The colder weather has definitely arrived in Canberra and the dip in the temperature for me means wearing a big puffy jacket whenever I step outside and a change in all of my food and wine habits.
Fresh zingy salads are being swapped out for hearty warming soups; my chilled glass of rose is staying in the fridge while I fill my glass with a big bold red wine to end the workweek. And when I am choosing a place to dine, I am looking past sweeping views with al fresco dining options to cosy bars with fireplaces.
Here are three cracking spots for you to call home this winter.
Walt & Burley
Set on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, Walt & Burley has an enviable corner position on the Kingston Foreshore.
With an easy casual style of service, it is a true local gem where you can pop in for coffee on a weekend morning or kick back with one of the numerous beers on taps to watch the week’s big game on the big screens at night.
Make a night of it and grab a spot by the fireplace and indulge in one of the feasting menus designed for sharing. For $75 per person, the Foreshore Feast includes freshly shucked oysters, gin cured salmon, coffee-rubbed beef sirloin, beef fat potatoes, and more delicious treats to enjoy by the fire.
Walt & Burley is located at 70/17 Eastlake Parade, Kingston, and is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 am and Saturday to Sunday from 8:00 am.
Old Canberra Inn
When it comes to stalwarts of the Canberra hospitality industry, few could rival The Old Canberra Inn on Mouat Street, Lyneham, which predates the city itself.
Once a stop on the coach run between Queanbeyan and Yass, there’s no mistaking the history in this characterful building, which has alternated between a family home and public house since it was built in 1857.
The family-friendly pub has a bungalow-like exterior that belies the labyrinthine space within. A series of rooms and settings offer something for groups of all sizes, including a rustic fireplace.
Couple your drink from the rotating craft beer menu with a meal of burgers and hand-cut chips while you listen to live music.
The Old Canberra Inn at 195 Mouat Street, Lyneham, is open from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Sunday to Thursday, and from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Friday and Saturday.
The Canberra Wine House
In the heart of Dickson, in the middle of the Tradies Club, lies a secret hideaway housing a collection of the best wines in the region.
The Canberra Wine House continues the club’s 50-year tradition of sourcing and supplying the highest quality wines and produce from Canberra and surrounds all in a chic atmosphere of a 1920s speakeasy complete with a fireplace.
Walking in, the space is dark, moody, relaxed and intimate, with a parquetry bar, wine barrel tables and vintage leather Chesterfield club chairs.
Glasses and wine bottles line the bar begging to be poured: Nick O’Leary, Clonakilla, and Ravensworth, to name a few. You can sample the wines and chat with the bar’s resident wine expert about how the vintages are made, the wineries they’ve come from and the foods they complement.
The Canberra Wine House is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm. It is located inside The Tradies Club at 2 Badham Street, Dickson.