The finer things in life
Home to a multitude of high-end boutiques, indulgent dining venues and relaxation spots; Canberra is the ultimate destination for a weekend of luxury and R&R. If you’re thinking of going on an escape, take the stress out of planning with Urban Walkabout's curated guide to the best on offer in Canberra.
Day 1: Saturday
Breakfast Urban Pantry
Ensconced within the leafy suburb of Manuka, this café masters the art of elegant dishes made with seasonal produce. With creations like Caprese omelette and truffled asparagus baguette, you’ll be nothing short of options at Urban Pantry. Also find artisan-made organic sourdough by Sonoma in-store, delivered straight to the café daily.
Morning Boutique shopping in Manuka
After breakfast, take the time to explore the boutique shopping on offer in Manuka among Art Deco inspired facades.
Situated within the large marble foyer of the National Library of Australia, Bookplate offers a delectable selection of dishes, including pastries and cakes perfect for rounding off your lunch. With prisms of coloured light streaming in through the famous Leonard French stained glass windows, and an al fresco dining area with a view, this lakeside café is a great spot to enjoy a long lazy lunch.
Afternoon Australians of the Year Walk
Grab some fresh air and walk the path that celebrates the achievements of our nation’s eminent citizens who are role models for us all. The walk lines the lake foreshore and is a natural way to get a great view of the city. Continue to Reconciliation Place and explore the promenade displaying themes and events in reconciliation while gaining great perspectives along Canberra’s central design axis linking Mount Ainslie with Capital Hill.
Overlooking Canberra from the top of Red Hill Lookout, this restaurant provides a stunning view of the city, complemented by inventive dishes like pepper and pistachio kangaroo loin, and pear and frangipane tart. Offering a “create your own” tasting style experience, Onred presents entree sized dishes and recommends four to five courses for the ultimate dining experience.
Bar Mint Garden Bar
End your first day in Canberra on a high note at the multi award-winning Mint Garden Bar. A tranquil space with a tree-lined courtyard, Mint is the perfect venue for after dinner drinks, serving a range of classic cocktails made with premium ingredients and fresh herbs. If cocktails don’t take your fancy, there’s plenty of local wines and boutique beers to choose from.
Day 2: Sunday
Breakfast The Cupping Room
Flavour seems to be the top priority at this concept café. Dedicated to delivering top-notch brews to their customers, The Cupping Room is the ideal spot for a wake-up coffee. Also serving a variety of teas and cold beverages, this café has an all day menu that includes dishes like Huevos Bollo, chicken chivito and brioche French toast.
Morning Shopping at art galleries
If you can’t get enough of shopping and fancy a bit of art and culture, consider stopping by the city’s iconic galleries on your second day in Canberra. Treasure troves for Australian and international art, design, and literary works, the shops at the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery and Beaver Galleries all have something that are sure to catch your eye.
Platefuls of finger sandwiches, savoury canapés, cakes, slices and freshly baked scones are what you can look forward to when you sit down for High Tea at the Hyatt Hotel. A heritage listed site with crystal chandeliers hanging from above, the Tea Lounge serves the finest estate leaf teas, with a full selection of coffees, juices and an extensive range of wines.
Afternoon Jindii EcoSpa
What better way to end a luxurious weekend in Canberra than by indulging in a trip to Jindii EcoSpa? Offering an extensive menu of spa treatments, including body-rejuvenating treatments like the Sapphire Sea Body Wrap, Jindii uses only the finest in Australian organic spa products. With spa enhancers and extenders, as well as waxing and body sugaring options available, you’ll feel pampered head-to-toe before leaving Canberra.
Want to extend your Canberra retreat? Jayson Mesman, manager of French Black Truffles of Canberra, has recommended his top pampering and indulgence destinations in Canberra.
Farmhouse Restaurant at Pialligo Estate Nestled in a rural setting and only eight minutes from Canberra’s city centre, Pialligo Estate is a spectacular feast for your senses. Look out for French Black Truffles on their menu during winter this year.
Jamala Luxury Wildlife Lodge A privately run national zoo, this wildlife lodge is a little piece of Africa in Canberra. Described by Mesman as a once in a lifetime experience, the wildlife lodge offers afternoon tea, tours, three course dinner and drinks.
Mudd the Spa Offering a range of beauty treatments for new brides, mothers, couples, or anyone in need of an escape, this spa has a range of indulgent packages and treatments that will make you feel pampered from head-to-toe.