Tip-top Taps

Taps Australia, yes, is a chain. A chain of bars specialising in craft beers from, you guessed it, taps. The cool part is those taps aren’t being poured upon by maids or barmen, you get to pour them yourself.

We (English Boy, me and his/our mates in tow) dropped by the Mooloolaba Taps bar, seeking out a quick and cheap bite because 1) we didn’t want to pay the ludicrous prices of Mooloolaba Esplanade and 2) we weren’t doing the Maccas run again.

Wary at first, I warmed to the delightful bistro, with awesome snack choices and great seating arrangements. I have a soft spot for board games, so naturally I loved that element too. A couple of us bought a couple of share plates to have amongst five us. Cobb loaf, chicken wings and plenty of fries all for $8 a head and we were stoked. Not only for the price but for the taste too. Easily some of best fries I’ve had in a while, the Cobb loaf I could have eaten for the rest of my life and the guys certainly loved the chicken.

Without a doubt I’ll be going back there for some more board game action and scrumptious bar snacks. Luckily, there’s one down the road from my internship in Fortitude Valley and I’m definitely looking forward to another Taps night there next time.

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My ‘local’, The Grove

In the midIMG_9837dle of Ashgrove, The Grove bar has been on my to-do list of bars and eateries ever since moving back to Brisbane over six months ago. The quaint, vintage-style bar and adjoining restaurant is a quick stop-off from the grocery giants next door, but is certainly no carbon-copy of the chains around it.

For English Boy’s official birthday date night, we walked the quiet streets of Ashgrove and headed to The Grove to grab a few celebratory drinks and something to nibble on. The local name, in itself, perfectly encompasses its definite ‘local’ atmosphere. With a warming, homely feel, the unique downstairs bar had an exciting familiarity and comfortability, even though we’d never set foot in the place. Everyone not only seemed local, but The Grove perfectly combines the features anyone could want at their ‘local’. There were options for both indoor and outdoor seating perfect for the whirlwind that is Queensland’s climate and weather, quite a pleasant surprise of comfortable seating, a range of delicious yet easy on the wallet meal options and most importantly friendly staff.

Although there were few tables to be seen without ‘reserved’ signs (yes, we forgot to book), the staff not only catered for us, but for a large group outside and an even larger inside gathering of family and friends for a 21st birthday. The bar was quickly filled with young 20-somethings and bustling after-work drinkers, however, we were served in a timely and friendly manner. Our order, a deliciously meaty pizza and side of chips, appeared quickly after ordering and were undoubtedly fantastic.

I can safely say that I’ll be returning to the bar – if for nothing else than its convenience. But luckily for them, when I return, it will also be for the great atmosphere and delicious food.

My first trip to GOMA

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I’m going to come right out and say it… I am not arty. I don’t know the first thing about the Renaissance, Impressionism or any of the other countless -isms of the art history timeline. I took high school art until it was no longer a required subject, and boy was I terribly disinterested and talentless. So it should come as no surprise that I’ve been a Brisbane and Sunshine Coast girl my entire life and I still had not been to the Gallery of Modern Art. GOMA was a place I’d seen many of my friends visit and appear to have a pleasant time, and ever since it’s been on my Brisbane to-do list. So, I dragged myself and English Boy (kicking and screaming) to visit Brisbane’s most modern and talked about art.

I should first establish that my lack of interest and knowledge in visual arts deems me absolutely no right to accurately or academically critique the works I saw that miserably rainy Brisbane morning. Though, I couldn’t help but simply be bored with the overall experience. In and out of the building within an hour, leaving as confused about art as I was when I entered.

Unfortunately, most of the works felt sporadically and confusingly placed in a fairly illogical order and layout. I felt as though most were nothing spectacular, and rarely ignited sparks of intrigue for me. There were the odd one or two paintings which wow-ed me, however, for the most part I just didn’t quite understand anything (though that’s probably no fault of the gallery).

That being said, I can’t deny that the majority of the works were modern. Though what I can say is that there were a few too many video footage playbacks and not enough visitor involvement, of which I had preconceived was all part of the GOMA experience. I wanted to immerse myself in art – not just look at it. That is modernity. Unfortunately, perhaps, we went at the wrong time of year, or when there simply wasn’t anything of that calibre to provide, but it did leave a disappointing taste in my mouth – much like the caesar salad I had today, with too much lettuce and not enough parmesan and bacon.

All this aside, I no doubt will revisit at some point, who knows whether that will be when I am craving air-conditioning on another scorching Queensland summer day, or if a user-friendly exhibit pops up and sparks my interest. For now, I think it might be a good idea to stick with the art forms I can interpret and understand – dance, music and writing.