Subscribe and save today!
House & Garden
Capital state: a weekend in Canberra
Monday, July 2, 2012
Photography Meryl Butterworth. Melissa Mylchreest travelled courtesy of Australian Capital Tourism.
Short hop for a long weekend: New Zealand's Whare Kea Lodge
When in Rome... European bus tours demystified
Hong Kong hit list
Distant echo: luxury camping in WA's Kimberley region
A stitch in time: Otahuna Lodge, New Zealand
More about House & Garden:
South Coast sojourn
Smart shopper: curtains
House & Garden
Fabulous food and wine stops around Canberra round out a mid-winter run to the National Portrait Gallery, writes Melissa Mylchreest.
The time had come for my friend and I to make our long-awaited road trip to Canberra to visit the National Portrait Gallery, while enjoying some of the food and wine on offer around the region.
Our first stop is the Poachers Pantry, a smokehouse in the historic village of Hall, 13km northwest of Canberra. The Pantry is part of a regional trail called The Poacher's Way, which encourages people to drop into the businesses and studios of local artisans, artists, chefs and winemakers. We order the Pantry‘s smoked meats platter and wash it down with a Wily Trout Sauvignon Blanc.
We've organised an afternoon of pampering at Hall's Geranium House, which is set among 54ha of bushland. As we wind our way up what becomes a dirt road, I realise this was a masterstroke. I love my aromatherapy facial and the only sound I hear is a frog croaking outside the window.
Later, we drive to Country Guesthouse Schonegg at nearby Murrumbateman, where owners Evelyn and Richard have donned a dirnl and lederhosen respectively. They're a quirky couple who have dressed up for the beer and wine tasting we are attending that evening at Shaws Vineyard Estate Cellar Door, which turns out to be a lovely low-key wine bar with live music.
We decide against the bubbly on offer the next morning and opt for a cup of tea followed with poached eggs and salmon, cooked to order. The food is as good as the guesthouse's outlook; golden, grassy countryside dotted with sculptures commissioned by Richard.
At Gundaroo, a 15-minute drive away, we stumble upon Cork Street Gallery Cafe in the former police horse stables and then find ourselves at the Handmade crafts collective, where they're setting up for a crochet flower-brooch workshop. On impulse I buy some pinch pots in colours ranging from navy to coral to pink just before they close the till.
Lunch is at Grazing, a restaurant located in The Royal Hotel, but not before we tour the vegie garden and admire the two-storey chicken coop with shingled roof. The restaurant has rooms of varying sizes with original fireplaces and is so cosy I feel like I'm in my nanna's home. Owner and chef Kurt Neumann serves up a delicious Snowy River trout with a glass of Mount Majura Pinot Gris.
The next morning we set out to find treasures at Canberra's Old Bus Depot Markets, whose theme this weekend is antiques and collectables. With my first piece of treasure in the bag – a silver cake-server set for my mother's birthday – we trawl the market's kilim, 20th-century furniture and bric-a-brac stalls. To our delight, there are many artisan food stalls as well as those offering warming drinks such as mulled wine and chai.
To satisfy my artistic side, I've enrolled in a glass paperweight workshop at Canberra Glassworks. Here, two instructors show me how to take the molten glass off my hands when it looks like its going to drip on to the floor. I find the working of the glass mesmerising and (surprisingly) end up with a perfectly round paperweight of my own design. It's an experience I would repeat in a flash.
Before we leave Canberra there's one more stop. We've been so busy feeding ourselves we've almost run out of time to visit the Portrait Gallery. It doesn't disappoint: I'm amazed by the monumental architecture for a start. The artwork on show is a lesson in Australian history, a celebration of the lives of Australians, and an insight into the artists who produced the work. And, making our way among its expansive exhibition rooms is a great way to walk off the kilos we've no doubt stacked on while making our way here.
What to do
, 431 Nanima Rd, Hall or (02) 6230 2487.
The Poacher's Way
Flint in the Vines
, 34 Isabel Dr, Murrumbateman; (02) 6227 5144.
Cork Street Gallery Cafe, Cork St, Gundaroo; (02) 6236 8217.
, The Royal Hotel, Cnr Cork and Harp Sts, Gundaroo; (02) 6236 8777.
Italian and Sons Vino e Cucina
, 7 Lonsdale St, Braddon.
, Fairview Rd, Hall; (02) 6230 9220.
Old Bus Depot Markets
, Wentworth Ave, Kingston.
, 11 Wentworth Ave, Kingston.
Where to stay
Country Guesthouse Schonegg
, 381 Hillview Dr, Murrumbateman; (02) 6227 0344.
Write a comment
Your email will not be shared with any third parties or published with your comment.
Maximum characters 1000
* Indicates required field
Preview your content
Please note: All reviews and comments submitted are subject to moderation, NineMSN reserves the right to alter and / or remove any content that does not comply with usage guidelines.
You have incorrectly identified the animals in the picture on pg. 183. They are NOT llamas, they are ALPACAS. Thank you
Also in this section
South Coast sojourn
Vanessa Walker's hard-won tips for family campervanning in Tasmania
Sit back, relax: Byron at Byron
H&G on iPad
Experience Australian House & Garden on iPad. Subscribe now!
find out more
Living & Dining
Tips & Tricks
Products & Advice
Real Living Blogs
About the show
Ep42: Master Bedroom Reveal
Four very different master bedrooms and dressing rooms are revealed. One team scores a perfect thirty out of thirty but Scotty has a shocking surprise that changes the game. Dea and Darren's wine audit comes to a head when Scotty plays judge and jury
Living & Dining
Shop new season styles
Study an online course
Search for jobs
Back to top
Wide World of Sports
Latest celebrity news
The Big Bang Theory
2 Broke Girls
Advertise with us
© 1997 - 2015 ninemsn Pty Ltd - All rights reserved