Beechworth (Gourmet Chick in the High Country)

It seems like around every corner in Beechworth there is a cafe, restaurant, gourmet food store, winery or even a brewery.  For the long weekend MTV and I headed to Beechworth to get out of the city, eat and drink too much and clock up some quality time in front of the open fire.  We were about a month too late to see the Autumn leaves at their best on Beechworth’s trees but the leaves still made a virtual leaf carpet of red and yellow around the town’s streets.

A carpet of leaves in Beechworth


Bridge Road Brewers 
Tucked away in an alley off Beechworth’s main street The Bridge Road brewery might just be the most popular place in town.  In the heart of wine territory Bridge Road Brewery offers something different with craft brewed beers and a real party atmosphere.  MTV and I did a tasting of the beers (our favourite was the chestnut beer) before sharing the double smoked ham pizza.  Topped with lashings of ham and mushroom the pizza has a crisp but pliant base and a smoky flavour from the wood fired oven.  It’s simple stuff but executed really well.

Beer tasting ready to go at Bridge Road Brewers in Beechworth



Essentials
Details: Bridge Road Brewers, 50 Ford Street, Beechworth 3747 (Ph 03 5728 2703) Open: Sun11am-9pm, Mon, Wed 11am-4pm, TueClosed, Thu 11am-5pm and Fri-Sat 11am-6pm.

Damage: Reasonable. 

7/10
Bridge Road Brewers on Urbanspoon

Pizza at the Bridge Road Brewers – check out that smoky char

Pennyweight Winery
At the Bridge Road Brewers you just have to sign a form to rent out a free ‘Town Bike’. We used them to cycle the 2km along the rail trail to Pennyweight Winery where we did a tasting including a great pinot noir.  The wines are Pennyweight are all organic and biodynamic and the family behind the place are just lovely with lots of stories to tell about how they set up the winery.  We ended up buying a couple of bottles to take home with us including the Pinot Noir which was excellent and the Pennyweight Gold a light dessert wine.

The entry to Pennyweight Winery off the cycle track

Essentials
Details: Pennyweight Winery, 13 Pennyweight-Morris Lane, Beechworth 3747 (03 5728 1747)
Damage: Pricey.


The Stanley
About 10km out of Beechworth The Stanley is a great little gastropub.  The owner Shane Harris does front of house with style and chef Shauna Stockwell’s food is not what you would expect at a tiny country pub like this.   Think freshly shucked oysters ($3.50 each) and lightly battered zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta ($18).  The food is unfussy and flavoursome with a special for the Roast Collection really impressing.  It features twice cooked King Valley free range pork belly ($35) compete with crispy crackling, a fennel and apple remoulade and local walnut and parsley pesto.  The only disappointment was MTV’s steak ($35) because the meat erred on the tough side.

Stuffed zucchini flowers at The Stanley

Essentials
Details: The Stanley, 6-12 Myrtleford-Stanley road, Stanley 3747 (Ph 03 5728 6502)
Damage: Pricey. Our bill came to $123 for two.
7/10
The Stanley Pub on Urbanspoon

Old Schoolhouse
A few people in Beechworth recommended The Old Schoolhouse to us as having the best afternoon tea in town.  Set in an old schoolhouse (hence the name) the scones were certainly tall and looked the business but having them reheated in a microwave gave them a doughy taste and there was no strawberry jam only a runny quince jam.

Scones were sadly reheated at the Schoolhouse in Beechworth



Essentials
Details: Old School House Gallery, 17 Loch Street Beechworth Victoria 3747 (Ph 03 5728 3397)
Open 10 am to 4 pm
Damage: Reasonable
4/10

The Provenance
One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Beechworth was to eat at Provenance and Michael Ryans’s cooking did not disappoint.  The food that has won Provenance two chefs hats is sophisticated Japanese fusion.  The Wagyu short ribs ($26) were a case in point, slow cooked so they were tender and juicy and teamed with fiery kimchee.    Long ribbons of chestnut pasta ($25) were slippery from a burnt butter and sage sauce with the added crunch of roasted hazlenuts.  
Wagyu short rib with kimchee at The Provenance in Beechworth



The elegance of Michael’s cooking is probably most evident in the coral trout ($37), a white and meaty fish which was pan fried with a crisp skin and served with miso and homemade fat, wriggly udon noodles.  Then there’s the excellent combination of duck breast ($37) with even more duck action in the accompanying duck sausage and spelt salad.

