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Eat, drink, shop, explore Canberra (without leaving home)

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Our seasonal Hot List is usually packed full of all the things you should get out and experience in this city we call home.

However, as you all know, the responsible thing to do right now is to actually stay home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the best Canberra has to offer.

Eat + Drink

Canberra’s best eats—direct to your door

We know that we wax lyrical about Canberra’s food scene from time to time (read: constantly), however, we’ve never been more impressed than by said scene’s ingenuity when it came to pivoting in the time of COVID-19.

Forget what you thought you knew about takeaway. Because you’re now able to order Canberra’s most delicious eats straight to your door—and you have plenty of ways to make it happen.

Some websites lending a helping hand are Canberra Eats (delivery), Feed Feed (a guide to where does takeaway) and No Biggie (pre-prepared meals created by local chefs).

Why not order a fancy feed, put on your best frock and make a night of it? Oh—and don’t forget the drinks. Thanks to COVID-19 shutdowns, you can now enjoy some of the city’s finest booze in the comfort of your own home.

With liquor laws relaxed specially to allow bars and restaurants to offer alcohol for takeaway and delivery, a new world has opened up to us—think Full Moon Party-style cocktails in a bag from Braddon’s Zaab Street Food and something more refined from Hippo Co.

The latter have launched an online store which has packaged up their Barrel-Aged cocktails (think a Martini, Old Fashioned or Rob Roy) to order—you can pick up, arrange for delivery or even get them through the post! Cheers to that!

Westfield Woden and Belconnen are also giving you the chance to order contactless from your favourite vendors with their new Click + Collection service.

Simply visit the website, click on your closest Westfield, select which eats you’d like to order, then follow the directions to the contactless pick-up point! Simples! Click here to find out more.


Live in your living room

COVID-19 has been something of a death knell for live music. But now, many local artists are rallying to create an at-home experience for live music lovers.

Canberra’s Hands Like Houses might have bid farewell to their 2020 European tour, but they put on quite the show with their Live in Ya Lounge livestreamed gig last week (which you can watch here). With just shy of 50K views, it’s safe to say Canberran bands have an audience ready and waiting.

If EDM is more your thing and you’re missing those nights on the dancefloor, why not head to Civic’s Beirut Bunker Bar—online?

Last weekend they livestreamed their DJs Saturday night for those partying at home. They’re also serving up their cocktails in a drive-through service at Bible Lane in the city, so if you really get in the party mood you can nip out for a drink or two to take straight back home.

We’re tipping that in the coming months, livestreaming could become quite the artform, so keep a close eye on your favourite artists’ socials.


Canberra’s galleries move online

Credit: CraftACT.

Missing the culture of Canberra’s hallowed museums and galleries? Us too. Luckily, they’re pivoting as well as anyone—offering online options for art lovers.

Craft ACT’s newest exhibition, Terra Celestial, is a group exhibition featuring the work of Sean Booth, Rohan Nicol, Sabine Pagan, Megan Watson and Michelle Hallinan. Across the mediums of paper, metals and mixed media, these five artists explore themes of time and space as they reflect on the anniversary of the 1969 Apollo moon landing.

craftact.org.au | Showing until 9 May.

Inel Date, Long Paddocks Shadows II, 2020, Acrylic on birch panel, photo courtesy of the artist.

The Gallery of Small Things (GOST) has also unveiled its latest exhibition—a ‘virtual show’ called The Corner Store Gallery swap exhibition

As the name might suggest, the exhibition is a swap between GOST and Orange’s The Corner Store Gallery.

The virtual exhibition contains a video tour and interview with the curators and is even shoppable via the online catalogue, which is coming soon.

galleryofsmallthings.com/exhibition | Showing until 3 May


Live in your living room

Our movement might be restricted at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t break a sweat inside our own home—or learn a new way to move our bodies.

Across Canberra, many businesses are finding new ways to connect with new and existing members—and online classes have their own benefits too. You can dance, squat and jump like no one is watching (because literally no one is) and you no longer have to compete with rush hour when it comes to making it to class on time.

There are plenty of online classes to discover—including dance and fitness classes by Phillip’s Dance Central (which is currently offering free trial memberships) and Les Mills On Demand (which offers many of the group fitness classes offered by gyms).

HerCanberra has even taken our Get ACTIVE free fitness initiative online with a Keep ACTIVE series of free online fitness classes from yoga to HIIT.


Shop the city from the comfort of your couch

The Curatoreum has so many beautiful wares to browse online. Image: Tim Bean Photography.

With social-distancing restrictions as they are, a day out shopping might have to wait…or does it?

Forget adding to cart on overseas goods—some of Canberra’s most exciting retailers are now offering innovative virtual ways to shop.

With the doors to the National Portrait Gallery and Arboretum closed, so too are The Curatoreum’s two stores. If you’re missing the chance to browse its thoughtful selection of books, jewellery, homewares and more, you need look no further than its website. Pop on over to thecuratoreum.com for all the goodness.

If you love vintage and the idea of spending a weekend wandering through the antique and bric-a-brac stalls of the high-end streets of Bowral makes you feel giddy, then hold on to your classic Shaker chair, because Dirty Janes Bowral has just opened the doors to a Canberra emporium.

Only, instead of strolling through Dirty Janes Canberra’s massive 2000 square metre shop in Fyshwick, you can head to their Instagram and Facebook for daily posts of available items—including an adorable ‘menu’ of what to look out for each week. Spot something you like? You can pay through Instagram DM or Facebook Messenger and have it delivered to you!

If you’re keen to support as many local small businesses as possible, POP Canberra is the place to be. Having opened on Lonsdale Street just before Christmas to a very warm welcome, POP stocks a huge range of Canberra makers—from jewellery to pottery, small-batch spirits, tea, fashion, papercraft and more.

And, if you’re looking for a gift for a foodie—or perhaps the kitchen will be your haven during social distancing—look no further than Kingston’s The Essential Ingredient. They’re offering FaceTime shopping trips and phone orders, with curb-side pick-up or delivery available. Bon appetit!

This article originally appeared in Magazine: Time (AW2020), available to read free online.

Read it here.

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