You could say Thea Basiliou knows Fortitude Valley well. The owner of Blonde Venus has clothed Brisbanites in her boutique’s chic labels since 1990 (that was 24 years ago, can you believe it?!). Here, she reveals the Valley’s hip haunts.

1. Sourced Grocer
A cool, buzzing café in a converted warehouse that focuses on high quality locally sourced produce making for great breakfast and lunch. They also have a selection of organic and ethically produced groceries to complete the package.

2. Gerard’s Bistro
Gerard’s food is inspired by the Middle East and Northern Africa – making for an unusual menu, full of flavour. The interior is modernist but exotic, marrying mid-century style with a Moroccan twist.

3. Chinatown
Let’s face it; it’s going to be Chinatown at least one night of the week, right? My favourite Valley Asian eateries, depending on the mood of the day, are Thai Wi-Rat, The Vietnamese and for casual Japanese (or karaoke) Wagaya.”

4. The Institute of Modern Art
The IMA feels more like a community than a gallery. Their exhibitions are always supported by great public programmes including music, film and artist talks. It’s always such an inspiring experience.

5. Jamie’s Espresso Bar
I have lived and worked in this area for a long time and you need your coffee place. Jamie’s has been here for 16 years, so it’s my place – the coffee is always great. It’s also open late most nights for an after-work aperitif.

6. Ryan Renshaw Gallery
An intimate gallery space with a lean towards progressive and emerging artists including Yvonne Todd, James and Eleanor Avery, Peter Madden, Bruce Reynolds and Michael Candy.

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