It was a random meeting in another city. She was beautiful. A card was exchanged with a request. To tell about my city for, you see, she was expecting to visit in the near future. So this is for that beautiful lady, for you as well, for anybody and everyone.
Of course I love my city. In my eyes it is perfect in every way, especially its size. From my abode by the river, on the outskirts, I can be in the city centre in about twenty minutes and out to the other side in around thirty.
I love its weather. The seasons are distinct, not blurred and from its CBD it is possible to see snow atop kunanyi at any time of year. What other capital can give one that?
I love the harbour or, as we say, the river. I love going to a place with a view across it, perhaps Wrest Point. There I can sit up in the Sportsman’s Bar, by its vast windows, whilst my lovely lady is having an occasional little flutter. With book or newspaper in hand I am totally at bliss, supping on an ale, as well as checking out the ever-changing aspect across the river. Further upstream, from our much smaller windows at home we can look across the same but very different river. It’s magic, a magnet for my eyes.
I love the vibrancy of my city’s arts scene. Mona has given it an amazing lift and in itself is amazing. But the TMAG (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery) is worth your attention as well. There are smaller galleries dotted about Salamanca and I particularly relish exhibitions at the Long Gallery in the arts centre there. I am a regular at MAC, the Moonah Arts Centre too. I know the local writing and music scene are on a roll as well.
And there are restaurants to love. I’ve read the talk of the town, at the moment, are the following – Dier Maker (123 Collins), Franklin (30 Argyle) and Etties (130 Elizabeth). Leigh and I are not talk of the town type of people, but we have our own favourites – the Roaring Grill (301 Elizabeth), the Italian Pantry (131-133 Murray St ) and Urban Greek (103 Murray). On the outskirts the Agrarian Kitchen (11A The Avenue, New Norfolk) recently received 4.5 stars from the Australian’s respected critic John Lethlean. In the same neck of the woods we delight in the Patchwork Cafe (15 George) at the Willow Court Complex. Check out the antique emporiums whilst you are in New Norfolk – they are fascinating. We also frequent 12 Stones at Pontville for special occasions. Immediately across the river from our home is the Stefano Lubiana Osteria for special wines and tucker, as well as spectacular views. If hamburgers are the go, we head to Burgerhaus in North Hobart (364A Elizabeth).
Love coffee? My lovely lady and I are happy enough with Coffee Club, Banjo’s and Hudsons, but here’s the hype. The best in the city, reportedly, has always been Villino (30 Criterion), but Pilgrim (48 Argyle) and Yellow Bernard (1/109 Collins) are snapping at its heels. If in Moonah, step into the Magnolia Cafe, on the main drag (73), for something a little different.
I love my city’s markets. Of course the Saturday one at Salamanca is the jewel in the crown, but I think there is an even better vibe at Sunday’s Farmgate in the CBD. If you’re in Richmond of a Saturday, go to its delightful village variety and for something completely rustic there’s Collinsvale, held monthly. Beautiful drive up behind kunanyi to it too. The Saturday High Street Market at New Norfolk is worth a visit as well.
Do you love just rambling around? I do too. Salamanca, Battery Point and dockside are ideal. At the latter slip into the Brooke Street Pier. It floats. The IXLside, opposite Salamanca and in the old disreputable part of town once called Wapping, is great for browsing. The Drunken Admiral with its famous seafood meals (17/19 Hunter) can be found here and if the nation’s oldest pub, the Hope and Anchor (65 Macquarie) is open, go in, have a bevy by all means, but be sure to check out upstairs. Daytrips to the Tasman Peninsula, detouring to the Sorell Berry Farm for some fruit picking in season, are popular. Take the Southern Expressway, too, up over Vince’s Saddle to the Huon gems of Cygnet and Franklin. Go the other way to Kettering and catch the ferry across to Bruny Island. It has oysters, cheese and it’s own brewery. What more could you want? Scenery? That’s stunning on the island too. Richmond is close by to Hobs and the trip in from Cambridge has multiple stopping off places for fine wine or some repast. Back in town, one of my favourite hang-outs is the State Cinema complex in North Hobart for mainstream and art house flicks, as well as its cafe and bookshop. Other esteemed retailers of the printed word are Fullers (131 Collins St) and the Hobart Bookshop in Salamanca. A great shop is Red Parka (22 Criterion) for something quite unique and across the road is Cool Wines (Shop 8, MidCity Arcade) boasting eclectic wines and beers.
If wine is indeed the go for you, around the outskirts are numerous cellar doors. Our fav is Puddle Duck (992 Richmond Rd ). A tour of the historic Cascade Brewery is very interesting, with Hobs also gaining a reputation for its craft brewers. We visit Shambles, 222 Elizabeth St, between the city and NoHo (North Hobart).
For history buffs the Female Factory is a must and then there are the festivals – the Taste of Tasmania around the new year, the amazing Dark MoFo at the height of winter and the biannual Wooden Boats.
So come to my city of Hobart, compact and small. It can no longer boast a rush minute rather than a rush hour, but the pace of life is certainly a tad slower than in the big boys on the island to the north. I am lucky enough to partake of some of the world’s freshest air and purest water each and every day as well. And our wine, beer and whiskey are top notch. I love it. You will too