Eating my way through the capital city

Eating my way through the capital city

For the Queen’s birthday long weekend, we decided to do a road trip down to Canberra which is an approximately 3 hour drive. Let me just say that the Australian capital city has changed quite a bit from what I remember. There are loads of jobs in C-town which I guess means the foodie scene has been flourishing. We stayed in the New Acton area, which was pretty much hipster central. We made Japanese pancakes (AMAZING) before setting off on the drive down.

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We got to Canberra late in the afternoon, driving to Joe’s Bar for a late tapas lunch. No regrets. We got three dishes to share (admittedly 2 fried dishes #noregrets). I started off with a floral G+T, too pretty to drink.

02 drink

We got the burrata con tartufo, an oozy mozzarella made from fresh cows milk and cream, finished off with fresh local truffles. Did I mention it was truffle season? Oh and some arancini and calamari as well. Jokes aside, the calamari was pretty amazing. It was the most tender calamari I’ve had. You didn’t even need cutlery to slice it up, it was that soft. The calamari was paired with a black squid ink aioli, which despite it’s scary hue, was quite salty and went nicely with the seafood.

03 food
Arancini di Riso on the left, and Burrata con Tartufo on the right.
04 squid
Calamari Fritti with black squid ink aioli hidden underneath.

We stayed at the newly renovated QT hotel, which was previously the Rydges hotel. The verdict? It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t horrible either. Each QT hotel has their own theme, and in Canberra it’s no surprise that the theme is politics.

There are multiple prior Aussie prime ministers hidden within the wallpaper in the lobby and streaming political tweets all over the walls. Overall it was a good stay, however we found the mini bar fridge didn’t work well. It was faster to chill a bottle of champagne on the balcony in the sub-zero temperatures!

05 lobby

06 balcony.jpg
A stunning view at sunset.

Dinner that night was at the Capitol Bar and Grill at the hotel, famed for their enormous tomahawk steaks. Naturally we chose to have some truffle mac and cheese on the side. Amazing. I love truffle season. M&C didn’t look too attractive, but believe me, it was the most delicious thing ever on a winter’s night.

07 capitol

The handmade markets happened to be on during the weekend we were visiting. We stopped by at EPIC, the Exhibition Park In Canberra. It was like a slightly less crowded version of the Finders Markets that they hold in the other capital cities. We ate a few things, bought a few things, and had a pretty good day.

08 markets
Cinnamon donut ice cream and a cute wall shelf stall.

I have a part 2 Canberra post lined up as we ate at so many great food places, but for now, thanks Canberra, you’re alright.

09 sunset

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Summer in bloom

Summer in bloom

It’s not even lunch time and I’m feeling a bit indifferent about this entire day. It’s a balmy 29ºC outside. Although it feels much warmer (+ muggy). On the plus side it seems that my tropical flowering trees/plants are loving it and are on full bloomin’ mode. Not complaining. I love them and will lop them off and put them in a vase first chance I get :D

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I know you aren’t meant to cut and vase frangipani, but I couldn’t resist chopping off the bright pink and yellow blossoms that appeared on my tree and putting it in a bowl vase. Of course it didn’t last for very long but left the room with an amazing scent. Also, am still loving my gold scissors from Hay.

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Recent crafty endeavours

Recent crafty endeavours

I’ve definitely dropped off the face of the blogging-planet. I can’t even remember what my last post is about. Probably something about how I don’t blog as often as I’d like. I love blogging as an outlet for my thoughts – possibly because I always wanted to have a paper diary but never got around to it.

I started pottery classes a few weeks ago. I only enrolled to do one term but I’m loving it so far. I’ve had some hits and some misses, but it’s just fun to meet new people (as much as I say I hate it – hi introversion!) and get messy! I spent last class playing with underglaze.

Pottery painting

Last week, I welcomed a new niece and she’s the most adorable squishy thing ever. Plus she is so tiny. Plus she has that mystical new baby smell that I thought was something new mums made up because they loved their babies so much. In conclusion she smells amazing.

