The New Year is here. In partnership with Stella Artois, we’re taking stock, pausing for thought, then diving into what we love this month.

Je ne sais quoi

Madame Rogue
  • Brisbane: the Paris of Australia. No? While it might not quite catch on, our river city does have a French flavour of late. Behind red velvet drapes, the Valley’s newest eating and drinking den Madame Rogue is serving classic French cuisine to a 'La Vie en Rose' soundtrack. Order the goats cheese soufflé. Madame Roguebroadsheet.com.au

  • Across the city, between a topless bar and discount chemist, a black staircase leads to Greenglass. The bright, minimal new restaurant has one simple design feature – a wine wall. Pair your selection with a fine – and affordable – French menu. Greenglassbroadsheet.com.au

  • Might be time to learn how to read those French menus by enrolling in lessons at Alliance Française. A few utterances in the language of love over dessert can’t hurt. Alliance Françaiseafbrisbane.com

  • Dinner done, treat your ears to the sweet sounds of Nouvelle Vague, the new-wave, post-punk cover band direct from France. They’re bringing a summer sound to the Brisbane Powerhouse on January 20. Nouvelle Vaguebrisbanepowerhouse.org

Summer of love

Work-Shop
  • New year, new horizons … new skills? Work-Shop is great for scratching the “what if?” itch. Learn to flat lay, create flower crowns or take better phone snaps at one of this month’s classes. Work-Shopwork-shop.com.au

  • Celebrate Brisbane’s queer community with a party like no other. MELT Festival crosses cultural, gender, age and ethnic boundaries with music, theatre, exhibitions, circus, comedy, a beauty pageant and a portrait prize. All at the Brisbane Powerhouse. MELT Festivalbrisbanepowerhouse.org

  • Spend a hot and sticky January night learning how to make gelato from the masters. La Macelleria is holding a 90-minute workshop every Monday night. Best of all, you get a one-litre take-home pack for your troubles. La Macellerialamacelleriagelateria.com

Stella Artois suggests

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  • There’s much to celebrate in the Australian summer: warm weather, social occasions, and a great many opportunities to volunteer yourself as an amateur athlete. But which sport? Frisbee leaves one hand free for a beverage, but requires a lot of space. Beach cricket? Too much equipment and personnel to lug around. Lawn bowls levels the playing field, but who ever remembers to keep score? A better solution is to gather snacks, a six-pack of Stella Artois and trusted confidantes, and gather yourselves around the telly for some serious deconstruction of professional summer sports action. ‘Tis the season for easing into it.

Democracy sizzles

Violent Soho
  • It’s time to flex your democratic right. With song. Choosing 10 tunes in triple j’s Hottest 100 sounds like plenty but culling your list proves harder than filling out the whole senate ballot paper. Put your music streaming account into overdrive and vote. triple j’s Hottest 100abc.net.au

  • Prefer to voice your musical opinion in person? Head to Laneway Festival at the Brisbane Showgrounds on January 26. Tame Impala, Gang of Youths, Tash Sultana, Nick Murphy and more. Tickets at Laneway Festivalbrisbane.lanewayfestival.com

  • Or shirk the crowds and take the gang to Cedar Creek Falls. Find this waterfall and swimming hole in Tamborine National Park, a 30 minute return walk from the car. Cedar Creek Fallsnprsr.qld.gov.au

Embrace the heat

No Pants Train Ride
  • A Brisbane summer is sweaty at the best of times. Less is more when it comes to clothing, so take the chance to do something fresh and join the city’s No Pants Train Ride on January 8. No pants, no problems. No Pants Train Ridefacebook.com

  • Catch yourself saying “Melbourne and Sydney just have stuff happening all the time”? Well, so does Brisbane – the issue is that you’re sprawled on the floor under the fan. Meet us for a boogie with Canadian indie-rockers Half Moon Run. Half Moon Runfacebook.com

  • Ease into your new-year fitness goals with a Friday-night yoga and dance party. Nothing like a downward dog on the pool deck, followed by a post-dance drink. Flow and Frolicfacebook.com

RITUALS:
THE THINGS WE’LL LOVE DOING REPEATEDLY THIS MONTH

  • Planning a road-trip every month for 2017.

  • Hiding in the temperate 19-degree halls of GOMA (by the end of summer, every Facebook profile photo will be a picture of the furry wall).

  • Trying not to lose our sunglasses. Again.

  • Breaking New Year resolutions with a cheese toastie from Melt Brothers.

  • And carbs from Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers.

  • And fried chicken from Winner Winner. Damn.