Sometimes you just need to get out of your comfort zone and explore somewhere new. With Nawal and Neve invited to train at the AIS in Canberra, Mum and I decided a girls weekend in Canberra would be the perfect way to enjoy our long weekend.
Bundled up in the car with all of the girls’ fencing gear, we took the 3 1/2 hour drive to our Nation’s Capital; Canberra - and I thought I’d share my tips for the perfect weekend in Canberra.
Where to Stay:
Driving up to The Park Hyatt Canberra, you might feel like you’re stepping back in time. Blending modern Art Deco design with classic 1920’s style, the suites of this hotel has a charming country manor feel with luxurious linens, cosy lounges and light and bright decor.
The beautiful park and garden views are tranquil and relaxing, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind… but don’t do too much relaxing; there’s plenty to see, do and eat!
Where to Eat:
If you only have two days in Canberra, my advice is to get there as early as possible so you can enjoy brunch twice! Canberra really knows how to do brunch and Urban Pantry on the Manuka Lawns serve up some incredible food!
Enjoy brunch out on the deck and soak up the views while you enjoy dishes like the Omelette with San Daniele prosciutto, Roma tomatoes, provolone, avocado, house dried chilli and farmhouse sourdough and Baked Sicilian Eggs with San Marzano sugo, olives, roasted peppers, confit garlic, Persian feta, cannellini beans grilled farmhouse sourdough and smoked Italian sausage (both pictured).
Or if sweet is more your style, try their Brioche French Toast with oven roasted maple pears, cinnamon custard, macadamia cookie crumble, fresh berries, vanilla bean ice cream.
What to See:
The best time to visit Canberra is Spring as you can enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and entertainment at Floriade. A free festival celebrating the start of Spring and the best of pop culture, Floriade runs from September 15 - October 14 this year and is more than just fields of beautiful flowers.
From kids entertainment and dog days out to street performers, secret garden parties and even cocktail workshops, there’s something for everyone.
Floriade is also home to some incredible garden ideas - like IKEA’s Growroom, designed top optimise garden space in small areas.
What to See:
Not in Canberra during Floriade? Why not enjoy a walk around Lake Burley Griffin and then a visit to the National Museum of Australia?
Where to Eat Dinner:
Ottoman, Canberra. Set in an art deco style pavillion, Ottoman serves up gourmet Turkish meze and mains that you’ll want to return to Canberra just to eat! If you’re not sure what to eat, their degustation menu with wine pairings is a great way to try a little bit of everything - and their stuffed eggplant is a must try!
If Turkish food isn’t your style, we also loved The Jewel of India in Manuka for delicious Authentic Indian food!
Where to Eat Brunch:
Another brunch favourite of ours is The Cupping Room on University Avenue. My biggest tip? Enjoy their brunch offerings - but save a little bit of room because their salted caramel popcorn milkshake is a MUST TRY!
We enjoyed the Fig and Hazelnut Toast with Coconut Butter, French Toast with Rhubarb, banana, blackberry, coconut butter, rhubarb mousse and burnt white chocolate and Salmon ceviche with goma sauce, pickled fennel, cured egg yolk, puffed rice, capers, greens.
What To See:
Feel like you need to walk off some of that brunch? Why not take a walk up to Parliament House. Park at the bottom and enjoy the walk up to the top. The famous lawn is blocked off from foot traffic, but you can weave your way up and around - and be sure to stop for a selfie at the top!
What to See:
Have a little bit of extra time before it’s time to head home? Why not take a visit to the National Art Gallery or the War Memorial?
At the National Art Gallery, you’ll find Australian artists alongside big international names and interesting exhibits and limited time collections.
The War Memorial is an incredible tribute to Australia’s armed forces and supporting organisations and home to many fascinating (and heartbreaking) exhibits and collections.