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In The Taratory – proving Canberra’s not boring

By in_the_taratory - 9 November 2013 13

taratory

In The Taratory is a Canberra blog reviewing anything and everything to do in the ACT and surrounds. It’s been a busy few months – here are some of the highlights:

Love him or loathe him, one of the biggest events on the foodie calendar was the opening of Jamie’s Italian earlier this week. My verdict? It’s not gourmet, but it genuinely tries hard and delivers on quality (for a reasonable price).

To cap off some cold winter months, it was easy to keep warm with wine and good food at Poachers Pantry. Mt Majura Winery took part in the Truffle Festival over winter, and their offering of truffled brie helped me finally understand what all the fuss is about with truffles!

There’s a similar amount of fuss over Aubergine (and it’s had a great year with awards), but my experience left me a little disappointed. The Artisan in Narrabundah is instead my pick for a really lovely night out with great food and service. Belco’s HaHa Bar on Lake Ginninderra still delivers some of the best breakfasts in town. We’re also now well acquainted with Sage’s new Spring menu.

Some of the blog posts over the last few months have also been filled with superlatives. I declared the one-off Brooks of Melbourne pop-up dinner in the Burbury Hotel the best dinner I’ve ever had. The Canberra International Riesling challenge was the event I simply didn’t want to write about because it is that good.

That said, there have been some real disappointments. We had a disastrous experience at Maple + Clove in Barton, where their gluten-free menu items turned out to be not-quite-gluten-free. This sparked a range of comments from people with a similar experience, sadly. New kid on the block A Baker left us hanging in their first few days of service, but I’ve since been assured it’s dramatically improved.

Spring is also a perfect time to visit wineries (okay, when isn’t a good time?). The Murrumbateman Moving Feast was a popular event – so popular that some of the food sold out quickly! – so I’ve written a range of “lessons learned” so I and others can prepare better next time. I also had a lot of fun fancying myself as a winemaker for the day at Mt  Majura’s TSG blending class a few weeks back.

To work off all this food and wine, we’ve been up and down a few of Canberra’s hills. Percival Hill in Nicholls is a quickie but a goodie, and it’s easy to see why Mt Taylor is a favourite walk among Canberrans. On the other hand, Boyfriend didn’t talk to me for most of the Uriarra Loop track from Shepherd’s Lookout once it became clear it’s a little steeper than I made it out to be (oops!). The Mt Majura walk remains one of my favourites. I reluctantly gave Pitch and Putt in Narrabundah a go, and found I really enjoyed myself. I’ve also made a start on the Cententary Trail – only ~145km to go!

And then there have been the big events on the Canberra calendar. Floriade Nightfest was pretty, but didn’t quite have the magical/carnival feel I was expecting. The year’s second Small Brewers Beer Festival still proves itself to be a great concept, but there’s a lot to be learnt regarding venue choice. There were unsurprisingly huge turn outs for the Canberra Nara Candle Festival and Oktoberfest. I’m still not entirely sure what the centenary Spin events were all about, but I enjoyed Spin Saturday all the same.

The next few months promise to be just as big… the next week alone will see reviews of the many Canberra Beer Week events!

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
In The Taratory – proving Canberra’s not boring
GardeningGirl 10:27 pm 11 Nov 13

I enjoyed having a browse around your blog, thanks for posting the links.

About getting into Nightfest, “It’s no big deal, but there’s not a lot I hate more than trying to do the right thing, being told what the right thing is, doing the supposed right thing, and then being told it’s wrong” I’ve had that experience elsewhere and I soooo sympathise!

in_the_taratory 8:46 pm 11 Nov 13

LSWCHP said :

I had a look at the story about the Uriarra loop walk. It looks like a nice walk and I’ll have a go at it shortly with my boys, but I think you need to tell Boyfriend to harden up a bit.

Going up and down hills is what bushwalking is mostly about IMHO. They’re the best bit, and that’s how you get the exercise, the scenic views, the sense of achievement and challenges overcome etc. Getting annoyed because your bushwalk features hills is like getting annoyed because a pub features beer.

To be fair to very patient Boyfriend, he’s done plenty of bushwalking including and especially up and down mountains without complaint (keep reading the blog to see examples!). He was cranky because I’d promised different. I would have been cranky, too!

LSWCHP 5:51 pm 11 Nov 13

zorro29 said :

LSWCHP said :

I had a look at the story about the Uriarra loop walk. It looks like a nice walk and I’ll have a go at it shortly with my boys, but I think you need to tell Boyfriend to harden up a bit.

