Parton / An old friend slips away…

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CALL me a dreamer, but I sorta figured that Tosolini’s would always be making coffee and serving meals on London Circuit. It’s one of the things that I thought would never change in this old town of ours.

Leader of the Opposition Zed Seselja and Mark Parton
Mark Parton.
Like a lot of people, I was taken aback by its closure last week.

I arrived in Canberra for the first time in late 1998 for a job interview and when it was finished I came into the city centre to check it out. I can distinctly remember parking in the Canberra Theatre precinct and strolling around London Circuit.

I grabbed a coffee from the first café I could find, which happened to be Tosolini’s and sat there under the trees watching the world go by. The coffee was “on the money” and I made a note that Tosolini’s would be a place I would return to if I happened to score the job. And I did… many times.

The place was usually full. There were “suits” discussing business, work colleagues letting their hair down and couples sharing time together. In the winter the fire would burn, the kitchen always smelt divine and Carlo Tosolini would always be bouncing cheekily from table to table.

I did my first media interview as a political candidate at Tosolini’s. I pitched to potential clients at Tosolini’s. I’ve hosted lunches for two different radio stations at Tosolini’s. I’ve watched young staff grow up in there and I’ve spent many an hour drinking coffee or eating pasta at this iconic location.

I’m very much in love with Luisa and we had our second date at Tosolini’s on a Sunday night in November, 2010. I can remember where we sat and what she was wearing.

My fave pasta was the Arrabiata. It had some serious kick and those delightful black olives. I could eat it every day.

Things tend not to stay the same. We are blessed to have some exquisite eating houses in Canberra and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon, but this is like losing an old friend.

I’m not entirely sure why it all finished up for Tosolini’s and I’m certain that someone will take over where Carlo left off, but I’m still saddened by the death of this place as we knew it.


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Mark Parton
Canberra Liberal MLA and former breakfast announcer on 2CC.

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