Winter comfort in the Southern Tablelands

It has been a year since Matthew and I moved to Canberra from Sydney, after a lifetime of being a Sydneysider for him and ten years for me. In Canberra, our lives have improved in many ways: there is less traffic, more room to breathe, and a deeper quality of friendships.

Sometimes I find myself missing the chaos of the city, listening to its background hum and smelling charcuterie as it wafts in from the local chicken shop a hundred metres away. I miss the slightly heavy feel of the air burdened by moisture and the fragrance of sub-tropical blooms—excitement and something new ever to be discovered right outside.

With the quiet comes calm. In the past twelve months I’ve found myself better able to focus on work, moments in our life, and working on our small business together. Life in a smaller city takes on a slower and sharper quality, ready to be savoured.

One of Canberra’s best features is its setting in natural bushlands and the quantity of cool climate produce and wine made in surrounding towns. You can drive an hour outside the territory in any direction and find yourself in a country town.

On a Saturday in June, the day before Matthew’s birthday, we drove to Laggan Pantry for dinner and an overnight stay at their cottage. We arrived to charming surrounds, a welcome party that included a border collie named Obi (tears were shed when we drove away the next day), dinner at the farmhouse restaurant, and we even peeped at the local Sunday market.

Happy birthday, Matthew!