January 31, 2020
If you're an avid podcast listener, chances are you've listened to Highly Enthused, a podcast that acts as your shortcut to cool stuff to eat, read, listen to, watch or buy. We invited the two hosts Sophie McComas and Sophie Roberts, to come and spend a weekend in Canberra and they shared their must-dos with us.
"Your two favourite Sophies ate, drank, shopped and art-ed their way around Canberra one weekend last year and these are our best tips on how get the most out of our nation’s capital. Dive in for perfect iced lattes, stracciatella, and a mezcal cocktail that’ll make you wanna sing."
Blonde Concept Store (27 Lonsdale Street, Braddon). "It's a very Gen Z boutique with lots of 2000's vintage, but also stocks brands such as Permanent Vacation and Rollas."
Kyo Coffee Project. "Stop in after you’ve bought yourself some tiny sunglasses at Blonde, and get an iced coffee and a kimchi toastie."
Blackhearts and Sparrows. "This is an outpost of the great Melbourne bottle-shop by the same name. Pick up pre-batched cocktails from Bar Rochford, great beer collabs with Sailor’s Grave (I bought their feioja sour) and an amazing range of natural wines.
The bacon and egg roll at Morning Glory. "It took me 31 years to try a bacon and egg roll, so luckily this was a good one. It was pretty decadent, with char siu bacon, fried egg, fried eschalot, and Kewpie mayo. Not exactly “light” but if you’re a little bit dusty from cocktails the night before then it’s a great pick-me-up."
Yayoi Kusama and James Turrell at the National Gallery of Australia. "Two perception-bending installations by blockbuster artists. Definitely better in real life than in other people’s Instagram posts. Our pro-tip is to hit up the Turrell at sunset."
Two words: Bar Rochford. "Think gougères buried in a shower of gruyere, radishes and turnips with a side of umeboshi butter, steak tartare with potato chips, and the best cocktail I had last year… the Bomboleo. A true party with tequila blanco, mezcal (double down), pineapple mango vinegar, lime, a little sugar and soda, with lime zest over the top."
Rebel Rebel. "An absolutely fantastic restaurant, with Sean McConnell (brother of the Melbourne based Andrew McConnell) in the kitchen. I couldn’t go past the stracciatella with beetroots, pistachios and blackberries which was almost too pretty to eat (but oh, we ate it). Really great local wine list and super interesting food, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Ovolo Nishi."
Kingston Art Precinct. "Something for our future trips to Canberra, the Kingston Art Precinct is opening in a couple of years, and will be a mix of spaces where artists, resident organisations and creative businesses make, teach, exhibit, perform and sell their work, so watch this space."
Ovolo Nishi hotel. "We stayed here and it was super well situated for all our exploring. They also have a Cellar Door event on Saturdays in the hotel, where local winemakers hold a tasting of all their vino. I bought a couple of bottles of the Mallaluka sparkling sangiovese, which went down extremely well at Christmas."
Capital Brewery "Located in Fyshwick, which is a fun word to say. Book in for a brewery tour, or just settle in for some snacks and try the pineapple and cascara sour."
Sophie & Sophie asked their listeners for their favourite Canberra recommendations - here's what they had to say:
Church Neighbourhood Goods for coffee down a laneway and has brown waffles - @cass.handmade
HighRoad for the Vegemite Ricotta - @thehalfwitch
Go to National Glassworks and make a paper weight! - @julia_bowdler
Kyo Coffee on Londsdale is a winner. They hold the title for the best B&E roll in Canberra IMO - @oliviaargy (Sophie Roberts will have to go back and try it!)
Kiosk pop up restaurant! Very yummy - @vicswan
Pilot in Ainslie for a special dinner! - @sonyageeee
A yoga class at @here.wellbeing - @melonperson
It probably goes without saying that you guys have seen, heard about or been impacted by the bush fires that have affected the south-east of Australia this summer. Aside from the businesses that lost everything in the fire, a lot of small businesses have been impacted because the tourism industry has taken a huge hit, and they’re not eligible for any of the re-building funding.
The Empty Esky campaign is intended to aid in the recovery of local tourism industries and small businesses, many of which depend on the usual influx of summer tourists to fund their entire year. The campaign is encouraging Australians to pledge a visit to a bushfire affected town in 2020 - empty esky in tow. Canberra is pretty close to a lot of the affected areas, so we’ve got a few suggestions for spots you could hit up and support on your way there or back, to help the community get back on their feet.
Bermagui Blue Pool
A podcast by two women named Sophie, concerning all the cool things you should consume online and IRL.