There are places to eat, drink and be merry and there are places to eat, drink and be inspired. Often these hidden gems are discovered by accident, which somehow adds to the charm. An unplanned encounter with a new and beautiful space ignites an instant love affair based on feel, vibe, style and ‘instagramability’, (while that may not technically be a word, look out future Oxford Dictionary updates, it’s coming for you!).

There is nothing quite like setting out on a Sunday to explore the local offerings without much expectation and being pleasantly surprised by the impressive and interesting pockets within our growing region. For interior inspiration and stunning style, add these names to your GPS.


Clonakilla Winery

A half-an-hour drive outside of Canberra, sits the delightful Clonakilla Winery. Set amongst paddocks and open plains is a beautifully designed stand-alone building that cuts a dramatic shape in the surrounding landscape. Stepping into Clonakilla feels like entering a calm and welcoming world. Large glass windows allow a flooding of bright, natural light to balance the warmth of the timber bar and the stone wall.

The stand-out element of the space is the built-in fire sitting flush with the stone stacked wall. The use of natural elements and the stunning display of wines offer stylish inspiration and will have you planning a return visit before you even wave goodbye…or attempt to, with all those bottles of Viognier Nouveau in hand.


Joe’s Bar, East Hotel
Featured in image from: the luxe traveller

The recently established Joe’s Bar at East Hotel opposite local landmark, The Kingston Hotel, is one hot spot to add to your must-see list. The exterior has a Manhattan feel, featuring dark glass, creative lighting, concrete and lush greenery surrounding the building. The first boutique hotel of its kind in Canberra, a visit to East will take you far away from the world outside.

Immerse yourself in the contemporary-meets-‘70s styling and enjoy the quirks such as the books and bikes in the lobby. For a visual feast and to see surprising details, pop into East Hotel and get lost in its seriously stylish setting.


Bookplate Café

Recently re-vamped Bookplate Café is located beside the picturesque lake and tucked inside the National Library of Australia. The high ceilings and grandeur of the library flows into the café, giving the space a calm, luxurious serenity – it brings to mind the famous words of designer Tom Ford, “Time and silence are the most luxurious things today”.

While previously a neutral space, you will now find an autumn colour palette, creating a warm and calm atmosphere which perfectly compliments the preserved stain glass windows. There are gentle touches of style found from wall to wall and a monthly featured installation reflecting the exhibits at the library injects an added style and interest into the space. Be inspired by the details, colour palette and photo-worthy menu.

So, if you’re all shopped out but craving a style fix this weekend, why not be a tourist in your own town and go exploring some of Canberra’s hidden gems…Don’t forget to bring your finest Instagram filter to snap away at the stylish and visually-inspiring spaces ready and waiting to be discovered!

Images from: Facebook and Pinterest