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Valentine’s Day in Canberra three ways

Beatrice Smith and Alexa Sommerville

As Valentine’s Day approaches, stress levels can begin to spike. 

If you’re keen to plan something, but you’re in a new relationship, you might worry that it’ll be awkward or too formal. And if you’re in a serious relationship, maybe you’re not keen for something super serious, just something super fun.

No matter how serious your relationship, there’s a perfect date to suit everyone.

Cool and casual

We get it. You haven’t been dating for ages and you want to keep things chilled this Valentine’s Day. Here are our suggestions for a relaxed celebration.


Did someone say adventure? Take your date out on the waves (read: ripples) of Lake Burley Griffin with Go Boat‘s super fun and super easy to drive boats. No, you don’t need to have sailing experience (trust us). All you need is to be over 18 and have a valid driver’s licence.

Pack some food and drinks (just note that the captain, i.e one of you must stay sober to drive the boat) and set out for an afternoon or sunset cruise. You can even bring your dog!

Go Boat | Departs from Trevillian Quay, Kingston Foreshore |


Photo: Tim Bean Photography

Take your relaxed yet delicious picnic to the next level with Schmicnics‘ hampers! Picnics may be casual but they don’t need to be messy or fiddly. With Schmicnics hampers you can pre-order, pick up and go!

All you need is a rug, a spot with a view and someone special.

Schmicnics |

Fun and fuss free

You’re not a couple to take yourselves too seriously, so for V-Day you’re after an amped up version of your ideal date night: delicious food and a fun atmosphere. Less rose petals on sheets more rosé on ice.


AKIBA’s bao. Image: Facebook.

Pull up a seat, allow AKIBAs insanely good bar staff to mix you something ice cold and order the Feed Me menu. For $49 per person, you’ll get a steady stream of their greatest hits from entrees to mains and dessert so you can focus on each other.

40 Bunda St, Civic | 6162 0602 |


eightysix’s Caramel Popcorn Sundae. Image: supplied.

With an RnB soundtrack and a fun atmosphere, book in at Eightysix for favourites like spiced cauliflower with pomegranate and yoghurt and black chicken with buttermilk slaw and, of course, their caramel popcorn sundae.

Don’t worry if they only have room at the bar – some consider that the best seat in the house.

Cnr Eloeura and Lonsdale Street Braddon | 61618686 |


Photo: Martin Ollman

Intimate, delicious and very, very cool, order from Bar Rochfords menu of big and small plates or just order a bunch of cheese, wine and some of the best hot chips you’ve ever had.

65 London Circuit, Civic | 6230 6222 |


Photo: Tim Bean Photography

Vibrant, colourful and buzzy, Lazy Su is sure to be packed this Valentine’s Day so book in advance. Once you’re there, ask the wait staff for their recommendations to guide you through their menu packed with delicious Japanese/Korean/American fare.

1/9 Lonsdale Street, Braddon |    

Seriously romantic

You’re looking for: romance, candlelight, intimacy. Something special and serious for someone special who you’re serious about. Look no further.


How do three courses of indulgent French cuisine sound? Buvette’s sleek interior will host a decadent feast for couples that will cater for the most discerning tastes with highlights like butter poached king prawns, roasted snapper, pan-fried duck. There will even be handmade petit fours to polish off a dessert of fresh raspberry and vanilla mascarpone millefeuille or chocolate fondant with mango and lime salsa.

18 National Circuit, Barton (inside Hotel Realm) | 6-10 pm | $90 per person | 6163 1888 |


With sweeping gardens and a delectable Modern Australian menu, Pialligo Estate might only be 10 minutes drive from the city, but it feels a world away. Perfect for when you want that mini-break, away from it all, country feeling.

18 Kallaroo Road, Pialligo | 6247 6060 |


This year, QT Hotel has created the ultimate declaration of love with the launch of Australia’s most expensive dessert. 

From 12-18 February, Capital Bar and Grill will give diners the option to order ‘Room for Dessert’ directly from the menu. 

Once ordered, guests will be presented with a beautiful sweet treat with a twist, a room key, and are automatically checked in for the night, complete with a half bottle of Mumm NV Champagne waiting on ice. 

QT Canberra + Capital Bar and Grill | $498 including dessert, a room at QT Canberra and a half bottle of Mumm NV Champagne | see for more information


The ultimate in fine dining experiences, The Boat House is offering a six-course degustation Valentine’s Day menu for $150 per person or $410 for the Romance Package, which includes two adult tickets, a bottle of G.H. Mumm champagne and a guaranteed window table.

With views of Lake Burley Griffin over the menu designed by chef John Leverink, you’ll be in the good books for the rest of 2018.

Wednesday 14 February at 7pm for 7.30 start | $150pp (menu only) or $410 (Romance Package for two) | 6273 5500 | 


Grab a picnic blanket and take yourself down to Tuggeranong Town Park to watch the opening night of Shakespeare By The Lake performing Much Ado About Nothing. Delicious food and drink will be on offer from Pop Inn Wine Bar, Canberra Bagel Van, ShotClock Expresso, Bombolini Doughnuts and the Cannoli Brothers.

Although the event is free, you still need to book your ticket and donations are accepted in lieu of an entrance fee.

Shakespeare By The Lake | Gates open 5.30pm for 6.30pm show | Free entry. Donations accepted | Tickets vie Eventbrite


Perched on top of Red Hill Lookout, 175 metres above Canberra City, Onred has some of the best views of many national icons nestled amongst the beautiful Australian landscape to enjoy while you eat. Their four-course lunch and dinner menus start with an amuse bouche, so earn so brownie points with the foodie in your life at this fine dining destination.

Onred Restaurant | Four-course menu $79pp Three-course menu $65pp | 6273 3517 |


Why not make Valentine’s Day more than just a day? Hotel Realm’s Love Notes package includes one night in a one bedroom suite, a decadent dessert platter and bottle of Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Mini Moet on arrival as well as rose petal turndown service.

Located in the heart of Barton, take advantage of the late checkout of noon with a full buffet breakfast before you both head off to work (or not…).

18 National Circuit, Barton |


Have we got some idea for you! Stay tuned for our Galentine’s special, coming soon.


Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor 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 or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author


Alexa Sommerville

Canberra raised Alexa Sommerville has almost completed her Bachelor of Communication in Journalism degree. After five months on exchange in the UK, Alexa fell in love with solo travel and has mastered the art of daydreaming either about her next getaway or her next meal. She enjoys watching health documentaries, online shopping and old-school film photography, but not as much as she does annoying her mother by using every ingredient in the pantry to bake her latest healthy food obsession. Alexa hopes one day to be writing about traveling, or eating, or writing while she travels and eats. More about the Author