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Alphabet Dating in Canberra: M, N, O

Beatrice Smith

By now, you’re hopefully familiar with our Alphabet Dating series, where we showcase the best of Canberra’s activities and attractions for date nights with your special someone (or just your mates).

We’re almost half way through the alphabet! If your date nights are getting a little boring with the same old movie and dinner routine then you need to read on! 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 everyone feels inspired, we’ve included our suggestions for Alphabet Mate Dates too which are low budget with kid-friendly options too!

Before you read ahead, read our suggestions for dates A, B & C here, dates D, E & F heredates G, H, I and dates J, K, L here!

Here are our suggestions for Alphabet Dates M through O…

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Ideal day: Saturday or Sunday

This date will be especially suited to those who appreciate a slower, more refined approach to imbibing. M is for Malt so you will be taking your partner for a lengthy tour of the best purveyors of malt in Canberra in all its many forms.

3.50pm: Meet your date on Lonsdale Street. You’ll need a little starter for this night and Chasing Mr. Morris inside The Hamlet halfway up Lonsdale will satisfy. Operating out of a an adorably furnished caravan, their Maple Bacon donuts are the Americana fantasy of many a hipster, while their Earl Grey donuts offer subtle bergamot tones. Paired with a coffee, this instant energy hit will prepare you for a long night in the most whimsical way possible. Donut and coffee for two from $15.

4.15pm: Start your evening at Bentspoke Brewery in Braddon. While this might sound like the start of B date, Bentspoke’s Tasting Bar of four craft beers will let you sample a variety of some of the finest (maltiest) craft beers created in the Territory. Grab a spot by the window and slowly taste your beers over the course of an hour or two while you watch the sun set. Tasting Bar from $16 each.

6pm: Take the short walk from Bentspoke to Garema Place and walk up to Hippo Co. Although previously mentioned in this series and not the only place in Canberra to serve a wide selection of malt liquor, Hippo Co does offer whiskey tastings that will expand both your tastebuds and vocabulary when it comes to whiskey. Whiskey tastings are $60 per person and bookings (on (02) 6247 7555)  are essential.

Some may want to leave the date here, especially if you’re completely stuffed with a potent combination of beer, whiskey and donuts. However, if you and your date have gone slow and steady on the tastings and are feeling a decadent, intimate dinner you should head over to the Melbourne building to Italian favourite Mezzalira for some seriously decadent Tortellini di Zucca – Buffalo Milk Ricotta, Pumpkin and Leek Tortellini with Burnt Sage Butter or Slow Braised Duck Legs, Marsala Baby Carrots and Wild Mushrooms ‘Trifolati’. Dinner for two from $150 with drinks.


What to tell them to bring: Warm exercise clothes

10am: Start your morning with your friend at one of the most intimate of the New Acton cafes, Močan and Green Grout (pron: Mo-chan). Catch up with your friend while ensconced in the brushed brass and warm wood interior of the café or grab one of Močan’s complimentary crocheted blankets to keep the chill away while enjoying the sun at an outside table. The Smashed Eggs with Mushrooms, Goat’s Curd and Black Garlic and the Močan Bacon and Egg Roll are HerCanberra favourites. Breakfast from $10 per person.

11:30am: After breakfast, take the bridge from just outside Močan over to the lake and walk right, over towards The National Museum of Australia. You can spend the morning browsing the through the Museum’s many exhibitions on Australian history and identity and then keep walking along the shoreline after the Museum if the weather permits.

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What to tell them to bring: comfortable walking shoes

11am: Tell your date to meet you at the Narrabundah shops for some morning sustenance at Mint Rd café. When you’ve fuelled up, find your way to the National Gallery of Australia (NG) by the lake via either an hour’s slow walk or by car. Coffee and cake for two from $15.

12pm: Enjoy a slow mornings browse through many collections of the NGA. The gift shop is also a great place for quirky home wares and beautiful posters so make sure you stop by. Entry to the NGA is free.

2pm: If you’re needing some lunch at this point you could stop into the Gallery café or even nip over in your car to Manuka for Canberra’s best sushi – Mee’s.


Meet your friend at the National Portrait Gallery to view the portraits of Cate Blanchett, Deborah Mailman and Dame Nellie Melba to name a few. Life and Time, an exhibition by photographer Rod McNichol is now showing and entry is free.

The café at the Portrait Gallery is fantastic – try the friands – and The Curatoreum is also worth a browse for your next page turner novel or cute tea towel.

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Manuka Oval is home to some great sporting events, so why not brave the winter chill and attend a match with your significant other? You can find times and dates on the Manuka Oval website here. July 25 is when the Geelong Cats clash with the GWS Giants so pop that in your calendar if you’re close to O date! Tickets to the GWS vs Cats game start at $5.10 per person.

After you’ve finished up at the oval you can walk up to Manuka where ONA Coffee is served beautiful at the eponymous café along with delicate pastries and hearty main meals. Coffee and cake for $20 for two.


Plan a night in and make some beautiful pasta – Pork & Fennel Sausage Orecchiette. Get the recipe herePasta ingredients for two around $20.

Pop on a DVD of Orphan Black, O Brother Where Art Thou or Over The Hedge and settle in.

Keep watching HerCanberra next week for dates P, Q & R!


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