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The Hot List: Summer

Amanda Whitley

Want to impress your friends with your knowledge of what’s new and ‘hot’ in Canberra?

Here’s a cheat sheet of ‘must do’ things to see, do, buy and eat this summer.



The latest venture from restaurateur Frank Condi, Mama Dough is packing in Ainslie locals. With just 26 seats inside and out, the wood‑fired pizza joint may be small in size, but it’s delivering some big flavours.

Master pizza-maker Giovanni Auzino, ably assisted by Jongwon Back, produces mouth-watering combinations including porcini cream, smoked mozzarella and basil; fior di latte, pistachio pesto, sopressa and cherry tomatoes; and even an astounding “Pizzamisu” of Nutella and ricotta calzone with hazelnut and mascarpone custard. 

Wash it all down with a choice of two whites, two reds and two beers.

3 Edgar Street, Ainslie. Open from 5pm until late seven days. Takeaway available.




From the crew behind legendary themed bars Molly, Black Market and The Highball Express comes eighties-themed bar 88mph. From menus encased in VHS boxes to no-frills pizza and frozen cocktails, this could very well be Canberra’s most fun night out.

There are three karaoke rooms (all with sparkly floors), catering for groups from 10-22 people, and a light-up floor. Now all you need are some shoulder pads and a perm.

Basement, 8-10 Hobart Place, Canberra City. Open seven days.




Image: 5 Foot Photography

Watching the University of Canberra Capitals play has never been more exciting, with the new basketball court at the National Convention Centre Canberra now home to the professional WNBL women’s basketball team.

National Convention Centre, Constitution Avenue, Canberra City.

Game details at wnbl.com.au/uc-capitals



Make the surface of the lake your picnic spot with a self-drive, sustainable, electric GoBoat for hire. GoBoats can carry up to eight people, and you don’t need any previous boating experience or a boat licence. The built-in picnic table makes it the perfect al fresco dining venue.

Wharf 2, Trevillian Quay, Kingston Foreshore.




Forget the designated driver—exploring the Canberra wine region is set to become a whole lot more accessible when Abode Murrumbateman opens its doors in February 2018. Located adjacent to the Murrumbateman Village Centre, the hotel is only a stone’s throw away from world-class boutique wineries, paddock-to-plate restaurants and producers. 

Bookings can be made at abodehotels.com.au



This blockbuster exhibition is a compelling chronicle of the cycle of life, our constant need for connection, and explores the fundamental question: what makes us human?

It features major works from early American pioneers George Segal, John De Andrea and Duane Hanson; celebrated Australian artists Patricia Piccinini, Ron Mueck and Sam Jinks; international masters Maurizio Cattelan, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Evan Penny and many more.

Showing until 18 February at National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place, Parkes.




The Statement Life’s Janette Wojtaszak’s new accessories collection is big, bold, bright and perfect for summer—think riotous colour, tassels, moons and stars.

Shop the collection at thestatementlife.com


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author