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Stay your way at QT Canberra with local legend Fran Marshall, aka the The Food and Wine Marshall

Oct 20, 2023  ·  6 min read

At QT, every rule was made to be broken… the way any guest sees fit. From lazy days to riotous nights, we’re ready to embrace how each and every QTie stays their way at ours.

We sat down with Fran Marshall from The Food and Wine Marshall, local legend and supporter of the Canberra wine industry, on her favourite way to live the QT Life (plus a few other tidbits).


Tell us Fran, what are you looking for in a hotel stay?

I want a sense of luxury that is not so obvious. QT Canberra just feels good when you walk through the front door, like you know there’s amazing times about to be had! It’s the small things that matter like the hello smile from front of house staff and suggestions of what I can experience both inside the hotel and in the local NewActon surrounds.

What’s your ideal stay away? Dream scenario?

Well, I want amazing food and wine at my fingertips, and if I don’t have to the leave the hotel, then I won’t!

My ideal comfort is enjoying the best food and fine wine and then taking full advantage of my luxe accommodation. I want to indulge with all the luxury amenities and binge watch my favourite movies on a big, soft, hotel bed with fat, fluffy QT pillows. Then, if I was feeling adventurous, I would head down to the bar for a night cap and a late-night snack, or maybe even room service. Heaven.

Favourite thing about QT?

Every QT Hotel I stay at feels like I’m coming home, even if it’s 800km’s away. And I’m obsessed with the QT scent. It’s exotic, exciting, and smells like a beautiful home, one that you don’t want to leave.

QT Hotels also always have interesting designs and artwork to look at, areas to wander through, and décor to marvel at. Each QT is its own adventure, its magic.

You’re a food and wine lover, tell us, what is your favourite food on the menu at QT Canberra?

My favourite dining experience at Capitol Bar & Grill starts off with the freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters with a mignonette. If I’m feeling super luxurious, I’ll add a bump of caviar and sip on a glass of Perrier-Jouët. It’s the best way to start the night!

My fave entrée is the spanner crab dish. It’s so more-ish, and made with fresh, creamy spanner crab, and served with crispy focaccia and hot sauce. Delectable.

For mains I can’t go past the chef’s dry aged bone in Yambinya rib eye, served medium rare, and ALWAYS with béarnaise sauce and fries.

And for dessert, it’s the cheese cart for me. Roll it my way, and I’ll happily select the creamy, gooey, soft cheese with another glass of Champagne.

What’s your go-to coffee order?

Flat white with one sugar – full cream milk and almost at room temp. I want that coffee immediately and don’t want to wait for it to cool down.

Here’s an important one! What is your favourite wine on the Capitol Bar & Grill wine list?

It has to be a local. The Sapling Yard Four Pinots Pet Nat goes with just about anything, including good times and conversation. And did I mention it’s also cracking with the puffed pork skin, chives, cultured cream and salmon roe? To die for. If I want to enjoy a bottle with friends, I’m also partial to the Extrovert, a delicious red blend that pairs perfectly with a medium rare rib eye.

Favourite local vineyard?

Sapling Yard for sure!

What’s your holiday tune on the soundtrack to your life?

EDM is my jam. Deadmau5 The Veldt is nine minutes of cool that gets me in the mood for anything. As soon as the first few bars play, I have to turn it up all the way.

Introvert or extrovert?

I’m an introverted extrovert, I’m forced to be extroverted because of my job, but I adore and crave solitude.

Drink of choice?

I’m an extra dirty gin martini, made with Four Pillars Olive Leaf gin and three olives, kinda girl. It’s a snack and a cocktail all in one, and the perfect kick-off for every event I attend.

What’s your favourite way to relax?

I save my favourite TV series, and dive into on a Sunday afternoon. Paired with a bottle of wine and a cheese and charcuterie platter, I could binge watch for hours.

What are you reading/watching/listening to?

The only things I read are social media captions and hashtags, but I watch a lot of TV. I am obsessed with BBC murder mysteries, who doesn’t love a bit of Idris? I’m also fangirling over “And Just Like That” for the fashion, handbags and jewellery. Swoon.

Controversial, what’s the best & worst thing about travelling?

Best thing about travelling is packing all my matching outfits, handbags, shoes and jewellery, and getting on that bus, train or plane and escaping.

The worst part is coming home and having to unpack my bags, do the washing.

What was your last text message…

“Perhaps he thought you didn’t know 😊”

Best place in Canberra?

Best place in Canberra is Capitol Bar & Grill, I feel like it’s my second home.

So Fran, what’s your guilty pleasure?

I don’t have any guilty pleasures. I believe life is too short to feel guilty about pleasure. Sometimes these moments are few and far between, so you’ve got to grab ‘em while you can.

Your favourite thing to splurge on?

Handbags, shoes and earrings. I love supporting small businesses so will always buy any one of these from a local store when travelling.

Summer or winter?

Spring 😊 I don’t cope well in the heat, and hate feeling bulky in winter.

Night out or in?

My perfect night is to get ready and go out for drinks and a fabulous dinner, and then be home in time to watch a whole movie. Now that’s perfect adulting.

Early bird or night owl

An absolute night owl, I never get the worm. Ever.


Thank you so much for sharing with us Fran! So, are you seeking wild or mild for your next stay at QT Canberra?

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