Author Archives: gracienumber1

Foraging for gin at Canberra’s Australian National Botanic Gardens

Underground Spirits, Canberra’s most awarded spirits brand and the spirit of Canberra, has partnered with the Australian National Botanic Gardens to create Ad Crescendum Native Gin. Ad Crescendum—Latin meaning to grow—the collaboration was created with specially foraged native botanicals grown in the garden in celebration of the Gardens’ 50th Anniversary year in 2020. thumbnail_182_MAR'20 (1)

“Underground Spirits and the Australian National Botanic Gardens have worked together to create a gin that is really something special,” said Underground Spirits CEO, Claudia Roughley, “and we’re so privileged to be given access to truly wondrous botanicals.”

Many precious plants and flowers grown, nurtured and protected at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, and this native gin features botanicals from all over Australia sourced from the Gardens including Banksia, Finger lime, Rainforest Aniseed, White Aspen and Yam Daisy. Ad Crescendum will remain part of Underground Spirits’ permanent line-up of premium Canberra-made spirits.

Peter Feilen, Horticulturalist at the Australian National Botanic Gardens revealed today how happy the Gardens are to partner with Underground Spirits to create this special gin.

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“We have a hugely diverse collection of native species in our living collection, with seeds and cuttings sourced from every corner of Australia. I couldn’t be prouder in celebrating the foundation of our institution, drawing on Australia’s rich plant heritage to create this special edition 50th Anniversary Gin,” said Peter.

Underground Spirits’ Ad Crescendum Gin is now available to purchase online from www.undergroundspirits.com.au, and from select retailers in Canberra. Part of the profits from this gin will help to support native plant conservation activities by the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Botanicals used

  • Banksia ericifolia (Banksia): honey sweet,
  • Citrus australasica (Fingerlime): fresh zesty citrus, hint of cooked apples.
  • Syzygium anisatum(Rainforest Aniseed): aniseed.
  • Acronychia oblongifolia(White Aspen): citrus
  • Microseris lanceolata (Yam Daisy): sweet and slightly coconutty.
  • Podocarpus elatus(Plum Pine / Illawarra Plum): pine taste, sweet.
  • Backhousia myrtifolia (Grey Myrtle): cinnamon.
  • Rubus moluccanus(Native Raspberry): raspberry fruit.
  • Tasmannia lanceolata(Pepperberry): aromatic peppery.

Underground spirits

Tasting notes

Ad Crescendum is a tactile and engaging gin with hints on the nose of the Australian backyard. The taste is soft on the tongue and mellow with a mild sweetness, like pear flesh, from native flowers. Linking to the botanicals used, the Banksia offers a honey sweet nectar aroma, along with the White Aspen and the Yam Daisy topping it up with a bit of tropical, balanced by the sharpness of the Plum Pine, and the citrus of the Fingerlime and the Grey Myrtle. The Pepperberries, the Grey Myrtle and the Rainforest Aniseed complete the citrus and sweet profile by adding just the right amount of spiciness and some more complex flavours.

Willkommen im Bavarian!

Beer steins, sauerkraut, lederhosen, and FREE Hot Dogs! … that’s right, we’re in Munich!

Well … not exactly, we’re actually checking out The Bavarian, a brand new German gastropub opening in Woden on 18 April when Canberrans can experience a true taste of Bavaria including a range of international and local beers. Not to mention a FREE hot dog handed out at 11am to the first 500 lucky customers!

Bavarian crispy pork knuckle plate

Munich Brewer’s Platter

Located in the new Bradley Street restaurant precinct, the menu offers true German favourites including pork belly, bratwurst sausages, schnitzels, and the biggest meat platters you’ve ever seen—allegedly, to share between two people but look more like they would serve four! The pork platter offers crispy pork knuckle, smoked pork belly with crackling, Nurnberger pork sausage, and bao buns.

Bavarian platters

Share a loaded schnitzels platter

The BBQ platter includes pork ribs, pulled pork, pork belly, corn on the cob, pretzel buns, and is served with cabbage slaw and pickles. If that’s a bit overwhelming, there is also a range of ‘light bites’ with chicken wings, spicy squid, and a build your own salad from a list of yummy fresh ingredients and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. There are also a couple of gluten-free options.

Or, you can try your hand at the Schnitzelmeister, if you dare—an unbelievable 6 stack schnitzel tower with Napoli sauce, ham, cheese, and four side dishes. Take the whopping 1kg schnitzel challenge for one person—one hour—one mega schnitzel! Demolish it and it’s on the house!

Bavarian schnitzelmeister

The Bavarian Schnitzelmeister!

