Get Your Brunch With Bite at Cloudland

By Beau
Beau is the founder of Apollo Social. He recently relocated to Melbourne with his husband and has begun a love affair with the city.
Brunch with Bite serves up side-splitting comedy, rolling food and drink service, and raucous entertainment.

Brunch with Bite is Cloudland’s weekly brunch series hosted by hilarious drag queens and includes a 2 hour Italian-inspired brunch and drinks package.

The event is very popular and can sell out weeks in advance. On the day we attended, we arrived 15 minutes before the start time to a lineup around the block. Your table is reserved so make better use of your time and get a warmup mimosa at the Royal George across the street while you wait for the line to go down.

The booze starts flowing upon arrival with a mimosa to sip while you are shown to your table. The hilarious BeBe Gunn and LuLu Lemans are your hostesses for the day (plus a special guest each week). BeBe and LuLu have good comradery and managed to get many good belly laughs out of me. BeBe has a brash and in-your-face style of drag and ample energy to carry you through the day. LuLu has more of a sharp wit and places quips with precision comedic timing. Their energy works well together.

It’s hard to imagine a more enchanting setting for cabaret brunch than the main floor at Cloudland with its cascading greenery and whimsical furnishings. The setting immediately takes you into a world of whimsy and fun.

Brunch with Bite takes place in the main room at CloudlandThe main room at cloudland makes an enchanting setting for Brunch with Bite

Unlike the 2AM floor show at your local gay bar, this drag attracts a mostly-straight crowd and the average age would be north of 40. On the day we attended, there was a table celebrating a 60th birthday and another table celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.  It’s great to see how far acceptance has come and how much RuPaul has brought drag into the mainstream. There’s no way an event of this scale would survive without mainstream support. However, at times it felt like I was at the drag show with mum and grandma. Having said that, none of the jokes felt watered down and BeBe swears like a sailor for the entirety of the show. So the level of entertainment is comparable to the 2AM floorshow at the dive bar down the street.

Ours was one of the only tables with a strong gay representation and it stood out enough for BeBe to make a beeline for us and comment that it’s nice to have a gay table (it may also have been that one tall and handsome member of our table caught her eye during the opening number and she couldn’t wait to get over and suss things out).

BeBe entertains the audience Comedy is served up throughout the show

Once you’re seated, your waiter appears and the booze floodgates really start to open. The waiters are friendly and attentive. The drinks package includes jugs of spritz, mimosa, bloody mary, beer, sangria, softdrinks, juice and mocktails.  Irritatingly, the drinks package doesn’t cover the entirety of the brunch - it ends 45 minutes before the end of the session so you can drink enough booze to loosen up the purse strings so that when the drinks package ends the drinks bill starts racking up.

Dishes are served throughout the session ranging from small hand-held dishes like arancini balls, to pasta, to dessert. The amount of food is substantial and our table struggled to finish all dishes. Unfortunately, some dishes seemed a little uninspired and detracted from the overall quality of the service - such as chips and aioli. This was a little disappointing considering the reputation of the venue. 

BeBe Gunn pulls the bingo balls from the lottery Games, comedy and shows are spread over the day

The pace of the day flows comfortably with shows, comedy, games and prizes with breaks between to allow you to eat and chat with your table. Be sure to pay attention to the rules of the games because there are penalties if you slip up - including removing an item of clothing in front of the audience for calling bingo without all of the correct numbers - which this writer experienced first hand.

Brunch with Bite makes a fun addition to Brisbane’s dining offering and is definitely worth adding to your to-do list. Cloudland do a lot of things well and this is one of them. It’s sure to leave you with a full belly and sides splitting from laughter.