Author Archives: gracienumber1

Lighten up your Life!—Enlighten Festival 2018

Canberra’s 16 night spectacular, Enlighten Festival, is now in its seventh year and the 2018 upcoming event will be bigger and better than ever!

Presented by Singapore Airlines, Enlighten 2018 kicks off on Friday 2 March at the National Library of Australia with a Switch On by one very lucky member of the public chosen through an ActewAGL competition. Switch On will be the first chance to see the capital’s major and iconic architectural attractions, including the National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, Museum of Australian Democracy, Questacon, and Australian Parliament House, transformed into a myriad of colour, shapes and images projected onto the buildings.

Enlighten Parliament House

Enlighten Parliament House

This is the second year ActewAGL has partnered with Enlighten, and the first year the event has spread out from the parliamentary triangle to include events at the Australian National University (ANU) and Braddon. ANU events will include food, drink, entertainment, and spectacular light displays where you can fly through projections of the solar system, and join a walking trail passing all the main displays.

The bustling Braddon Noodle Markets offer an EPICurean journey through Asia with dumplings, Pad Thai, sambals, and noodles, plus gourmet desserts. This is a delight on the senses with free entry, and dog-friendly cafés.

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Asian delight at the Noodle Markets

But wait … there’s more! Enlighten 2018 also includes music with Symphony in the Park on 11 March, where you can kick back in Commonwealth Park and watch the sun go down to music from the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and Killer Queen—get ready to rock Stage 88 with We are the Champions!

Canberra Day on 12 March will offer live bands and heaps of fun for the kids throughout the day, or you can float across the lake with the Canberra Balloon Spectacular when more than 30 hot air balloons will take to the skies between 10 – 18 March, and Enlighten Festival will close on 17 March with the iconic SKYFIRE lighting up the shores of Lake Burley Griffin with fireworks and fun at 8.30pm.

Enlighten Balloons

Balloon Spectacular

The official Enlighten Festival Switch On takes place at 8pm on 2 March on the steps of the National Library, but you can shake your tail feather to Sounds of the Sixties with some 60s music, plus a kids’ disco, and art and crafts from 6.30pm.

Steamed Dumplings at the Noodle Market

Canberra Enlighten Festival will run from 2 – 18 March through the parliamentary triangle, city centre, and ANU. For more information visit


Cool Coleslaw!

Let’s not beat about the bush here … I hate shop bought coleslaw. There, done. Supermarket coleslaw—and the one from a fairly well known fast food chicken outlet, which I won’t mention—swamped in mayonnaise and sweetened to death, is just not for me. Coupled with the fact that we have a lactose-free person in the household—which means no mayo or sour cream in sight—we haven’t had coleslaw in the house for years. Until now!

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I don’t know why I didn’t come up with something earlier, but making chicken burgers the other night, and over the basic salad of lettuce and whatever else, it dawned on me that you really don’t need mayo or cream to make coleslaw. So … here’s our light and tangy, and super-easy, version of coleslaw, and it’s vegan!

Cool Coleslaw—serves 6 as a side dish

What you need: ¼ small savoy cabbage finely shredded, ¼ small red cabbage finely shredded, 1 medium carrot grated, finely chopped green ends of a couple shallots (spring onions) optional.

Dressing: the dressing is based on a simple French vinaigrette with a twist.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (fresh is best), 1 small garlic clove crushed, and 1 good teaspoon of Dijon mustard.

salmon burger with coleslaw

Super healthy salmon burger with  vegan coleslaw

What you do: toss all the veggies together in a bowl and set aside. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together (using a mini whisk) until well blended and pour over the veggies. Toss well. This will give you a light coating of dressing on the coleslaw; if you prefer your coleslaw wetter just add more of the dressing.

If you don’t want to make your own dressing just buy a classic French dressing and add the garlic and mustard, but be careful as most dressings contain sugar and salt—sometimes in ridiculously high quantities.

And check out our healthy burger recipes at Burgers are Back! in the Food & Wine tab.


