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A Day in the Vineyards…

27 Jul

*This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013.*

I never used to like wine. I thought it was bitter, and much preferred the girlier alternative of vodka and cranberry (or even, I’m ashamed to admit, vodka Cruisers). Oh, how times have changed!

Now, I adore wine. Especially a good, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon or, in summer, a light Rosé or Moscato-style Rosemount O (a cheapie, but a goodie). In the last year, I’ve been on three winery day tours: the McLaren Vale region, the Hunter Valley region, and the Barossa region. So when my friend suggested that we go on a tour of the Canberra region wineries, I didn’t need much convincing.

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Galmatic Car Workshop

14 Jul

*This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013.*

About one month ago, I had a bit of a bingle. My poor little Yaris got rear-ended by a Ford Territory as I was turning onto the GDE – pushing me out into oncoming traffic (eek!). It was all rather inconvenient. Not only did I have to leech lifts off my housemate for the next three and a half weeks while my car was at the smash repairs, and put up with some characters on the ACTION bus service (ever had someone spew next to you, look at it momentarily, then go back to sleep? Yep, I now have), but I also was booked in for a “Galmatic” car workshop that weekend. And it was strictly BYO car.

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High Tea in Territory

12 Jun

*This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013.*

Queanbeyan. I gotta say, I never really thought there was much in that town worthy of a special trip. Which is a bit rich of me really, considering I was born there 23 years ago (shh, I don’t usually let people in on that one!). So when a friend suggested that I visit her new place in Quangers before heading out for afternoon tea, I must admit that I wasn’t overly enthusiastic. Then she mentioned that it would be High Tea – and my ears pricked right up! I’d always wanted to get dolled up in a fancy hat and gloves while nibbling on crustless sandwiches and talking in posh accents. I’d heard that the Hyatt Hotel puts on an impressive High Tea, but wasn’t aware of anywhere else that did it in Canberra – let alone Queanbeyan… Continue reading

Thai Bliss…

26 May

*This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013.*

Following on from my recent post about massages and spa pedicures, I decided to try something different and treat myself to a traditional Thai massage at Thai Bliss. It had been a long week and my back was achey and tense after a minor car accident last week (nothing to worry about, folks, ’twas just a wee rear-ender – my car’s bum has seen better days, though!). With doctor’s clearance, I made a beeline for the parlour as soon as I finished work (note that they’re open from 10am-10pm everyday, so there’s bound to be a time that suits you). Continue reading

Getting pampered in the territory, el cheapo style…

21 May

*This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013.*

Everyone has a guilty pleasure. Some people like drinking red wine with dinner each night to unwind (mum, I’m looking at you!). Others like watching Sex and the City on Friday nights with a mud mask on, or squeezing their back pimples using a magnifying mirror (yep, I know people who actually get a kick out of doing this). And me? I love going out for a bit of pampering once or twice a month. Getting a hair cut, massage or spa pedicure is a marvelous way to unwind. I’m sure I’m not alone on that one, right? 😉 Continue reading

Feasting over Easter with T2

21 Apr

*This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013.*

Why hello there, Canberrans! It’s me, T2 – the lesser-known half of ‘In the Taratory’.  So what have I been doing in the couple of weeks since my Poachers Pantry and Summer Shape Up blogs? Apart from a quick trip up to Sydney (wedding planning – not for me – but exciting nonethless), I’ve been flat out with part-time uni, full-time work, Japanese language training, a millinery course at CIT and *trying* to keep fit. As a result, I really haven’t done anything out-of-the-ordinary in Canberra lately – nothing worthy of a full review anyway. I do feel a little guilty, but would prefer to write something meaningful rather than pages of fluff. Luckily, T1 has a boyfriend that she can drag along (or be dragged along) to various events and restaurants – so she’s been holding the fort here in Taratory land! Great work T1 🙂

