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The Rock-itt : November 2010
Roughly in the same area but a little higher is the Telstra Tower, it’s huge, gives a great view of Canberra and its surroundings from a really high viewing platform which costs $7 to access by elevator. I’ve done it now and I probably won’t be beating a path back to it but it was worthwhile just for the pictures. We stayed in one of the many apartment hotels around the city; ours was the Clifton on Northbourne which we have stayed in a couple of times before. It costs about $200 a night for a one bedroom apartment, it’s clean and functional but this time I felt it was a bit sterile. I think $200 should buy something a bit better; I hated the cheap Chinese plasma TV and the dowdy lighting so we’ll be moving on the next time. Good thing about being on Northbourne though, apart from it being a short stroll into the City is that it’s also a short stroll from one of the gems of Canberra. The Wig and Pen pub, it’s in the Canberra House Arcade on Alinga St. and it’s the only pub I know in Australia that serves Ale in the Pommie way, cellar temperature and via hand pump. I love the 4 Pines in Manly but the beer is too cold. To be fair the Wig and Pen is a fairly basic pub but totally functional and does really good pub food. We went in all three nights we were there (and a couple of lunchtimes!) it was really busy every time with a predominately young clientele. All the beer is brewed on the premises; you won’t find any of the stuff usually found in every bar in Oz, it’s a VB free area! If British Beer is not your style owner macro biologist Lachlan McOmish also brews beer and lagers in the Czech and German styles which are served chillingly cold. It first opened in 1994 and I would honestly just drive there from Sydney for a pint of its Bulldog Bitter if there was nothing else in the city other than this brilliant pub. http://www.wigandpen.com.au/ Right next door is a vegetarian Chinese Restaurant which was excellent but our favourite place to eat was the Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant just round the corner from the Wig and pen in the Melbourne Building on the London Circuit. We didn’t have much luck finding any live music in the City whilst we were there, Tilly’s Devine Café used to be a really good live venue, I saw a great Richard Thompson gig there but the owners seem to have scaled back shows to just one a month which is a disappointment. However they do have The Church playing there on December 4 th , maybea good time to get down there again for the Church and the Bulldog!! It’s a Richea Dracophylla, from Tazzy and it’s in the Botanical gardens. Gippsland Water Dragons add splendour to the Botanical Gardens The Telstra Tower, you probably helped pay for this! The Wig and Pen, modest on the outside but for me it’s like the Taj Mahal on the inside. The bar maid works her magic with the Wig and Pens hand pumps.