New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published March 20th 2016
Get toasty by the fire with a latte, pint or pinot
Autumn has only just begun, with chilly mornings leading into sunny days. All around Canberra people are unpacking their winter woollies and hunting down their ugg boots to wear on cold kitchen floors. Recently our family visited the "Monster Bar" inside Hotel Hotel in NewActon for the first time and we were welcomed by two toasty and modern fireplaces to warm up by. It was such a pleasure to sit next to them and feel their inviting warmth. It is easy to see why this unique and modern restaurant will be a favourite to visit in the colder months. This cosy experience led me to wonder me where other toasty fireplace locations are in Canberra, as we head into another cold season. So I have tracked down ten venues to snuggle up with a latte, pint or pinot over the next several months - enjoy!
1/ MONSTER BAR This bar and restaurant is located inside the award-winning, architecturally significant Nishi Building in the NewActon precinct, minutes from the CBD. This building is a marvel to look at, with optical illusions and stunning lines towering up into the sky. It is also environmentally sustainable, so one thing you will notice here is the dimmed light, to save on electricity consumption. The menu is delicious, the décor is eccentric and the vibe is outstanding. There is a fireplace in the restaurant (above) and another one as you enter from the top street level(below). With the restaurant opening early each day, why not start your day by one of these modern fireplaces, with your hands wrapped around a hot coffee as you look out into the frosty morning. See here for Monster Bar details.
Café Lerida is located inside Lerida Winery, overlooking Lake George on the Federal Highway, 46 kms north of the CBD. Although a fair drive out of the city it is worth the effort to enjoy this scenic winery, perched on a hill overlooking the dry Lake George plains. There is a long, red and modern fireplace inside the café which warms up the cosy area and wine tasting area. The menu at Café Lerida is tasty and seasonal to enjoy with your favourite wine. See here for Café Lerida details.
Get cosy by the fire with a pinot and enjoy the view
This English-style pub is located at Gold Creek Village in Nicholls, 12 kms north of the city. Gold Creek Village is a popular tourist attraction with the National Dinosaur Museum, Cockington Green Gardens, Canberra Reptile Park and the Walk Through Aviary also at this location. This popular pub is a great Summer pub, with a large outdoor beer garden to sit back and enjoy the live entertainment outside. In Winter, why not nab a table by the fireplace and enjoy the English pub fare by the traditional fireplace - as if you were in a real English pub on the other side of the world. See here for George Harcourt Inn details.
Have a pint by the crackling fireplace at The George Harcourt Inn
4/ IVY AND THE FOX Ivy and the Fox café is located at Old Canberra House, as part of the Australian National University grounds in Acton, 2 kms west of the CBD. These beautiful grounds are idyllic in the warmer months to sit outside under the shade of the trees and enjoy the weather. In the colder months, relax in an cosy armchair by the fireplace and enjoy the food and hospitality at this historic location, built in 1912. While watching the birdlife, look through the trees to catch glimpses of Lake Burley Griffin beyond. See here for Ivy and the Fox details.
5/ OLD CANBERRA INN Continuing on with the historical theme, the Old Canberra Inn is Canberra's oldest pub - it even pre-dates Canberra itself! Built in 1857, it is located in the suburb of Lyneham, 9 kms north of the city. It was a popular stop on the Yass to Queanbeyan coach run and history is evident in every piece of wood and nail in this restored building. With two fireplaces in the main bar, this pub will be a toasty place to sit and enjoy a beer and burger over the winter months. See here for Old Canberra Inn details.
Beer and burgers by the fire at the historical Old Canberra Inn
6/ LANYON CAFE Lanyon Café is another historical site, set at the Lanyon Homestead in Tuggeranong, 29 kms south of the city. This historical property built in 1859 was established by early settlers to Canberra and is a beautiful homestead to walk around, with scenic gardens and vegetable plots to explore. The produce picked from the plots are used by the café on their seasonal menu. The café itself is inside a 19th century rustic building which was originally used for storage when the homestead was built. Bend low to walk in the door and sit back and enjoy the original features of this fascinating building, by the warmth of a working fireplace. See here for Lanyon Café details.
7/ ROSE COTTAGE This rustic pub is also located in Tuggeranong, in the suburb of Gilmore, 17 kms south of the city. This pub is built around two historical buildings from the late 1800s in the early settler period, with a working fireplace inside Mary's Bar, where you bend your head to walk in. Around the property in Winter you will find drums burning wood, so you can sit outside by a roaring fire and catch up with friends. In one of the function areas, The Glasshouse, there is also a large fireplace with tables nearby to enjoy the warmth inside. If there are no functions on, this area is open to the public to enjoy this interesting, historical location in comfort. See here for Rose Cottage details.
8/ KINGSTON HOTEL This local favourite pub is located just 6 kms south of the city. It opened in 1930 after the alchool ban was lifted in the ACT and it has been a local favourite ever since. Due to it's historical background, it has a number of open fireplaces, some of which located inside Maddies Bistro where you can enjoy your meal by the fire. With bushranger art and original features of this family friendly pub, it is a cosy place to spend the afternoon enjoying the food, drinks, pool tables and live sport on the large TV's. See here for Kingston Hotel details.
9/ WALT AND BURLEY This modern bar and restaurant is located on the trendy shores of the Kingston Foreshore, a few kilometres south of the city. This strip of restaurants and waterside cafes can be enjoyed all year round, especially at Walt and Burley with their fireplace warming up the cosy, timber interior. Warm your hands and enjoy pork belly and a pinot by the fire, as you look out to views of Lake Burley Griffin. See here for Walt and Burley details.
10/ CORIN FOREST RETREAT
Lastly, and the most furtherest away, is Corin Forest Mountain Retreat, 48 kms south west of the CBD and up in the mountain ranges. This retreat is a winter snow wonderland, as snow falls to ground level up at this elevated position a couple of times a winter. They also have snow machines covering a small area of the property for sledding and snowman-building in the winter months. When you have finished, come back down to the café and enjoy a woodfired pizza or hot chocolate by the roaring fireplace. With temperatures 5 to 10 degrees colder than Canberra's CBD, take an extra jacket up this mountain location. See here for Corin Forest details.
Sit by the fire with a wood fired pizza at Corin Forest
These are ten toasty locations to enjoy a fireplace around the city, however also check out Tulips Café in Pialligo, which has a children's playground out the back to enjoy afterwards. Grazing restaurant in Gundaroo over the border is a historical building with a dedicated Fireplace Room. Lake George Winery has dining by the fire and The Smokehouse Café at the Poachers Pantry in the wine district has a wood fire to enjoy a meal by. Flint restaurant at Shaw Vineyards has a fireplace in the dining area or stop for a cheese platter and wine tasting by the fire at Murrumbateman Winery.Griffins Bar at the historic Hyatt Hotel has a roaring fireplace to enjoy a quiet drink by and Farmhouse restaurant in Pialligo has fireside fine dining. For the kids, stop for a hot drink at Stripey Sundae Icecream Parlour at Gold Creek Village to warm up in the winter months.
Wherever you go to warm up on these chilly mornings and evenings, sit back and enjoy the crackle of a fireplace in Canberra's cafes, pubs, restaurants and wineries. Whether you go for the spit and hiss of a real fire in a historical pub or marvel at the new modern fireplaces with natural gas warmth, the coldest months in Canberra can also be the toastiest.
Warm up with the kids at Stripey Sundae, Gold Creek