Going up and down hills is what bushwalking is mostly about IMHO. They’re the best bit, and that’s how you get the exercise, the scenic views, the sense of achievement and challenges overcome etc. Getting annoyed because your bushwalk features hills is like getting annoyed because a pub features beer.

just don’t try that logic in Japan….when they say “medium difficulty”, they really mean “extreme/going on sheer cliffs, slippery bridges, no marked track, hours of trekking, and stairs that would turn a base-jumper white with fear”….(and i am a seasoned walker/trekker)

Fair enough, but I was really talking about walking in the ACT region (one has to stick to the RA Rules, after all) so I was thinking Namadgi, Tidbinbilla, Cotter etc.

Mrs LSWCHP has been walking in the Himalayas, and in that part of the world the flat bits would suit me just fine. 🙂

zorro29 3:32 pm 11 Nov 13

LSWCHP said :

I had a look at the story about the Uriarra loop walk. It looks like a nice walk and I’ll have a go at it shortly with my boys, but I think you need to tell Boyfriend to harden up a bit.

Going up and down hills is what bushwalking is mostly about IMHO. They’re the best bit, and that’s how you get the exercise, the scenic views, the sense of achievement and challenges overcome etc. Getting annoyed because your bushwalk features hills is like getting annoyed because a pub features beer.

just don’t try that logic in Japan….when they say “medium difficulty”, they really mean “extreme/going on sheer cliffs, slippery bridges, no marked track, hours of trekking, and stairs that would turn a base-jumper white with fear”….(and i am a seasoned walker/trekker)

Magoodotcom 1:27 pm 11 Nov 13

Love ITT… well written, good photos (light permitting), and always interesting.

LSWCHP 12:46 pm 11 Nov 13

I had a look at the story about the Uriarra loop walk. It looks like a nice walk and I’ll have a go at it shortly with my boys, but I think you need to tell Boyfriend to harden up a bit.

Going up and down hills is what bushwalking is mostly about IMHO. They’re the best bit, and that’s how you get the exercise, the scenic views, the sense of achievement and challenges overcome etc. Getting annoyed because your bushwalk features hills is like getting annoyed because a pub features beer.

zorro29 12:01 pm 11 Nov 13

ooohhh a new blog for me to follow, yay!

i’ll subscribe now 🙂

and whoever said stuff was boring, shoo off! food is life…live the obsession *drool

Solidarity 10:51 am 11 Nov 13

Gungahlin Al said :

Solidarity said :

That’s cool, but when are you going to do an article on something that isn’t boring? I mean, just last weekend I went to the Snowy Mountains 1000 and watched cars hit 300km/h… Oh wait that’s not in Canberra. Oh well, no worries, you could write about the weekend before that at Penrith where I went wake boarding in a cable park and… oh wait, that’s not Canberra either.

Hmmm.

And your point is…?

I think the point of this blog is to demonstrate to people that there is actually a wealth of things to do in and around Canberra. Something which Tara does rather well. If you think Canberra activities are boring then you are looking real hard.

Eating and walking.

Then looking at flowers.

Hmm.

It’s not Tara’s fault though, it’s Canberras.

Gungahlin Al 10:29 am 11 Nov 13

Solidarity said :

That’s cool, but when are you going to do an article on something that isn’t boring? I mean, just last weekend I went to the Snowy Mountains 1000 and watched cars hit 300km/h… Oh wait that’s not in Canberra. Oh well, no worries, you could write about the weekend before that at Penrith where I went wake boarding in a cable park and… oh wait, that’s not Canberra either.

Hmmm.

And your point is…?

I think the point of this blog is to demonstrate to people that there is actually a wealth of things to do in and around Canberra. Something which Tara does rather well. If you think Canberra activities are boring then you are looking real hard.

Mess 10:16 am 11 Nov 13

“New kid on the block A Baker left us hanging in their first few days of service, but I’ve since been assured it’s dramatically improved.”

In my experience heading to a newly opened restaurant will invariably leave the diner disappointed. It’s generally better to wait at least a month or two to let the place work out its kinks and any other issues it may face. It’s also much easier to get a reservation or a table for walk ins.

Solidarity 10:01 am 11 Nov 13

That’s cool, but when are you going to do an article on something that isn’t boring? I mean, just last weekend I went to the Snowy Mountains 1000 and watched cars hit 300km/h… Oh wait that’s not in Canberra. Oh well, no worries, you could write about the weekend before that at Penrith where I went wake boarding in a cable park and… oh wait, that’s not Canberra either.

Hmmm.

in_the_taratory 9:03 am 11 Nov 13

You aren’t far wrong. It’s called ‘forest floor’ and was the dessert at the Brooks pop-up dinner.

gentoopenguin 7:41 am 11 Nov 13

What is that mess on a plate in the picture? Looks like Shrek did a sneeze.

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