Canberra is the most underrated state in Australia.
There. I said it. Bold statement, I know. But if you know, you seriously freakin’ know.
If you haven’t visited the land of the politicians since your year six excursion to Questacon, it’s time to dust off the nostalgia, shine up the tyres and commence operation Big C.
Being a PR lady for QT in my grown up life does make me bias, but QT Canberra was my 48 hour home base and had me crushing on politicians from the moment laid eyes on its Power Wall. The lobby is a sundrenched haven with a winding staircase that makes you want to slide into your silky best and shimmy down the handrails.
The rooms boast to “bid farewell to beige”, and I can confirm they may maintain boasting rights. The design delights gave the oysters and cheese plate I consumed from in room dining a real run for their money (and that’s saying something).
But the best part? Location location location! Everything is less than ten minutes away.
Pack the stretchy pants and prepare to embark on a gastronomical adventure.
Penny University Pop yourself on the waiting list and get ready to feel like a quintessential Canberrian. The food is fun with a little Japanese inspired flair, and boy oh boy do they know how to make an espresso martini!
Mount Majura Vineyard Cellar Door If you find yourself in the Capital during Truffle Season, you owe it to the hounds to treat yourself to their nose’s findings. Mount Majura extends $40 truffle and wine flights and if that doesn’t make you feel a little tingly inside, then you Sir, are not human.
Rebel Rebel I’ll be talking about Rebel Rebel’s eggplant for at least the next 235 days. The entire menu is relaxed, wank free and I’m quite certain I transcended at one point. My only regret is that my stomach failed me and I couldn’t fit more in.
Morning Glory I promised myself I wouldn’t order avocado on toast but it came with furikake, celery, cucumber, ricotta and a fried egg and suffice to say; it was the greatest 8am decision I’ve ever made. Hot tip: If the team upsell you a pastry at the counter, just go with it and ask for the cannoli to go.
Lazy-Su If Lazy Su could be Prime Minister of a cuisine, they’d be leader of American/Japanese/Korean. My life is better having dined here. It’s fun, loud, cheeky and the cocktail list oozes Four Pillars Gin confidence. Hack the Salt and Pepper Tofu Bites with a side of Kimchi Mayo and lap up the applause from your party as you clink coupettes.
Molly I have fomo for the Canberra speakeasy culture I missed out on. I didn’t make it to Molly, and to be honest its location is shared via GPS coordinates (and I’m terrible with geography) so I had no hope of ever finding it, but I’m told its charming, unassuming and armed with a selection of over 300 whisky’s. I’ll spend 56 hours in Canberra next time to allow adequate time to find it.
Because you’ll be eating everything in sight, and when you’re not eating you’ll be planning where to eat next, upping the step count is a must. The sun hits Lake Burley Griffin in all the right places and you’ll also tick off a few of The Capital’s landmarks as you stroll.
One must always leave a travel destination a little more cultured than they started and a few hours spent getting lost in The National Gallery of Australia should do the trick. The Xu Zhen: Eternity vs Evolution exhibition is a must for cultural kudos.