Yummy chicken burger with vegan coleslaw and salad

Summer 2017 ChinWag out now!

ACT Rescue and Foster summer issue of ChinWag is available now. Our cover pic for this issue is Toast. Toast was one of nine six-week old puppies dumped in a cardboard box outside West Queanbeyan Vet Hospital. Toast and seven of her siblings (one puppy being adopted by a vet nurse) came into ARF care and have now all found loving forever homes.

In this issue read about K9 Officer Chase. Rescued from a local pound by the Australian Federal Police, Chase was dux of his class and is now a K9 Officer with the AFP. Check out how to look for ticks on your dog, and get yourself a plan for your pet should an emergency arise.

Read about Loukanikos; Greece’s ‘Riot Dog’ who marched with protestors and walked with the community during the Greek economic crisis.  And find out who our local heroes are and why, including some of our wonderful local vets who give their time to help pets of the homeless in Pets in the Park.

Summer 2017

Download your copy now from ACT Rescue and Foster. If you would like to help or donate to ARF please contact

Baked on Mort!

I brunched on a bragel the other day. ‘Bragel?’ you ask. ‘Whatever is a bragel?’ Well a bragel is an invention of a new French patisserie in Braddon called Baked.  It’s a cross between a bagel and a brioche.

Chef Clement Chauvin, who owns Baked (and Les Bistronomes) with partner Abel Bariller, was determined to create something less dense that a bagel … something with just a wee bit more butter (OK, perhaps a fair bit more). Something that’s full of flavour and fun. He succeeded with Baked’s very own bragel. Better still, Clement has done what many a baker hasn’t managed to do and that’s master a gluten free version with a texture to dream of—soft and chewy.

Baked 3

Baked hasn’t been open long but has already attracted a bevy of fans. It took over the space where the paleo café Tallow and Thyme lived for a while. Now, against the raw brick walls inside, are mega murals by local Canberra artist Christopher Toth and a very French bakery feel. It’s warm and inviting.

Baked opens at 7am for those who are up and at ‘em early with all-day breakfast on the menu. French crepes anyone? Choose from a range, including crepes with house made jam, Nutella or lemon curd and raspberry.

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But back to them bragels. Clement poured his heart and soul into creating what he says is ‘the best bun ever’. It took a lot of time, experimenting, failed attempts, but then, voila, the bragel hit the market. He and Abel are so confident in the product they’ve trademarked it. You can have your Bragel Eggs Benny with ham, mushroom, spinach or salmon. The egg and bacon bragel is true comfort food, but Baked doesn’t stop there. Flavours and ingredients change with the season, based on what quality produce is available.

These days you can enjoy a charcoal bragel, which Clement says are hugely popular, with house cured salmon gravlax and dill sour cream, or go for the Hell’s Kitchen, which is enough to really fire you up with its sriracha chili sauce. Or the more relaxed Waldorf (vegetarian) with its winning combo of ingredients—witlof, pear, blue cheese and honey dressing.

Baked 4

Lunch starts early at 11am and what’s on the menu can easily be converted to vegetarian and gluten free options. If you want something heartier, dig into the Black Angus beef patty bragel, or a version with quality ingredients Italians would love—salami, cheese, tomato and fresh basil. A Thai version is also available and the Braddon Bragel, made with buttermilk chicken, coleslaw and mayo, sounds delish.

If you don’t think bragels are your thing, order a fresh salad, a house made sandwich or slice of quality quiche. And what would a bakery called Baked be without sweet treats? Just in time for Christmas, Baked is offering treats that will make sugar plum fairies dance in your head, including holiday red and green bragels.

Baked 5

The display cabinet is lined with other treats, as good looking as they are tasty. Rich and sweet Viennoiserie, croissants, tarts and loaves are all up for grabs, as are a colourful selection of melt-in-the-mouth macaroons. The raspberry millefeuille is utterly amazing and a slice of the pecan, choc and banana loaf is perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

Abel says heaps of other interesting offerings are on the horizon at Baked, including a liquor licence and some fun happenings with beers. Stay tuned.