I have been doing my fair share of eating out, though. I didn’t really want to do another detailed restaurant review since they’re not my strong point (to be blunt, my food reviewing attempts have been crap. I don’t enjoy yarping on about how lovely the consistency of the jus was, how the Pinot Noir expressed delicate aromas of cherry, berry, and earth, or how the soufflé tasted just like a mouthful of fluffy cloud. I’ll leave that type of detail to more popular foodie blogs like Not Quite Nigella, A Table for Two and the Canberra-based Snowdrop Meringues & Berries and Yummy Lummy). So, instead of a 1000-word essay on one venue, I thought I’d write a little bit about a few different dining experiences I’ve had lately. Here goes… Continue reading

Brunch at Poachers Pantry

9 Apr

*This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013.*

So, I’m probably one of the very last Canberrans to try out the uber-popular Sunday morning brunch spot that is Poachers Pantry. It only took me four years of hearing about how wonderful this winery-smokehouse-restaurant-cafe was before I decided to finally venture out there and judge for myself.

It was yet another dreary summer’s day in Canberra (which I was rather disappointed about, because the previous day had been glorious – blue skies, fluffy white clouds, deliciously warm) and my housemate and I felt like doing nothing more than lazing around the house. But we’d already booked a table at Poachers Pantry and I knew how busy they would be – it would have been bad form to cancel at such a late stage. Continue reading

Summer Shape Up with the HerCanberra Ladies

24 Mar

*This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013.*

As a budding blogger, I really enjoy checking out other blogs – each has their own flavour, style and focus. Mamamia (one of Australia’s biggest blogs aimed at women) and Riot Act (a well-known Canberra blog that In the Taratory have previously featured in) are two of my current faves. It was through Riot Act that I came across HerCanberra late last year. As the name suggests, it’s targeted at women in Canberra – and, like In the Taratory, they also frequently write about happenings here in our Capital. Their focus is a little wider than ours, which makes for interesting reading.

Anyway, I’m probably going to get into trouble with T1 for spruiking our ‘competitors’ (hehe) so I’ll get on with the point of this review! HerCanberra launched a great initiative back in January: the HerCanberra Summer Shape-Up. Heaps of Canberra fitness businesses joined in for the action, offering special discounts and free classes for readers. From power yoga,boot camp and self defence, to personal training and dance classes, there was something for everyone. Over the course of eight weeks in January and February, ladies could sign up for any or all of the free trials. I went along to quite a few classes here and there – it was a great way to find a new hobby without committing to a term’s worth of fees. Continue reading

Getting zapped in the Territory

9 Mar

*This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013.*

Okay, so I’m sure most of you are vaguely aware of the latest craze in hair removallaser therapy. You’ve probably heard the ads on the radio while driving home from work, yarping on about smooth cha-chas and the like (geez, that HairFree ad really makes me chuckle – why would ‘everyone’ love your new smooth cha-cha? Or, more to the point, why/how/when would they all be SEEING it?!). Laser has been around since the mid 90’s, but dedicated clinics are now suddenly sprouting up all around the country and prices are rapidly falling – great news for those of us who don’t wanna fork out hundreds for the experience. So what’s this laser business all about, and how do Canberra’s laser clinics (that I’ve tried) rate? Continue reading

Getting Cultural in Canberra

19 Feb

* This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013. *

I gotta say, I really enjoy Canberra in February. It’s the last month of summer, but the craziness of the festive season is over, as is the dead month of January where every Canberran seems to desert the city for the coast or greener pastures abroad (myself included!). February, on the other hand, is the month when things in Canberra really kick into gear – leading on from the debauchery that is Australia Day, there’s TropFest (a popular short film festival), the Food and Wine Expo, the Summerside festival (as opposed to the winter Fireside festival), Flix in the Stix, and, of course, all the pub crawls and welcome events for those new little government grad-lings! Who needs smooshy Valentine’s Day when there’s so much else on to keep you busy?!

But there’s one key event that I’ve omitted from that list: Canberra’s 16th annual multicultural festival. It’s my absolute favourite summer event in the ACT, and I’ve been every year since living here without fail. In fact, this year, I went along on both the Friday and the Sunday arvo. I would have also headed over on Saturday night with the BMW girls, if it hadn’t been for the small fact that I was moving house over the weekend. Quite a mission, that was! Continue reading