opened Sage Hotel, plus follow an organised agenda - I must say, I was excited!
Arriving late Friday afternoon, I stepped foot into the hotel lobby. My eye caught the polished concrete floors, sand stock brick and stunning light design. Instantly I felt the vibe of a contemporary, semi-industrial warehouse layout. Modern yet totally chic!
Style space for fashion, art or creative showings at Sage Hotel
Enjoying a tour of the Sage Hotel with Brisbane Fashion Month Founder, Carly Vidal-Wallace and Stacey O'Keeffe.
Set over 4-levels, the property seamlessly combines the traditional elements of the Queens Arms with modern hotel interiors. With 93 boutique hotel rooms and a dedicated style space for fashion, art or creative showings - I dare to say this might be a first for Brisbane.
Addicted to your emails or YouTube? Don't worry so am I, which is why their free WIFI had my fingertips tingling with delight. And though I'm going to tell you all the reasons why you need to wander up or down James Street, I'm also aware there are times when convenience is its own luxury. Downstairs is home to a café, deli and cellar all located in the lobby of the hotel with a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Stacey O'Keeffe testing out the full length mirror at Sage Hotel
So back to my trip, I took the elevator up to the 4th floor and scanned the room for my necessities. What are they you ask? Well, full length mirror - check, shoe rack - check, great bathroom lighting for selfies - check. Now, I could quickly unpack and begin the night.
I glammed up and met up with Brisbane's favourite fashion bloggers for a few chilled champagnes at Sixes and Sevens. If you haven't been there, clear your schedule this Friday night because it's one of the trendiest bars to to be seen at come the weekend.
We were then treated to more wine at Sage Hotel's cellar followed by a private tour of the boutique rooms. Not long after, we sat front row for a VIP fashion show hosted by Kimberley Gardner and Joshua Jones. Celebrating the local shopping scene we saw Assembly Label, Calexico, Camilla, Camargue, Gail Sorronda, Gorman and Maryon's Shoes strut down the runway.
Espresso Martini at Farrier
After the showcase, we were then taken to the secret underground bar and supper club, Farrier, for espresso martinis and canapes.
The night came to an end and I headed back to the hotel to throw myself onto the cloud of comfort they call 'the bed' and watched TV before dragging myself into the marble-walled bathroom for a warm shower.
Saturday morning latte at Container on James Street
I woke up feeling refreshed and started the day with an indulgent latte from Container.
Before facing the sunshine and the bustling crowds, I retreated into Waterlily, a calming space that smells like heaven on earth. I religiously use Waterlily products so this stop was familiar and the lovely Holly showered me with a little gift from their new Spaceutical range.
I then walked into Dinosaur Designs and fell in love. I'm actually wearing the pieces that I bought as I type this article.
If you know me, it comes as no surprise that I'm a self-confessed accessory addict. The bigger the better. Which resulted in me drooling over their resin bangles, gold-plated statement earrings and bold necklaces. If I ever go missing - you'll know where to find me.
Camilla kaftans at the Camilla boutique on James Street
Because shopping somehow always takes priority, I was nearly late for the 10:30am scheduled workshop at Camilla. I was pretty excited about this mini-master class because their expert stylists were in-house to teach us how to wear our favourite looks.
My weekend stay-over was nearly at a close but before it ended, I had a few boutiques to visit. There are many more to explore on James Street, but my personal favourites were Gail Sorronda, Camargue, Gorman, Samantha Ogilvie, Calexico, Natasha Schweitzer and Kit and Ace.
Stacey O'Keeffe wearing Sohpia Webster at Maryon's Shoes
BUT, there was one more destination that I splurged at unregrettably. Yes, my credit card still hates me and I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to leave the house wearing them because of fear they'll be ruined. But, I hesitantly visited Maryon's Shoes and boldly asked to try on a pair of Sophia Webster's in the style Evangeline. I've promised never to slip into them because I knew it would be life changing and I'd never be able to turn back. This is exactly what happened. I fell head over heels in love with my sole-mate. (pun intended)
So, even though my trip was quite luxe, lavish and over-the-top. I'm telling you, it's the place you need to experience. Stay at Sage Hotel and then play dress ups, drink cocktails and eat the many culinary delights.
On James Street, the vibe is contagious and you'll undoubtedly find yourself returning for a fashion, food and fun fueled getaway.
Work or play, Sage Hotel wants to welcome you to the lush life.