Each year, like clockwork, the temperature plummets after the Anzac Day long weekend. The heaters go on, the puffer jackets come out and the cold season begins. It has been over a year since I wrote the article 10 Cafes, Pubs & Wineries with Fireplaces and afterwards I received comments from Weekendnotes readers (thank you!) with venues to add to the list - which have been included in this one. Also within the last year, I have stumbled on a few more cosy venues with fireplaces that I look forward to returning to in winter, to warm up by with a hot chocolate (or pinot!). In winter, when you walk into a cafe, pub or winery that has a roaring fire, it is an instant feeling of relaxation and comfort. If you can get a table close enough to feel its radiation, then even better. The following are 10 more venues (including restaurants) to add onto the list, with many more still to be discovered. If you know of another venue with a fireplace and you are happy to share your secret, please leave a comment at the bottom of this article. So, where can we get cosy in Canberra this year? Let's get the fire crackling...
Wine tasting by the fireplace at Four Winds Vineyard. Source: Four Winds Vineyard Facebook
1/ FOUR WINDS VINEYARD This popular winery is located in the Canberra Wine District, 30 minutes north of the CBD. This family-friendly winery is popular for its internationally award-winning wines, as well as its Cellar Door with toasty fireplace. Stand and enjoy its warmth whilst wine tasting, or buy a glass and stay for awhile. Each weekend they also fire up the outside wood fired pizza oven (between 12pm - 3pm) with four topping combinations available - with BBQ Chicken a particular family favourite. Wine, beers and pizza by the fireplace - does it get much better? See here for details. For a full article on Four Winds Vineyard, see here.
Inside fireplace at the Cellar Door and outside pizza oven on weekends
This modern and architecturally striking hotel can be found just a short walk from Canberra Airport, on the same property. This venue was recommended by a Weekendnotes reader who made a comment on the last article, to share this particularly outstanding fireplace. When I went to check it out last winter, I didn't want to leave. It is a modern fireplace with a circle of comfortable couches all around it, so a whole family can sit around it - plus many more. Next to the fireplace is Helix Bar and Dining, so you can order a hot coffee or something from the Bar Menu and relax by the fire. If you are going to fly out of Canberra Airport and have arrived too early, it is the ideal place to wait, with the arrivals and departure lists shown on TVs in the foyer. See here for details. For a full article on Vibe Hotel, see here.
Warm up in style at the Vibe Hotel, with a coffee from Helix Bar and Dining
This Italian restaurant was another recommendation by the same Weekendnotes reader as above - and it is easy to see why. It has two locations in the south of Canberra - Manuka and Woden. Specialising in rustic Italian flavours with a modern twist, this cosy restaurant has been a Canberra icon for more than 20 years. Although it is popular all year around, winter is particularly busy as couples book ahead for a romantic dinner by the firelight. Their stone fireplace is a feature of the room, as diners enjoy anti pasti, risotto, pasta, pizza and a delicious dessert menu. See here for details.
Stone fireplace at Belluci's Manuka. Source: Belluci's website
4/ KRACK'D PEPPA This rustic cafe with an unusual name is located inside the front entrance of Rose Cottage Pub in Tuggeranong. This colourful cafe has been designed with families in mind, with a large outdoor play area and plenty of kids options on the menu. If it is too chilly to sit outside, there are several tables inside by the fireplace to snuggle up by, with hot drinks and a variety of winter warmer meals on the menu. At the time of writing, they are also open on Friday and Saturday nights for dinner, with Italian cuisine and a restaurant feel - see their Facebook for menu and details. See here for details. For a full article on Krack'd Peppa, see here.
5/ CLONAKILLA WINES Clonakilla Wines is located in the Canberra Wine District, 30 minutes north of the CBD. This impressive winery opened up their new Cellar Door just over a year ago, with a stunning stacked stone feature wall with roaring fireplace inside. Clonakilla has been creating wines for decades, with the first vines planted in 1971 and today they are one of Australia's premier wineries, with Shiraz as their feature drop. The Cellar Door is open between 10am and 5pm daily. See here for details. If you would like to explore the Canberra Wine District further, see the website for Liquid Geography - Canberra District Wine.
