About Michelle Rowe

Michelle Rowe has worked for publications including the Bangkok Post, the UK’s Daily and Sunday Mirror newspapers and Australia’s Woman’s Day magazine during her 25-year journalism career. Her roles as a food columnist and travel editor with The Weekend Australian newspaper, WISH magazine and Australian Gourmet Traveller mean she’s always on the lookout for the hidden gems in hospitality, and the movers and shakers behind them. After several years leading corporate communications teams in the tourism, energy and property sectors, Michelle now runs Canberra-based communications consultancy PitchPerfect Media. Her biggest surprise on moving to Canberra two years ago? “The food and wine scene here is amazing!”

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The Institutions: Queanbeyan’s Melita Coffee Lounge still going strong after 33 years
Food & Wine
The unassuming cafe on Queanbeyan’s busiest street wouldn’t win any awards for its décor. Beige walls completely unadulterated by pictures, a smattering of bare wooden tables and chairs lining its periphery, and a drinks fridge and a small display of cakes and slices at the service counter are pretty much the shape of things as you step inside Melita Coffee...
An Insider’s Guide to Queanbeyan
Queanbeyan is undergoing a renaissance, with a vibrant $74 million civic and cultural precinct on the way, a thriving arts and entertainment scene and heritage buildings getting a new lease on life as exhibition and community spaces. But the beating heart of the city remains its community spirit, say those who know it better than most. The Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council...
Visit Braidwood … and take home a gourmet souvenir
Food & Wine
Braidwood’s farming community and local producers make the most of the region's cool climate by offering a plethora of fresh produce and gourmet goods you won't find anywhere else. Looking for a gourmet souvenir to take home after you visit this gorgeous heritage-listed town? Here’s our pick of the bunch, and tips on where you can get your hands on...
A food-lover’s guide to Braidwood
Food & Wine
The small town of Braidwood in the NSW Southern Tablelands, less than an hour’s drive from Canberra, is not just a pretty face. A burgeoning food scene has cool cafes and eclectic restaurants sitting side by side with producers of everything from honey and black garlic to mountain pepper-flavoured pastas. We checked out some of Braidwood’s gourmet highlights. Breakfast at...
A shopaholic’s guide to Bungendore
From exquisite handmade jewellery and singular artworks to quirky antiques and high-end homewares, there’s no end to the tantalising treasures to be found in Bungendore. Charge up the credit card and head for this shopper’s paradise, right on Canberra’s doorstep. Manon & Moss Stepping through the door of the pretty grey and white cottage at 14 Malbon Street is to...
Meet the makers: Whey to go! Cheesemaking for beginners in Bungendore
Food & Wine
The thought of attending a three-hour class involving a lot of stretching would normally have me running screaming for the hills. But it’s a new year, and I’ve resolved to work on overcoming my pathological fear of exercise and also to learn a few new things. I seem to have found the perfect combination of the two with a cheesemaking...
A food-lover’s guide to Bungendore
Food & Wine
Just half an hour’s drive east of Canberra, the pretty town of Bungendore has morphed into a gourmet food destination without us even knowing it. From cooking classes and cellar door experiences to authentic French food and pub grub that’s a cut above your usual fare, Bungendore has all the ingredients for the perfect gourmet getaway. Follow our itinerary for...
Meet the Makers: Seaweed scientist Jo Lane’s tasty new venture
Food & Wine
It’s hard to imagine a better office than the one Jo Lane heads to each week. The crystal clear waters of Mystery Bay and Glasshouse Rocks on the NSW South Coast form the backdrop for her morning ritual of gathering the golden kelp that has washed ashore overnight. Marine scientist Jo and her husband Warren Atkins own Sea Health Products,...
New Gourmet Coast food trail will offer an authentic taste of the south
Food & Wine
Dreaming of Perigord truffles, a rich and creamy camembert or a Mediterranean-style seafood platter accompanied by a jaunty little Verdelho? The good news is that you don’t need to head to France, Spain or Portugal to satisfy your craving. All this, and much more, is available on our doorstep, and a new gourmet food trail will make it easier than...
Meet the Makers: black garlic producer John Pye
Food & Wine
John Pye is a man who hates waste. So after 15 years as a garlic farmer, faced with discarding the imperfect bulbs that would almost certainly be rejected by consumers, things were starting to grate. What to do with all that wasted produce became a preoccupation. At first, John experimented with smoked garlic, but without much of a market for...
Award-winning former Zanzibar team flex their mussels at Banksia Restaurant in Pambula
Food & Wine
With international travel off the menu for the foreseeable future, it’s hardly surprising that many of us are taking to the road to explore our own backyard. The time and money normally spent on foreign holidays is being funnelled back into the domestic economy – COVID-19 restrictions permitting – and it’s a shot in the arm for the beleaguered hospitality...
The good oil helping to reinvigorate a Yass landmark
Charlie de la Barre de Nanteuil and his wife Julia are standing in the grand ballroom of their new home, contemplating the future. With its dark wooden floors, Georgian green walls and sweeping balcony with ornate wrought iron railings, the elegant space conjures up a bygone era. And well it might. Charlie and Julia are the new custodians of The...