Following my recent move back to Melbourne after nearly eight years residence in Canberra, I thought I should leave you with a few recommendations of places in our little capital town where you can get a creative fix. Here goes:
1. Have a drink on a sunny afternoon at Tilley's Cafe in Lyneham. Maroon velvet, art deco ambience and old school jazz, there's nowhere quite like it in Canberra!
2. Go for a picnic at Reconciliation Place. There's a wonderful swollen belly of a hill there, covered in thick green grass, that seems just perfect for sitting on and contemplating - or rolling down.
3. Visit the M16 art gallery. This place has a fine collection of contemporary and emerging artists, in a purpose-built space with studios for artists too.
4. Get a coffee and a kransky at Lonsdale Street Roasters. A little bit of Melbourne on Lonsdale St, Braddon.
5. Buy a book, or just browse, at Paperchain in Manuka. All your favourite books in all the best editions under one roof. And it's open late!
6. Get a burger at Brodburger, before it moves. This groovy little red caravan rebels wonderfully against the sedate surroundings of the national capital. Apparently it's going to be domesticated in a regular building soon...
7. Go for a swim at the Phillip pool. Outdoor, so it's only open in summer. Is there anything more delicious than a swim in the sun? Quality swimming time can be quickly followed by quality nap time on the surrounding grassed areas.
8. Have lunch at Benedict House in Queanbeyan. A lovely old house with a pretty old-world courtyard. Not quite in Canberra but close enough!
9. Find a funky new outfit at Felt. Always a good place to browse - they regularly get new stock - and to check out local listings.
10. And finally... splash out on dinner at Lanterne Rooms. One thing Canberra does well is expensive restaurants and this is one of my favourites. Great modern Malay-Chinese food in opulent, dark wood surrounds.
And there you have it. So long, Canberra!