I've managed to squeeze a weekend away to Canberra. It's autumn, the grapes in the vineyards are ripe for the picking and it's Harvest Festival time.
Good opportunity to try out some new digs that have hotted up the Canberra accommodation scene recently.
Hotel Realm is a new 5 star sprawling accommodation, spa and entertainment hub in the Canberra suburb of Barton just behind Parliament House.
We stayed in a one-bedroom apartment with a balcony overlooking a park and Parliament house in the distance. There are 186 rooms in total.
Really comfortable beds and linen - although we did find the room temperature difficult to stablise - either a little too hot or too cold!
These apartments are going to be a hit with Canberra's itinerant public servants and long-stay guests - full size kitchen with all the gadgetry including sharp knives. There was also a washing machine and dryer.
A fruit plate on arrival....
Stylish and well laid-out bathroom..
...designed with woman in mind. A good make up mirror and plenty of space for toiletries..
a good-sized bath that sadly we didn't have time to sample..
The view from the balcony
and the fiery sky at sunset.
The Hotel Realm has three restaurants and a bar with a very uber-chic courtyard. It was hard to believe we were still in suburban Canberra.
For dinner we went for the wood-fired marguerita pizza..
... with a caprese salad. Excellently prepared with fresh ingredients. Highly recommend it.
The next morning - less than 20 mins away - the Lerida Estate and Lark Hill wineries beckoned...
chooks scratching amongst the vines for bugs
And a quartet playing some chilled jazz..
The Hotel Realm is going to really shake-up the Canberra scene not only for travellers but for locals who now have a very cool quarter that will put Canberra on the international map.
Saucy Onion stayed as a guest of the Hotel Realm.