Something has happened to Brisbane over the past half century. It has stopped being a gawky country cousin of Sydney and Melbourne, and grown up into a sophisticated urban metropolis with its own laid back style.
A few reasons have been offered for the change.
Some just point to a highly successful use of international opportunities offered by events such as the Commonwealth Games.
Others, such as Treasury Brisbane PR Luke Gilpin, take an at once simpler and more complex stance.
They point to the emergence over several years of a sophisticated and quite deeply entrenched coffee and brunch culture in certain inner suburbs and the growth of the city from those.
Evidence for the city’s new-found confidence can easily be found at the Treasury’s Brisbane Fashion Month Moet 150th Anniversary High Tea, held in the hotel’s classy courtyard.
The event doesn’t need the razzmatazz of darkness and ear-splitting Rolling Stone sound. The style of the designers is enough. The quality of the food complements them.
If more evidence is required, then the Treasury itself provides it in spades, and occupies two century-old buildings separated by mid-city park.
Look, it’s primarily a gambling venue and part of the Star group, which also includes properties in Sydney and on the Gold Coast. But it has age on its side, and is staid, plush and charming rather than being flash and brash.
The Treasury’s rooms are packed with character. And the Treasury Brisbane has attracted some of the country’s leading chefs and restaurants.
The Black Hide by Gambero is its jewel, offering wagyu and angus steaks of rare quality, but you’ll need deep pockets or a successful flutter to dine there.
Not that you need to be particularly wealthy to dine at the Treasury. You don’t. I wrote recently about the value to be had at the Fat Noodle. You can also get great value at places such as Kitchen at Treasury, where they combine great local produce with a fun atmosphere to provide a memorable experience.