Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you all had a lovely night last night, that the day (and year) is looking bright and full of promise and that you aren't feeling too under the weather.
I've had a bad run of New Year's Eves so I tend to avoid them. This year I decided I wanted to do something that was fun, but not too filled with aspirations so as to inevitably fall flat. I think I found the perfect itinerary to the evening and certainly enjoyed myself.
Palace Cinemas & HitchcockThe night started with a premier screening of Hitchcock at the Palace cinemas on James St. We arrived to a glass of champagne and a very long queue of people waiting to go into the cinema. Instead of joining the end of the queue we collected our wine and scoured through the upcoming film brochures only to discover that Quentin Tarantino has a new movie coming out in a couple of weeks - the perfect start to 2013!
As the queue filed into the cinema we joined the end and felt like celebrities with our glass of champagne in the cinema (all movies should include this). Hitchcock was a great movie. Biopics can sometimes leave me feeling a bit... blah, but this one was very well done. Combining the story of Hitchcock's marriage with his production of Psycho made for a very interesting view. The scenes where they shot Psycho were so perfect to the original you could tell they must have watched it over and over again. Now I feel like I want to watch it again. The film was also bookended by two Hitchcock monologues straight out of Alfred Hitchcock presents that were so compelling I felt like I was ready for a sequel. Made with much love for the great Hitchcock, I'm very glad I got to see it.
GaruvaThis is my second visit to Garuva. The first being quite some years ago and back then the food wasn't that great, though the atmosphere was really what made it. So I approached this visit with trepidation.
Garuva is one of those places in Brisbane where everyone likes to think they are the only one who know about it, but it's been around for so long that everyone has already been there.
The unsigned restaurant is hidden away down a little lane-way filled with green lights and ferns. You are met by large Balinese doors that open up to a softly lit room filled with muslin curtains that wrap around each low table. You sit on cushions nestled inside these curtains and though the restaurant can be very full you still get a sense of intimacy.
I had the Cajun chicken and a very delicious lime cocktail. The food was much better than I remember which is a good sign. As the evening wore on the other diners started to leave for their next New Years' destination and the restaurant took on an ethereal air. You could see silhouettes skitting through the curtains and this is where the magic of Garuva happens. I would recommend this restaurant on a mid-week night when it isn't so busy and sitting amongst the curtains in the hushed dark is much more atmospheric.
Banks of the Brisbane River
We left Garuva at about 10pm with plans of finding a bar to grab a drink at and see in midnight. However, Garuva is in Fortitude Valley which meant all the bars were loud, obnoxious and filled with 18 year olds. We decided to head over to South Brisbane and find a spot to watch the fireworks then head home and enjoy a wine there. South Bank is always ram packed on fireworks nights like New Years, but I had the idea that most people would be on the Parklands side of the Queen Victoria Bridge as that is where the fireworks display is focused.
We took up position in front of the art gallery which was surprisingly quiet and had a great view down to the river. The display included a giant laser countdown on the casino hotel so we could see everything and when the fireworks went of we had a great view. Our position meant we missed some of the smaller fireworks, but it was worth it to avoid the body-jam in South Bank.
I apologise for not taking a better photo, but I decided to watch the fireworks instead of documenting them.
We were lucky to beat the rush to public transport and walked straight onto a train which got us back home with our wine and a deck of cards in half and hour.
Easily my best New Years ever.
Wishing you all the best for 2013