Dinner specials are a winner, with a chicken burger and drink for $15, two-for-one schnitzel deals, and family Sundays when children under 12 eat for free from the kids’ menu when accompanied by a paying adult. Just check the menu for dinner specials on any given day. There’s also a daily Happy Hour from 4 – 6pm with $5 beer, wine, and spirits, and $1 chicken wings. And speaking of beers … there are 20 beers on tap including imported German brands Löwenbräu and Hofbräu, and a range of Australian and international craft brews such as Budweiser, and Stella Artois.

Genuine German beers

Genuine German beers

Not only is The Bavarian serving up delish food and drinks, it’s also providing in boost in the Canberra economy by creating 45 employment positions, and engaging 50 professionals and tradespeople on the development project. The  Bavarian currently has 28 gastropubs around Australia and this is first in the Canberra region.

The Bavarian Woden accommodates 300 guests including outdoor seating, and opens on Thursday 18 April—and did we mention the FREE Hot Dogs at 11am! The Bavarian is located at Westfield Woden Shop 6, Bradley St. Open 11am until late. Find out more on their website.

$10 lunch specials

The Bavarian $10 lunch specials

Yass Valley Autumn Harvest Escape

Autumn is the best time of year in the Canberra region—not too hot, not too cold, and with the beautiful autumnal colours of the trees and countryside, what better time to get out and about to explore the cool climate wines, cosy restaurants, and history of the Yass Valley.

It’s all happening in April with Canberra Wine Week and the Makers of Murrumbateman—Harvest Hamper Trail which includes hampers in the vines, degustations, barrel tasting, lunches, gourmet platters, and much more! So sit back, lock in your events, and enjoy your autumn harvest escape!

gourmet platter

Tasty gourmet platters.

Canberra Wine Week offers up an amazing selection of events to choose from including tastings, festivals, lunches and dinners, grape stomping, wine tours, meet the makers, and smooth entertainment. Enjoy special offers from a couple of our faves with dinner at Gryphons Caffe Bar (courtesy Kerralee Wines Murrumbateman) and the Long Lunch at Lerida Estate Wines (Lake George).

Reidel wine glass

Wine tasting at Kerralee Wines Murrumbateman.

On the Makers of Murrumbateman Hamper Trail you can enjoy wine pies at Dionysus Winery, book a picnic hamper with dips, cheese, cold meats, tomatoes, olives, bread and crackers at Eden Road Wines, indulge in gourmet platters in the barrel room at McKeller Ridge, or you can try bottling your own wine at Murrumbateman Winery, plus much more. And, if that wasn’t enough to tempt your tastebuds, get your hamper trail passport stamped at only three participating venues (pick up your passport at your first port of call) to go in the draw to win a super hamper chock full of locally produced goodies!

If wine and great food doesn’t tickle your taste buds, there’s heaps more happening including stunning artworks by local artists such as Hillgrove Pottery, Creators Nest, Gundaroo Collectors and the newly re-opened Crisp Galleries. You can also explore the 19th Century architecture and heritage listed buildings in Yass and the surrounding region, plus walking trails in Yass, Gundaroo, and Binalong.

picnic in the vines

Picnic in the vines.

And, seriously, who doesn’t love coming face-to-face with cute furry animals? At One Tree Hill Alpaca Farm you can take a guided walk through the farm, meet the alpacas, and stop in at the Farm Shop for a range of hand dyed and alpaca yarns and gifts. Book the 2.5 hour Aussie Alpaca Adventure to hand feed the alpacas, take them for a walk and give them a cuddle, and have short lesson in dying yard and how to skirt a fleece.

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Cuteness overload!

Click here for more information on current and upcoming events in the Yass Valley.

Flats by fletcherLovell

To paraphrase the gorgeous Joanna Lumley … ‘I hate wearing high heels. When you’re older why would you want to wear shoes like that?’

Well, you don’t have to. fletcherLovell is a local Canberra shoe designer of flats—that’s right, flats. You know, the ones you can slip on and off with ease, walk into the city at lunch time in, or dance all night in—if that’s your preference. And, with a stunning range of colours and styles, you can have a pair for every outfit, especially now they’re on SALE!

fletcherLovell has a whole new range about to be released and needs room for new stock, so she’s selling her current range of flats at 50 per cent off (that’s half price!) until the end of March 2019. Take a look at some of her current range and tell me you’re not interested …

Caitlin in leather

Caitlin in check leather

Isla in 'superwoman' red

Isla in ‘superwoman’ red

Betty in classic black

Betty in classic Chanel black

Ally for fun!

Ally for fun! And with an adjustable tie for a perfect fit

To get your 50 per cent off just put in FLATSJOY at the checkout. Happy dancing!

Shop early. Shop local.

