This is the last of three posts writing up highlights from the weekend away that C and I had in West Gippsland, as guests of Destination Gippsland (Day 1 is here, Day 2 is here).
Deer grazing on the hillside opposite Gracefield Cottage, the B&B where we stayed.
We wanted to drive in to Warragul in the morning, so we went to the Courthouse (72 Smith St, Warragul VIC (03) 5622 2442) for breakfast. As the name suggests, the restaurant is located inside Warragul's historic (ca 1887) courthouse.
C ordered the Officer of the Court ($11.50 bacon and eggs, with $2.70 tomato and basil sausages and $1.70 grilled tomatoes). I ordered the Chef's Breakfast ($13.90), a rösti and smoked salmon stack with wilted spinach, soft poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.
Cherry blossoms in the middle of winter!
After breakfast we decided to go on a Fern Gully Nature Walk in nearby Glen Nayook. Absolutely gorgeous.
Parks Victoria knows much more about this sort of thing than I do - this is what the sign said:
Take an enjoyable 45 minute stroll to explore one of the ancient forests of Gippsland.
Walking down to the picturesque ferry glade on the Little Tarago River, you'll pass through wet scierophyll (or hard-leaved) forest, complete with towering stands of Mountain Ash.
Make your way through granite boulders (The Skinks) that have fallen into the creek over 1000 years ago forming the underground river and many sink holes.
From here you'll wind your way into a ferny glade amongst Cool Temperature Rainforest.
We then drove down to Wild Dog Winery for a spot of lunch. It's located a few kilometres outside of Warragul, its namesake (from the Aboriginal word "Warrigal" meaning dingo or wild dog).
Wild Dog Winery
Warragul Korumburra Rd, Warragul (map)
(03) 5623 2211
The restaurant has been beautifully fitted out, allowing in abundant natural light and offering superb views out over the vines. Chef Ed McDowell is in charge in the kitchen, serving light lunches as well as more substantial restaurant fare. We sat looking out at the sun-drenched decking and enjoying the winery's blackcurranty Cabernet Franc.
Alas, we'd had cooked breakfast just two hours beforehand so could only fit in one dish each. If I'd've been hungrier I would've also ordered the entree of Gippsland natural eye fillet carpaccio with semi dried tomato, fire roasted peppers, balsamic, shallot, parmesan and EVOO (saw some being taken to another table and it looked deelish).
Instead I chose the Victorian lamb rump, served with rosemary, thyme, garlic, wild ruby lime jus, roast garlic mash, smoked baby orange and red beets with cottage cheese ($33.90). The lamb had a great juicy flavour and the mash was nicely lumpy, studded with roast garlic and slightly tangy beetroot.
C ordered the steak and Guinness pie which came served in a pot with a puff pastry top, house cut chips, aioli and a unsweetened tomato sauce ($19.90). Nice skinny chips and a very saucy pie, once the puff pastry lid was peeled back. C liked it a lot!
And there you have it! After lunch we got into C's car and drove the hour and a bit's drive back to the big smoke. Thank you to those who helped make our Gippsland weekend away so enjoyable. :)
And Melbourne Gastronome readers, keep an eye out for the upcoming Gippsland-related blog prize giveaway - details to follow soon!
Melbourne Gastronome visited West Gippsland as a guest, with transport paid for by Destination Gippsland and complimentary accommodation provided by Gracefield Cottage. All food and beverages in this post paid for by Melbourne Gastronome.