1st/65 London Cct, Canberra
go for: the superb cocktail list and sublime bench seats
At inception, this was so cool and un-Canberra. Nick Smith and his team opened a bar, like they were hiding it, secreting it in one of Canberra’s stately original buildings, overlooking law courts and police central. Installed a turntable, cocktail bar, put up a few posters, like he was recreating his bedroom. Then did a deep dive into the natural wine puddle, filled the shelves with every spirit known to man, found a brilliant kitchen team and created something very special. It’s the ACT’s ace up the sleeve when out-a-towners diss on our tidy, organised streets. Bryan Martin
G27/6 Provan St, Campbell
go for: the charcuterie platter anD takeaway lo-fi wines
With open arms we welcome Max Walker – not the over-arm medium paced bowler who so wonderfully backed Lillee and Thomo at the crease in cricket’s heyday. No, this Max Walker cut his teeth at Movida, Mary’s group and LP’s Quality Meats before settling in Campbell, of all places. It’s like having John Cooper Clarke as your librarian. Paranormal showcases a great range of modern wines, with an emphasis on minimal intervention and organic. Every bottle means something to Max, and is well priced, too. Pick up something to take away or sit and enjoy it with some good anchovies and lashings of charcuterie. Bryan Martin
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF BAR ROCHFORD AND PARANORMAL WINES.