Mandarin dessert at The Provenance in Beechworth 

We finished with a dessert of mandarin curd, burnt grapefruit and coconut tapioca and tapioca pudding ($15) which Michael kindly brought out as a complimentary course.  I had been put off ordering it by the menu description but this was one dessert that tasted much better than it sounded.  There were lots of different textures and flavours going on with the bitter grapefruit, rich curd and crunchy crumble.

The wine list at The Provenance is legendary and is a sophisticated list which easily keeps pace with the interest on the menu.   We were so impressed by smoothy but spicy 2009 Sorrenberg Cabernet Sauvignon ($72) which we ordered that we promptly went and bought a case of it from the winery.

Essentials
Details: The Provenance, 86 Ford St, Beechworth 3747 (Ph 03 5728 1786). Open Wed-Sun 6.30 – late.
Damage: Budget breaking. Our bill came to $208 for two.
8/10
Provenance on Urbanspoon

 

Video review of my room at La Pausa

Gourmet Travel Tips

  • Beechworth is just over three hours drive from Melbourne.
  • We stayed at La Pausa bed and breakfast in Beechworth which I would really recommend.  It’s right in the centre of town set in a beautiful old homestead which has a sense of history while not being chintzy.  I loved the log fire in our room, the complimentary bottle of wine when we arrived and the packet of home made florentine biscuits on the mantlepiece.  Breakfasts each morning include Bircher muesli, fruit, poached eggs, mushrooms and bacon.  The ensuites to the rooms are a little dated but otherwise this is the perfect bed and breakfast and hosts Gill and Jon are very helpful with lots of tips for what to see, do and eat in Beechworth.  La Pausa. 34 Loch Street, Beechworth 3747 (Ph 03 5728 2138).  $220 a night.  
  • In Beechworth we checked out the shops, including the famous Beechworth Honey shop and Beechworth Bakery and had a stroll along the Gorge Walk a great five kilometre walking loop starting in Beechworth Historic Park.

Gourmet Giveaway
Thanks to everyone who entered the Gourmet Giveaway to win a copy of French Food Safari, the winners are Busy Lizzie and Michelle Goldsmith.  Winners were selected using random.org and have been contacted.  Thanks to Hardie Grant for the prize – copies should be winging their way to the winners shortly.  
Posted by: on June 14th, 2012     8 Comments »

Category: Travel - Australia
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8 Comments on “Beechworth (Gourmet Chick in the High Country)”

  1. Kari said at 12:06 am on June 15th, 2012:

    What a great place – I have never been (not surprising as there is a lot of Victoria I am yet to visit) but am now tucking it away as a place to get to. I love the autumn trees!

  2. Helen (Grab Your Fork) said at 1:55 am on June 15th, 2012:

    Love the shot of the autumn leaves! And I have The Provenance on my list of spots to visit. Must get there soon!

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said at 6:45 pm on June 15th, 2012:

    Stuffed zucchini flowers!? That sounds amazing! And those biscuits…I would love 2 of them right now haha!!!

  4. cara waters said at 10:03 am on June 17th, 2012:

    Kari – Yes I really recommend it

    Helen – I am sure you would love The Provenance – a fabulous place.

    Andi – The biscuits at the B and B were such a thoughtful little extra

  5. vintagemacaroon said at 11:25 pm on June 17th, 2012:

    I will keep this bookmarked in hopeful anticipation of my next road trip. Love the new video tagging at the end, very pro.

  6. Daisy@Nevertoosweet said at 6:02 am on June 18th, 2012:

    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG :) Beechworth is one of my favourite places :) and one of the first places I ever blogged about hehe I remember going to nearly all the places you just mentioned! So glad you enjoyed your visit!!!

    I can’t wait to go back too :)

  7. karen said at 3:21 pm on October 11th, 2012:

    This is an important issue – I will be posting a link on my blog.

  8. Gourmet Chick » Blog Archive » Travel said at 8:06 pm on April 28th, 2013:

    […] Bridge Road Brewers, Beechworth; […]


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