Baked is open 7 days (except public holidays) from 7am to 3pm. 44/38 Mort Street, Braddon.

All images courtesy Baked.

Your Meadow in the City

A Meadow has popped up in the city.

The new Meadow café, tucked away in Odgers Lane, celebrates a sustainable way of life, making a difference in its own way and enabling customers to do the same. Meadow’s menu offers honest plant-based food that is kind to the environment and good for your health and soul.

The brain child of Manager Nathan Sami, and Carlo Krikowa, who owns sustainable furniture company boyandgirlco with his wife Anita, Meadow has a relaxed and down-to-earth vibe. It’s where Loading Zone used to be and, with respect to the environment, the team behind Meadow repurposed the space instead of tearing everything down and starting all over again. Dining is undercover outdoors and plans are underway to hang heaps of plants under the awning.Meadow 1

Meadow’s kitchen is tiny but that doesn’t stop it from pumping out innovative dishes all-day. One dish that will make you weak at the knees is the cheesecake pancake (short stack $12 and double stack $16). It’s a buttermilk pancake with maple comb, cream cheese mousse, ginger nut crumble and sambucca berries. A real treat for those looking for a sweet kickstart to the day.Meadow 2

The tasty Meadow roll is proving popular ($13), created with fried haloumi, sous vide egg, chilli jam and chipotle on a brioche bun. Also packing a punch with flavour is the Taco ($16)—salsa fresca, turtle beans, charred bell pepper, avo and parmesan crisps on tortillas. Thai toast, a teriyaki burger and other dishes also spice matters up.

Nathan has a fair bit of hospitality experience under his belt, having worked at several establishments while studying in Sydney, including at Pablo and Rusty’s Coffee Roasters and at Anvil Coffee Co. He came to Canberra and worked as a pastor for four years. He then worked at boyandgirlco making furniture out of recycled timber pallets. Nathan isn’t vegetarian but loves the food at Meadow anyhow. “You don’t even think about meat with our menu,” says Nathan. “The food, created by chef Adrianne Davo, is about creativity and taste.”Meadow 3

For convenience, Meadow offers an online lunch order option—a toastie and drink neatly packed in a brown paper bag. Choose from the Ponzu pear, Reuben or Three cheese toastie. Place your order by 10.30am and pick it up when you’re ready.

Meadow welcomes mums, bubs and prams and is breastfeeding friendly. The kid’s menu is perfect (and inexpensive) with the little ones enjoying options like cheesy soldiers ($7), frog in a hole ($9) and a bento lunch box of falafel, tempura veggies, edamame and cheese dip with fruit salad ($12). Drinks include a babycino and choco milk. Adult drinks include smoothies and a wide range of cold pressed juices by Canberra’s The Fix.

Also true to its sustainability ethos, Meadow reduces its carbon footprint by sourcing most products from local or regional suppliers, who each practice sustainability in their own businesses. Bread is sourced from Three Mills here in Canberra and honey from the capital’s Honey Delight. Coffee is from Melbourne’s Seven Seeds, and tea from Melbourne’s Storm in a Teacup. Holbrook Paddock Eggs are from Holbrook NSW, and 100 per cent Jersey milk comes from Country Valley in Picton NSW. Meadow is the only Canberra outlet to stock for sale yum pickles, relishes and jams from family run business Cornersmith, Sydney.Meadow 4

Meadow is more than just food and drink. It’s about a healthy and sustainable lifestyle and so the café hosts Laneway Yoga on Saturday mornings (7am to 7.45 am, $10 a session) and Local Sessions on some Saturdays with musicians providing entertainment.

The café will also host a truly engaging dining experience one Saturday each month called Gather Dinner. The curated three-course meal for 60 guests will be held on a pay-as-you-feel basis with all profits going toward the Meadow Matters Program which supports local not-for-profit organisations.

