Canberra has a bad reputation with a lot of Australians and since it is the seat of government, I can understand that.
But guys, the overwhelming majority of people who live in Canberra are not politicians. In fact, some of us are even nice!
Despite the politicians, there are a lot of great things about living in Canberra. It's a very pretty place - nestled in a valley, surrounded by hills and mountains. The designers have tried to keep the bush as an intricate part of the city, so you can access trees and hills and paths to walk really easily - often from your own home.
Lake Burley Griffin is the centre of the city and it's a lovely place - if you come to visit and you are staying in the city, you will be driving alongside it for some of the trip and you will see what I mean.
But it's not just the physical beauty that makes Canberra a great place to live - pound for pound, Canberra bats well above average when it comes to great food and wine.
You often don't have to travel far to find an amazing restaurant - some of the best are built in the suburbs. For example, the suburb of Pearce has an amazing Ethiopian restaurant. Swinger Hill (which is a weird little place, nearly all government built units and townhouses) has the best Indian restaurant I have found so far in Canberra (their black dahl is to die for). And then there are areas like the new Kingston foreshore which has been purpose built to include fabulous dining options.
Here in my home town of Queanbeyan (just outside of Canberra), one of our pubs has a restaurant that turns out amazing food - not your normal pub stuff (not that there's anything wrong with that, I love me a good parma) but gastronomic delights that leave you sighing with joy (see photo above).
The Importance of Ernestine will introduce you to some of the best of Canberra eateries. I had no choice - if you've seen the play The Importance of Being Earnest, then you will know that Algernon is obsessed with food. He's forever eating and even stealing food from other characters and banning them from partaking while he scoffs it down. My Algernon (called Alec) is similarly food obsessed, so consider the book a bit of a list of where to eat in Canberra.
Join it up with The Making of Henri Higgins, also set in Canberra and also featuring some great places to eat, and you will know exactly where to go when you are next in Canberra.