Cockatoo Island Escape
The rugged slate of canvas that is Cockatoo Island has an energy that's unique to such an iconic piece of Sydney history. Mixing industry with creativity, the island has been home to convicts and shipbuilders alike, but these days it's a space for artists, day-trippers and urban campers.
Our understated country waitress is effortlessly beautiful. She gestures casually out one window to show where the 2014 Logan Sauvignon Blanc ($12/glass) comes from, then the other to indicate the origins of the Pressed Duck ($36) with lentils and heirloom carrots.
Lark Hill Winery Restaurant
"My father is now 99 and we were in his biodynamic garden picking for the restaurant this morning," explains winemaker Sue Carpenter. She’s just taken me through arguably the best tasting I’ve had in the Canberra Wine District, and has moved on to selling the restaurant.
Canberra, Better Than You Think
It’s 6.30am and the first rays of sun are peeking through farm equipment and glistening spiders’ webs. A truckload of Tumbarumba Chardonnay grapes are already being unpacked by winemaker Nick Spencer, and his offsider Hamish Young. Their duelling forklifts perform a skilful ballet of weighing then pouring grapes and free-run grape juice into the destemmer.
It’s high time someone was brave enough to have some fun with politicians. From Tony Abbott quotes about election campaigns being “budgie smuggler free zones” in the in-room guide; to crazy past'n'present Prime Minister wallpaper; to press pack paparazzi bursting from the lifts; this hotel takes a youthful, pop-art approach to reflecting its location in our nation’s capital.
Lured in by their award-winning artisan bacon, I came to be at Canberra’s latest dining destination, Farmhouse, a mere week after they opened. Youthful Chef Brendan Walsh has produced a mature menu that reflects his time with Alain Ducasse at London’s Dorchester and at Melbourne’s Vue de Monde.