There are places to eat, drink and be merry and there are places to eat, drink and be inspired – venues where the fit-out and style match the quality of food and service. Often these hidden gems are discovered by accident, which somehow adds to the charm. An unplanned encounter with a new and beautiful space ignites an instant love affair based on feel, vibe, style and ‘instagramability’ (while that may not technically be a word, look out future Oxford Dictionary updates, its coming for you!).
There is nothing quite like setting out on a Sunday to explore the local offerings without much expectation and being pleasantly surprised by the impressive and interesting pockets within our growing region. For interior inspiration and stunning style, add these names to your GPS.
Half an hour drive outside Canberra, hidden in Murrumbateman, sits the delightful Clonakilla Winery. Set among paddocks and open plains is a beautifully designed stand-alone building which cuts a dramatic shape in the surrounding landscape. Stepping into Clonakilla feels entering a calm and welcoming world, large glass windows allow a flooding of bright, natural light to balance the warmth timber bar and the stone wall. The stand out element of the space is the built in fire place sitting flush with the stone stacked wall. The use of natural elements and the stunning display of wines offers stylish inspiration and will have you planning a return visit before you even wave goodbye…or attempt to, with all those bottles of Viognier Nouveau in hand.
East Hotel Kingston
The recently established East Hotel Bar opposite local landmark, The Kingston Hotel, is one hot spot to add to your must-see list. The exterior has a Manhattan feel, with the use of dark glass, creative lighting, concrete and lush greenery surrounding the building. The first boutique hotel of its kind in Canberra, a visit to East will take you far away from the world outside - immerse yourself in the contemporary meets 70’s styling and enjoy the quirks such as the books and bikes in the lobby. For a visual feast and surprising details, pop into East Hotel and get lost in the seriously stylish settings.
Bookplate Café National Library
Recently re-vamped Bookplate Café, beside the lake tucked and inside the National Library, is well worth a visit. The high ceilings and grandeur of the National Library flows into the café, giving the space a calm, luxurious serenity - it brings to mind the famous words of designer Tom Ford ‘time and silence are the most luxurious things today’.
While previously a neutral space, you will now find the Autumnal colour palette creating a warm and calm atmosphere which perfectly compliments the preserved stain glass windows. There are gentle touches of style found from wall to wall and a monthly featured installation reflecting the exhibits at the library which injects added style and interest into the space. Be inspired by the details, colour palette and photo-worthy menu.
So, if your all shopped out but craving a style fix this weekend, why not be a tourist in your own town and go exploring some of Canberra’s hidden gems…don’t forget to bring your Instagram skills to snap away at the stylish and visually inspiring spaces ready and waiting to be discovered!
Some images sourced from Pinterest