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Thyme2 Restaurant

Like a Parisian woman who strolls down the street and makes passers-by turn their heads, Sofitel Brisbane Central is undeniably chic and never seems to go out of style. We were looking forward to our romantic staycation at this stylish CBD hotel but it promised to be a little different to the last time we visited. With a limited number of business travellers coming to Brisbane due to COVID border restrictions, it felt like this stylish accommodation option was ours alone.

Rooms at the Sofitel Brisbane Central either overlook the city and Anzac Square or the leafy western suburbs and Mount Coo-tha. Both views are equally pleasant but our favourite is definitely the Anzac Square view as we enjoy the people watching far below. Our Junior Suite was exceptionally large with a separate lounge room and a great view from both rooms. We particularly liked the decor which was sophisticated and understated with a soft grey colour scheme, shimmery organza-like curtains, sleek silver lamps, and coloured cushions.

Sofitel Brisbane view
View from our Junior Suite at Sofitel Brisbane Central
Junior Suite Sofitel Brisbane
Junior Suite at Sofitel Brisbane Central

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Junior Suite Sofitel Brisbane
Junior Suite living room

The lobby was very quiet but one new addition since our last visit was a welcome surprise. Sophie’s Deli is a one-stop-shop for gourmet supplies and tasty snacks, with everything from freshly made paninis to house-made pastries, ice cream, biscuits, and more on offer. This outlet also sells wine which may not seem that noteworthy except for one important detail: the wines cost pretty much the same as a bottle shop. They’re also a cut above the usual bottle shop fare with interesting boutique producers sitting alongside well-known big name players. If we hadn’t been booked in for dinner, we would have bought a bottle to enjoy in our beautiful room.

Sophie's Deli
Sophie’s Deli

We had previously dined at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Privé 249, numerous times to celebrate special occasions. It’s white gloves all the way at this sophisticated, intimate dining venue which only seats around 40 people. Due to COVID, Privé 249 was temporarily closed but many of the staff were working in Thyme2 Restaurant. Thyme2 is normally home to one of Brisbane’s most impressive buffets with multiple ‘interactive dining’ cooking stations and beautiful Instagram worthy desserts.

Thyme2 Restaurant
Thyme2 Restaurant at Sofitel Brisbane Central

During our visit, it was operating as an a la carte restaurant and we couldn’t have been happier. My husband and I have never been fans of buffets so the a la carte option was an unexpected bonus. We received a warm welcome from the maitre d’ and were allocated a table for two overlooking Anzac Square and the historic Central Station clock. Our waiter recognised us from our previous visits to Prive 249 and also welcomed us warmly. Our dinner was off to an excellent start and this trend continued throughout the night.

For entree we shared a prawn cocktail before moving on to mains. It was hard to pick a favourite dish but we agreed my lamb rump which was served sous vide with tapenade, vine tomatoes, curd, herbs and port jus possibly had a slight edge over the scotch fillet steak. But only just. Desserts were pretty as a picture with lemon pannacotta artfully arranged in a glass with crushed meringue, and a white chocolate blondie served with coconut gelato and freeze dried strawberries. Both were exceptional.

Sofitel Brisbane dining
Lamb rump at Sofitel Brisbane Central
Lemon pannacotta
Lemon pannacotta
White chocolate blondie
White chocolate blondie with coconut gelato

Breakfast was a la carte and also served at Thyme2 Restaurant. The coffee was excellent and so was the service. My husband’s request to switch smoked salmon for bacon was cheerfully accommodated and I would come back for the poached eggs served with chorizo, charred asparagus and lemon alone. Sofitel Brisbane Central has seriously good dining that’s worth staying in for.

Sofitel Brisbane breakfast
Eggs benedict served with bacon and avocado
Thyme2 Sofitel Brisbane
Poached eggs served with chorizo

After breakfast, we checked out the pool area which had and a ‘secret’ sundeck with loungers tucked away on a lower level. On the top floor of the hotel we discovered a gym which had all the latest gear and fantastic city views. It was one of the most inviting hotel gyms I’ve seen and looked so impressive that it (almost) inspired me to work out. However, the temptation to return to our luxurious room proved too hard to resist.

Sofitel Brisbane Central pool
Sofitel Brisbane Central pool

Disclosure: The writers stayed guests of Sofitel Brisbane Central. They would not hesitate to return to this hotel at their own expense.

If you’re looking for accommodation in Brisbane, we have reviewed the Treasury Hotel, The Calile, Ovolo The Valley, W Brisbane, Capri by Fraser Brisbane, Hilton Brisbane, The Johnson, NEXT Hotel Brisbane, Sage Hotel James Street, The Westin Brisbane, Oaks Brisbane Festival Suites, Royal on the Park, Ibis Styles Elizabeth Street, Sofitel Brisbane, Crystalbrook Vincent, The Inchcolm by Ovolo, Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments, and Pullman Brisbane Airport.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.