Cartier Masthead Final Weeks

Alphabet Dating in Canberra: G, H, I

Beatrice Smith

Date nights getting a little boring with the same old movie and dinner routine? In a city bustling with events, festivals and institutional attractions you would think there’d be plenty to keep you occupied without doing the same thing over and over again.

There’s a new trend emerging – Alphabet Dating – encouraging you and your partner 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. The Mate Dates are low budget and most have kid-friendly options too!

Before you read ahead, read our suggestions for dates A, B & C here and dates D, E & F here!

Here are our suggestions for Alphabet Dates G through I…

Screen shot 2015-06-26 at 10.15.24 AM


What to tell them to wear: Pants and a warm jacket and change of nice clothes

Take your date to Griffith for some healthy competition on the Go-Kart track at Power Kart Raceway. Each session includes a race of 14 laps so you and your partner can drive up your pulses and let off some steam. Power Kart Racing is open from 10am-10pm every day so you can choose to make this a morning, afternoon or evening activity. $35 per person for 14 laps.

If you do want to make Go-Karting an evening activity and you’re looking for a night of contrasts, take your significant other to the Griffith Shops to choose between Rubicon or Aubergine for some gastronomic exploration that would delight any foodie. Dinner for two from $200 with drinks at either of these establishments.

If you’re (understandably) looking for a more wallet friendly option you could book a table at Saffron Restaurant in Manuka, a five minute drive from the track. Saffron serve a fusion of Greek, Turkish and Lebanese cuisine with shared plates and tagines. Dinner for two with drinks from $100.

If you’re looking for a more casual option you could go Go-Karting in the morning and then head to Garema Place in Civic for a plethora of dining options from Vietnamese favourites at iPho to burgers from Shorty’s or hot chai and donuts from Nookie Espresso.


10am: Invite your friend for a traipse around Gold Creek Village. Adore Tea in Federation Square has beautiful tea and serve High Tea from $45 per person. While in Federation Square you can also visit Gold Creek Lolly Shop that stocks a ridiculously large selection of old school and new lollies and chocolates.

After a stroll and a nibble, drive slightly south to Mitchell where the Green Shed awaits. The Green Shed is a fundraising initiative that collects second hand goods that have been donated and sells them for incredibly reasonable prices. You can find ping pong tables, chairs, mirrors, lamps, couches, outdoor furniture, clothing DVDs and books within it’s expansive walls.

Screen shot 2015-06-26 at 10.15.32 AM


If your H date falls on a special occasion, this would be the letter to go all out on. Booking a room at Hotel Hotel or the Hyatt Hotel would get you obvious points for theme alliteration with rooms starting from $285 per night at either.

If an overnight stay isn’t your cup of tea you could book a High Tea instead at the Hyatt. This extensive menu covers everything from sandwiches and mini savouries to macarons, cupcakes, cake and all sorts of drinkables including champagne. Book early to avoid disappointment as spaces fill fast. Seating from $58 per person.

If you’re looking for a more casual option book a table at Monster in Hotel Hotel for some relaxed, intimate drinks. They have a wonderful seasonal cocktail menu and great sharing plates. Bonus points if you follow up with a film downstairs at Palace Cinemas that starts with an H. Drinks for two from $30.

If you’re an active couple the obvious choice is Hiking. There are beautiful trails around Mount Ainslie and Black Mountain but if you want to make a day out of it, drive to Namadgi National Park (about a half an hour drive from Civic) and hike along one of the clearly demarcated trails. Bring along some hot chocolate in a thermos, some hummus with carrot sticks and a haloumi salad!


10am: For an incredibly decadent Mate Date (perhaps a good idea for a special birthday celebration) you could take your lucky friend to visit any one of the Hotel Spas around Canberra. The Realm Hotel in Barton offers luxurious treatments at their Mudd Spa, with facials, body cocoons and massages on the menu. One hour packages from $125. 

1pm: If you were tailoring a day of indulge for you and a lucky friend you could start with treatments at Mudd and follow on to the Kundalini Hair Salon next door, which offers comprehensive hair treatments and services from colouring and foils to make up application. Hair wash, cut, massage and blow dry from $82. 

3pm: From there you could ascend to the highest level of the Burbury Hotel (across the road from The Realm) for their sumptuous High Tea menu in the afternoon. Guests can enjoy champagne, macarons, delicate lemon tarts and finger sandwiches while gazing out at the best view of Canberra. Traditional High Tea from $45.

Screen shot 2015-06-26 at 10.15.15 AM


What to tell them to wear: Warm jacket, jeans, gloves and a beanie and bring a nice change of clothes

10am: Take your date to Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating next to Woden Plaza for some fun, different exercise in the from of Ice Skating. Race each other around the rink, see who can do the best choreographed skate to the music and then warm up with a hot chocolate at the café. Entry and skate hire for $19 per person. 

If you want to keep it all central, head to Skate in the City in Garema Place for a little ice skating fun in a winter wonderland. Tickets start from $20 for a general session.

12pm: You’re probably now in need of a defrosting so head to lunch. If you’re foodies and wish to escape to the realm of lunch time fine dining head to Italian and Sons on Lonsdale Street. Decadent, steaming dishes of tortellini di magro, tagliatelle alla bussara await and can be paired with the delicious pizza puttanesca and a warming glass of red. Lunch for two from $60 with drinks.

If you prefer homestyle Italian cooking instead you can head to Mama’s Trattoria in the Melbourne Building for generous portions of their delicious spaghetti carbonara and lasagna. Lunch for two from $30 with drinks.


10am: Meet your friend at Ori on Lonsdale Street for some of the most ingenious ice cream Canberra has to offer. Frugii Ice Cream is created by John Marshall and offers a range of unique range of flavours – although their favourite is their secret recipe vanilla.

12pm: After some ice cream you could wander down Lonsdale Street to Blu Ginger for some warming Indian cuisine or across town to Delhi 6 on Childers Street. Lunch from $20 per person. 


6pm: You could alternatively meet your friend at Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating rink to support the Canberra Brave, our local Ice Hockey team. Prepare yourself for a high energy Saturday night as you sit ringside and watch one of the fastest paced sports around. $20 per person for adults, $15 for children; tickets available online or at the door.

Keep watching for our next instalment for ideas for Dates J, K & L next week! 


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