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Travel Diary

24 Hours in Canberra


©Kara Rosenlund

A couple of weeks back I dashed to Canberra, just for the night and stayed at Hotel Hotel – a 68 room hotel which I had been itching to visit for ages ….


… I only had 24 hours and it felt a little bit like I was in an episode of an Anthony Bordain TV show. I sampled, touched, ate, absorbed and photographed as much as I could, to give you an idea and feel of the extraordinary space and what it offers… which is a lot….


… my room was like a cocoon of darkness, totally engulfed with rich textures, curves and detailed finishes at every point…. everything had been considered.. and yes, I fell hard for the colour palette…. 


… one detail I read was that the rooms took their inspirational lead from the classic ‘Australian Shack’. Clay rendered walls, overhead rain showers in the bathroom and windows which can be opened for fresh air… my room felt really personal and intimate, it’s the little things…


… I even squeezed in a few hours of work which was a surprise, it’s funny when you take away the everyday distractions you can get more things done….

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…. within Hotel Hotel there is Monster Kitchen and Bar which serves local and seasonal dishes, including this one – Cured kingfish with kohlrabi, chilli, dried scallops and coriander…


…. then followed by this good looking fella – Yabby jaffle, can it get any better? With horseradish and creme fraiche… What a classic …. and I seriously pined for this for days afterwards.

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… I hung out in the library and inhaled some serious goodness off the pages of Hotel Hotel’s library….see, I really did try everything out for you…

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… and then I attended the book launch of Perfect Imperfect at the Nishi Gallery. Perfect Imperfect is the latest book by Karen McCartney, a woman who I seriously admire – such an exquisite journey through the concept of wabi – sabi – advocating beauty in the imperfections, handmade and the natural world.

Then there are the photographs in the book, where to start, such soulful visuals by photographer Sharyn Cairns and stylist Glen Proebstel, designed and art directed by Tracy Lines. With that line up of names this book was always going to hit it out of the park.. and it sure does…


 … the book launch was accompanied by an exhibition of the same name – bringing the pages of the interiors book to life and showcasing many artists work from the book – including fibre artist Jacqui Fink, sculptor Harriet Goodall, Hiroko Takeda, Julian Watts, Simon Hasan and Alison Coats – her ‘Folded Sculpture Palm Bark and Curiosity Cabinet is above – was such a favourite.


… Jacqui Fink’s ‘Woollie Shuck’ hanging….


… leather vessels by Simon Hasan and sculptures by Julian Watts


… this is a print of the Holy Trinity Church in Vienna and a collection of bakelite crystallography models from a private collection….


… limited edition photographic prints from the pages of Perfect Imperfect.

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… a woven wall hanging by New York based Japanese textile artist Hiroko Takeda, made from silk, mohair, linen and cotton.


… Fibre artist Jacqui Fink’s ‘Solace No.2’ made entirely from Australian merino wool…. the scale is jaw dropping… all arm knitted, one stitch at a time…yes – arm knitted…

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… Julian Watts’ ‘Tweezer Balls’ sculptures above and below and top right a detailed sculpture by Harriet Goodall


 … and that was it… my 24 hours at Hotel Hotel…. topped up on art, yabby jaffles and all things perfect imperfect….

K x







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