Ever had this feeling? This year, shop early, shop local, shop Canberra Christmas markets.

If Santa has a mega tip for all of us, it’s to avoid stress this holiday season by getting your Christmas shopping done and dusted early. And in Canberra, there’s no shortage of opportunities to do just that with several Christmas markets rolling out this coming weekend—two of the biggest close to one another at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) with both offering plenty of opportunity to buy local and handmade (also free entry and free parking).

The Handmade Market, an institution and now in its tenth year, has more than 150 stalls, including many Canberra artisans and local designers. Interstate stallholders are only permitted at the market if what they sell is Australian made. This special Christmas Market, held 7 to 9 December, is on at the Budawang and Coorong Buildings at EPIC. Stallholders sell a wide range of quality products, including artwork, jewellery, fashion, crafts and items that celebrate this special time of year. Yummy food to enjoy during the holidays is also on hand.

Elegant Elves will be at the Canberra Christmas Market with unique wreathes, stockings and other fabulous Christmas decorations and gifts.

Also at EPIC is the Canberra Christmas Market, with more than 1,750 square metres of shopping, including Christmas decorations and gifts, artisan products, pressies for pets and festive food goodies, including gingerbread houses, cookies, cakes and puddings. Marketgoers will also find gifts that are perfect for stocking stuffers and other products sure to put a smile on your face. The market, which also runs the Canberra Fashion Market, Three Sixty Market and the Canberra Kids Market has been going strong for five years. It’s on at the Fitzroy Pavilion at EPIC from 8 to 9 December.

The little ones in your life will look gorgeous in the outfits created with love by Handmade by Charley.

The Bus Depot Markets has festive items at all weekend markets from now until Santa arrives. It’s every Saturday and Sunday before Christmas.

Have a laff in the loo with toilet paper covers celebrating Santa’s arrival, available at the Canberra Christmas Market.

We vote a mighty big YES for shopping local, to support our local economy and support local makers who pour their hearts and souls into creating gorgeous items. We also vote a mighty big YES for avoiding the chaos that starts to build the minute the calendar hits 1 December. And we vote a mighty big YES for heading to one-stop shopping opportunities that have all your Christmas needs covered.

Happy shopping everyone. And happy holidays.

The Network of Possibility

Dr Kim Vella started the Network of Possibility to fill a gap for safe and inspiring networking for women.

Networks. They can inspiring. They can be a talkfest that adds no value to your life.

On a personal front, Kim Vella finds networking where people ‘tell, sell or yell’ frustrating and exhausting so she started her own, for those in the work world and those outside it.

The Network of Possibility is a philanthropic initiative designed to unite community-minded Canberra women who want to use their time, energy and skills to give and learn from others.

‘This is not your typical networking group,’ says Kim who is an accredited executive coach with a PhD in Sociology from ANU.  ‘It’s designed as a neutral and inclusive space focused on your purpose, not your level, status or rank. We don’t shove our business cards down people’s throats. We don’t need to present elevator pitches or prove ourselves. We already know that everyone who comes is worthwhile.’

The Network of Possibility invites a guest speaker to each event, someone who has or is making a significant transition in life. Their stories are truly motivating.

Dr Danielle Klar, owner of Plumery Jewellery

This month, on 28 November, Dr Danielle Klar will talk about her journey to jewellery. Danielle was on a career trajectory and determined to become the Secretary of a department. Then she was diagnosed with cancer and later told she had life-threatening clots in her legs and lungs. She almost lost her life.

At the November Network, Danielle will talk about the process she went through to get to where she is today, which is working part-time as a GP in her husband’s medical practice and part-time with her daughter in Plumery, the bespoke jewellery business Danielle started during her long recovery.

Butterfly Wings Brooch is a brooch and a pendant. Nearly 25cts of ruby invisibly set, and over 1.5cts of diamonds.

Other Network guests have included Kristen Holzapfel who spent several years working as a child protection social worker. While her career was rewarding, it took its toll and nearly broke Kristen’s heart and her body. Kristen turned her experience into something positive, writing a book called Selfless: A social worker’s own story of trauma and recovery.

The Network has also had guests such as Pip Seldon, from the Healthy Tradie Project and Kerstin Oberprieler from Pentaqest which provides gamified experiences.

While many career women attend the Network so do those who aren’t currently working. ‘These could be women on maternity leave, or mental health leave, or someone just taking a break,’ says Kim. ‘Sometimes it’s hard for these women to find an inspiring space. The Network fills that gap because it’s completely non-judgmental. You don’t have to put your wares on display.’

Kim wanted the Network to be purely philanthropic, and so it is. A silent auction is held at each one raising money for three women’s charities—Karinya House, Toora Women Inc., and YWCA Canberra.

