Poppin’ bottles in SEQ

I’m all about the vista. You ask me to lunch, I ask you if there’s a view and what champagne houses are available. Recently I was catching up with a friend and he asked me “If you could be doing anything in the world right now, what would it be?” Without hesitating I blurted out “Sitting somewhere with an incredible view of the ocean sipping on a crisp glass of champagne”… And so the idea for this article was born from an amalgamation of my two true loves. What better après aperitif is there than an incredible vista?

Being your typical millennial I’m happy to buy ambiance, or rather, I prefer it. I’m accustomed to forking out extra money for atmosphere and hate being the only one eating at a restaurant (unless my party has been through a few bottles of vino and we’re the last to leave, of course). Gone are the days of stiff, quiet, buzz-kill restaurants with over-starched napkins and only a small handful of retiree’s ordering tired over-priced dishes. We flock to rooftop bars for Instagram-worthy sunsets, request seats by the window, and book months in advance for the waterfront tables at Nobu Malibu (which I highly recommend, by the way). But in the spirit of keeping things local, here are my favourite places to pop a crisp bottle of French bubbles where I call home.

rick shores gold coast restaurant thai modern asian waterfront view ocean view balcony miann scanlan


 Wrangle up 5 or more of your friends and book a table right on the ocean at newly opened Burleigh soon-to-be-iconic- establishment (I’m calling it early) brought to the Gold Coast by the boys who have Brisbane’s LONgTIME. Boasting a sexy  modern Asian fusion menu, start with oysters from the raw bar and a glass of Perrier Jouet as you take in one of my favourite views in Australia – sorry not sorry, Icebergs. Move on to a crowd-pleasing bottle of crisp Italian pino grigio to pair with my personal menu favourites: Soft shell crab salad, bay bug rolls, and popcorn cuttlefish.

 43 Goodwin Tce, Burleigh Heads, QLD, AUSTRALIA
Instagram: @imrickshores


If Rick Shores is fully booked or you’re after a more traditional seafood affair, waltz right across the road to Fish House. Younger sister to Greek establishment Hellenkia further up the coast, Fish House does simple food really, really, really well to the point of decadence. Ever had a side of roast potatoes that seemed luxe? No? Then go to Fish House, order the macadamia crusted ocean trout, seared scollop with sides, a bottle of Ruinart Blanc de Blanc and prepare to melt into the seat of your chair while your food melts in your mouth… just remember to book ahead. Expect a stunning view of the ocean during the day and the city lights by night, white table cloths, knowledgeable waiters, a wine list and sommelier with serious chops without the pretence you’d expect in the bigger cities.

50 Goodwin Tce, Burleigh Heads, QLD, AUSTRALIA
Instagram location


If it’s been a while since you’ve had a Friday long lunch, pencil your next one in at Stokehouse. A firm favourite on Brisbane’s culinary scene for its contemporary Mediterranean menu, fresh flavours and elegant dining with a relaxed attitude, I go to Stokehouse for the extensive champagne selection (including an impressive vintage list) and stunning views of Brisbane city from Southbank.

Sidon st, Brisbane, QLD, AUSTRALIA
Instagram: @stokebrisbane


This rooftop bar offers panoramic views of Brisbane perched on the top floor of a non-descript Kangaroo Point hotel. Only open on Sundays for the perfect afternoon session in the city, The Eagles Nest serves up new kid on the champagne block Moet Chandon “Ice” Imperial just as the house suggests: On ice, with berries, overlooking water. Does it get much better?

21 Lambert St, Kangaroo Point, QLD, AUSTRALIA
Instagram: @eaglesnestbrisbane


 Sneaking in just a 20 minute drive south of the Queensland border into New South Wales is boutique hotel Halcyon House. Nestled away in sleepy beach town Cabarita lays a poolside Euro-flavoured oasis that oozes style and elegance with a quirky tongue-in-cheek coastal edge. With views of the cabana-style pool, kick off your shoes, enjoy a glass of Louis Roederer and pretend you’re living in a Slim Aarons print of coastal Capri circa 1957.

 21 Cypress Cres, Cabarita Beach, NSW, AUSTRALIA
Instagram: @_halcyonhouse


Alarmingly underrated is this two Chefs Hat gem tucked away in Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art. Keeping with the contemporary theme, the surroundings have a unique gallery feel – think clinical meets industrial with crisp white tablecloths while natural light floods through high floor to ceiling glass windows which overlook the Brisbane river. Don head-to-toe black, perhaps even a turtleneck and enjoy a contemporary 7-course degustation masterfully paired with wines or order the Perrier Jouet Rosé on a sunny day and pour over the latest exhibit. 

Stanley Pl, South Brisbane, QLD, AUSTRALIA
Instagram: @qagoma