Buvette Masthead

Alphabet Dating in Canberra: P, Q, R

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 creeping closer to the end of 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 here, dates J, K, L here and dates M, N & O here.

Here are our suggestions for Alphabet Dates P through R…




The obvious choice for your P date is Pizza and you can find no better crust in Canberra (in my opinion) than Pizza Gusto. You can make your P date either high or low key, depending on your budget and the weather.

If you want to go low key I would recommend grabbing Pizza Gusto to take away, some Pistachio gelato for dessert and a film beginning with the letter P such as Paris J’Taime, P.S I Love You, Paddington, Pacific Rim or Peter Pan and settling in at home. As an added bonus you could also buy some Pilsner or even a Passionfruit Martini. Pizza, drinks and renting a film will cost around $40.

P is for pizza.

P is for pizza.

If you’re keen to go all out, take your date Jamie’s Italian in the Canberra Centre for pizza, pasta and proscecco. We recommend the Porcini Fettuccine or the Prawn Linguine

After dinner take the escalator upstairs to the Dendy Premium Lounge. Not only are the Dendy Premium chairs actually luxurious leather lounges that can recline with the touch of a button, but you and your date can sit in the private bar beforehand, peruse the menu and decide whether you’d like anything delivered to your seats during the film.

Last time I ordered the dessert platter and eating chocolate dipped strawberries while stretched out watching a movie is not something I’ll easily forget. Dinner for two at Jamie’s Italian from $80. Two Dendy Premium tickets $60.


What to tell them to bring: Their preferred cleanser, moisturiser, face masks and any other skincare options they desire.

P is for Pamper and you and your friend can settle in for a good night at home for this one. Choose a night when the weather is particular filthy and get creative.

Pamper: Have a girls' night in with pedicures and more!

Pamper: Have a girls’ night in with pedicures and more!

For an immersive night of pampering, we suggest the following timetable:

6pm: Whoever is hosting, begin cooking dinner. We recommend home made pizza, pasta or even a pecan pie (or all three!)

6.45pm: Your mate arrives. Pop on some soothing day-spa music. We highly recommend using Spotify to find some hilarious whale music or groovy pan pipes.

7pm: Manicures and Pedicures. Remove any polish, soak your feet and hands, scrub, cut and file nails, clean and buff nails and then polish as desired.

7.45pm: After your nails have dried, begin your facials. Cleanse with preferred product to remove make up, apply a mask (see below for recipe) and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove with hot face cloth pat dry. Apply any toner, serum, moisturiser or facial oil you desire.

8pm: Pop on a movie (see above for themed suggestions) and serve dessert.

Some of the best pampering recipes can be created from home ingredients. Here are a couple to get you started.


Blend 2 Tbs of soft, ripe avocado with 1Tbs of honey.

Apply immediately to face and massage into the skin, avoiding the eye area.

Leave for ten minutes and then wipe off gently with hot face washer.


Mix one avocado, the yolk of an egg and a tablespoon of olive oil together in a small bowl.

Slather it over your scalp and the rest of your hair. Place a plastic shower cap over your head (or you can use glad wrap).

Let the mask sit for 20 minutes then rinse and shampoo and condition your hair as normal.



Ideal night: Tuesday night for Southsiders, Wednesday night for Northsiders

Q is for quiz so start your date at the Hellenic Club in either Woden (Tuesday night) or Civic (Wednesday night). Trivia is free at Hellenic (for members and their guests) and membership costs a measly $10 for a year, so sign yourself up and pick a funny name for your team – our favourites are ‘John Triviola and OTrivia Newton John’ or ‘Iggy Quizalea’. You can grab some classic pub food for dinner while you’re there.

QT: Head to Lucky's for evening drinks.

QT: Head to Lucky’s for evening drinks.

Afterwards, especially if you’re in Civic, it’s just a quick jump over to QT Hotel where you can pop into their speakeasy – Lucky’s – for some modern interpretations of old fashioned cocktails. We recommend their Japanese Slipper or the QT Old Fashioned. Membership to Hellenic, dinner at Hellenic and drinks at Lucky’s for around $60 for two.


Take a day trip out to Queanbeyan and hit all our favourite spots there. Enjoy an infamously enormous meal at the Central Café, take a stroll by the river and visit the various op-shops and small retail stories dotted throughout the town centre.

Questacon: it's not just for kids!

Questacon: it’s not just for kids!

If you’ve got kids in tow that don’t appreciate a cruisy day trip across the border, take them to the most family friendly educational facility in Canberra, Questacon.

There are exhibitions on everything from gravity to natural disasters to perception to rockets. Even if you’ve been recently or have visited many times in your life already you’ll always find an experiment, exhibition or fact that takes your breath away. Entry to Questacon is $23 entry to adults and $17.50 for children 4-16 years of age. 


R is for Road trip so choose a Saturday or Sunday that’s completely free and ideally not raining.

The ideal place for a Canberra Road trip is Braidwood, a small historical town that straddles the Kings Highway and is the usual rest stop of choice for Canberrans heading down the South Coast or vice versa.

A short hour and a half drive from Canberra, Braidwood has all the activities you need for a road trip, whatever the season.

If you’re spending the morning in Braidwood, try to get there early and order breakfast at the Albion Café. Stocked with Lonsdale Street Roasters coffee, a fireplace during winter and all the home baked goodies your heart could desire, The Albion is housed in the bottom of one of the historical hotels on Braidwood’s main street (still the King’s Highway). I strongly recommend ordering Majors Creek Greendale Farm Eggs poached with the herb and butter mushrooms. If you’d like to reserve a table, you can do so on 02 4842 1422. Breakfast for two from $40.

After you finish breakfast you can stroll down the main street to the beautiful ornate St. Bede’s Catholic Church. You can wander around the perimeter, take in the beautiful architecture and even take a tour inside (time permitting).

From there walk across and up the street to Café Altenburg, a fine establishment serving beautiful food but also artworks and vintage treasures. Next door is a very reliable St. Vincent de Paul charity shop that is even open Sundays so make sure to pop by there for a spot of bargain hunting. If you walk further uphill and back across the road you can spend a good hour or two pouring through Bernadoff, a huge antique store with a million treasures to uncover.


Roadtrip: Paydirt Eatery in Braidwood.

If you’re coming around lunchtime, or you’re wanting a second meal in Braidwood we recommend the Paydirt Eatery, a tiny, intimate establishment on the main street that serves unique Asian fusion cuisine. It should be noted, however, that Paydirt is cash only. You can make a booking on 0404 026 616. Lunch for two from $50.


R is for Roller Derby! With scenes of kick ass girl-power movie Whip It running through your head, arrange for you and a mate to attend one of the fastest paced and most unique spectator sports Canberra has to offer.

Stone Jett and Mae Q Sqwheel

Roller Derby: Stone Jett and Mae Q Sqwheel

Saturday June 20 and Saturday August 15 are the next Canberra bouts and with team names like the Brindabelters, the Red Bellied Black Hearts and Black ‘n’ Blue Belles and the Surly Griffins, you know you’re in for an action packed evening.

If you’re keen to extend the evening you could always grab some Indian Roti or head to (Lonsdale Street) Roasters for some Southern BBQ goodness for dinner before the game. Roller Derby tickets start at $12 + a booking fee and games are held at the Southern Cross Stadium Tuggeranong.

Image of two women painting toes from shutterstock.com


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