It was a light bulb moment that led Kim to develop The Network of Possibility. She was at a ‘typical professional networking awards event’. She sat beside a female lawyer in the public service who was settled in her career but not entirely happy with it. She didn’t want to change jobs but was looking for meaning and purpose, to feel more fulfilled. She said she didn’t know where to find it.

‘This inspired me to create a group where women could come together to get a sense of purpose and meaning with no strings attached,’ says Kim. ‘The Network attracts women who want to expand their circles of influence and drive change in another way. We share defeats and triumphs and learn from others. The Network makes peoples’ hearts sing.’

If you’d like to attend the 28 November Network of Possibility, book here.

 

The creative minds behind Canberra’s Aeon Academy

Canberra is packed with creative minds. Talented people who enrich our community in so many ways and on so many levels. The line-up of true innovators includes a local artist and a yoga teacher who devote their lives to inspiring kids to learn through creative and active play.

This story begins after award-winning Canberra artist, Teffany Thiedeman, graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the ANU School of Art and Design. She had a young baby, was practicing her art part-time but needed more. She started tutoring art classes for kids and it didn’t take long before Teffany realised there was a massive craving for her unique approach. She began teaching larger classes from her home studio, Hearth, where Teffany showcases an evolving range of figurative and sculptural work.

‘The classes got so big we even held them in the driveway,’ says Teffany. ‘The kids loved them and so did their parents.’

Hearth Studio: Home is where the art is.

The next chapter of this story sees Teffany’s partner, Mathew Long—a yoga teacher who graduated from the Australian National University in Canberra, majoring in Anthroplogy, Archaeology and History—joining forces with her. Realising the duo was on to a good thing, Mathew recommended that the classes be formalised and that their passion for igniting sparks in young people be transformed into a proper business.

Aeon Academy was born and that was 15 years ago. Since opening, with Yarralumla Primary School its main base, Aeon Academy has seen thousands of kids pass through its foundation and specialised programs for kids as young as three to teens up to 16 years of age.

‘Mathew has always been a game’s master,’ says Teffany, ‘and he was able to bring another type of programming to the table, including dramatic adventures which are so wonderful for learning. We’ve worked hard at developing creative and active play programs that aren’t available elsewhere in Canberra.’

Aeon Academy is famous for its dramatic adventures.

On Saturday, 24 November, Aeon Academy will celebrate its 15th birthday with a big bash at Yarralumla Primary School. All families are welcome from across Canberra, not just those who have kids enrolled at the Academy.

‘We’re all about spurring the imagination and building the compassion of future generations, especially important for not just individual kids and their families, but Canberra as a whole,’ says Mathew. ‘Our before school, after school and holiday programs are unique, enriching and memorable, so much so that several of our current educators were themselves students.’

Today, Aeon Academy is a not-for-profit social enterprise. It runs open houses four times a year, to give back to the community. The upcoming open house celebrates Aeon Academy’s 15th birthday and is going to be the biggest party yet.

The line-up of birthday activities includes a dramatic adventure tournament to raise funds for Freyja Christiansen and her fight against cancer. There will be art activities, including making badges and creating Aeon Academy’s famous cardboard go-carts. Live music will be by Scroggin, a local band made up partly of former teachers and students from Aeon Academy. An exhibition of art created by kids will be held, with fantastic ceramic work the students have made with a bird theme. It will feature bird baths, bird houses and awesome avian animalia.

At the 15th birthday bash, Aeon Academy will announce the winners of its inaugural Scholarship Program, with scholarships being awarded to five children.

 Aeon Academy is all about learning through creative and active play.

Aeon Academy runs free open days around four times a year, welcoming kids from across Canberra and their parents, to enjoy a day of inspirational activities. At this one, a mega birthday cake will top off celebrations.

Canberra is so fortunate to have creatives like Teffany and Mathew who have the courage of their convictions and who are prepared to solely dedicate their lives to building an inspirational place for us all to live.

The birthday bash is part of Design Canberra, a month-long festival rolling our 150 activities across the capital. Teffany hosted an Open Studio in Hearth, as part of the festival, which also included a line of functional wares under her domestic label ‘Fetish Designs’. Teffany works predominantly in clay but also with bronze, fibreglass, paper, stone and wax.

‘Art permeates my every day life and my every day life is entangled with my art,’ says Teffany.

Mathew, Founder and Creative Director of Aeon Academy, and Teffany, Founder and Artistic Director, welcome all Canberrans to their open day,10 am to 4pm, 24 November. More information: http://www.aeonacademy.com.au

Stay with us at LFW for more profiles of inspirational and hard-working Canberrans who make a difference to our lives in so many ways.