Wine tasting by the fire at Clonakilla. Source: Original photos from Clonakilla Facebook
6/ BSPOKE CAFE This casual cafe can be found tucked away inside Pushy's bike shop in the industrial suburb of Fyshwick. The impressive, floor to ceiling stone fireplace with gas heating is a welcome sight on a winter's morning, especially if you can nab a seat on the chesterfield couches on one side. This popular cafe is busy during the weekdays in particular, with local office workers, tradies and workers lining up for their takeaway coffees to take with them to work. With particularly good coffee and healthy breakfast and lunch menu, you could easily stay for awhile and enjoy the fireplace warmth. See here for details. For a full article on BSpoke Cafe, see here.
Stay warm both sides of the fireplace at BSpoke Cafe
7/ WILBURS CAFE BAR This cosy, family friendly locals secret can be found in Hackett, north of the city. This is another venue that a Weekendnotes reader recommended on the last article. This small venue has it all in one package with outside tables, a small sports bar area to watch a game and in the next room, there is a large cafe with fireplace which warms up the whole area. This bar and cafe is particularly family friendly, with colouring in and delicious choices on the kids menu. If you live nearby, or are staying in the Inner North, this is a venue you could easily go back to time and time again and become a regular. See here for details. For a full article on Wilbur's Cafe Bar, see here.
8/ THE BOAT HOUSE This fine dining restaurant is located in Barton, on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. This is the ideal venue for a romantic lunch or dinner, as you won't find a lakeside restaurant any closer to the water. In winter it has a roaring fireplace in their West End Dining Room, to warm up by whilst enjoying a wine from their extensive drinks menu. Due to its stunning location and quaint and formal atmosphere, it is often booked out for weddings and functions, so ensure you book early to find out their availability. They also offer a degustation menu for Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Christmas dining. See here for details.
City views by the fireplace in the West End Dining Room. Source: The Boat House Facebook
9/ MURRUMBATEMAN WINERY This rustic winery is located in the Canberra Wine District, 30 minutes north of the CBD. It is one of the oldest wineries in the area, with its facilities getting upgraded each time we visit. Winter is particularly chilly in the wine region, so you really appreciate a roaring hot fireplace when you walk in for a tasting. On our family's visits, we have stopped here for a wine tasting for the adults and also to share a cheese platter - which all ages enjoy. If you don't like cheese, they also sell scones and dip & olive sharing plates. See here for details.
Cosy up the fire in this rustic winery. Source: Original photos from Murrumbateman Winery Facebook
10/ CIVIC PUB
This friendly pub can be found at the city end of Lonsdale Street in Braddon, making it easy to walk from the CBD. Diners can sit outside the pub along the street or venture inside and have a drink or two by the impressive fireplace. This lively venue can get very busy, which adds to its pub atmosphere, with plenty of sports to watch on the TV's and games of pool to play. This pub is a friendly mix of locals and visitors, all enjoying meals from the restaurant and staying afterwards for drinks, to enjoy the heat from the fireplace. See here for details.
Enjoy the warmth and atmosphere at Civic Pub. Source: Civic Pub Facebook
This long list shows how popular a fireplace is, inside any Canberra venue. It can mean the difference between an enjoyable night out - and a night that you will remember for years to come. Other venues around the capital with fireplaces include The Green Herring restaurant at Gold Creek Village, the East Hotel in Kingston (with Jo's Bar nearby), The Farmhouse at Pialligo Estate, The Pot Belly in Belconnen and The Mecure in Braddon.
With so many choices around the city, why not get some friends together and relax by the fireplace with a hot chocolate or pinot this weekend. If you struggle to get through the winter months, like many of us do, why not visit one venue each weekend to make the most of this winter specialty. After trying out these 10 venues for 10 weeks, before you know it - it will be Spring!
Have a drink by the fireplace at East Hotel, Griffith