Tuesday 17 October 2023

Sweet bones, street art and statues in Canberra

Before driving home from my friend's place, I stopped in Canberra for something to eat and to soak up the vibe.  If you listen to the media you will find elites, suits and a bubble in our national capital.  But Braddon, where I stopped for a vegan brunch, was more of the urban hipster variety.

When I think Canberra roads I think grey roundabouts that are confusing and soulless.  This rainbow roundabout was unexpectedly colourful.  It was on the corner of Lonsdale Street where Sweet Bones is located.

Sweet Bones at first sight appears to be one of the boring modern buildings of Canberra.  But the front door feels welcoming with a wooden sign, cacti and a wheelbarrow of plants. 

A mural at the back of the cafe continues the Western aesthetic.  However I could not work out what "eat like you give a damn" until I googled it and found it to be the title of a vegan cookbook, and suddenly it made sense because a vegan diet is come from caring about animals and the environment.  (Also I found that I had made a favourite kale salad from the book.)

I really liked the vegan menu.  It was a treat to have multiple options of tofu scramble and coconut bacon.  I ended up passing on the Breakfast Burger and Rusty McMuffin in favour of The Big Breakfast.  On the menu it was "Tofu scramble, sautéed mushrooms, sourdough lightly toasted, hummus, coconut bacon, smashed avocado, spinach, tomato wedge and mixed spiced seeds." ($25.50) 

My plate was so full that it took a while to realise the spinach and mushrooms were missing.  I really loved the meal.  The seeds were an excellent and unusual addition.  I mentioned the missing vegies at the counter and the woman casually said she forgot but I could have a free cupcake.  I chose a bliss ball that was really nice though I was full and saved it for during the long drive to Melbourne.

Then I wandered around the area and enjoyed taking some photos of street art before my parking meter was expired.  I really liked Braddon and there were a few nice cafes nearby.

Quite a bit of the street art I liked was in the driveways of the car parks.  Does that make it driveway art?  I wouldn't mind some of my local car parks.

Then I had a drive to see some iconic buildings such as Parliament House and the War Memorial.  I am not sure if this is "Civic" which was how my Canberra friends would refer to what we can the City.  I felt quite nostalgic for previous trips to Canberra when I drove through the older suburbs past the lovely 1930s bungalows like in this photo.

I ended up on the majestic Anzac Avenue that links the War Memorial and Parliament House with great views from either end.  I have never stopped to explore the monuments on the side of the road and was quite impressed, although I could not find the World War II memorial.  I started with this Boer War memorial with great movement in the horse riding statues, that represented an old way of war.

The World War I statue was an old fashioned horses and riders statue on a plinth.  Simple and victorious!

The Vietnam War memorial was more modern with the complexity of that war reflected in the pictures and a wall of quotes.  I would have liked to read all of them but had to move on to start driving home.

The last memorial I saw was the Korean War memorial.  This is a soldier I would not have wanted to come across.  I was not sure if the poles represented forests or prisoner of war camps but it did represent how war places barriers around us.  I looked further for the World War II memorial and then started the 7 hour drive home.

Sweet Bones Bakery and Cafe
8/18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT  2612


  1. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing these pics.

  2. I've had Sweet Bones on my wish list for years so I'm glad you see your review of it! Looks like a really great trip, although I'm sure the driving must have been tiring.


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