With Enlighten Canberra comes the offer of experiencing dinner at the Members’ Guest Dining Rooms at Parliament House. We figure, at $90 a head, why not? It can’t be worse than our $75 pp experience at Siren Bar.
My love of Mt Painter is well known. I try to spend a lot of time there, and spend probably even more time telling people about how magical it and its views are.
With that in mind, I think it’s safe to say I’m having an affair.
Today was a great day. It was Monday. It was the beginning of October. Most of us weren’t at work! And the SUN WAS SHINING. This is what Canberra is about!
Boyfriend and I got on the scooter for the first weekend ride in months and decided to make good use of the 2012-13 Canberra Entertainment Book’s two-for-one voucher to head up Black Mountain Tower. After five years in Canberra, I’ve never been! We’ve always said we’ll do it after we’ve done a walk up Black Mountain (given if you don’t you just end up in a carpark with no views!), but we’ve done that once and you can’t take dogs, and we’re loathe to go anywhere without our Whippet. A ride was the perfect opportunity!
Shout out! The Canberra Harvest Wine Festival is on this weekend! If you like wines (and if you like the sound of this wine), you may like to head along!
The Eden Road 2009 Shiraz – “The Seedling” – was purchased from the Belconnen Bottle-O. (It’s worth noting that the Belco bottleo is open til 11pm most nights, which is later than almost anywhere else in Canberra – it’s a great default if you’re off to a late night party!) Fortunately, most bottleos in Canberra (even Dan Murphy’s) have dedicated sections of their stores to local wines. If you take a look, you’ll notice that the Canberra region is particularly partial to producing a good shiraz. This is great news for the Canberra wineries, because shiraz is still Australia‘s most loved wine.
Since my first review of the Jeir Creek Riesling last month, I’ve been on the look out for wines from the Canberra region which are $20 and under. From my completely unscientific research, there are very few. There are plenty of Canberra wines between $20-25, for just very few under! Given the wine glut and just how many wines are even $15 and under, I do wonder if Canberra might be a little unrealistic. To that end, all wines <$20 will be favoured until I run out! This wine was a perfectly reasonable $15.95. I’m not sure if this influences others (and particular people of my generation), but I really am influenced by a wine bottle‘s label. Eden Road’s labelling is great – simple and elegant – though the different wines end up looking quite similar!
A sniff of the 2009 “The Seedling” makes me think of mulberries and green chillies. It’s deeply coloured – purple-black. A first sip of the wine is almost fizzy on the tongue. I don’t recommend swirling this wine around in your mouth – it’s best enjoyed slowly sipped. I enjoyed this with a creamy blue vein cheese (from, you guessed it, Belco Coles!). Any creamy cheese (but particularly those with sharp flavours) would be well offset by the tang and fizziness (there’s no other way to describe it!) of this wine.
(For the record, the wine is described on the bottle as: “The Seedling Shiraz has aromas of blackberry and dark cherries that lead onto a plump and juicy palate with great length and elegance”. I don’t read these blurbs before I review the wine – largely because they don’t make sense to me.)
Cost: $15.95 from Belconnen Bottle-O
Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile. Will buy again. Support Canberra industry (more support = cheaper prices, right? Right?)
With visiting parents, I thought it might be quite lovely to take them down (and up) to see Mt Kosciuszko. We’d sworn ‘never again’ to the Main Range Track walk (>20km) which we’d done in early January, but had thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and thought it would be a nice tourist spot. We settled on taking the chairlift up from Thredbo (we’d walked from Charlottes Pass on the previous occasion) and walking the 13km return track from there.
Mt Tennent is a bastard*. There’s no other way to put it. The first time I braved it was August 2011, and on finishing it I made the promise myself to never, ever do it again. That was until I got my new Heart Rate Monitor, which piqued my curiosity – if Mt Tennent is such a hard slog, how many calories does it burn? Of course, the only way to find out was by doing it again. And that’s how, exactly six months later, I found myself back on Mt Tennent, and cursing it.
Summer months = hiking, in T1′s world. Winter months also mean hiking, but there’s not as much on offer in the winter months. In particular, it’s quite difficult to hike the Snowy Mountains in the winter!
This past January weekend seemed like the ideal time. The forecast for Canberra wasn’t particularly cheery, while I was optimistic about what ‘isolated showers’ for the mountains meant. So, Boyfriend and I packed our backpacks on Friday night and rose early on Saturday morning to head down to Charlotte Pass. The drive is a fairly easy one – Australia’s ski region is exceptionally well signed, and if you’re got even a smidgen of a sense of direction, you’ll make it there easily in about two hours (always take a map!). The last 30 or so kilometres to Charlotte’s Pass are a little windy and take a bit of time – and there’s also the $16 entry vee to Kosciuszko National Park for vehicles (cheaper for motorbikes!).
We arrived at about 10am and were greeted by a large number of cars. There’s no real place to park near the Charlotte Pass entrance, so there were cars parked (often a little precariously) on both sides of the road. We lathered up in sunscreen (so I thought), and I persuaded Boyfriend to take the roll-on Rid (absolutely necessary), and we set off with a number of other groups in front and behind us.
There are a number of walks you can do from either Charlotte Pass or Thredbo which will take you to Mt Kosciuszko. Perhaps stupidly, I chose the hardest one. After reading other reviews, I couldn’t imagine not doing the walk – at 22km, it offered all the necessary sights: Blue Lake, Lake Albina, postcard views, Seaman’s Hut, Rawson Pass and, of course, Australia’s highest peak.
It has been a busy coupla weeks in the worlds of T1 and T2 and we have a number of new well overdue reviews to publish. However, I can’t help but think the best review with which to start is Christmas!
You could almost be forgiven for thinking we’re in the northern hemisphere – that’s how strange the weather has been lately. However, that hasn’t stopped the numerous Christmas celebrations around the Capital. Here’s some of T1’s faves:
You wouldn’t be wrong if you said that I frequented the Belconnen Zambrero. It’s great. I wholeheartedly endorse it. It’s indulgence food, it’s sustenance (at any time of day or night) – can’t go past it. But my experience there tonight has left me a little… bemused.
I understand it’s Melbourne Cup day. I didn’t go to the races today (and can’t vouch for just how many customers Zambrero had through its doors), but my friends and I did trek down to the Lighthouse in the late evening for a beverage or two to celebrate the day and we were looking for a quick meal afterwards. Zambrero was chosen for its proximity and consistently good delivery.
Well, we were wrong on the latter point. I was served by three staff when ordering my vege burrito. The first looked tired but still cheery. The second… not so much. I realised pretty quickly there was no ‘guac‘ (guacamole) and a few seconds later, realised there was no cheese! No guac is one thing, but no cheese?! As a Facebook friend later remarked, guac and cheese make the burrito!