Paddington, a trendy inner-city area located 5kms from Brisbane’s CBD, was once a rough, working-class suburb. However, when living near the city became trendy in the 1980s, young socialites moved in. Paddington was transformed into a local hot spot with a thriving drinking, dining and shopping scene. Most Paddington restaurants, boutiques, bars and cafes are housed in historic buildings and workers’ cottages.
Run by multi-award winning artist Brett Lethbridge, this light-filled gallery showcases works by some of Australia’s most exciting cutting edge contemporary artists. With a rotating series of exhibitions throughout the year, there is always something interesting to see at Lethbridge Gallery. Serious collectors come here to buy but browsing art lovers are equally welcome.
Empire Revival is an antique centre housed in a heritage listed 1920s theatre. It features more than 50 dealers selling everything from jewellery to cameras. Take time to look at The Plaza Theatre’s many original features, such as gilded balconies and scroll-work declaring the theatre’s name.
This ornate Italianate mansion in the suburbs has been the official residence and workplace of Queensland Governors for over a century. Once a year the building and 10 hectare grounds open to the public, with guided tours and picnics on the lawn.
Watch a game at Suncorp Stadium, one of Australia’s most iconic arenas. Sport has been played on these grounds since the 1891, when an old cemetery was designated as a recreational area for the local community. Tours are held every Thursday at 10.30am.
This chic boutique hotel was created by the Gambaro family who opened a humble fish and chip shop in 1953, directly across the road from where Gambaro Hotel now stands. Located in the heart of Paddington’s sporting precinct, the hotel is frequently booked out on game days. Head downstairs to join the party at one of the surrounding bars or watch the post-match crowd’s antics from the comfort of your room.
Thousand Island Dressing
Celebrate everything that is bright and beautiful at Thousand Island Dressing, a colourful boutique featuring local and international designers. Whether you are searching for the perfect gift, trendy homewares, ornaments or a colourful necklace to complete an outfit, you are sure to find it here.
Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall
Music lovers young and old hang out at this quirky bar and live entertainment venue that is famous for whiskey and good times. Red velvet drapes, vintage chandeliers, American dude food and a retro popcorn machine make this place truly unique.
Kettle & Tin
Experience Queensland’s traditional architecture up close at this vibrant cafe housed in an original worker’s cottage. Open for all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Mod-Oz menu at Kettle & Tin focuses on local produce and uses honey from the cafe’s own bee hive.
See the ‘Queenslanders’
Paddington has some of the city’s finest examples of these classic timber houses which are usually perched on stilts. From tiny cottages to family homes with sweeping verandas, they all have corrugated iron roofs that can withstand summer’s tropical downpours.
Discover feminine fashion with a flattering silhouette in sizes 8 to 18 at Sasha Drake, a boutique created by the store’s namesake when she couldn’t find clothes to suit her hourglass figure. Every piece is designed and made in Australia.
Disclosure: The writer grew up in Paddington and has enjoyed watching the suburb transform over the years.
If you’re looking for accommodation in Brisbane, we have reviewed The Calile, The Westin Brisbane, Hilton Brisbane, The Johnson, NEXT Hotel Brisbane, Sage Hotel James Street, Royal on the Park, Ibis Styles Elizabeth Street, Sofitel Brisbane, Brisbane Marriott Hotel, Ovolo Inchcolm, Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments, Gambaro Hotel, and Pullman Brisbane Airport.