Cool off for National Library and Galleries Cafes | Canberra weather


what’s new, food and wine, National Library, National Portrait Gallery, Ex-libris café, Pollen café

The cafes of the National Library and the National Portrait Gallery are changing hands. The National Library has announced that its popular Bookplate cafe will reopen soon, as its current caterer Tracy Kelley looks to consolidate and focus on running a single cafe, Pollen at the Botanical Gardens. The new caterer is being finalized and Bookplate hopes to reopen later this month. It will always be called Ex-libris, a name belonging to the library. Ms Keely said her hosting company Poppy and Maude needed to make some changes following the COVID lockdowns and the decision to leave Bookplate was purely financial. She had run Bookplate for seven years and said it had been a “wonderful experience”. Ms Keely will continue to run Pollen with her sons Nick and Matt, saying COVID has forced tough decisions, including consolidating her business. “It’s a decision a lot of hotel companies have had to make,” Ms. Keely said. “At the end of the day, someone will go over there and do an amazing job because it’s such an amazing place and the library is such a wonderful place to work. The staff have been only supportive.” The Portrait Cafe at the National Portrait Gallery will also be closed for several days next week as The Fresh Collective takes over as new directors of Broadbean Catering and Events. READ MORE: Cafe will stay open until 2 p.m. on Monday, then close until Thursday to allow for change. A pop-up will be at the gallery Tuesday and Wednesday to keep visitors caffeinated. A spokesperson for the gallery said the new cafe arrangements had gone through a rigorous tendering process. “There was a wide range of interested parties with a wide range of operating styles and ideas. We have indicated in the specifications that we want a contemporary operator, strong not only in functions but also in the sector of stylish and quality retail cafes, ”read gallery statement. Sydney-based hotel group The Fresh Collective will operate the Portrait Cafe and will be the caterer for on-site events. “They have extensive experience working with a number of national cultural institutions across the country, providing exceptional food and great value for money,” the gallery said. “The NPG would like to recognize the exceptional service provided by Broadbean Catering and Events which have served us so well for most of the past decade. The library also wished Ms. Keely the best, who will continue to develop Pollen in the Australian National Botanic Gardens as a cafe and venue for special events. Ex-libris would always remain close to his heart. “Honestly, it has been the most wonderful experience of my life for the past seven years,” she said. “Being able to work with my sons was the gem.” Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:



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