Meadow: Monday to Friday 7am to 2pm; Saturday brunch all day 8am to 2pm. Odgers Lane, Melbourne Bldg. Parking off London Circuit, Corner West Row (1 minute walk).

Riley Tanton—Watch this Space!

Riley Tanton has just graduated from Canberra Grammar, but he has no time to hang out this summer. The 18-year-old is far too busy running his own business and has just launched a new line of affordable, luxury watches named after Aussie islands.

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Riley Tanton – photo by Hollwill Photography

We ran a story on Riley about a year ago, inspired by how this young entrepreneur was so focused, talented and determined, even while busy studying his brains out in high school. Having graduated, Riley has had early acceptance into University of Canberra and a Master of Business Administration is on the horizon. In the meantime, he’s spending every spare second as the Managing Founder of Millennial Watches.

Riley’s new Haven Collection adds four styles to his Original Collection of timeless pieces. The new designs stay true to the company’s ethos of offering unique, quality, unisex watches that look a million bucks but don’t break the bank. And, the new designs are slimmer, sleeker and a luxury level up. They display beauty in all areas of design.

“They’re sophisticated looking despite their price tag of $86.40,” says Riley. “The Flinders really stands out with its polished rose gold case, polished rose gold hands, black face and genuine tan leather strap. The Whitehaven also has polished gold elements, but with a white face and tan leather strap. The black and gold Fraser is bold, and the Ashmore is super classy with black case, grey hands, black face and a black leather strap.”

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Millennial Watches Island Collection

Riley opened Millennial Watches just over a year ago. Never keen to sit on his laurels, he’s also just custom designed a watch for Canberra Grammar, with a production run of 300. He’s also worked on a small range of watches for Nomiko Kids, the new kid’s fashion label that appeared on young models’ at Fashfest. “I’m keen to partner with other organisations who want custom designs”, says Riley.

While also entering the retail world, online sales remain strong, especially in ACT, NSW, Queensland and Victoria, with Riley setting a personal best by selling 180 watches in one week.

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Millennial Watches – His …

The Japanese movement used by Millennial Watches is long lasting. Batteries run strong for around three years, and each watch comes boxed and wrapped around a pillow square to protect them.

Riley is no stranger to business. He became an entrepreneur in Grade 6, selling drinks out of his locker at school. Even though you’d think a young entrepreneur would be keen on pocketing every bit of timely profit, Riley donates $3.50 from every watch bought online to the Garvan Institute for Medical Research.

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… and Hers

Millennial Watches come with a one-year warranty. Free shipping when you order online:

Fascinating Rhythm at Melba Fete!

Spent a great day yesterday with some muso friends who were performing at a local fete. Rhythm Syndicate is an auditioned Canberra based vocal group who sing four part harmony, with accompaniment by Canberra composer, songwriter and pianist Mike Dooley, and harmonicist and flautist, Paul Herbert.

RS 2 Melba

Rhythm Syndicate with conductor and musical director, Camilo Gonzalez

Revitalising their jazz roots, the program included many toe-tapping jazz standards such as Miss New Orleans, Java Jive, Fascinating Rhythm, and other classics from Cole Porter, and Gershwin – a great afternoon of cool musical entertainment.

Mike Melba Fete

Composer, songwriter, and pianist Mike Dooley

If you’re a jazz lover don’t miss their upcoming performances over the next couple of months.

5 December: Griffith Baptist Care Concert 11am

9 December: Queanbeyan Carols in the Park (55 Collett St) 7pm

10 December: Canberra High Court 1.30pm

10 December: National Portrait Gallery 3.30pm

17 December: Lerida Winery 12.30pm




You can also catch awesome pianist Mike Dooley, with singer Rachel Thorne, performing as In 2 Deep at Jazz in the House, University House, ANU on Friday 27 October at 8pm. Bookings essential through Uni House at or call them on 6125 5270.

Mike Dooley (keyboard) and singer Rachel Thorne – In 2 Deep