Brought to you by Seppelt Wines
A rugged sandstone mountain range isn’t the only drawcard of the Grampians, three hours’ drive northwest of Melbourne. A growing number of passionate producers are delivering topnotch food and wine experiences. Here are our picks for an unforgettable lunch where time is never of the essence.
The Bunyip Hotel, Cavendish
Success through simplicity isn’t easy to master – but that’s how chef James Campbell, of MoVida Sydney fame, breathes such life into this warm, Cavendish local. The unassuming corner pub still retains its rural exterior but it’s the menu (that alters daily) that’s reminiscent of both Campbell’s heritage in the small town and his time under Frank Camorra in the big smoke: corned beef with kimchi instead of the traditional cabbage dollop or a Wagyu Porterhouse. It’s a place where residents love to linger and thanks to the newly installed backyard deck and wood fired oven, it’s easy for an hour or two turn into several.
17-25 Scott St, Cavendish (03) 5574 2205
Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld
Two dining options comprise the stunning Royal Mail meal offerings: the more casual (but no less considered) Parker Street Project and the Wickens at Royal Mail, where the 28,000-bottle-strong cellar is enough to drive anyone to lunch hour distraction. In fact, for each dish on the five- or eight-plate degustation, you’ll find its partner in wine included on the menu. Use your extended lunch as an excuse to wander the country’s largest working restaurant kitchen garden, where you’ll bump into cooking staff as they harvest the goods on a daily basis.
98 Parker St, Dunkeld (03) 5577 2241
Harvest Halls Gap Café, Restaurant and Providore, Halls Gap
There’s a noticeably sharp focus on community at this American sweetgum-shaded café and store. On the well-stocked shelves, you’ll find jams and preserves from Five Ducks Farm, olives from Mount Zero and beer from Rebellion Brewery, all produced in the Grampians area.
2 Heath St, Halls Gap (03) 5356 4782
Dunkeld Old Bakery and Café, Dunkeld
With its lavender-lined picket fence, weatherboard cladding and corrugated iron roof, the Dunkeld Old Bakery and Café envelops visitors in the kind of country charm that makes you nostalgic for the past. Lunch here is a true, old-school bakery affair: a Ploughman’s spread of Great Ocean Road cheddar and gherkins with sourdough or a bakery-crafted pie with house relish. It’s the type of stop that always ends in a slice of cake – no matter how strongly you might “protest”.
97 Martin St, Dunkeld (03) 5556 3606
Halls Gap Hotel, Halls Gap
Yes, there’s chicken parmie on the menu but there are also a number of unexpected inclusions at this family-friendly eatery: saltbush-crusted lamb backstrap, for one, or kangaroo loin paired with carrot and cardamom puree and potato wedges dusted with native mountain pepper. If you manage to snag a spot on the verandah at the foot of the gruff Grampians with a glass of local wine in hand, you’ll won’t even notice the hours happily disappear.
2262 Grampians Road, Halls Gap (03) 5356 4566
Founded in 1851, Seppelt is one of Australia’s most historic wine producers. To learn more about Seppelt and explore the newly released Luxury Collection visit seppelt.com.au.