Canberra: Eat, drink, art
Read on for your chance to win tickets to the NGA’s Tom Roberts exhibition high tea at the Wedgwood Tearoom and overnight accommodation at Hotel hotel Canberra. Entry form at the end of this article.
AS A senior lecturer in Political Science at the University of Canberra, Dr Michael De Percy is no stranger to the workings of the capital.
He is also well versed on how to enjoy the city and its unique attractions.
As a member of the National Gallery of Australia for the past few years, Michael recently attended the highly anticipated Tom Roberts Exhibition.
“The NGA does things extremely well. You can really see the improvement in the way they do things over the years,” he said.
Although Michael is no art expert, he is a self-confessed fan of the period of Australian art that produced Tom Roberts’s most loved art works.
“The amount of his work they have on display is amazing. It has been very well put together,” he said.
“The exhibition shows the context of art in the artist’s life so we get the story of the artist’s life.”
Michael was particularly taken with the ambitious canvas The Big Picture which depicts the opening of the first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.
“I’ve never seen it up this close before and the electronic information tablet on the post beside it allows you to identify who’s who in the painting.”
A photo showing the artist working on the painting really added to the experience.
Other highlights included Roberts' impressionistic take on Sydney’s Mosman Bay, and some of the artist’s less well-known works.
To enhance your enjoyment Michael suggests the audio tour and souveniring the Catalogue Tom Roberts Exhibition hard cover book.
Before viewing the exhibition Michael and his companions fortified themselves with a high tea in the newly established Wedgwood Tearoom – a great addition to the NGA’s repertoire of cafes.
“The ambience of the tearoom is a bit minimalist, but it does give you the impression of what it would be like to be in a Melbourne tearoom of the era,” he said.
The Wedgwood themed tearoom has breathed new life into the members lounge.
“The Wedgwood colours and patterns make it really fresh and colourful and the furniture is far more comfortable than what was there before.”
The addition of the Wedgwood crockery makes the high tea feel like a real occasion.
The service was excellent too and the NGA has succeeded in creating an atmosphere that is both formal but relaxed at the same time he said.
The high tea is full of Australian flavours inspired by Tom Roberts and his works but is a proper high tea in the traditional manner with a great balance between savoury and sweet.
Like Michael you can enjoy the view of eucalypts and mountains as you feast on:
- Mini asparagus, leek and melted gruyere tart
- Baked buttermilk scones with local berry preserve and double cream
- Dame Nellie Melbas sublime opera cake
- Lemon and yoghurt curd tart with toasted meringue
- Petitie Peach Melba cake with white peach buttercream
- Jam drop shortbread with lavender sugar
- Served with Wedgwood original tea or T2 Loose leaf teas or coffee
High tea at the Wedgwood Tearoom
Served from 10am to 4.30pm daily
Contact: Bookings can be made on 6240 6711, or Ticketek as part of a Tom Roberts exhibition package.
Qantas and Virgin Australia fly regularly to Canberra from Sydney and Melbourne. The capital is 3.5 hours' drive from Sydney, eight hours from Melbourne.