So, what is a typical Saturday in Canberra like? It can be as exciting and as low-key as you want it to be. There is no perfect Saturday, but ours last week was almost perfect!
We started our morning with delicious breakfast at the Museum Cafe. We picked a table outside, facing the water and watch the dragon boats race down the lake. Food at the cafe is by Broadbean Catering, which we have heard quite a bit about. And it is no surprise as to why.
Joseph had the buttermilk pancakes with berry compote and maple mascarpone and it was absolutely divine! It was the best pancake dish we have had in Canberra, no exaggeration here. I ordered the baked eggs and sourdough toast with grilled asparagus on the side. I enjoyed it to bits, it was light and fluffy. I did wish for my sourdough to have a more generous spread of butter on it, but it’s only a small issue for the crunchy and lightly salted grilled asparagus more than made up for it.
We stayed and sipped on our decadent hot chocolates, gazing across the lake until it was time to head over to the National Library.
We were visiting the library to view their newest exhibition which we were really excited about. We have travelled to Xi’an, a year ago and learnt about the first imperial dynasty called the Qin Dynasty that was famous for its Terracotta Warriors, unique culture/religion and food.
Having an opportunity to learn about the last imperial dynasty of China in our own backyard was not something we would miss.
“The Celestial Empire exhibition presents a unique selection of works from the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). The selection of books, maps and other documents produced under the dynasty represent a journey through different levels of society. They are used as markers in a tour of life in China over the last centuries of imperial rule.” ~ National Library of Australia
The Qing dynasty ruled China for nearly 270 years before it became the Republic of China on 1 January 1912. My favourite bit about the exhibition was that most documents had two forms of writings on them, the Manchu script and Chinese script. We found the Manchu script extremely beautiful to look at.
I was also very intrigued by the bright red silk Marriage Contract but it only had a very small description on what it entails. The topographic maps were amazing to look at, the details on them were fantastically preserved.
The National Library is a very interesting place and has a lot of to offer. If you are history buffs like us, you might want to consider becoming Friends of the Library.
Celestial Empire: Life in China, 1644-1911 will be on until 22 May 2016. Entry is free, but bookings are required. You can get your tickets here. Photography is not allowed in the exhibit. NLA is located at Parkes Pl W, Canberra ACT 2600.