the fountain in Civic
the fountain in Civic

E is for Escape

Astrologically I’m a Pisces…and one thing us Pisces like to do is escape…literally if possible, but we’ve also been known to escape into our imagination, daydreaming, illusions, delusions and, of course, some not so healthy addictions. The less said about that, the better.

I’ve said before that Sydney isn’t my favourite place in the world, but, before you throw things at me, I daresay that it would be one of them if I didn’t live here. I’m like that. It’s the business as usual I have problems with, so a regular mini break helps me get on with the everyday while feeling that I’m not…it mightn’t make sense to you, but it does to me!

My husband once said to me that if I could commit to living somewhere else without needing to escape, he’d be happy to move there…I couldn’t commit, so we didn’t move. Instead, I escape…sometimes I escape into the city, down to the harbour, onto a ferry.

A couple of times a year I escape for a few days to Melbourne. More often than that we escape to Canberra- as we did this weekend. That statement in itself is interesting as most people say they look forward to escaping from Canberra.

I guess because I lived there for a number of years, My husband did all of his schooling there, and we met, fell in love and bought our first home there, it’s a place that will always have a special place in my heart.

Fedra Olive Grove, on the Federal Highway
Fedra Olive Grove, on the Federal Highway

More than that, leaving Sydney and the traffic behind, feels like an escape. Things just don’t seem that hard.

These days too, Canberra has some soul- and you no longer have to look too far past the city for it. Sure, the old joke about being able to fire a cannon down Northbourne Avenue (the main street) and not hitting anyone still rings fairly true, but you no longer have to venture into Kingston and Manuka to find decent coffee and eats.

The eating precinct in Civic called North Quarter (now home to Jamie’s Italian and Koko Black) is always bustling. Traditionally over the Christmas holidays, what seems like all of Canberra, hit the Kings Highway in the annual migration to Batemans Bay and Ulladulla on the South Coast. Yet last night, there were still queues at Jamie’s and (my Asian favourite) Sammy’s Kitchen at 10pm.

Then there’s the New Acton precinct, just on the outskirts of the city centre. Here you find food and coffee that would be at home in Fitzroy.

Where we stayed


Ok, we poshed it up this weekend at Hotel Canberra- a Hyatt hotel. Hubby and I had our wedding night here- nearly 20 years ago- and it’s still sublime. If you can get a decent last minute deal, it’s worth it.

inside the Hyatt?

Where we ate

One of our favourite haunts is the Southern Cross Club Yacht Club on Lake Burley Griffin. Sure there are much nicer lakes around- probably with fewer greeblies, but in Canberra, the lake is special.

We had our wedding reception here- long before it was part of the Southern Cross Club chain. These days you get a great view and food at club prices- or you can grab fish and chips and eat them by the lake.

On a good day, you won’t do much better.


My new favourite for breakfast is A. Baker in New Acton. Just behind the Diamant Boutique Hotel (well worth staying at), the food is locally sourced, thoughtfully handled and yummy. They bake their own bread and the coffee is great.

Next time I’m booking in for dinner.

at A.Baker
at A.Baker

What we did

This weekend was a bit of a post Christmas visit family and friends trip…in fact, I’m exhausted and need an escape to get over it!

One Comment on “E is for Escape

  1. Sounds like a lovely time. When friends and I used to go to brunch we’d go to the Hyatt (and do some politician-spotting!). I didn’t mind Canberra but it never felt like home and I never really had close friends there but unlike many transplants I didn’t escape every weekend (to Sydney / Melbourne etc).

    As for the restaurants…. well…. (Obviously there are a few newies as I have been gone for a long time now!)

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