I’m dreading how cold winter will get this year. This morning I found myself shivering in my thick winter coat and wooly hat. It’s only autumn. :| I was even contemplating whipping out the gloves and the boots, but I held off. It’s becoming harder and harder to get out of bed in the mornings. I really don’t like winter.

I’m obsessed with my Cricut. H travelled to the USA for work a few months ago and  brought me back a Cricut machine. They retail for 500+ in Australia so I was never going to get one here. Basically it’s a printer that cuts instead of inks. If you’re still confused there are plenty of videos on YouTube ;) I made some gem stone table placeholders for a recent dinner party.

Gem place holder

Glittery camellias + crafty endeavours

Glittery camellias + crafty endeavours

The creative bug has hit me hard. I wandered over to Typo the other week and after noticing an extra 30% off sale items, I may have purchased a loom weaving kit and a pink shadow box for a future project. I’ve developed a thing for shadow boxes – I found a black Ribba frame at Ikea not so long ago too.Ribba Ikea frame

I have some grand plans to use the loom to make a super cute wall hanging for my wall. I need to nail down the basics though. Trying to practice off what I can find on Google, but it is proving a bit difficult to find. Besides which I’ve ramped up the soft toy making and even enrolled in a pottery class in a few weeks time. Yeah, I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. Work is ramping up for the year on top of it all.

I used the shadow box to put together a makeshift homage-to-Chanel. Call me materialistic but I’m in love with it. I love staring at the pretty camellias, and it brings back memories of crisp, cool days walking through the streets of Paris getting lost with a croissant in one gloved hand. One day. I’ll be back.

Chanel Homage

Life in flowers

Life in flowers

As per usual, I can barely keep up with everything. I can’t believe that it is almost the end of the year. Seriously. So much has happened and everything has whizzed by way too quickly. Note to self, must stop and look at the pretty flowers more often before the year is out. All these flowers have come into bloom in my garden without me realising. Need to bring some into the house and fill all the vases.
fleurI had a horrible experience this morning with this Asian woman on the train who kept digging her bag into my backside, I assume in an effort to move me faster through a slow crowd. Seriously lady, I don’t think your tactic is going to achieve anything other than giving me a giant wedgie. Glare.

Cherry blossomsI took photos of cherry blossoms from this little park close by to where we stopped for some lunch in Ainslie. I need to discover more funky eateries in Canberra. Everything has become so trendy in the last few years I can’t keep up. H + I stopped by Questacon and found our inner child (not that they really need any finding).

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I realise this post is overly floral, especially paired with my blog background, but I really could not care less. HAPPY SPRING!

Patterns galore

Patterns galore

Let me just start off saying the rain today was insane. It was definitely a gumboots sorta day. I contemplated taking a bus from the city but the rain had eased to a light sprinkle by the time I had arrived. CRAZY.

So having worn solid blocks of colour for most of my life, I find myself lusting over patterns and reaching for them more often these days. One of my favourite jumpers in my regular winter rotation is a J.Crew polka dot and stripe little number. Now let’s make it clear, I’m on window shopping mode O-N-L-Y! :)

I saw this Portmans stripe skirt and top ensemble on one of their marketing advertisements and fell in love with the entire outfit. I adore the off the shoulder top. Girly without being too girly. If it were summer, and if I could pull off crop tops, I’d be all over this.

Stripes

Continuing with the stripe theme, this Country Road stripe top intrigues me. I love the bold/fine line contrast. I’m always struggling to find pretty looking long sleeve tops for winter.

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And my other favourite pattern of the moment – floral. I can’t go past a bold, floral print. The tangerine in this Cue dress makes it all the more special, and it just scream spring. Anything sparkly or material with a slight sheen always seems to capture my undivided attention.

Cue floral dress

And finally just for fun, this flirty neon Gorman skirt will bring life back to your monochromatic office wear. I love how it looks completely different up close to how it appears from afar. Plus it’s lilac, and I love all shades of purple.

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