We stayed at… Miss Midgley’s, Brisbane

Built on good bones, Brisbane’s newest boutique hotel’s a looker for a 153-year-old. Miss Midgley’s is as unconventional a hotel as her namesake Annie – a teacher who ran school here for over 40 years. Don’t let the name fool you –  she is definitely no wallflower.

The two-story hotel in inner-city New Farm is a 19th-century  combination of detail-driven craftsmanship and local ‘Brisbane tuff’ stone. Starting life as a private home in the 1860s,  the Midgley family moved in forty years later. Soon after, the handsome property was renamed Miss Midgley’s Educational Establishment and remained a school until 1947. 

In 2021, co-owners, architects, and mother and daughter team Lisa White and Izzie White took on reimagining the space and transforming the old girl into five apartments following the building’s heritage lines. While each apartment layout is different, each successfully balances contemporary, restrained luxury with old-world finesse.

Striking a pose on Brisbane’s most fashionable street, Miss Midgley’s reflects the buzz of the James Street neighborhood, best known as a dining and shopping mecca. A ‘rusting’ corten fence is one of the few modern additions. It successfully contrasts with the original pink, white, and stone exterior. 

Pretty in pink at Miss Midgley's
Pretty in pink at Miss Midgley’s. Picture: Miss Midgley’s

But what’s on the inside really counts, and these are no regular hotel rooms. The walkthrough that re-discovered arched glass doorway, and you’re instantly transported to something old and new. From here, the three ground floor apartments – Refectory, Locker Room, and the one-bedroom Principal’s Office are accessed. Then, at the top of the steep, narrow staircase, it’s Drawing Room and Assembly Hall.

The three dog-friendly ground floor apartments open to spacious decks perfect for pooches and a lazy, late afternoon vino. Each is luxurious but in a pared-back ‘less is more aesthetic’; uneven timber floorboards, almost scrubbed of paint, are naturally mismatched but warm.

Our first-floor 72 sq meter home for the night is aptly named Assembly Hall as it’s the largest apartment. Delicate ceiling roses and plaster embellishments come to life at night with the aid of custom-designed uplights. 

Double farmhouse porcelain sinks top cubby hole storage with power points and hairdryer
Double farmhouse porcelain sinks top cubby hole storage with power points and hairdryer. Picture: Miss Midgley’s

Both bedrooms are ample with simple storage. King double beds can be split into singles are dressed in crisp white. The chance to swap out the doona for a wool or cotton blanket would be a bonus.

While a circa 1940’s primary school desk is a playful reminder of Miss Midgley’s former life, it’s the lounge that’s the main attraction. Each apartment sports a Ross Didier Puffalo semi-circular sofa upholstered in custom, slinky pink velvet.

While the bathroom is doorless, thoughtfully, the toilet is not. Double farmhouse porcelain sinks top cubby hole storage with power points and hairdryer. The shower rocks a textured Brazilian granite insert that offsets Miss Midgley’s heritage dusky pink with brass hand-held and rain showerheads. Toiletries are Byron Bay’s organic, vegan sweet smellers, Lief. 

The heritage-listed building is now a boutique hotel
The heritage-listed building is now a boutique hotel. Picture: Miss Midgley’s

The kitchen is sleek and black with an oversized, brass-lined, low-slung Chinese hat shade that offers a flattering light over the brass-topped dining bench. Coffee is courtesy of a Nespresso pod machine. Fortunately, the fridge is not mini, feast ready, and cheese and wine for long evenings on the adjoining back deck with twinkling Story Bridge views.

The compact pool finished in Miss Midgley's signature pink tile feels almost Moroccan
The compact pool finished in Miss Midgley’s signature pink tile feels almost Moroccan. Picture: Miss Midgley’s

The compact pool finished in Miss Midgley’s signature pink tile feels almost Moroccan. Each apartment comes equipped with its own umbrella, so you can throw some shade while lolling poolside. Feel virtuous and borrow an electric bike or stroll to the Powerhouse for a show or Howard Smith Wharves for a cooling ale.

King double beds can be split into singles are dressed in crisp white
King double beds can be split into singles are dressed in crisp white. Picture: Miss Midgley’s

Dinner is easy with a veritable who’s who of the city’s hottest chefs dishing up fine eats further along in James Street. Give the designated driver a night off, walk to a hatted restaurant, and do cocktails at one of the local drinking dens. Carb-load with breakfast pastries at Agnes Bakery or Sprout before shopping up a storm at the River City’s best boutiques. 

This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com

About the author

Ozzie

Hi! I’m Ozzie!

Before joining Australia Exploring, I was a writer at Tripadvisor.

I'm looking for the best posts for you about travel adventures in Australia and around the world. This website has the purpose to inspire you to travel… travel more and better. I hope it can help you explore the world a little bit better.

I graduated from the University of Sydney. I live in California with my wife and two children.

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