Petit Feast Masthead

Five places for a warm date…

Beatrice Smith

Some times you just need to find somewhere cosy to enjoy a drink or a meal. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites!

The Morning Date

Kingston is a great location for a morning date. Penny University is a popular spot for coffee and cronuts and while they’re usually quite busy on weekends, you can sit outside in the sun. From there you can walk down to the Foreshore for more coffee, or to the lake and galleries which are especially lovely on sunny days.


If Kingston’s cafes are too busy, The Kingston Foreshore or Manuka are literally just down the road so moving locations at short notice shouldn’t be too difficult.

The Lunch Date

One of the things about a lunch date is that you probably want it to be fairly casual. If you’re already coupled chances are you’re keen for a relaxed bite to eat during work or between other weekend activities. If it’s a first date it would be fair to say that you’re not exactly sure what the other person’s taste in food is yet. That’s why The Hamlet is the ultimate lunch destination.


Halfway up Lonsdale Street, The Hamlet is home to just about every type of food you could desire – hot dogs, burgers, pulled pork, pizza, drinks, sweets and Peruvian street food. You and your date can select completely different cuisines and still eat together, and if the date runs past lunch you can always move to another of the myriad locations on Lonsdale Street.

The Afternoon Date

Nookie Espresso Bar is nestled in the corner of Garema Place and is a perfect spot for a quiet afternoon chai and one of their signature donuts. The cosy atmosphere is ideal for a relaxed afternoon chat with the earthy interiors creating the perfect space to cosy up on a blustery afternoon. If the date goes longer than coffee you can move to one of the eateries Garema Place has to offer such as i-Pho or the Noodle Café for some warming Asian food.


If a quiet afternoon drink of the alcoholic persuasion is more your scene, seek out Molly. A personal favourite of mine, Molly becomes very busy from 7pm onwards, however they actually open at 4pm from Monday to Saturday. While going to an underground bar before cocktail hour might not be everyone’s cup of tea (literally), Molly have beautiful cheese and meat platters that can be ordered fresh and go well with a quiet glass of wine (or two).

The Evening Date

Nothing beats a steaming bowl of pasta with red wine ragu if you’re trying to warm up, so Italian and Sons remains a favourite. Now that they’ve expanded their restaurant to include a wine bar you can mosey in for both an aperitif and dinner (we recommend booking in advance).

Italian & Sons

The menu is seasonal so you know you’ll be getting the freshest produce, with the knowledgeable wait staff being the best people to ask if you’d like to go for a full three courses or if you’re interested in matching wines.

The Late Night Date

Busy schedules don’t allow much downtime before late evening and sometimes all you want is to chat over a hefty glass (or two) of robust red at 9pm on a Friday night. Unfortunately Friday nights are sometimes when Civic becomes overrun with Uni students in search of drink specials and you can find yourself yelling into your significant other’s ear to compete with the crowd.



Monster, however, manages to find a way to preserve their intimate atmosphere even when busy, with lounges and couches nestled strategically to prevent the ‘jostle’ of other late night venues. This uniquely cosy atmosphere is even more prevalent now that they’ve expanded their space towards the lake, now offering not one, but two open fireplaces that are a godsend in colder weather. Being the bar and restaurant for Hotel Hotel, Monster serves drinks and their exotic Bar Menu until 1am, meaning you won’t have to move venue if you find yourself wanting pork neck bao or a cup of tea at midnight.

If you’re still looking for more warming cosy nooks to try, then head here to discover some more of our favourites…


Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Editorial Coordinator involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise you’ll find her at the movies, ordering a cheese board or ordering a cheese board at the movies. More about the Author