Bring the girls for 24 hours of luxury in Brisbane
BEST gal pals. Check.
Tickets to the Legally Blonde musical. Check.
Spa retreat and shopping tour lined up. Check.
Making the most of Brisbane in 24 hours is no mean feat - especially when the gems are sometimes spread apart and not always easy to "stumble upon".
But for girls (and boys) who just want to have fun, this is your how-to guide.
How to squeeze in theatre, shopping, drinks and dining experiences that will have you rejuvenated and sated when you return home on Sunday to relax on the couch (or do those boring but necessary weekend chores like washing).
Step one is checking into the refurbished Sofitel Brisbane, where the exquisite décor in the lobby gives you a tantalising taste for what might be upstairs, from 2pm on Friday.
The hotel, which now showcases Parisian landscapes alongside iconic Brisbane landmarks, offers a touch of French elegance as staff welcome you with a charming "bonjour" and wish you a "magnifique" stay.
The full blackout blinds, the floating-on-clouds pillow and swallowing mattress set you up for an uninterrupted night's sleep.
But don't get too distracted just yet, it's time for step two.
Head to Stephanies Spa Retreat on level three of the hotel for your pre-booked girls' weekend pedicure (don't forget to book in advance).
After up to six of you have selected your special herbal teas and nail colours, your beauty therapists will seat you side-by-side in reclining armchairs.
Your spa journey begins with a nourishing milk and rose petal foot infusion and an exfoliating sugar scrub.
Then as you receive a spritz of the incredible mogra dream mist, the chair reclines and the massage function begins while your toes are shaped and painted.
Don't forget to wear thongs so you don't ruin the perfection when you leave.
Step three. Doll yourself up, preferably with a dash, or flood, of pink.
Head to Champ Kitchen and Bar - right under the ABC with a great view of the Brisbane wheel and Southbank.
Get ready to tantalise your tastebuds with the unique flavour mixes.
And make sure you complement the light mains with the broccoli and the kipfler potato sides.
The unusual take on traditional desserts seems confusing at first but the plates are a work of art and once you start combining all the flavours on the fork, you mouth will explode.
Try the black garlic custard for something really different.
It's not for everyone but people have been known to just stop short of licking the thick goop off the crockery.
Step four … oh my god girls, it's time for Legally Blonde.
If you get there early enough - make sure you pop into the bend and snap bar for a champagne cocktail.
Based on the hit movie, Legally Blonde follows sorority sister Elle Woods as she tries to win back her beau's heart, stalking him from California to Harvard Law School.
This musical is kitsch and silly but it is packed full of so much energy you cannot imagine having more fun at the theatre.
Step five - time to hit Grey Street in Southbank for some after-show drinks and snacks.
You must try the Girl Next Door cocktail in a jar at Next Door Kitchen and Bar.
Replicating a time of speakeasies and forbidden mischief, this 1920s-inspired venue has an incredible selection of share plates and desserts
To share or not to share is the question.
The pea arancini balls with goats curd aioli and the polenta chips are divine.
But the truffle parmesan fries are to die for.
Don't stay out too late though. Remember that comfy bed we talked about?
You wake up on Saturday and you've already been in Brisbane 18 hours but you're going to squeeze a whole lot more in before you head home.
Starting with breakfast at one of Paddington's many gorgeous cafes, you will then begin step six, a Paddington shopping tour that will make you want to come back to Brisbane again and again.
Shop in Style Escape - which also runs in the city and in Fortitude Valley - takes the frustration out of knowing where to shop, what to buy and what current season suits you.
Your guide will become a new best friend, who is brutally honest about what works and what doesn't in the style department.
Not in a hurting your feelings way but in a let's try the next thing because it'll suit your body shape way.
It's not just Brisbane designers who make Latrobe and Given Terrace at Paddington unique, it's the antique stores, the vintage shops and the one-off secrets only the locals know about.
Last, but definitely not least, is a chocolate tasting at Monty's Chocolates.
Is there anything better than spooning melted chocolate from a cup?
Step seven is winding down at Pony restaurant at Eagle Street Pier with views over the Brisbane River - including the stunning Story Bridge and the iconic paddle steamer.
If the waterfront views are a bit brisk, challenge the senses inside with the wood fire grill and open coal pit providing an exciting atmosphere for diners.
The mains are amazing but save some room for dessert - the petit fours and the ice-cream pops are divine.
When you are thoroughly stuffed, head back to the hotel to collect your luggage, air-kiss your friends Elle Woods style and head home.
You'll spend Sunday at the clothesline humming you new favourite musical tune and planning where you'll wear your latest designer purchase.
SOFITEL BRISBANE CENTRAL
- 249 Turbot Street, Brisbane
- 07 3835 3535
LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL
- The Lyric Theatre, QPAC, South Bank
- Until April 28
CHAMP KITCHEN AND BAR
- 114 Grey Street, Brisbane
- 07 3844 4470
THE ROGUE RENNARD
- 106a Latrobe Terrace, Paddington
- 0434 720 106
PONY EAGLE STREET PIER
- Upper Level, Eagle Street Pier
- 07 3181 3400
NEXT DOOR KITCHEN BAR
- Shop B11 Little Stanley Street
- 07 3846 6678
SHOP IN STYLE ESCAPE
- 0421 688 393
STEPHANIES SPA RETREAT
- Sofitel Brisbane
- 07 3221 8800
For the complete insider's guide to Brisbane go to visitbrisbane.com.au.
* The writer was Brisbane Marketing guest.