As the usual Friday office chatter came up about what everyone is getting up to at the weekend, my casual answer of ‘visiting Canberra’ was met with disbelief all around.
Each of my colleagues’ thoughts were along the lines of – Why? What for? Is something happening there? – all said in a tone of confusion.
They explained that Canberra was forced onto them as a school trip and that to this day, they’ve never forgotten the boredom of the tiny city.
However, as I grew up in the UK and missed that opportunity, I was more than happy to make the 3-hour drive from Sydney to explore.
We arrived exhausted around 10pm on Friday night, so that ruled out any late night adventures, but the rest of the weekend flew by.
Saturday was freezing and so I majorly regretted my poor choice of coat. The single digit weather was a novelty from Sydney’s recent entry into Spring though. I’ll add here that although we did fit a lot of ‘culture’ in, this weekend was predominantly a food discovery.
Breakfast was at The Cupping Room on University Avenue.
There was a waiting list to get in at 09.30am, which just goes to show how popular this place is. Fortunately, we were allocated a table within 20 minutes and it was well worth the wait. This café is renowned for its amazing coffee, so of course, I got a chai latte with bonsoy instead. It just seemed to fit the weather better, but I don’t regret my decision at all – it was the best chai latte of my life!
Next up was the Australian War Memorial which combines a shrine, museum and archive to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in a war.
Lunch: A friend told me I had to try the famous Pâtissez (Bougainville Street) milkshake which is all over Facebook and Buzzfeed right now. These indulgent milkshakes do look amazing, so we popped over for ‘lunch’ and it was a crazy 2.5-hour wait for a table.
However, they also offer a takeaway option that only takes 30 minutes to make so we went in that direction instead. I got the French Vanilla shake, which has caramelised puff pastry, crème patisserie and whipped cream. The picture I had in my head involved the drippy mason jar presentation I had come to know online, but instead, I got this:
Honestly, it just tasted like a fancy vanilla milkshake – definitely not worth the $11.50.
Saturday afternoon was spent attempting to learn about science at Questacon, The National Science and Technology Centre. I think my favourite activity had to be the Free Fall Slide where you hang from a 6-metre high bar and let go so that you free fall for a brief moment before hitting the slide. I had a lot of fun playing on everything, but alas, my mind is just not wired for the teachings of science.
Saturday night was spent dining and drinking sangria out on Lonsdale Street in Braddon. You’d be surprised how busy and booked out everywhere is so best to plan ahead.