Mercure goes for a funky modern look in its restyled guest rooms.
Mercure goes for a funky modern look in its restyled guest rooms. Contributed

Ideal for a city break

DINNER and a show.

It is that timeless concept that conjures up a flash of romance, anticipations of delicious fine food and expectations of foot stomping entertainment.

And our evening on the town did not disappoint.

We started out at the newly renovated Mercure Brisbane in North Quay, overlooking Brisbane River and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

The landmark riverfront property in the heart of the CBD has incorporated its outlook into the new decor.

A combination of vibrant colours and black and white imagery of the Brisbane River decorates the bedheads in the refurbished guest rooms.

The new-look rooms have also been fitted with restyled bathrooms featuring walk-in showers, new lighting, digital LCD TVs, glass front refrigerators, internet access, room safes and clock radios with iPod docks.

Dinner at the hotel's Quays Restaurant was a scrumptious affair. We held back from promises of sweets drizzled in chocolate in case we craved a late-night supper delivered to our room.

Quays served up rustic-style breads with a suite of dips and duck-filled crispy spring rolls for entree. For main, we sampled barramundi as fish of the day and Quays' "signature" pork ribs.

Each was a perfectly sized portion, with the pork ribs decadent and well-behaved. No bib required.

The decision for wines was left to our servers, who performed admirably.

The meals arrived promptly but it was our savouring that took the time.

By the time our plates were clean, we were prepared for a speedy walk if we were going to see the famed Hot Shoe Shuffle at QPAC without enduring unimpressed glances from the ushers.

Our fears were unfounded - with satisfied bellies, it was a short walk on a starlit night to the theatre. We made it in plenty of time.

The Shuffle was a delight - the fast-talking, quick-tapping cast did not fail to impress.

Before Tap Dogs and The Boy from Oz, Hot Shoe Shuffle was the first Australian musical to succeed both at home and internationally. .

Now in its 21st year of touring, the show did not appear to have dated, and having caught its final show, the delighted cast was delivered a standing ovation from the enraptured audience.

While there may be some dismay that the show's final curtain for Brisbane fell in late May, QPAC's line-up for the remainder of 2013 has enough highlights to have you reaching for the sunglasses.

The Pink Floyd Experience returns from the Dark Side of the Moon on July 19, Paul Kelly arrives as part of his national tour on August 1 followed by rock 'n' roll musical Grease from August 20.

For us, after being wowed by the now-departed Hot Shoe Shuffle, it was a bonus to not have to wrangle with taxis, traffic or directions.

Within 15 minutes of leaving our seats in the auditorium, we had weighed up a champagne night-cap, a moonlit coffee or holding hands down by the river.

Of course we decided to return to our room at the Mercure to collect our supper.

Yes, hello. Room service?

The writer was a guest of Mercure Brisbane.

If you go:

  • The free breakfast offer for guests staying for two consecutive nights is available until September 30, excluding June 21-30
  • Mercure Brisbane is directly opposite and a short walk from South Bank where the 25th anniversary of World Expo 88 is being celebrated. To mark this anniversary Brisbane Greeters, is offering free daily nostalgic tours of iconic Expo 88 locations until July 31. These can be booked on (07)  3867 2051 or via email at visitorcentre@southbank.net.au
  • For bookings call (07) 3237 2300 or visit http://www.mercurebrisbane.com.au


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