Monday, 3 August 2009

Gippsland Gastronome (Day 1)

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West Gippsland

A few months ago, I was invited by Destination Gippsland to take a winter weekend trip down to West Gippsland as their guest to explore the region. Last weekend was Gippsland weekend! I went down with my friend C and we had fun driving hither and yon, checking out the towns, countryside, restaurants and vineyards. This is the first of three posts writing up highlights from the weekend. After the third post I'll be putting up details about the blog prize giveaway - that's right, there's going to be a fabulous prize up for grabs for one lucky Melbourne Gastronome reader! It's the first time I've done anything like this on the blog, so it's all very exciting for me. More details soon...

Gippsland cow

I'm afraid Day 1 is a somewhat abbreviated post because neither C nor I was able to leave work early on the Friday. We did manage however to get out of Melbourne and up to Noojee in time for dinner at the Toolshed, which is part of The Outpost Retreat.

The Outpost Retreat (The Toolshed Bar)
38 Loch Valley Road, Noojee (map)
(03) 5628 9669

The OutpostThe Toolshed

Formerly both a tool shed and a chook shed for the property's main farmhouse (which is now the Outpost Restaurant - see tomorrow's entry!), the Toolshed is a popular watering hole. It was getting pretty damn cold by the time we arrived, so we were glad of the crackling fireplace and the cosy/rustic/casual country atmosphere.

The Toolshed

True to its name, the Toolshed had all sorts of old tools affixed to the walls, along with sepia photographs of West Gippsland in the olden days. I feel slightly sick with worry just looking at that photo of the MASSIVELY HEAVY STEAMTRAIN driving over that spindly wooden bridge!

The Toolshed

The food on offer at the Toolshed is good honest pub grub: I had the McBilly Burger and chips ($12) and C had the (very cheesy!) Chicken Parma ($19), washed down with a couple of pots of beer. Great chips, and hugely filling meals.

The Toolshed burgerThe Toolshed parma

After dinner we drove off into the night, trying to find the B&B where we were staying. After a few comical wrong turns (silly cityfolk, trying to rely on iPhone Google Maps for directions!), we arrived at Gracefield Cottage where our lovely hostess June had already prepared a roaring wood heater to warm the cottage in anticipation of our arrival. Not sure whether it was the bed or the lungfuls of fresh country air, but I slept better than I had in weeks.

The ToolshedThe Toolshed

Melbourne Gastronome visited West Gippsland as a guest, with accommodation and transport paid for by Destination Gippsland. All food and beverages in this post paid for by Melbourne Gastronome. :)


cp said...

What a delicious thing to do! I am most envious, haven't spent much time in Gippsland.
Looks so beautiful.
Can't wait for the next post :)

Esz said...

I've never been to Gippsland - Looking forward to your posts :-D It's really great to get out and see country Vic - We went to Ballarat a little while back. Not sure where we'll go next - but Gippsland is sure on the list. The trains are great too and not even expensive. :-D

claire said...

Hi Cathy and Esz, thanks for your kind words. It was a great opportunity for me to get out of the big smoke and into the country - hadn't been there before, but had fun. :)