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Alphabet Dating in Canberra: D, E, F

Beatrice Smith

This article is a follow on from our first Alphabet Dating in Canberra article…

If your date nights are getting a little boring with the same old movie and dinner routine, then it’s time to inject a little creativity into your plans. In a city bustling with events, festivals and attractions, there’s plenty to keep you from doing the same thing over and over again. All you need to do is use the alphabet to get you started.

Alphabet Dating is a new trend that encourages you and your partner (or mates) to take turns tailoring a ‘date day’ (or night) for the two of you that is themed with a letter, working your way through the alphabet. Your partner will know the date and time of the date as well as the letter, however the challenge is to take turns to surprise each other with activities.

For example, Krissy will plan dates A, C, E while Peter will plan dates B, D, F and so on. Krissy will know that Peter is planning their ‘B date’ for Saturday at 10am but won’t know what they’re doing until the day.

So we thought why not use this as a way to showcase the best of Canberra’s activities and attractions for couples. The catch?  We wanted everyone to feel inspired so we’ve included our suggestions for Alphabet Mate Dates too. The Mate Dates are low budget and most have kid-friendly options too! Before you read on, catch up on our A, B and C date ideas here!

Here are our suggestions for Alphabet Dates D through F…



What to tell them to bring: Closed shoes, a warm jacket and a change of fancy clothes.

3pm Take your date to a Driving Range and see who can perfect their swing. There are locations in either Narrabundah or Ngunnawal. Around $30 per person for club hire and a bucket of 100 balls.

6pm If it’s a special occasion or you and your partner are foodies select a restaurant for a degustation. A degustation (sometimes referred to as tasting menu) is a series of small dishes presented to the diner in a very specific order with up to ten courses in one sitting. Degustations are a wonderful way for fine dining restaurants and chefs to showcase the best of their menu in one take. We recommend skipping lunch if you’re doing a dinner degustation.

Great places for indulgent degustation are Sage Dining Rooms (Braddon), Aubergine (Griffith), The Boathouse (Barton), Malamay (Barton), Rubicon (Griffith) and Courgette (Civic). Anywhere from $164-$300 with matching wines.


6pm Take your partner to eat a (hot)dog Broddogs at the Hamlet in Braddon. You can choose from a wide selection of dogs and grab an accompanying beverage. Around $20.

8pm Dancing! This may be too much for those who take the degustation path, however it might be perfect for couples seeking an active or adventurous evening. Salsabor in the city has some great salsa classes, however, dance classes (and lessons) take place all over Canberra so it’s worth a google to see which studio is most convenient for you. Usually the first lesson is free so your ‘D date’ might be the perfect time to find out whether you and your partner want to make dance classes part of your regular schedule. From $0-$30. 


What to bring: Active wear

6pm Dancing is also a great way to be active with friends so don’t let lack of a partner get in the way of learning to salsa. Zumba is a hilariously fun way to work out as it’s a combination of dance and exercise and there’s no limit on how many friends you can invite. Zumba is offered all over Canberra at gyms and dance studios alike – many will let you try it for free. From $0-20 per person.

7.30pm Take your mate for Dumplings at the Shanghai Dumpling Café or the CBD Dumpling House. Steamed vegetable dumplings and friend pork dumplings are our favourites! From $10 per person.


6pm You could get take away delivered and watch a DVD at home, which is a popular option at this time of year in Canberra. If you do rent a DVD, you might want to choose The Da Vinci Code, Dallas Buyers Club, Die Hard, Dr. No, Down With Love or The Devil Wears Prada. Around $15 per person.



What to tell them to bring: Warm active wear

10am Take your date for brunch at Eighty-Twenty for some free range eggs on toast with some of their ‘extra deliciousness’ options such as bacon, avocado and Danish fetta. Around $30.

12pm For those who are up for an equestrian challenge, drive your date to Forest Park Riding School (Curtin) for a half hour introductory lesson in horse riding. Introductory sessions start at $58 per person.


7pm If a dinner date is more your style, book a table (well in advance if possible) at Eighty-Six in Braddon. Located just off Lonsdale street, Eighty-Six is named after the chef’s command that informs a kitchen that a menu option has run out. True to its name, the restaurant writes out the night’s menu on the blackboard painted wall and ‘eighty sixes’ (erases) items that sell out as the night progresses. Don’t worry too much about getting in early though, the continued popularity of this venue means that the kitchen are well equipped to serve multiple portions of their signature dishes such as the Bag Salmon and Fried Chicken with hot sauce. From $80.


What to bring: Warm active wear

12pm Exercising with friends with one of the best ways to motivate you during the colder months. Some great options include walking trails such as Mt. Ainslie, Mt. Taylor or Black Mountain or walking around the Lake. The autumn foliage around Yarralumla is quite spectacular at this time of year and you can always stop in for a coffee or Earl Grey tea along the way. From $0-$10 per person. 

6pm If you rather catch up with friends in the evening, why not cook up a storm together and create a beautiful Eggplant Stack!

Eggplant stacks can be vegetarian, gluten free, paleo, diary free or vegan or smothered in cheese and bacon!

You’ll need one eggplant per person and then whatever other ‘fillings’ you desire. Grill or fry 1cm slices of eggplant and layer them on a plate with your other ingredients. Popular additions include haloumi, grilled tomato, bacon, avocado, fetta cheese, pine nuts, Parmesan, tofu, crumbed lamb, prosciutto or capsicum. Around $10 per person. 



6pm Create a French food evening at your or your partner’s house. Purchase baguettes and brie from your local deli and chocolate, strawberries, bananas and/or marshmallows from the supermarket. If you’re celebrating or fancy some bubbles you could also pick up some French champagne.

You and your date can indulge in the bread and cheese for either an appetiser or main. If you can forsee that combination not being enough food you could make fish or falafel for mains.

Melt the chocolate in a pan and pour into a deep bowl. Arrange the strawberries, bananas and marshmallows on a plate and present to your partner with some skewers for some decadent chocolate fondue.

Or you could cheat and pop by Frugii Dessert Laboratory and pick up a decadent Mango mouse, popcorn cream, finished with fresh popcorn and coriander verrine; a milk choc/hazelnut praline/orange choux; or a French Opera Torte.

Rent a French film to top off the evening- some good options include Amelie, The Intouchables, Paris J’Taime or La Vie En Rose. Around $20-$30


6pm If you and your partner are keen to get out of the house, Palace Electric Cinemas regularly show French films and with Max Brenner in the same building, you can always pop there for chocolate fondue after the film. From $20 per person.  


9am The Farmer’s Market at EPIC in Lyneham is a great place to stroll around with friends early on a Saturday morning. You can sample olives, fruit, cheese, bread and meats from local farmers and buy your fruit and veg for the week. Buy your friend some lovely flowers from one of the many vendors and grab a coffee or pastry (or both!). From $5 per person. 

12pm If you’re looking for an outdoors option, you could always go fishing in one of the approved locations around the ACT. Beautiful places for a fishing day trip include the Yarralumla Yacht Club, Wee Jasper or the Molonglo River near Queanbeyan. From $20 per person to buy fishing gear. 


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