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My Saturday in the Inner North

Hamilton Hill, as viewed from the Brisbane River Raymond Singh
21 March 2009

Where in Brisbane can you spend an enjoyable Saturday without having to travel more than a couple of minutes in any given direction?

I don't mean sitting at home on the couch all day watching sport. I mean an active, productive and diverse day that leaves you satisfied with your efforts by the time you hit the pillow later that night.

A few areas spring to mind actually, but the inner Brisbane cluster of Hamilton, Ascot and Clayfield would have to be up there with the best of them.

To demonstrate, here's a typical Saturday for me...

Wake up. Out of bed. The time I awake depends very much on what my Friday night involved. The better the night, the longer I'll likely be in bed.

A quick stretch, throw on some clothes, and the short walk from my home in Ascot to Toorak News on Alexandra Road awaits. You have to be early, as the Courier Mail tends to sell out early here.

I walk back home with the Courier under my arm, or perhaps the Weekend Australian if my Friday night was good enough to keep me in bed too long. Hopefully I'll see one of the many beautiful cars that call Ascot home. Ferrari? Aston Martin? Maserati? Any of those will give my Saturday morning a little boost.

Back home. Out onto the veranda for some breakfast and a good read of the paper. The business section always gets my attention first, then the real estate section. After that it depends on my mood.

The cupboard is looking a little bare, so it's time to get some groceries. Grocery shopping isn't fun at the best of times, but Coles Ascot makes it a little more bearable. No need to park a hundred metres from the store, no screaming kids, and generally no long queues at the checkout.

Better get some wine for tonight, so after the grocery shopping I pop next door to Stewart's Wine Co. A nice bottle of red should do the trick. Better grab another two for the cellar, you can never have to many. By cellar, I mean a cupboard in my kitchen...

Breakfast is wearing off and it's time for lunch. I'm meeting a mate at the new Grill'd on Racecourse Road. These burgers are sensational. Previously when their closest store was at New Farm it was more of a treat, but with a store so close now, it could become a habit.

Very full now, better go for a walk, helps with digestion apparently. A walk down to the Hamilton Hotel should fix the problem! A couple of pints and a chat, then it's time to head home for an afternoon siesta.

It's a friend's birthday tonight (or some such celebration) so after a bit of tidying up it's off to Portside at Hamilton for dinner and drinks. This time it's Gusto da Gianni for dinner followed by drinks at Byblos, but there's enough variety at Portside to mix it up from week to week.

By now it's somewhere past midnight and we're saying our goodbyes. A short cab right back to Ascot and it's all over for another Saturday.

It's been a busy day, a productive day, and I'm going to bed very much satisfied with my Saturday. I've done so much, yet travelled so little. That's the beauty of Ascot and its two closest friends, Clayfield and Hamilton.