We enjoyed our stay in Hotel Hotel when we were in Canberra in January 2018. It’s in a great location in New Acton (where is old Acton I wonder), in easy walking distance of the lake. This meant we could enjoy evening walks admiring the views.

And we loved the public art works that we saw on the way. These are plentiful around what’s called the New Acton Art Precinct.

We also loved the artwork in the hotel itself. Lots of inventive stuff.

I really liked these figures in a case overlooking the bar. They reminded me of the artist Alberto Giacometti as seen in the movie Final Portrait. Eerie.

I’m not sure whether you would call this chair, furniture or art. It looked great in the corner of our floor near the lifts and was very comfortable.

We had a great meal at the hotel’s restaurant which is the critically acclaimed, but poorly named, Monster Kitchen and Bar. We thought the lay-out and decor were a little strange for a fine dining room. A rectangular galley, it felt more like being on a terrace, in which case we should have been overlooking something instead of stuck between a wall and a lounge which is where we were. Although we are told this restaurant is one of the few that, if you are sitting in the right place, gives you a view of the lake. Not so, where we were. I suppose it means the chef, Sean McConnell, brother of Andrew (Cumulus) and Matt (Bar Lourinha), is trying to suggest informality instead of fine dining. A signature McConnell thing perhaps. Doesn’t quite work in this setting I think.

Nevertheless its the food that really counts and it was fantastic. Lots of vegetable based dishes, although we discovered when we ate there with a vegetarian, my nephew, that most included a meat related ingredient. We loved it all, although I did’t take any photos until the desserts, which were both as delectable as they were pretty.

It was also great to have a cinema in the same building. We saw Sweet Country after our lovely lunch, and I’ve written about that here. In the meantime, here’s a picture of the two leads, Hamilton Morris who plays Sam Kelly and Natassia Gorey Furber who plays his wife Lizzie. Both give incredibly strong performances.

A great thing about the location of the hotel is its proximity to the National Museum, to which we walked one day. It’s quite a beautiful building when viewed from the lake.

I loved the Holden in the lobby. Joe spent a good part of his working life supporting an Australian car industry and we’d still have one if Labor and Kim Carr had stayed in power. Sad, that it has gone.

We were at the Museum to see the wonderful Songlines, Tracking the Seven Sisters exhibition. As a friend posted on Instagram, it’s a revelatory experience, and if it comes to other States I strongly recommend it. See here for a separate post on that.

Both to and from the museum we saw lots of wildlife, ducks on the water and rabbits and galahs on the grass. Also this magnificent dragon, who after this photo was taken, launched him/herself into the lake and swam to a nearby branch.

I also liked this lone chair settled in a little nook, a fine contemplative spot to look over the lake to Parliament House and ponder the state of the world.

We were also in walking distance of the Portrait Gallery where we saw an exhibition of photos relating to Australian films. This was also very good, although not as comprehensive as I would have liked. See here for a separate post on that.

From the Portrait Gallery we walked across to the National Gallery of Australia where we saw an exhibition of Hyper Real art, with which I was not simpatico at all, no reflection on the artists. See if you are unsettled by these works as I was here.


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