A guide to Canberra
It did it! I finally went to my nation’s capital, Canberra. I have to say I’m a bit embarrassed it’s taken me so long considering I’m 30 years old and have been living in Sydney, which is only 3.5 hours away. But better late than never, right?
The reason it’s probably taken me so long is that it doesn’t have a reputation of being the most exciting place. But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Here is a quick guide to all the nuggets of gold we discovered while in this small, sleepy city.
Eat & Drink
Breakfast - Mocan & Green Grout is a cozy nook of a cafe serving up beautiful breakfast dishes out of their intimate and open kitchen. The poached eggs with pancetta gets my tick of approval.
Coffee - The Cupping Room seems to be there all the ‘cool kids’ get caffeinated. Lots of hipsters, super friendly staff and great coffee in the heart of the city.
Lunch - Pialligo Estate is a winery on the edge of Canberra not far from the airport. The food is worth the trip there, but the views of the sun setting over the vines and the city are even better.
Dinner - I don’t normally like hotel restaurants but Monster Kitchen & Bar is an exception. The bustling restaurants serve up dishes inspired by Japanese and Middle Eastern flavours. A random mix, but definitely works.
Drinks - Bar Rochford is full of rustic, retro charm with an interesting and original cocktail and wine list. You will find it on the second floor of the London Circuit, ‘where the action happens’ in Canberra.
See & Do
The Australian War Memorial is a must-do. I wish I had more time here but as I was 8.5 months pregnant at the time so only lasted a few hours, but I would have loved to have spent the whole day here. It is one of the best, most interactive and informative memorial museums I have ever been too, albeit sobering too.
The National Gallery of Australia boasts a damn good collection of international and Australian art, especially considering how small the city in on a global scale. It has some of my favourite artists like Warhol and Hackney and also has one Jason Pollock painting called Blue Poles which caused quite a stir when Australia paid a whopping $1.3million in 1973 (which is a fraction of what it is worth these days).
Ovolo Nish Hotel (formally known as Hotel Hotel) is one of the main reasons I wanted to visit Canberra. I love a good hotel, and this one didn’t disappoint. Aesop toiletries, linen robes and a bath the size of Africa are a sure fire way to get me to swoon. The rooms are also beautifully appointed but the real showstopper is the entrance to the lobby, it is no surprise that photos of it are littered all over international design magazines and Instagram, mine included. Best of all, it is affordable too.